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Voters approve tax increase
to pay for Wampatuck upgrades

Posted by dinouye  June 19, 2010 08:58 PM

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By Molly A. K. Connors, Town correspondent

Scituate residents voted Saturday to approve a $2.33 million measure to renovate Wampatuckcq Elementary School, a move officials say will cost each household an average of $435 over 20 years.

Of the town’s approximately 13,300 registered voters, 439 voted to approve the measure while 187 opposed it. The total turnout was hundreds more than the annual town meeting in May, which attracted roughly 350 of the town’s voters.

The renovations to Wampatuck, which officials say was built in 1957, would include a new boiler, updated fire and electrical systems, a new heating system, and roof repairs.

School officials said they applied for state funding for the project from the Massachusetts School Building Authority in 2008.

The overall cost of the project is expected to be about $3.4 million over 20 years, including $1.1 million in interest payments on the borrowing, which carries a 4.5 percent interest rate.

Officials say they expect the project to cost each homeowner an average of $22 per year, based on Scituate’s average single-home value of about $505,800. Roughly 40 percent of the project would be reimbursed by the state.

Under the state law Proposition 2 1/2, towns cannot increase overall property tax revenue by more than 2.5 percent a year unless voters approve the measure at town meeting and an election.

Scituate took the first step to approve the debt exclusion at a special Town Meeting in April.

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