The proposal goes to Orange residents today. Polls are open from 12 to 8 p.m. at High Plains Community Center. The shortened time period saves taxpayers a significant amount on referendum costs.
As it was broken down at the town meeting, the 20-year bond would cost an Orange property owner whose property is assessed at $230,000 a total of $2,184 spread out over the 20 years. The tax increase of $141.50 would be seen in 2015 and them come down every year until that same property owner would pay $77.69 in taxes to pay off the bond in 2034, the 20th year.
The chart Orange Live posted last week showed the specifics of the bond package including repairs to school and town buildings, road repairs, and police communication.
Resident Vincent Apicella said the entire plan is clear and concise, but asked if after all the money is spent will there be any recurring maintenance costs?
Zeoli said there are three school roofs along with other security equipment will require maintenance.
Lynn Mcmullin said on the BOE website there are many photos of the school buildings. She showed a few of the photos at the presentation.
More than half of the proposed amount – $8 million – is needed for school repairs alone.
√ The district needs to become ADA compliant – offering entrance ramps and bathrooms that could accommodate a wheel chair.
√Turkey Hill School boilers are 50 years old and deteriorating badly. Supt. Lynn McMullin said, “Every time they are started up it causes school officials to hold their breath.”
√ Windows need to be replaced at Turkey Hill School
√ Peck Place traffic circle needs to be repaved and reconfigured and the unit ventilators need to be replaced
√Window replacements and exterior door replacement at Race Brook School
√The three grade 1-5 Orange elementary schools need new roofs.
√Facia work and exterior painting at Mary L Tracy School
√ Security improvements were added in the wake of the Newtown shooting, which includes installing indoor and outdoor video cameras that police can access in real time if needed. Also installing Sally Ports to better control who accesses the buildings; and installing shatter-guard to some of the windows.
Door locks are being replaced so all classroom doors will lock automatically when shut. Teachers will have access with ID cards.
√ High Plains South wing renovations
√ Upgrade the High Plains Community Center heating system
√ parking lot expansion needed
√ Police Headquarters needs HVAC improvements and boiler
√The Library roof leaks and needs repairs
The Orange police department needs a wireless radio system. The system would be much more reliable, according to Chief Robert Gagne
“Currently police relies on copper phone lines for communications, but all it takes is a squirrel to damage the line and interrupt the circuit,” Gagne said. “The wireless system can integrate the fire department, EMS and Public Works.”
The $125,000 cost will pay for itself in five years, Gagne said.
Neighboring towns including West Haven and Milford are working with wireless systems.
$5 million is needed for Road Repairs which involves more than just paving.
No official list of road repairs has been presented. Some roads need drainage and major improvements, according to First Selectman Jim Zeoli.
You’ve had a week to think about this bonding proposal. OGAT taped the meeting and broadcast it so everyone could have an opportunity to educate themselves on the necessary issues.
In the end, with interest and related costs, the total pay-back for the loan will be $19.8 million.
Originally published on March 20 at 12:54 a.m.