Category Archives: DPW

Cemetery Commission – Did You Know?

Mt Auburn Cemetery Hopkinton

The Cemetery Commission is a three-person elected board whose members serve a three-year term. The  Commission is responsible for overseeing the Town’s cemeteries. The Commission meets only when some issue needs attention. Some of the issues presently active are: trying to solve the damaged fence problem at the Main St. Cemetery (beside the Korean church), digitizing and providing access to all burial records for the Town cemeteries, and arranging for the cleaning and/or restoration of early headstones. Although not an immediate problem, the Commission also does the planning for additional cemetery space needs. The DPW handles the day-to-day operations and routine maintenance. Continue reading Cemetery Commission – Did You Know?

Hayden Rowe Corridor – 2nd Workshop

Hayden Rowe Crosswalk at HCA

The Town of Hopkinton will conduct a second public workshop on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at the Hopkinton Middle School auditorium, 88 Hayden Rowe, at 7:00 pm, to discuss the traffic calming measures currently being evaluated in the Hayden Rowe corridor between Grove Street and the Milford town line. The Town is committed to determining how public safety can be improved​ within the corridor.

Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting to continue the discussion on pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic challenges within the corridor. The Town’s consultant, WorldTech Engineering, will be in attendance and will discuss traffic calming measures that they are evaluating to help improve safety within the corridor.

Please contact John Westerling, your Director of Public Works, at 508-497-9740 or jwesterling@hopkintonma.gov with any questions.

Hayden Rowe School Zone at Middle School

Hayden Rowe Crosswalk at Chestnut St

Hayden Rowe Corridor Study Workshop: Town Calls on Residents for Input

Hayden Rowe Crash History

On Wednesday, February 15, the Town hosted a public workshop at Hopkinton High School to share preliminary information about the Hayden Rowe Corridor Study and gather input from residents.  In November 2016 the School Committee and the Department of Public Works allocated $20,000 each to study traffic and pedestrian safety on Hayden Rowe between Grove Street and the Milford town line.  The study was funded in response to two serious pedestrian and bicycle crashes on Hayden Rowe in recent years, an increase in concerns raised by residents to the Board of Selectmen, and in preparation for the new elementary school to open in the fall of 2018.   Many town leaders are involved including John Westerling, Director of the DPW, Police Chief Lee, Fire Chief Slaman, Norman Khumalo, Town Manager, Elaine Lazarus, Director of Land Use and Town Operations, Dave Daltorio, Town Engineer, and Dr. Cathy MacLeod, School Superintendent.  The goal of the project is to study, identify, and implement appropriate traffic calming measures that will allow traffic to move efficiently and effectively along Hayden Rowe while improving safety for motorists and pedestrians.   

The workshop began with welcoming remarks by Town Manager, Norman Khumalo, who stressed the importance of community input in the process. John Westerling then introduced three consultants from World Tech Engineering who ran the workshop.  The agenda covered project need, project history, existing conditions, crash history, potential improvements, and community input.  Slides were presented with background and data.  A second workshop is planned for mid-March at which time a conceptual plan will be presented. Ultimately, the findings and recommendations will be presented at Annual Town Meeting for a vote.  John Westerling encouraged anyone who would like to provide ideas, suggestions, and/or ask questions to reach out to him directly by email at jwesterling@hopkintonma.gov or by phone at 508-497-9740.

The presenters started with a description of various traffic calming measures to be considered.  They explained that the state categorizes roads into four groups, 1) Major arterial (ex. Route 9), 2) Minor Arterial (ex. Hayden Rowe), 3) Major Collector (ex. Pleasant Street), 4) Neighborhood Collector (ex. Theresa Road) which determines the types of traffic calming measures that are allowed by the Mass Department of Transportation. As a Minor Arterial Road, the state would allow the following traffic calming measures on Hayden Rowe:  Roundabouts, curb extensions, parking bays, chicanes (an artificial narrowing or turn on a road), raised median, pavement surface modification, and landscaped roadway (see images in slides for examples).  Examples of short term solutions include permanent radar feedback signs, rapid flashing beacons at crosswalks, as well as additional signs and pavement markings. The state does not allow other traffic calming measures such as raised crosswalks and speed humps on a Minor Arterial Road like Hayden Rowe.  The town will consider traffic calming measures within these rules and regulations set by the state.

