Overnight Street Parking Prohibited as of Tonight
VOTE Tues Nov 4, 7am-8pm HHS, Free Flu Clinic, 2pm-6pm HHS
Real Estate Taxes due November 3rd

Special Town Meeting October 28, 2013

by Paul Saulnier
October 28, 2013

About 120 of us spent down our savings account (no rain in site), gave a ton of money to the Bullard Farm with the promise that we would be able to visit, and bought into the concept of a DPW, all this and more at a meeting that has been traditionally for midyear bookkeeping.

Prior to Town Meeting, Marty Lamb was outside collecting signatures to repeal the new gas tax and to revise the casino laws. Both petitions are available at his law office. About 80,000 signatures are needed.

Ken Szajda, Chairman of the Finance Committee, reviewed the financial status of the town:

 

ARTICLE 1.             To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money for unpaid bills from prior years; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen).

THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THAT THE TOWN RAISE AND APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $7,795.39 AND APPROPRIATE $184.46 FROM WATER SURPLUS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING INVOICES FOR SERVICES FROM PRIOR FISCAL YEARS (SIX  IN FAVOR).  The invoices include medical expenses, office supplies, legal services and building repairs. Approved. 

 

ARTICLE 2.             To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money for the purpose of supplementing various accounts of the Town's fiscal year 2014 annual budget, previously voted by the Town under Article 15 of the Warrant for the 2013 Annual Town Meeting; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen). 

THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THAT THE TOWN REDUCE THE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS BUDGET BY $18,757; RAISE AND APPROPRIATE $1,283 FOR THE BOARD OF HEALTH BUDGET; AND REDUCE THE DEBT SERVICE BUDGET BY $6,332; ALL AS SHOWN IN THE RECOMMENDED CHANGE COLUMN BELOW (SIX IN FAVOR).   Approved.  

 

ARTICLE 3.             To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds a sum of money for the purpose of reducing the amount of money to be raised through property taxes for fiscal year 2014; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen). $1,358,776 from Free Cash. Approved.
 

ARTICLE 4.             To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money for the Stabilization Fund; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen) 

THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THAT THE TOWN RAISE AND APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $400,000 FOR THE STABILIZATION FUND (SIX IN FAVOR). Approved.

 

ARTICLE 5.             To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money for the Capital Expenditure Fund; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen) 

THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THAT THE TOWN RAISE AND APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $458,760 FOR THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND (SIX IN FAVOR). Approved.

 

ARTICLE 6.             To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to hold a public auction for the purpose of disposing of surplus departmental equipment; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen). Approved for various pieces of old equipment.

 

ARTICLE 7.             To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from

available funds or borrow a sum of money for the purpose of capital expenditures, including replacement and new vehicles and equipment, for the Highway, Police, School, Public Buildings, Fire, Technology, Treasurer/Collector and Accountant departments, and authorize the Board of Selectmen to trade or sell used equipment toward part of the purchase price; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen) 

THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THAT THE TOWN APPROPRIATE $200,000fROM THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND AND AUTHORIZE A SHORT TERM BORROWING OF $175,000 FOR A FIRE DEPARTMENT PUMPER ENGINE; APPROPRIATE $86,634 FROM THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND FOR TWO POLICE DEPARTMENT VEHICLES; APPROPRIATE $4,000 FROM THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND FOR POLICE DEPARTMENT WEAPONS; APPROPRIATE $37,800 FROM THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND FOR COMPUTER HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE FOR TOWN DEPARTMENTS; APPROPRIATE $64,200 FROM THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND FOR COMPUTER SOFTWARE FOR THE MUNIS ACCOUNTING SYSTEM; APPROPRIATE $18,200 FROM THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND FOR A HEATING SYSTEM AT THE FLAGG COLE BUILDING; APPROPRIATE $186,659 FROM THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND FOR SCHOOL DEPARTMENT TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE AND CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY; APPROPRIATE $131,300 FROM THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND FOR SCHOOL BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS; AND APPROPRIATE $190,000 FROM AMBULANCE FUNDS FOR A FIRE DEPARTMENT AMBULANCE (SIX IN FAVOR, EXCEPT FIVE IN FAVOR AND MR. DOWD OPPOSED FOR THE AMBULANCE).

Approved for amounts that differ from the originally posted in the warrant.

Bill Dowd opposed the replacement of the third ambulance as excess to Holliston's needs. Approved.

