The week in government: Planning Board, School Committee, Regional School Committee and more (Updated)

by beth on January 11, 2021

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Above: These days, most meetings that used to welcome the public to attend in the Town House Hearing Room or other public facilities are accessible to the public by video/audio conference calls only.

Here are the posted committee and board meetings for this week along with my selected highlights from the agendas. All currently scheduled meetings are only available to the public virtually.*

As always, be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. (Last week, a meeting popped up that I didn’t list last Monday – scroll down for those details.) For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.

Monday, January 11, 2021

  • Southborough Trails Committee Meeting, 6:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Map kiosk at Fayville Park update, Community letters of support to DCR requesting prioritization of the Public Access Plan for the Peninsula Trail, Update on CPA funding application, Central MA Regional Planning Commission – Interactive Online Regional Trails Map Opportunity; Trails maintenance update; 2021 project planning
  • Planning Board Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda and packetmaterials for 96 Mt Vickery RdAgenda Highlights: Hearings on 96 Mt Vickery Rd Definitive Subdivision Plan Approval; Approval Not Required for 176, 178, 182 Cordaville Road; Discussion of Bigelow Rd Trail & Viewing Platform project; Status of Downtown Intitiative Bylaw
  • Capital Planning Committee Meeting, 7:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agendaAgenda Highlights: Fire Dept Tender/Tanker Capital Request, Updates on Capital Planning Policy, Town House Project, School Research Subcommittee; Vote to authorize funding for Perc Testing at South Union School; FY22 Capital Items; Capital Project Oversight; Discuss Capital Item request form

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

  • Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee Policy Development Subcommittee Meeting, 2:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Policy review Principals Supervision of Custodians and Buildings and Scheduling School Events (Register for webinar here.) 
  • Historical Commission Meeting, 6:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Report on the Old Burial Ground; Demolition Delay bylaw – Review seminar for Commissioners, Discuss potential wording changes for Town Meeting; Review of potential contractors to update the Historical Buildings Survey and RFP
  • Recreation Commision Meeting, 6:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Update on programming; Updates on projects in progress including lighting projects; Discuss Community Preservation Act Warrant Article; Updated field permit policies
  • Youth Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Budget update; Status of thank you’s for Holiday Giving; Update on Grant Balances

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 

  • Personnel Board Meeting, 12:00 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Updates on Board of Assessors’ request, Town Labor Counsel on employee benefits, IT Manager search process; Quadrennial Review of Personnel bylaw; Discuss recommendations for Town Meeting
  • Southborough School Committee Meeting, 5:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Learning Model Survey Results; English Learners Presentation; Demographic Study Presentation; Updates on Covid Screening, Master Plan, and Coalition for Equity; FY22 Recommended Budget; Policies – 2nd reading of 12 new/updated policies and recommendation to rescind 3 (Register for webinar here.)
  • Capital Planning Committee – School Research Subcommittee Meeting, 5:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Joint Meeting with Southborough School Committee re: NESDEC Report on School Enrollment (Register for webinar here.)
  • Master Plan Committee Meeting, 7:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Final review of recommendations for Commercial Diversity, Robust Public Services, Accessibility & Connectivity, Population Build Out/Expanded Funding Mechanisms

Thursday, January 14, 2021

  • Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee Meeting, 5:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Dedicated to FY22 Recommended Budget (Register for webinar here.) 
  • Advisory Committee Meeting, 6:30 pm @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: FY22 Budget discussions for Treasurer, Assessor, BOS, and Town Accountant, and preliminary Town Budget; discussion of Advisory Bylaw and Capital Planning work on evaluating number of schools

Friday, January 15, 2021

  • Economic Development Meeting, 8:15 am @ Virtual Meeting (agenda) Agenda Highlights: 2021 priorities; Status of Downtown Wastewater Feasibility Study; Downtown Business Village District

Looking Back:

Below is the meeting from last week that was posted after I ran last week’s list:

Friday, January 8, 2021

  • Council on Aging Meeting, 8:15 am @ Virtual Meeting (agenda, videoAgenda Highlights: Winter drive throughs, special deliveries, Colonial Gardens monthly lunch; Mortgage assistance program; new programs; status of future programs; Senior Center renovations update

*The Town intends to make each of its meetings available for viewing/listening via streaming live (and saved) video and audio on YouTube with some available for public comment by zoom. Live streaming of school committee meetings is only available for viewing via webinars. There is the caveat that there could be technical glitches that force the Town to take backup actions:

No in-person attendance of members of the public will be permitted, but every effort will be made to ensure that the public can adequately access the proceedings in real time, via technological means. In the event that we are unable to do so, despite best efforts, we will post on Southborough’s website an audio or video recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of proceedings as soon as possible after the meeting.

