ROCKPORT — The town has finalized a payment plan for its proposed new Public Works facility.

Selectmen voted last week to comply with Treasurer/Collector Carrie Arnaud's recommended financial plan — borrowing an equal declining principal of $11.35 million, the budget for the project, over the course of 20 years.

Through this plan, all residents are to expect an initial 4.7% increase on their property tax via an override of tax-limiting Proposition 2 1/2. After two years, the rate will begin to decrease.

Registered voters attending Town Meeting on Sept. 9 will be asked to approve the Proposition 2 1/2 override. If passed, voters will be asked to allow the project to start at Town Election on Oct. 15. 

This plan is contingent on a $900,000 allocation to the project's budget from town's real estate funds. The town plans on earning the money back by selling four of its residential properties. The location of these parcels have not been released to the public.

Before the vote was cast, selectmen received input from members of Building Study Committee, the Finance Committee and the Board of DPW Commissioners, all of whom were in attendance. 

While addressing attendees, June Michaels of the Finance Committee said this course of action was chosen because it has the least impact on taxpayers. 

The DPW facility project  previously went to voters in 2016. Back then, the price tag for it was $9 million. After an extensive review from the Building Study Committee, it was determined the 2016 proposal is still the town's best option for a new facility.

The facility in use was built in 1956 and officials say it has been showing its age for a while – it's been a concern for the past 20 years. Town officials say the DPW presents a safety hazard to workers and is liable to cause damage to the department's expensive service vehicles.

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.