Capital Referendum Passes

Registrars assistants prepare the count. Weston Today photo

The capital improvements budget revised by the Board of Finance, whose chair described it as “more than an equitable compromise,” was approved by voters in a second referendum on May 18.

The measure passed by a vote of 780 yes, 745 no. Voting on the capital budget in the May 4 referendum had ended in a tie.

Today’s referendum drew 93 more votes than the number of ballots cast on the capital budget on May 4.

Essentially, three items were contested in today’s vote, items that had been voted out at the Annual Town Budget Meeting on April 25. The three were restored by the Board of Finance on May 9. The board did not restore $606,171 requested to prepare for a replacement of the aged Town Hall Annex.

Back in next fiscal year’s capital budget, which now totals $3,280,475, are:

  • $225,000 for the first installment of Phase 3 sidewalk construction costs.
  • $150,000 for engineering and planning to replace the Town Hall Annex. With something.
  • $75,000 for an LED lighting study at the school district.

Of all the proposed capital items that may have been poorly understood (likely because it was poorly communicated in the first place), the LED study leads the list.

According to Board of Education vice chair Peter Gordon, who chairs the school board’s committee planning for the long-term optimization of campus facilities, the study is one piece of broader efforts to find ways to reduce energy costs at the schools — in this case, the costs of lighting — and to maximize sustainability.

The study is also part of an effort to identify, in the context of a healthy learning environment, how different types of lighting affect student performance, down to the details of optimum lighting in different classroom configurations and purposes.

Last year, said Mr. Gordon, the district competed to obtain a free lighting assessment by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a research center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The district lost out to the school system of Boston, Mass.

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