May 11, 2006

Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore John McKinney (R-Fairfield) announced today that thanks to legislation he sponsored this year in the General Assembly, the town of Fairfield will receive additional bonding funds from the state to put towards the Fairfield Warde High School project. The Warde High School project had been scheduled to receive a significantly lower level of state funding than anticipated because, due to the building’s age, the square footage of the project was more than the state guidelines for school construction, and was thus artificially limited in the amount of funding it could receive.

The new legislation, which passed in the waning hours of the 2006 legislative session, will now allow the town to receive state reimbursement for the project as calculated up to 296,000 square feet, as opposed to the 252,000 square feet originally approved by the Department of Education. Preliminary estimates from the Department of Education suggest that this adjustment could increase town reimbursement for the project by approximately $1 million.

“This funding adjustment is terrific news for the people of Fairfield, and it could not have been done without the full bi-partisan cooperation of Senator Tom Gaffey (D-Meriden), the co-chair of the Education Committee, who understood that the school construction guidelines were setting an unfair limitation on what is otherwise a very worthy project,” said Senator McKinney. “Thanks to his work and the efforts of the entire Fairfield Delegation – State Representatives Drew, Stone and Tymniak, who helped steer passage of this bill through the House of Representatives, the people of Fairfield can now look forward to an equitable reimbursement for Warde High School, which is certainly great news for the local taxpayers. I would also like to acknowledge the work done by 1st Selectman Ken Flatto, Superintendent of Schools Doctor Ann Clark, and Chief Fiscal Officer Paul Hiller for their help in ensuring that Fairfield receives the appropriate funding. By working together as a team of legislators and town officials, we were able to get this important relief for Fairfield taxpayers.”