The City Council voted 8-1 tonight to approve final funding of the high school project.
The majority of the councilors spoke in favor, saying that this was a unique opportunity to fund more than half of a necessary project with state money, and that it was not an opportunity that we would likely see again if we passed it up this time.
There was some concern over the tight contingency fund, and talk of what city property might need to be sold to help fund the loan, but the motion passed with only minimal opposition.
Councilor John Burke, who was the lone dissenter, commended the Mayor for the job he did in securing the funding, but said we should look, not at the $47 million dollars that we will be getting from the state, but at the difficulty of paying the city's $33 million share.
Don Martin, who originally opposed the plan, voted in favor of the final funding this time but warned of tough times ahead, and stated that "it is almost inevitable that we will lose another elementary school," so we must be prepared for the consequences.
The City now has until Wednesday to award the contract.
12/2 UPDATE: Here is today's Salem News story.
This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.