Board of Finance members unanimously approved a $3.8 million contract between the town and Honeywell for energy efficiency improvements to Masuk High, Jockey Hollow Middle and Stepney and Fawn Hollow elementary schools Wednesday night.
Board of Finance Vice Chairman Michael Manjos, who was involved in negotiations, explained how the scope of the work was reduced, as well as the length of borrowing from 15 to 10 years.
The Town Council had approved the contract on Monday night and must schedule a Town Meeting for voters to decide on the bonding. Honeywell has told officials the costs of the project can be paid for through the savings on utility bills.
Town buildings and Monroe Elementary School had been included in the original contract proposal, but Manjos said town officials wanted to reduce the cost of phase one.
A number of people were upset that Monroe Elementary was the only school taken out, but Manjos said it was strictly a financial decision. Work on the building would cost about $720,000 and only produce $22,000 in savings because Manjos said Monroe Elementary already has gas heat, which is driving the most dramatic energy savings.
Supt. of Schools James Agostine has said he can always come back for the Monroe Elementary School projects.
One thing Manjos said the town was able to negotiate for was a $150,000 donation from Honeywell to buy new exterior and interior locks at all of the town's schools — including Monroe Elementary. Since the tragic shooting in Sandy Hook, there has been strong public demand to improve security at the town's schools.
"Michael Manjos deserves tremendous credit for his work with Honeywell," Reed said.