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Aldermen alarmed by cost of Newton North project

Posted by David Dahl, Regional Editor December 5, 2007 08:54 AM

NEWTON

Political support is slipping for the Newton North High School project amid signs that the cost of the state's most expensive high school will climb far beyond the estimated $154-million price tag.

Newton Alderman Paul Coletti told the Globe he plans to offer a resolution saying the board of aldermen have no confidence in the way Mayor David Cohen has handled the project, in order to send "a very strong message to the public that the project and mayor are out of control."

"There's this tremendous void of leadership out of the executive department right now," Coletti said. "In my 30 years in office, I haven't never seen a situation that equals the incompetence of the way this has been handled."

The school project could rise to as much as $171-million, according to figures released this week.

Cohen faced aldermen in a heated meeting Monday to address their frustration over a lack of information on the high school building project and the timing of an expected property tax override Cohen wants to take place next year. He insisted that the override is not needted to fund the school project.

"The Newton North High School project can and will be built whether or not the override passes," Cohen said in an interview Tuesday.

-- Rachana Rathi

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