EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 24, 2013

Letter:Maintenance saves money; lack of maintenance wastes it

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

We will soon be voting to fund a new Hunking School to include not only elementary school students but also middle school students.

The mayor claims this plan will eliminate the need to spend millions of dollars to repair other schools within the city, which have, in my opinion, suffered from poor maintenance practices.

I read in today’s newspaper that our home taxes are going up, but the mayor has a surprise for us. He has cut building maintenance funds from the budget, along with new equipment and vehicles. This will save only $10 per homeowner per year.

This does not make sense as it would continue to contribute to the disrepair of our schools and city buildings.

Isn’t this what happened to Hunking by not taking care of the building over the years? Now we borrow from Peter to pay Paul.

I applaud Councilman Michitson for taking a stand to improve the maintenance practices of our school buildings by his lone vote. I wish other councilors would understand the value of having a good maintenance program, which has proven to save other communities millions in the long run.

I am appalled to read all the articles in this paper about the structural problems the Hunking School had. It was more troubling to know the problem was discovered 20 years ago while the power that be allowed all of the students and school staff to teach and learn in a building that could have resulted in a catastrophic structural failure.

This is a classic example of the mayor’s failure to maintain our buildings with a preventive maintenance program and capital improvement plan to avoid the costly repairs to our schools that we must deal with today in Haverhill.

I understand what I am speaking about because I am the facilities manager for the town of Danvers, where the care and safety of all buildings is paramount to what I do. I am also a taxpayer and homeowner in Bradford and wish to preserve the most important resource we can offer our children.

Robert Levasseur