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May 7, 2013: Town Meeting, Part 2

by Paul Saulnier 5/8/13

A quorum was reached by 7:35 PM.

ARTICLE 18.     to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money for the Stabilization Fund; 1.5 million. Approved

ARTICLE 19.    to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money for the Capital Expenditure Fund;   (Board of Selectmen) $550,000. Approved.

ARTICLE 20.    to accept the provisions of section 20 of Chapter 32B of the General Laws of the Commonwealth to provide for a separate Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund and a funding schedule for the fund.  (Board of Selectmen). Indefinate postponment. Approved.

ARTICLE 21.    to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money for the purpose of conducting impact analyses relative to the proposed casino development in the Town of Milford;   (Board of Selectmen). Transfer $100,000 from Stabilazation Fund.

Selectman Jay Marsden, above right, responded to a question from Michael Norton, above left. Jay said the towns could conduct their own impact studies to present to the Gaming Commission. It the best case scenario - none of these funds could be spent, but they are available if needed. Hopkinton also voted for $100,000. Michael would like an impact assessment to be developed to compensate Holliston for the adverse effects of a casino.

Bob Norton does not agree that we should spend "dime one" to defend ourselves. Milford should pay us to help them fight the casino.

Ken Szadja spoke to the law that addresses those towns which could respond to the casino proposal. To ensure that we can have our concerns heard, we have to have dollars set aside to have adequate representation.

Kip Fenton wondered if the Selectmen are in complete control of the dollars and how did the dollar number come about? Jay said that the costs are not known other than consultants did suggest that $100,000 is enough.

Ken Rockett, from Casino Free Milford spoke of the legislation and the identification of surrounding communities. Some $$$ can be reimbursed by the casino applicant. But the impact on surrounding towns is negative. According to Ken, no casino has ever been built near communities with the high property values of Holliston and Milford. The $100,000 requested is cheap insurance, Ken said.

Doug Foss asked if the Selectmen have taken a position on this issue? Jay responded that we have to be able to respond to the proposal. We have not seen an actual proposal so we have not taken a position.

John Vosburg wants to be sure that we need to be sure we get money out of the system. Kevin Conley said that this represents only $25 per household.

John Losch was involved when an airport was proposed in Holliston. We overwhelmed the members of the legislature with calls from every organization in the 352 cities and towns in Massachusetts. "If they can do it to us, they can do it to you. That's how we stopped them. It has to be a community effort."

Approved unanimously.

ARTICLE 22.    to appropriate from fiscal year 2012 Highway Department encumbrance a sum of money for the purpose of road and sidewalk repairs during fiscal year 2014;  (Board of Selectmen). $272,335 from fy 12. Approved.

ARTICLE 23.    to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money for the purpose of completing a traffic study and analysis, with preliminary design of improvements, for downtown Holliston;  (Board of Selectmen and Planning Board). $40,000. Approved.

ARTICLE 24.  to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds or borrow a sum of money for the purpose of acquiring that parcel of property shown as Lot 125 of Block 1 on Assessors’ Map 14, located off of Meadowbrook Lane; (Open Space Committee). $260,000 from Open Space fund. Approved.

ARTICLE 25.    to authorize the Board of Selectmen to convey a portion of Lot 48 of Block 2 on Assessors’ Map 8, comprising approximately 981 square feet and shown as Parcel 1 on a plan entitled “Sketch Holliston, Massachusetts” dated March 12, 2013, to the owners of Lot 7.F of Block 2 on Assessors Map 8;  (Board of Selectmen). Part of the driveway is not on the buyer's property (Steve Christofori). Approved.

ARTICLE 26.    To see if the Town will vote to amend ARTICLE XVIII of the Town of Holliston General By-laws by inserting a new Section 7 as follows:

Section 7.  Discharge of Liquid, Solid, or Debris onto a Roadway.

No person shall pipe or otherwise deposit in or upon any public way, or way to which the public has a right of access as invitees or licensees, any liquid, solid, or debris which may freeze or create a hazardous condition between November 1 and March 31.  This bylaw pertains mainly to the discharge of sump pumps onto a public street. This is not allowed and is punishable by a $50.00 per day fine.  The Highway Department or the Police Department are the enforcement agencies of this bylaw.

