Something about the increasing size and intensity of the PCB dumping grounds at Greenwich High School has town officials spooked, and they don’t want the public to know what it is.
That’s the inescapable conclusion drawn from the Board of Selectmen’s decision to appeal a recent state Freedom of Information Commission ruling that ordered the town to make public all discussions and documents presented at an illegal, closed-door meeting held last fall by the boards of Estimate and Taxation, Selectmen and Education.
Horton speculates, as have others here on FWIW, on the reason for the silence:
I suspect that the ultimate cost of this project is what has our elected officials so concerned, as well they should be. The bigger this cleanup gets, the more expensive it is. And if PCBs have migrated off the GHS site, that opens up liabilities that might dwarf the remediation costs at GHS.
I also agree with Bob’s concluding paragraph:
Opponents of the new high school wing seem to think the town would not be facing this problem if we never excavated the site. But with just one public high school serving Greenwich, building expansion was inevitable. The new wing just happened to be the project underway at the time.
I’d add, however, that many people’s objection to MISA had nothing to do with the then-unknown PCB problem and centered instead on the sheer cost of the construction itself which, we predicted, would balloon way past the estimates. That has happened – from a $29 million original estimate, we’re already past $43 million, and no more than $3 million of that is attributable to PCB remediation, which hasn’t even begun.