December 22, 2009

Westport taxpayers reject school bond


WESTPORT — Taxpayers here turned down a school bond Tuesday, seeking up to $500,000 for a backup generator, new security entrance and resurfaced tennis courts.

As proposed, the project would have provided a secondary power supply allowing the school to be used as an emergency shelter for town residents.

District Clerk Jana Atwell said the voter turnout was above average. Out of a total 406 votes, 165 taxpayers voted in favor of the project and 239 voted against it, along with one void and one blank ballot.

The capital project plan will be likely be brought up at the next regular board meeting Jan. 14, Atwell said.

Voters also gave Thomas D. Kohler the open seat on the Westport School Board by a count of 221 votes. Ulrich V. Hoffmann received 168 votes.

The two candidates sought election for an interim term until June 30, 2011. The seat was vacated by the resignation of board member Kathleen carterMartinez.

The capital building project sought $186,496 to be raised by taxes to purchase and install an emergency power generator system, construct a new foyer security entrance, add electric card access controls to school entrances and to resurface the school's tennis courts.

State building aid would have covered 65.3 percent — $400,435 — of the project with another $81,396 in EXCEL monies.

School officials and the School Board calculate the impact on the school tax rate would have added three cents per $1,000 of real property value for the period of the loan, which would be 15 years.

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