Awards presented; Wheeler project discussed

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Board of Education met at Plainville High School on Monday, Dec 11 where the panel awarded five Everyday Hero awards.

Assistant Superinten-dent Steve LePage and students Mason Martinez, second grade; Lilly Wieczorek, third grade; Braelyn Patenaude, third grade; and Hayley Kalisz, third grade, were honored for outstanding community service efforts.

Chair Andrea Saunders said the meeting by offering her praise to the young students, saying how proud she is that “our children are oriented towards charitable causes at such a young age.”

Only one citizen spoke during the citizen’s comment section. John Kisluk  mentioned concerns and offered his opinion and advice for different ways to save some money. Kisluk mentioned an upcoming capital project, requiring $1.7 million for repairs to the tennis courts, driveway and parking lot. “That’s one place that, in my opinion, money could be held back for awhile.”

Kisluk also expressed concern for the Wheeler School project. Plainville residents had voted to renovate the Wheeler Elementary School. The project is projected to begin in the summer of 2018 and to be concluded in time for the 2020-2021 school year. Kisluk’s concerns come from how much it is slated to cost, as the capital committee has already “had to cut $705,000 from the project in order to qualify.” Another qualification is the need to enroll at least 45 more students, which Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maureen Brummett said could be rectified by the Open Choice Policy.

Brummett reported that Plainville has “maintained a fiscally responsible budget for the past seven years.”

Council liaison, Kathy Pugliese, reported that the Town Council, via the Department of Economic and Community Development, was awarded a $200,000 grant for funding the Remedial Action Redevelopment Municipal Grant.

The Connecticut General Assembly said that this grant is to be awarded “for the purpose of providing grants to municipalities and economic development agencies for the eligible costs of brownfield remediation and brownfield assessment projects.” A brownfield site is a piece of land on which redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. These funds will be used for phases one, two and three of an environmental study of the White Oak Property.

Pugliese said that the White Oak Property is “14 plus acres and has been abandoned and unused for a number of years.” She also reported that the town has been speaking with the owners, and that the back tax on the property stands at about $660,000, but assessment has shown that the property value is around $1.07 million.

Before the Board of Education meeting, the Finance and Facilities subcommittees met to discuss the budget for the remainder of this fiscal year, as well as the projections for upcoming years.

Notably, it was reported that the Plainville Schools will be making district wide updates to the security systems at the schools. About $25,000 has been budgeted for that, but Plainville schools has applied for a security grant to help with the costs, and they are anticipating a response in the next few weeks. Also, there is a projected $25,000 budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2023, in order to keep up the best possible security.

Through a program called “One-To-One,” students receive their Chromebooks starting in third grade, and are able to use them in school and at home for the duration of the school year. For this school year, Plainville schools budgeted $148,500 to upgrade the Chromebooks for grades three through five. They have requested $110,000 for next fiscal year to replace or fix damaged Chromebooks.