Votes near on OV, Neshobe projects

BRANDON — Voters in Brandon and the other towns that send students to Otter Valley Union High School will be voting on two capital improvement questions on Tuesday, Nov. 17. If approved, neither is expected to raise the tax rate.
Brandon residents will vote at polls set up at the Neshobe School. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m.
For Leicester residents, polls at the town office will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Contact Town Clerk Julie Delphia if an absentee ballot is needed.
Goshen voters are asked to contact the town clerk for the times polls will be open.
The Brandon School Board has approved a $1.7 million bond initiative asking voters to replace the heating system at the Neshobe School with a wood pellet boiler system.
The current heating system at the school is between 25 and 30 years old and has reached the end of its useful life, the board said. The heating and ventilation temperature controls are ineffective at maintaining the indoor temperatures and air quality in the school, they said, and the pneumatic control systems in both Neshobe School buildings are not working properly and need to be replaced for better efficiency. The new controller needs to be integrated into a building control system to allow for adjustment and monitoring. 
While by law the bond must have voter approval in order for the project to go forward, all of the bond payments will be made using money from the Ely Trust Fund. There will be no cost to taxpayers and the tax rate will not increase because of this bond.
The Brandon School Board will hold an informational meeting on Monday, Nov. 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Neshobe School gymnasium.
The Otter Valley School Board is asking voters to approve a bond on Nov. 17 in order to implement a building-wide $3.49 million energy-saving heat and ventilation upgrade as well. While OV does not have a trust to access in order to pay for the bond, the board said the energy savings from the upgrade will pay for the improvements over time.
The OV has hired Johnson Controls, a global technology company specializing in building efficiency, to handle to project. The financing is set up to cost no more than the value of the energy saved over 18 years. Taxpayer approval is needed because the contract period is more than 10 years.
According to the board, Johnson Controls has determined that the proposed improvements will save OV 59 percent of its current combined electricity and fuel oil usage. With a performance contract, the school can make the payments without adding cost to the taxpayer. There will, however, be a capital contribution of $387,500 that the OV board will have to pay, but it will come out of the OV repair fund.
The project includes adding a wood pellet boiler, installing an energy management system, upgrading the windows and lighting fixtures, installing heat recovery units and solar panels, and an LP gas-powered  “on demand” hot water system.
The OV board held its informational meeting this past Wednesday.

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