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Selectmen OK transfer of $48K for school cameras

Published 4:13 pm, Wednesday, February 26, 2014
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Plans are in place to install and upgrade the security cameras in the schools following Monday's Board of Selectmen meeting,

School Director of Facilities Michael Lynch told the Board of Selectmen that through several interviews, the district was advised to forgo analog recording devices.

Additionally, the company that supplied the cameras at Darien High School and Tokeneke Elementary School was bought out and the new company only will supply some of the needed technology. As a result, Lynch said the district will switch to a digital camera system.

"We knew it was going to cost more money but we didn't want to diminish the number of cameras," Lynch told the Board of Selectmen.

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the transfer of $48,422 to the security camera line item -- $23,422 from the Middlesex Middle School roof project and $25,000 from the Royle Elementary School blacktop project. The transfer of funds would cover the entire cost of the project and for added contingency.

Initially, the camera project was budgeted to cost $176,000.

The project to improve the Middlesex roof was completed and all the bills paid, according to Lynch.

Lynch told the selectmen that the school board felt comfortable taking money out of the blacktop project because if any building project was done at the school, it would disturb the blacktop. The Board of Education has been discussing plans to build at Royle Elementary School and Tokeneke Elementary School to alleviate space concerns due to rising enrollment.

The lowest bid for the security camera project was from North American Video at $203,000.

The Board of Education intends to apply for grants for the security projects, which must be completed before the grant money is awarded. The town intends to apply for grants for other security upgrades to the schools as well.

In March 2013, the Representative Town Meeting approved a special appropriation of $344,000 for security upgrades to the schools following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 26 dead in December 2012.

The appropriation included $269,000 for technical and hardware purchases, like cameras and a public address system, and $75,000 for the hiring of campus monitors.

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews