Shrewsbury to move forward with Spring Street School upgrades
By Joan Goodchild
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Town Meeting members approved three articles at a Special Town Meeting May 18, including $1.3 million required for a proposal that would make “green” repairs at one of the town's elementary schools.
Article 1 asked the members to approve a vote to appropriate, borrow or transfer from available funds money for the replacement of windows and the roof at the Spring Street Elementary School. The measure was first endorsed by recently-elected Selectman Henry Fitzgerald, who is also the chair of the Sherwood Middle School Building Committee, noted the roof on the school was covered over with an ethylene propylene diene Monomer (EPDM) rubber coating, but the original roof is still underneath that. The windows go back to the original construction of the school, he said.
“This is a very timely project and I recommend we go forward with it,” Fitzgerald said of the repairs, which are estimated to cost $1.3 million. More than half of the project will be covered by a Massachusetts School Building Authority Green Repair grant.
Town Meeting member John Lukach, of Precinct 2, questioned the interest rate on the $725,000 the town would need to borrow for the project. The proposal indicated that the rate would be 4 percent, which Lukach said seemed to be higher than current rates for similar kinds of projects. Town Manager Daniel Morgado said he expects it will be less than that, but noted that the 4 percent was a conservative estimate.
Article 2 on the warrant pertained to Chapter 90 monies, the funds the state gives to a town for road repairs. Town Meeting member Chris Kirk questioned the logistics of how this is done.
“My understanding is we do the work, we send the bills down to Boston and they send us reimbursement. Is this reimbursement for last year's work?” he asked.
Morgado explained the funds were for upcoming work, but state laws require the town to approve their intention to accept the funds before the work can be done and the reimbursement accepted.
The measure passed unanimously.
The final article of the Special Town Meeting, a request to relocate a Laurel Ridge Lane easement that was granted to the town in 2010, was also approved.
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