GROTON -- The Select Board's Monday meeting grew testy as members tried to put out a request for proposal to lease the Prescott School.

Town Manager Mark Haddad presented a draft of the Request for Proposals that needed to be re-advertised to be in compliance with state law. The board decided not to approve the request until it receives guidance from town counsel.

"Let's just get this right," Chairman Joshua Degen said. "I am so tired of issuing faulty RFPs that do not allow someone who responds to it to do what they want to do."

A previous request to lease Prescott School had to be withdrawn.

The proposal Haddad drafted states that the town will share operating costs with the building operator. Funding from the town, which the board approved at its previous meeting, would be subject to approval on a yearly basis.

The Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee previously leased the building.

Members were also hesitant to approve the request after a potential discrepancy was brought to the board's attention.

Val Prest, a member of Municipal Building Committee for the Prescott School, said he reviewed recent building codes and found that the school has not been approved to be used as a space to teach classes for students older than grade 12.

Vice Chairman Barry Pease questioned whether putting out the RFP was a good idea if the building code limits how the building can be used.


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Selectmen Jack Petropoulos said there shouldn't be a problem with putting the request out and making sure the building code issue is resolved.

Pease asked whether he would be fine putting the request out knowing there is a chance the board would have to pull the request back to fix it. Petropoulos responded yes.

"And that's a best practice because?" Pease shot back, eliciting a back-and-forth between the two members.

Haddad said several times that not having the RFP approved and advertised would push back when the bids could be accepted.

"We're talking one week," Degen reiterated. "That week is going to make a difference."

The board also talked about implications of a state inspector general inquiry about whether the board violated procurement laws when it voted on a lease of the Prescott School.