By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – On Monday, May 20, elected Town Meeting members will gather at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Oak Middle School for the Annual Town Meeting where they will vote on 37 warrant articles – notably, the fiscal year (FY) 2020 operating budget of $132,281,954 which includes $66 million for Shrewsbury Public Schools.
The warrant includes $7 million in capital projects, the establishment of enterprise funds, two zoning articles and five citizen petitions.
If passed, the budget will result in an increase of $263.05 to the average single family home tax bill based on a FY2019 valuation of $453,530, or $0.58 per $1,000 of property value.
Articles 8 through 10 will establish new enterprise funds for water, stormwater and cable television public, educational and government access services.
Article 11 appropriates $120,394,398 for all municipal (non-utility) departments, e.g., salaries, contractual services, supplies and equipment. Of note is education funding in the amount of $66,302,041.
“This allocation, for which we are grateful, provides a substantive investment toward carrying our status quo programming and staffing forward into the next fiscal year… and will enable the School Department to move forward into next year without making any cuts,” stated Shrewsbury School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Sawyer in a letter to Town Meeting members.
Article 17 outlines the General Capital Budget totaling $2,441,500 for all non-utility town departments. This amount will fund a “Police Station and Municipal Campus Feasibility” study and equipment and maintenance for police, fire, highway, parks and cemetery and public building departments.
Citizen petitions include requests for a Town Property Pesticide Reduction bylaw; resolving Hexavalent Chromium found in wells; resolving the overuse of Route 140 in the “Shrewsbury Town Common Historic District;” authorizing the establishment and appointment of a Town Comparison Study Committee; a Home Rule Amendment to increasing citizen opportunities to hold elective office; and an amendment to add a Shrewsbury historic preservation bylaw.
Articles 27 and 28 pertain to two-family dwellings and seek to introduce a maximum floor area ratio for all new two-family dwellings, and a minimum regulatory factor for all new lots.
Articles 30-37 include a home rule petition relative to affordable housing; a transfer $100,000 from Free Cash to Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services for counseling and education services; the management of Lake Quinsigamond; transfer of $750,000 from Free Cash to the General Stabilization Account; funding for Council on Aging Transportation and Donahue Rowing Center revolving accounts; acceptance of funds from the Municipal Light Department; and fixing the tax rate for FY 2020.
For more information, visit https://shrewsburyma.gov/327/Town-Clerk