For your visual reference, here’s a photo gallery of Town Meeting articles:
FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2016:
- FY 2016 Supplemental Appropriations – $200,000 FY16 Snow and Ice Deficit, and $31,500 for Sewer Enterprise Fund
- FY 2016 Budget Transfers – No Action – Consent Agenda
- Unpaid Bills from Previous Fiscal Years $3,142.25
FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2017:
- Property Tax Exemption Increase (MGL Chapter 59 Section 5 – these exemptions are aimed at helping low-income residents, veterans, the blind, firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty. Town Meeting votes annually on these exemptions.) – Consent Agenda Hopkinton Tax Relief Committee
- Personal Property Tax Bill Threshold – to establish a minimum personal property value of $1,000.00 for personal property accounts to be taxed. (MGL Chapter 59 Section 5)
- Set the Salary of Elected Officials – Town Clerk $65,630.
- Fiscal 2017 Operating Budget $75,982,132.38, which is a +2.46% Tax Impact (net of new growth)
- FY 2017 Revolving Funds. To see if the Town will vote to authorize or re-authorize the use of revolving funds containing receipts from the fees charged to users of the services provided by the various Boards, Committees, Departments or Offices of the Town, pursuant to Chapter 44, Section 53E 1/2, of the Massachusetts General Laws.
- Chapter 90 Highway Funds – $651,957
- Transfer to General Stabilization Fund – $300,000
- Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund – $612,647
CAPITAL EXPENSES AND PROJECTS:
- Pay-As-You-Go Capital Expenses
- Highway F-350 Pickup $60,000 DPW
- Fire Apparatus/Vehicles $46,394
- IT Equipment Replacement $100,000
- Replacement of Police Cruisers $74,000
- Systemwide School Security Upgrades (FY17 Upgrade intrusion alarm systems at Elmwood and High School) $100,000
- Hopkins School Boiler Replacement (Replace boiler #2 at Hopkins – town received insurance proceeds $42,088 in FY16) $55,000
- Middle School Water Heater Replacement (Replace water heater installed in 1996) $33,000
- High School Athletic Center Scoreboard Replacement $25,000
- Systemwide School Technology Upgrades (FY17 New student information system & wiring upgrades) $100,000
- School Dept. – Replacement of Tractor $81,000
- Middle School and High School Bleacher Upgrades and Repairs $85,000
- Weed Control at Lake Maspenock – No Action – The Lake Maspenock Weed Management & Control Advisory Group expects to release its recommendations by the end of May 2016.
- Sidewalk Master Plan Phase II – $136,000
- Transfer Funds to Purchase Fire Vehicle and Equipment – $500,000
- Transfer Funds to Purchase Fire Vehicle – $125,000
- Transfer Funds to Reequip/Reconfigure Fire Vehicle and Equipment – $55,000
- Purchase of Dump Truck $200,000 DPW
- Grove Street Water Tank Replacement $1,530,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund – Replaces the smaller 0.32 million gallon water tank which is 95 years old, with a new 1.33 million gallon tank.
- Water Main Replacement – Hayden Rowe Street $260,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund
- Water Source of Supply $1,000,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund
- Biological Filtration Wells #4 & #5 $50,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund
- Middle School Auditorium Upgrades (Install air conditioning, repaint stage floor, replace curtains, stage rigging, control console, & light board) $167,000
- School Bus Parking Lot (Construct gravel parking lot for buses at the proposed new elementary school – results in estimated annual positive impact of $111K ) $320,000 – No Action – Consent Agenda
- School Building & Grounds Storage Facility – Design & Feasibility $25,000 – No Action
- Artificial Turf Field with Lights – Design & Feasibility $100,000 – No Action – Consent Agenda
- Signage for Historical Sites – $15,000
- Transfer Funds for New Capital Projects – No Action – Consent Agenda
- Cemetery Roadway Opening – access to the Claflin St from Mt Auburn Cemetery – $2,500
COMMUNITY PRESERVATION FUNDS:
- Community Preservation Recommendations – CPC Project Narratives, CPC Powerpoint Slides, About the Community Preservation Act:
- $20,000 from funds reserved for Historic Preservation to preserve Town records
- $2,500 from funds reserved for Open Space for Boundary Markers/Medallions to be acquired and installed on Town owned parcels
- $50,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to improve the public trail and create a dog park on 192 Hayden Rowe Street (Hughes Property). – Some of the maintenance will fall under the DPW budget and the Parks & Rec Budget. The goal is also to set up a volunteer group of dog owners in town to help with some of the maintenance and to think of fundraising ideas.
