Easthampton voters to decide on proposed $109M school - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Easthampton voters to decide on proposed $109M school

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Easthampton voters will  to make their voices heard on Tuesday regarding the future of the community’s schools.

Voters will decide whether to approve a debt exclusion that would partially fund a proposed $109 million school in order to consolidate the elementary and middle schools.

The vote could have a major impact on property taxes. 
Officials said the town’s portion of the project will be around $60 million.

Close to $50 million would be reimbursed by the Massachusetts School Building Authority. 
Opponents worry about its impact on property taxes, while those for the question say a new school is a necessity.
"I think its a great idea. Easthampton children deserve a good safe school and intergrating them makes sense," said Kerry Garvey.
The proposal would build a new facility combining three elementary schools, and the middle school next to the White Brook Middle School that was built in 1974.
"I think the old elementary school in town passed their prime and the middle school and White Brook has the issues," said Justin Eichenlaub
Those against the proposal worry that the increase in taxes would be too high, especially for seniors on a fixed income.

Officials said that the taxpayers would see an increase of $2.98 to $3.84 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The average home in Easthampton is assessed at $228,400, that could mean an increase of around $650 to $877 in taxes. 

Those for the question feel the new school would worth it in the long haul.
"Good for the town save money for the long run and good to have a better educational facility in town, Eichenlau noted. 
If you’re an Easthampton resident and would like to vote, polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Stay with Western Mass News on-air and online on Tuesday for those results.

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