ATM Article 40: Amendment to Citizen’s Petition Article related to St. Mark’s Golf Course

by beth on April 18, 2017

This winter, citizens submitted a petition for an Annual Town Meeting Article to address the Town’s plans to purchase St. Mark’s Golf Course. The sponsor of Article 40 asked me to share the amendment he plans to raise when the article comes up.

As originally written, Article 40 appeared to be made moot by the passing of Article 1 at Special Town Meeting. But Jack Barron, the sponsor, sees a hole left in in Article 1 that he says would be addressed with his amendment to Article 40.

Barron’s read of Article 1’s is that its passing is only valid if Town election voters pass proposition 2 1/2 on May 9th. According to his statement, his amended article would allow the Town to go through with purchasing the Golf Course. (Though the amendment doesn’t specifically specify that.)

As for the public safety building, Barron says plans for police station or other municipal buildings would need to be pitched to voters at a future Town Meeting. And his amendment suggests that the Town consider Park Central for a Senior Center allowing a police station to be built on the Cordaville Hall site. No mention is made of the fire station.

Here is the amendment (additions/major changes in bold):

To see if the Town of Southborough will vote to require that any warrant, article, or presentation at any town meeting (related to) St. Mark’s Golf Course on Route 85 in Southborough has a concurrent presentation of alternative locations and cost comparisons for building any new fire, police station, or other municipal buildings. Alternative locations are to include the current existing location of the fire and police stations as as well as the properties across the street from the St. Mark’s Golf Course starting at Cordaville Hall and all the properties to the north on Route 85 to the intersection of Main Street (Route 30) across the street from the Southborough Library. (The Town may also want to consider a proposal to build a new senior center / municipal offices on the land currently referred to as “Park Central.” This would allow the current senior center property to be used for a new police station).

Or do or act anything in relation thereto.

Barron’s announcement about the intentions behind his announcement states:

Annual Town Meeting Article 40 amendment announcement

(click to open pdf)

I have amended my original article to reflect the passing of ARTICLE ONE (1) pertaining to the purchase of the St. Marks Golf Course at the 2017 Special Town Meeting. I am of the belief that if Article One (1) is not voted through by the taxpayers at the TOWN ELECTION ON TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2017, then it is IMPORTANT that this ARTICLE 40 be passed SO THAT THE TOWN CAN AND SHOULD GO FORWARD WITH THE PURCHASE OF THE ST. MARK’S GOLF COURSE using regular town funds and present a plan to build a NEW MUCH NEEDED POLICE STATION at a future town meeting. 

For reference, Barron points voters to the language of Special Town Meeting Article 1 which passed in March:

Article 1: To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to acquire and obtain by purchase a certain parcel of land with structures thereon from St. Mark’s school of Southborough, Inc. located at 36 Cordaville Road, Southborough, Massachusetts, Assessor’s Map 45, Parcel 2 consisting of 60 acres more or less and being the same parcel conveyed to St. Mark’s School by Deed dated November 12, 1923 and recorded in the Worcester Registry of Deeds at Book 2318, Page 258 said parcel to be acquired for a public safety complex, reserved undeveloped land and other municipal purposes and further to authorize the Board of Selectmen to convey, transfer and sell the Town’s real properties located at 0 School Street consisting of 1.63 acres more or less and the parcel located at 19 Main Street consisting of 2.34 acres of land more or less to St. Mark’s School of Southborough, Inc. and to authorize the Board of Selectmen to execute a land exchange agreement to effect these transactions and further to vote to raise by borrowing, transfer from available funds, or otherwise a sum of money to pay for the acquisition and construction costs incidental or related thereto for the public safety complex.

The Town Clerk shall cause the following question to be placed on the ballot at the next ANNUAL ELECTION following the adoption of this article by the Town Meeting:

Shall the Town of Southborough be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition Two and One Half, so called, the amounts required to pay for the bonds to be issued in order to acquire land and construct a new public safety complex, and for the payment of costs incidental or related thereto? Or do or act anything in relation thereto.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mike Fuce April 19, 2017 at 9:22 AM

Jack, I think this is a very smart and responsible approach to unbundle the PSB from the purchase of the Golf Course property. That way neither is tied to the other. Great idea Jack, love to see the creativity.

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2 Townie C April 20, 2017 at 6:40 AM

Love the idea of using Park Central land for senior center/municipal offices! That will solve everyone’s problems! Why is this the first we have heard of this? Keep our open land/golf course and get rid of the current Park Central plans once and for all!

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3 Townie April 21, 2017 at 11:33 AM

You two crack me up. Do you really think that would ever fly? The developer is just gonna say, ya, here some land for your municipal buildings that I won’t make a dime off of. The same guy who the town and residents has dragged through the mud for years. Open your eyes and come back to reality please.

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