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May 21, 2013

Ipswich voters to decide on debt exclusion

No contested races in election today

IPSWICH — A familiar name will not appear on today’s town election ballot — School Committee member Jeff Loeb.

Loeb, who served on the committee for the past 18 years, decided during his 2010 campaign for re-election that his sixth term would be his last. As of last June, all his kids have graduated from the school system.

“Not having the personal connection, it was time to move on,” he said yesterday. School Committee member Sean Gresh is running for re-election, and Mile Lane resident Sarah Player is the only candidate for the open seat on the committee.

Polls will be open today from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with all precincts voting at the YMCA, 110 County Road.

While there are no contested races in today’s election, voters will have to decide whether to approve a Proposition 21/2 debt-exclusion override to cover the anticipated $3 million cost of a plan to repave Linebrook Road and improve bicycle and pedestrian safety near the Doyon Elementary School.

The project was overwhelmingly approved at last week’s Town Meeting, but now requires a majority vote at the town election. The work calls for upgrading sidewalks, repaving, and installing pedestrian and bicycle safety measures along a 3-mile stretch. The school’s parking area will also be upgraded as part of the plan.

Heidi Paek, co-chairwoman of the Planning Board, explained to Town Meeting that the stretch of road between Washington and Howe streets would need signage, crosswalks, sidewalks and improved drainage. The street also needs to be widened in several dangerous areas, she said.

The work will increase the average tax bill on a single-family home by about $42 a year, according to the Finance Committee.

Reflecting on his time on the School Committee yesterday, Loeb said being on the building committee for construction of the new middle/high school was one of his biggest highlights.

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