Town planner and Community Preservation chair present Town Meeting articles

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Northborough – John Campbell, chair of the Community Preservation Committee (CPC), and Town Planner Kathy Joubert met with the Northborough Board of Selectmen at its March 25 meeting to present relevant warrant articles that will be voted on at the town’s Annual Town Meeting, Monday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Algonquin Regional High School, 79 Bartlett St., in Northborough.

Northborough is one of the 351 communities to have adopted the Community Preservation Act (CPA). As such is required to allocate 10 percent of its funds received each year to historic preservation, another 10 to open space and recreation and the same for affordable housing.

“We anticipate about $560,000 in new revenue for FY2020 and that includes the town’s property tax surcharge as well as the state match,” Campbell stated.

He noted that because more towns in the state have adopted the CPA, the state match has decreased. Legislation has been introduced to increase the state surcharge that helps fund the state’s account.

“It’s important to remember that over the course of the CPA in Northborough that we’ve gotten over $2.2 million in matching funds from the state that we might not have gotten otherwise,” he shared.

Campbell then detailed six diverse CPC Warrant Articles, totaling $25,000 in administration costs; $239,100 for the second debt service payment for the purchase of White Cliffs; $290,770 for Phase II of field lighting the Robert E. Melican Middle School; $150,000 to the Northborough Affordable Housing Corporation; $5,800 for historical markers; and $8,000 to the Northborough Historic District for significant historical markers.

“We are recommending $718,000 in CPA allocations which, against our incoming expected revenue and our unreserved fund, we had about $1.3 million plus to work with,” Campbell shared.

“These are very reasonable and great projects in this list and I really, particularly like the signs…it promotes more walkability and that’s what I think we are looking for…It looks nice and it adds to the richness of the community,” Selectman Leslie Rutan commented.

The zoning articles promoted by the Planning Board include a bylaw to limit to terms on the Design Review Committee to three years; a bylaw regarding the outdoor sale of holiday trees; a bylaw pertaining to the use of electronic digital signs; and a bylaw for special permits to allow for continued use in case zoning bylaws change.

Selectman Jason Perreault reminded the board that there will be a continuation of the Planning Board public hearing on these articles at their Tuesday, April 9, meeting at 7 p.m. in the Selectmen’s Room at Town Hall, 63 Main St. For more information, visit www.town.northborough.ma.us/Pages/NorthboroughMA_Planning/index.