 

ARTICLE 8.             To see if the Town will vote to act on the report of the Community Preservation Committee on the fiscal year 2014 Community Preservation budget and to appropriate or reserve for later appropriation monies from the Community Preservation Fund annual revenues or available funds for the administrative expenses of the Community Preservation Committee, the payment of debt service, the undertaking of community preservation projects and all other necessary and proper expenses for the year; or take any action relative thereto.  (Community Preservation Committee

THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THAT THE TOWN APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $3,000 FROM THE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION FUND FOR SIGNS AT CONSERVATION PROPERTIES; APPROPRIATE $79,260 FROM THE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION FUND FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES IN PREPARATION FOR PROPERTY ACQUISITION BY THE TRAILS COMMITTEE; AND APPROPRIATE $300,000 FROM THE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION FUND FOR ACQUISITION OF A CONSERVATION RESTRICTION ON BULLARD MEMORIAL FARM PROPERTY (FIVE IN FAVOR, MR. KASLOW ABSTAINING).

Frank Chamberlain, Chairman of CPC, spoke to the three motions:

Regarding $3,000 for signs for conservation areas purchased with CPA funds. Approved

Regarding $300,000 for town's purchase of a conservation restriction for 111 acres of Bullard Farm, a National Historic Property. Two other sources of funding must be approved (1.1 million dollars total cost). Town residents will then have access to the property. Rachel Kane spoke to the proposal and to the conservation restriction in response to Marty Lamb's question about the details of the proposed restriction. An additional $80,000 from the town will also be required to complete the action.

Marty Lamb motioned to postpone the article due to the incomplete language in the conservation restriction.

Future use of the property for a town well would be prohibited, according to Anne Marie Pilch (above). Selectman Jay Marsden and resident Barbara Gardner spoke in favor of the expenditure. The motion to postpone failed. The original motion was unanimously approved.

Regarding $79,200 for costs associated with the purchase of rail trail property. Approved.

 

ARTICLE 9.             To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to acquire a conservation restriction on two parcels of land comprising one hundred eleven (111) acres, more or less, owned by the Bullard Memorial Farm Association and located off of Bullard and Central Streets and shown as Lot 1 of Block 1 and Lot 38 of Block 4 of Assessors’ Map 9; to determine whether the Town will accept a grant of up to $400,000 from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, a grant of $350,000 from the Trustees of Reservations and other grants or gifts for this purpose; to determine whether such acquisition shall be by borrowing, by transfer of available funds, by appropriation of Community Preservation funds or by some combination thereof; to determine whether such property shall be acquired for conservation purposes under section 8C of Chapter 40 of the General Laws; or take any action relative thereto.  (Open Space Committee) 

THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THAT THE TOWN APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $85,000 FROM THE OPEN SPACE FUND FOR THE ACQUISITION OF A CONSERVATION RESTRICTION ON BULLARD MEMORIAL FARM PROPERTY (FIVE IN FAVOR, MR. KASLOW ABSTAINING).

Approved, including other funds not previously explained in the warrant.

 

ARTICLE 10.           To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds a sum of money for the purpose of the OPEB Trust Fund; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen

THE FINANCE COMMITTEE recommends indefinite postponement. Approved

 

ARTICLE 11.           To see if the Town will vote to amend the Town of Holliston By-laws by deleting “$25.00” and inserting in place thereof “50.00” at the end of Section 5 – Penalty for Unlicensed Dogs of Article XXIX – Animal Control; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen

THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS FAVORABLE ACTION ON THIS ARTICLE (FIVE IN FAVOR, MR. DOWD OPPOSED). Approved

 

ARTICLE 12.           To see if the Town will vote to transfer certain parcels of property, acquired by the Town through tax title foreclosure, to the Conservation Commission as follows: 

1.      Map 7 Block 7 Lots 381, 380, 384 located off Juniper Road; Approved.

2.      Map 7 Block 5 Lot 24 located off Alpine/Hanlon Road;Approved.

3.      Map 11 Block 2 Lot 144 located off Mellen Street; and                    

4.      Map 4 Block 2 Lot 37 and located off Adams Street; Approved.

or take any action relative thereto. (Planning Board and Conservation Commission). According to Paul LeBeau, the properties are not developable land. Approved.

 

ARTICLE 13.           To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to seek special legislation substantially as follows: 

AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE TOWN OF HOLLISTON TO ESTABLISH A DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS.

Selectman Jay Leary presented the case for a DPW.

Water Commissioner Jared Adams spoke to the history of the Water Department and the efficient cooperation between Water and Highway departments in the past.

Jack Blais spoke about past expenditures on the town sewers with no result. He estimated that a Commissioner would cost $250,000 per year. Jack proposed indefinite postponement.

 

Mark Schultz spoke in favor of a DPW. However he noted that there was no mention of cost savings associated with the current proposal.

