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Town of Falmouth, Maine
271 Falmouth Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
(207) 781-5253

April 25 Agenda Item 7
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Discussion and vote on a proposed June 14, 2011 referendum question and order to expend up to $1.7 million to support the design and construction of a Falmouth Middle School wood-chip boiler facility.

ACTION: Council action is anticipated.
A conversion of the middle school heating system from steam to hot water is a top priority of the School District’s facility planning committee. The current system is 1950’s vintage. This conversion would ultimately lead to a switch from oil to wood as the primary heating fuel.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1.7 million for a new wood-chip boiler building and boiler. The School Department has submitted a grant application to the United States Department of Agriculture in the amount of $500,000. The local match will be approximately $1.2 million. The local match can be funded with long term debt or through a lease purchase agreement. Assuming a 20-year bond, the average annual payment will be approximately $91,500. The School Department has calculated heating cost savings of approximately $115,000 annually based on current consumption and prices (one ton of chips at $60 = 70 gallons of oil at $3.15/gal).  

The project will only be undertaken if the United States Department of Agriculture Grant is awarded to the School Department.  The Council passed a resolution on March 28, 2011 in support of the School Department's application for this grant. A copy of that resolution is attached.

The Council is asked to take three separate votes:

1. Vote to send the question and the Order to the voters for the June 14, 2011 election;

2. Vote to recommend passage of the question at the election; and

3. Vote to approve the bond authorization order.

Information about the grant, a memo from School Finance & Operations Director Dan O'Shea, orders and the draft referendum question are attached.


The actual cost of the project will be $1,950,000. The borrowing will remain unchanged at $1,200,000. The additional funding, at $250,000, will be available from the School Department capital reserve fund. All supporting documents have been amended to reflect this change and are attached. The attached amended file names start with "April25Rev..."


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