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Salem to decide on bridge, road reconstruction

SALEM - Voters at the March 12 polls will have their say on a variety of town and school warrant articles next week, including a $1.9 million bond item for bridge reconstruction, a $5.3 million road reconstruction program and a $37.4 million municipal operating budget.

Article 6 on the town warrant, a $1,189,909 bond item for the reconstruction of the bridges at Bluff Street and Providence Hill Road, would have zero impact on tax rates next year, with possible funding coming from state aid and other revenues.

Article 7, a $5,336,899 item for the improvement, reconstruction, maintenance and engineering of local roadways, would have a tax impact of $1.20 per thousand dollars of assessed property value.

Article 8, the proposed $37,482,302 municipal budget, would have a $5.64 per thousand impact on residents' property taxes.

Article 14 calls for funds from the proposed sale of the former Mary Foss School on Lawrence Road to go toward reducing the residential property tax rate.

On the school side, voters will decide the fate of Article 2, which proposes spending $16,205,213 for additions to Fisk and Soule schools, and renovations at Haigh School, including a fire safety sprinkler system, security upgrades and improved lighting.

The bonded article requires a three-fifths vote to pass.

Due to available funds, the item would have zero tax impact in the coming year.

Article 4, the district's proposed $62,247,816 operating budget, represents a 1.43 percent increase.

According to Superintendent Michael Delahanty, the end result would be a school tax rate of $17.08 per thousand next year.

Article 6, a petitioned item, asks voters to approve spending $679,800 to build a new multi-purpose room at Soule Elementary School. This article is contingent upon the passage of Article 2.

The passage of all school articles would increase the tax rate by 38 cents per thousand dollars, a 3 percent increase on the school tax rate. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with District 1 voters going to Fisk School, District 3 voters going to the Ingram Senior Center, District 5 voters going to Lancaster School and District 6 voters going to North Salem School.

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