Town Meeting Begins Tomorrow at 7:00pm – Includes 57 Articles to be Voted

Town Meeting Begins Tomorrow at 7:00pm – Includes 57 Articles to be Voted

Annual Town Meeting
Begins Monday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m. (continues on consecutive evenings until complete)
Hopkinton Middle School Auditorium, 88 Hayden Rowe St, Hopkinton MA 01748
(Also broadcast on HCAM-TV, Comcast Channel 8/Verizon Channel 30)

Town Meeting 101
Did you move to Hopkinton because of the great school system and the small-town feel? Do you want to ensure that Hopkinton remains a town that you want to call home? Then please attend Town Meeting. Town Meeting is a crucial decision-making event for our town. The town’s committees and staff have worked through budgets, recommendations, etc. It is now up to Hopkinton’s citizens to voice our opinions and determine the direction of our town by voting on the articles presented at Town Meeting.
Key articles include the Town Budget, the School Budget, repair of the High School Loop Road, the potential reduction of our Community Preservation fund contribution, and design enhancements for the downtown area (see below for more details). In total, there are 57 articles to be voted on. Most of these will be decided at Town Meeting. Only two of the articles (#18 Downtown Design and #27 Elmwood Boiler) require a passing vote both Town Meeting and Town Election (May 17). There are many hot button issues that will only be voted on at Town Meeting. Often, key articles are passed or defeated by a few votes. Your attendance matters.

Some Key Articles on the Warrant this Year:

#18 Downtown Design for Traffic, Roadway and Streetscape – DPW (Also on the ballot 5/17)
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, borrow or otherwise provide a sum or sums of money for the design of traffic, roadway and streetscape enhancements in the downtown area of the Town; and, to meet such appropriation, authorize the Town Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, to borrow said sum in accordance with Chapter 44, Section 7 (5, 6), of the Massachusetts General Laws, or any other enabling authority; and, further, to authorize the Town to apply for any grants or loans available for the purposes of this article; said sum to be spent under the direction of the Director of the Department of Public Works.
[Approximately $400,000 to be borrowed; recommended by the Appropriations Committee]
For more info:
Visions of Hopkinton: Steps toward Downtown Revitalization
Prepared For the Downtown Revitalization Committee, Winter 2010
by Gareth Crosby, Lily Jacobson, and Kristin Thomas • Conway School of Landscape Design

#27 Repair, Maintenance, Renovation, and Improvement of the Elmwood Elementary School Boiler and Heating System – School Committee (Also on the ballot 5/17)
This article involves replacing the boiler at Elmwood School. Fortunately when the boiler was replaced at Center School, the project came in under budget. There is money remaining in the Center School account that should cover the cost of the Elmwood boiler replacement. However Town Meeting approval is needed to transfer these funds to the Elmwood Project. In addition, there will be a question on the town election ballot, that requires a yes vote to transfer the money. Again, this will not increase taxes; this is merely a transfer of funds.
[Approximately $145,000 to be transferred; Recommended by the Appropriations Committee; Also recommended by the Capital Improvements Committee]

#28 Design, Repair, Maintenance, Renovation, Improvement of the High School Loop Road – School Committee
This article has been placed on the Annual Town Meeting warrant for several years, although the School Committee has pulled it before the town meetings were held. This article is to cover the costs to repair the High School loop road. The road bed has deteriorated in several spots, resulting in rutting in the roads. Over the years it, it has been getting worse. There have been recent accidents at that spot in the road, posing safety concerns as well. There is also a newly identified section of road, along the CAA property, that is also getting rutted. The loop road is on school property and is not owned by the town, so the schools must provide the money to repair it. The DPW has assessed it and agrees that it is in urgent need of repair. The School Committee is therefore asking for funding to repair it. The good news is that construction and supply costs have gone down as a result of the economy, and the costs are much less than were projected several years ago. The School Committee will be asking for $130,000 to repair the road.
[Approximately $130,000 to be borrowed; Recommended by the Appropriations Committee; Also recommended by the Capital Improvements Committee]

#29 Community Preservation Committee Recommendations – Community Preservation
(See also article #52 Change in CPA Surcharge)
[Approximately $1,428,250 to be used from available CPA funds]

