EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 6, 2013

$895,000 sought for Pelham Town Hall

By John Toole

---- — PELHAM — An $895,000 Town Hall renovation is on its way to voters.

The project, if approved at Town Meeting on March 12, would provide offices for the relocating School Administrative Unit 28 staff.

Windham’s decision to leave the SAU is forcing Pelham to find a place in their town for school administrators.

School Board member Andy Ducharme told voters at deliberative session last night it was a better option than renting office space.

Officials looked at several options, he said. “We believe this is the best one for the town.”

Plans call for school officials to pay rent to the town to cover the cost of the five-year bond issue.

About 60 of the town’s nearly 8,300 voters attended the deliberative session, which lasted about two hours.

Also bound for voters is a $13 million town budget, a $175,000 engineering study for replacing the Willow Street Bridge and a proposed property tax break for disabled residents that came through a citizen petition.

Voters also will be asked to put $75,000 into a capital reserve fund to build a garage for highway vehicles in the future.

“We’ve talked about this as long as, I want to say, 10 to 12 years,” Town Administrator Tom Gaydos said.

The garage would protect town equipment and be simple, modest construction. “Nothing fancy,” Gaydos said.

Voters return to Town Hall tonight at 7 p.m. for the school deliberative session, where they will discuss a $1.7 million kindergarten project.