"I'm not going to overturn his recommendation at this point," she said.
The mayor would not comment on any contingency plans in case the loan authorization fails. State law requires loans to be approved by at least two-thirds of the
McGeary said Monday, however, that he doesn't see that requirement as posing a threat to the loan.
"We have to spend the money" he said.
The first year of the lease, which spans 18 months, carries a fee of
At first, the cost was set to come out of the
Then, former Chief Administrative Officer
School officials, however, balked at that, noting that it was Kirk, as mayor, who agreed to the deal, not the School Committee. They added that the school budget was already pegged to receive less than their requested amount as it was.
City officials also asked if the
The council, meanwhile, agreed during final budget talks last week that the money would not have to come from the school budget, but it was not budgeted, either.
McGeary said the council was not exactly eager take the money from the DPW or school budgets, and that there was no great outpouring of opinions one way or the other. The lease has been in effect since March.
"There's nothing to cut in Public Works," he said.
He said his department carries a number of lease costs already, but he wasn't overly concerned with the possibility of tacking on another lease, either. He said there is simply not enough funding to go around.
"We barely can provide the core services that the constituents expect," he said.
Dunn said Monday that the
According to the loan order, the loan would cover costs to pay for building and furnishing the new school, as well as "acquisition or securing of space associated with housing students at a different, non-city-owned location" and costs associated with bringing St. Ann's up to par to suit current school needs. The former St. Ann School was shut down by the archdiocese last June because of declining enrollment.
The cost for building the new West Parish school is nearly
The loan order is set to be presented tonight at the
The financial route to the new West Parish school and other choices along the way have led to some vocal criticism from residents and officials alike.
Some wanted to use the former Fuller School for swing space, but the cost to rehabilitate the school temporarily was too high. For decades, the school has been largely vacant and has fallen into disrepair.
"Overall, I'm still disappointed we're not using Fuller," Ward 2 City Councilor
She said she doesn't necessarily approve of taking out a loan to pay for the lease, but these and other details should have been taken care of months ago.
"I'm adverse to paying interest on a long-term rental," she added.
Cox said Monday that she has other issues with the school's use of the former St. Ann's, as well. She said there was an understanding with
Now, she said, the wheels are in motion to present a parking ban on Pleasant and Smith streets from
"It boils down to the fact I was initially told there would be no parking restriction, and they have since gone back on their word," Cox said.
Cox said she finds the school district's request "very disappointing," considering the archdiocese had the school up and running with no parking restrictions. Safier could not be reached for comment Monday.
Cox said she is not opposed to restrictions that have the safety of children in mind, but parking in the tight-knit neighborhood is already hard to come by for businesses and residents alike.
Parking plans aside, city officials have been painted into a corner. The old West Parish school is set to be torn down relatively soon, and classes need to resume in September. The lease has been signed with the archdiocese for months, and the city is responsible for the cost.
"If we say 'no', where are the kids going to go in a month in a half?" Cox said.
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