Selectmen vote 'yes' for roadwork ballot question

By Tanner Harding | Mar 06, 2017

Rochester — A one million dollar roadwork project will be included as a ballot question at the town election in April.

At the Feb. 27 meeting Highway Surveyor Jeff Eldridge asked the town for one million dollars to repair and resurface High Street and a portion of Hartley Road. To fund the project, the money would come from a debt exclusion – a temporary property tax increase to fund the road work that would see the average resident pay about an additional $40 on property taxes for 15 years.

Resident David Eckert asked the board if it would be possible for the language on the ballot to reflect the cost to each individual resident instead of just presenting the project and overall cost. However, both Chair Naida Parker and Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar said that the state doesn’t allow numbers like that to be used.

“The ballot questions have a set format,” Szyndlar said. “It’s pretty strict about what’s allowed.”

Parker added that any residents looking for more information can attend the candidates night at the Council on Aging, where Eldridge will be present to talk more about the project and its costs. The date for that event has not been published.

The Selectmen voted 2-1 to include the question on the ballot. The sole opposition was from Richard Nunes, who said he doesn't believe the residents can support an increase in property tax.

In other news:

The Rochester Police Department was awarded a $2,000 Child Passenger Safety Equipment Grant. The money will go toward purchasing car seats so the department can continue its program of assisting parents with car seat purchases and proper installation.

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