Town Meeting OKs Brigham St. culvert funds, Hometown Heroes article

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Town Meeting OKs Brigham St. culvert funds, Hometown Heroes article
Hometown Heroes banners line Main Street in Northborough, honoring veterans from throughout history. Hudson Town Meeting approved an article to support the Hometown Heroes Banner project. (Photo/Cheryl Arsenault)

HUDSON — With an affirmative vote at the November Special Town Meeting, the process to reconstruct the culverts on Brigham and Park streets can officially start.

Article 6, which passed, asked to borrow and appropriate the sum of $1.2 million for the design, permitting and reconstruction of stormwater culverts at Brigham and Park streets and to authorize the treasurer to issue any bond or notes. 

Last year, the culvert running underneath Brigham Street failed, and temporary measures were installed to prevent flooding.

Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory said the debt service from the borrowing of the funds will be paid with the Stormwater Enterprise Fund, which was established at the 2023 Annual Town Meeting.

RELATED CONTENT: Part of Brigham Street in Hudson closed for culvert work

Article 5 called for borrowing and appropriating $975,950 to purchase a fire engine and related equipment. It passed 317- 22, but there was some discussion about the need for the engine.

Resident Doug Schaeffer, who is a former member of the Hudson Fire Department, said the article was for a fifth engine. As the town already has four engines, a ladder truck would be a more appropriate purchase in the future, he said. He believed the money could be spent in another way. 

Fire Chief Bryan Johannes said they vetted five vehicle manufacturers in 2022 and selected Pierce Manufacturing, which is based in Appleton, Wis., for $651,000. It was funded by the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) and will not be in Hudson until the spring of 2024, which follows the 36- to 40-month wait period.

The current price of the proposed engine is $902,000, and there are the same supply chain issues for the current engines, he said. There is the option to opt out, but Johannes said that “it’s important right now to put this engine in the supply chain manufacturing queue now, so we have that (buying) option.”

Another article that passed Article 14, which was a petitioned article to raise and appropriate $20,000 to support the Hometown Heroes Banner project, in which banners of Hudson residents who were in branches of the military from World War II to the Gulf War will be hung around several areas in town.

There is a $250 application fee, which can be covered by sponsorship, and the deadline for submission by families is March 1, 2024.

Johannes acknowledged Jeanne Fondas, one of the petitioners and drivers of the effort to put up the banners. Resident Blake Marques said it would be a “great addition to the downtown.”

RELATED CONTENT: Hometown Heroes Committee leading effort to honor vets

Charter review

Select Board Chair Scott Duplisea said that the Hudson Town Charter, which was last adopted on May 8, 1978, will be soon reviewed by the board. He described the charter as “the document that defines the organization, powers, functions and essential procedures of town government.”

He added, “There has not been a comprehensive review of the charter since its adoption more than 45 years ago. We believe that it is time for the Select Board to begin a discussion of such a review.”

He said the topic would be discussed at one of upcoming meetings.

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