- $50,000 from funds reserved for Open Space to acquire approximately 6 acres of land located at 0 East Main Street and shown as parcel U12-23-0 on the Assessors Map
- $60,000 from funds reserved for Historic Preservation to rehab and restore the McFarland Sanger House
- $75,000 from funds reserved for Historic Preservation to rehab and restore the Rte 85 Stone Bridge
- $25,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to construct a recreational path from Rte 85 to the Stone Bridge
- $10,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to install fencing around the Claflin Fountain
- $50,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to install protective netting at the Fruit Street Athletic Complex
- $20,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to install a boat dock at Sandy Beach
ZONING BYLAW AMENDMENTS:
- Amend Open Space Mixed Use Development Overlay District to allow “Cultural Uses” by Special Permit in the Residential Subdistrict, for example an International Marathon Center.
- Amend Garden Apartments in Residential Districts and Village Housing in Residential Districts Bylaws Garden Apartments and Village Housing bylaws draft 2-2-16
- Repeal Senior Housing Development Bylaw Senior Housing Development Bylaw draft 2-2-16
- Amend Site Plan Review and Open Space and Landscape Preservation Development Bylaws Site Plan Review and OSLPD Bylaws draft 2-2-16
- Amend Sign Bylaw Sign Bylaw draft 2-2-16, Document depicting proposed changes to Sign Bylaw 2-2-16 – These changes are due to a unanimous 2015 US Supreme Court Ruling “Reed vs Town of Gilbert, AZ.” Changes are being made to comply with the ruling, as recommended by Town Counsel.
- Amend Hotel Overlay District Hotel Overlay District draft 2-2-16 – Hopkinton already has a Hotel Zoning Overlay District, but has not yet been able to attract a hotel. These changes would: 1) reduce the amount of function room space required from 8,000 sq. ft. to just 1,500 sq. ft.; 2) require just a “restaurant” instead of a “full service restaurant;” and 3) require just a “fitness center” instead of a “health club facility.” Hopkinton’s local hotel room occupancy excise tax rate is 6% (voted at 2015 Town Meeting). A report on the Municipal Cost Impacts of Massachusetts’s Hotel/Motel-Based Homeless Families Shelter Program by the State Auditor’s office.
- Elmwood Park Business District Elmwood Park Business District draft 2-2-16, Proposed Elmwood Park Business District Map – Elmwood Park is currently in the “Industrial B” zoning district of Hopkinton, this change would create a separate zoning district for Elmwood Park with its own list of permitted uses.
- Dog Day Care Dog Day Care Facilities draft 2-2-16 – Hopkinton does not currently have zoning to allow Dog Day Care Facilities, this bylaw would set hours, size, waste, odor control and other requirements for such facilities.
- Animal Shelters Animal Shelters draft 2-2-16 – This bylaw change would set requirements for animal shelters, such as Baypath Humane Society, which also acts as Hopkinton’s dog pound. Baypath would like to expand and improve their physical plant and would need to find another location where they can build a modern animal shelter. They would like to remain in Hopkinton, however, today there is no land within the town of Hopkinton zoned for use by an animal shelter. Info Sheet from Baypath
GENERAL BYLAW AMENDMENTS:
- Repeal Sex Offender Residency Requirement – This repeal is due to a unanimous Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling in 2015 that struck down a law in the City of Lynn, which was very similar to Hopkinton’s bylaw.
LAND ACQUISITIONS AND DISPOSITIONS:
- Acquisition of Easement – 91 West Main Street – for the purpose of creating an exclusive right turn lane in West Main Street eastbound onto Lumber Street.
- Acquisition of Easement – Leonard Street – to be used for stormwater management purposes.
- Gift of Land – Connelly Hill Estates – to be used for open space and recreation purposes.
- Gift of land – Hilltop Road – No Action – Consent Agenda
- Gift of land – Legacy Farms Recreation Parcel – to be used for open space, recreation and general municipal purposes.
- Street Acceptance
- Connelly Hill Road, from Smith Road to Bowker Road
- Valleywood Road, from Erika Drive to dead end
- Carol Ann Drive, from West Elm Street to dead end
- Kerry Lane, from Eastview Road to dead end
- Nancy Lane, from Teresa Road to dead end
- Street Discontinuance
- “Frankland Road” from its intersection with East Main Street to its intersection with Legacy Farms Road
- The entirety of the private way known as “Peach Street”
- Disposition of Property – the discontinued portions of Frankland Road and Peach Street.
