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Newton to meet with state on high school funding

Posted by David Dahl, Regional Editor November 10, 2008 06:20 PM

Newton officials are scheduled to meet with the Massachusetts School Building Authority on Dec. 2 to move forward with the release of construction funds to the city.

In September, the authority requested more information about the scope and budget of the $195.2 million Newton North High School project as a condition of releasing the $46.6 million grant promised to Newton for the new high school.

The December meeting is a precondition to signing the project funding agreement, which details a timetable for release of funds to the city. Newton officials are expected to provide a few more details to the state before the meeting, said Carrie Sullivan, spokeswoman for the state authority.

The city currently has $11 million available in its project fund, said city Comptroller David Wilkinson. It spends about $5 million to $6 million a month on the project, he said.

"With the October and November bills, I'm practically certain we'll burn through it all by the end of this month," Wilkinson said.

But Mayor David Cohen said at a press conference Monday that the city doesn't "anticipate any cash flow problems."

Wilkinson said if the city needs money before the project funding agreement is signed, it would come from general cash, which would otherwise be invested. The city does not intend to borrow any more money until next spring.

"But the project's not going to stop. The real consequences from all this is the amount of investment income that the city earns to support the budget would be less," Wilkinson said. He said the city would lose about $2,000 for every $1 million that would otherwise be invested.

-- Rachana Rathi

4 comments so far...
  1. True malfeasance on part of Mayor Cohen and his (in-the-pocket) committee. The state should contribute the absolute minimum to this project...no more than when the project was a mere (pre- Big Dig-esque) $110m. Let Cohen and his folks face his taxpayers and his (over-paid) city servants to find the balance of the money. Have a nice day, Newton.

    Posted by Stowe November 10, 08 08:48 PM
  1. How about they turn off the 300-plus lights strung throughout the construction site and turned on every single night? I'm sure that's helping them "burn through" all the money.

    Posted by Tim C. November 10, 08 11:08 PM
  1. this is beyond irresponsible. not only is there limited funding in education for the rest of massachusetts' schools, you have decided to undertake building the most wastefully decadent highschool to provide for your underachieving children. thank you.

    Posted by tung November 10, 08 11:15 PM
  1. When Ted Mann was mayor and Ted Scafidi was treasurer, all money received was deposited the same day ('cept for some of the mayor's paychecks, that is a different story). They aggressively and promptly went after any money from the state they could get.

    This is typically pathetic; I suppose they needed to hire a consultant to tell them how to fill out the paperwork, so that's why it took months.

    Posted by R November 11, 08 02:21 AM
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