Hermon voters will decide Tuesday whether to spend $2.4 million to construct an eight-lane rubber track and pay for a major upgrade to its athletic fields adjacent to the high school.
Also, two candidates each will be elected to the town council and the school committee.
The price tag for the track and athletic field project has risen from $2.2 million to $2.4 million since it was first presented to residents in March due rising construction costs related to the coronavirus pandemic. If approved by voters, the bulk of the cost, $2 million, would be paid for with bonds. The remaining $400,000 would come out of the school capital improvement reserve account, according to the sample ballot posted on the town’s website.
The new track would be built on unused land next to the tennis courts at Hermon High School. The town also would renovate Pottle Field, where Hermon High athletes play soccer and football, add a storage building and bleachers and renovate the concessions stand.
The town council and school committee both voted unanimously to support the project.
The campaign asking residents to vote for it has been low key and mostly on social media, according to Councilor Steven Thomas, who was chairman of the committee that recommended the plan and who is up for reelection. Ben Nichols, a former Hermon student, last month posted a YouTube video urging a vote for the track proposal that uses drone footage to show where the new track would be located and explain the upgrades.
Thomas said he has seen no organized opposition to the plan.
While Hermon High School has winter and spring track-and-field programs, participants need to go to other schools to compete in track events. The teams’ practices sometimes take place in the high school’s parking lot, or at Hampden Academy’s track when it is available.
In addition to Thomas, who is seeking his third term on the council, Wayne Bouchard and Phillip Richardson are running for seats on the seven-member body. Douglas Sinclair Sr., whose third consecutive three-year term on the council ends June 30, was barred from seeking re-election due to the town’s term limit provision.
Six people, including one incumbent, are running for school committee. Chairman Teddy Harris is seeking re-election. Vice Chair Debora Farnham is completing her third consecutive three-year term and cannot run again.
Richard Cyr, Jesse Keith, Samantha Lang, Stephanie Oiler and Kim Shaffer are seeking to replace Farnham.
Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the gym at the Patricia A. Duran Elementary School at 235 Billings Road.