Duxbury: Town meeting voters approve police, fire and school building funding

Duxbury residents approved three important warrant articles at their special and annual town meeting on Saturday.

A crowd of nearly 1,000 people turned out for a 10-hour long town meeting to vote in favor of three major articles. The first appropriates $3.7 million dollars to renovate the fire station, the second, $6,275,000 to build a new police station on Mayflower Street and the third, $2.9 million dollars for a schematic design for a new co-located middle high school at the site of current middle school.

The total cost of the school project is estimated at $130 million. Duxbury would pay $73 million and receive a 43% reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The school would be built under the state’s model school program. School superintendent Dr. Ben Tantillo addressed the audience about the deteriorating conditions of the current school buildings.

Dr. Tantillo said, “We have roof leaks. Anyone that has students in the building or toured the buildings has seen the stains from the leaks. The lighting is below capacity for the state candlelight. All these things are quite frankly hindering our conditions for education.”

Will Zachman doesn’t favor the article and got a chilly reception from the crowd after voicing an opinion about new schools and property values.

“The argument has been made that building new schools increases property values. Well, guess what? Research shows that there’s no correlation between property values and building schools,” said Zachman.

All three articles are subject to a debt exclusion ballot election Saturday, March 26.

Duxbury annual town meeting resumes Monday, 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center.

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About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.