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Shrewsbury may get public shuttle service

Joan Goodchild

Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – A public shuttle-bus service may be coming to Shrewsbury that would provide rides to residents for a fare. The Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen discussed the potential for the shuttle at their meeting Nov. 29.
    Town Manager Daniel Morgado said the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission is exploring the feasibility of launching a transportation system with the MBTA that would offer residents in Shrewsbury and other neighboring towns a public option for local travel. Morgado said funding would come through MBTA assessment rules and not through town coffers. Chair Moira Miller questioned how the service would impact the existing service provided by WRTA busses, as well as its long-term sustainability.
    "My main concern is we provide a service that can't be funded," she said. "If it can't be funded through the MBTA assessment, the town cannot pick up the cost for it."
    Vice Chair James Kane asked Morgado about research into the service that looked at the market feasibility of it and how many riders it would attract. The service, which would provide rides from a yet-to-be determined hub area near routes 9 and 20 to UMass Memorial, has not been researched extensively at this time, Morgado said. He also noted that a fare had not been set and most of the support for the service was anecdotal.
    "It's being talked about as a concept for public transportation in a suburban setting," Morgado said.
    Selectmen asked Morgado to speak to colleagues in other interested communities and report back to them with more information before acting further on the shuttle service.
    In other business, the board heard from Christopher Reidy, a representative from the town's Board of Assessors, about resetting the tax rate for fiscal year 2011. Earlier this month, the board recommended a single tax rate of $10.74 per $1,000 of valuation. The new rate would have been 4.7 percent more than last year’s $10.31 rate. However, Morgado noted that in reviewing computations Nov. 29, it was determined that a credit was not taken against a fire facilities project – a  $315,500 credit due to the sale of a former fire station building in town.
    The tax rate was then reset to $10.67 per $1,000 valuation, or set to $.07 less than the rate determined at the prior meeting.
    The board also heard briefly from a representative from Price Chopper supermarket, who asked to extend the hours the store will be allowed to sell beer and wine. The store was originally given a license to sell beer and wine from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on most days, except Sunday, which was set at noon to 5 p.m. But Store Manager Tammie Sullivan told the board the hours requested were determined by officials in New York, where Price Chopper is headquartered, and do not reflect business rules in Massachusetts, which allow for the sale of alcohol as late as 2 a.m.
    Lastly, Morgado also noted the sale of a Shrewsbury fire truck on eBay did not pan out as expected since the bidder failed to pay for the vehicle. The truck is now for sale again on the auction site.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=8386

Posted by on Nov 26 2010. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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