Hudson – Prior to its Feb. 28 meeting, the Board of Selectmen met in executive session to discuss a number of real estate issues. When they returned to the public session, the selectmen voted unanimously for an out-of-order vote approving of the taking of easements in conjunction with the Route 85 reconstruction project.
A total of 23 articles were endorsed by the selectmen for consideration at Annual Town Meeting, which will be held Monday, May 2. Included in the articles are the fiscal year 2012 budget at $65.7 million; capital plan expenditures totaling more than $1 million; and a proposal for a new public works headquarters at a cost of $2.25 million, a proposal that was emphatically not endorsed by Selectman Charles McGourty.
“I am dead against it,” McGourty said.
Article four would adopt a town reserve fund of $100,000; and articles five and six provide supplemental appropriations for community development and veterans” services expenses totaling $37,900. Article seven authorizes raising $4,500 to support youth sports administered through the Park Commission. The Hudson Cable Television Fund and the depositing of receipts for cable licensees are addressed in article eight.
Community preservation reservation funds and appropriations are the focus of articles nine and ten, appropriating a total of more than $178,000; article 11 allocates $340,000 for the pending joint police-fire dispatch office; and articles 12, 13 and 14 address town revolving funds including the Senior Center and Board of Health.
More than $50,000 is appropriated in article 15 for a Downtown Parking and Traffic Infrastructure Study, a study that Selectman Santino Parente fears will bring no joy.
“The study is going to bring about things people don's want,” Parente said.
Citing past studies, Parente is fearful the study will be money spent simply to set the study aside.
“Unless the town is willing to make changes, people will be upset,” Parente said. “It's a complicated situation with the rotary and the historic aspect.”
Up for a third consideration are articles 16 and 17 addressing the Houghton Street Bridge and the MBTA rail trail project. Article 18 authorizes $225,000 for a Light and Power surplus account; article 19 addresses town reports; and article 20 authorizes borrowing in anticipation of revenue. Article 21 permits Hudson Public Schools to enter into a five-year busing contract for students and article 22 allocates $5,000 for an Addictions Referral Center. Also up for a third consideration is article 23, addressing Anti-Blight and Nuisance within the town.
In other business, the selectmen unanimously approved Silva's Bakery at 140 Main St. for a Common Victualler's License; a contract with Hayes Pump, Inc. of West Concord for the amount of $6,385.50 for purchase of an Aurora 411 pump and appurtenances; and opting into the Statewide Public Safety Mutual Aid Agreement and the Fire Mutual Aid Agreement, which Executive Assistant Paul Blazar described as “at minimal, it's harmless.” The selectmen also unanimously approved expenditures of $272,201 for the replacement of the town's INET.
With Selectman Parente abstaining, the board approved Hackney Licenses for Michael Byrd, Lewis Kotros and Richard MacDonald, all driving for Sunshine Taxi; and approval of a contract with Library Ideas, LLC, in the amount of $5,650 to provide for music downloads for library patrons.
The selectmen also noted the retirement of Department of Public Works employee Robert Conley after 37 years of service; noted the resignation of call firefighter Daniel Sullivan; and approved the promotion of David C. Prockett from call firefighter to full-time firefighter, prompting Selectman Joseph Durant to tell Prockett, “You have big shoes to fill.”