Tuesday night, Norwell Selectmen held their last meeting before the big vote on Saturday to approve a $2.8 million Proposition 2 1/2 override.
If the override passes, the average Norwell homeowner’s tax bill will permanently increase by $500, but the school’s budget deficit will be filled and a Human Resource Director will be hired.
But Selectman Ellen Allen stated they’re trying to find extra revenue sources by selling town assets, “We are looking at trying to unload buildings that we really don’t use and see if we can get funding out of them. So for example, we’re selling that small antique fire station up on Washington Street next to the medical center and we can then reemploy that into other building needs.”
Allen further stated that if the override does not pass, the education of Norwell students will be at stake as class options will diminish.
Selectman Gregg McBride explained the override request has been a buildup of declining state aid, increasing health insurance costs, and growing schools, not poor leadership, “It’s not a failure of the town, it’s not a failure of us to live within our means in fact we have been living within our means for a number of years. We’ve not maintained, we’ve not kept up with the needs of the increasing school population. It’s, it’s really time.”
Annual Town Meeting can’t reconvene until May 21st, after the town election. Norwell residents still have a handful of money articles to vote on, depending if the override passes, including Article 8 which is a funding request by Selectmen to conduct a facilities assessment on town buildings.
(Norwell Selectmen, left to right: Gregg McBride, John Mariano, Ellen Allen)