Selectmen recommend No Action, but Planning Board recommend Approval
- Solar Tax Agreements – to authorize the Board of Selectmen to negotiate a Tax Agreement for payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT Agreement) with the owner(s) of a solar photovoltaic facility on East Main Street.
- Town Clerk – to change the position of Town Clerk from elected to appointed (hired). In order to move forward this question would also require approval from the state and a yes vote on a future town election ballot. It is not on the ballot for May 16. Town of Hopkinton 2016 Job Description Town Clerk
- Trustees of the School Trust Fund in the Town of Hopkinton – to appoint Jeanne Bernardin (7 Kimball Road) as a Trustee – Consent Agenda
At the March 1 Board of Selectmen Meeting the Town Manager presented FY17 Town Budget Comprehensive Budget and Financing Plan, after feedback from the Selectmen it has been revised for the next Selectmen’s meeting. Per the Town Charter the Board of Selectmen must either adopt or amend Town Manager’s budget, and submit to the Appropriation Committee by March 15. There have been some news articles about the budget discussions at the 3/1 and 3/8 Selectmen’s meetings.
- FY17 Town Budget Comprehensive Budget and Financing Plan Revised for 3-15-16 BOS meeting
- Hopkinton fire chief seeks used ladder truck by Jonathan Phelps, MetroWest Daily news
- Hopkinton school chief touts initiatives by Jonathan Phelps, MetroWest Daily news
- Hopkinton selectmen weigh turf field, bus lot by Jonathan Phelps, MetroWest Daily news
Board of Selectmen Meeting
Tuesday, March 15 at 6:45pm, Town Hall Room 215
Televised Live on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8 / Verizon 30 / Streaming at hcam.tv)
Public comment period at 6:45pm at the beginning of the meeting.
At the Thursday, December 10 School Committee meeting, the following FY17 budget presentations are on the agenda:
- Center School Budget Presentation – Mrs. Dubeau
- Elmwood School Budget Presentation – Mrs. Carver
- Hopkins School Budget Presentation – Mr. Kearnan
- Special Education Budget Presentation – Dr. Zaleski
- Prioritization of Capital Requests
None of the new budget documents were available on the school website yet as of 5pm on the day of the meeting. The meeting begins at 7:00pm in the Middle School Library, public comments are scheduled near the end of the meeting, about 8:45pm. Barring technical difficulties, you may also watch the meeting on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8 / Verizon 30 / Streaming www.hcam.tv). Click here to view the meeting agenda.
Some of the budget presentations were posted to the district website on Monday, December 14:
- Center School Budget Presentation – Mrs. Dubeau
- Elmwood School Budget Presentation – Mrs. Carver
- Hopkins School Budget Presentation – Mr. Kearnan
Time to Give Input:
If you have questions, comments or concerns, now is a good time to voice them while budgets are not yet final. Email both the School Committee and the Superintendent at the following addresses:
Budget Documents Already Presented:
According to an article in the Metrowest Daily News “The Planning Board gave its OK to the town’s $11.8 million library renovation and expansion project Monday night, after debating landscaping and a $16,000 per year deal for the town to use part of the St. John the Evangelist Church’s parking lot.” Read more in the Metrowest Daily News…
According to an article in the Hopkinton Crier, the Chairman of the Permanent Building Committee, Dan “McIntyre said the library will shut down
for about two weeks [eHop has been told that the library will actually be closed for about one month] next month as it moves into a temporary home at 63-65 South St. The town rented the 3,000-square-foot space after the building committee put out three bid requests. The building is home to a number of businesses, including The Playhouse Preschool. The building will also store library equipment and collections not being used or displayed. “We should be set up before the holidays,” he said.” Read more in the Hopkinton Crier…
On Friday, October 23, over 300 “Hoptoberfest” partygoers filled St. John’s Parish Hall, raising over $30,000 for the Library renovation and expansion project set to break ground in early 2016. Hopkinton Public Library Foundation’s Third Annual Hoptoberfest, a fun night out to celebrate the fall and enjoy all things local, helped Library fundraising top $700,000. In addition, a number of guests joined the 1000 Homes for Hopkinton Library, adding their names to the 1000 Homes plaque to be hung in the new Library.
