Weekly News Update – 09/20/2022

Weekly News Update – 09/20/2022

Elmwood forum offers details on school replacement project Town of Hopkinton Encourages Residents to Complete Survey in Preparation for FY24 Budget Process Primary election: Arena-DeRosa bests Degan in Democratic state rep race School Committee reviews enrollment figures, attendance policy Frankland Road solar project underway as forest clearing begins Parks & Rec roundup: Commission prioritizes maintenance of new turf fields Select Board roundup: Main Street progresses, new employees introduced Main Street Corridor Project Update Openings on Boards and Committees


Elmwood forum offers details on school replacement project

About 18 participants joined an online kickoff meeting Monday night to learn more about the process going forward for the Elmwood School replacement project. In addition to introducing the key players from Vertex and Perkins Eastman, who will plan and design the project if it gets funded, Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh highlighted a number of reasons for the undertaking at this time.

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Town Manager Norman Khumalo and Senior Accounting Manager Benjamin Sweeney would like to invite residents to complete a survey as the town prepares to begin the FY24 budget process.

The Town of Hopkinton will use the survey results to garner the community’s understanding of the town’s budget and how the process can be improved.

The survey will remain open until Thursday, Oct. 6.

Click here to complete the survey

 

Primary election: Arena-DeRosa bests Degan in Democratic state rep race

Holliston resident James Arena-DeRosa defeated Hopkinton Town Clerk Connor Degan in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for state representative in the 8th Middlesex District, which includes Hopkinton, Holliston, Sherborn and part of Millis.

According to an Associated Press accounting of the race shortly before midnight Tuesday, with 99 percent of votes counted, Arena-DeRosa had 3,101 votes (57.4 percent) to Degan’s 2,304 votes (42.6 percent).

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School Committee reviews enrollment figures, attendance policy

The Elmwood School replacement project, school enrollment and the attendance policy were among the topics of discussion at the Hopkinton School Committee meeting on Thursday.

Elementary level administrators also presented improvement plans for the board to review.

Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh said the Elmwood project — assuming it gets funded — is expected to take 4 1/2 years: two years for design, two for construction and a half-year obtaining town/state approvals.

Enrollment tops projections

Regarding enrollment, Cavanaugh said as of Sept. 15 the district has 4,178 students, including 102 in preschool.

A consultant’s enrollment projection had 4,104 students by the end of this school year and 4,186 as of the end of the school year in 2024.

Attendance policy removes COVID language

In an effort to update the attendance policy, it was proposed that specific symptoms associated with COVID-19 be removed from the language going forward. However, board members said that parents should not send kids to school who have fevers higher than 100, strep throat, etc., and must use discretion. Parents must provide an explanation in writing or by phone to the nurse.

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Frankland Road solar project underway as forest clearing begins

When Ann Karnofsky was walking her two collies on Frankland Road on Aug. 30, she was overcome by what she described as “a caravan of construction vehicles” heading to 71 Frankland Road, the site of a planned solar photovoltaic array and energy storage facility.

Karnofsky had advocated for the town to take the land by eminent domain earlier this year in an attempt to preserve the forest, which is part of the property now owned by Agilitas Energy (recently purchased from Seaboard Solar). Prior to that, Liberty Mutual had owned the land since 1954 and operated a safety research facility next to the forest.

Liberty Mutual, Karnofsky noted, allowed public access to the wooded portion of the property to walkers, bicyclists and horseback riders.

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Parks & Rec roundup: Commission prioritizes maintenance of new turf fields

At its meeting on Wednesday, the Parks & Recreation Commission discussed the maintenance of the new Fruit Street turf field, Town Common property requests and Community Preservation Committee projects.

CPC-funded projects discussed

The commission continued its discussion from past meetings about potential projects to propose to the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) this fall. Proposals may include a longterm plan for the Fruit Street fields property, the reconfiguration of Pyne Field to accommodate a Little League field and cricket pitch, the addition of shaded areas or a pavilion to the dog park, the installation of a gate at Sandy Beach, the construction of an EMC Park amenities building, the addition of security cameras to Parks & Rec properties and the construction of an arena.

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Select Board roundup: Main Street progresses, new employees introduced

At Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, Town Manager Norman Khumalo indicated the Main Street Corridor Project continues to progress.

“Substantial work has been completed,” Khumalo said. “We’re now focusing on doing the work that will help us wind down ahead of the winter.”

Stewart, Prescott recognized

The board recognized two longtime town employees who recently retired.

Jamie Stewart was a heavy equipment operator for the Department of Public Works who retired Aug. 31 after 36 years with the town. Michael Prescott, a firefighter, retired Aug. 26 after 31 years with the town, including seven years as a call firefighter.

Committee positions filled

The Board of Library Trustees, participating in a joint meeting with the Select Board, filled a vacancy with the appointment of Warren Carter. The term expires at the May 2023 Town Election.

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Main Street Corridor Project Update

What to Expect for the Week of September 19, 2022, to September 23, 2022

Project Wide

  • Raise castings on manholes project wide – the eastbound detour from Pleasant Street to Maple Street to Hayden Rowe will be utilized.

East Side of Project

  • Comcast duct bank work at Church St and Walcott St. (expected to be 1 day for each location)
  • Electric conduit work at Ash Street
  • Conduit work on Hayden Rowe; southbound traffic will be detoured around the Town Common via Ash Street to Park and back to Hayden Rowe. Northbound traffic on Hayden Rowe will not be impacted.
  • Continue the service connections up to property lines from the Muffin House to Ash Street

West Side of Project

  • Continue Grading and Compacting sidewalks between Wood Street and the Fire Station
  • Continue forming and pouring Concrete Sidewalks from Wood Street towards the Fire Station

135/85 Intersection

  • Install new granite curb from the Fire Station/Police Station up to the Muffin House (including Cedar Street and Grove Street)
  • Set up lights at the intersection

Read more details about the Main Street Corridor Project

Live video feeds of traffic conditions

 

Openings on Boards and Committees

Updated 9/14/22: The following Town boards & committees will have one or more anticipated vacancies.  Please see the Town website at www.hopkintonma.gov for information about the duties of specific boards and committees.  Interested residents must apply via the online volunteer form at Town of Hopkinton, MA: Boards. Never served on a Board or Committee before? Take a look at Hopkinton’s Board/Committee Orientation Handbook to get a better idea of what to expect.

Please note that all current board and committee members interested in reappointment MUST apply online via the link above.  Appointments would be made at an upcoming meeting of the relevant appointing authority.  For questions, please contact Elaine Lazarus or Vasudha Dutta at 508-497-9701 vdutta@hopkintonma.gov.

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