Weekly News Update – 01/29/2023
Parks & Rec endorses capital request for manual security gates at Sandy Beach • MassDOT: Fruit Street I-495 bridge reconstruction to begin in late spring • Conservation Commission hears alternatives for Mass. Laborers gas line plan • Residents share traffic concerns at ESBC forum • Town Election 2023. Candidates needed • Select Board roundup: Officials continue work on budget with eye on future major expenses • Select Board dilemma: Rush into RECC or risk waiting? • Town of Hopkinton Provides Update on Main Street Public Parking Project • UCTC discusses communication strategy, ‘holistic view’ of trail system • School Committee approves $60 million proposed budget • Anna runs Boston for eHop. Let’s support her to the finish line!
Parks & Rec endorses capital request for manual security gates at Sandy Beach
The Parks & Recreation Commission at its 80-minute meeting Thursday evening voted 4-0 to endorse a capital grant proposal to fund manual gates at Sandy Beach in order to increase security there.
Commissioner Cynthia Esthimer has been serving as a member of an ad hoc committee that previously analyzed the beach for safety concerns regarding parking and the condition of the dock. The biggest issue over the past couple of summers has been the lack of security gates, she noted.
Pickleball, Pyne updates provided
Guelfi gave an update on the public pickleball courts slated to be built off of Fruit Street on Pratt Way, across from the dog park. He noted that he spoke with Principal Planner John Gelcich, who explained that a site plan review would need to be done as soon as possible because the parking lot will have 28 spaces. The site plan would require approval from the Planning Board.
MassDOT: Fruit Street I-495 bridge reconstruction to begin in late spring
Reconstruction of Fruit Street’s Interstate 495 bridge will begin in the late spring as an initial step to remodel the interchange between I-495 and I-90, representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced at a two-hour virtual meeting Wednesday night.
Conservation Commission hears alternatives for Mass. Laborers gas line plan
The Conservation Commission met for more than three hours Tuesday night and voted 6-0 to continue a notice of intent hearing on the Massachusetts Laborers Training facility’s proposed gas line so that alternative routes proposed during the hearing could be reviewed.
Residents share traffic concerns at ESBC forum
About 20 people attended Tuesday’s forum for the Elementary School Building Committee, with a few neighbors of potential sites voicing concerns that existing traffic problems will get worse.
Before a question-and-answer period, Project Manager Jeff D’Amico explained the process with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) so far and outlined key dates going forward. The Elementary School Building Committee (ESBC) will take a vote on selection of a site on Feb. 13 and submit its preferred schematic report to the state in March.
Town Election 2023. Candidates needed
10 Candidates have pulled papers to run for election, but more candidates are still need – list updated on eHop 01/25/23
Select Board roundup: Officials continue work on budget with eye on future major expenses
At Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, members received an update on the town’s budget process for fiscal year 2024. The relatively good news, according to Town Manager Norman Khumalo, is that the budget needs a trim of $1.1 million — down from $2.8 million.
Cumberland Farms objects to barriers
An attorney for Cumberland Farms appeared before the board during the public forum to complain about the town’s proposed plan to install barriers in the middle of West Main Street. The barriers would prevent left turns into and out of Cumberland Farms and Alltown Fresh and is designed to cut down on accidents in an area that Police Chief Joseph Bennett previously stated was the most dangerous in town for accidents.
Construction materials might be moved
Khumalo provided an update on the Main Street Corridor Project, which is on pause for the winter. Following complaints from residents, the town reached out to see if the items being stored on Marathon Way (next to the Town Common) could be moved.
PFAS plant permit approved
Touching on the PFAS issue, Khumalo shared that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection approved the permits for the town’s filtration plant, which has moved into the procurement phase for construction.
The PFAS test results continue to trend in the wrong direction, with the December reading at 31.7 parts per trillion.
Select Board dilemma: Rush into RECC or risk waiting?
Select Board members on Tuesday continued to show hesitation regarding a proposed regional emergency communications center (RECC), but there also was concern about missing an opportunity to have a say in where Hopkinton ends up and what the RECC looks like.
Town of Hopkinton Provides Update on Main Street Public Parking Project
Town Manager Norman Khumalo, Department of Public Works Director John Westerling and Town Engineer Dave Daltorio would like to update residents about the ongoing Main Street public parking project.
The ongoing project, located behind 25 and 35 Main St., will provide the Town of Hopkinton with new public parking spaces.
UCTC discusses communication strategy, ‘holistic view’ of trail system
The Upper Charles Trail Committee (UCTC) at its 90-minute meeting Wednesday night discussed the inclusion of previous data from emails and a survey on the town website to help the public better understand the committee’s initiatives as well as to increase transparency.
This effort mainly came about to answer questions regarding two trail engineering studies. One is the controversial study for Segment 6 that was funded last year by a MassTrails grant. This proposed trail would cross Hayden Rowe Street and loop around the Marathon Elementary School, which the School Committee opposed.
School Committee approves $60 million proposed budget
The increase of 8.4 percent is well above the 5.1 percent guidance provided by the Select Board.
The budget reflects funds for therapy services, which were slated to be cut but put back in following public outcry over many weeks. There also was a change increasing 0.1 of a staff position for nursing up to 0.4 based on need, according to Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh.
Grade configurations reviewed again
In other business, ahead of a Feb. 2 vote, the School Committee again reviewed the pros and cons of having a Grade 2-3 versus Grade 2-3-4 potential replacement/remodel of Elmwood School.
Batlle-Rafferty will not seek re-election
School Committee member Lya Batlle-Rafferty, who also serves as a liaison on the Elementary School Building Committee, said she was not going to seek re-election. She emphasized the importance of another committee member stepping forward to serve as a liaison to the ESBC.
Anna runs Boston for eHop. Let’s support her to the finish line!
Let’s get game ready for the upcoming Super Bowl! Friends and family near and far, here is your chance to win up to $500 and help Anna raise money towards her boston marathon fundraiser for eHop.
$25 per football square. Venmo @anna-bruehl to claim your square(s).
How it works: There are 100 squares. Anna will randomly assign squares when purchased. At the end of every quarter, the person whose square corresponds with the intersection of the second digit of each team’s score wins a prize.