Seekonk voters to decide tax hike to pay for refurbished fire station

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 Seekonk voters to decide tax hike to pay for refurbished fire station

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terrybohax
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20090415
PostSeekonk voters to decide tax hike to pay for refurbished fire station

Seekonk voters to decide tax hike to pay for refurbished fire station
BY JOSEPH S. SIEGEL FOR THE SUN CHRONICLEWednesday, April 15, 2009 2:20 AM EDT

Project, which would memoralize firefighter, to cost $750,000
SEEKONK - Plans are proceeding for refurbishing the Banna Memorial Fire Station, and the board of selectmen approved a town warrant article calling for a temporary tax increase to pay for the project.

If a debt exclusion were approved at May's town meeting, the issue then would go before the voters on a ballot.

Gary Sagar, a contractor who is working with Fire Chief Alan Jack and Police Chief Ron Charron on the project, told selectmen that the project would cost $750,000. Sagar is hoping to use federal grants to pay for the renovation of the station, named for deceased firefighter Richard C. Banna.

He told selectmen that residents who live close to the Banna station support the project.

"They really want to see this happen," Sagar said. The refurbished station will include an office for the police department and community meeting space.

Sagar, Jack, and Charron will present their plans before the planning and zoning boards later this month.

Selectmen offered enthusiastic support for the project.

"We need to get this done," Selectman Michael Brady said.

Jack told selectmen on Monday that the Banna station is now staffed by two firefighters on weekdays in an effort to provide coverage to the North End.

"We're doing what we can to keep the station up," Jack said.

Selectmen applauded Jack's efforts, noting they also were planning to provide a satellite fire station for the South End.
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Seekonk voters to decide tax hike to pay for refurbished fire station :: Comments

Will this $750,000 be part of the $3.5million the BOS was directed to bring to the voters at the polls. As I recall, the figure was arrived at by the BOS and was to renovate multiple town facilities as part of a debt exclusion.
So I will pose the question to whomever has the knowledge to answer.

If the voters approve a 750K debt exclusion, and the town gets a grant for 750K after we have already approved the debt exclusion. Do the taxpayers still get taxed on the 750K?
mkreyssig wrote:
So I will pose the question to whomever has the knowledge to answer.

If the voters approve a 750K debt exclusion, and the town gets a grant for 750K after we have already approved the debt exclusion. Do the taxpayers still get taxed on the 750K?

money will not be borrowed if grants come and yea the750 was part of the larger amount they were looking at to fund before the bonds run out`.
Dave;

I am trying not to be cynical and would never suggest you would do this - but. As I understand the process, OTM would approve a warrant for $750k to come from raise and appropriate but conditional on a Debt Exclusion. This wording is usually fairly general - like upgrade, renevote, etc. though there may be extensive discussion. Next - the voters approve the debt exclusion and there can be no $ amount on the ballot. - it is limited by what is approved at OTM. After that the town is 'authorized' to spend the money on for the general purpose on the warrant.

Now - if we get a grant for $750k, is there anything to prevent the project from growing to $1.5mm with $750k provided by the grant?
I had a conversation with a selectman from Middleboro today who is also a close friend and I was discussing this issue with him. He explained that the it is all contingent on the wording of the warrent article.

If the article only states that "the town shall raise a sum of money not to exceed 750K for the purpose of renovating building x" than there is nothing preventing them from taking any grant money and increasing the cost of the project instead of giving it back to the taxpayers.

The article has to specifically state that any grant money, additional funding source etc will be applied to paying down the 750K.
BTW....It's not that I don't support this station because I think we need better coverage for the north and south ends of town. But it does annoy the heck out of me when we are told that the Town is seeking grant money to help cover the cost implying that the worst case is 750K, if it's not....
 

Seekonk voters to decide tax hike to pay for refurbished fire station

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