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RTM Votes to Reduce Bond Requests

The Representative Town Meeting voted to cut $378,000 from bond requests in a session that lasted late into Monday night at the Osborne Hill School. The initial $1.265 million requested for nine separate capital improvement projects was reduced to $887,000.

Gone from the list was $250,000 in bonding to fund renovations to student bathrooms at Dwight School and a $75,000 request to replace the roof at Operation Hope. A total of $53,000 was cut from public works projects ­– the removal of an underground storage tank at Fire Station 1 and boiler replacements at the Fairfield Senior Center that were over budget, according to Public Works Director Richard White.

Improvements to the drainage at the H. Smith Richardson Golf Course for $180,000, $200,000 in repairs and improvements to the stairs at Tomlinson Middle School, $90,000 to replace the scale house at the Transfer Station on One Rod Highway, $80,000 to install fuel monitoring and flow protection at Fire Stations 2 and 5 and $40,000 to replace smoke alarms at the senior center, were approved.

In addition the RTM approved a $5.8 million dollar bond for road repavement and repair, but spaced it out over a period of three years.

The decision to cut the funding for the Dwight School was preceded by a lengthy discussion about whether or not some of the funding could come from the federal government, as the goal of part of it (raising toilets and changing sinks) is to meet American Disabilities Act requirements. Some members of the RTM argued that the funding should be pushed back until renovations are made to the school to make it handicapped accessible.

After a lengthy debate on the funding, a motion to cut the funding passed, 29-15.

The meeting was the first for new moderator Jeff Steele (R-District 2). He replaced Jim Walsh, who had served as moderator for seven years and on the RTM for 12 years. Walsh was named to fill the position left by the death of Ralph Bowley. Steele was able to navigate his way through the meeting, which was marked by semi-heated discussions over the bonding issues.

In addition, Flatto updated the RTM on the status of the third railroad station in Fairfield, stating that the funding was moving forward, public works construction is beginning and it should be completed by winter 2011.

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