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Select Board Supports Prescott School Funding

by Connie Sartini

   Spring Town Meeting Warrant Article #14 requesting voters to approve $77,000 in operational funding for the Prescott School was supported by three of the Select Board members. Members Barry Pease, John Giger and Becky Pine voted to support the request, while Alison Manugian was opposed, and colleague Josh Degen opted to make his recommendation at Town Meeting.

   Alison Manugian said she felt it was “too much money for a building whose future is undetermined.” John Giger commented that the town has an obligation based on the lease with the Friends of Prescott.

   Selectman Josh Degen suggested pulling out the cost for replacement of the gymnasium lights, adding that it will be “$70,000 this year, and $70,000 next year.” He suggested reducing the request by the unspent $21,000 from the 2018 Spring and Fall Town Meetings and bring the request down to $50,000.

   DPW Manager Tom Delaney told the Board that the building was “code compliant for certain uses. “It’s okay for businesses, but not okay for other uses,” he said.

   Town Manager Mark Haddad advised that every request for funds for Prescott School comes out of the town’s Free Cash.

   Finance Committee member Bud Robertson advised the Board that year two and three of the lease will have insurance and operating expenses that arose after the fact. “Let’s move on. It’s the insurance and plowing.”

   This request follows an appropriation of $32,000 at the 2018 Spring Town Meeting and an additional $30,000 at 2018 Fall Town Meeting for a total of $62,000.

   In addition, the Town will be opening bids for installation of fire alarms and a sprinkler system on Thursday April 18. Currently, the only funds available for this project are the Community Preservation Funds, so the bid number will be critical for this project.

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