Soccer Night In Belmont Kicks Off With Varsity Doubleheader Sat. Sept 21

Photo: Soccer Night in Belmont

The Belmont High School Boys and Girls Varsity soccer teams will headline the 4th annual “Soccer Night in Belmont” this Saturday, Sept. 21, starting at 4:30 p.m. at Harris Field

Joining the high school teams will. be hundreds of players from the Belmont Soccer Association, their coaches, and other members of the Belmont soccer community.

Soccer Night in Belmont will feature a doubleheader under the lights at Harris Field vs. Middlesex League rival Winchester: the girls’ will play at 4:30 p.m. followed by a boys’ game at 6:30 p.m.

Belmont youth soccer players will participate by parading out with players during the pre-game ceremonies, acting as ball-boys and ball-girls, and competing in mini-games on Harris Field during halftime of both games. Winchester Soccer Club youth soccer players will also participate in the pre-game ceremonies and other activities.

“This event showcases our varsity teams and recognizes the role of Belmont Youth Soccer in nurturing the talent that makes up these teams year in and year out,” said event organizer John Carson.

“We hope to match last year’s crowd of 2,000 for another really fun night that builds bonds between our “little kid” players and “big kid” high school players, virtually all of whom came up through the Belmont youth program. In fact, one great highlight is always that our high school players wear wristbands during the game that match the color of their Belmont youth soccer team.”

Admission to Soccer Night in Belmont is free. Concessions including pizza, hot dogs, snacks and drinks will be available for purchase, provided by Parents of Music Students (POMS) so families can come for the games and feed the kids at the same time.

Soccer Night in Belmont is sponsored by the Belmont Soccer Association, People’s United Bank Foundation, Belmont Boosters, Parents of Music Students (POMS), Phoenix Landing, and Friends of Belmont Soccer (FOBS), with special thanks Belmont Athletic Director Jim Davis.

Belmont Football Off The Mark In Opener, Falls To Wakefield, 21-10

Photo: The Belmont High football team runs onto the field for the season opener vs. Wakefield.

It was a perfect night for the first football game of the Belmont High football season: A Friday night under the lights, the weather fall-like cool and clear with a Harvest full moon and before a hyped up student section at Harris Field.

But it was also Friday the 13th and all the bad luck of that day hovered over the Belmont sideline as the home team never got on track on both sides of the ball as a young Wakefield High squad came away with a big win, 21-10.

“I really feel like we took ourselves out of that football game more than anything else,” said Belmont’s head coach Yann Kumin after the game.

President Kennedy is reported to have said after the Bay of Pigs fiasco: “victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.” In Belmont’s opener, it would fair to say that both sides of the ball could claim parental custody of this loss.

On the offensive side, Belmont’s running game never got into gear while its passing attack lacked the consistency needed to spread out the Warriors defense.

“Offensively, we just have to execute more than anything else. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot,” said Kumin. “We have to try to catch the ball, try to hit holes and execute on the offensive line. And these are the things that didn’t happen tonight.”

Offense highlights were few and far between. Senior Hampton Trout scored Belmont’s first points of the season hitting a second-quarter 43-yard field goal that would have been good from 50 plus yards. And running back Chad Francis finally found the right edge and raced 84 yards to cut the deficit to 14-10 just before the half.

The defense “dominated” said Kumin, containing the Warriors in the first 24 minutes with several sacks while containing the running game.

But it was two big first-half plays with the defense off the field by Wakefield’s Wesley Pierre that put Belmont behind the eight ball at halftime.

On its second possession, Belmont was facing a 4th and 5 from the 24-yard line when senior QB Avery Arno’s pass over the middle was intercepted by a late-breaking Pierre who took the ball 65 yards to the Belmont 15 yard line with a little more than a minute to play in the first quarter. Belmont’s defense suddenly struggled to contain Wakefield which would convert a 3rd and 7 from the 12 and would score one play later on a 4 yard run by RB Tucker Stikeman early in the second.

Pierre’s second highlight reel moment came on the kickoff after Trout’s field goal cut the lead to 7-3. After a booming kick, it appeared Belmont’s special team had hemmed in Pierre along the right sideline. But a quick pivot to the left and Pierre would scamper 95 yards for the TD to up the score to 14-3 midway through the second quarter.

