North Adams Council to Decide Conte Borrowing

Staff ReportsiBerkshires
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The mayor on Tuesday will ask the City Council to approve a borrowing order of $29.7 million for the reconstruction of Conte Middle School.

The currently closed school has been selected by the School Building Committee and approved by the state School Building Authority to be renovated to serve pupils in Kindergarten through Grade 7.

The state requires the borrowing in full; the city will recieve 80 percent reimburseument of the cost, or about $23.2 million from the statee. The city's cost is expected to be $6.5 million.

A number of council members have spoken in support of the school project, including Councilor Keith Bona who also sits on the School Building Committee.

Mayor Richard Alcombright said in a communication to the council that he is confident the city will be able to absorb the new debt.

"We would in actuality, 'ease' into scheduled preincipal and interest payments in FY2016 through two years of interest only payments as the project reaches completion," he wrote.

The former high school is expected to be completed in 2014.

The council will also take up a new rule on banning or limiting signs, printed clothing and other disruptive materials including electronic devices in the council chambers. The General Government Committee last week did not agree with the change introduced last fall by President Michael Bloom, saying it was too broad.

City Solicitor John DeRosa agreed saying it was "constitutionally infirm." He has supplied the council with an opinion on the original change and a modified rule he believes will stand up: "Signs, placards, banners or similar items shall not be permitted at any time in the Council Chamber."

The council has been trying for several years to reduce visitors from disrupting the proceedings, including banning one for six months for holding signs and making comments.

The mayor has also nominated City Clerk Marilyn Gomeau for reappointment. Gomeau has been city clerk for nine years.

Tags: borrowing,   city council,   Conte School,   rules,   school building,   school project,   

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