#35 Amend Sec. 170‐1: Authority of Board of Selectmen, Recycling [Trash Barrel Limit] – Petition

This article is a citizen’s petition in response to the Selectmen recently reducing each household’s weekly trash barrel limit from 4 barrels to 2 barrels. If passed this article would change the Hopkinton General Law to:
“…Such rules and regulations may require the separation of designated recyclable material or materials from other solid wastes, may specify the point at which the ownership of such designated recyclables shall vest in the town, may prohibit removal without authorization by the
Board of Selectmen or its designee of such designated recyclable has vested in the town, and may establish fines for violation of such rules and regulations, provided that such fine shall not exceed $50 for each violation. Notwithstanding, the Board of Selectmen and its designee, if any, shall have no authority to limit the number of trash barrels holding non‐recyclables that shall be picked up by the town’s waste contractor on a weekly basis to fewer than four 39‐gallon barrels per household.
Background Information: According to Town Manager, Norman Khumalo, the proposal to reduce the number of weekly barrels per household from 4 to 2 had projected the following savings: $10,000 contractual, $15-25K in disposal fees and a minimum of $16,000 in recycling income. Based on the above the FY 11 budget built in the following changes: the town reduced the Harvey contract (Acct 90 Rubbish Collection) from $453,000 to $443,000 ($10,000 in savings). The town also reduced Acct 1074 Rubbish Disposal by $37,116.52 based on FY 10 performance and anticipated improved recycling. According to the Town Website, as of April 1 households wishing to put out more than 2 barrels of trash per week, must purchase additional bags at Colella’s or Hopkinton Lumber. The cost of the bags is $1.25 each, and are sold in packages of five ($6.25). Sales tax does not apply.

#38 Adopt Stretch Energy Code – Board of Selectmen/Sustainable Green Committee
Adopting the “Stretch Code” is one of the five criteria that Hopkinton must meet in order to receive a “Green Community” Designation under the Green Communities Act of 2008. Towns designated as Green Communities are eligible for a grant up to $1,000,000 annually from a $10,000,000 fund that is replenished annually from the Regional Gas Initiative. That means this fund is not dependent upon the state budget.
The ‘stretch code’ is an optional appendix to the Massachusetts building energy code that allows cities and towns to choose a more energy-efficient option. This ‘stretch code’ option increases the energy efficiency code requirements in any municipality that adopts it, for all new residential and many new commercial buildings, as well as for those residential additions and renovations that would normally trigger building code requirements. This code will be MA state building code standard in 2012. By being early adopters Hopkinton can access the grant program. If it does not pass we must wait another year and get in line.
In addition to allowing municipalities to take meaningful action on energy use and climate change, the adoption of the more stringent and more performance based ‘stretch’ energy code is anticipated to result in significant cost savings for local residents and businesses, and increase design and construction firm competitiveness in the growing green building marketplace. The Stretch Code is expected to result in a 20% reduction in energy costs with a 2-3 year payback. It applies to new construction homes over 3000 sq feet, commercial over 5000 sq feet and substantial renovation to existing homes that are over 3000 and commercial over 5000. Initial costs over the 2006 code are significantly offset by rebates and initiatives.
For more information:
Stretch Code FAQ
October 2009 – New England Planning Newsletter
Summary of the Massachusetts Building Code Appendix 120.AA, ‘Stretch’ Energy Code
Massachusetts Stretch Code Modeling and Cash Flow Analysis – April 2010

#46 Article 1, Sec. 210‐4: Design Continue Care Retirement Community, Assisted Living and Nursing Home – Petition
This article is a citizen’s petition related to the Golden Pond Assisted Living Residence.

#47 Article XVIII, Sec. 210‐124B (1) Parking Requirements for Continuing Care Retirement Community, Assisted Living and Nursing Home – Petition
This article is a citizen’s petition related to the Golden Pond Assisted Living Residence.

