In a follow up to a story we brought you earlier this week, Girard at Large has obtained information on the million dollar loan given to developer Dick Anagnost to build ninety units of high density, low income housing on Old Wellington Road. The original loan documents were signed in 2004. It was a thirty year loan at zero percent interest with the annual payment deferred for the first five years. The original term required the first annual payment in two thousand ten, but no payments have been made. Last year, the board voted to further defer the loan payments pending a refinance, which we now know crashed and burned. The annual payments were originally supposed to be $33,000 + 25% of cash flow for years 6 through 16. In years seventeen through thirty, the annual payment was to be $33,000 + 50% of cash flow with the original loan to be paid off by 2034, with a balloon payment of any outstanding principal balance in that year. Earlier in the week, the board voted to defer payments again until two thousand eighteen when Anagnost says the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority will allow one to take place.
Quote “For the bond at MST not to pass last night is a tragedy. Those are students that they tell you they get 96% attendance and they’re getting an alternative education that they weren’t going to go to school with before. It’s totally different and if we can’t invest in those students at one point eight million dollars, then there’s something wrong with that.” That’s what Mayor Ted Gatsas said in our Wednesday interview about the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s failure to pass the bond needed to expand the Manchester School of Technology on Tuesday night. The bond received nine votes, but ten were required. Ward One Alderman Joyce Craig and Ward Twelve Aldermen Keith Hirschmann were the only two opposed. Absent were Ward Two Alderman Ron Ludwig and Ward Eleven Alderman Normand Gamache, both supporters of the bond. The Ward Five seat is vacant. Noting that the project is on an extremely tight time-line, Gatsas also said in the interview he was hopeful that project manager Kevin O’Malley would be able to push the project faster than planned to make up for the lost time as the board is expected to pass the bond at its next meeting.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The waiver sought by the State of New Hampshire to do its own special brand of Medicaid Expansion was, incredibly, approved by the federal government. The waiver will allow the state to transfer federal funds to private insurance companies to subsidize the cost of their policies for eligible participants, rather than provide the coverage directly through the state. The supremely pleased with himself Senate President Chuck Morse said in a statement released yesterday he was glad to see the feds approved of the state’t quote creative approach to provide private health insurance to low-income adults” end quote, claiming it protected taxpayers. He also said he continues quote “to be focused on reviewing the outcomes of the Health Care Expansion program currently in place in the state of New Hampshire and I remain concerned about future costs incurred, mandated by the Federal Government to continue this program,” Interestingly, he didn’t express any concern over how the state, which has seen Medicaid costs skyrocket as a result of the program’s expansion, will pay for it once the feds pull their funding in about 2 years from now. The bill is due to be reauthorized in two thousand sixteen. Morse has said in the past the program can be terminated if funding is an issue. (If you think they’re going to pull the rug out from a program that has 50,000 people in it, you’re not living in reality.)
Last night’s meeting of the Timberlane Regional School Board failed, yet again, to produce a vote on whether or not the Sandown Central Elementary School should be closed. The controversial proposal was made by Superintendent Earl Metzler several months ago in response to budget committee demands for a flat-line budget. Despite not having voted to close the school, Metzler presented a budget to the budget committee that did not include its funding. It also wan’t flat-line, either. The budget was adopted by the committee and even increased by the deliberative session. As it remains smaller than the default budget, it is likely to pass muster with voters. Apparently, public testimony caused the board to delay action because there are warrant articles on the ballot that would fund the school’s continued operation. During the meeting, Metzler let slip that there was a charter school interested in leasing the facility should it be closed.
In another interesting development, the Timberlane Policy Committee decided not to take action as planned on a proposal to limit public input at school board meetings to items on the agenda, require speakers to hand in cards identifying the topic on which they want to speak a head of time to ensure their comments will be only on agenda items or seek permission of Metzler and the board to speak on no-agenda items. Seems they want to deal with that after the election.
That’s news from our own backyard, have I left the planet? Girard at Large hour ___ starts right now!