Traffic backups and safety hazards at the intersection of Chestnut Street and Hayden Rowe were discussed.   The consultants have found that the intersection meets the warrants set by the State for a traffic signal.  (The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices  — MUTCD — is a document issued by the Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation to specify the standards by which traffic signs, road surface markings, and signals are designed, installed, and used.  It specifies when towns can or can’t add a traffic signal, based on traffic volume, accident history, and a number of factors.)  According to the presenters, the state would allow a traffic signal at this intersection.  The presenters advised that a traffic signal would reduce angle crashes, improve operations, and provide gaps in traffic.  It was noted that adding a signal would help organize traffic rather than slow traffic.

Several residents described long delays and safety hazards when turning left out of Theresa Road and Chamberlain Street onto Hayden Rowe.  There was also concern about the potential impact of a possible development being considered between Chamberlain and Whalen and how this could impact Chamberlain and Hayden Rowe.  Ken Weismantel, Chair of the Planning Board, commented that apps such as Waze and Google Maps send drivers through residential cut-throughs.  The presenters stated that they are basing their research and findings on traffic projections for 2024 and they are aware of the possible Chamberlain/Whalen development.

The 40 MPH speed limit near EMC Park was discussed.  Several residents said they think the speed limit is too high and should be reduced.   The presenters explained that in order to reduce a posted speed limit, the state requires the town to do a traffic study and report back on the driving speed of 85% of drivers. The state then sets the speed limit to match the speed at which 85% of motorists are driving.  For example, if the study finds that 85% of drivers are traveling at 50 MPH, the state would raise the speed limit to 50 MPH instead of lowering it.   As the town’s goal is to reduce the speed of traffic on Hayden Rowe, the presenters recommend implementing traffic calming measures first, reducing driving speeds, and then conducting a study to ensure that the results show slower speeds.  This will reduce the risk of the state increasing the speed limit exactly where the town wants to decrease it.  To read more about MassDOT’s Policy on Speed Zoning click here.  One alternative was mentioned – there is the possibility of making the stretch of Hayden Rowe between the new school and the Middle School an official School Zone which would require a 20 MPH speed limit when students are present (note that the 20 MPH speed limit is only applicable when school is in session).  However, the state’s School Zone guidelines limit these zone to 300 feet from a school building holding Grades 1-8 only.  As high schools are not included in the official state regulated school zones, an exception would need to be made by the State granting Hopkinton permission to extend the School Zone from the new elementary school, past the High School, and to the Middle School.

At least two residents commented that the Police Department’s mobile speed radar is extremely effective in slowing traffic in front of EMC Park.  The police acknowledged this.  The Town owns two mobile units and they are reserved for various locations around town.   New mobile speed radar units cost $7,000 each.   

John Coutinho, member of the Board of  Selectmen, stressed the importance of going to Annual Town Meeting to vote on the final recommendations.  The final plan must pass by a majority vote to be funded and implemented.   Annual Town Meeting begins on Monday, May 1 at 7 pm in the Middle School Auditorium.

John Westerling concluded the workshop at 9 pm, thanking town officials and residents for their input.

Next steps:

  • Create a conceptual design
  • Public Workshop #2 (mid-March)
  • Refine concept
  • Cost estimates
  • Town Meeting

After Town Meeting:

  • Topographic Survey
  • Preliminary Design
  • Public Workshop #3
  • Final Design
  • Project Award and Construction (project bidding in winter 2018, construction in spring 2019)

Hayden Rowe St Public Workshop 2017-02-15 Presentation (PDF)

Hayden Rowe Corridor Traffic Calming Workshop

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The Town of Hopkinton will conduct a public workshop on February 15, 2017 at the Hopkinton High School auditorium, 90 Hayden Rowe, at 7:00 pm, to discuss the traffic calming measures currently being evaluated in the Hayden Rowe corridor between Grove Street and Chestnut Street. The corridor between Chestnut Street and the Milford town line is also being looked at and will be discussed. The Town is committed to determining how public safety can be improved within the corridor.

Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting to discuss the pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic challenges within the corridor. The Town’s consultant, WorldTech Engineering, will be in attendance and will discuss traffic calming measures that will be evaluated to help improve safety within the corridor.

Please contact John Westerling, your Director of Public Works, at 508-497-9740 or jwesterling@hopkintonma.gov with any questions.

