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Financial stability spells raise for Pepperell administrator


By Anne O’Connor

PEPPERELL — When Mark Andrews came onboard as town administrator a year ago, he set a goal: bring financial stability to Pepperell.

“You can’t do it by yourself. You have to have good people, which we have,” he said.

Over the past year, the town has collected $617,000 in back taxes, over $200,000 in unpaid water and sewer bills and has refinanced long-term debt.

Combining that income and lowered costs with over $1 million in grants means the town has $2,263,808 that it did not have before, he said.

The town has big plans when it comes to future stability, he said.

“Look what’s happening at Chapel Place in terms of the tax base,” he said. Instead of an empty property that could have qualified for a tax abatement, new taxpaying businesses will be coming in.

A close relationship with the Pepperell Business Association helped the town make that happen, he said.

“I call it the Pepperell advantage,” Andrews said. “If you can get business leaders and town hall leaders to go and talk with businesses and developers, you’re really putting the best face on.”

The selectmen are happy with the job he is doing, so much so, they gave him the largest raise allowed in his contract and extended it for a year, through Nov. 30, 2018.

His salary went up 2.5 percent, from $103,500 to $106,088, effective July 1, 2015. The raise coincides with the fiscal year, he said.

“He received high marks of praise from the Select Board,” said Chairman Stephen Themelis in an email following the Dec. 14 meeting. “We anticipate nothing but the best from Mark on his second year as town administrator!”

Follow Anne O’Connor on Twitter and Tout @a1oconnor.

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