, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 20, 2013

Selectmen balk at Page furniture costs

West Newbury: Issue ignites school lease issue leases debate


The regional agreement states that “responsibilities for maintenance of elementary school buildings shall be uniform” within all three leases, but that clause does not refer to emergency repairs.

West Newbury selectmen were frustrated by Groveland and Merrimac officials’ interest in this clause of the Page School lease agreement and by the implication that it was “non-conforming” — especially given the clause has always existed in the Page School lease.

Cushing said a recent news report that Merrimac Selectman Rick Pinciaro was contending that West Newbury is now “marching to the same beat as its partner towns” left him and his fellow board members “scratching our heads.” Cushing said his board hasn’t agreed to any changes in its lease.

So, West Newbury selectmen said to learn their town should pay for furniture costs simply because that’s what the other towns are doing didn’t sit well with them.

“Nobody wants to see the kids having 10:30 lunches, but whose responsibility is it?” Kemper asked. “Sometimes you have to take a stand and not be pushed around.”

According to Pentucket Business Manager Michael Bergeron, the School Committee has yet to make a formal request for the $16,000 from the town. Currently, all existing inventory in storage is being evaluated. He said he will report back to West Newbury selectmen once that process is completed, which should hopefully be later this week.

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