HANOVER — The South Shore Tech School Committee set assessments for member communities during it’s Thursday, Feb. 18 meeting.
Superintendent-Director Dr. Thomas J. Hickey has met with finance committees in Hanson and Rockland in recent weeks, and Selectmen and the Advisory Committee in Scituate and Abington’s Finance Committee this week.
The fiscal 2022 budget of $14.6 million is being assessed to the towns as follows: Abington, $1,280,575; Cohasset, $126,594; Hanover, $882,861; Hanson, $1,228,077; Norwell, $420,095; Rockland $1,824,264; Scituate, $574,126 and Whitman, $1,651,348. Total assessments make up $7,987,941 of the budget.
“Borrowing too much money too quickly is not something that is going to work in an annual budget,” said Hickey. “On the other hand, not taking on any debt will really restrict our schools’ ability to modernize.”
MSBA will also be asked for more funding. No action regarding borrowing would take place until fiscal 2023. Hickey plans a video presentation for posting on the district website on the issue.
“This allows us to go to our towns once for what we think are our priority items at this time, and then be able to plan accordingly,” Hickey said. No vote has been taken yet, because once a vote occurs, it starts a 60-day clock ticking as it is required to go before town meetings, which are strung between early April and late May. An official vote is not anticipated until late March.
Hickey also reported the district is coming closer to a debt authorization approval at the School Committee level. The amount is expected to be $18,960,537 – with almost $990,000 in electrical labor stripped out as work that SST students and instructors could undertake over a period of years to basically redo a lot of the wiring in the 1962 portion of the building, Hickey said.
“We have been in the process of negotiating with our sending communities and the feedback has been constructive, it has been clarifying what we are trying to do,” Hickey said, “We arrived at this number by looking at the projects that our engineering firms helped us develop and prioritize as part of the 2018 facilities master plan.”
Projects accomplished since 2018 have been removed and costs for remaining projects have been calculated with a 4-percent inflation factor going forward to fiscal 2023.
“In talking to our town administrator, he’s been saying that we take care of our schools too well and that’s been hurting us with MSBA,” said Whitman School Committee member Dan Salvucci. “If we saw an issue — which we don’t do — and let it go, they’ll approve [us], but that’s not the type of district we are.”
“One thing we can’t stop is age,” Hickey said.