Founded in 2011, Hopkinton Public Library Foundation, Inc. (HPLF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission to raise private funds to support the state-of-the-art restoration, renovation and expansion of Hopkinton Public Library. HPLF has raised over $700,000 for the Library project. HPLF appreciates the Hopkinton community’s tremendous response, and asks for the community’s continued support. Gifts in any amount are welcome and appreciated, and are tax-deductible. For more information about how to build with us through 1000 Homes for Hopkinton Library, and the restoration, renovation and expansion of Hopkinton Library, please visit the HPLF website and the HPLF Facebook page.
The newly renovated Hopkinton Center for the Arts is now open and recently raised more than $125,000 at the Lights Up – Opening Night fundraising celebration. Funds raised from the event have brought the HCA within close reach of its $1.9 million dollar Capital Campaign goal, which will allow the HCA to complete the interior of the new arts center. Residents of Hopkinton and surrounding communities are already benefiting from expanded class offerings and performing and fine arts events, such as this year’s fun-filled Holiday Boutique Weekend (Dec. 4-6) and this week’s Primarily Potters Exhibit & Sale (Nov. 20-22).
Question 1: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to be exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to construct a new Department of Public Works headquarters facility?
Voters at Town Meeting voted to borrow $14.1 million to construct a new DPW headquarters facility to be located at 83 Wood Street, but for the project to go forward, the voters must also pass a debt exclusion at the ballot under proposition 2 1/2 to authorize a temporary increase in the Town’s levy limit to cover the cost of borrowing for this facility.
- A “yes” vote would approve the funds and the project could proceed.
- A “no” vote would mean that the Town could not borrow the funds to proceed with the project without a future affirmative ballot vote within 90 days.
If the question passes, it is estimated to cost the average household $157 per year for the life of the loan. Unlike operating budget overrides, debt exclusions do not cause a permanent increase in the tax base and do not affect the base upon which succeeding years’ tax levy is collected.
The DPW is responsible for:
- 125 miles of roads
- 65 miles of water mains
- 35 miles of sewer
- 666 hydrants
- 18 acres of cemeteries
- 14 acres of parks and fields
- Maintenance of DPW fleet, valued at $3.9 million
- on-call for emergencies 24 hours a day
According to the Permanent Building Committee (PBC) and the DPW, the existing facility:
- is inadequate and in need of repairs
- has insufficient space to house modern DPW equipment
- has an inadequate fuel facility to serve town vehicles
- lacks storage areas that impact the Town’s ability to protect their multi-million dollar fleet, allowing equipment to deteriorate more quickly than if protected from the elements.
Following the approval of $250,000 at the 2013 Annual Town Meeting to prepare preliminary design and cost estimates, the PBC and DPW evaluated 8 different site layouts and building arrangements before determining the Wood Street site and the proposed design best fit their needs.
If approved, the new 41,000 square foot facility would have trade shops, wash bays and places for vehicle maintenance and storage as well as work space for DPW employees. It would also include a fuel facility that would service DPW trucks as well as police, fire and other town vehicles.
Question 3: Shall the Town of Hopkinton be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to acquire a fee interest in a parcel of land located at 135 Hayden Rowe Street and shown as parcel U23-28-0 on the Assessors Map?
Ballot question 3 seeks authorization for the town to purchase the property at 135 Hayden Rowe also known as the Irvine Property. This property is the preferred site for the new elementary school and was supported unanimously by the Elementary School Building Committee, School Committee, and Board of Selectmen. The 28.7 acre property would be purchased for $1.8 million. The land was chosen by the ESBC as the preferred option due to its central location in town, ability to meet the needs of the educational model for PK-1st grade, and additional space to accommodate any future expansion. The warrant article to authorize the financing of the purchase passed overwhelmingly at Town Meeting but requires a vote at the ballot because it is being paid for via a debt exclusion.
- A YES vote would mean that the funds are approved and the expenditure will proceed.
- A NO vote would mean that the funds are disapproved and the expenditure cannot proceed without a future ballot vote within 90 days.
Voters at town meeting voted to borrow $1.8 million to purchase the property at 135 Hayden Rowe, consisting of approximately 28.699 acres of land. This borrowing was made contingent on the passage of a debt exclusion under Proposition 2 1/2, authorizing a temporary increase in the Town’s levy limit to cover the cost of borrowing for this purchase. The expected cost of the override for the average single-family homeowner is $40 in the first year of borrowing. The borrowing is expected over 10 years.