Capital improvement bonds set for November vote
Rockport — Rockport residents will vote in November on two bonds designed to make repairs and improvements to infrastructure and the town's opera house.
At the last Select Board meeting held July 14, members voted unanimously to move forward with two separate bonds — one to improve town-owned facilities and right of ways — the other to give needed attention one of the towns most iconic buildings.
Select Board Chairman William Chapman explained there had to be at least two bonds, as the opera house had to be done separate due to the fact that it is not considered an income generator for the town.
Town Manager Richard Bates said he feels that each project needs to completed because if they are put off any longer it would be hard telling if the cost would not increase dramatically.
“All of the items are major projects that have long term impact, I am not sure if any one can be described as a priority, it depends on who you ask,” Bates said. “If you ask the Opera House Committee they would say the opera house is top priority, if you ask the firefighters the West Rockport station is top priority. The Mill Street bridge would likely not be on anyone's priority list, until it becomes so unsafe and it has to be closed.”
The tax-exempt bond covering repairs in infrastructure includes repairing the roof of the public works garage, repair of the roof, electrical upgrades and expansion of the bay at West Rockport Fire Station, provide an engineering study and replacement of the Mill Street bridge and perform engineering work and repair to the base of the road on Mt. Pleasant Road. Also included on this list is repair to the high sidewalk on Pascal Avenue, road reconstruction on Summer Street and drainage and road reconstruction on School Street.
The taxable bond covers some needed repairs to the opera house, including a new roof, replacement of windows, exterior painting and painting and replacement of trim.
The total amount of the tax-exempt bond is $1,397,750, while the taxable bond will cover the $350,000 to repair the opera house. The total amount going to the voters this Nov. 4 is $1,747,750.
Courier Publications reporter Dwight Collins can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at email@example.com.