Bond Not The Right Answer for Farwell Area Schools

November 4, 2019

Dear Editor,
Upon my own review of the many topics covered at the October 1 meeting of the Farwell School Board Facilities Committee, Administration and Johnson Controls (JCI) I pointed out a major discrepancy with the Bus Garage improvements.  The cost estimate to convert the 5 heating appliances and replace the make-up air unit is estimated at a $93,000 bill! Built new in 2006 the make-up air unit is only 13 years old, (and by the way works just fine!)  I discovered the heating fuel for the Bus Garage is still propane despite having natural gas available for almost 2 years now.  A little over a year ago under previous maintenance supervision an application for connection to natural gas was received by FAS but never returned. Therefore missing out on some rather significant savings!  Nat. Gas vs. LP is almost half the cost!

After some further investigation myself, I was given a high estimate by a local contractor of $2000 to convert all six appliances, and tie in the existing Fuel lines, leaving the existing (working) air handler unit in place. In addition the cost to have the Nat. Gas line Ran to the bus garage, came to a cost of $1558 for a total of just under $3600, this compared to the supper inflated price tag of $ 93,000.

Another potential overcharge brought to light is the service charge by the Construction Management Company. That overcharge appears to be $800,000. Voters must ask themselves if there is this much “fat” in just a couple of areas of this Nov. 5th proposal, what other areas of this bond proposal are over inflated.  This was supposed to be a stripped down version of the failed May referendum.  The Board of Education is responsible to ask for details and trust the consultants give them the right answers. As you see this did not happen.  What we heard from the Oct 1st meeting was “trust us on this”.  Well trust seems to be missing from this math equation and I will not vote to allow pilfering of taxpayer’s dollars and leave our children on the short end.  

Without a comprehensive long term plan and the supper inflated costs in this bond proposal I will be voting NO!!

As a father of 3 children who attend Farwell Schools and will for the next 10 years I too want what is best for our kids! This Nov. 5th bond proposal is not the right answer nor best solution for the future of Farwell Area Schools!

Sincerely, Ryan Blain 

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