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Manchester's $12 Million (Referendum) Question

Voters will decide more than just who sits on the Board of Directors and Board of Education this Election Day.

You might have heard something about . It’s Nov. 8, and in Manchester will decide the make up of the Board of Directors and Board of Education, as well as who will serve as the town’s Mayor.

But there’s another question on the ballot that many residents might not be as familiar with, and could impact residents just as much if not more so than their choice of candidates.

It’s a referendum question that carries a price tag of $12 million and asks voters a simple Yes or No question:

“Shall the town appropriate $12,000,000 to plan and construct road, sidewalk, Spring Street Bridge and drainage improvements, including Edgerton Street drainage, and to construct the major components necessary to extend Center Springs Park to and provide road and pedestrian connections between, the Park and Broad Street Redevelopment Area, and for debt administration, to be financed by the issuance of general obligation bonds and notes of the town?”

In short, the town is asking residents to either approve bonding of $12 million, which would be paid back over a 20 year period, for road, bridge, sidewalks and infrastructure renovations, or to not approve the money, which could strain many of the town’s already taxed road surfaces and crumbling sidewalks, as well as throw a potential wrench in of town.

“If the voters approve the referendum, then we’ll move forward with all of the projects,” said General Manager Scott Shanley. “…If not, then we don’t have any money to do all that work.”

Broken down into individual projects (the referendum question lumps them all together into an up or down vote), the projects and their cost to taxpayers would be as follows:

Road Paving and Improvements Including Drainage – $8,820,000. The money would be used to fund roadway improvements, milling, drainage improvements and repaving of approximately 20 lane miles of town roads.

Sidewalk Replacements, Extensions, Removals - $1,000,000. The money would be used to fund approximately three miles of sidewalk replacement in town.

Spring Street Bridge Repair - $600,000. The money would be used to fund .

Center Spring Park Connection to Broad Street - $825,000. The money would be used to fund “major components” of the vehicular and pedestrian area of town.

Edgerton Street Culvert Improvements - $675,000. The money would fund repairs to the Edgerton Street Culvert.

Debt Administration - $80,000. The cost of issuing the bonds. 

Based on the 2010 grand list, if approved the bonding would add $32 to the tax bills of the median residential home owner with an assessed property value of $137,800.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. The town’s full election ballot can be viewed here.

M. Troy October 28, 2011 at 10:05 PM
Okay I may be the first to say anything but this is what I think is wrong. I do not oppose the money and where its going but I believe the people in Manchester should know a little sooner than a month to make these decisions. I may be wrong but I believe that the taxpayers in Manchester would like more than a month. You can slap our wrist for not keeping up in the papers about these things but I believe many of us don't. A great turnout at the polls will prove me wrong but that is why I am posting the things that I think people would like to see. I would also love to see more posts questioning things and I think Manchester Patch is perfect. But we have to get all this info to our citizens of Manchester.

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