Congratulations to Kathy Shore - Holliston in Bloom's Community Champion
HOLLISTON HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE DAY July 21, 9 - 12. Adams Middle School

2018 Town Meeting - Part 2

by Pam Kyrka
May 9, 2018

ARTICLE 9.                          AUTHORIZATION TO EXPEND CHAPTER 90 (STATE AID FOR HIGHWAYS PROGRAM)

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Department of Public Works, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, to use and expend sums received from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as reimbursements under the Chapter 90 State Aid to Highways program for further construction, reconstruction and improvements, including surface treatments of approved public ways within the Town; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen)

COMMENTS:  Annually, the Commonwealth provides state assistance to cities and towns in support of road reconstruction and maintenance projects.  Holliston is projected to receive $511,780 FY18.  This article would allow the Selectmen to receive and expend these funds. Passed Unanimously

ARTICLE 10.                                  AMEND GENERAL – BY-LAWS BY ADDING A NEW

SECTION TO ESTABLISH AND AUTHORIZE

REVOLVING FUNDS

To see if the Town will vote to amend the General By-law by adding a new section to establish and authorize revolving funds for use by certain departments, boards or committees or agents under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, section 53E1/2 as follows; or take any action thereto.

DEPARTMENTAL REVOLVING FUNDS

Section 1.   PURPOSE. This By-law establishes and authorizes revolving funds for use by departments, boards, committees, agents or officers in connection with the operation of programs or activities that generate fees, charges or other receipts to support all or some of the expenses of those programs or activities.  These revolving funds are established under and governed by the Massachusetts General Law Chapter 44, section 53E1/2.

Section 2.   EXPENDITURE LIMITATIONS.  A department head, board committee or officer may incur liabilities against and spend monies from a revolving fund established and authorized by this By-law without appropriation subject to the following limitations:

  1.  Fringe benefits of full time employees whose salaries or wages are paid from the fund shall also be paid from the fund.
  2. No liability shall be incurred in excess of the available balance of the fund.
  3. The total amount spent during a fiscal year shall not exceed the amount authorized by the Town Meeting on or before July 1 of that fiscal year, or any increased amount of that authorization that is late approved during that fiscal year by the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee.

Section 3.  INTEREST.  Interest earned on monies credited to a revolving fund established by this By-law shall be credited to the General Fund.

Section 4.  PROCEDURES AND REPORTS.  Except as provided in the Massachusetts General Law Chapter 44, section 53E1/2 and this By-law, the laws, charter provisions, By-law rules, regulations. Policies and procedures that govern the receipt and custody of Town funds shall apply to the use of a Revolving Fund established and authorized by this By-law.  The Town Accountant shall include a statement on the collections credited to each fund, the encumbrances and expenditures charged to the fund and the balance available for expenditure in the regular report the Town Accountant provides the department, board, committee, agency or officer on appropriations made for its use.

Section 5.  AUTHORIZED REVOLVING FUNDS.  This Table establishes:

  1. Each Revolving Fund authorized for use by a Town Department, board or committee.
  2. The Department, Head, board or committee authorized to spend from each account.
  3. The fees, charges and other monies charged and received by the department, board, committee in connection with the program or activity for which the fund is established that shall be credited to each fund by the Town Accountant.
  4. The expenses of the program or activity for which each fund may be used.
  5. Any restrictions or conditions on expenditures from each fund.
  6. Any reporting or other requirements that apply to each fund, and
  7. The fiscal years each fund shall operate under this By-law.

COMMENTS:  This article has been approved for years.  One outcome of the Municipal Modernization Act allows Town Meeting to approve this authorization once in the form of a bylaw which is detailed above. Passed Unanimously

ARTICLE 11.    REVOLVING FUND SPENDING LIMITS

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the spending limits of the following revolving funds established under the Town Bylaw and General Laws Chapter 44, Section 53E ½:   

Or take any other action relative thereto.

