What is the Rush?

I attended last night’s work session between the school committee and the town council. On the agenda was the SC’s requested FY 2020-2021 budget, school facilities program and possible town/school operational coordination/collaboration.

Being concerned about the potential municipal facilities expenses I expressed my concerns to Town Manager Rob Zarnetske. He said he also has concerns. I asked if the town was going to have their facilities inspected like Jacobs did for the schools. Rob said it was an easy process to inspect and they are following the same guidelines as was followed by Jacobs and doing the inspections in house. He didn’t expect any catastrophic expenses. Rob noted that our roads need much attention and could be as high as $100,000,000.00. I asked if the report would be completed by the time the town would vote on the loan for the schools and he said no. I expressed my concerns about not knowing what that amount would be before the vote took place on the schools’ loan. If we find out we need $100,000,000.00 in work or even $30,000,000.00 and we committed $85,000,000.00 to the schools that would not be affordable.

For me personally, this validates my thoughts I expressed earlier this week.

We don’t know what the costs are for the remainder of the town’s facilities. We should not vote on any bond (loan) until we have a clear picture of what is needed town wide. While I’m glad evaluations are being done I’m not happy about possibly voting on the school bond before we have a good idea of what the town as a whole needs.

Greg Sweet

4 thoughts on “What is the Rush?

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    1. That’s the highest reimbursement allowed. That doesn’t mean that is what we will get. Everyone is hoping but it’s not guaranteed. The other potential problem is the Providence school system. There buildings are in terrible shape. There are also other cities and town in worse shape than ours. So I suspect they will eat up the $250,000,000.00 that was made available. Had we stayed on track with the original plan we would almost be certain to get the 50% match. That plan RIDE called exemplary. It’s on a first come first serve basis so going down another direction really put us in jeopardy to receive funding


  1. …this project, but there are two “must begin construction by dates” (Dec 30, 2022 and Dec 30, 2023 depending on what that specific project is for) which can’t be missed if we want to get that 50% max RIDE payment. We’re 2 yr and 2 mo into this already and we’re still 18-24 months away from the start of construction.


  2. Sorry for the delay. I just got the message of your reply. Actually the guaranteed from RIDE is 35% If we hit all the additional requirements then we can get the additional 15%. A problem I can see is there are many schools much further along in the process than we are. Also with other districts ahead of us I suspect it’s a first come first serve. School districts like Providence will eat up a huge amount of the $250,000,000. so will there be enough to give us the 15% extra


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