Salem voters approve high school renovations
SALEM – Voters easily approved a nearly $75 million high school renovation project on Tuesday.
The project passed by a vote of 4,109 to 1,557.
The school district asked voters to bond just under $75 million for an extensive renovation project to Salem High School.
About $11 million for the renovation of the high school's career and technical education center will be paid for with state funds. The remainder of the project will be funded through a series of bonds.
At the height of the bond issues, there will be a little more than $300 per year on the average homeowner's property tax rate, according to Superintendent Michael Delahanty.
Also on the school ballot, voters approved a school district operating budget for the year of of $62,539,328, which is less than the current year's approved budget of $63,508,328.
The proposed budget will result in a 33 cent, or 2.66 percent, decrease in the property tax rate, according to School Board member Michael Carney.
Voters will also be asked to approve a new two-year teachers' contract, as well as several other union bargaining agreements.
The teachers' contract has no wage increase other than step increases in the first year, and a one-percent wage increase in the second year.
On the municipal side of the ballot, incumbent selectmen Stephen Campbell and Michael Lyons were re-elected, holding off a challenge from local businessman Michael Petrilli.
Lyons received 3,024 votes, Campbell 2,820 votes, and Petrilli 2,287 votes.
Voters also approved the town's operating budget of $40,362,397 and a $4.5 million road improvement project.
Several zoning amendments were also approved, including one that would amend the Depot Overlay District to allow for conditional use permits to help with development and one that would rezone part of the police station parcel to make it easier to develop or sell that land if the town ever moves forward with a new public safety complex.
Another amendment would allow for temporary signs for festivals, craft fairs, and similar activities to be placed on private property with various restrictions.