Falmouth Town Meeting Approves Teaticket School Repairs

Falmouth Town Hall 1FALMOUTH – Falmouth Town Meeting voters approved an article Monday night that will appropriate $900,000 for the asbestos removal efforts at Teaticket Elementary School.

A transfer of $710,000 from Article 21 of the April 2006 Annual Town Meeting ballot, along with a $190,000 free cash transfer, will pay for the repairs.

Superintendent Nancy Taylor announced in October that the abatement and cleaning would extend the shutdown by an additional month.

Around 300 Teaticket students are currently at East Falmouth and Morse Pond schools until the school re-opens.

Taylor said that following an action by the contractor EBSCO, the Department of Environmental Protection announced that cross-contamination could have occurred, further slowing down the process and requiring that other parts of the building outside of classrooms to be worked on.

She said 500 recent air quality and surface sample tests have confirmed that the building is now safe to enter.

While some Town Meeting members questioned how the contractor’s oversight could have happened, others, like Peter Clark, blamed the project’s lengthening to the EPA inspector.

“What [Taylor] did was recognize a problem, act very quickly, kept everyone in the loop, communicated, and kept the interests of the students first,” he said. “Let’s get the kids back in the school and not micro-manage this project, we’ve done enough.”

Articles 13, 12 and 11 were widely contested, but ultimately passed by the necessary two thirds majority. Article 13 asked to appropriate $14,750 from free cash to purchase electronic voting technology for use by Town Meeting members’ votes.

This notion was contested by members such as Charlie Swain, who said he’d rather see money spent towards improving picture quality for the projector at town meeting rather than a new system of voting.

Articles 11 and 12 allowed for the technology to be used for a vote system similar to a “roll call vote,” which would count specifically who votes for what if the moderator could not determine the count by ear.

Various town offices also gave updates at the meeting, including one which shared that the Lawrence School project is currently nearly $700,000 under budget.

Falmouth Town Meeting will continue Tuesday night.

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