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Q & A from the eHop Spotlight on Traffic & Pedestrian Safety

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Q: Chamberlain Road resident: If a neighborhood is going to be drastically changed by a development and the residents are really concerned but the Planning Board says they are constrained by bylaws and can’t do anything about it legally, do you have any advice for that neighborhood?

A: Elaine Lazarus, Director of Town Operations: It depends on the goal of the neighborhood. If you think the bylaws need to be changed, there is a process we can go through to work on changes to the bylaws, it happens every year, we’re working on bylaw changes proposed for Town Meeting right now. If, one wants to convince a board to see things differently, one should appear at the board, communicate with the board, write to the board, email, to let them know how you feel. I would communicate.

Q: Chamberlain Road resident follow up: Is there a possibility of putting a bylaw in to protect a neighborhood? I know the Master Plan speaks to keeping neighborhoods nice and not overly trafficked.

A: Elaine Lazarus, Director of Town Operations: The devil is in the details. When the Zoning Advisory Committee, for example, reviews ideas for bylaw changes, people brainstorm about what the goal is and how we can accomplish it. There’s a lot of discussion about what the changes might be and how it benefits the community. It’s a brainstorming session and ideas come out of that.


Q: Sanctuary Lane Resident (off of Chamberlain): What would the process be to add a small right turn lane out of Chamberlain onto Rt 85 South? Traffic backs up for people turning left off of Chamberlain which slows people turning right. A lane could smooth out traffic flow.

A: John Westerling, DPW: We can look at what the existing right of way width is there. If there is sufficient room, we can look at the potential of adding a right hand turn lane. If it’s coming forward as part of a subdivision plan, that might be an off-site improvement that the Planning Board can look at requiring of the developer. It depends on the timing of that. But we can certainly look at the right of way there.

Q: Sanctuary Lane resident follow up: With the school coming do we have a plan on posting another 20 MPH sign south of Hilltop closer to the school?

A: Chief Lee: Yes that’s part of the plan. With the new school we are going to have to lengthen the amount of the school zone, so it will be quite a distance before the school and all the way back to the high school.


Q: Marshall Ave resident (by Main St): We have a neighbor who is blind and I’ve seen her seeing eye dog save her life more than once because the crosswalk is right at the crest of the hill and a lot of people don’t see it. You don’t see the pavement until you’re right up on it. I’ve had a school bus pass me twice when I’m in the crosswalk. There is a crosswalk closer to Wood Street about a block down that is marked with a crosswalk marking. Ours is not marked. There are no signs to the right or left of the crosswalk. I have suggested that there be a flashing sign there because it is a very dangerous spot and our neighbor has lived there quite some time and she is blind so I think it is a critical intersection.

A: Chief Lee: Please report any violations (including bus number) to the police. We will call the bus company and report the bus. We can also send an officer in plain clothes and have him/her stand at the crosswalk and when violators don’t stop a cruiser down the street will pull them over and enforce.

A: John Westerling, DPW: Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Part of the problem with Main St is the number of crosswalks that are “mid block” crosswalks. A driver typical expects a crosswalk at an intersection. If it’s not at a signalized intersection then it’s a “mid-block” crosswalk. Those are particularly dangerous because a motorist doesn’t expect to see them there. We will do what we can to ensure a sign on each side, pointing it out. As far as a flashing beacon, that whole stretch will be reconstructed so that we can look at if there will be a crosswalk in the new design and if so, we will look at whether it meets the warrants of putting up a beacon.


Q: Hayden Rowe resident: I’m here for the nightmare called Hayden. I’m glad to hear there is another forum next week [Downtown Corridor Study Workshop, 2/15, 7 pm, Hopkinton High School]. I have some suggestions from living there. Part of the problem is taking a left out of my driveway onto the street. Right before me there is a 40 MPH sign so people are gunning it. It’s a bad combination. There are two culprit 40 MPH signs on that road that should be chopped down and put 30 MPH back. 40 MPH may have applied 50 years ago, but today it’s so grossly inappropriate. You could drive 40 legally all the way from Milford to the superintendent’s building unless the 20 MPH- when-flashing light is on. I’m glad to hear that the new school is going to be revamping that whole stretch. One other suggestion, the speeding trailer is a life saver. That has saved me from being bashed from behind while I’m going 25. Can you put that up permanently or semi-permanently?

A: Chief Lee: We do have a couple of them. We usually put them away in winter when sand, salt, and snow is worst. We’ll keep it out there. Lt Bennett is looking into the cost of a permanent speed radar sign on a post.

