Ledyard — As heavy rain fell during the late afternoon and evening, Ledyard voters Tuesday approved a $6.725 million bond to replace leaking roofs at the Juliet W. Long and Gales Ferry elementary schools. The funding also would replace the roof at the School Office Building on Blonders Boulevard.
Only a small percentage of registered voters in the town turned out at the polls. The bond measure passed 191-12. There are 10,053 registered voters in Ledyard.
The heating, ventilation and electrical systems at the Juliet Long School also will be upgraded with the bond money, as well as the building management systems at the Gales Ferry School. Solar panels also will be installed at the two schools.
The building improvements have been on the town’s capital improvement plan for many years, according to Town Council Finance Committee Chairman Bill Saums. Grants will be used to partially fund the project.
Saums said the roofs have reached the end of their useful lives, with 5-gallon buckets being used in the schools’ attics to collect the water from leaks.
Meanwhile, the solar panels will be purchased by the town instead of leasing them, according to Saums. He said it should save the town money in the long run.
Tuesday’s vote came after the Town Council earlier had approved a $295,000 bond measure to pay for new roofs at Town Hall, Town Hall Annex and the Bill Library. Like the school projects, those improvements have been on Ledyard’s capital improvement plan. Mayor Fred Allyn III said buckets are being used as well in the Town Hall and annex attics to collect water from leaks.
The Town Hall building project required no townwide referendum, as it didn’t reach the necessary spending threshold for such a vote.