NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

March 6, 2013

Lloyd returns papers to run for selectman

Merrimac Town Notebook
Warren P. Russo

---- — Positions are currently available on several Merrimac town boards, including the Board of Selectmen, the School Committee, the Planning Board and the Board of Health.

The current chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Earl Baumgardner, has decided not to run for another three-year term. Harold Lloyd of Nichols Street has filed papers for that seat and is currently gathering the necessary signatures.

Linda Soucy, also of Nichols Street, has filed papers for the position of light commissioner, while Arthur Evans of G Street is running for constable.

Office seekers are reminded that they may take out papers for any of the open positions until 5 p.m. tomorrow at the town clerk’s office.

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With everyone’s taxes now on the rise, it is more important than ever to take advantage of every opportunity to save money. Here are two such opportunities:

Potential property tax savings are currently available for two taxpayer categories.

Veterans: Abatements are available for selected veterans or their surviving spouses who can qualify for them. If you own your own home and have a service-connected disability of 10 percent or more, you may qualify for a property tax abatement of $400 or more. Veterans who were awarded the Purple Heart also qualify for this abatement. For more information, contact the assessor’s office at 978-346-9022 or call Kevin Hunt, the Veterans’ Services officer, at 978-465-4418.

Seniors: A tax deferral program is available for older citizens in the form of a personal exemption from the Community Preservation Surcharge. This is available to low- and moderate-income households. Senior citizens can also participate in the “senior tax work-off” program by performing community service in lieu of tax payments. In addition, there are some assistance funds in Merrimac that can provide relief to qualified property owners, as well as the state’s Circuit Breaker Tax Credit for seniors. Contact the assessor’s office for more information.

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Merrimac’s musically inclined residents are invited to try out for the Merrimack Valley Concert Band. Rather than requiring an audition to join, the music director simply makes an informal assessment of your musical skill level to assess your ability to play as part of the band.

The band’s 40-plus members range in age from 12 to 90 years, representing many levels of musical ability and experience. The Merrimack Valley Concert Band is a community concert band based in Haverhill, and holds rehearsals every Tuesday from 7-9:15 p.m. in Room 103 of the Technology Center at Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott St., Haverhill. Musicians of all ages are welcome, but those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information on joining the MVC Band, send a note to info@mvcband.org.

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Warren P. Russo covers Merrimac for The Daily News. He can be contacted at warrenrusso@live.com.