A: John Westerling, DPW: This is an area where there is a posted speed limit. The state just changed the laws giving communities a lot more flexibility to change the speed limits. However, that law doesn’t apply to an area with “registered speed limit.” And this is an area with a registered speed limit. It is governed by MassDOT even though it’s a local road, and so we are required to do an engineering study and find the 85th percentile of existing traffic speeds and report this back to the state. It can become a complicated issue. So, if people are driving 50 MPH at the 85th percentile then the town would have to consider posting it at 50 MPH. So it’s a very complex issues. I assure you that the speed of that corridor will be looked at as part of the Hayden Rowe Corridor Study.


Q: Chamberlain Street resident: After the traffic calming measures were voted down a couple of years ago, why didn’t a revised version come back at last year’s town meeting? Why not propose a revision that people would be more satisfied with?

A: John Westerling, DPW: Two years ago we were looking for design and construction moneys. Without the design money we couldn’t move forward with the design. So what we did was work with the Superintendent and School Committee to look at how we could improve that section of roadway. Now there is a crossing guard there at multiple times during the day helping school buses get out. The school department worked with parents in dismissal times to improve the way people were queuing on Hayden Rowe. We are looking at this more as part of the Hayden Rowe Corridor Study. The current $40K funding is just to get us to come to Town Meeting in May to look for design and construction funds.

Q: Chamberlain resident follow up: It’s great to see new sidewalks on Main St and Legacy North, but while there is a sidewalk, there is almost no shoulder for bicycles. At what point does a bicycle lane or even a shoulder that’s wide enough to ride on come into consideration? Also, in terms of civil engineering urban planning concepts “pedestrian friendly” means there is a buffer zone between sidewalks and roadway to make it more comfortable. Hayden Rowe doesn’t have a buffer zone which is really problematic. Are those sorts of things being considered with this new sidewalk construction. Why wasn’t there more room for more bicycles on Main St and Hayden Rowe?

A: John Westerling, DPW: As a cyclist myself, I know how very dangerous, potentially, that can be. With the sidewalk construction, we were challenged just to be able to put in a sidewalk that met ADA compliance within the existing right of ways. If we were going to look at increasing a shoulder to provide a bike lane that would require an increase in the cost of construction and considerable land takings to provide the necessary land. Ash Street is an example.

Q: Chamberlain resident follow up: I understand Ash, but what about Main Street?

A: John Westerling, DPW: The Main Street sidewalk (Ray Street easterly to Legacy Farms) was built by the developer under Planning Board requirements. The town will construct from Legacy Farms to Clinton. But the section from Ray to Legacy Farms was built by a developer. Legacy Farms falls under Planning Board subdivision control regulations as it relates to road and sidewalk width.

A: Elaine Lazarus, Director Town Operations: On Legacy Farms Roads North and South there is a very wide area that looks like a sidewalk, but it’s a multi-use path, so there will be signage added directing bikes there that parallels both Legacy Farms North and South Roads.

A: John Westling, DPW: New Main Street Corridor, from Ash to Wood St, will have a new separated bike path, separate from the road and sidewalks.

Q: Chamberlain resident follow up: Are separate sidewalks preferred, is that taken into consideration?

A: John Westerling, DPW: Anytime we are building a sidewalk we look for separation from cars to protect pedestrians. Anytime we can’t separate with a grass strip we try to separate with an unmountable 6” vertical curb. If a car veers off it will bounce off. It helps keeping drivers away from driving up onto the sidewalk. But again, the existing roads that we are putting sidewalks on have narrow rights of way and without taking additional land we are challenged to fit it in there.


Q: Hayden Rowe resident: What is the process to determine the next phase of sidewalk development after you complete construction this year?

A: John Westerling, DPW: The Planning Board created a Sidewalk Master Plan and that includes sidewalk recommended areas beyond what we’ve constructed and what we are planning this year. So I would recommend going through the Planning Department and Elaine Lazarus.


