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Osborn Hill Testing, Cleanup Bills Climb to $721K

'And I will say that may not be the end,' Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Title told the Board of Finance.

The bills for testing and remediation of the PCB situation at Osborn Hill School continue to pile up -- currently totaling a projected $721,842 in expenses.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Title, school board Chair Pam Iacono, and Doreen Munsell, director of finance and business services, delivered the financial status to the Board of Finance Tuesday.

To date, the known costs weigh in at $483,007, but the district expects to spend at least another $238,834 for services like specialized cleaning of the library and hiring a consultant firm to provide guidance on the rest of Fairfield's schools.

The $721,842 figure does not account for the long-term remediation for the gymnasium or the initial project that least to the discovery of PCBs in the school -- window replacements, Title said.

Nor does the estimate include the possibility that, even after the affected areas have been cleaned, they could still test for high levels of PCBs -- a group of chemicals with varying harmful affects -- and will need to be cleaned again, according to the district representatives.

"And I will say that may not be the end," Title told the Board of Finance.

The district is in the process of hiring Woodard & Curran Consultants to conduct a review of the rest of the schools for possible contamination. Schools built or renovated after the use of PCBs was banned in the 1970s -- like Stratfield, Burr, and McKinley elementary schools and Roger Ludlowe Middle School -- would not be considered concerns, Iacono said.

Finance board member Robert Stone voiced concern about testing and finding PCBs in another school and potential monetary exposure for taxpayers.

But a school would not be tested unless there is a renovation or building project proposed, Iacono said, and the decision to test would be made by all the major town bodies.

For more on the PCB situation at Osborn Hill School, see:

  • Osborn Hill Bills: $300K and Counting
  • Officials Address Concerns about PCBs at Osborn Hill School
  • Fireproofing Adds to Osborn Hill PCB Woes
Fairfield Old Timer October 26, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Just keep spending that TAX PAYER money on Hysteria Fairfield! Who cares if the Tax Payers are Squeezed to Death and the Till is Dry! "Nor does the estimate include the possibility that, even after the affected areas have been cleaned, they could still test for high levels of PCBs -- a group of chemicals with varying harmful affects -- and will need to be cleaned again, according to the district representatives."
OneFairfield October 26, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Here we go again! Fixing something that might not be broken. Why test if you don't have too? We have spent 3/4 of a million dollars so far and we are not even done. And this is for just one school. Are we the only school system doing this testing? How are we going to pay for it? What programs will the school system cut? All sports? All music? French classes? Home Eck? Tax payers are tapped out!
Perry October 26, 2012 at 08:08 PM
It is time to charge parents a fee to play sports. We seniors don't need a football team. Schools are for learning, Not sports. How much do we spend on sports each year? Can anyone answer that?
Joeseph Biff October 27, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Perry,you are 100% correct!
Osborn Hiller October 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Unbelievable. Fairfield taxpayers are "squeezed to death?" I must have missed that in the obituaries. I guess we have to make sure the Southporters on Harbor Road aren't inconvenienced at all by helping to pay for safe schools.

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