The committee also recommended appropriating $2.5 million to fund the disposition of the town’s two wind turbines. “The $2.5 million is to dismantled and disassemble,” Town Manager Julian M. Suso said. “It is not even to relocate them at this point.” Committee member Peter J. Hargraves questioned the timing. “Before we know what we are going to do with them, we are going to spend money to take them down,” Mr. Hargraves said.
The Falmouth Finance Committee at its meeting this week backed $1,295,000 in school capital requests.
This includes $500,000 for the Morse Pond School ceiling replacement project. This would be in addition to $300,000 allotted last year. The school department is looking to remove the asbestos ceiling tiles in the building.
“They have to get this asbestos material out of there sooner or later,” committee member Nicholas S. Lowell said at the meeting Tuesday, October 8. “It is not particularly dangerous when it just stays at rest, but it really should go. This is the last school that has asbestos ceiling tiles, and they want it out.”
The funding will allow the town to remove and replace the ceiling tiles in 16 to 20 rooms.
“They’re hoping to get done as much as they think they can,” Mr. Lowell said, noting the removal will be limited to the summer months.
The committee also recommended $350,000 in spending to upgrade the univent system at the East Falmouth Elementary School. This will allow the school to better manage its heating and cooling system.
“When they are done, I think they will be able to control the temperature in each room individually,” Mr. Lowell said.
The group recommended a pair of safety and security projects totaling $175,000. This includes $100,000 to upgrade the fire alarm system at Morse Pond School and $75,000 to install a shatterproof film on the school’s windows.
“Schools have a lot of ground-floor windows, and they are trying to make it more difficult for you to throw a brick and access it that way,” Mr. Lowell said.
He said the request is supported by the school, police and fire/rescue departments.
“This should have been done five years ago,” committee member Deborah D. Maguire said. “I volunteer at the schools, and every time I buzz in, it freaks me out how the whole front of the building is glass. All they need to do is one little bullet, and they’re in the building, they’ve shattered that glass.”
The committee also recommended $120,000 for an engineering study and to start the replacement of generators at the six town schools.
“Almost all of the schools need their generators replaced simply based on the age of the generators,” Mr. Lowell said, and the report will recommended specific generators for each school.
The committee recommended $150,000 to upgrade the Lawrence School’s exterior facade.
“During the window project, it became apparent, once the windows were put in, how shoddy everything else looked,” Mr. Lowell said.
The funding will be used to replace the gutters, repaint the facade and repair the cupola and roof.
Other capital requests recommended by the finance committee include $250,000 for the state-mandated real estate and personal property revaluation, $47,000 for a Ford F-350 pickup truck with plow, and $10,000 for new furniture for the Human Services Department, which is relocating to the Edward Marks Building.
“Anything that can be moved will be moved,” committee member Kathleen Beriau said. “This is a little bit of a safety net in case they need something additional.”
The finance committee recommended a number of Town Meeting warrant articles, including the annual authorization of the town’s various revolving funds, appropriating $100,000 to supplement the senior center operations budget, funding the health insurance stabilization fund, setting aside $50,000 to option real estate for a North/West Falmouth fire station, and allotting $160,000 for government access programming and Falmouth Community Television.
The committee also recommended appropriating $2.5 million to fund the disposition of the town’s two wind turbines.
“The $2.5 million is to dismantled and disassemble,” Town Manager Julian M. Suso said. “It is not even to relocate them at this point.”
Committee member Peter J. Hargraves questioned the timing.
“Before we know what we are going to do with them, we are going to spend money to take them down,” Mr. Hargraves said.
Mr. Suso said dismantling the wind turbines “is not imminent.” However, the town is working to relocate and operate its two Vestas 1.65-megawatt, V-82 wind turbines with 80-meter-tall towers from the wastewater treatment plant site on Blacksmith Shop Road to an alternative location outside Falmouth. They will not operate again in town.
In addition, the town does not have a permit to operate Wind 1. Per order of the Falmouth Board of Selectmen, neither turbine will run again in Falmouth. Both will need to come down, and this appropriates the money to do so.
“If funds are not appropriated for that, we’ll talk with town counsel about that.,” Mr. Suso said. “I don’t know what Plan B is.”
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