GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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September 7, 2013

Contract money, CPA choices confront Rockport voters

ROCKPORT — Town voters are set to take up 15 articles Monday at the annual Fall Town Meeting, including funding requests to support new union contracts, proposals to back seawall and storm repairs, and the acceptance of a gift of South Street land.

Article C will ask voters for $20,237 to fund costs in a collective bargaining agreement between the town and the local municipal workers union. Also in the article is an allocation of $8,977 to fund a contract for supervisors union and $3,433 for the local police unions’ pacts.

Town Administrator Linda Sanders said those amounts are to pay increases in the contracts. The funds will be funneled right into the town accounts for fiscal 2014, which began in July of this year and runs until next June.

Police officers are also seeking $96,000 to pay three emergency dispatchers.

Voters Monday will also be poised about several articles dealing with repairs causes by the Blizzard of 2013.

Article G will allocate $800,000 to repair the Pigeon Cove inner and outer seawalls, and it comes with two possible outcomes.

The first provision asks to borrow the funds, the principal and interest on the borrowed money would be paid through the tax levy.

If that does not gain voter approval, the second motion would ask voters to approve at referendum a debt exclusion override of Proposition 2 1/2. If that were the case, property taxes would go up accordingly. For example, a home assessed at $475,000 would see an annual increase of about $132.

”A good amount of that money would be reimbursable,” Joe Parisi, director of the Department of Public Works said.

Another article asks to essentially combine two previous accounts to repair White Wharf into one fund.

The funds have different stipulations of what can be spent on design and construction.

Article I asks voters to spend $56,025 for the smaller projects caused by storms around town; areas affected were Bearskin Neck, Marmion Way at Gap Cove, Back Beach and Granite Pier.

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