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Town Meeting News

Please read the note below sent from Kathy Joyce our representative to the Scituate Coastal Coalition regarding issues discussed at their last meeting.

Hi All,

The Scituate Public Facilities Master Plan is now available on line. We strongly suggest that you go to the link at the bottom of this e-mail to review the plan.

Votes on the plan will take place at Scituate High School on December 3 and January 10.The first vote on December 3 will be asking to approve overrides for a new fire/police station and a new middle school. The override questions require a 2/3 vote. If those questions pass, an election will be held on January 10 for final approval. The vote on January 10 only requires a majority vote. To be clear there will be separate votes for each project

. In addition to these two projects, the town is also advocating to move town hall to the Gates School if a new middle school is approved. The town has already voted to expand the library. The total of all these projects is $102.3 million after reimbursement from the state for the school.

The total impact on real estate taxes of all of these projects is a $965 increase on the average tax bill. That is based on a home currently assessed for $480,000. If your house is assessed for less, the tax impact will be slightly less, if it is more, you will pay more than $965. You also need to know that the town has already approved a $22 million water line improvement project. Although that work is not part of your real estate tax, there will be higher water bills for the foreseeable future.

Other issues: The town Capital Plan out to 2020 (essentially a list of things the town says it wants/needs) is extensive---probably in excess of $50 million. *What is concerning to us is the town is only calling for $500,000 per year for seawall/foreshore protection repairs in the Capital Plan. That amount will not come close to addressing the problem. As we predicted last year, seawalls are now in worse condition than a year ago. Suggestions that we gave to the town how to help fund seawall repairs last year such as the solar array revenues, wind turbine revenues, and the local meals tax were ignored. Now those very suggestions are being used by the town to help fund these other projects. **It is a very discouraging situation.* *

FINAL ISSUE---FLOOD INSURANCE: FEMA has told the town a decision on the Flood Map Appeal will come by next April 1. No one knows how this will play out. It is not possible to tell what the impact will be on flood insurance premium costs at this time. What we do know is that if the map appeal fails, an additional 500+ homes will be put into a Special Flood Hazard Area and will have to start paying for flood insurance if there is a mortgage on the property. If the map appeal fails, it can be assumed that property values will drop and property sales will be very negatively affected. Also please keep in mind that the whole flood insurance issue is not solved. The program comes up for renewal in 2017. Even now non primary residents and businesses will pay about 25% more each year until they get to FEMA’s actuarial rates.*

As you can see, there are big decisions regarding real estate taxes that everyone will have to make soon. We are providing you with information to help you make a decision that makes sense to you.

Dave Ball Michelle Moran

Scituate Master Plan

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead


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