BUZZARDS BAY – Bourne’s proposal to hire an outside firm to revamp energy systems in school and town buildings has been cut back after potential costs raised to $5.6 million, but is still moving forward.
The Select Board voted to support a $4.9 project Tuesday which no longer includes a new boiler for Town Hall and air-conditioning chiller for the Bourne Public Library in Phase 1 of the project.
“I don’t recommend investment in those two buildings until the community reviews long-term investments or (possible) expansions of those buildings,” Town Administrator Marlene McCollem said.
She said those items might be pursued via the town’s capital spending program.
Town may spend $4.9 million to cut energy costs
The proposal to hire Trane Technologies to make town and school buildings more energy efficient was first estimated at $5.1 million. Then contractor costs and equipment supply matters, along with a volatile bonding market, helped hike that total to $5.6 million.
The Finance Committee has not yet reviewed the particulars of the proposal before it goes before special town meeting voters on Oct. 24.
“In the scope of work, however, nothing else changes,” McCollem said.
Other projects still included in the proposal are roof repairs to the Buzzards Bay firehouse and Bourne High School D-Wing.
McCollem said $249,000 listed for projects in old town meeting authorizations could be also tapped to reduce the $5.6 million price tag to ultimately $5 million.
McCollem apologized for the shifting totals and work that has been ongoing to negotiate a reasonable interest rate on borrowing with Bank of America, along with devising financing options and considering when a projected $392,000 in energy-savings rebates should be applied to overall funding.
Project will need approval at special town meeting
Select Board member Judith Froman said “the compelling argument to date” is not about last-minute cost estimates,” adding that all concerned are “looking at the bigger picture and the long-term as it is going to benefit our town.”
Board member Mary Jane Mastrangelo said the entire effort makes administrative and financing sense because the proposal places everything on Trane — notably planning, contracting, construction and oversight issues.
“This is an enormous project,” McCollem said. “A new (financing) way. We’ve never done this before. But we’re making a total effort to understand this and be confident with it.”
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