Westborough Select Board votes to close warrant for upcoming town meeting


By Stuart Foster, Contributing Writer

Westborough town iconWESTBOROUGH – The Select Board voted to close the warrant for Westborough’s upcoming town meeting during a Select Board meeting on Sept. 28. 

The 22 articles on the town meeting warrant are now finalized, though subject to any changes by town counsel. 

Warrant includes DPW articles

Speaking on Sept. 28, DPW Director Chris Payant discussed three articles relating to his department, including one requesting $167,000 to repair culverts along Jackstraw Brook under Bowman Lane in town.

“The culvert is in rough shape,” Payant said. “It’s not going to fail imminently. But it’s something we need to address.” 

Payant added that another set of culverts along Jackstraw Brook, the Morse/Uptown Culverts, are currently being assessed as part of a replacement process. 

The article would provide funding to support stormwater bylaw revisions and the creation of stormwater rules and regulations. This would ensure compliance with approaching revisions to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s stormwater guidance manuals, Payant said.

Another DPW-related article would allow for the purchase of a portable generator. Payant said that there are currently three fixed-place generators on order for the town’s sewer pump stations. But one of the ones they currently have does not work and its replacement is estimated to be 444 days away. 

“What we’re proposing is that we purchase a used generator at a cost of about $39,000, and that’s based on some kind of deliberate thinking about the smartest way to handle this,” Payant said. “We need to have some backup power available, and we can’t wait a year to do that.”

Payant also said that a used generator is less expensive while still serving the DPW’s needs. He said such a generator could serve multiple purposes because it is portable and can be brought to different locations. 

The third DPW article detailed by Payant would fund professional cleaning for the Fire Department’s building once external COVID-19 relief funding ends.

Recreation Department seeks funding for golf course fees, water pump replacement

Westborough Recreation Officer Jenn Kirkland also spoke about two articles involving the Westborough golf course. One article would transfer $11,000 to cover credit card transaction fees.

The other article would provide $50,000 for the replacement of the golf course’s water pump system, which Kirkland said is more than 35 years old. 

“Without a reliable irrigation system, the course would become virtually unplayable,” Kirkland said, noting that parts of the pump system “have failed repeatedly over the last five years.”

Warrant includes Fire Department, Police Department, Schools articles

The finalized town meeting warrant includes a number of other articles, including ones proposed by the Fire Department, Police Department and Westborough Public Schools. 

The police are seeking funding for an administrative lieutenant as well as funding for a new electric cruiser. 

The Fire Department is hoping voters will approve its article requesting money to pay for the removal of antiquated, hard-wired fire alarm wires on local telephone poles. Voters will also be asked to weigh in on the purchase of new dispatch software for the fire department. 

The schools, meanwhile, have put forward an article proposing hiring a new full-time administrative assistant, as well as a new English language learners teacher to work at the Mill Pond School.  

The Select Board unanimously voted to endorse the first 17 articles as well as the 21st article on the warrant. 

Town meeting will take place on Monday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at Westborough High School.

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