Updated (1/13/20 10:43 am): A Regional School Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday night to focus on the recommended budget for the next fiscal year.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Historic Commission Missing in Action January 12, 2021 at 8:11 AM

Just saying, but has anyone noticed that the Historic Commission has gone missing in action on its supposed oversight of 84 Main Street? Come back little Sheba! What is the cinder block open hut or structure on the Deerfoot Road side with the giant generators?? Is there a permit for that?? Is this project being properly overseen from an Historic Commission and permitting standpoint? Does this report or checklist get posted on the town’s website? If so, can someone provide a link? There appears to be do much non-historic aspects (like the cross on the chapel and the removal of historic windows) that it’s hard to tell what belongs, what is allowed, and what isn’t. The Commission likes to tell the ordinary Joe what to do. Where is the fairness and even handed treatment in oversight? What happened to the historic windows that were removed? Were those supposed to be saved? If not, what happened to the historic glass? Was that supposed to go to the library? Take a look at the most recent Historic Commission meeting, last few minutes. There is a discussion on a related matter that seems to have been pre-discussed and was not on the Agenda. Get the stars out of your eyes and please do a better job of oversight. The cinder block electrical station looks like it could power a nuclear power plant! How did the Burnett and Garfield families survive? And BTW, what was Historic Commission member Joe Hubley’s election signs for his run for BOS doing on this project’s lawn?? A construction project that he and the Commission is supposed to be overseeing?? Unbelievable. This should be reported to the state. This town can do better! Do better please!

Reply

2 Michael Weishan January 14, 2021 at 11:55 AM

Hello,
As chair of the SHC, I read your comment above, and rest assured we are following the process quite closely. We have approved all the changes you note above, and the generator building will be clad and matching stone and wood trim and settled in with landscaping. As to the signs, here is the reply from the owner: “these were actually placed on town land which appears to be my land but is not and numerous candidates have placed signs over the years on this property which is fine with me.” In any event, in lieu of making anonymous accusations with obscure 1950s movie references (I did have to look that one up—something about a dog?), we welcome the public to join our February meeting when we will have an 84 Main Street update and townsfolk can ask any questions they wish of us. You can also contact us directly at historical@southboroughma.com Thanks

Reply

3 Historic Commission Missing in Action January 14, 2021 at 6:07 PM

Not accusations. Reality. Mr. Hubley was running for BOS and his signs appeared to be on this property. (Sorry, no one had out the measuring stick, but either way, it is simply in violation of the law.). He is on Historic Commission which oversees the Preservation Restriction on this exact project. Also, many residents took exception to the same appearance of conflict of interest when Mr. Hubley’s signs appeared on another property owned by this same project owner over at Fayville Hall. The concern there was that the person claiming to own the property had not closed the sale on the property just yet. Hence, Hubley election signs were on town owned property, which is not allowed. So, what happened to the windows and the historic glass? Didn’t the library express an interest? And where is the nuclear power plant on. The landscape plan. Will look for those items when you post your minutes.

Reply

4 Historic Commission Missing in Action January 12, 2021 at 1:38 PM

The taxpayers paid $1million for a Preservation Restriction. Yes, we handed over a million dollars of our money to this project proponent for historic preservation restrictions that include a Landscape Plan. Are the giant power generators, pad, and cinder block hut on the approved Landscape Plan? Historic Commission, where are you on overseeing these matters? Is the Building Inspector involved in overseeing changes to the property and enforcement? Can someone who knows please post links to relevant approvals and minutes explaining status? What is allowed and what is not allowed? The town gave a million dollars for this Restriction and the taxpayers need a report on what is going on.

Reply

5 very happy resident January 15, 2021 at 3:32 AM

i think it is important to let the work progress prior to stating negativities as every phase of this project has exceeded my expectations and it appears many people feel the same..Also the town purchased rights on this property- the owner was not given anything as we as a town took value from this owner in exchange for a payment. As far as generator it appears everything will be screened and look nice as these items are now standard on many homes today. i think we should wait and see before passing judgement as it is not productive thank you

Reply

6 Another happy resident January 15, 2021 at 11:31 AM

A couple more things … there was no obligation to save the original windows. They were in terrible condition and had they been restored the house would be very drafty and energy-inefficient. The owner is adding from his own pocket what most of us would consider a fortune. The house has been there for 170 years and the restoration has made it better than new. The Burnett and Garfield families did indeed survive but their lives would have been better and safer with plumbing, air conditioning, fire safety provisions, power and lighting in accord with current codes.

Reply

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