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With New Approval, Waterford Could Get Millions From The State

Thanks to state approval, $15 million of renovation work involved in the makeover of Waterford High School could now be eligible for more than 30 percent reimbursement from the state to the town.

Tuesday, Superintendent Jerome Belair announced that the state has approved the renovation of Waterford High School meaning that Waterford could be eligible to receive millions in state funding.

The state is already reimbursing Waterford more than 30 percent for the new construction involved in makeover of Waterford High School. However, before the state was contributing no money to the renovation of the existing school – approximately $15 million of work – meaning that was paid strictly by town dollars.

This approval, which required new legislation to enact, retroactively states that the work being done at Waterford High School meets the state’s “renovate-as-new” qualifications. That means the state will potentially pay the more than 30 percent reimbursement to that $15 million of renovation work, meaning a potential multi-million dollar check written from the state to Waterford.

However, Greg Smolley of JCJ Architecture said the actual amount the town will receive will not be known for several years, until the project is almost complete. Still, Belair said he was happy about the news, especially since the town paid $227,450 to JCJ Architecture to achieve the renovate-as-new status.

“This is great news from the state,” Belair said.

The Full Story

Renovate-as-new status means that the school is, in the state’s view, as good as new, and all the parts of the school should last at least 20 years. The concept is the state does not want to reimburse projects unless they meet its standards to avoid paying for many projects when they prefer one that fixes the entire problem.

Waterford originally planned on not going for renovate-as-new status for the $15 million of work involved with renovating the existing high school because school officials were worried that there would be too many mandates to get to that renovate-as-new status and the cost of the renovation would be too expensive. So instead they paid the $15 million from town funds only and did the work they envisioned to avoid meeting the state’s mandates.

Later, JCJ Architecture said the town could indeed qualify for renovate-as-new status, which would mean retroactive reimbursement from the state on the project. Such retroactive reimbursement on projects was never done, but legislation backed by State Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, and State Rep. Betsy Ritter, D-Waterford, passed through the state in May allowing for retroactive approval.

Then the town approved a $227,450 budget to JCJ Architecture to have them go back and qualify the $15 million of work of renovating the existing high school as renovate-as-new status. JCJ was successful, with Belair announcing the approval on Tuesday after the application was originally submitted in June.

Now, the town will potentially get millions back from the state. Smolley said the exact figure will be determined when most of the work is complete and final numbers can be used.

Daniella Ruiz December 12, 2012 at 09:14 PM
well said ron, he's one of those 'packs up all his cares and woes, bye bye birdie!" folks that has a lick of sense left. maybe Molloy will entice him back with a tax free loan, a 'forgiveable loan' for a new wishy washy business (lets try, ummmm, a specialty hair shop with real horsehair extensions for your favorite pony or even for women?), property tax freedom for his property/business for just long enough to spend all the loan money (seed money?) and a toss in a few public appearances (by Molloy or some other shining star) to draw some free media to the new business (maybe it can be even a non-profit too!). then when the loan $$ runs out, he can file for bancruptcy, keep a few assets 'earned' (LOL) from the loan and hightail it to some other generous tax haven. hey, we sure got gambling, so we gotsta have some dicey rolls of the taxpayers money right?? all in the spirit of good risk management!!! and as slow as he's a'rolling down that I95 path to southern redemption, its a sure and steady sign of whats going to happen to many others as well.
Ron December 12, 2012 at 09:43 PM
If you think Waterford did good getting several million of "free" State money, it is really small to what CT free money is available. CT has promised Jackson Labs $ 350,000,000 for 30 jobs, and when the initial give away is completed, the offer goes to over $ 1,200,000,000 for 300 jobs. Jackson Labs tried to peddle this exact same deal to Sarasota, Naples, and Tampa FL, and in all three locations a review by financial experts said it was a sham to pay over 1 million dollars for each promised job. When Jackson Labs proposal was defeated in Florida the idea was peddled to CT and they got the State approval immediately. CT last month said 10 State of CT jobs have already been created by Jackson Labs--- and Jackson Labs hasn't even broken ground. This project has so much potential that all State manpower must be on it because there were no personnel, time, or consideration to assess the moving company that wanted to locate to CT, and create probably 10-30 real jobs, plus build a terminal and warehouse buildings and pay real wages and CT property and equipment taxes, unemployment taxes, and corporation taxes. It will be interesting if Jackson Labs does not make Solyndra, the solar company that cost taxpayer 560 million, look like a success. The good news is guy who left the State because he was laid off, said he was going to use the moving company that was going to move to CT but he had to go to MA to actually hire the company.
ken martin December 13, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Plain and simple truth the State of Ct is in a mess and thet cant get out of it. I moved 3 1/2 years ago and will never move back there. Taxes are out of control, cost of living way to high> The state is NOT business friendly, the state shouuld their capation from the Constitution state to the not welcome here state.
Daniella Ruiz December 13, 2012 at 03:25 PM
ron, you should know better! jackson labs is the premier supplier of unique and purebred meeses, one of the few around the globe that found a perfect niche product and multiplied it by the millions! while in the state of ct, we the people have been treated as much as (or worse) than those coddled meeses. those of us who 'fit the mold' were kept like prized possessions, fully used to the max to demonstrate just how high people will jump or bow down to meet the needs of the tax reapers. while the ones who balked and showed behavior unbecoming of the educated elite have been relegated to street level subsistence. (drug users excepted, as they already fall somewhere between dirt and scum) its a classic state we live in, if your DNA composite doesn't serve some goal set by some elite, aloof and well researched PhD, then find your self another cage to live in, eh? never mind the folks with never ending compassion for their dutiful doggies, as they will overlook the needs of the many only to serve the needs of those pooches first! god bless those pooches, they must have the best instincts for survival ever! getting back to the J-Labs, it does seem good for the new breed of student to have the opportunity to get a slice of this bonanza of cash, either in the form of DNA research patents (who 'owns' the major strains of corn?) that will be used to bend people to their will for profit galore. ;-))
Ron December 13, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Daniella: You have underestimated Jackson Lab's employment power. They are not even in business here and they are creating all kinds of jobs. The State of CT claimed several jobs have already been created form Jackson Labs ---but regretfully they are all State jobs. Even members of CT's government questioned this claim and its legitimacy but what the heck, a State created job is a job---even if it increases the debt at the expense of all taxpayers but makes State government larger and more costly at the expense of the private sector. Because all liberal states have as the main objective to increase State spending and increase the number of State workers, Jackson Labs becomes a winner regardless if it creates jobs on its own,. If Jackson Labs ever becomes a reality in CT, there will be more state employees hired under its name than Jackson Lab employees. However because both types of Jackson Labs jobs (State jobs and Jackson jobs) will be funded and subsidized by the State they will be unrecognizable to separate. The only way to tell them apart is the CT State jobs will go on forever as they are permanent State jobs (remember Molloy said no State employee can be laid off), whereas the Jackson jobs will terminate when the company declares bankruptcy. I wonder if all the jobs created by Solyndra can become CT State jobs ?

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