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Merrimack voters to consider funding for new highway garage
Local residents are being encouraged to tour the Public Works Department garage from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday to see first-hand the current building conditions.
The garage, housed at 80 Turkey Hill Rd., was built in 1973, but was modified in the mid-80s, according to Jacobs. Including a mezzanine and welding bay, the highway facility is nearly 11,500 square feet.
Last year, a professional design firm was hired to inspect the space and complete a needs assessment. Its recommendation was for a new, 55,000 square foot garage at a cost of nearly $9 million.
A major project of that scale would not be feasible in Merrimack, according to Jacobs, who said a committee was then formed to study the matter further and establish more reasonable cost projections. The committee eventually recommended a smaller building of about 14,000 square feet at a price-tag of about $2.8 million.
About 27 employees work at the site, which is used to maintain more than 100 town vehicles for the police department, fire department, community development, public works and parks and recreation.
Stan Heinrich, a local resident, said he agreed there is a need for a new garage, but suggested a shorter bond term to save on interest costs.
Finance Director Paul Micali echoed those sentiments, explaining the town currently has a bond that will be paid in three years. The newly proposed bond -- if approved by voters -- would essentially carry out that bond for an extra 22 years without any tax increase to local residents.
Election Day is April 8 in Merrimack. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at James Mastricola Upper Elementary School, 26 Baboosic Lake Road.
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