In the wake of several serious pedestrian accidents and growing concern about traffic, eHop will hold a public forum titled eHop’s Spotlight on Traffic and Pedestrian Safety on Monday, February 6, 7:00 – 8:15 pm at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, 98 Hayden Rowe Street, Hopkinton.
Hopkinton’s population has increased by 15% in the past decade1 and the average number of vehicles per household has increased from 2.03 to 3.4 in that same time frame2. Looking ahead, a 2014 report by BETA Engineering says that traffic along Main Street is expected to grow as much as 79% during the 5- 6 pm peak driving hour between 2012 and 20223. According to Hopkinton’s 2016 Draft Master Plan, the Town has reached a critical mass of traffic and pedestrians which needs to be addressed, at least in part, by separating pedestrians and vehicles where possible.
Traffic impacts everyone in Hopkinton — commuters, local drivers, bikers, runners, and walkers. In response, town officials have been working on several long-term improvement projects that are expected to come up for a vote at Town Meeting 2017. “We hope to educate residents about these important ongoing initiatives and encourage an open dialogue with town leaders to find ways that we can all work together to improve the safety of our streets,” said Amy Ritterbusch, President of eHop. Featured panelists will include Police Chief Lee, John Westerling, Director of the Department of Public Works, and Elaine Lazarus, Director of Land Use and Town Operations.
This will be the second forum in eHop’s Spotlight Series. Launched in October 2016, the first forum focused on the drought and water conservation. eHop is a Hopkinton based 501(c)(4) nonprofit whose mission is to provide timely and factual information about key town matters with the goal of increasing government transparency and fostering civic engagement.
The Hopkinton Board of Selectmen has called a special town meeting to be held on Monday, January 30, 2017 at 7:00pm in the Hopkinton Middle School Auditorium. Residents will consider changes to the town’s charter as proposed by the Charter Review Committee. All articles or petitions proposed to be included in the special town meeting warrant must be received at the Board of Selectmen’s office no later than 2:00 PM on Friday, January 6, 2017. We will not have a full list of articles on the warrant until after January 6.
At their meeting on January 5, the School Committee voted to put a placeholder article on the Special Town Meeting warrant appropriating up to $3 million to include 4 additional classrooms (and associated redesign costs) to the current school building project on Hayden Rowe Street. When the new school was proposed Hopkinton and the MSBA agreed in the fall of 2014 on an enrollment projection of 395 students. New enrollment projections from November 2016 now anticipate an enrollment of 485 students for the foreseeable future.
Hayden Rowe Street / Route 85 Traffic Study:
In November, the Selectmen & School Committee each voted to fund $20,000 in order to have technical studies done looking at how to improve traffic safety on Hayden Rowe Street, between the high school and Chestnut Street. If the study is completed in time, they may bring forward an article to implement any recommended traffic safety improvements at the January 30 Special Town Meeting. Read more on the MetroWest Daily News website.
Hopkinton Public Schools total PK-12 enrollment stands at 3,465 as of October 1, 2016, which surpasses the most recent projection by just 22 students. For many years, projections showed that enrollment would be either going down slightly or staying the same, but new projections now show a projected increase of 131 students in five years (3,596 total students in 2021-22) and a projected increase of 316 students in ten years (3,781 total students in 2026-27).
This year the largest classes are in the Middle and High Schools, with grade 8 being the largest at 311 students. Grade 4 is the largest elementary grade with 270 students this year. More residential developments at Legacy Farms and Hopkinton Mews are expected in the coming years. More detail is available in the links provided below. This year there are 153 students from Legacy Farms. The developer will pay a financial penalty to the town if the number of students exceeds 250 in the first six years, see section E 22 of the Host Community Agreement for more information.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) had originally certified an enrollment number of 355 K-1 students for the Center School replacement building project on Hayden Rowe Street. However, since that time Center School’s enrollment has been higher than expected and in 2015 the MSBA increased the enrollment certification for the Center School building project to 395 students. The Superintendent and the Elementary School Building Committee (ESBC) had originally expressed that they were comfortable with the 395 number even though Center School had 445 students at that time. They expressed that if needed, class sizes could be increased slightly to accommodate extra students without compromising the educational program.
However, at their meeting on January 5, the School Committee voted to put a placeholder article on the Special Town Meeting warrant appropriating up to $3 million to include 4 additional classrooms (and associated redesign costs) to the current new school building project on Hayden Rowe Street. New projections from November 2016 now anticipate an enrollment of 485 K-1 students for the foreseeable future.
The Hopkinton School Committee and Athletic Field Sub-Committee will host a public forum on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 7:00pm in the Hopkinton High School Auditorium. The public is encouraged to attend to hear a presentation regarding potential turf fields at the High School/Middle School complex. Following the presentation, there will be opportunities for members of the public to ask questions and offer feedback. The public forum will be filmed by HCAM-TV.
In addition, a preliminary presentation regarding potential turf fields will be made to the School Committee at their regular meeting on January 5, 2017 at 7 pm, which will be broadcast live on HCAM.
The Hopkinton School Committee will conduct a Public Hearing on its proposed budget for 2017-18 at 7:00 PM in the High School Library on Monday, January 9, 2017. It is expected to be televised on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8/Verizon 30/Streaming Live at www.hcam.tv). The School Committee’s budget will be available for the public to examine at the Superintendent’s Office on Friday, January 6. Administrators originally requested a 6.99% increase (+$2,862,135) over the current school year, but that was reduced to a 4.66% increase (+$1,907,069) in the 11-17-16 Preliminary Budget Presentation. However, in the most recent School Committee Budget Presentation from 12-15-16 that number was reduced to a request a 4.13% increase (+$1,688,410). Please see the budget documents posted below for more information.
Give Input Before the Vote:
The committee is scheduled to vote on the Superintendent’s budget recommendation on January 9, so if you have questions, comments or concerns, you should voice them ahead of time or come to the meeting in person to voice them there. Email both the School Committee and the Superintendent at the following addresses:
Tonight, Wednesday, December 7 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm at the Hopkinton Senior Center (28 Mayhew St) the Charter Review Committee will hold a public forum on its recommended changes. There will be three significant changes presented for consideration at the forum:
• Changing the Town Clerk from elected to appointed by the Board of Selectmen;
• Standardizing reporting structure for Town employees; and
• Streamlining the Budget Schedule and Warrant Process.
If you cannot attend you may contact the committee chair Pam Waxlax at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tonight, on Monday, November 21 the Planning Board will hold a public hearing to gather input and discuss updates to Hopkinton’s Master Plan. Residents are invited to attend the public forum which will begin at 7:35 pm in Room 215 of Town Hall. The Master Plan is a blueprint for our future that will help to guide our choices and decisions as a Town. It outlines goals and action plans for future residential and commercial development, business development, natural resources, open space, transportation/traffic, recreational facilities, parking, and much more. According to the plan, “Measured by population growth, Hopkinton has ranked among the state’s most rapidly growing towns for more than 20 years [and] a 20% growth in the number of dwelling units between 2010 and 2020 is anticipated. The challenge is in defining what type of development the Town wants and making that happen, balanced with the need to preserve the core of Hopkinton’s character and open spaces. This is a continuous dialogue that doesn’t begin or end with this Master Plan, and in which all residents can be involved.” The public hearing provides residents an opportunity to share comments and questions. Residents may also provide input until November 21st by calling or emailing Elaine Lazarus, Director of Land Use and Town Operations, email@example.com, 508.497.9700. The draft Master Plan is posted on the Planning Board website.