Sunday, March 1


It's time again to get out of our easy chair and do our civic duty, time to put our legislator hat on and make a very important decision. Do we want five towns to take on a 20 year debt of almost 8 million dollars to pay for a project that should only cost about 1/10 of what they're asking? So please, have an early dinner and make time to come out to the special town meeting and let your voice be heard. The special town meeting  will be held tomorrow, March 2, 2015 at 7:00 pm in the undermountain elementary school cafeteria in Sheffield.

I know we spent a lot of money to get "professional" people to tell us what needs to be done. However, what do all of these "professional" people have in common? These "professional" people all stand to make a lot of money if we go along with this plan. All we have to do is take out a 20 year loan to pay for it. If you ask a used car salesman what's the best car to buy they will point you to the car that gives them the best commission. There seems to be a glaring conflict of interest here.

Am I saying that these "professional" people are acting in their own best interest? You bet I am and I'm not afraid to say so. After all I'm acting in my own best interest; and I hope a lot of the citizens of Egremont come to the special town meeting and act in their own best interest. It is in the best interest of the five towns of the SBRSD to reject this 8 million dollar boondoggle.

The "professionals" have told us that our roof has passed it's useful life expectancy; this is just not true. The ten year warrantee that they cite to give us the impression that the roof needs to be replaced is the warrantee that was given by the company that installed the roof not the company that designed the roof. The Sarnafil roof that was installed in 1992 was designed to last for at least for 30 years if properly maintained. Sarnafil has roofs that were installed the 1960s that are still working today. So the useful life expectancy of this roof is about 40 years not ten.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, WE DO NOT NEED TO SPEND EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS TO FIX THE SCHOOL! I'm so sure that the roof could be fixed for less than the "professionals" suggest that I would guarantee that I could seal all of the leaks for 2 1/2% of what they recommend and guarantee the work for ten years. This may seem a bold statement but I've looked into the roof and the company that designed it. It's a no brainer.

Lets look at the furnace replacement. I heard an interesting fact about the MSBA. One of the requirements of getting a grant from the MSBA to replace the furnaces is that the roof needs to be replaced. Not repaired, REPLACED! Perhaps this is why the SBRSD never seriously explored the option of repairing the roof instead of replacing it. It would disqualify them from being considered for the grant.

Common sense tells us that 2 million dollars to replace 3 boilers is outrageous. If we do only what is required to replace the existing boilers with comparable units we could probably do the job for under 250 thousand dollars which is a far cry from the two million that we're being asked to spend. I wonder where the extra 1.75 million is going? Replacing the boilers with comparable units would give us a heating system that would last another 25 years if we maintain them properly. We have to ask ourselves if these so called professionals have any common sense.

We have the power to stop this 8 million dollar boondoggle but we have to do our duty and get out the vote. So call your friends and neighbors and get them out to the special town meeting. It should be a short meeting but it will be one of the most important meetings of the year. Democracy only works if the people get involved so please get involved.


  1. More info about the roof inspection would be helpful.

  2. According to the report there were 7 suspected trouble spots that were cut into and only two had "moisture" and none of them had mold. I interpret this to mean that they think we should spend five million dollars for two roof leaks. That's works out to only 2.5 million dollars per hole. I guess we should be glad there were only two holes. if all seven were "moist" it could cost over 18 million.

  3. The roof is repaired every year. On a rainy day there is a call for buckets to catch the leaks. Maybe you are all suggesting that the roof should collapse and there should be mold in order to replace it. Clearly you don't care about the children of this district. If you wait for further deterioration it will cost even more!

  4. If as you say, the roof is repaired every year then there should be no need for buckets. And if it is repaired every year and still leaks
    then they need to get someone more qualified to fix it. I know this roof well and would have no problem fixing any leaks. What people may not understand is that this Sarnafil roof was designed for easy repairs and maintenance. If I were the one responsible for repairing and maintaining the roof it would not leak.

  5. Cudos Kevin Zurrin!!! Some people just don't get it at all!! They will be the first to bitch when they see their taxes though!! When this school was originally built all of these things were thought out along with one more time for the record "ALL OTHER SCHOOLS WOULD BE CLOSED!!!"" You think this amount is bad for roof and boilers just wait to see the cost of repairing the other schools that should not even exist will cost!! If up keep was done by maybe hiring another couple of maintenance people that are qualified to do the work it would be a hell of a lot cheaper!!! VERY SAD!!!!!