The Vermont Agency of Education has withheld approval for the Bennington School District’s energy renovation project because of the way in which the search for a contractor was conducted.
The Manchester Journal said that the district is accused of having violated 16 V.S.A. § 3448f. The agency’s allegation is that the district’s request for proposals (RFP) for the contract – which ultimately was awarded to Energy Efficient Investments — was arrived at without assistance from Efficiency Vermont, the School Energy Management Program or similar bodies.
Rebecca Holcombe, the Secretary of Education, is quoted in the story as saying that inclusion of these organizations in the process is a critical step” that ensures transparency in awarding contracts.
The project, which approved by voters last month, uses a $4.46 million bond with a term of 15 percent and a 2.63 interest rate to finance improvements to all the schools in the district. The story says that the district has a couple of options for trying to win approval.