While Belmont’s defense was mostly stellar in the first half, Wakefield offense would turn the tables on the Marauders in the second as it moved down the field with some ease. Despite its first drive ending with a fumble inside the Belmont 10 yard line, the second would not be halted as Wakefield would concentrate on running sweeps with Stikeman rushing for his second TD midway through the third quarter to up its lead to 21-10.

Without the dominating running attack from last season and pass attempts off the mark or dropped, a hoped-for Marauder comeback the crowd was anticipating never materialized.

“We got a lot of new starters this year so it’s just a question of consistency. So that’s what we’re going to do over the next couple weeks is try to move our consistency to the next level and get ready to go into the week,” said Kumin.

Due to a cancellation by teams Belmont had expected to play, the Marauders will next be on the field on Friday, Sept. 27 vs. Reading at Harris Field. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

Search For New Police Chief Starts Inside Department This Week

Photo: Mark Paolillo (left) and James Hicks.

Five candidates from within the Belmont Police Department have begun the selection process to become the town’s next Police Chief as the committee established to review the applicants has begun its work this week.

The candidates will go before the Police Chief Screening Committee in executive session to present a Powerpoint presentation of a 12-month plan for running the department and answer prepared questions. The finalists could potentially be asked to attend a public forum to meet and greet residents.

And while some members of the nine-member screening committee have expressed their willingness to add candidates from outside the department, the chair of the committee said it will closely follow the charge provided by the Belmont Select Board this past spring.

“We were told to come up with at least two internal applicants who meet the qualifications to be presented to the [Select] Board,” said Mark Paolillo, the former three-term Selectman and the son of a Cambridge police chief.

“Ultimately, it’s [the Select Board’s] decision to decide to move forward on the next chief,” said Paolillo, who reminded the group that it would be advantageous to complete the process sooner than later as current Police Chief Richard McLaughlin will retire on Dec. 31.

A diverse committee made up of residents, seniors, schools, community groups, town officials and a current police chief – James Hicks of Natick – met for the first time on Sept. 5 and unanimously named Paolillo chair.

The Police Chief Steering Committee.

Paolillo said with the help of Rick White of Gerux White Consulting – the municipal management consulting firm that assisted the town in hiring Patrice Garvin as Town Administrator and Belmont Light’s general manager Christopher Roy – “and based on some feedback we got from the community … and on our own feedback,” the committee will create a set of criteria that applicants will need to meet to be recommended to the Select Board.

“We want it to be a robust process. This will be the chief of police for the next whatever number years, so we must get it right,” said Paolillo.

A few members believed that expanding the pool of candidates with law enforcement professionals outside of Belmont would be advantageous to the process, recalling McLaughlin was a long-time member of the Arlington PD (although he is a lifetime resident of Belmont.)

Hicks – who noted he was hired twice as an outsider in both Bedford and Natick – said moving initially with only current Belmont Police personnel could be problematic if the committee decides that only one or none of the candidates are selected to be presented to the Select Board.

“You could be in a situation where you’ll be saying that ‘one or two are still in the running but we’re going to open it up [to outside applicants].’ I think it’s a confusing message to send to the internal candidates if that occurs,” he said.

With a wider pool, “it sends a message that the process is vital to everyone,” said Hicks.

But Paolillo said the select board’s charge to the committee is clear and “we want to first look internally, [and] determine if we have qualified candidates that … meet the qualifications to serve as the next police chief.”

Asked after the meeting if the committee is unable to send two candidates forward, Paolillo saidthan that’s just the way the process worked and we’ll then proceed with external candidates.”

As for what the community is seeking in a new chief, White interviewed department heads, the ranking officers, some patrol officers, members of the Middle and High School Building Committee and some residents and found that “universally everybody has great regard for chief McLaughlin and what he’s accomplished as a leader.”

“They liked the way he’s engaged the community, the departments, the schools, and improved the footprint of the police department from where it was when he first came. And everybody without exception, said we’d like someone to take what [McLaughlin] built here and build on it,” said White.

One area that the public would like to see a new chief commit to “is a much more diverse workforce … by demographically representing the area,” said White.