#50 Transfer Ownership of Public Library from Library Trustees to Town – Board of Selectmen
Did you know that the Hopkinton Public Library is privately owned but publicly funded? This article will transfer ownership of the library to the town. Our library was created by private citizens in 1895 and has been managed by a seven-member Board of Trustees ever since. In 1955, the Town of Hopkinton began paying for the operating expenses, including staff salaries, utilities and insurance. Today the Town pays for about 80% of our Library’s entire budget. However, the library building is still owned by the Board of Library Trustees. The Trustees pay only for the maintenence of the Library building. In FY 2009, this expense was about $16,000, or just 3% of the total budget of the Library. Transferring the ownership of the building to the town will streamline management of the library, allow the library to utilize the buying power of the town, and make it easier for the library to apply for state grants. To pass Article 50, and make the library a town-owned building, a 2/3 vote is needed.

#51 Authorize Board of Selectmen to Seek Authority to Apply for Grants for the Expansion and Construction of the Public Library – Board of Selectmen
This article authorizes the Board of Selectmen to apply for, accept and expend any state, federal or other grants that may be available to defray all or part of the cost to design, construct and equip a new or expanded library building.

#52 Change in CPA Surcharge – Town Manager

(See also article #29 CPA Projects for 2010)
This article would change the surcharge on the taxes assessed annually on real property in the Town from 2% to 1.1%; provided, however, that this vote shall not take effect until the voters at the May 2010 Annual Town Election vote to change the surcharge on the taxes assessed annually on real property in the Town from 2% to 1.1%.
Background Information: Under the provisions of the Community Preservation Act (CPA), Hopkinton established a Community Preservation Committee in 2001. The Community Preservation Committee shall make recommendations to Town Meeting for the acquisition, creation, and preservation of open space; for the acquisition and preservation of historic resources; for the acquisition creation, and preservation of land for recreational use; for the creation, preservation, and support of community housing; and for rehabilitation or restoration of such open space, historic resources, land for recreational use and community housing that is acquired or created using Community Preservation Committee funds. The following projects were funded by CPA funds in Hopkinton from 2002-2009:

ADA Compliance – CAA building $50,000.00
ADA Compliance – Library $10,000.00
ADA Compliance – Town Hall $13,000.00
Athletic fields – Fruit Street $1,000,000.00
CAA barn restoration $200,000.00
Cemetery (Evergreen) – replace/restore sign $1,000.00
Cemetery fence – historical preservation $20,000.00
East Hopkinton Master Plan $200,000.00
EMC house, Hayward St. – affordable house $100,000.00
Fruit Street – land acquisition $2,000,000.00
Historic building survey update $5,000.00
Historic district signage $22,500.00
Historical preservation & restoration of records – Library $15,000.00
Historical preservation & restoration of records – Town Clerk $40,000.00
Historical Society building, Hayden Rowe St. – historical preservation, renovation $250,000.00
Hopkinton Center Trail – create multi-use trail $35,000.00
Lake Maspenock dam – historical preservation $10,000.00
Mayhew Court – 12 unit affordable housing development $450,000.00
McFarland-Sanger House, 146 Lumber St. – historical preservation $45,000.00
Old railroad depot – move to town land, renovate/historic preservation $18,000.00
Reed Park – restoration $30,000.00
Reed Park – tennis courts $150,000.00
Sandy Beach – benches $5,000.00
Sandy Beach – kiosk $3,500.00
South Mill St dam – historic restoration/preservation $91,000.00
Spring Street – open space land acquisition $97,000.00
Stewardship of town owned land $5,000.00
Stone arch bridge, Cedar St. – restore/preserve $5,000.00
Town Common – old fountain restoration $20,000.00
Town Hall – drainage/foundation work $49,000.00
Town Hall – landscaping & drainage $10,000.00
Whitehall conservation area – land acquisition, demolition of house, construction of trails and parking area $1,826,000.00
Whitehall gatehouse – restoration $40,000.00
Winter Street – open space land acquisition $300,000.00

For More Information:
The following budget documents are available on the Hopkinton town and school websites.
PDF 2009 Town Report
PDF Fiscal year 2011 Proposed Budget
PDF Annual Town Meeting Warrant May 3, 2010
PDF Ballot – Annual Town Election May 17, 2010
PDF School Committee’s Final FY 11 Budget Booklet
Video State of the Schools Forum

Meet the Candidates Night Sponsored by the Hopkinton Women’s Club

Thursday, May 6, 7:00 p.m.

HCAM Studios, 77 Main St, Hopkinton MA 01748
Comcast Channel 8/Verizon Channel 30