Selectman Kevin Conley recalled the years of discussion and numerous studies about a possible DPW. Kevin spoke of other towns with a DPW. They get grants that we do not qualify for. He recommended approval of the formation of a DPW.

Selectman Jay Marsden stated that the DPW would actually cost more initially, but other towns see efficiencies in the following years.

 

Doug Foss was looking for detail on personnel strucrure in the DPW proposal. So he recommended indefinate postponement. He also is concerned about losing three elected officials (Board of Water Commissioners) responsible to voters.

John Losch feels that this article is premature as the information necessary to make an informed decision was lacking. He felt that this article should be presented at the May town meeting, tradionally the meeting for important items like the formation of a DPW.

Joan Sousa, new to Holliston, thinks it is necessary to have a DPW. She went on to thank Jared Adams and his ancestors for their dedicated service to the town.

Geoff Zeamer commented on the lack of budget and a plan for going forward.

Motion to pospone was defeated.

David Keating, Chairman of the BWC, moved to delay the start of the DPW to FY 2015. Jay Leary supported the amendment. Approved.

The amended article was approved so now Holliston has a DPW.

Article 14. Establish an Enterprise Fund for the Water Department. Approved without a peep.

Town Meeting closed with the score at 3 to 1 Sox and two innings left in game 5.

 

Posted in Politics, Comings/Goings, News.

E-mail This Article

Comments (4)

Although I am in favor of a DPW I voted against the article because of the lack of detail presented. But my biggest concern is the proposed management scenario. I would prefer an organization similar to the one for the schools: the DPW Director controlled by an elected committee of 5 to 7 residents. I believe that is the best way to keep residents informed and participating in decisions going forward.

- Paul | 10/30/13 7:14 AM

Mark --- "these days" -- 25 or 30 years should do it. Not to be confused with being a townie.

- Bobby Blair | 10/30/13 5:19 AM

How many years does it take to not be "new" to Holliston these days?

- Mark | 10/29/13 4:14 PM

The concept of a DPW has been a long time coming , mostly since the water " incidents " last decade . I would like to personally recognize and thank all of the prior town officials who started this process so many years ago and especially the previous DPW Study committees for all of their hard work laying the groundwork for this great result .

- Andy Porter | 10/29/13 6:16 AM

Advertisement

Advertisement

Recent Articles by Paul Saulnier:

Ballot Questions: NO if I like it, Yes if I don't?

Confused by all the ads on TV about the questions on the November 4, 2014 ballot? As usual, some seem to be set up so that if you are in favor of the question, you vote NO; opposed vote YES.

[Comments:2]

Continue ...

Police Log: October 20 - 26, 2014

They don't call it Lowland Street for nothin' and wouldn't it be great if all road rage incidents ended this way. Kate Hickey, one of HPD's civilian dispatchers.

Continue ...

Water Street Mill Open Saturday and Sunday, October 25 & 26

Don't miss this great opportunity to see the work of your favorite artists and meet a few new artists as well.

Continue ...

Police Log: October 13 - 19, 2014

The 14th was a bad day for drivers and beavers; ham bones on Highland Street.

Continue ...

Holliston Holds Free Flu Clinic

Now with drawings by a clinic patient.

Continue ...

Advertisement

Recent Articles in Politics:

True or False?

by Mary Greendale

How are we as voters to have a prayer of knowing what is true and what is false in ads and mailings from candidates?

[Comments:12]

Continue ...

Fall Town Meeting held October 27, 2014

by The Staff

[Comments:3]

Continue ...

Veterans Services Discussed

by Andrea Pessolano

Members of the MetroWest Veterans Consortium, including founding member Representative Carolyn Dykema, Representative John Fernandes, and Representative Jeff Roy, met with Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee and Maggie Brothers of Army Survivor Outreach Services to discuss support services available for families of fallen service men and women. Veterans’ advocates from across the MetroWest region gathered to discuss current issues facing our veterans and ways the community can come together to better assist our service members and their families.

Continue ...

Board of Selectmen Meets - October 22

by Nancy Farrell

It was a packed agenda and packed room for the Board of Selectmen's meeting on Wednesday night. The new Department of Public Works Director Sean Reese gave a report on his first six weeks. The Board solicited public comment about traffic lights downtown, and Howard Hager came to talk about saving the Town money, lots of it, by replacing light bulbs.

[Comments:6]

Continue ...

Downtown Traffic Management

by Mary Greendale

The current management design would provide lights for safer crossings for pedestrians and allow people exiting Central and Hollis Streets to have a fair shot. The street widening, four lanes and narrower sidewalk in the design are NOT consistent with the Vision. As seen in the window of Fiske's General Store. There would also be a third traffic light at Hollis.

[Comments:14]

Continue ...

Advertisement