Monday, September 6, 2010

Milfords Educational Crisis Can Be Solved

The city of Milford has an ugly little secret when it comes to education, or in other words the iconic "third rail" that few dare to address. That rail is what I aptly call the 100 Million Dollar Dilemma or the the cost of repairing the failing energy wasting infrastructure of our educational system.

For the last twenty years the city of Milford and the Milford Board of Education have adopted a triage policy where-by only catastrophic mechanical failures are addressed, but the issues with our crumbling schools go beyond just those simple repairs. Milford has not had a new school built in many decades, and the thought of education improvements is always a bitter battle against those who do not want taxes, and those with kids who just want their kids educated.

For a very long time there has been no way of breaking this taxpayer, parent stalemate until recently. The answer came to my desk at the Milford Independent Party after consulting with numerous experts and municipalities across Connecticut and the United States for a solution to this very problem. Finally a real solution to the Milford Education crisis was presented to me by Balfour Betty Construction. This company is a world class company and is rated one of the top companies to work for in America.

Balfour Betty delivers billions of dollars in sales annually. The project in question that has now become the national model for Leeds Certified education was delivered to the Irving Texas School District this year. Click HERE for a tour of Lady Bird Johnson Middle School the nations first "Net Zero" Middle School. According to Balfour Betty's spokesperson "Charter Builders was awarded the $29 million contract to manage construction of the new school, located in Irving, Texas.

The 150,000-square-foot facility will produce its own energy via solar panels, geothermal energy harvesting, and wind turbines. If the school produces excess energy, the district could sell energy to a local electric provider, creating a potential revenue source for the district." Should our local leaders dare embrace the vision of the future, a project like this can easily be initiated in Milford and Connecticut. Most of the delivery cost can easily be absorbed without incident or consequence to the local taxpayers.

This is because 60% of the cost of the school would be paid for by Hartford, another 10% could be covered by Federal Clean Energy grants and the rest %30 covered by bonds. The payments on those bonds would be at record low interest rates and paid for with the monthly savings from repairs, Gas, Electric, and energy. For example at current rates of 4% a loan for the difference or an est. $20,000.00 per month in un-needed electric and gas bills could be easily converted to the loan payment. This will cover the unfunded and bonded portion of the construction.

If Milford also decides to sell off and combine some failing Schools, it is even possible that a new school could be built for FREE. There may even be additional money in the bank to use for our kids currently unfunded programs. This is a project that is a "big win" for the people and city and should be seriously pursued to fix our towns 100 Million Dollar Dilemma.

We now just need to get the word out, because the lack of vision and inaction on behalf of the cities taxpayers and children is UNACCEPTABLE. We all need to put pressure on the present administration to take meaningful action to solve our educational crisis. Milford students should not be learning in hallways on carts and certainly they do not deserve to have their schools shut down. Demand Action, direct decision makers to this post and ask them to do the right thing for the sake our children.

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