Westborough Town Meeting: Articles 8-14

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Westborough Town Meeting: Articles 8-14
Westborough Police Department is headquartered in the Forbes Municipal Building in town. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

Shelby Marshall of the Select Board presented Article 8, $21,838 to fund union contracts for the Police Department.

Article 8 passes, 362-97.

Select Board member Patrick Welch presented Article 9, $8,781 to pay a shortfall in its FY2023 assessment for Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School.

Article 9 passes, 417-41.

Marshall presented Article 10, to appropriate $50,000 through the Cable TV Enterprise Fund to fund the FY23 Cable TV budget.

Article 10 passes by majority vote.

The Select Board’s Allen Edinberg presented Article 11, to transfer $10,500 from free cash to replace server room cooling equipment in Town Hall.

In reply to a resident’s question, Edinberg said the warranty on the equipment had expired.

Article 11 passes, 423-23.

Select Board Chair Ian Johnson presented Article 12, an appropriation from Ambulance Receipts Reserve of $357,000 to replace an ambulance.

Fire Chief Patrick Purcell seeks the funding to order the ambulance now in order to have it delivered in two years.

Article 12 passes, 450-15.

DPW Director Chris Payant presented Article 13, a request of $168,000 for a catch basin cleaner attachment.

Last spring’s Town Meeting approved a multi-use vehicle to replace a 1999 six-wheel dump truck and a 1988 catch basin cleaner. Due to rising costs, the DPW asked for extra funds for the attachment.

On whether to subcontract for services, Payant said it would not serve the best interests of the town.

Article 13 passes, 431-33.

Payant presented Article 14, a request to transfer from available funds $550,000 to assist with water system improvements.

The funds will be used for engineering design for Oak Street treatment plant improvements to remove PFAS.

According to Payant, in December 2020, testing at one of the town wells found PFAS; as a precaution, the well was taken offline.

Payant said the town had to weather the recent drought with two wells out of service.

Several residents asked about the origin of the PFAS. Payant said the source is unknown, but the substance is manmade; PFAS are present in many everyday items, from chemicals used in fighting fires to dental floss.

One resident asked about the design costs; Payant said it’s 10% of the overall costs.

Resident Tom Shea made a motion to end the debate, which required a two-thirds vote.

Town Meeting voted 428-28 to end the debate.

Article 14 passes, 447-30.