Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 10-11-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | OCTOBER 11-17, 2018 LINCOLN 9 LINCOLN – Town officials kept their promise to start and finish last Thursday's Special Financial Town Meeting before the New England Patriots kicked off against the Indianapolis Colts. The meeting started just after 7 p.m. and ended in roughly 30 min- utes, with only one taxpayer stand- ing to ask a question of the Town Council. No one voted against the resolution on the docket, which granted the town permission to spend up to $1,369,500 to pay for an owner's project manager for the Lincoln High School renovation project. The resolution reads as fol- lows: Be it resolved that the electors of the town of Lincoln qualified to vote on any proposal at the Special Financial Town Meeting legally assembled on the fourth day of October, A.D. 2018, hereby authorize the expenditure of up to $1,369,500 from the Capital Projects Fund #50 for Owner's Project Manager Services, Clerk of the Works, for the Lincoln High School Renovation Project. Any associated State Reimbursement funds shall be returned to Capital Projects Fund #50. Moderator Bob Turner said this Special Financial Town Meeting was to explore only that specific amendment, versus an entire bud- get. He explained that the scope of the resolution could not be expand- ed and that no amendments would be made. With 117 people in attendance, the meeting met the necessary quo- rum of 100 voters. Had the number dipped below 100, the meeting would have immediately closed. "I don't think we're going to miss the Patriots game," Turner said. "I promised (Town Clerk) Karen Allen that we'd be out before halftime," joked Town Councilor Arthur Russo, who explained to attendees the "5 W's" of the meet- ing: who, what, where, when and why. Russo explained that the purpose of the meeting was to appropri- ate money to pay for the proejct manager, a third party company hired by the owner of a project – Lincoln's taxpayers – to represent them during design and construc- tion. Russo called the manager "Lincoln's watchdog," who acts as a liaison between the owner and proj- ect team while establishing open lines of communication with stake- holders to resolve conflicts. Lincoln opted to hired Colliers International as manager after the state changed its funding formula for education construction. Under the changes, Lincoln could receive a higher project reimbursement from the state, however the new funding formula required a proj- ect manager in order for a project to qualify for the bonus points. Lincoln responded by hiring Colliers, and later learned that the cost of the company would not be reimbursed up front by the state. To cover the cost, the council approved the transfer of $1,369,500 to the Capital Projects Fund #50 from the town's casino reserve fund, where excess gaming rev- enues were locked in place to protect the town from the financial impact of new casinos over the Massachusetts border. Town offi- cials say spending the $1,369,500 in excess gaming revenues will have no tax impact. A Special Financial Town Meeting was required to approve the expenditure, because the Building Committee must send its project specifications to the Rhode Island Department of Education before the November ballot. "Our budget cannot afford any more cuts," Russo said. "We need to act tonight. I urge you to support this measure." Russo said he wants the high school to be the "crown jewel of not only Lincoln, but of northern Rhode Island." Taxpayers OK town funds to manage LHS project By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer BREEZE PHOTO BY NICOLE DOTZENROD Town Clerk KAREN ALLEN welcomes taxpayers to a Special Financial Town Meeting on October 4 as Lincoln's Town Council looks on.

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