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Board of Selectmen Met April 27

by Nancy Farrell
April 28, 2016

Selectmen Jay Leary, Chairman Jay Marsden, and Kevin Conley (l to r) met to finalize documents for Town Meeting, coming up on May 9. Mark your calendars.  

First on the agenda was the Report of the Town Administrator Jeff Ritter who reported that bids will be opened for today for renovations at the recently purchased building at 1750 Washington Street. No bids have been received as yet but Mr. Ritter is hoping that there will be a few last minute bids from interested parties. He also reported that the Town had received an estimate for the environmental remediation for the Flagg School building that is needed prior to demolition. The estimate came in $200,000 lower than anticipated at $425,000. The work is expected to take eight to ten weeks and, pending passage at Town Meeting, is expected to take place over this summer school vacation. Mr. Ritter commended the Holliston Police Department for their Workplace Violence Program presented to Town staff and said that the Police Department would be presenting the program to interested private local businesses.

Town Planner Karen Sherman discussed the eight proposed zoning by-laws amendments in the Town Warrant with the Board of Selectmen. The three of the changes clarify non-conforming uses, definitions, and the schedule of uses. Jay Leary asked Karen Sherman to onfirm that these changes do not create obstacles to new businesses. Ms. Sherman indicated that over time the restrictions had become increasingly business friendly. Other changes included: a minor change to flood plain regulations -- Jay Leary asked to confirm that the change did not increase the number of people included in the area; a reduction in the threshold for number of acres for senior housing from 15 to 10 acres with no change to the density; clarifications in the regulations for medical marijuana facilities that reflect State statutes; and, last but not least, a restriction for adult entertainment facilities to industrial areas. There will be a hearing tonight at the Planning Board meeting on these changes.

The Selectmen appointed Daniel Nash to the Auxiliary Police with high recommendations from Lieutenant Craig Denman. Congratulations, Daniel!  Diane Harrington was appointed to fill one of two vacancies on the Housing Trust Committee. Chairman Jay Marsden commented on Ms Harrington's outstanding qualifications in the area and expressed his gratitude for her stepping forward to lend her expertise and experience to the Housing Trust. Thank you, Diane! Taro Matsuro who is on the Planning Board would like to offer his excellent skills to the Housing Trust, but the Board of Selectmen postponed his appointment to consider whether having two members of the Planning Board (Housing Trust member Warren Chamberlain is also a Planning Board member) would create a problem.

Renovations on the bathrooms at the Senior Center can begin with the bid of $47,000 accepted from local builder John Gagnon.

The Board approved an additional 20-year lease for the fields on Marshall Street with the Holliston Youth Soccer Association. The Selectmen had high praise for the Associations maintenance and operation of the fields. HYSA will be replacing the artificial turf in the next few years.

The signing of the grant contract with Community Compact for $25,000. Part of the grant will be used for Personnel By-laws Wage Study which will be conducted by the Collins Center at UMass/Boston. 

The Selectmen discussed Article 30 -- Downtown Signalization. The project is estimated to cost $1.5 million. Funds for the project will be secured with a debt exclusion override. Depending on the type of bond used the impact to the tax rate will be between $.08 and $.15. The Board is split on which traffic plan will meet the requirements of the scope of the project. Kevin Conley summed up their positions saying Jay Leary supports the McMahon design with two lanes, Jay Marsden suggests changes to parking regulations to accommodate rush hour traffic and Kevin himself supports the one-lane solution, expressing concern for the merging of traffic beyond the intersection. Looking at how long the Town has been trying to solve this safety issue in the center of our town, they ask for the support of townspeople to get the traffic signalization passed, and continue to work out the solution.

 

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