Voters OK appropriation for upgrades

REGION 16 — By a 60-vote margin, voters in Beacon Falls and Prospect approved the appropriation of $1,955,000 for security improvements in Region 16 at a referendum Thursday.

The unofficial count was 294 yes to 234 no. The appropriation was approved in both towns. Prospect voters approved it 167-113, while it passed in Beacon Falls 127-121.

“This was so important to make sure the students and staff are secure in our region and update what we need to update,” said Board of Education Chair Donna Cullen after the votes were tallied.

School security became a main concern of districts and the state after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Following the shooting, a security audit was performed on each school in Region 16, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, and the district office.

After the audit, the board began compiling a list of improvements to be made in the region and equipment to buy.  

The approval gives the board authorization to spend up to $1,955,000. The district plans to bond the money for the improvements and will be reimbursed for eligible costs through a state grant. The amount the district is responsible for is estimated at $995,000. The district’s cost includes its match for the grant, about $612,000, and the cost of items not eligible for reimbursement under the grant, which is estimated to be $383,000.

Look for a full story in next week’s Citizen’s News.

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