Copper thieves have blown a hole in the Vernon School District’s budget.
Officials are trying to determine where to find the $12,000 needed to repair parking lot lights at Clarence Futon Secondary School after someone stole copper wiring from the school May 8.
“We will have to defer something else within the maintenance budget,” said Randy Hoffman, secretary-treasurer.
“There’s no magic pot of money to use in these circumstances.”
An insurance claim will be filed, but it’s not known if it will be accepted. Even if insurance is available, the district must pay a $5,000 deductible.
The theft was discovered when the parking lot lights didn’t come on.
“It’s quite an expenditure for something we didn’t think would take place in a public place,” said Hoffman.
District staff are currently travelling to all schools and welding the wiring panels on light panels closed.
“Hopefully that will deter future theft of copper wire,” said Hoffman, adding that while such actions are necessary, it is diverting staff from regular duties.