Yet town officials pointed to the ability to fund a feasibility study from existing sources as a major success.
The money would come from several areas: $364,00 from an increase in local receipts and local aid; $10,400 from the overlay reserve, an account that funds property-tax abatements, exemptions and uncollected taxes; and $375,591 from free cash.
“Because of the prudent fiscal policies and budget procedures the town has put in place the past few years (e.g., not using free cash to fund recurring costs), we are able to fund all the articles with no impact to taxpayers and within available resources,” Town Administrator Patricia Vinchesi said in an e-mail.
“That being said, the town has significant and challenging public building infrastructure needs, and this Special Town Meeting marks the first step of an ambitious building program that town officials are embarking upon. Ultimately, it is up to the voters of town to decide what the future course will be.”
Selectman Joseph Norton didn’t know of any organized opposition to the feasibility study, and was optimistic that the town would at least take this first step.
“I don’t anticipate a lot of debate on it, but I think people will come out to ensure that it passes,” Norton said.
Regardless, the town still has a way to go to make people aware of the full scope of the master plan for Scituate’s buildings.
“Most people who are involved and who know what we’re doing [with the master plan] are in favor. They realize it has to be done. But that’s a small percentage of the town’s population,” Norton said. “The vast majority isn’t really aware of the plan yet. We will see if they accept it or not.”
Among other items on the Town Meeting warrant are proposals to move around funds to balance this fiscal year’s budget; purchase a backhoe; fund a portion of the restoration of the Town Pier; and rezone the town’s Water Resource Protection District to comply with the state’s request.
Visit www.boston.com/scituate to see a photo gallery of conditions at Gates Intermediate School.
Jessica Bartlett can be reached at jessica.may.bartlett@gmail. com.