Boys’ Soccer Remains Unbeaten As Girls’ Go 2-0 For The Week


It was rock’em sock’em soccer at Harris Field on Thursday night, Sept. 142 as Belmont High Boys’ Soccer literally battled it out with Melrose, coming away with a 1-0 victory to keep its record unblemished at 3-0-0.

Senior Jon Brabo scored on a header from a corner by junior Theo Kargere five minutes into the game to give all the Marauders’ needed this night that saw more penalty cards – one for Belmont, two to Melrose – than goals as the chippiness factor increased as the hour got late.

That was in mark contrast to the goal fest ore n the grass in Stoneham on Tuesday, Sept. 11 where the Marauders needed a Barbo hat trick to keep the Spartans at bay, 5-2.

Against Melrose, senior goalkeeper Finbar Rhodes garnered his second shutout of the campaign as he had little to do as Belmont kept the Red Raiders on the back foot for most of the evening event. When Melrose turned to a more physical style, Belmont was able to counter with a more skills-based approach

“I was just telling the guys, sometimes other teams will try to suck you into their style of play, and then you’re trying to work your way out of that. The guys showed a lot of composure; they are really disciplined on their own. They’re saying all the things that I would say anyway, prior to me saying it to them, so they know what’s going on,” said Belmont Head Coach Brian Bisceglia-Kane.

Belmont will see a big step up in competition as the Marauders host undefeated Lexington – ranked 5th in the Boston Globe Top 20 – on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Harris Field at 7:30 p.m.

Girls’ Soccer take two

After being shutout and shutdown in the season opener to Wilmington, Belmont High Girls’ Soccer are beginning to righting the ship with a pair of solid victories this past week.

On Thursday, Sept. 13, junior forward Kiki Christofori – who is better known for her two-point baskets – struck for a second-half brace as the Marauders defeated Melrose, 2-0. Christofori first strike was from nearly 20 meters from goal into the top of the goal with a second powered past the goalie.

Earlier in the week, Belmont got a late scare from a tough and talented Stoneham High team – a 13 win sectional semifinalist last year – to sneak out of Harris Field with a 5-3 win. Sabrina Salls scored a brace including the final goal – a blast from more than 15 meters out – to give Belmont some breathing space after the Spartans scored twice in a seven-minute stretch late in the match to cut Belmont’s lead to 4-3.

Ally Landry wound up the night with three points: a goal – an unassisted strike with five minutes left in the first half to give Belmont a 2-1 margin after 40 minutes – and two assists. Marina Karalis scored the game-winner with 15 minutes remaining in the match while Jenna Thomas opened the scoring and closed it with a goal and an assist.

Long-time Belmont Head Coach Paul Graham said while the two late Stoneham goals were a result of not clearing the ball quickly or efficiently, Belmont score three of their goals off of set plays, either corners or free kicks.

The Marauders travel to Lexington on Wednesday before celebrating Soccer Night in Belmont on Saturday against a familiar foe, 3rd ranked Winchester.

Art Gallery Seeking … Art For Fall Show

Photo: An example of the art that will be in the show.

The Belmont Gallery of Art, located on the third floor of the Homer Building, is reaching out to local artists with a: Call for Art! Fall 2019.

The Gallery of Art’s fall exhibit, “ELEMENTAL”, will explore how the foundational elements of making art work together to create compelling visual images and narratives.

The exhibit will focus on the elements of shape, line, form, color, space and texture. The gallery is looking for both 2 and 3 dimensional representational and abstract art submissions.

Exhibit Opens Oct. 26 through Dec. 27.
Submissions Deadline Oct. 3

You can find more information on the BGA website:

Questions? Please send them to Rebecca Richards:

Unbeaten Belmont Field Hockey ‘Keepers Stand Tall In Tie With Ranked Lexington

Photo: (from left) Belmont’s Sajni Sheth-Voss, Emma Donahue, Kendall Whalen, Katie Guden and Meaghan Noone defending a penalty corner in Belmont’s 1-1 draw with Lexington.

With time running down in Saturday’s matinee against Lexington, Belmont High Field Hockey junior goalie Kendall Whalen was taken by surprise when what appeared to be a routine long clearing ball by a Minuteman defender turned out to be anything but ordinary.

