Legislature Approves Funding Increase for Birch Grove School

July 22, 2019

Today, the legislature voted favorably to reimburse the town of Tolland for 89 percent of the cost to rebuild Birch Grove Primary School.

I was able to negotiate for the high reimbursement rate based on the special circumstances caused by the detection of a crumbling foundation at the school.  Standard state reimbursement for local school construction projects are in the the 52 percent range.

This is a big win for taxpayers of Tolland and of course the children who will be able to attend a new Birch Grove.  This was a bipartisan effort where everyone came together for the good of our community.  The crumbling foundation problem was a priority for me when I ran for office, so I am very happy with this result.

The bill, HB 7354, authorizes state grant commitments fro various local school building projects throughout the state.   Specifically, a provision in the legislation says “the town of Tolland may use the reimbursement rate of eighty-nine per cent for the renovation project at Birch Grove Primary School to address the emergency situation at said school relating to the presence of pyrrhotite in the foundation.”

Tolland voters overwhelmingly approved $46 million in bonding for the Birch Grove project at a town referendum May 7, with the Town Council’s expectation of a 52% state reimbursement, resulting in a $22 million cost to the town.

With the 89 % reimbursement, Tolland will be responsible for paying $5 million.

This higher reimbursement is a savings of $17 million for Tolland taxpayers.

For more information about the project, click here.

Press Release: State to Pay 89% of Tolland’s Birch Grove School Reconstruction