Category Archives: Budget

Board of Assessors – Did you know?

Board of Assessors

The Assessing Department is responsible for accurately determining the value of all real and personal property located within the Town of Hopkinton for the purpose of taxation. Assessors are obliged to assess all property at its full and fair market value as of January 1 of each year. The department is responsible for the administration of all property tax data records and maintains accurate parcel ownership data based upon recorded property transactions at the Registry of Deeds. According to the Town Charter, “There shall be a Board of Assessors consisting of three (3) members elected for a term of three (3) years each, so arranged that the term of office of as nearly an equal number of members as possible shall expire each year.” Continue reading Board of Assessors – Did you know?

Public Hearing on 2017-18 School Budget 1/9/17

HHS Winter

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:

  • hpsschoolcommittee@hopkinton.k12.ma.us
  • cmacleod@hopkinton.k12.ma.us

Town Meeting Results Day 1 (unofficial)

CONSENT AGENDA – PASSED:

  • 3. FY 2016 Budget Transfers – NO ACTION
  • 5. Property Tax Exemption Increase PASSED
  • 26. School Building & Grounds Storage Facility – Design & Feasibility $25,000 – NO ACTION
  • 45. Gift of land – Hilltop Road – NO ACTION
  • 52. Trustees of the School Trust Fund in the Town of Hopkinton – to appoint Jeanne Bernardin (7 Kimball Road) as a Trustee PASSED

REPORTS:

  1. Acceptance of Town Reports – PASSED

FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2016:

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

FINANCIAL – FISCAL YEAR 2017:

  1. Property Tax Exemption Increase – PASSED in Consent Agenda
  2. Personal Property Tax Bill Threshold – PASSED
  3. Set the Salary of Elected Officials – Town Clerk $65,630 – PASSED
  1. Town Clerk – to change the position of Town Clerk from elected to appointed (hired). FAILED
  1. Fiscal 2017 Operating Budget $75,982,132.38, which is a +2.46% Tax Impact (net of new growth) PASSED
    • Motion by Ron Shamus to divide the article so that line 422 (including Lake Weeds) is voted separately. PASSES YES-100 to NO-65
    • Revote of Motion by Ron Shamus to divide the article so that line 422 (only Lake Weeds) is voted separately. FAILS YES-76 to NO-94
    • Main Motion Operating Budget PASSED
  2. FY 2017 Revolving Funds. PASSED
  3. Chapter 90 Highway Funds – $651,957 PASSED
  4. Transfer to General Stabilization Fund – $300,000 PASSED
  5. Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund – $612,647 PASSED

CAPITAL EXPENSES AND PROJECTS:

  1. Pay-As-You-Go Capital Expenses PASSED
    • 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
  3. Sidewalk Master Plan Phase II – $136,000 – PASSED
  4. Transfer Funds to Purchase Fire Vehicle and Equipment – $500,000 PASSED
  5. Transfer Funds to Purchase Fire Vehicle – $125,000 PASSED
  6. Transfer Funds to Reequip/Reconfigure Fire Vehicle and Equipment – $55,000 PASSED
  7. Purchase of Dump Truck $200,000 DPW PASSED
  8. Grove Street Water Tank Replacement $1,530,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund PASSED
  9. Water Main Replacement – Hayden Rowe Street $260,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund PASSED
  10. Water Source of Supply $1,000,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund PASSED
  11. Biological Filtration Wells #4 & #5 $50,000 from DPW Water Enterprise Fund PASSED
  12. Middle School Auditorium Upgrades (Install air conditioning, repaint stage floor, replace curtains, stage rigging, control console, & light board) $167,000 PASSED
  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 – A motion for No Action FAILED. An alternate motion will be considered as the first Agenda item for Tuesday’s Town Meeting.
  14. School Building & Grounds Storage Facility – Design & Feasibility $25,000 – NO ACTION – Consent Agenda
  15. Artificial Turf Field with Lights – Design & Feasibility $100,000 – NO ACTION
  16. Signage for Historical Sites – $15,000
  17. Transfer Funds for New Capital Projects – NO ACTION
  18. Cemetery Roadway Opening – access to the Claflin St from Mt Auburn Cemetery – $2,500 PASSED

There was some discussion of article 31 (CPC Funding Projects), but it was not ultimately voted. The meeting adjourned at 11:06 PM.

