Weekly News Update – 12/19/2021
Main Street Corridor Project – Weekly Update • PUBLIC NOTICE ON PFAS ISSUE: Bottled Water Rebate Application • Covid-19 Update and Precautions • Divided School Committee votes to make masks mandatory at HHS due to surge in COVID-19 cases • Town shares guidance on international travel during winter break • Health Director: As Hopkinton’s COVID surge continues, stricter mask policy instituted for town offices • School Committee roundup: Special education costs soar; Elmwood proposal moves into feasibility period • Superintendent: Hopkinton ‘monitoring’ threat to U.S. schools for Friday • Select Board roundup: New restaurant set to open on Main Street; Town Meeting warrant opened • SELECT BOARD ACTIONS TAKEN 12/07/21 • Connelly Farms subdivision down to 8 lots, nears Conservation Commission approval • OPENINGS ON BOARDS & COMMITTEES (UPDATED) – APPLY ONLINE • HPD chief: Hopeful for detailed police log soon • ‘Officer Phil’ heads into final weeks as school resource officer • Select Board: All Hands Meeting: December 13, 2021
Main Street Corridor Project – Weekly Update
What to Expect for the Week of December 20, 2021 to December 24, 2021
- Execution of the approved traffic plan for temporary sidewalks between CVS and Pleasant Street, pending MassDOT and Town approval (from 12/20/21 to 12/23/21)
- Delivery of Electric Materials
RELATED: Live Construction Video Feeds are available for the Main Street Corridor Project, check where crews are working and traffic / weather conditions before you leave your home or office.
PUBLIC NOTICE ON PFAS ISSUE: Bottled Water Rebate Application
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently issued a new drinking water regulation that limits the sum of six “PFAS” (PFAS6) compounds to a specific Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 20 parts per trillion (PPT). Subsequent testing showed that the Town of Hopkinton’s water supply exceeded the MCL during the testing period.
MassDEP recommends that pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants under one (1) year of age, and people diagnosed by their health care provider to have a compromised immune system not consume, drink, or cook with water when the level of PFAS6 is above the MCL. Those individuals are advised to use alternative sources of water such as bottled water tested for PFAS6 or in-home filtration systems certified by independent testing groups to remove PFAS6.
The Town is therefore offering a rebate program, effective December 7, 2021, for households that have one or more members who should use an alternative water source as described above. The rebate will be in the form of a water bill credit of up to $20.00 per household per month, provided that the household’s water bill is at least $20.00 per month, to offset the cost of purchasing bottled water.
Covid-19 Update and Precautions
As of 12/14/21, Hopkinton’s Health Department is reporting 1,475 total confirmed COVID-19 cases; 48 of those cases are active, with 1,475 recoveries and 17 deaths. (these metrics are cumulative since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic). You can see historical tracking and updates on Hopkinton’s Community Impact Dashboard. The Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Interactive Dashboard is another valuable resource to review rates and trends: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting#covid-19-interactive-data-dashboard-
Recent Updates include:
- Upcoming Holidays
- Hopkinton Health Department (Vaccination Update)
Divided School Committee votes to make masks mandatory at HHS due to surge in COVID-19 cases
The School Committee on Thursday voted 3-2 to re-institute the mandatory mask policy at Hopkinton High School beginning today after a nearly hour-long discussion.
Town shares guidance on international travel during winter break
“Beginning December 6, all air travelers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, are required to show a negative pre-departure COVID-19 viral test taken the day before they board their flight to the United States,” the statement reads. “For example, a passenger whose flight to the United States is at any time on a Sunday would need to have a negative test taken at any time on Saturday.
“Upon return, it is recommended that travelers get a COVID-19 viral test 3-5 days after arrival. Travelers should self-monitor for symptoms.”
Health Director: As Hopkinton’s COVID surge continues, stricter mask policy instituted for town offices
Health Director Shaun McAuliffe said that while the town continues to be one of top vaccinated communities in the commonwealth, there has been an ongoing surge in cases this month.
McAuliffe said there have been 99 cases since Dec. 1, and he expects it to be closer to 110 following more reports of cases Tuesday.
School Committee roundup: Special education costs soar; Elmwood proposal moves into feasibility period
Special education costs rise
Karen Zaleski, the student services district director, noted that the special education enrollment is at 501 for Fiscal Year 2022, with 28 out-of-district placements.
District runs at slight deficit
Finance Director Susan Rothermich explained that the district is running at a negative variance of $80,740 “that was payroll driven.” She said this tends to fluctuate throughout the year. Most of the additional full-time employees hired were covered by grants, Rothermich noted.
Younger students get vaccines
Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh said she was told by Health Department Director Shaun McAuliffe that 91 percent of students ages 5-11 have received their first COVID vaccine shot. More than 70 percent have received their second vaccine doses.
Elmwood School building project moves forward
Cavanaugh announced that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) invited the Elmwood School project to move from its eligibility period into the feasibility period.
Superintendent: Hopkinton ‘monitoring’ threat to U.S. schools for Friday
Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh emailed the schools community on Thursday to address a widely shared post on the social media platform TikTok that refers to a threat to school safety “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday (Dec. 17).
Select Board roundup: New restaurant set to open on Main Street; Town Meeting warrant opened
At Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, the board approved awarding a common victualer license to Cheryl Kiefer for Lone Wolf BBQ, a new restaurant that will take the spot at 24 Main Street previously occupied by Bittersweet.
Town Meeting warrant opened
The board voted to open the May 2 Annual Town Meeting warrant.
SELECT BOARD ACTIONS TAKEN 12/07/21
Connelly Farms subdivision down to 8 lots, nears Conservation Commission approval
The two lots that need to be reviewed are Lots 1 and 8, Goddard explained. Lot 8 formerly was referred to as Lot 9 before the lot realignment.
He presented the revised subdivision layout plan that incorporated commission suggestions with an enhanced construction sequencing and phasing plan, a modified wetland application, and the updated subdivision plans.
OPENINGS ON BOARDS & COMMITTEES (UPDATED) – APPLY ONLINE
Updated 12/08/21: The following Town boards & committees will have one or more anticipated vacancies. For a complete list of open positions and information on how to apply, click below.
HPD chief: Hopeful for detailed police log soon
“I’ve identified it as the single most critical request for service” from the company, Bennett said. “I’ve asked them to place it on the top. They have delivered improvements since our last meeting, and they continue to work on it.”
Bennett said he is optimistic the problem will be remedied in the coming days, once the company figures out how to release the appropriate information without sharing details that would violate state law.
‘Officer Phil’ heads into final weeks as school resource officer
In an era when police nationwide have faced increased scrutiny, particularly in schools, Officer Phil Powers is a shining example of what a community officer should be.
The veteran Hopkinton school resource officer of more than 20 years reflected on his career and his efforts to steer Hopkinton’s youth in the right direction as a mentor and friend as he approaches his retirement next month.
Select Board: All Hands Meeting: December 13, 2021
Catch up on the Strategic Objectives & Departmental Goals for all town departments