Weekly News Update – 01/30/2022

Weekly News Update – 01/30/2022

Full closure of Fruit Street bridge starts Feb. 7, will last about 1 year • Town Election 2022 – List of Candidates • Select Board roundup: Officer Powers lauded; health director notes positive signs regarding COVID surge • Health director predicts Hopkinton is near COVID peak: ‘We’re seeing unprecedented numbers’ • School Committee roundup: Budget approved; calendar debated; COVID policy questioned • ConCom approves notice of area resource delineation for Fruit Street property • Mental Health Collaborative to be featured on WBZ-TV Monday morning


Full closure of Fruit Street bridge starts Feb. 7, will last about 1 year

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced Friday that the Fruit Street bridge over the MBTA/CSX Railroad and the Sudbury River in Hopkinton and Westborough will close at 7 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 7. The bridge is expected to remain closed until the spring of 2023 in order to facilitate bridge construction operations as part of the $12.5 million bridge replacement project.

During the work, traffic will be directed to follow detour signage, using Route 9 and Route 135 for access.

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Town Election 2022 – List of Candidates

Considering running for local office, but don’t know where to begin?

To become a candidate a person must either obtain and submit nomination papers by securing the signatures of 50 Hopkinton registered voters by Tuesday, March 28, 2022 or a person may qualify by being the top vote-getter in one of the town political party caucuses, which are typically held in early April. Nomination signature papers are available from the Town Clerk’s office (18 Main St) starting January 18, 2022. Please email or call the Town Clerk’s office with questions at townclerk@hopkintonma.gov 508-497-9710.

Click on the name of any elected office listed in the article below to read more about it.

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Select Board roundup: Officer Powers lauded; health director notes positive signs regarding COVID surge

At Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, retiring Police Officer Phil Powers was recognized for his 34 years of service to the town, primarily as the school resource officer.

Health director optimistic about COVID

Health Director Shaun McAuliffe, in his COVID update, said there are signs that the record-breaking case surge has passed its high point.

Misc.: Lykan TIF talks continue

In his town manager report, Norman Khumalo said negotiations with Lykan Bioscience on a tax increment finance (TIF) agreement were “progressing smoothly and now nearing conclusion. We are hoping that we will be presenting a very comprehensive draft to the Select Board at your meeting next week.”

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Health director predicts Hopkinton is near COVID peak: ‘We’re seeing unprecedented numbers’

Speaking at the Board of Health’s meeting on Monday, Health Director Shaun McAuliffe said Hopkinton’s COVID numbers continue to climb as the omicron surge rages on, but he expects the number to start dropping by the end of the week.

McAuliffe said as of Monday morning there have been 867 local cases in the state’s reporting system since Jan. 1, up 46 from Friday — and almost exclusively the omicron variant — but the actual total likely is much higher.

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School Committee roundup: Budget approved; calendar debated; COVID policy questioned

The School Committee at Thursday’s meeting approved the fiscal year 2023 budget of $57,116,438 and discussed a range of topics from updating the school calendar to the decrease in COVID-19 cases in schools over the past week.

The committee approved by a 4-0-1 vote the proposed FY 2023 school budget after considering presentations on budget requests for the past several weeks. Member Meg Tyler abstained after speaking about her concern over out-of-district placements for students with disabilities, stressing the need for inclusivity.

School calendar changes debated

The committee continued its public discussion from the previous week on including more holidays into the school calendar in an effort to balance the need to recognize Hopkinton’s diversity while not disrupting the flow of in-class instruction.

COVID-19 case numbers decreasing

The superintendent noted that the number of students and staff absent because of contracting COVID-19 dropped to 150 from 204 the previous two weeks, a 25 percent decrease.

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ConCom approves notice of area resource delineation for Fruit Street property

At its Tuesday night meeting, the Conservation Commission approved area resource delineations for 188 and 190 Fruit Street after the applicant explained that an intermittent stream was found running through the property upon it being surveyed.

Kim Ciaramicoli, the town’s conservation administrator, noted that now that the buffer zone for the wetland has been properly delineated, it would have to be taken into consideration if any development were to occur. King agreed with that condition.

Hearings continued

Before the hearing, Chair Jeff Barnes noted that three requests were made for hearing continuations.

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Mental Health Collaborative to be featured on WBZ-TV Monday morning

WBZ anchor Kate Merrill will interview MHC founder/executive director Abby Rosenberg about the mental health literacy programming that the nonprofit offers to communities and schools.

“We are currently focusing most of our energy on teens, young adults and those [who] support them and care for them,” Rosenberg stated. “The soaring rates of mental health challenges amongst these age groups are alarming, and many are referring to it as the second pandemic.”

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