The proposed cost for the new high school is an issue every homeowner should be concerned about. Especially, since the approximate budget was recently requested to be increased by another $120M, bringing the grand total to approximately just under $500M or a HALF BILLION DOLLARS! Where exactly will the money come from to pay for it?
Overall, the majority of residents in Revere are made up of blue collar working class citizens and do not fall in a high annual income bracket. With the increase of heating costs, electricity, food and the overall rising rate of inflation, I think we can all agree that almost everyone is feeling the squeeze on their finances. All of these increases are making it increasingly more difficult for homeowners to afford to stay in their homes. Another price hike, for example to real estate taxes, could be the last straw which could force homeowners to sell their homes! Homes they love and have owned for years!
Nevertheless, to be fair, let’s consider the need for a new high school. It is true that a new high school may be necessary but why not build on the existing parcel where the current high school sits which would surely reduce and limit costs? Certainly, the existing high school could be modified, enlarged, remodeled, etc., to provide for additional space & updates. In addition, the proposed site for the new high school presents a whole host of potential problems. For example, we’ve heard about issues regarding flooding and poor traffic conditions which could raise safety concerns. In the alternative, however, these issues pose no threat at the existing site of the current high school. So why wasn’t this option given more consideration?
And, while on the topic of necessity, how about the overdue need for a new Senior Center? The current Senior Center is in deplorable condition. So much so that the majority of seniors don’t even go to it. Yet, year after year, residents are told the City cannot afford to build a new Senior Center for its beloved Senior Citizens.
A further discussion regarding the approx $499M cost to build the new high school will be discussed during a future Ways & Means Subcommittee meeting. A date for this meeting has not yet been scheduled. However, since the City must know exactly how it expects to pay for this nearly $500M build, they must disclose that plan, at that meeting, so that taxpayers can be made aware of exactly how much their real estate taxes are expected to increase. There should also be a discussion regarding a real estate tax credit which could be made available to homeowners who do not have children attending the public school system. This is a fair and reasonable option that should be given serious consideration.
Lastly, let’s make mention to priorities. A few months ago, we all read about ‘public outcry’ due to certain streets having made changes to their traffic patterns, yet almost no attention has been given to this extremely important issue … an issue which will negatively affect our pocketbooks not just our habitual route to Market Basket!
Paying for a half-billion dollar project definitely deserves more transparency with regard to the impact it will have on homeowners and real estate taxes. Contact City Hall, your Ward City Councilor and Councilors At Large and let them know you’d like to know how this nearly $500M bill is going to be paid for and exactly how it’s expected to increase your real estate taxes!
Gina Salamone Castiello