NEW FAIRFIELD – At its June 13 regular meeting, the Board of Selectmen approved a $220,000 appropriation to help fund a proposed School Security Operations Center project. The Board voted unanimously to approve the appropriation. It now moves on to the Board of Finance for consideration. If the BOF approves the proposal, it will move to a vote at a town meeting. In giving its approval, the Board set a Town Meeting date for Thursday, June 27 at 7:15pm, pending approval by the BOF at its June 19 meeting.
If the BOF and the voters approve the appropriation, funds will be moved from the Unappropriated Capital & Non-Recurring account to the School Security Operations Center project. The project is part of upgrades recommended by the district’s independent safety auditors and has been put forward by the School Safety & Security Committee. While details are few due to the sensitive nature of the security measures, the center will most likely be a hub for monitoring of all school campuses in town.
Selectman Kim Hanson asked if any of the improvements funded by the funds being considered would be transferable to the new school buildings should the proposed building projects be approved by the voters. The district’s Director of Budget & Operations, Dr. Richard Sanzo stated that approximately 75% would be able to be reclaimed or transferred should the building projects be approved. He noted that the district had additional funds reserved, and that these funds would be used to expand the project to encompass all four schools.
Mr. Hanson also expressed concern that the Board would be voting to approve a warning for a town meeting prior to having the approval from the Board of Finance. In the end, however, the Board of Selectmen approved moving the appropriation request on to the Board of Finance and issued a warning for a town meeting contingent on Board of Finance approval.
By Greg Slomba