Q: Resident off of Chestnut Street: In light of recent events, as we had an accident right outside of our neighborhood, I have had some concern for some time that there is no sidewalk on Chestnut. The sidewalk survey showed that Chestnut was the second most requested sidewalk in town. It was really disappointing to see that it didn’t make the list of sidewalks to come. I’ve been here for 8 years, I’ve seen significant traffic on Chestnut. It’s been extremely difficult to take a left hand turn onto Rte 85 during rush hour. I’ve seen a bunch of accidents at Chestnut and 85. I’m more concerned as my kids get older and they need to walk to school, that this is a 40 MPH road with no sidewalks out of our neighborhood. What needs to happen to make the sidewalk happen and to hopefully get a light at Chestnut and 85?

A: John Westerling, DPW: As part of the Hayden Rowe Corridor Study, the engineers are looking at all of the intersecting streets. They will look at Chestnut and whether there is sufficient room in there for a left hand turn lane and whether the warrants for a traffic signal are met and if they are, that’s one of the things that we will consider as part of traffic calming and safety.

A: Elaine Lazarus, Director Town Operations: The survey is very important and the results of that will stand and will be factored into programming for new sidewalks beyond the current initiative. It’s the intent to redo the sidewalk survey every couple of years. That recommendation stands and hopefully funds might become available sooner.


Q: Resident followup: Is there anything that neighborhoods off of Chestnut can do to make it happen sooner than later before another accident happens that could be tragic?

A: Elaine Lazarus, Director Town Operations: What you’re doing right now, petitions, talking to people. The Annual Town Meeting Warrant, where articles are proposed for annual funding and other projects is open until March 1st. So call us at Town Hall.

A: eHop: Annual Town Meeting is starting on Monday, May 1 at 7:00 PM in the Middle School auditorium.


Q: Pike Street Resident and President of the Hopkinton Running Club: We have a lot of runners and a lot of near misses. There a couple of places I want to talk about. One is the corner of Chestnut and Hayden Rowe at the blinking light. A lot of people run from Wild to that corner. There’s a crosswalk there and no one stops at the crosswalk ever. People fly through it at 40 mph. Any thought of turning the light into a pedestrian crossing where you could hit a button and cross there?

A: John Westerling, DPW: This will be evaluated by engineers as part of the Hayden Rowe Corridor Study, if it does meet the warrants for a traffic signal…and when I say “meets the warrants of a traffic signal” I mean the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) [a document issued by the Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation to specify the standards by which traffic signs, road surface markings, and signals are designed, installed, and used] lays out when you can/can’t add a traffic signal, based on traffic volume, accident history, and a number of factors. Rest assured, because there are existing sidewalks in that area, if a signal goes in, we will add a pedestrian crossing.

A: Chief Lee: We look at trends and accident data. That is a hot spot. A lot of them are fender benders. We are looking into this as part of the Hayden Rowe Corridor study.

Q: Pike Street resident follow up: Is there a plan to add sidewalk on East Main from Wilson to Legacy Farms?

A: John Westerling, DPW: The developer is required to finish that. I don’t know the schedule for that.

Q: eHop: Is there a schedule in the town’s agreement with the developer, what is the timeline?

A: Elaine Lazarus, Director Town Operations: The timeline with the developer was extended. I don’t know what the current date is, but it will go through the next construction season at least (Spring/Summer of 2017).

Q: Pike Street resident follow up: The more we get behind the trails, the more pedestrians will be off the roads.


Q: Pleasant Street resident: I’m still big on the speeding deal. We have two dogs we walk on Pleasant St, Hayden Rowe, and Grove St. It’s crazy trying to walk there. During certain hours, right after kids get out of school, it’s pretty bad. From 7pm to midnight, they drive like there is no speed limit there. Something is going to happen. We’d like to see some enforcement on Pleasant. Our problem is that we’re a cut through from Eastview. Make Maple Street a one-way and make Pleasant one-way the other way so we would cut the traffic in half. Also, a lot of people park on sidewalks and pedestrians need to walk on the street to get around. Or people park the wrong way in front of their house for hours. A lot of the speeders we see are high school kids. Why not write a few tickets and if they get tickets pull their parking passes. Make them walk or take the bus instead. Driving isn’t guaranteed.

A: Chief Lee: Those areas are extremely hard to enforce speed because there isn’t enough road to get a reading off of the radar. We’d have to go by observation. You do have a problem of people not stopping at the stop sign. We’ve had some officers out there to stop people rolling through the stop sign. As far as educating the kids, you have an innovative idea that I might bounce off my school resource officer tomorrow.

Q: Pleasant Street resident followup: If people see a black and white they will slow down. Have an unmarked or just an officer standing on the corner watching. Take the driver’s picture. You’re only going to stop it by writing tickets.


