The Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor CSD Board of Trustees were set to vote on a general obligations bond of up to $5 million Jan. 16. After much heated discussion with a strong representation of both towns’ boards of selectmen, the trustees did not put a motion on the table to vote. Instead, the board decided unanimously to table the bond issue and to inquire about a third party engineering consultant to vet the process used by the CSD’s contractor, Honeywell.
Chair Richard Hallinan opened by speaking to the need of the funds which would update boilers nearly 15 years past their service date, ventilator and control upgrades, and air handlers as well as windows, doors and other building envelope defects which have been making it difficult to keep classrooms comfortable in Boothbay Region Elementary School. Throughout the meeting, Superintendent Keith Laser and other board members also spoke to the urgency of applying for the bond which has an application deadline of mid-February. After that, the next chance would be in mid-October when interest rates and construction costs will likely have risen.
Hallinan opened public participation in which several members of both towns’ boards of selectmen discussed a lack of due diligence on part of the trustees and superintendent’s office for not creating more of a public dialogue before seeking the bond and for not looking at alternatives for financing the projects. Resident Tom Minerich suggested the use of a private consultant to vet Honeywell’s process for identifying the needed replacements and upgrades.
More coverage to follow.