Yes vote on school project is best choice

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To the editor,

On Tuesday, Dec. 20, the Region 16 Board of Education is asking the taxpayers of Beacon Falls and Prospect to approve funding for its proposed three part building project.  The largest portion of the project is the building of a new school in Prospect that would consolidate the current two elementary schools, Algonquin and Community, into one.  In Beacon Falls, the second part of the project calls for renovations to Laurel Ledge School that would include linking its separate buildings together with closed in hallways. The last portion would be the conversion of Algonquin School into district offices, a community room and central storage.

All three parts of this project are the result of issues that have been known and talked about for years. All three parts represent a honest attempt to solve long standing infrastructure problems, improve efficiency, reduce costs and save tax money.

These proposals are the result of many months of hard work by the building committee whose members represent both towns. They are your friends, your neighbors and your fellow taxpayers. Should the referendum pass, they will continue working to finalize plans, oversee construction, and help control costs.

I believe there is never a good time to build a new school. Neither is there ever a good time to borrow money to build one. There are only better times than others. Nearly half the cost of the referendum amount requested is to be reimbursed to the district by state grant money. The region is required to get approval for the full amount.

I agree with those who say it doesn’t matter which pocket gets picked if they are both your pockets. Unfortunately our state money will be collected and spent either in Region 16 or elsewhere regardless of what we do. If present trends continue we only stand to get less of it.

Region 16 prides itself on returning any unspent portion of its budget to the towns. Its administrators have worked hard to meet the demands of state and federal law and to use tax money wisely. The building project approval will enable the region to continue to effectively and efficiently meet its responsibilities. I believe our best choice is to vote yes on Dec. 20.

Bill Fredericks

Region 16 Board of Education

Beacon Falls