If said person, who is discharging liquid into the street (i.e. sump pump), has and is taking active measures to prevent said discharge, as confirmed by a qualified official (Highway Superintendent, plumber, etc.), then that person shall receive a verbal warning for said violation;

or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen)

Bob Norton spoke to snow plowing problems and would like the article to be amended to include public or private plowing. Doug Foss asked if this is not already a law.

Selectman Jay Leary suggested that this is a common courtesy. Jay then spoke to the sump pump discharge safety issue. Some places had to be sanded multiple times, according the the highway department. Jay has seen ice build up of 2 to 3 feet on one property due to sump pump discharge.

John Losch moved that this article be indefinately postponed "because the degree to which this is a problem is not exactly clear". Current law should cover the problem where it exists. The roads need better gutters and crowns to keep the surface runoff off the travelled way.

Michelle Zeamer suggests that the snow question is too complicated and should be voted down because you can't always discern who placed the snow in the wrong place. Motion to add snow defeated.

Carl Damigella supports motion to indefinately postpone because much of Washington Street would not be covered by this bylaw as it is owned by the state. Approved.

ARTICLE 27.     To see of the Town will vote to amend the Town of Holliston Zoning By-Laws at Section VII Site Plan Review by adding the following title and text (Note: Bold italicized text is new. Strikethrough text is to be modified.):

Section VII Site Plan Review
6. Authority of the Board.
In the event the application is not revised as requested by the Planning Board to meet the General Conditions in VII(5), the Planning Board may deny the application. The decision shall be in writing and shall clearly state the reasons for denial.
7. Filing of Decision and Appeal. The decision of the Planning Board shall be filed with the Town Clerk. The appeal of any decision of the Planning Board hereunder shall be made in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 40A, s. 17.


7. 8. Enforcement

or take any action relative thereto.  (Planning Board).

Parashar Patel said that this a just regulation maintenance. Approved.

ARTICLE 28.    To see if the Town will vote to amend Section II-B Location of the Districts (Zoning Map) of the Town of Holliston Zoning By-Laws by changing the district designation from Residential (R-1) to Village Commercial (VC) of the following parcel:  Lot 51 of Block 3 on Assessors’ Map 8E and owned by 855 Washington Street Realty Trust as shown as Lot 2 on the attached Plan number 1319 of 1965 dated and recorded at the Middlesex South Registry of Deeds on October 18, 1965; or take any action relative thereto.  (By Petition). Planning Board supports the motion.

Carol Kosicki asked for an explanation of the effect of the rezoning. John Nichols said that this allows this property to become compliant with zoning. Interest in renting has been from professionals. Approved.

ARTICLE 29.    To see if the Town will vote to request that the Town and its departments develop and implement a management plan for the upkeep and maintenance of the Winthrop Canal and other tributaries of the lake.  [Rest of petition was struck: and appropriate funds to achieve this on a yearly basis.  Years of neglect have left debris in the canal including downed trees and extensive silt built up, creating a man made wetland with poor drainage that is adversely affecting flood storage throughout the Lake Winthrop watershed.  Lack of maintenance of the canal and its tributaries combined with beaver infestations have made the problem critical.]  (By Petition).

 

Janice Miller has not seen any maintenance on the canal in the 23 years that she has lived in Holliston. This affects all ares of Holliston that drain into the canal as water backs up. Culverts are full even without rain. Jay Leary has met with neighbors. Conservation has agreed to allow some maintenance to proceed. Dredging will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Jay motioned to indefinately postpone.

 

John Thomas feels that Lake Winthrop is one of the most significant resources in town. John wants the study to go forward.

 

Nat Simpkins said that the canal has to be maintained and can't get the town to do any of it. We give $48,000 per year to Mosquito Control. "I could clean it out in a week", Nat said. Motion to postpone defeated.

 

Tom Beck moved to have the study completed by May, 2014. John Thomas urged that no specific date be included so that elements could be put in place as they are developed. Mark Schultz feels that we need the plan but wonders where the money will come from. The motion to have a completion date carried. The original motion carried.

And so ended the Annual Town Meeting for 2013.

 

Posted in Politics, Local Lore, Comings/Goings.

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Comments (1)

VERY good reporting, Paul.. Nice job!
- Jean | 5/8/13 7:01 AM
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