Westborough Select Board sets Special Town Meeting for Dec. 10

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Westborough Select Board sets Special Town Meeting for Dec. 10
Westborough Public Library sits on Main Street. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

Editors note: This article has been updated with more information about the special Town Meeting.

WESTBOROUGH – The Westborough Public Library’s building project will be back for another vote.

During its meeting on Nov. 15, the Select Board decided to hold a special Town Meeting on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 9 a.m. at the high school.

The board acknowledged that on Nov. 7, the Town Clerk’s office received a petition with more than 500 signatures asking for a revote. The signatures were certified the weekend of Nov. 12.

During the special Town Meeting on Oct. 17, the project, estimated to cost $36 million, fell short of the needed two-thirds majority by about 15 votes.

Since then, petitions both for and against the revote have been circulating.

During the Nov. 15 meeting, resident Steve Buttiglieri asked whether any “meaningful changes” had taken place since the October meeting to justify the calling of another special Town Meeting.

He added that Massachusetts General Law 39, Section 10, the statute being used to call forth the revote, was not intended for Town Meeting “do overs.”

Buttiglieri suggested that the “only true, fair way” would be to put it on a ballot so residents can vote their preference.

In response, Select Board Chairman Ian Johnson said that once the petition was presented and certified, the Select Board was required by law to call a special Town Meeting.

Johnson also encouraged everyone to attend.

Why Dec. 10?

Dec. 10 was chosen over several other dates because it’s on a Saturday when more residents are likely to attend. Also, it’s just before the Dec. 15 deadline to set the tax rate and have the Feb. 1 bills sent out.

Johnson said the Dec. 10 date “would be the better solution.”

Select Board member Allen Edinberg said Dec. 10 would work because it would allow extra time to close out the warrant.

Other possible articles

Also on the warrant will be 0 Ruggles St.

The request is to have Parcel A of the property transferred from the Select Board to the Conservation Commission.

According to Town Manager Kristi Williams, the town had received word from the state that there was “flexibility” when it came to the parcel, and land clearing and tree removal would be allowed on Parcel A, even if it’s under the Conservation Commission’s supervision.

The town would receive $60,900 in state funds to help offset the purchase price.

Another article asks for a transfer of free cash of $30,000 to replenish the account for electronic voting for Annual Town Meeting.

The warrant will be further discussed at the board’s meeting on Nov. 22 after the Community Advocate went to press. It will also be when comments for and against the revote will be allowed.

Possible alternate dates will also be discussed in case there’s inclement weather on Dec. 10.

RELATED CONTENT ON WESTBOROUGH PUBLIC LIBRARY PROJECT

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Westborough library project fails 2/3 vote

Advisory Finance Committee recommends defeat of Westborough library project