By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY – Town Meeting Members will decide a number of key questions regarding everything from the future of the Toblin Hill Drive bridge in town to sidewalk and crosswalk improvements when they gather later this month.
Selectmen approved a now finalized warrant for that meeting on Sept. 28.
Town Manager Kevin Mizikar said there are a total of 16 articles on the warrant.
Article to propose funding Toblin Hill Drive bridge replacement
One will appropriate funds received from the sale of Centech Park North to replace the Toblin Hill Drive bridge.
That structure was built in the late 1990s and was deemed irreparable in 2016, according to reporting in the Worcester Telegram in November of that year.
Town officials blocked off the bridge with chain-link fences around that time.
An archived note on the Shrewsbury town website from Jan. 18, 2018, announced that demolition of the bridge would finally begin the next day.
The town recently sold Centech Park North to NorthBridge Partners for $6.5 million after NorthBridge secured approval to build a “campus-style” complex on the property.
Articles address sidewalk, crosswalk improvements
Another article will appropriate funds the town gets from companies like Uber and Lyft for initiatives like improving sidewalks and crosswalks. Mizikar said the town receives $0.10 for every ride that originates in Shrewsbury.
Another article will make changes to the operating budget.
“Board members, I continue to see the opportunity to lower the total amount of funds that we need from taxpayers, which will allow us to not utilize the full amount that has been authorized by voters through the override,” Mizikar said. “That will provide a tax rate savings opportunity.”
Two of the articles will be used to establish an insurance trust fund, which Mizikar said the town has planned to use to stabilize its deductible payments over the years.
Another two articles will transfer funds dedicated to water and sewer projects. Those projects have been completed with additional funds available for other projects, Mizikar said.
Additionally, there will be four zoning articles, one of which would allow outdoor and indoor service to restaurants in specific zoning districts by right.
Town meeting will take place on Monday, Oct. 18 at Oak Middle School.