Stop the billion-dollar boondoggle

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

The majority of the Board of Education (BOE) refuses to do its homework.

The $10-million budget item currently before the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) has nothing to do with actually building “MISA” and has everything to do with shifting the financial burden from polluters to Greenwich taxpayers.

MISA can be built for $30 million on property already owned by BOE.  The projected cost at 10 Hillside Road has escalated to more than $40 million. This makes no sense.

None of the “remediation options” presented by BOE, ranging in estimated cost from $5 million to $180 million, is feasible. The true cost of remediating 10 Hillside Road so it can continue to be used as a high school is in excess of $1 billion.

The PCBs on high school grounds were not dumped there by “unknown polluters before 1970” and are not now the responsibility of Greenwich taxpayers. The dumping took place between 1987 and 2011 by contractors acting on behalf of BOE. Contractor names and contract dates can be found on contracts approved by the legal department, in legal department files.

It will cost $100 million to build a new high school, including MISA, elsewhere in town. It will cost more than $250 million to remediate and rebuild the existing high school and MISA at 10 Hillside Road. This decision is a “no-brainer.”

The polluters, who are identified in documents which can be found in Planning and Zoning Commission files, acted on behalf of agents hired by BOE. Pursuant to town contracts as well as town, state, and federal laws, the agents are legally liable for the entire cost of 10 Hillside Road remediation, provided only that RTM does not permit BOE to shift this cost to Greenwich taxpayers.

Please stop this boondoggle and send MISA back to BOE with a notation that BOE work to date on this project is “unsatisfactory.”


Bill Effros

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