ANDOVER — Voters will get a chance to either solidify or change their votes from Town Meeting to build the new West Elementary and Shawsheen Preschool, as well as decide if the town should borrow money to pay off town's unfunded pension liability.
Residents overwhelmingly approved both on Saturday, reaching more than the two-thirds necessary in-person vote. Now voters must re-affirm their votes at the ballot box with more than 50% approval for both projects to move forward.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday for the special election.
The West Elementary project will cost Andover taxpayers $152 million if approved. The state has promised $38 million for the project that will combine the preschool and elementary school into one, if approved.
The vote to approve paying off the unfunded pension liability will likely cost about $175 million according to current projections, Town Manager Andrew Flanagan said at Town Meeting. The final amount the town will borrow will be confirmed and voted on by the Select Board, he said.
The town is taking advantage of extremely low interest rates to finance funding the expected $346 million gap in the town's pension fund, which needs to be completely funded by 2040, Flanagan said. Borrowing at the low interest rate allows the town to manage payments better, because otherwise escalating payments to fund the town's pension system would cause impacts to other town services, he said.
Residents can search for their voting precinct by visiting: sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema.