Councilor Warns Building Moratorium Could Impact Town, School Budget

Print More

Residents concerned about the pace and size of development in Watertown have requested a building moratorium on Arsenal Street, but a Town Councilor said stopping the projects could impact the town and school budgets.

The town relies heavily on property tax revenues to fund town departments, including the Watertown Public Schools. Town Councilor Vincent Piccirilli said that new development is one of the keys to increasing the budget. The schools too rely heavily on the town’s appropriation.

“The school appropriation increased almost 7 percent (for Fiscal 2015), and how were we able to do that under Proposition 2 1/2, was though new growth through new development in town,” Piccirilli said. “We promised a 5 percent increase next year to the schools, and that is based on the economic development plan.”

Housing projects can bring in more revenue, Piccirilli said, but they have to be the right kind. Projects with one- and two-bedroom apartments and condos will add to the property taxes, while not likely adding a lot of students to the schools, he said.

A project of single family and two-family homes, however, would likely add many students, to the schools, and ultimately costs more money than the increased revenues coming  to the town, Piccirlli said.

The Town Council will discuss the moratorium on July 22 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall. Find out more by clicking here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *