By Carol Britton Meyer
Voters will make two important decisions at the Nov. 1 Special Town Meeting and at next year's Annual Town Meeting related to a potential $139.6 million debt exclusion to pay for a proposed new Foster School and public safety facility and an anticipated Fiscal 2024 $4.9 million operating override, respectively.
A debt exclusion is a temporary funding measure, while an override becomes part of the permanent tax base.
The decision of whether to fully fund the two projects through a debt exclusion rests with voters at this Fall's STM and the outcome of a Nov. 8 ballot vote.
A tax impact calculator will be available at a later date, which will provide taxpayers with information about how the passage of these two warrant articles would affect their tax bills.
"We realize that [approval of these two projects] would represent a significant tax increase, with many approaches to help mitigate the impacts," Town Administrator Tom Mayo said recently.
These include potential property tax exemption and relief opportunities for qualifying residents.
The next steps include finalizing the permitting for the Foster School and public safety facility projects; continued efforts to cut costs; Select Board and AdCom warrant article votes, and an October "media blitz" to educate residents about the two proposed projects and related information.