Just before the ball was hit, a Lexington forward had drifted behind the Marauders’ defense. She took the clearance and had a clean breakaway with only Whalen between her and a go-ahead goal.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my god. It’s tied and I have to save this’,” Whalen said after the game.

Belmont’s Molly Dacey out battles a Lexington defender for the ball.

While only in her third game ever as a field hockey goalie, Whalen has a great deal of experience in net having come off an impressive 2019 lacrosse season keeping goal for Belmont, and one of the main reasons the Marauders nail down its first playoff appearance in seven years.

“[Lacrosse] really helped to understand where I need to be positioned and when to step up or when to hold back,” said Whalen.

So when the Minuteman player fired a low shot just to her left, Whalen had already reacted and got a boot on the ball to steer it wide of the net.

“I went for it, cut off her angle which rushed her shot which I cleared,” said Whalen who along with senior goalie Molly Calkin secured Belmont’s 1-1 “kiss your cousin” tie with the Minutemen (2-1-1) ranked 8th in the Boston Globe Top 20.

Belmont’s midfielder Mia Mueller.

The goaltending pairing – each plays a half in the games – has worked well for each, said Calkin a returning varsity player who stopped three inclose scoring changes with a new aggressive style.

“During practice, Kendall challenges me to play well and do stuff that I hadn’t done last year,” she said. “I think last year, I kind of lacked confidence that I should have had. This year, I’m taking a different approach and claim what’s mine in front of the net.”

Saturday’s game saw Belmont (2-0-1) never quite shifting its play into top gear as it showed against Stoneham and Melrose. For Belmont Head Coach Jessica Smith, the blame can be laid at the feet of the schedulers.

“Saturday games seems to take us all out of our routine. They don’t go to school, do their homework and prepare the same way. It’s like they’re not as focused as they are during the week,” said Smith.

After falling behind 1-0 on the first shot on Belmont’s net this season five minutes into the game, the Marauders slowly regained control of the offense thorugh the midfield led by senior co-captains Katie Guden and Emma Donahue while fellow senior Meaghan Noone who acted like a Hoover along the backline.

Belmont’s Katie Guden (14) shots towards Emma O’Donovan who redirected the ball into the net for the Marauders’ goal.

Belmont broke through with just under five minutes remaining in the opening half on a sweet combination of passes as sophomore Mia Mueller pushed the ball to Guden who sent a rocket towards junior Emma O’Donovan stationed in front of the goalie. O’Donovan redirected the airborne ball into the open left side of the net, scoring her fifth goal of the young season.

Belmont had its chances throughout the game including when a long strike outside the attacking circle hit the post and ricocheted towards a streaking O’Donovan who was just beaten out to the ball by the goalie. And it appeared that Belmont had scored a potential game winner with about six minutes remaining but an official did not allow play to continue after a minor infraction which the rules state but rather forced a restart nullifying what should have been O’Donovan’s second.

Ellie McLaughlin (16) and Emma O’Donovan bottle up Lexington all-star Katie Devine.

Belmont midfielders did a great job of bottling up Lexington’s star junior Katie Devine to prevent the league all-star from sending shots into the attacking zone while each of Belmont’s four sophomores – Molly Dacey, Ellie McLaughlin, Sajni Sheth-Voss and Mueller – played significant minutes with solid results.

“I’ll take a tie after the team played so poorly,” said Smith.

Belmont 2, Melrose 0

Earlier in the week, Belmont opened its home account with a solid 2-0 victory over Melrose on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

The scoring breakthrough came late in the first half off a penalty corner as McLaughlin gathered a rebound to the left of the goal and send a pass that snuck by to the right post where Noone stuffed the ball in. And fellow senior forward Nuritza Diarbakerly scored her first varsity goal with a tap in along the right post late in the second half.

Meaghan. Noone (22) scores the opening goal against Melrose.

“We definitely needed another goal so we had to be more confident because we didn’t want this to end in a tie,” said Diarbakerly.

Belmont will be on the road Tuesday, Sept. 17, against the current Middlesex League leaders Winchester (4-0-0) ranked 6th by the Globe before hosting Reading on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Harris Field.

