The way we are paying for WABA is screwed up

I had a chance to dig out my copies of the materials handed out at the public hearings on the Joint Town-School Recreation Facilities bond of 2013. Here is a scan of WABA as conceptualized at the time, showing 6 new locker rooms on the west side.
WABA Diagrams presented at 2013 Public Hearings
These new locker rooms are at the heart of the upgrade from the perspective of expanding the usability of WABA. By voting to limit the contract with the low bidder to just 2,296,000 AND meeting the programming needs as expressed in this diagram we have set boundaries around the job that may not be possible to work within without opening the town to legal challenges that it is not fulfilling the bond.
If you go to the CATV website for our Jan 21 meeting and set the slider to minute 84, just at the right edge of the 4 in 2014 or the D in Hartford, you can hear Chuck reiterate the motion:
Value Engineering – 180,000
Friends – 50,000
FY2014 Budget – 100,000
Unassigned Fund – 255,000
Following the vote we discuss a point of information: the 180K value engineering has to come out of the 2,476,000 low bid only. Answer: Yes, the contract with the low bidder cannot exceed 2,296,00. We then discuss whether the 180K savings can include things that are postponed for future completion. Answer: No.
Some would ask if my intention is to kill the WABA project. It is not. To the contrary, we should be doing it in full and not screwing around cutting corners and hiding how it is paid for. This needs to be an investment in the town’s future. A mere sprucing up does not achieve that goal and would be a waste of money. Between wasting money and getting out of the hockey business, I’d take the latter. That is the full range of my opinion: do it right, and if we can’t afford to do it right, then we should seriously consider getting out of the business. I’ve said this over and over and over. If it were my decision alone, we’d be doing the full renovation, both sides, for 3.8 million, and using a 3.8 million bond to pay for it.

Just to make sure we’re on the same page about the numbers:

0.300 related costs for arch, permits, legal etc
2.776  WABA direct costs
0.206 utility costs needed to enable WABA (1/2 of total, school picking up balance)
0.050 green mountain power new transformer (also 1/2 of total, school picking up balance)
3.032 total WABA costs
2.500 WABA bond amount
0.532 difference

We had a great compromise agreement on Jan 15 to proceed and let the town decide between taking the money out of reserves or using a bond. The replacement of that compromise last night with a program that will cut $100,000 of services from this year’s budget (or cause a budget deficit, reducing the unassigned balance), plus the use of the unassigned balance anyway, with no plan to replenish it, with no vote by the public, is just bad governance.

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