First selectman thanks retiring education board members, mother

At the first Board of Education meeting following the 2015 Election, First Selectman Tim Herbst made a special proclamation presentation to the board’s three retiring members, including his mother and chairwoman Deb Herbst.

The town’s top official thanked long-time member Joe Peddle for being “instrumental in bringing reform to the district’s facilities” and board secretary Rosemary Seaman for “making our system a statewide model” in his speech Tuesday, Nov. 10.

During a tear-inducing presentation to his mother, Herbst said he had “never given a proclamation to my mother before.”

He thanked her for “overseeing immeasurable gains.”

Capital Improvement Plan

At the same meeting, the board approved two components of this year’s 2016-2020 Capital Improvement Plan. The first was recommending a $6.12 million of bondable projects at five schools. Elsewhere, the board sought to lease financing of $4.13 million for energy efficiency and money saving projects at four schools.

Board members Jeff Donofrio and Joe Peddle termed all “catch up,” rather than “wish list” projects because the needs of so many of the district’s assets have been neglected for so many years.

The bondable projects will total $2.6 million. They consist of $553,000 for asbestos abatement and to repair heavily deteriorated drainage and curbs at Madison Middle School; $860,000 to repair drainage and pave the parking lot at Booth Hill; $40,000 for asbestos abatement at Tashua Elementary School; $734,000 for driveway and parking lot repair, and some building repair at the Agriscience High School; and $425,000 at Trumbull High School to repair what are nearly unusable tennis courts and to upgrade the football field press box and concession stand.

The other part of the long-term capital plan was to recommend to the town that they seek 10-year lease financing for four projects whose energy savings will pay their capital costs over the same term, and yield continued savings thereafter.

Already approved, but included in the funding request, was a $1.62-million roof replacement and energy savings related work at Hillcrest Middle School. New boilers and control systems and LED lighting will be installed at Madison, Jane Ryan and Booth Hill. The first will be funded by a $1.3-million lease, the other two, $600,000 each.