Hanson: Working to solve the school issue after two negative votes

Hanson is trying to figure out the “next steps” in solving the problems at the Maquan and Indian Head schools, after the town twice rejected the new school project.

Board of Selectmen Chair Jim Egan said the boiler at the Maquan School broke on Friday, January 24th. He said that was fixed for $16,000. When asked where that money came from, he said, “From the town of Hanson.”

Egan also responded to a rumor going around town that the Selectmen are trying to “circumvent” the recent school vote.

“We’re not trying to circumvent anything,” Egan said, “We’re trying to do it right…There’s a problem with the process that was employed and we have to straighten out the process.”

Selectman Stephen Amico said he’s not sure how responsive the MSBA will be if the project is done “in pieces.” He spoke with the MSBA’s Chief Operating Officer Matt Donovan at the Massachusetts Municipal Association meeting about the vote the day of Hanson Special Town Meeting. From that conversation, he said he didn’t get a “warm and fuzzy” feeling but he also didn’t feel “shut out.”

Egan commented on grant potential for any repairs that need to be done.

“Basically at this point in time we believe it’s all going to be town of Hanson money,” Egan said, “We’re not going to be able to get many grants at all in terms of state reimbursements.”

With the proposed school project that was turned down, the MSBA was willing to give the town a $29 million grant. That money was lost the day the project was voted down.

Amico said the process is a lot more difficult when a project is done in parts, and you have to apply multiple times for grants. “You have to go to the end of the line every time,” he said.

A meeting between the Selectmen, School Committee, Finance Committee, the Elementary Building Committee, and the town’s legal council will take place on Monday, February 10th to discuss where they will go next with the school issue.

About Samantha Tracey

Samantha Tracey graduated from Salem State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. She has been reporting on local issues in a variety of towns: Bridgewater, Abington, Carver, Weymouth, East Bridgewater, Hanson, Halifax, etc. She says growing up on the South Shore has made it interesting now to be covering news in such familiar places.