Town Warrant at a glance: Offload buildings, aggregate electricity for property owners, rewrite energy building codes and more

by beth on April 8, 2016

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If you’ve been reading the blog regularly, then you already know that Town Meeting opens on Monday.

There are a few that most people know about by now. But others may have escaped your notice, including a plan for the Town to negotiate an electricity agreement for the entire community.

The agreement would purportedly provide town residents and businesses a discounted rate. But the deal would require those not interested to opt-out.

That’s just one of the many things to be decided by the minority of residents who show up next week.

This post is just to give you an overview of the articles up for vote and links to any you want to check out in more detail.

2016 Annual Town Meeting opens at 7:00 pm on April 11th at Trottier Middle School. If a continuation is needed, that will likely be Tuesday night. (It is general practice to adjourn the meeting at 11 pm to the next evening and if a third night is need, it is usually called for Thursday.)

Below are the special articles up for a vote. I’ll bypass most administrative business*, to focus below on articles that I consider “new business” voters will need to decide.

2016 Town Warrant Articles 

5. Personnel Salary Administration Plan – Minor changes to the plan for Town employees this year include providing compensation for extra hours of work and preventing terminated employees from collecting on personal/sick days.

8-10. FY 2017 Budget & Capital expenses – The majority of general budget costs are education. I covered that here. I didn’t find anything else especially noteworthy in other expenses. But you can take a look for yourself here. (An amendment will be made to lower a capital expense. But I didn’t hear back from the Town Administrator on the details.)

[Note: Expenses the Town is postponing to next year include replacing Town House windows, DPW office painting & roof recoating, replacing the Northborough Road culvert and new voting machines.]

13 & 14. 84 Main Street Preservation Restriction and funding

16-19 CPA Funding for other projects(Scroll down in the linked story to learn more about the CPA fund and projects)

20. Easements for Main Street Reconstruction –  Click here for the video of the recent public forum.

23. Allow Town to Aggregate its Electrical Load

24 & 25. Accept roads William Colleary Lane and Foxhill DriveAs of Tuesday night, Open Space Recreation Commission was still looking to walk an area related to Foxhill Drive before giving their blessing. But officials have noted that the Open Space compliance isn’t technically linked to the acceptance here.

27 & 28. Articles related to Green Communities – Revision to Solar Energy zoning and Building Regs to include Stretch Energy Code – Click here for the video of the recent public forum.

29. Amend Over 55 zoning – To comply with a court “dictum” the Town is removing inappropriate language that restricts concessions for senior housing projects to non-profit developers.

31. Disposition of Municipal Properties – Fayville Hall, the abutting parking lot, and former Fire Station #2 (now used by the DPW).

32. Transfer Station Violations/Fines

33 & 34. Pooper Scooper law & Dog licenses

35. Committee minutes and postings on websites and social media 

36. Move Town Election to Tuesdays

37-39. Citizen’s Petition changes to zoning for Medical Marijuana

Article 26 to accept Killam Farm open space is expected to be withdrawn at the Meeting. On Tuesday night, Planning Board Chair said it was being pulled back by the land owner. The parcel containing an apparently buried farm dump objected to as problematic by the Open Space Preservation Commission.

(For the full list and details on any given article, see the Warrant here.)

*Note: Annual business that I skipped are articles that represent the basic business of running the meeting and a town. These include hearing reports and annual administrative measures (e.g., Accept PILOT payments, allow short-term borrowing, allow the town to enter multi-year contracts, allow hiring of consultants, authorize/reauthorize account funds and transfers, authorize required payments and clean-up of unused funds or past actions.)

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