From the Boston Globe
COMMUNITY SNAPSHOT
Merrimac

October 3, 2004

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Merrimack Town Hall


9 Locust Grove Road, a four-bedroom, 3.5 bath custom home, is listed at $999,000. (Globe photos)

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Miles from Boston: 45
Population: 6,138
Median house price: $377,450
Tax rate: $11.02
Transportation: Interstate 495, Route 110; member, Merrimac Valley Regional Transportation Authority
Best things: Small community atmosphere; proximity to New Hampshire
Worst things: Distance from Boston
MCAS: Pentucket Regional School District's students ranked 70th out of 373 school districts statewide in the 2004 MCAS tests, according to a Globe analysis. Sharing that rank were Rochester, Marshfield, and Up-Island Regional School District in Tisbury.
Census facts: Median family income is $69,188, vs. national rate of $50,046; 31 percent of residents hold bachelor's degree or higher, vs. national rate of 24 percent.
Website: www.merrimac01860.info
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MERRIMAC -- If you do move here, you can say goodbye to city life.

Or so says Adrienne Dell.

"You get off the [I-495] highway and you know you've hit the country," said Dell, a real estate agent with Re/Max Village Properties in Boxford. "If you don't want a quiet community, if you are used to a city-type atmosphere where you can go to a fast-food restaurant or you have a video store available to you, then Merrimac is not going to be appealing to you."

Interstate 495 bisects the southern corner of the town and provides an interstate highway connection to Boston via 93 and 95. Immediately to the north is New Hampshire and its sales tax-free shopping environment.

This year, the community marked two major milestones: the rededication of its renovated 128-year-old Town Hall and the opening of its new $4 million library. Last December, the town hired its first full-time administrator to oversee the growing community's government operations.

Dell says that she tells prospective buyers to take notice of the Pentucket Regional School system's MCAS performance. Dell said she touts the quality of the schools in concert with the affordability factor.

"Merrimac is the type of town that allows for affordable housing for someone who is trying to get their child into a good school system," said Dell, who is currently listing the most expensive house for sale in town -- just under $1 million. "This is a great option for a single parent."

On Realtor.com on a recent week, single-family homes ranged from $219,000 for a one-bedroom, one-bath, 900-square-foot home, to $999,000 for a 4,430-square-foot home with four bedrooms, 3 baths, and dock access rights to the Merrimack River.

This town also features mobile homes, with one listed last week for $45,000 for a three-bed, one-bath, 873-square-foot home. The median price for a single-family home through the first half of this year was $377,000, according to The Warren Group, which publishes real estate information.

"It's a very small, sleepy town -- though it's close to everything," said Dell.

JOHN ELLEMENT




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