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School projects on warrant

November 13, 2011

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Local officials estimate construction at three elementary schools could add a total of $288 to property tax bills on the average home in town in the 2014 fiscal year. The tax increase would be for renovations at the Bridge and Bowman schools, and the construction of a new Estabrook Elementary School, but the projects must first be approved by Town Meeting, and then by voters in a townwide election. About $132 of the tax increase would be for $22 million in renovations at the Bridge and Bowman schools, and $156 of the tax increase would be for Estabrook’s replacement building, which is expected to cost $37.5 million, said Superintendent Paul Ash. Combined, the projects would raise property taxes by $288 on a home worth $599,000 during the 2014 fiscal year. The tax increase would diminish each subsequent year as the town pays off the debt for the projects in 20 years, said the town’s finance director, Robert Addelson. Special Town Meeting will vote on the Bridge and Bowman projects tomorrow night; if the plans are approved, they would be go before voters in January. The Estabrook project would be considered after the special election. Construction on the schools would begin during the last half of next year, but Addelson said the tax increases wouldn’t be felt until the following fiscal year because of the way the town plans to borrow money for the projects. - Brock Parker