Letter: Renewable energy for new WRHS
My father, Ralph Johnson, was among several men who drove to Boston in 1960 to procure a million dollar check from the Massachusetts state government to build the present Wahconah Regional High School. Now, a new school may be built for a cost of over $70 million. The Dalton taxpayers will pay an additional $500-600 a year to fund this project. We make four payments a year, so that is about $125 more each time.
The building project could include a geothermal heating system, which requires no fracked gas. This is better and sustainable for the environment. Education is about getting better and using new technology to do so.
Townspeople will be told about how much the tax increase will be to build with the old boiler heating system. The geothermal way will cost more, but this should be an option for voters to choose. How much more money I do not know, but not a lot. Some people will vote no at any rate.
My feeling from going to a town meeting is that this project is being pushed through like a drive with less than two minutes left in a football game. There should be more meetings in a bigger place, like the Dalton Senior Center, to inform more townspeople.
I am not against a new school, but it should use renewable energy. This is what we should be teaching our students.
Also, another good point was brought to my attention about how we can proceed here. The new marijuana businesses in Massachusetts are doing well. This will bring in more tax dollars. Right now the state will give Dalton $40 million towards the building project. If we wait, say one or two years, that could mean more reimbursement, which could cost our town less.
Let's "go green."
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