Selectmen's Notebook: Delays Won't Put High School Project Over Budget
Results of Yentile Farm Survey are revealed.
While the new high school building project will cost more because of several lawsuits and appeals, it is still projected to come in under budget.
Michael Newhouse, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, told fellow board members at the Feb. 11 meeting that delays in the project would likely tack on an estimated $1.5 million to the overall cost. Included in that is an extra $458,000 in the cost of steel.
However, Newhouse said the additional costs have been offset by prudent decisions. These include going with "non-trade" bids for construction, foundation and demolition, according to Newhouse. He also explained that taking an "at-risk" approach to the project resulted in an additional several hundred thousand dollars reimbursement by the state's School Building Authority.
Speaking directly to residents watching the meeting on public access television, Newhouse said the town was getting the same project that had been approved at Town Meeting and that it was still under budget.
In other business:
- Selectmen approved a request by Attorney Robert Peterson for a confirmatory deed for a property located at 11 Faneuil Drive.
- Town Manager Jeffrey Hull reported on the results of the Yentile Farm Re-use Survey. According to the results of the survey, over half the residents who took part would like to see the land used for open space. Nearly 63 percent were very interested or extremely interested in seeing a picnic or pavilion area on the property. Over 75 percent would like to see some time of walking or jogging trails. Over 40 percent said they were interested in "creating more recreational activities for people of all ages." Board members said their would like to give the Yentile Farm Development Committee a chance to file its status report before digging deeper into the survey and asking questions about the results.
- Several selectmen and the town manager applauded the work of the DPW and plow drivers during the recent blizzard. "I think they did a tremendous job," said Hull.
- Selectmen approved a request by the Recreation Commission to use the Town Common for the Annual Easter Egg Hunt on March 30, at 2 p.m.
- Selectmen voted to approve a common victualer license for the new Sunrise Kitchen at 355 Middlesex Ave. The restaurant is relocating from North Reading, where it had operated for more than two decades.
- Selectmen tabled a request by Leonard Malvone, RN, to use the Town Common on Sunday, April 7, at 1:30 p.m. for a "Unity Rally" involving all the town's churches. The idea for the rally was born from the recent vandalism spree impacting local churches. Board members said they would prefer to gather some more information before voting on the request.
- Selectmen approved a request by Brian Kane of Wilmington Little League for the 5th Annual Little League Parade on April 20.
- Selectmen announced 11 citizen petitions to appear on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant. Of those 11, five are requests for the purchase of town own land. Four deal with re-zoning issues.