Weekly News Roundup – 05/03/2020

Weekly News Roundup – 05/03/2020

Covid-19 Updates and Precautions • Baker Orders Mass. Residents To Wear Masks Beginning May 6 • Final Hazard Mitigation and Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Report • Hopkinton ranked as the safest community in Massachusetts for the second year in a row • Hopkinton Schools Awarded $33K For New Water Fountains • Planning Board works to establish commercial solar district • Planning Board works to establish commercial solar district • Anticipating financial issues, town initiates hiring freeze • New HPS Enrollment Projections • Select Board Actions Taken 04/28/2020 • Planning Board Actions Taken 04/23/2020


Covid-19 Updates and Precautions

Covid-19 Resource page has moved to a new site below. This page provides information, maps and resources about the coronavirus response in our local area.

Visit Hopkinton, MA – Coronavirus Response Hub

As of 11:00 a.m. on 5/1/20, Hopkinton’s Health Department is reporting 101 total confirmed COVID-19 cases; 73 of those cases are active, with 19 recoveries and 9 deaths. You can see historical tracking and updates on Hopkinton’s Community Impact Dashboard: Information from Health Officials is that Massachusetts is still in “the surge” (expected peak) period. During this time, and as testing increases, we expect to continue to see an increase in active cases both in Hopkinton and throughout the Commonwealth.

The most recent update from May 1st includes:

  • Face Covering Order
  • Reopening Advisory Board
  • Recycling Pickup

The most recent update from April 28th includes:

  • Massachusetts Extends Non-Essential Business Closures
  • Show Us Your Heart, Hopkinton!
  • Virtual Town Hall Office Hours
  • Library
  • Youth & Family Services Update

Massachusetts Extends Non-Essential Business Closures to May 18. Also announced that the DPH’s Stay At Home Advisory remains in effect and gatherings of 10 or more people remain prohibited until May 18th.

View related article from April 28th update

 

Baker Orders Mass. Residents To Wear Masks Beginning May 6

Massachusetts residents who venture out of their homes will soon have to do so while wearing a cloth face covering.

Gov. Charlie Baker said the order would require anyone over the age of 2 to wear masks while outside and unable to maintain the proper physical distance needed to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Masks will be required at all times while inside grocery and retail stores, and on public transportation.

https://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2020/05/01/coronavirus-mask-order-massachusetts-baker

 

Hopkinton officer talks coronavirus experience

“I had what I would call a minor sinus infection, so I called out sick because of everything that was going on,” said Brennan, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. “The next day, I called the town nurse and told her I wasn’t that bad, that I could work, but she recommended I get tested.”

Two days later, the 55-year-old was tested in Marlborough. And on the morning of March 25, he got the test results – positive.

https://hopkinton.wickedlocal.com/news/20200502/hopkinton-officer-talks-coronavirus-experience

 

Hopkinton ranked as the safest community in Massachusetts for the second year in a row

SafeWise released its sixth annual Safest Cities report Monday and determined the 20 safest communities in the Bay State by comparing their crime rates.

The town of Hopkinton placed first, boasting a violent crime rate of 0.1 incidents per 1,000 and a property crime rate of 1.6.

View Article

 

Hopkinton Schools Awarded $33K For New Water Fountains

Hopkinton Public Schools received a $33,000 grant for the purchase and installation of filtered water bottle filling stations after the detection of lead in some drinking fixtures.

The School Water Improvement Grant, or SWIG, program gave $675,000 to 32 school districts in its first round of grants. Grants were awarded at $3,000 per fixture.

https://patch.com/massachusetts/holliston-hopkinton/hopkinton-schools-awarded-33k-new-water-fountains

 

Final Hazard Mitigation and Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Report

The Town of Hopkinton presents the final Hazard Mitigation and Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Report, which is the result of input from stakeholders and the public through a workshop and public listening session.

View Details

 

Planning Board works to establish commercial solar district

Seeking to update the bylaw to give the town more control over where commercial, ground-mounted solar installations are located, the Planning Board has been hearing from frustrated residents as well as property owners who have expressed an interest in having their land approved for solar.

According to the town’s current bylaw, commercial, ground-mounted solar installations are allowed anywhere in town.

They are subject to Planning Board and Conservation Committee review, with screening and setback restrictions as well as wetlands protection. But if a project meets the special permit criteria and is not requesting any waivers, the Planning Board cannot deny the application, and neighbors are virtually powerless to stop it.

View Article

 

Anticipating financial issues, town initiates hiring freeze

The Select Board voted at Tuesday night’s meeting to place a hiring freeze on town employment effective immediately due to the anticipated financial issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vote came shortly after a presentation by Town Manager Norman Khumalo, who offered some concerning potential scenarios.

Khumalo said the town’s Fiscal Year 2020 situation “remains very strong,” with more than $59 million in deposits and investments. However, he explained that while the state’s budget for FY21 called for Hopkinton to receive $8.9 million in local aid, “It seems extremely likely that we will receive substantially less than that because of COVID-19.”

View Article

 

New HPS Enrollment Projections

The Planning Board received updated HPS enrollment figures at their last meeting. There are currently 466 students from Legacy Farms. As outlined in the Host Community Agreement if the total number of students exceeds 266 a one time payment is due for each increment of 30 additional students. There were two increments of 30 students in FY19 and now four increments of 30 students in FY20.

View Article

 

Select Board Actions Taken 04/28/2020

6:55 PM POLICE CHIEF CEREMONY
5. The Select Board will conduct an official swearing-in ceremony for Police Chief Joseph E. Bennett III.

