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$1.6M to return to Greenfield taxpayers

  • The Greenfield Town Hall Recorder File Photo/Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

GREENFIELD — The $2 million leftover from the Greenfield High School building project has now found a home.

The special building committee, headed by Tim Farrell and Mayor William Martin, decided to split the available money between the school and the taxpayer at a meeting Wednesday evening.

Of the money going to the school, about $730,000 will go toward projects that include renovations for Veterans Field, solar energy and technology and furniture in the classrooms.

The other $1.6 million will go back to the taxpayers, which means residents can expect to save about $1.60 on their tax bills.

“We wanted to be careful and we wanted to be prudent,” Farrell said. “It ended up working out for the town. We have a great building. We’re lucky to have some flexibility to do some additional spending.”

Farrell indicated that the goal had been to spend $22 million of the $24 million approved to build the high school, and ideally, divide the remaining $2 million between the taxpayer and the school — which is exactly what is happening.

“We wanted to make sure it was a successful project that the community could be proud of and be fiscally responsible,” Farrell said. “We always said we’re building a school that we need and we’re buying what we need and what’s fiscally prudent at this time.”

The money going to the schools is as follows:

$200,000 for solar energy

$235,000 for technology in the classrooms

$96,000 for Veterans Field and the other athletic fields at the school, mainly for bleachers, fencing and bathrooms

$60,000 for furniture in the classrooms

$35,000 for signs, bringing a digital marquee outside the high school

$35,000 for Greenfield Community Energy and Technology (GCET) and Greenfield Community Television (GCTV), to link up the school so that meetings can be live-streamed from the high school

$30,000 for elective equipment

$20,000 for key card and security purposes

$6,000 for defibrillators (AEDs)

$5,500 for increasing roof safety, for maintenance use

$5,000 for soccer goals

Not all the requests were accepted by Farrell, like putting $100,000 toward a permaculture roof at the high school. There were worries from members of the committee on whether that budgeted cost was accurate and if there were other options through grant funding to pay for that project.

The mayor added the $35,000 line item for GCET near the end of Wednesday’s meeting with limited details. When pressed by Greenfield Superintendent Jordana Harper on the money, Martin said it will be used for equipment purchases, like fiber optic cable.

As for athletics, there was a plea for using the available money to update the roughly 20-year-old lighting at Vets Field. Farrell suggested that since the fields fall under the town’s overview, if the lights were to go out anytime soon, it would be the town, not the school’s, responsibility to fix it.

The $96,000 for Vets Field will be used in part to add additional bleachers at the baseball field and softball field. These bleachers will be moveable so that they can be rolled to the proper spot come soccer season.

Additionally, the money will allow for the school to move in the fencing at the high school’s track to allow for better viewing. Lastly, the money will help to update the bathrooms at the fields, especially the one by the baseball field.

You can reach
Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264