UNH plan to spend $1.5m on stadium lights draws ire
A university spokeswoman could not confirm whether the board formally addressed the issue at its meeting Friday following the Thursday announcement from the Financial Affairs Committee. But she said spending decisions by the committee on behalf of the full 27-member board is a regular practice.
Funding for stadium improvements became a specific part of the Senate version of the bill, championed by Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, D-Manchester. A House-Senate conference committee stripped the stadium improvement earmark from the final version of the legislation signed by Gov. Maggie Hassan.
"The lights were never in their request to the state of New Hampshire; nowhere did the university ask for the money for those lights," Chandler said.
Referring to Cowell as "a dump," the former UNH football captain said the quality of the state university's premier athletic facility should not lag behind the rest of the institution.
For Chandler, tapping taxpayer dollars for a football field simply delays work on other facilities more central to the university's mission.
Chandler said he will seek opinions from attorneys and others as to whether the trustees' Financial Affairs Committee has the authority to determine how UNH capital funds are spent.
However, since the capital spending appropriation covers a two-year period, there is plenty of time for the trustees to ratify the subcommittee vote, if the lawyers think it necessary.
If there is money left over after the lights are turned on, the excess funds will be spent on other projects on the capital funding list.
Installation of lights is part of a conceptual master plan for upgrading the stadium, she said.
"To me it's a credibility issue," he said." alma mater
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