The Select Board approved the contract and appointment of Joseph E. Bennett III to the position of Police Chief. (5-0)

View Video ~10 minutes

7:15 PM CONSENT AGENDA

6.
i. MINUTES
ii. PARADE PERMIT – MEMORIAL DAY – VETERANS CELEBRATION COMMITTEE
iii. GIFTS
iv. CULTURAL COUNCIL TERMS

The Select Board approved the Consent Agenda, and included a condition of the Parade Permit for Memorial Day. (5-0)

View Video ~3 minutes

7:20 PM CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING – PETITION TO RELOCATE AND ADD UTILITY POLES ON WEST ELM STREET – VERIZON AND NSTAR ELECTRIC (EVERSOURCE)

7. WEST ELM STREET – VERIZON AND NSTAR ELECTRIC (EVERSOURCE)

The Select Board approved the relocation of utility pole T.79/E.79 as detailed on the revised plan. (5-0)

View Video ~8 minutes

8. The Select Board will consider FY 2020 and 2021 Budget updates.
The Select Board instituted an immediate hiring freeze of all Town positions; said hiring freeze would not apply to active recruitments of which an offer has already been made by the Town. (5-0)

View Video ~30 minutes

7:50 PM TOWN MANAGER REPORT
9.
a. Main Street Corridor Project Update.
b. Metrowest Veterans Services District Agreement Renewal

The Select Board approved of the form of Notices of Taking and authorized the Town Manager to send Notices of Taking to all affected property owners once the Order of Taking has been recorded and filed with the Registry of Deeds. (5-0)

The Select Board approved of the form of the Access Agreement and accompanying cover letter to those property owners that require improvements to their electrical service to connect to the new underground utilities and authorized the Town Manager to send the draft Access Agreement to those property owners. (5-0)

The Select Board voted to renew the Metrowest Veterans Services District Agreement and to designate the Town Manager as the Town’s representative on the Board of Directors (5-0)

View Video ~10 minutes

MATERIALS FOR THIS MEETING:

VIEW FULL ARTICLE

 

Planning Board Actions Taken 04/27/2020

3. Continued Public Hearing – Zoning Articles for Town Meeting – Proposed amendments to the Hopkinton Zoning Bylaw and Zoning Map, including:

  • Amend Article XXVII, Signs, Section 210-179, to allow for additional temporary signage for businesses determined to be affected by construction within a public right-of-way. – Discussed and continued to June 1, 2020
  • Establish the Commercial Solar Photovoltaic Overlay District and amend the Zoning Map to place all or a portion of the following parcels within the Commercial Solar Photovoltaic Overlay District, without affecting the underlying zoning of said parcels, as applicable. – Discussed and continued to June 1, 2020

4. Continued Public Hearing – Zoning Article for Town Meeting – Proposed amendments to the Hopkinton Zoning Bylaw and Zoning Map, including:

  • Establish a Commercial Solar Photovoltaic Overlay District and amend the Zoning Map to place all or a portion of the following parcels within this District without affecting the underlying zoning of said parcels, as applicable. – Discussed and continued to June 1, 2020

5. Continued Public Hearing – Zoning Article for Town Meeting (Citizen’s Petition) – Proposed amendment to the Hopkinton Zoning Bylaw, including:

  • Amend Article XIII, Garden Apartments in Residential Districts, Section 210-74.B.(11) and Article XIIIA, Village Housing in Residential Districts, Section 210-75.3.B.(11), to require the Town of Hopkinton be responsible for trash and recycling collection within the developments approved under these Articles. – Discussed and continued to June 1, 2020

MATERIALS FOR THIS MEETING:

VIEW FULL ARTICLE

 

Planning Board Actions Taken 04/23/2020

1. Administrative Items

  1. Form K Lot Release – Lot A-2-3 and Restricted Land Covenant – Legacy Farms North – Discussed, but not voted on.
  2. Approval Not Required Plan – 147 Lumber Street – Approved
  3. Site Selection Criteria for Solar Overlay District – Discussed
  4. Minutes of 2-24-20, 3-9-20, 3-14-20 – Approved

4. Continued Public Hearing – Major Project Site Plan Review – 25-35 Main Street – Discussed & Continued to May 18, 2020
5. New Public Hearing – Special Permit for Common Driveway – 47, 49 Stoney Brook Rd. – Discussed & Continued to May 11, 2020

6. Continued Public Hearing – Zoning Articles for Town Meeting:

  • Establish the Commercial Solar Photovoltaic Overlay District and amend the Zoning Map to place all or a portion of the following parcels within the Commercial Solar Photovoltaic Overlay District, without affecting the underlying zoning of said parcels, as applicable: Discussed & Continued to April 27, 2020

7. New Public Hearing – Zoning Article for Town Meeting

  • Establish a Commercial Solar Photovoltaic Overlay District and amend the Zoning Map to place all or a portion of the following parcels within this District without affecting the underlying zoning of said parcels, as applicable: Discussed & Continued to April 27, 2020

8. New Public Hearing – Zoning Article for Town Meeting (Citizen’s Petition)

  • Amend Article XIII, Garden Apartments in Residential Districts, Section 210-74.B.(11) and Article XIIIA, Village Housing in Residential Districts, Section 210-75.3.B.(11), to require the Town of Hopkinton be responsible for trash and recycling collection within the developments approved under these Articles. Discussed & Continued to April 27, 2020

Business to be considered by the Board at any time during the meeting:

  • Legacy Farms Road/East Main Street Traffic Light Status – Received an update, lights have been ordered, still in progress, coming along
    • Legacy Farms North Road – Plantings are being done now, a manhole in the road is being fixed by Eversource, hoping for paving to be done in the 3rd week in May
    • East Main Street Sidewalk – In progress, but the contractor has been sick and the project has been delayed.
  • Legacy Farms Fiscal Analysis – Received an update, seems to be still in progress, developer had technical difficulties during meeting

MATERIALS FOR THIS MEETING:

VIEW FULL ARTICLE

 



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