COMMENTS:  Over the years, several revolving accounts have been established, adopted and re-authorized by Town Meeting.  This article authorizes continued use through the end of FY19. These accounts are funded through user fees and permits to provide services at no budgetary costs to the Town. Passed Unanimously

ARTICLE 12.             PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS

To see if the Town will vote to accept the provisions of Chapter 73 of the Acts of 1986, as amended by Chapter 126 of the Acts of 1988, authorizing the Board of Assessors to grant an increase of twenty percent (20%) to all exemptions from property taxes excluding those granted under clause 18 of section 5 of Chapter 59 of the Massachusetts General Laws for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2018; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Assessors)

COMMENTS:  This is an annual article that provides for an increase in the base statue amount of tax exemptions by 20%.  With the approval of this article at each Annual Town Meeting, eligible residents may avail themselves of abatements with the 20% increase. Passed Unanimously

 

ARTICLE 13.            AMEND INTEREST RATE PER ANNUM

To see if the Town will vote to amend the interest rate per annum from 8% to 6% under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 59, Section 5, clause 41A, which regulates tax deferral for homeowners 65 years or older, pursuant to the authority contained in Chapter 136 of the Acts of 2005, thereby amending said clause 41A; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Assessors)

COMMENTS:  Residents who are 65 and older may take advantage of this option at an annual rate of 6%.  This Article requires annual approval at Town Meeting. Passed Unanimously

 

ARTICLE 14.             AMEND INCOME REQUIREMENTS

To see if the Town will vote to accept the provisions of section 51 of Chapter 184 of the Acts of 2002, amending the income requirements under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 59, section 5, clause 41C; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Assessors)

COMMENTS:  This would allow the Town to increase the statutory income requirements to $20,000 for single and $30,000 for married couples from $10,000-$12,000.  The Article was originally adopted by the Town in 2006.  This Article requires annual approval at Town Meeting. Passed Unanimously

ARTICLE 15.             FISCAL YEAR 2019 BUDGET

To see what money the Town will vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds to meet expenses and outlays to Town departments, salaries of Town Officers, sundry and miscellaneous but regular expenditures, for a Reserve Fund, Conservation Fund, Stabilization Fund and to appoint trustees or caretakers or authorize the Selectmen to appoint caretakers of the cemeteries of the Town not otherwise provided for, the ensuing year; or take any action relative thereto. (Finance Committee)  (Omnibus Budget)

COMMENTS:  See Report of the Finance Committee.

During the discussion of the Omnibus article, two errors on Article 4 were reported and corrected with another vote. The Assistant Library Director should be a Class 400, not 500 and the Court Diversion/community therapist should be a Class 400, not 500.

ARTICLE 16.             TRANSFER FROM AVAILABLE FUNDS A SUM OF MONEY FOR THE CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND

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)

COMMENTS:  It has been the custom of the Town to annually transfer from reserves a sum of money to the Capital Expenditure Fund to be used at the October Special Town Meeting to fund capital expenditure requests. Passed Unanimously

ARTICLE 17.              CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FUND

THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS  RAISE AND APPROPRIATE $1,300,000 FOR THIS FUND

 

ARTICLE 18.             WATER TREATMENT PLANT

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 constructing a water treatment facility for well five; or take any action relative thereto.  (Board of Selectmen) 

COMMENTS:  The water treatment plant has been designed.  This Article would allow the town to finance of the construction of a new water treatment plant at well five.

There was some debate and questions on this article.

John Varrell asked whether a treatment plan is the best way to get us clean water. He mentioned tapping into the MWRA because of his concern that we will run out of water. Ken Szajda pointed out that we really do not want to tie our fate to Boston and Framingham where we will be a tiny fish in the Quabbin.

Nancy Chandler asked if the town has factored in the old pipes. How good will it be to have fresh water in old pipes? Are there other pipes thought to need replacement? Ken said that there will be replacements.

Michael Lamb directed his question about how much we will need to borrow to the finance committee. Are there available funds? Can those be used to offset the cost? Are there rate increases to help fund the water plan? Ken said that they are looking right now at a term of 20 years for borrowing. He said the town will do its best not to borrow the entire amount.

Chelsea O'Conty mentioned state grants that we could use. She remarked that borrowing is not the end all and be all.

The article passed  214 to 3.

ARTICLE 19.             REPORT OF THE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE

To see if the Town will vote to act on the report of the Community Preservation Committee on the fiscal year 2019 community preservation budget and to appropriate or reserve for later appropriation monies from 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:

            Reserves

            Community Housing Reserve                                                                           $  63,000

            Open Space Reserve                                                                                       $  63,000

            Historic Resources Reserve                                                                              $  63,000

            Community Preservation Fund Budget Reserve                                                   $441,000

 

            Appropriations

            Administrative Functions to support the Committee                                          $5,000;

Total:  $635,000

or take any action relative thereto. 

