Osborn Hill surprise: Money for walkway 'found' in renovation budget
The Representative Town Meeting learned Monday night that not only will an enclosed walkway be built at Osborn Hill School, but no more money will have to appropriated for the project.
The RTM was poised to pass a resolution providing another $120,000 for the feature in the overall $4.5 project at the Stillson Road school. The proposed walkway has been an element that has been both included, and trimmed, from the project because of funding issues.
"The owner's rep for Osborn Hill was reconciling the financial reports, and found an invoice that had been encumbered," but not yet paid, Tetreau said. That same invoice apparently was paid with money from another account in the renovation budget, freeing up $250,000 that will now be used for the covered walkway.
"I am so happy," Bateson said, adding that with the money already in place, the building committee can get started on the work sooner than expected. "My attitude is don't bother coming back and asking, just get it done," he said.
Tetreau agreed that, with the money already in the project's coffers, it cuts out about six to eight weeks that would have been spent getting approvals for the walkway from the selectmen, the Board of Finance and the RTM.
The walkway will provide coverage from the school's annex to the main building. Originally estimated to cost about 70,000, the initial bids came in over $400,000 and the walkway was scrapped from the renovation project.
RTM and finance board members, however, wanted the walkway restored to the project, and pointed out that the RTM specifically added language to build the walkway in the bonding resolution.
The Osborn Hill Building Committee, most recently, had planned to seek new bids for the walkway project before coming back to other boards for approval of additional funds.
The planned walkway is expected to be built using reinforced fiberglass panels.