WATERFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The town of Waterford passed the biggest capital improvement for safety upgrades in the town’s history on Monday, according to Waterford’s First Selectman Rob Brule.
Most of the nearly two million dollar upgrade will help to improve the town’s five schools.
“If kids aren’t physically, emotionally and mentally safe, it’s tough to learn,” Waterford Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Giard said.
Giard said the $1.98 million will go a long way to providing that much-needed security for students, staff and visitors.
“I think that’s wonderful being a teacher myself,” said Waterford resident Jennifer Pils.
The money will upgrade all town buildings including the town hall, the public safety complex, the police department and the library.
The town will add 550 new high-resolution security cameras; 400 of which will be placed at Waterford schools.
“We’ve identified some new locations that will make us more secure,” Giard said.
“It’s tremendously important for every community in Connecticut,” said Waterford First Selectman Brule. “I think everyone knows the history that we have with Sandy Hook and what’s going on throughout the country.”
At the town meeting, the upgrade received high marks across town boards and across the aisle.
“This was the board of selectman unanimous, the board of finance unanimous, the RTM unanimous with 25 people throughout town unanimous,” Brule said.
The upgrade will also pay for bollards which aim to stop cars and keep pedestrians safe. Often times these short, black pillars are set up near building entrances.
New fences around the elementary school playgrounds will also be added with this money, along with three new digital message boards outside the schools.
“It’s just messaging for the community to keep everyone safe,” Brule said. “Have the same messaging going on through town if it’s needed and hopefully it’s not… hopefully it’s not needed.”
According to officials, the nearly two million dollars is general fund balance money. This means it’s money the town already had and taxpayers already paid, therefore residents won’t be seeing any increases that are due to these upgrades.