Planning Board delays cell tower debate

Northborough – At the Northborough Planning Board meeting Oct. 26, the board voted unanimously to accept the request of National Grid for a continuance regarding the proposed cell tower project at 55 Barefoot Road. Several residents who have been following the story the town.

Article 16, the local option meals excise tax increase, if approved, would have imposed a 0.75 percent tax (75 cents on a $100 check) on sales of restaurant meals in Westborough. The article was defeated, 137-132.

Article 17, the local option room occupancy tax amendment, which would raise the room occupancy rate charged on hotel rooms from 4 to 6 percent was passed, 133-102.

For the members of the Town Meeting audience that voted no on Article 16, two prevailing themes arose when they took to the Town Meeting floor to speak.

First of all, many were troubled by the fact that this article seemed to essentially be another tax on the residents of Westborough.

Selectman George Thompson, who along with Selectmen Rod Jané and Tim Dodd voted against recommending this article be approved at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting, explained some of his reasoning to his vote against the article this way:

“When you go to Home Depot there’s not a special tax for your home fix-up materials. When you go to Bernie and Phyl’s there’s not an additional tax for your furniture,” Thompson said. “So why is there an additional tax that’s going to affect primarily the people of this town that enjoy eating at one of our many fine restaurants?”

Article 17 passed in large part, according to many who spoke on Town Meeting floor, because it was a tax that would largely aff ect non-Westborough residents.
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