School bonds win approval
PAWTUCKET – Voters in the city during Tuesday’s election overwhelmingly approved the eight municipal bond questions before them, including a school bond measure that asks for about $50 million in local spending.
Voters approved Question 4, a bond that authorizes the issuance of $220 million in bonds and notes for school building construction and renovation, but what the administration asked for is the authority for about $50 million of local spending. The measure passed with 13,820 votes, or 84.9 percent, to 2,463 votes or 15.1 percent, according to unofficial results from the Rhode Island Board of Elections.
Approval of the bond will provide for renovations, in each of the next two years and beyond, to upgrade school buildings to address health issues, structural integrity, educational climate, and safety concerns. The projects include roof and floor repairs; asbestos abatement; electrical, plumbing, lighting, security, and heating upgrades; classrooms, auditorium, and gymnasium improvements and equipping; and upgrades
required under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Pawtucket will be able to tap into $4.5 million for improvements over the next two years to athletic complexes, playgrounds, and recreation areas across the city, thanks to voter approval on Tuesday. This ballot question was approved 12,090 votes or 74.8 percent to 4,070 votes or 25.2 percent.
A portion of the money will be used to complete the Max Read Field renovation, repair basketball courts, and provide for additional invest-
ments at recreational fields across the city including Morley Field, Pariseau Field, Slater Park, Marconi Garden, and Friendship Gardens.
Question 6 asked voters to decide on $7 million for the design, construction, and reconstruction and repair of streets, sidewalks, and other transportation infrastructure improvements, including drainage and landscaping. This question passed muster with voters by a margin of 14,238 votes or 87.6 percent to 2,018 votes or 12.4 percent.
City officials have said this would provide a “significant amount of money” toward greenscape improvements
and also provides money to the clean streets program, as well as providing for pothole filling, crack sealing, and fills to prevent water infiltration.
Voters approved Question 7, which provides $5 million in improvements and renovations to publicly-owned buildings including the Leon Mathieu Senior Center, Public Works Center, police and fire stations, and the Pawtucket Public Library. These funds will also assist with the continuing renovations to various public buildings to improve access for disabled residents as required by law under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The question passed 10,660 votes or 68.8 percent to 4,830 votes or 31.2 percent.
Question 8 was for $5 million to provide for needed repaving of streets in the city, which passed 13,741 votes or 87.8 percent to 1,902 votes or 12.2 percent.
Approval of Question 9 gave the thumbs-up to $1.5 million to provide for the construction and reconstruction, in each of the next two
years, to the sewer and sanitary system including sewers and storm drains throughout the city. This stems from a comprehensive assessment for the sanitary and storm drains in Pawtucket to prioritize repairs. This ballot question passed 13,394 votes or 85.8 percent to 2,209 votes or 14.2 percent.
Voters endorsed Question 10, allowing Pawtucket to use $1 million for needed improvements to road and traffic devices including stop signs, traffic control signs, traffic signals, and traffic islands throughout Pawtucket. DPW is upgrading to low-energy traffic signals and is also looking to upgrade all street signs. The tally was 10,008 or 65 percent in favor and 5,386 or 35 percent against.
Approval of Question 11 was for $1 million to provide for the construction, reconstruction and repair of bridges across the city. It passed 13,533 votes or 86.4 percent to 2,131 votes or 13.6 percent.