Q: Resident on west side of Hopkinton: I’m excited that you’re thinking about linking Downey Street area to 77 West Main area with a sidewalk. As you look at connecting the western part of the town to the town center, how are you going to get around Rte 495 and South Street intersections? Is there a safe way to get pedestrians through those intersections?

A: John Westerling, DPW: Part of the money we’re looking for is for the design. We’re working with engineers who have designed other sidewalks in town and they’ve also worked on the bike path in Milford that crosses Rte 495. If you look at that, it’s challenging to get across those ramps. It will require a lot of signage to alert motorists and it will require pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings and to stop at crosswalks and wait until it’s safe to cross. In Massachusetts it’s not a requirements for motorists to stop. It’s a yield. It’s going to require a lot of design work and coordination with MassDOT because that’s their corridor, they own the land under Rte 495. For South Street we are going to look at existing signals and look at adding push button pedestrian crosswalks. It’s very wide there. Very challenging to cross without assistance.


Q: Brian Herr, Chair of the Board of Selectman: John mentioned there was an article before Town Meeting 2014 (Article #17) for traffic mitigation on Hayden Rowe in the school area. It failed because for as many people here tonight, passionate about pedestrian/traffic safety in town, there are as many people who don’t want anything to change. So, I plead to everyone please go to Town Meeting, please make your voices heard. We could put more articles up before Town Meeting, but if we don’t show up at Town Meeting, the folks who want to keep everything the same, it will fail. That’s the reality of politics in Hopkinton. I’m with you 110% on these issues. But if we put time, energy, and money into them and then we don’t participate in Town Meeting, it will all be for naught. It’s really important that everyone come out and participate. Your voice has to be heard at Town Meeting.

eHop: eHop’s next forum will be Know Your Vote, our 5th annual HCAM-TV call in show, the Monday before Town Meeting [April 24 @ 6:30 pm]. The goal of the show is to answer all sorts of questions relating to issues that will come up at Town Meeting so that when residents come to the Middle School auditorium for Town Meeting we will all be informed voters.


Q: Smith Road resident: I have a suggestion disguised as a question. What do you think about residents not flicking our lights to alert oncoming cars to speed traps?

A: Chief Lee: I drive an unmarked unit and sometimes people flash lights at me and I get the pleasure of pulling them over and asking if they want something. You can cite someone with an unlawful use of lights. But people are concerned about traffic and safety and on the other hand there are people who warn others to slow down to avoid the police.

eHop: There is a lot of push and pull between these issues. We all want to move through town quickly and efficiently and we all want to drive in our cars, yet we get annoyed that there are so many cars on the road. We also don’t want other people to speed but we want to get to soccer practice (for example) fast too .  And in terms of the Downtown Corridor, we want there to be parking but we also want there to be a free flow of traffic. So there are many compromises. These are very complex issues. So they deserve forums and the town is going to be hosting two more forums [Hayden Rowe Corridor Study Workshop on Feb 15, 7 pm at HHS, and the Downtown Corridor Project forum in the next couple of months, date to be determined].

Photo Gallery of Town Meeting Articles

For your visual reference, here’s a photo gallery of Town Meeting articles:

List of Articles with Links & Details

Town Meeting May 2, 2016

REPORTS:

  1. Acceptance of Town Reports

FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2016:

  1. FY 2016 Supplemental Appropriations – $200,000 FY16 Snow and Ice Deficit, and $31,500 for Sewer Enterprise Fund
  2. FY 2016 Budget Transfers – No Action – Consent Agenda
  3. Unpaid Bills from Previous Fiscal Years $3,142.25

FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2017:

  1. 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
  2. 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)
  3. Set the Salary of Elected Officials – Town Clerk $65,630.
  4. Fiscal 2017 Operating Budget $75,982,132.38, which is a +2.46% Tax Impact (net of new growth)
  5. 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.
  6. Chapter 90 Highway Funds – $651,957
  7. Transfer to General Stabilization Fund – $300,000
  8. Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund – $612,647

CAPITAL EXPENSES AND PROJECTS:

