Frontier capital spending plan vote delayed

  • Frontier Regional School FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 1/29/2019 11:30:32 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Frontier Regional School Committee has opted to wait until April to vote on a capital improvement plan, giving the four member-towns the legally required 60 days to act on it at a town meeting.

Interim Superintendent Darius Modestow, who this week was appointed superintendent pending successful contract negotiations, explained it is common practice to vote on the plan and provide the towns enough time so a special town meeting is not needed.

“Once you make this vote, it starts the clock,” he said. “We don’t want to start the clock on our towns before they’re ready.”

The committee voted unanimously to agree to vote on the capital improvement plan at an April 4 joint meeting with the Union 38 School Committee. Following the vote, the article will be put onto the annual town meeting warrant of each member-town.

The Sunderland annual Town Meeting is scheduled for April 26, Deerfield’s is April 29. Whately’s is set for April 30, and Conway’s is scheduled for May 13.

Modestow said all four member towns must adopt the articles for the capital improvement plan to go into effect.

The improvement plan article calls for borrowing $1,826,664. That amount would be split into $630,000 to finance the design and construction of a new track and $1,196,664 to pay for other improvements, including carpet replacement, roof repairs, upgrades to the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and costs of oversight associated with the projects.

According to Bob Lesko, director of school facilities, the track was built in 1996.

Modestow said the money would not be borrowed all at once, but rather through notes. He said the interest rate will be determined at the time of the loan, though it is projected to be about 2.8 percent.

Frontier Regional School Committee member Philip Kantor said the subcommittee that came up with this proposal met about it 24 times. That subcommittee, he said, included a Frontier School Committee member and Selectboard member from each town.

“It has been discussed considerably on many, many occasions, and it’s a work in progress. This is over one year in the making, and that’s how we got to where we’re at,” he said. “So, I just wanted to make that clear to those that might not know.”

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