SHREWSBURY – Shrewsbury’s Special Town Meeting will be held Monday, Oct. 16. Community members will gather at the Oak Middle School auditorium to discuss nine total articles.
Two other proposed articles will not be on the warrant for this meeting. SELCO had attempted to move to the Patrick Subaru building in early August; Town Meeting would’ve voted on the move, but since the move is not going forward no article will be necessary.
An article regarding Physik Instrumente’s (PI) proposed move to Centech Park North was also proposed. PI had asked for tax benefits that would have required Town Meeting approval. The company went before the Select Board in September and outlined their plans to move their American headquarters to Shrewsbury.
However, that article has been delayed as the company continues to look for space in Shrewsbury. In late September, Town Manager Kevin Mizikar said that PI hadn’t yet come to terms on a lease agreement within the town.
Here’s what is on the town meeting warrant:
Article 1 calls for transferring roughly $330,000 to make “critical adjustments” to the fiscal 2024 operating budget.
The transfer is meant to help the town offer competitive wages and help when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. According to the town’s Town Meeting guide, the transfer doesn’t compromise the long-term financial position of the town.
Article 2 calls for the transfer of $596,000 into the town’s General Stabilization Fund. Frequently called the town’s “rainy day fund,” the transfer would “be used to overcome significant unforeseen financial challenges should they arise in the future.”
Article 3 asks the town to transfer $350,000 for capital improvement projects, including HVAC work at schools throughout the district. The article also includes funds for the Information Technology Department and building security for school and municipal buildings.
Article 4 would “rescind the excess amount of $40,655,000 authorized but unissued
borrowing” from the town’s 2018 Special Town Meeting. The town borrowed the funds for the new Beal Elementary School, but the project was completed under budget. Rescinding the borrowing authorization would “provid[e] favorable benefits during the bond rating process.”
Article 5 sets a lower interest rate on tax deferral agreements. The town hopes the lower tax rate will alleviate the burden of residents who have entered the tax deferral agreement. The town has one property with a tax deferral agreement.
Article 6 was put forward by the Community Preservation Committee (CPC). The CPC is asking to appropriate $70,000 to acquire and restore a 1926 American LaFrance Fire Engine. The engine was Shrewsbury’s third motorized fire apparatus and drove in the town’s 200th anniversary celebration. It would be transported and restored in time for the town’s tricentennial celebration in 2027.
The final three articles involve several small changes.
Article 7 asks the town to adjust the town’s Dog Control Law. Article 8 seeks to “introduce language to authorize the town clerk to make nonsubstantive, administrative changes to the numbering and lettering of the general bylaws.” Article 9 involves similar minute changes to the general bylaws.
All nine articles were unanimously approved by the Finance Committee.
For more information on the Town Meeting, visit https://shrewsburyma.gov/361/Town-Meeting.