East Hartford voters approve referendums
By Evan Pajer - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Nov. 9, 2012
Voters in East Hartford approved all three referendum questions on the ballot Nov. 6, including a $5.7 million referendum that will replace several walls at East Hartford Middle School with newer, more energy-efficient ones. The net result will be a reduction in costs that will save money for the town's taxpayers.
The school's current walls, which are 58 years old, date back to the construction of the middle school in the 1950s. Many of the walls consist of single-pane glass windows, which do not meet current energy-efficiency standards. Funding from the referendum will pay for replacement of the existing windows with newer, energy-efficient ones. During an Aug. 16 meeting of the Town Council, Chair Rich Kehoe said that replacing the windows will save the town as much as $120,000 per year in energy costs.
Under the replacement plan, the state of Connecticut will pay for 74 percent of the total construction costs, leaving East Hartford taxpayers with a much smaller $1.6 million bill. East Hartford Middle School Principal Anthony Menard said the window replacement was a much-needed renovation at the school. “We're excited as a school because it continues to show the Board of Education and Town Council's commitment to us.”
Also approved were a $10 million referendum that will fund the fifth stage of a road repair project that has been ongoing since 2003, and an $800 million referendum to replace aging sewer pipes in the eight towns served by the Metropolitan District Commission. The road repair project will continue the resurfacing of roads and public parking lots throughout the town.
The sewer project will replace single, combined sewage and runoff pipes which are prone to overflowing during periods of heavy rainfall. The project, which is the result of a court order filed against the MDC by the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, will replace pipes in all eight towns to prevent the dumping of sewage into Long Island Sound, as well as preventing sewage from leaking into basements. It will be paid for by a surcharge on sewer bills that is projected to last until 2050.