By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – The Board of Selectmen reviewed a draft warrant for an upcoming Special Town Meeting (STM) at its Sept. 10 meeting. The STM is scheduled to take place Monday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Oak Middle School, 45 Oak St. As of this meeting, the warrant contained 15 articles.
Town Manager Kevin Mizikar pointed out that all citizen petitions were due to the town clerk by Sept. 17. The board will sign the warrant at their Sept. 24 meeting followed by a Planning Board Public Hearing Thursday, Oct. 3, and Finance Committee Public Hearing Wednesday, Oct. 17.
Article 1 seeks to adjust the FY2020 Operating Budget. Mizikar reported that there has been a net reduction to the FY2020 operating budget of $381,767.
Articles 2 and 3 pertain to establishing a water system special purpose stabilization fund and transfer of water funds from free cash to establish said fund and water system improvements.
Article 4 is for a survey of structures of historical significance and Preservation.
Article 5 pertains to ride sharing assessments to municipalities. Shrewsbury receives 10 cents for rides that originate in town.
Mizikar informed the board that Article 6 would provide additional funding to Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, Inc. (SYFS) for increased services, particularly for elder outreach and for the development of a cost estimate for the assessment. He proposed $10,000 from Free Cash.
“I agree with the $10,000 to take a look at what the outreach needs to be for the senior population,” he said. “We need to continue our focus on building and maintaining our Free Cash, however, I strongly advocated in April for additional funding for Shrewsbury Youth & Family Services and I feel just as strongly now that it is important to move ahead if possible with additional funding.”
She cited concern for SYFS’s growing wait list and urged the board to address the critical needs now rather than wait until the Annual Town Meeting in May 2020.
After discussion on how to increase the amount from $10,000 to $50,000 to fund an additional clinician, the board agreed the need was acute and a discussion with SYFS was needed to come up with solutions before going into the next budget cycle.
Articles 8 through 11 pertain to zoning and were requested by Town Planner Bernie Cahill.
“I would characterize these in our continual clean-up of the Zoning Bylaw,” Mizikar said. “The first being the one section we missed when we made the changes related to the removing of the planning board member’s guaranteed seat from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
“The second is changing the definition of gross floor area as it relates to duplexes.We are seeking to make a change in a much more enhanced definition of gross floor area, and finally, we are seeking to change the definition of contractors and storage yards.”
Article 13 authorizes the disposition of 1 Maple Ave, and articles 14 and 15 address drainage easements at Grafton Street and Grafton Circle and Elma Circle.
For further information, visit https://shrewsburyma.gov.