Town Meeting approves budget

MARBLEHEAD – Town Meeting approved a balanced $62.2 million town budget which requires no general overrides.However, voters will go to the polls later this spring to vote on debt exclusion overrides to fund the $1.01 million design for the capping of the town landfill and reconstruction of the transfer station, the $8.7 million repairs to the Marblehead Causeway seawall, which will be funded by a 10-year bond issue, and $281,000 to repair cracks, leaks and other damage to the 50-year-old Abbot Public Library, funded by a one-time capital exclusionThe budget was changed only twice, both times by the Finance Committee, which added $165,000 to the school budget and reduced the energy reserve account by $65,000.Town Administrator Tony Sasso said sea damage to the 77-year-old seawall has been studied for the past six years. The last time the structure was repaired was 27 years ago.The repairs are designed to last 50 years.Selectmen Chairman Harry Christensen said the town has been lucky to avoid severe damage to the structure and “Our luck has just about run out.”When former Selectman William Conly argued that the seawall should be a state project Sasso said the town has been trying to obtain state aid. “There is no state money at this time and if we delay the project until there is the cost will keep going up,” he said.Finance Director John McGinn said the seawall override would add $142.83 to the tax bill for a $762,000 home, the median home assessment in town.

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