A look at Grafton’s Town Meeting warrant


A look at Grafton’s Town Meeting warrant
Grafton’s annual Town Meeting will take place on May 8. Photo by/Dakota Antelman

GRAFTON – When the Annual Town Meeting convenes on Monday, May 8, at 7 p.m. at the high school auditorium, residents will decide on 35 warrant articles.

A look at some of the articles

The first 12 articles will be part of two consent agendas. Articles 1-3 deal with financial issues for the current fiscal year; articles 4-12 involve day-to-day municipal matters (except for Article 5, which asks for the appointment of Bridget Webber as a trustee of the Nelson Park and Memorial Library and Building Fund).

Along with deciding on the town’s operating and capital budgets, Town Meeting will determine whether to allow accessory uses in agricultural and residential districts for seasonal outdoor dining, live entertainment and alcohol sales.

Article 29, submitted by the Planning Department, is being presented by Houlden Farm on Wesson Road. The proposal would help the farm stage its seasonal Sunflower Shanty, which offers outdoor dining, live music and alcohol sales.

Last year, organizers ran into problems with obtaining beer and wine licenses, and they had to curtail its schedule of live entertainment by order of the town.

Article 30 asks the town to enter a tax increment financing agreement with Feedback Earth Inc; Article 31 will petition the General Court to change the position of town clerk from elected to appointed; Article 32 is a request to appropriate $7 million ($3.5 million from a debt exclusion, $3.5 from the road stabilization fund) to fix George Hill Road.

A look at the budget

The total budget for fiscal 2024 is $73,143,829 – about $3 more than in fiscal 2023.

Education takes up about 59% of the budget, at $43,427,796; $4.4 million is budgeted for public safety, while $13.4 million is for general government.

Capital item requests include $100,000 to help replace equipment at the Norcross Park Playground; $104,000 for a lease on Fire Engine 3; $100,000 toward renovations for Fire Station 2; $20,000 for a master plan for the Planning Board; and $70,000 to a roof replacement at the Millbury Street Elementary School.

Citizens’ petitions

The warrant includes three citizens’ petitions – to accept Joncas Terrace as a public way; to join in the call to change the Massachusetts flag and seal; and to dissolve the existing affordable housing trust and to transfer the assets to the town’s municipal stabilization fund.

The warrant is available here.

Watch the Town Meeting Warrant Article Spring Review Spring 2023 — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXe_GC_xEpA

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