BRIDGEWATER — Town Manager Michael Dutton and the Fire Station Building Committee would like to share with community members an update on the debt calculation for the proposed new fire station.
The town’s Finance Department has calculated the initial cost to taxpayers at 42 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. This cost would decline gradually over the life of the bond, which is projected to be paid off over a period of 25 years.
The project would be funded via a debt exclusion, which permits the town to take on debt to pursue capital projects while temporarily increasing the tax rate. Once the debt service on the project is complete, the tax rate decreases. Voters will be asked whether they approve the debt exclusion on the ballot at the town election on Saturday, April 23.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Mitchell at the Middle School, 166 Mt. Prospect St.
In 2019, Bridgewater voters approved a debt exclusion to fund the construction of the new Mitchell School, which was estimated at the time to cost $1.20 per $1,000 of assessed value. However, due to favorable interest rates and final costs that were lower than anticipated, the real cost turned out to be less than 70 cents per $1,000.
As a result, should voters approve the proposed fire station project, the total cost to taxpayers will ultimately be lower than initially anticipated for the Mitchell School alone.
Community members may calculate their individual costs by clicking here.
About the Project:
The Bridgewater Fire Headquarters, located at 22 School St., has stood since the late 1850s. Today, the fire station serves as headquarters and accommodates over 50 personnel. In 2019, an ad hoc committee was convened to review the existing station, determine the needs of a modern department, find a potential new station location, and determine how the town can best address the existing station’s deficiencies.
A new station is proposed to be built at 1185 Pleasant St. This location is approximately 2.7 miles from the existing headquarters station and provides better, more accessible fire and EMS coverage for the western area of Bridgewater.
Voters will be asked to approve a $23 million debt exclusion to fund fire facilities projects at the 2022 Annual Town Election on Saturday, April 23. Approximately $2 million of this funding would go toward mechanical and other necessary upgrades at Station 2 (Prattown), which was built in 2000.
For additional information, visit the town’s New Fire Headquarters website.