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

4th Annual “Know Your Vote” 4/25 at 6:30pm on HCAM

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In preparation for Annual Town Meeting, eHop (educate • engage • empower | Hopkinton) will be hosting its 4th Annual “Know Your Vote” live interactive call-in show on Monday, April 25 at 6:30-8:00 pm on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8/Verizon 30/Streaming Live at hcam.tv/live). This is your chance to get the answers you need from town officials before Town Meeting. Submit your questions in advance to knowyourvote@eHop01748.org or or ask your questions during the show by calling the studio at 508-625-1640 by using the hashtag #ehop on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You may also attend in person at HCAM Studios, 77 Main St, Lower Level.

Panelists from various town committees will be available at the forum to answer your questions about any of the Town Meeting articles. Panelists include: Town Moderator Bruce Karlin, Town Manager Norman Khumalo, Superintendent of Schools Cathy MacLeod, Selectmen Chair Ben Palleiko, School Committee Chair Ellen Scordino and Planning Board Chair Ken Weismantel. Continue reading 4th Annual “Know Your Vote” 4/25 at 6:30pm on HCAM

eHop’s 4th Annual “Know Your Vote” on HCAM 4/25

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In preparation for Annual Town Meeting, eHop (educate • engage • empower | Hopkinton) will be hosting its 4th Annual “Know Your Vote” live interactive call-in show on Monday, April 25 at 6:30-8:00 pm on HCAM-TV (Comcast 8/Verizon 30/Streaming Live at hcam.tv/live). This is your chance to get the answers you need from town officials before Town Meeting. Submit your questions in advance to knowyourvote@eHop01748.org or on facebook.com/eHop01748 or ask your questions during the show by using the hashtag #ehop, calling the studio at 508-625-1640 to ask your question live on the air, or attending in person at HCAM, 77 Main St, Lower Level.

Panelists from various town committees will be available at the forum to answer your questions about any of the Town Meeting articles. Panelists include: Town Moderator Bruce Karlin, Town Manager Norman Khumalo, Superintendent of Schools Cathy MacLeod, Selectmen Chair Ben Palleiko, School Committee Chair Ellen Scordino and Planning Board Chair Ken Weismantel.

Important Info:

Annual Town Meeting begins Monday, May 2 at 7:00pm in the Middle School Auditorium. It generally stops at 11:00pm and is continued on consecutive evenings until the full warrant is voted. Town Meeting typically lasts 2-4 nights. There are 52 articles on the warrant this year, see the link below for more information.

Selectmen to Vote on Budget 3/15/16

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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.

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.

HPTA “State of the Schools” Conversations with Dr MacLeod

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The HPTA Presents Conversations with Dr MacLeod & School Committee Chair, Ellen Scordino:

  • Wed, Feb 10 @ 7:00-9:00pm, Hopkinton High School Library
  • Thurs, Feb 11 @ 10:00-11:00am, Town Hall Room 215/216

The Hopkinton Parent Teacher Association is hosting a forum to offer community members an opportunity to speak with Superintendent, Dr. Cathy MacLeod and School Committee Chair Ellen Scordino about curriculum, FY2016-2017 budget and other important Hopkinton Public School topics. In the past the HPTA has hosted the State of the Schools event as a HCAM call-in show but decided to change the format to allow for a more interactive exchange of ideas. Please join us for a morning or evening of engaging conversation.

This event will not be televised, community members must attend the forum in person to ask questions. Click for contact info for the Superintendent & School Committee.

FY17 Budget Key Takeaways