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Sidewalk Master Plan Phase II – $136,000
  4. Transfer Funds to Purchase Fire Vehicle and Equipment – $500,000
  5. Transfer Funds to Purchase Fire Vehicle – $125,000
  6. Transfer Funds to Reequip/Reconfigure Fire Vehicle and Equipment – $55,000
  7. Purchase of Dump Truck $200,000 DPW
  8. 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.
  9. Water Main Replacement – Hayden Rowe Street $260,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund
  10. Water Source of Supply $1,000,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund
  11. Biological Filtration Wells #4 & #5 $50,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund
  12. Middle School Auditorium Upgrades (Install air conditioning, repaint stage floor, replace curtains, stage rigging, control console, & light board) $167,000
  13. 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
  14. School Building & Grounds Storage Facility – Design & Feasibility $25,000 – No Action
  15. Artificial Turf Field with Lights – Design & Feasibility $100,000 – No Action – Consent Agenda
  16. Signage for Historical Sites – $15,000
  17. Transfer Funds for New Capital Projects – No Action – Consent Agenda
  18. Cemetery Roadway Opening – access to the Claflin St from Mt Auburn Cemetery – $2,500

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION FUNDS:

  1. Community Preservation Recommendations – CPC Project Narratives, CPC Powerpoint Slides, About the Community Preservation Act:
    1. $20,000 from funds reserved for Historic Preservation to preserve Town records
    2. $2,500 from funds reserved for Open Space for Boundary Markers/Medallions to be acquired and installed on Town owned parcels
    3. $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.
    4. $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
    5. $60,000 from funds reserved for Historic Preservation to rehab and restore the McFarland Sanger House
    6. $75,000 from funds reserved for Historic Preservation to rehab and restore the Rte 85 Stone Bridge
    7. $25,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to construct a recreational path from Rte 85 to the Stone Bridge
    8. $10,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to install fencing around the Claflin Fountain
    9. $50,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to install protective netting at the Fruit Street Athletic Complex
    10. $20,000 from Budgeted Reserve Funds to install a boat dock at Sandy Beach

ZONING BYLAW AMENDMENTS:

  1. 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.
  2. Amend Garden Apartments in Residential Districts and Village Housing in Residential Districts Bylaws Garden Apartments and Village Housing bylaws draft 2-2-16
  3. Repeal Senior Housing Development Bylaw Senior Housing Development Bylaw draft 2-2-16
  4. Amend Site Plan Review and Open Space and Landscape Preservation Development Bylaws Site Plan Review and OSLPD Bylaws draft 2-2-16
  5. Amend Sign Bylaw Sign Bylaw draft 2-2-16Document 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Elmwood Park Business District Elmwood Park Business District draft 2-2-16Proposed 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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:

  1. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Acquisition of Easement – Leonard Street – to be used for stormwater management purposes.
  3. Gift of Land – Connelly Hill Estates – to be used for open space and recreation purposes.
  4. Gift of land – Hilltop Road – No Action – Consent Agenda
  5. Gift of land – Legacy Farms Recreation Parcel – to be used for open space, recreation and general municipal purposes.
  6. 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
  7. 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”
  8. Disposition of Property – the discontinued portions of Frankland Road and Peach Street.
    Selectmen recommend No Action, but Planning Board recommend Approval

ADMINISTRATIVE:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. Trustees of the School Trust Fund in the Town of Hopkinton – to appoint Jeanne Bernardin (7 Kimball Road) as a Trustee – Consent Agenda

Lake Maspenock Weeds Survey & Forums

Photo by Lake Maspenock Preservation Association

The Hopkinton DPW, Conservation Commission, Parks & Rec. Dept., in concert with the Advisory Group, will sponsor two Public Forums for Hopkinton residents:

  • Tuesday, February 9 at 7:00-8:30PM, Town Hall, Room 215
  • Saturday, February 27 at 10:00-11:30AM, Town Hall, Room 215

A formal Comprehensive Weed Management and Control Plan will be developed for control and monitoring of noxious and invasive weed problems specific to Lake Maspenock. Hopkinton residents are urged to participate in the Public Forums and the online Survey on the Town’s website in order to provide feedback, ask questions and increase their awareness about benefits and ecological impact from proposed methods of weed management. Town wide public understanding and support of the Plan is critical at Town Meeting for approval and financing of the Weed Control Plan. Upcoming Advisory Group Meetings, Public Forums and additional information will be posted in Town Hall and on the Town website.

Online Survey:

Please take a minute to complete the Lake Maspenock Weed Management and Control Advisory Group’s brief Public Survey:
http://kwiksurveys.com/s/I5qy2QZO