Litchfield News

School board to ask for more cash for maintenance (07-19-17)

Money transferred to Litchfield's Board of Education in May for exterior maintenance at the three schools in 2017-18 isn't enough to get the job done, the school board was told during a special meeting Monday.
The $117,500 in question was moved from the Board of Selectmen budget to the school board budget as part of a transfer of school maintenance to the school board. Exterior maintenance had been overseen by the selectmen and the public works department since 2003.
Interior maintenance of the schools had been covered by public works for four years before the school board asked to have the responsibility returned. The board, however, did not ask for exterior maintenance to be returned.
After reviewing a report from its director of business operations, David Fiorillo, the school board decided to ask the Board of Finance for an additional $100,000 to cover exterior maintenance costs during the current fiscal year.
“We want the money,” school board Chairman Frank Simone said. “I believe we have to go after it now, because if we wait it’s going to be even more difficult to get it.”
The $117,500, according to Fiorillo, is $24,830 less than what is needed to cover the cost of contacts public works negotiated for exterior maintenance such as snow plowing, mowing and landscaping, and trash pickup.
The $100,000 would cover the shortfall and would help defray the cost of a $90,000 maintenance position the school board claims belongs to it. The position, although it served the school board, is in the Board of Selectmen budget and isn’t coming out, according to First Selectman Leo Paul Jr.
Paul worked with public works Director Raz Alexe to create the list of contracted services for exterior maintenance. The $117,500, Paul has said, is enough to cover costs in 2017-18.