City prop taxes take double shot in votes for public works facility, schools funding

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An image supplied by the city shows what the new facility will look like.

ROCHESTER - Rochester City Councilors on Tuesday easily passed a resolution that gave an extra $4 million to cover added expenses in the building of a new city Public Works facility.

The $18.6 million facility will be located on Chestnut Hill Road on land bought for $400,000 from former City Councilor Ralph Torr, who recused himself from voting during the council's discussion on the purchase two years ago.

Comments from residents during a public hearing on the project centered on concerns over recent property tax hikes that could raise annual tax bills by hundreds of dollars.

Mayor Caroline McCarley as well as councilors Don Hamann, Donna Bogan, Chris Rice, Palana Belken, Laura Hainey, Doug Lachance, Pete Lachapelle, and Dave Walker voted for the added funding, while Deputy Mayor Elaine Lauterborn, Jeremy Hutchinson, Tom Abbott and Jim Gray voted against the proposal.

Property tax relief took another shot on Tuesday when the Council OK'd an additional $1 million to cover Rochester Schools' special education costs as well as millions for other projects.

Much of the money would come from the city's unassigned fund balance, which can also be used for property tax relief.

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