By Joseph Domelowicz Jr
Lynn voters have to wait another week to have their voices heard on a new school proposal that seeks to build two new schools in Lynn. The delay is thanks to Winter Storm Stella’s late arrival on Tuesday morning, March 14.
The decision to move the election by a week was a joint effort that began Monday with a decision by Essex Superior Court Judge Peter Lauriat, when he ruled in the city’s favor that the election could be moved because of the then-impending snow storm.
However, Lauriat declined to set the new Election Day, preferring to leave that decision in the hands of the Lynn City Council.
The Council then met in emergency session Monday evening at City Hall, with the express purpose of changing the Election Date and voted in favor of holding the election one week from the original date, on March 21, 2017. The polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Voters are being asked to pay for a 652-student school to be built near the Pine Grove Cemetery on Parkland Avenue, with a second facility for 1,008 students proposed for McManus Field on Commercial St.
If approved, property owners will be responsible for $91.4 million of the cost, or just under half of the projected $188.5 million total project cost.
According to School officials, the $188.5 million price tag includes about $11 million in contingency funds. If those monies are not used, it would reduce the taxpayer portion by that amount, to about $80 million.
City finance officials have estimated that the average homeowner would pay between $200 and $275 per year extra on their real estate tax bill, for the next 25 years.
Campaign committees have cropped up on both sides of the issue, with “Two Schools for Lynn” backing the proposed project.
“Protect Our Reservoir – Preserve Pine Grove” has organized against the schools questions, because the project includes a piece of land belonging to Pine Grove Cemetery.