DIGHTON — Town Administrator Michael Mullen would like to share information regarding Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School’s proposed $305 million school building project, which residents will vote on via ballot referendum.
“Of the proposed $305 million proposed project, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has committed $125.5 million to the project through a project funding agreement contingent on Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical receiving local approval. This leaves $180 million in remaining costs that need to be funded by B-P’s member communities.
“Dighton’s estimated share is between $21 million to $22 million dollars.
“The Town of Dighton is committed to ensuring that all community members are provided with information regarding Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School’s proposed $305 million school building project as this information is needed to make an informed decision in an upcoming special election scheduled by the School.
“The special election is currently scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 29 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Dighton Elementary School, located at 1250 Somerset Ave., Dighton.
“The special election date has been set by the Bristol-Plymouth School Committee in order for the School to comply with the MSBA’s 120-day requirement to secure local funding authorization.
“The Dighton Board of Selectmen has sent a letter to the MSBA, the state’s school building project funding agency, requesting an extension to the 120-day requirement. In their letter, attached here, the Selectmen cited current reprecincting efforts, the need for residents to educate themselves on the specifics of the project, and the need for Dighton to assess and plan for project financing as reasons they have requested the extension.
“In response to the letter, we were informed by the MSBA that such requests need to be made by the districts that have a project funding agreement with the MSBA and not by the communities it serves. As such, the Town of Dighton has joined the City of Taunton and Town of Berkley in sending a joint letter to Superintendent Alexandre Magalhaes and members of the Bristol-Plymouth School Committee to request that the district motions for an extension on behalf of its communities. To view the letter, click here.
“These requests have been made by the Board of Selectmen in an effort to ensure that Dighton voters have ample time to familiarize themselves with the specifics of the project before voting, thus promoting an informed and transparent election process.
“Community members should note that if an extension is not granted and the vote is conducted on the Jan. 29 date, regardless of Dighton’s overall vote, town officials and residents may need to consider a debt exclusion to cover the costs associated with the building project. Town officials continue to assess the project’s financial impacts along with Dighton’s capital planning process.
“To assist community members in making an informed decision, we would like to share as much information about the project as possible ahead of the special election.
“To view the scope of the project in its entirety, please visit B-P’s website here. On this site, community members can find information about the project’s timeline, a tax impact calculator, frequently asked questions, updates and more. To view the financial overview of the project and review state statutes governing debt approval for regional vocational technical schools, including the estimated debt service costs for Dighton, click here.
“While there are a lot of moving parts to the project, we remain steadfast in supporting our community members by keeping them informed throughout the process. Anyone with questions or concerns can contact Town Administrator Michael Mullen at (508) 669-6431, Option 1. Residents are also encouraged to contact B-P for specific questions about the project itself via the contact information listed on B-P’s website, www.bptech.org.”