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Town Meeting 10.29.18, Part 2

by Mary Greendale
October 31, 2018

The Special Town Meeting in Fall is when we address the Town’s capital needs and any extraordinary expenses. (Photo l-r) Town Clerk Liz Greendale, Moderator Jackie Dellicker and Town Counsel Kate Feodoroff.

The Special Town Meeting in Fall is when voters address the Town’s capital needs and any extraordinary expenses.

The Spring Town Meeting is the bigger and more challenging one when the community must fund all operating budgets.

Last night voters did not vote to raise or spend any new funds. In fact, there were no articles that asked the attendees to even consider new spending. But we bought a bunch of equipment, agreed to fund a Commercial and Indsutrial Assessment and more. So how did that come to be?

The best way to get the full answer to that question is to view the Fiinance Committee's PowerPoint Presentation at the link below (FinCom photo to right). 

The short answer is that voters used funds from the several "savings" accounts that the Town maintains. We bought:
Structural Firefighting Gear - Replacement of protective gear worn by firefighters, which was originally purchased with a federal grant in 2004. $185,000

Utility Task Vehicle - UTV is for public safety responses to the Rail Trail and other recreation areas. Service demand has increased; this vehicle will allow emergency  personnel to access and remove injured parties out to a waiting ambulance. $35,000

Roof Replacement at 1750 Washington Street – When the Town purchased the building more than three (3) years ago, the roof’s estimated life was seven (7) years. The Town received bids October 15th for the replacement. $275,000

Wastewater Treatment Plant Repairs – Install new mixer, rails, electrical conduit, disconnect and wire in new Anoxic tank. Remove and install new Duplex panel at lift station and junction box.  Extend remote alarm leads to new panel. $23,000.

Radio Work Stations (3) – These radio work stations interface with radio resources in the Communication Room allowing Dispatch radio access to cruisers and portable radios.  They have been in continuous operation for the last nine (9) years. $13,828

Two (2) Police Vehicles (Equipped) – The purchase of two (2) fully marked and equipped police cruisers to replace cruisers identified as C14 and C15. Patrol vehicles are used 24 hours a day. $93,600

One (1) Replacement Truck – The Department of Public Works, Highway Department, is seeking to replace a 1996 Ford L8000. $141,909

Replace Energy Management System – Heating/ventilation controls at Placentino/Miller schools have been unsupported for many years.  The EMS would allow one system to control all four (4) schools. $100,000

Repair High School Auditorium Walls – There is exterior water penetration to the auditorium walls.  This item would attempt to correct the situation by making roof repairs and sealing the bricks if necessary. $40,000

Replace Cleaning Machine – The cleaning machine for the Field House floor was purchased about eighteen (18) years ago.  Can no longer get parts to make repairs. $30,000

Replace Maintenance Van – This item would replace a 1996 vehicle that is no longer working.  Maintenance Department personnel are using private vehicles to travel between schools. $28,000

Various Materials – Items have reached their useful life and are failing due to age such as door hardware, bathrooms, tiles, clocks, phones, carpeting furniture, and cafeteria equipment. $20,000

Total of $985,337 from the Capital Expenditure Fund

Town Meeting approved the Assessors spending $54,000 to contract for the inspection, data input and valuation of Commercial, Industrial, Mixed Use and Personal Property. Funds came from Free Cash, which is targeted for one-time expenses.

The Community Preservation Committee received approval to spend $225,000 of funds set aside by the Community Preservation Act (CPA) toward affordable housing and administrative support. The CPA permitted Holliston to set aside 1.5% of tax revenues for spending on affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and recreation. 

Town Meeting approved spending $25,000 from Free Cash to relocate fire alarm and fire cable wires off certain poles, which will allow the utility company to remove double poles.

The voters approved $450,000 from Water Retained Earnings and $1,350,000 from the Water Infrastructure Reserves (the $75 fees rate payers are charged) for construction costs related to replacement of about 6,100 linear feet of water mains in Mudville. (There's joy in Mudville tonight!)

The Water Department was authorized to spend $25,000 from the Water Meter Reserve to purchase an Advanced Metering Infrastructure System.

Final spending item was to use $5,000 from Free Cash to hire a company to survey, analyze and recommend a Records Management System for Town records.

There were a couple of articles that did not involve money - approving Johnson Drive, Kingsbury Drive and Metcalfe Drive as public ways and allowing the Conservation  Commission to petition the state for approval to add two alternate voting members.

There were barely 100 people there to meet the quorum, but they got the job done so there was no need to delay business. Up next, STATE ELECTION NOVEMBER 6TH


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