West Nile Virus Found In Cambridge; Belmont Risk Factor Raised to ‘Moderate’


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has raised the risk of Belmont residents being infected by the West Nile Virus from “low” to “moderate” after a human case of the virus was confirmed in Cambridge on Thursday, Sept. 12, according to the Belmont Board of Health and Health Department.

In a press release dated Friday, Sept. 13, the Board of Health re-
ported that no mosquito samples in Belmont have tested positive for the other mosquito-borne infectious illness, Eastern Equine Encephalitis
virusBelmont remains at “low” risk for EEE.  

The West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. 

By taking a few, basic precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours – The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. 
  • Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.  Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin. Mosquito netting can be used on baby carriages for children for whom insect repellent is not appropriate.  
  • Drain Standing Water – Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water at least two times each week. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.  
  • Install or Repair Screens – Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors. The Health Department will continue to work with MDPH to monitor mosquito activity in the Town and the surrounding communities and make additional recommendations as deemed necessary.

Town Release Draft RFP For New Skating Rink Prior To Public Meeting

Photo: A sky view of the site where the new ice skating rink will be located.

In preparation of the Monday, Sept. 16 public meeting at the Beech Street Center at 7 p.m. to discuss a new ice skating rink on Concord Avenue, the town has released the draft request for proposal for the public/private project that residents (and possible bidders) can take a fine-tooth comb to.

A myriad of town departments – led by Town Administrator Patrice Garvin – got together after the School Committee gave its OK to build the new rink on school property with the plan of putting the project on a “fast track” where bids for the construction and operation of the building as well as a lease agreement and Town Meeting approval to transfer public land to a private entity and the lease of the land by the end of 2019.

And the town kept to that quick schedule as it expects to have the project, to be built on school department land to the west of Harris Field to be out to bid on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Highlights of the RFP – see the entire 87-page proposal here – include many of the objectives laid out by the school district and the town during the past four years a proposed building has been floated around town.

  • The facility will be at maximum one and a half sheets of ice with at least 300 spectator seats as well as skate rental, food concession and other amenities, “as appropriate for a high-quality skating facility.”
  • The hours of operation “may be expanded to the whole calendar year to be a year-round operation,” according to the draft RFP. “Ultimately, the hours of operation will be negotiated with the selected respondent.”
  • The facility will have 110 parking spaces – 90 for student use while school is in session and 20 spaces for daytime use by facility patrons.
  • The rink will accommodate four locker rooms: Junior Varsity and Varsity girls’ teams in two rooms with 35 lockers while boys’ JV and Varsity will have two rooms with 45 lockers. Visiting team boys and girls locker rooms will also be needed so that doubleheaders can be played. Both home and visiting locker rooms should include coaches’ offices, showers and storage cabinets.
  • The facility will also include a referee locker room (with showers and bathrooms), athletic training room (including ice machine and exam table), and wet area.
  • In spring and fall, the locker rooms will be used for sports (soccer, field hockey, football, lacrosse, rugby) played at Harris Field and the nearby fields.
  • In addition to the facility, three JV grass athletic fields (they can overlap) for baseball, softball, and soccer will need to be included on the site.
  • The project will undergo Design and Site Plan Review from the Planning Board which is anticipated to take between six to nine months.

Part of the public/private agreement will require the operator to set aside a good chunk of time for the high school hockey teams at no cost to the town or schools. For six days a week, Monday to Saturday, from Thanksgiving to mid-March, the teams will have four hours of continuous ice time from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The town’s Recreation Department will be a “priority user” enabling it to book the facility at a reduced rate for its programs including general skating, stick & puck, and figure skating.

The proposal includes a detailed traffic study which will lead any operator/builder in its parking and traffic plan.

While a very involved proposal, the town and schools will attempt to squeeze the process from initial bidding to final lease negotiation and selecting a builder within two months.

Sept. 25
Request for Proposal/Lease published in 
Central Register
Oct. 9
Pre-Bid Meeting and Site Visit
Oct. 30
Town receives proposals
Oct. 30 – Nov. 4Internal Working Group evaluates proposals
based on criteria identified within the Request for Proposal
Nov. 4
School Committee selects best proposal
Nov. 13
1. Town Meeting votes to lease Site to a private entity(s)
2. Town Meeting votes to amend Zoning By-
2/3s vote required for both actions.
Attendance at Town Meeting is required by the
selected respondent.
Nov. 26
School Committee award contract to the winning
Nov. 27 – Dec. 11School Committee negotiate a lease with selected

Belmont Field Hockey Finds Its ‘O’ffense in ‘OD’ As Marauders Stone Spartans

Photo: Emma O’Donovan after scoring for Belmont High School.