(Community Preservation Committee) Frank Chamberlain, president of the community Preservation Committee presented the following items - 1) replace equipment in Stoddard Park to fit everyone, 2) preserve historic town records, 3) administrative budget to support the ongoing work. Marsha Holman asked if the swings would be wheelchair accessible or have bucket seats. Park and Rec Melissa Kaspern said they would replace with a bank of swings to provide access to all , but not change the swing type. Passed Unanimously  

ARTICLE 20.             CAPITAL EXPENDITURES

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 Schools, Police, Library, Fire and Public Works Departments (Highway/Water 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)

Department                            Item/Activity                                                  Estimated Cost

DPW                                       1 Multi-Use Truck                                                 $55,623

DPW (Water)                          1 Emergency Backup Generator (Well #4)         $100,000

Library                                       Roof, HVAC, Building Improvements                $221,000

Schools                                    Chrombooks

Total                                                                                                               $376,623

COMMENTS:  The Town normally purchases capital items at the October Special Town Meeting.  However, from time to time, departments need to purchase capital items in advance of that date, usually due to seasonal issues. Passed Unanimously.

 

ARTICLE 21.             ACCEPTANCE OF ANNA WAY EASEMENT

To determine whether the Town will vote to:

  1. Accept access, egress, & utility easement across lots 3, 4, 5, and 6 for the benefit of all lots within the Anna Place residential subdivision.
  2. All shown on a Plan of Land of Deer Run, Open Space Residential Development, Holliston, prepared by Cornorstone Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors, dated September 6, 2013, last revised November 19, 2013, and recorded in the Middlesex South District Registry of Deeds as Plan 163 of 2014;
  3. In accordance with all Special conditions issued by the Planning Board in its Definitive Subdivision decision;

or take any action relative thereto.  (Planning Board)

COMMENTS: John Varrell wanted to know if it is in our best interests or not best interests.

Vincent Murphy of the Finance Committee said that since no one is here to explain what is going on, it should be postponed unitl someone from the Planning Board is available.

Planning Board member David Thorn then explained that we would not be accepting the road, but just easement for utilities. It is still a private road, but the town does need to act as a way to access the utilities.

Vincent Murphy motioned to table the motion by withdrawing it. This motion passed 146 to 1

 

And you are directed to notify and warn the inhabitants of said Town who are qualified to vote in Town elections to vote at:

Voters in Precinct 1 vote at the High School gymnasium

Voters in Precinct 2 vote at the High School gymnasium

Voters in Precinct 3 vote at the High School gymnasium

Voters in Precinct 4 vote at the High School gymnasium

on TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2018

from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for the following purpose:

To cast their votes in the Town Election for the election of candidates for the following offices:

SELECTMAN & HIGHWAY SURVEYOR (three year term)                                 Vote for ONE

ASSESSOR OF TAXES (three year term)                                                                 Vote for ONE

HOUSING AUTHORITY (five year term)                                                                Vote for ONE

HOUSING AUTHORITY (two year term)                                                                Vote for ONE

TOWN CLERK (three year term)                                                                              Vote for ONE

MODERATOR (three year term)                                                                               Vote for ONE

SCHOOL COMMITTEE (three year term)                                Vote for NOT MORE THAN THREE

BOARD OF HEALTH (three year term)                                                                   Vote for ONE

TRUSTEES OF PUBLIC LIBRARY (three year term)        Vote for NOT MORE THAN TWO

TRUSTEES OF PUBLIC LIBRARY (two year term)           Vote for NOT MORE THAN TWO

FINANCE COMMITTEE (three year term)                     Vote for NOT MORE THAN THREE

PARK COMMISSIONER (three year term)                          Vote for NOT MORE THAN TWO

PLANNING BOARD (five year term)                                                                       Vote for ONE

Question 1:  Shall the Town of Holliston 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 pay costs of designing, constructing, originally equipping and furnishing, a water treatment facility for Well Five, including the payment of all costs incidental and related thereto?

 

YES___________NO__________                                                                                                               

And you are directed to serve this Warrant by posting true copies thereof, attested, on and within the Town Hall seven days at least before the date of said meeting.  Hereof fail not and make return of this Warrant with your doings thereon at the time and place of said meeting.

 

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Comments (2)

I know that all those who have Town Water want and need the updated water treatment facility - and deserve it. BUT has anyone thought about those families that are not hitched up to Town Water? We do not have town water - Water access does not come down our section of street (nor will it ever in near future). Why do we have to pay for it for years through OUR taxes. Will we get a discount/rebate on our taxes??????!!!!!!! Don't get me wrong - the water update is needed - brown water is totally unacceptable! But those that have access to Town water should be the ones paying for it!

- Mandy Brigham | 5/12/18 9:16 AM

Absolutely fantastic reporting. Its like minutes of the Town Meeting illustrated.

- Warren Chamberlain | 5/9/18 4:32 PM

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