Waltham Elementary tax rate increases less than a cent

Vacant school to be demolished as early as next month

If you live in the Utica area, you’ll pay a bit more in taxes next year to Waltham Elementary, which boosted its tax rate less than a cent.

Superintendent Kristi Eager told the school board Wednesday the district’s tax base grew by less than 1% — a not-bad improvement considering the layoffs at Covia — and, in her estimation, “we’re still doing pretty darn good.”

The upshot is the district is raising taxes, but not by much. The tax rate will climb nine-tenths of a cent.

Utica Mayor David Stewart, who last year paid Waltham $1,096 in taxes (total tax bill: $3,021), would pay the district $1,099 next year. His $3 increase is a projection, however, and presumes Stewart’s home value stays flat.

Separately, vacant Waltham North School might not come down until early next year.

Superintendent Kristi Eager outlined a series of hurdles — all expected — including asbestos removal, utility switch-offs, permits and notices to the school’s neighbors. All that must be completed before the wrecking ball comes in.

The district anticipates about 50 days to bring down the structure and remove the debris, though Eager called that “a loose number.”

“They’re probably not even going to the start with the demolition until December, depending on the weather, maybe January,” she said.

The board next meets Wednesday, Dec. 15.