By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Westborough’s fall Town Meeting will take place Monday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. at Westborough High School, 90 W. Main St. Any registered Westborough voter is eligible to vote at Town Meeting.
Town Manager Jim Malloy gave an overview of the 35 articles that are listed on the Town Meeting Warrant as of the Sept. 12 Board of Selectmen meeting.
The first seven articles are put forth by the Planning Board. The first includes the provision for expedited permitting for the Westborough State Hospital which will result in the town retaining an additional 2.5 percent of the net sale price of the State Hospital as part of the disposition formula with the state.
Article 2, 3 and 4 pertain to zoning regulations and schedules that 1) need approval, 2) deal with open space and 3) add a new use under the category “industrial uses” to be designated for “Brewery, Distillery” and a new use for “Brew Pub, Micro-brewery and Nano-brewery,” respectively.
Articles 5, 6 and 7 are relevant to zoning regulations governing building specifics for the Elsie A. Hastings Elementary School and the Westborough High School athletic field, bleacher, press box, and field lighting.
Article 8 amends bylaw language relevant to Animal Control.
Article 9 creates a town Finance Department.
Article 10 is a School Budget Appropriation for ratified union contract stipulated increases.
Article 11 will fund the new position of finance director which is contingent on the passage of Article 9.
Article 12 will fund a Master Plan Update as put forth by the Planning Board.
Article 13 is put forth by the Board of Selectmen and will fund a Community Strategic Planning Study which is in conjunction with the Master Plan.
Article 14 is put forth by the Town Manager for a Non-Union Salary Survey. This article seeks funding to undertake an independent salary survey of department heads.
Article 15 seeks to decrease the appropriation for Chapter 9 funding from Article 7B of the Annual Town Meeting bringing it in line with the actual amount received from the state.
Articles 16 and 17 pertain to Country Club operations, specifically grounds keeping, bills and contracts.
Article 18 will provide maintenance to the Westborough State Hospital property until the sale is complete in February/March of 2018.
Articles 19 – 22 involve revising the Animal Control officer wages; maintenance of electronic files for the Planning and Building departments; upgrading the HVAC control systems at the Senior Center; and creating a Fire Department and EMS Operations and Staffing Study.
Article 23 will fund the installation of two electronic “No Left Turn” signs at Bay State heading southbound and at Eli Whitney at West Main Street.
Article 24 will authorize a $12.5 million construction project of a pre-K school addition to Hastings school.
Article 25 seeks $3.5 million for high school athletic field repair and improvements.
Article 26 will fund Phase I of the Glen/Nourse Street Cemetery.
Articles 27 and 29 will provide for the state to permit a revolving fund to allow revenues from the rental of school space to remain in district control to pay for upkeep and maintenance, and enable the School Department to maintain a separate fund for revenues generated from its new lab store to remain in the fund to offset program costs.
Article 30 and 31 are put forth by the town manager to 1) create a Capital Stabilization Fund and 2) resolve hospital land and easement issues.
Articles 32 and 33 are put forth by the DPW director for various improvements to water systems, water mains and appurtenant work.
Last, Articles 34 and 35 are put forth by the Police Department for payments that are due to employees that are retiring per contract agreements and for funding of physical and psychological exams for new hires within the department.
The warrant will remain open until the Tuesday, Oct. 10, board meeting.
Malloy recommended that representatives from the School Department and planning departments be invited to present to the selectmen before Town Meeting since there are several pricey articles up for consideration.