Bridgewater tax hike approved

Residents at a special election on Aug. 24 voted 889 to 520 to approve a temporary tax increase to help fund renovations to the Academy Building and repairs to the Middle School roof. The $5.27 million debt exclusion will fund $3.45 million of the $8.8 million cost of renovating the Academy Building, a municipal office building that was recently vacated due to health and safety issues. Officials plan to tap the town’s Community Preservation Act Fund and seek state grant funds to cover the remainder. Another $1.67 million of the debt exclusion would pay for the town’s share of a $3.55 million Middle School roof project. The Massachusetts School Building Authority has committed to reimbursing the town for the remainder. The debt exclusion will also fund $49,000 of the $75,000 cost of replacing part of the fire station roof, and half of the $200,000 cost of making the Memorial Building more handicapped-accessible.