In the past year, it seemed that Belmont High junior Emma O’Donovan had spent more time on crutches than on the ice or the turf.

Injured last fall, the Marauder forward on this season’s field hockey squad missed the last half of the field hockey and all of the girls’ ice hockey season where she was expected to be a key in Belmont’s first line offense.

And this fall season, O’Donovan was wearing a boot on her foot during preseason.

“I missed two and a half seasons and I just wanted to get out there and just run,” said O’Donovan after the season opener with Stoneham on Friday, Sept. 6.

Belmont senior co-capt. Katie Guden.

And she did more than run; she scored a hat trick in the first 20 minutes and finished with four goals as the Marauders took it to host Stoneham, 10-0.

While she isn’t fully fit just yet – O’Donovan said it was hard playing games without the long-distance running done in the preseason – she said it was really good to get back with a lot of teammates “and get the game like intensity back up.”

O’Donovan was one of seven Marauders to get their names on the scoresheet (including sophomores Molly Dacey and Ellie McLaughlin) as Belmont was one-step ahead of the Spartans, despite the game being played on grass, the only location remaining without a turf field.

It was Belmont’s senior captains and returning Middlesex League all-stars Meaghan Noone and Emma Donahue on defense and midfielder Katie Guden (one goal and several assists) that dominate play at all corners of the pitch.

Junior Kendall Whalen and senior Molly Calkin each took a half in net to share the clean sheet.

Belmont High’s Olympia Kalavantis (left) vs. Stoneham

Belexit? Vote On A Return To Minuteman Tentatively Set For Special Town Meeting

Photo: Jim Gammell (left) and the Select Board discussing Belexit.

The United Kingdom is in the midst of a contentious Brexit debate while Belmont is about to enter into Belexit, its own passionate dialogue on whether to return as a member or make a final, clean break with Minuteman Regional Tech.

The Belmont Select Board unanimously voted Monday night, Sept. 9 to tentatively place an article on the upcoming Special Town Meeting in early November to recind leaving as a member town in the Minuteman Career and Technical High School district.

“This will be a very big debate in town but enough has changed that it warrants Town Meeting action,” said Select Board’s Chair Tom Caputo.

The possible reinstatement of Belmont in the nine-member district which runs the public vocational high school located in Lexington comes three years after Belmont voted to leave the district in a dispute over the construction of a new school building.

But just getting to a vote will depend on two major obstacles:

  • The current member communities will need to put away their hard feelings after Belmont left them to pay for the building and unanimously approve its return.
  • Is Belmont prepared, or can afford, to hand over a one-time buy-back fee of $472,000 on top of paying the annual tuition assessment of approximately $255,000 in the 2020 school year.

“We might not even get the chance to bring this to Town Meeting if these issues block it,” said Select Board’s Adam Dash. The Select Board will be holding a public meeting on the article in the coming weeks.

It was a long and bitter fight in Belmont and with the Minuteman leadership on the town’s continued membership in the district. In May 2016, Town Meeting voted 141-81 not to approve a $144 million bond issuance plan for the construction of a new Minuteman High School building.

“[T]his is the wrong school at the wrong time,” said Mark Paolillo, who spoke against the plan which would have saddled Belmont with an annual bill of $350,000 to $500,000 to pay for its portion of the school’s debt.

But times have changed, according to Jim Gammill, who is Belmont’s representative on the Minuteman School Board (this is the final year Belmont will have representation on the board) who has been working with the Belmont School District on determining the benefits and likely return to the vocational school as a member.

The new school – which opened last year – is experiencing a spike in enrollment from member and non-member communities which could put in doubt if all Belmont students could be accommodated if upward trends continue. Non-membership would mean Belmont residents would only be able to attend the school if any of the 630 seats are not taken by member town students.

Gammill said if the upward swing continues, within two years, a small number of Belmont students will be left out in the cold of the fully enrolled school.

“Is it worth taking that risk?” said Gammill.