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[Updated] South Windsor Voters Pass Two of Five Referendum Questions

School renovations and road improvements - totaling $9.79 million - pass, while town buildings, recreation and IT questions fail.

South Windsor voters approved two of the five capital improvements referendum questions on Tuesday.

The two projects - the school and road improvements questions - total $9.79 million.

The two questions that passed are the following:

  • Question 1 will cost $5.79 million for school renovations, improvements and educational technology, including roof replacements at the high school (partial), Orchard Hill and Pleasant Valley elementary school (approx. $3.2 million); $195,000 to replace lockers in the high school gym; $78,720 to resurface the high school track; $1.35 million for computer equipment; $650,000 to repave the high school parking lot phase 2 of 5; replace the floor at Pleasant Valley kitchen ($52,500) and the serving line at Timothy Edwards School ($74,420).
  • Question 3 will cost $4 million for paving and drainage improvements on six connector or arterial roads and neighborhood roads as well. $3 million would be set aside for the six connector roads and another $980,000 would go to neighborhood roads.

Question 1 passed by a total of 8,094 in favor to 4,650 against; Question 3 passed 7,029 to 5,568 against.

The three questions that failed to pass are the following:

  • Question 2, which would have cost $1.27 million for renovations and improvements to town buildings, including $235,000 for community center boilers and heat pumps; $400,000 for police department oil/gas storage tank, generator, HVAC pumps and cooling tower; $75,000 for a community center generator; $220,000 for a generator at the high school shelter; $255,000 for town replacement of boilers, including gas mains, ADA improvements.
  • Question 4 would have included $1.62 million for improvements to the town’s information technology systems, including the following: $555,000 for computers and equipment; $575,000 for network upgrades; $475,000 for GIS/database conversion and upgrade.
  • Question 5 would have included $1.02 million for improvements to the park system, including the possible construction of a playground at Veterans Memorial Pool, as well as expansion of the bike path network and improvements to the irrigation systems and restrooms.

Question 2 failed to pass by a total of 5,447 for to 7,205 against.

Question 4 failed to pass by a total of 6,026 in favor to 6,587 against.

Question 5 failed to pass by a total of 5,941 in favor to 6,729 against.

"I'm disappointed they all didn't pass, but I'm thankful that the residents passed two of them," Town Councilor Jan Snyder, who spearheaded the capital improvements project referendum questions, said. "I am looking forward to moving ahead with the capital improvement program, which includes a 5-year plan. The passing of these two questions puts us on the right path to achieving that goal."

Mayor Tom Delnicki said that he believed that the proposed combination community center/ice rink project that was recently brought before the Town Council may have had a chilling effect on at least the recreation referendum.

"I know some people who said that they voted against all the referendum questions because of it," Delnicki said.

Still, Delnicki said that he was pleased that the roads and schools questions passed.

"We need to have roads repaired and we need those school roofs replaced," Delnicki said.

[This article was updated to reflect the addition of absentee ballots]

Michael Pollack November 08, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Vinny, as I understand it, the Town will be leasing at an annual cost somewhere in that range (I hope at the lower end), and then owning it in 30 years. Among other things, it is a booster shot in the arm to local businesses that would all clearly benefit from more potential shoppers coming through the area. It provides a central area for our community. It creates space for our senior citizens. It provides for a community center for everyone that includes indoor swimming, skating and gymnasium. All of this attracts new folks to our Town, and it all adds incentive for our existing citizens to remain in the Town. You mention good school system and safety for our kids. But the reality is that many towns have good school systems and safe neighborhoods for kids, including South Windsor. So, what makes new people want to move here, and what makes existing residents want to stay here? Good facilities may not be the complete answer, but they're certainly part of that puzzle. The financing possibilities for this project are a historic bargain. Nobody wants to spend bad money on a bad project. But on the flip side of the coin, we need to have the courage and intelligence to recognize opportunities to spend good money on a good project, and that's also called being responsible.
Vinny November 08, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Mike, We have schools that are over 50 years old and are falling apart around themselves. The schools should come first and be replaced or be renovated. There are schools that the kids classrooms are in portable classrooms. They were only to be use for a couple of years. 10-15 years later they are still being used. When looking for a house in a town you looking for a good school system which South Windsor year in and year out is near the top in the state and nationally. How are we going to get people in town when our schools are falling apart around the kids while they are in school. ie ceiling tiles falling from the ceiling, leaking roofs We have space that the town can use and not spend any money for a building . Once again there is the post office that can be used. People like new buildings and do not want to use things that we already a have. Use the grant money that the state gave us if it fits the grant. People have not answer the question still have who is to pay for the land where the building is going. The owner of Evergreen Walk is not going to give the land over to the town. That will cost the town money more then the 10.5 million that was talked about if I'm correct. I'm all in favor of great facilities for the kids it helps keep them out of trouble. But we have to be smart about it and not wasteful.
Egidia November 09, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I don't see how anyone can say an item NOT on the referendum affected those that are. The project proposed to the town is one beneficial to so many of our residents and is still in works. It would have nothing to do with the others voted on. I don't believe that Evergreen Walk would be the only winner. there would be such wide demographic of people using that Center from our town and I'm sure other towns who wouldn't normally be in South Windsor that all win from this. Let's not let personality conflicts get in our way.
Doug November 10, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Lets wake up sw, we see surrounding towns adding community resources such as Glastonbury with their riverfront park. The rink and community center would be a huge asset to the town much like the outdoor pool has been. It will be a point pride and build upon the success of our incredible outdoor pool facility. It is a great deal for many segments of the town population.
Paul McCluskey November 12, 2012 at 03:36 AM
This is why Tom Delnicki will be a ONE TERM MAYOR. short sightedness and using the blame game! A true politician if ever there was one. Paul McCluskey

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