TEWKSBURY — The Tewksbury Board of Selectmen met on Jan. 9 to discuss a letter they received from Tony McIntosh, superintendent and director of Shawsheen Valley Technical School.
The letter asks the board to provide the following writ clause: “The Town of Tewkesbury will require the Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational and Technical School District Board to vote to establish a stabilization fund on December 19, 2023.'' to decide whether to approve [Mass. General Laws]A stabilization fund is an operational item that is invested in accordance with the law and is created to hold its own interest income and transfer available funds to the stabilization fund or to take other measures related thereto. He said that it would further set up the following. ”
Chairman Todd Johnson acknowledged that a majority of the school's five regions (Tewksbury, Wilmington, Billerica, Burlington and Bedford) would need to approve such a fund. This fund can be used as a reserve to support future expenditures such as capital projects. Appropriating money to the stabilization fund requires a majority vote by Town Meeting, and spending requires a two-thirds vote.
Board members called for clarity on processes such as funding sources and fund management. Town Manager Richard Montuori suggested the board wait until all commissioners are present and more information is available from McIntosh and the state Department of Revenue.
Member Jayne Wellman asked where the funds for the fund would come from. Montuori argued that schools could set aside discretionary cash into the fund at the end of each fiscal year or request additional funding within the confines of each town's assessment based on population.
“I think the reasoning behind the stabilization fund is that they have a certain amount of money.” [free cash] Every year,” Montuori said. “They need to use that to lower their ratings. If they put that money into a stabilization fund and it's not part of the stabilization fund, [free cash] If you're rolling over every year, they'll avoid it. ”
Montuori said he will invite Cheryl Barolone and Patricia Muse, representatives of Tewksbury's Shawsheen Technical School Board, to a future meeting to present on this item.
Mr Wellman asked if this funding was related to future projects to replace existing schools. In 2022, the school applied to the Massachusetts School Building Authority to build a new facility. Montuori said he doesn't know if the fund is intended for future large capital projects, but it could be used for future expenses.
Wellman expressed concern about the town's lack of control over the fund. Monturi said the fund is under the control of the Polytechnic School Committee, the town has two voting representatives elected by residents, and the Town Council must approve budget items. Stated.
Wellman looked for examples of other regional colleges using similar financing mechanisms. The board voted to table this item.