Weekly News Update – 03/18/24

Weekly News Update – 03/18/24

Updated Candidates List for the 2024 Town Election • Hopkins workshop topics include security, finances • Open Space Preservation Commission gives input on potential town building uses • Parks & Rec Commission discusses ‘sneaky parkers’ at EMC Park parking lot, Sandy Beach signage • Hopkinton couple arrested, charged with multiple counts of fraud • Trails Committee won’t get funds from town to create independent website • Senior Services seeks focus group participants • Conservation Commission votes to approve use of herbicides to control Lake Maspenock weeds • Select Board calls for Special Town Meeting to request additional funding for key town projects


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Hopkins workshop topics include security, finances

Following a tour of Hopkins School, School Committee members gathered in the library Thursday night to talk about plans for an addition and renovations. Town Meeting will vote in May on the proposed $49.7 million project.

Consequences of delay discussed

In response to a question about delaying the project, he noted it would be significantly more expensive based on an average increase of 4% in project and material costs that he has seen “historically, for my entire career.”

Code impacts mentioned

Colli explained changes in building codes that went into effect in December and resulted in having to add a lot of sinks.

Project adds programs

School administrators talked about programming such as having general music and performing ensembles run simultaneously and offering drama and engineering to fifth graders.

Impacts of rejection discussed

Some consequences of not going forward with the project were considered. These included class sizes up to 29 students with an enrollment of 803.

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Parks & Rec Commission discusses ‘sneaky parkers’ at EMC Park parking lot, Sandy Beach signage

The Parks & Recreation Commission at its meeting Thursday addressed a request for the commission to formally allocate some parking spaces at the EMC Park parking lot for high school seniors beginning in September, noting that there already is a student parking issue there.

When the Hopkins School addition project begins in the fall, Bishop told Lewitus that it will limit student parking options there. Lewitus said Bishop requested that spaces at the EMC Park parking lot be allocated for high school seniors. The proposed arrangement would begin in September and run through mid-April 2025.

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Open Space Preservation Commission gives input on potential town building uses

Permanent Building Committee chair Dan McIntyre appeared before the Open Space Preservation Commission on Thursday to gauge members’ opinions on the potential repurposing of three town-owned properties.

The three properties under consideration are Center School, Elmwood School and Town Hall. Center School is vacant, and the Elmwood School will be after a replacement school is constructed. Due to Hopkinton’s growing population, Town Hall’s services have outgrown the building’s capacity, according to some town officials.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced this week that a Hopkinton couple who operate a roofing and construction company in Framingham were arrested and charged in connection with separate schemes to defraud their workers’ compensation insurance carriers, the Small Business Administration and their mortgage lender.

According to the indictment, from about 2012 to 2020, the Solanos — who operate H&R Roofing & Construction Inc. and H&R Roofing & Siding Corp. — avoided more than $627,000 in workers’ compensation insurance premiums by underreporting their payroll and paying workers through a shell company.

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Hopkinton Senior Services, in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Boston, is conducting a needs assessment to examine the lived experiences and anticipated needs of adults in the community.

The organization is seeking residents 50 years or older who would talk about experiences aging in Hopkinton. A focus group is scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, at the Hopkinton Senior Center to hear and learn from community members. This conversation will help create community based interventions to support older adults.

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Proposals for mixed-use development of Center School considered by Permanent Building Committee

The Permanent Building Committee reviewed two mixed-use development proposals for the Center School site at its meeting Monday night.

Chair Dan McIntyre said the committee received two responses from a request for proposals sent out by the town regarding reuse of the dormant town property. The town’s Procurement & Grants Department “also reached out to a dozen local developers,” McIntyre said, noting that the Nation family and Paul Mastroianni were among those contacted. Also, notices were placed in local newspapers and on the state municipal website.

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The Conservation Commission voted 6-0-1 at its meeting Tuesday to approve the use of two herbicides to control the overgrowth of weeds in Lake Maspenock as part of its “toolbox” strategy for weed management.

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Monday night’s Zoning Advisory Committee meeting primarily focused on a renewed attempt to seek rezoning for a South Street building that would house the Marguerite Construction corporate headquarters, raising ire in some Lake Maspenock residents.

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Trails Committee won’t get funds from town to create independent website

Trails Committee chair Peter LaGoy announced at Wednesday night’s meeting that the committee was denied the use of town funds for its planned website, which would have been linked to the town’s webpage.

After trying to work with the town’s Information Technology Department multiple times on the creation of its webpage on the town website, the committee has discussed in recent meetings creating an independent website that would be linked to the town website.

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Select Board calls for Special Town Meeting to request additional funding for key town projects

Hopkinton Fire Chief Gary Daugherty Jr. and Town Engineer/Facilities Director Dave Daltorio appeared jointly before the Select Board on Tuesday night to request that a Special Town Meeting be held within the May 6 Annual Town Meeting because of budgetary shortfalls for two Hopkinton Fire Department projects and an unexpected Highway Department truck replacement.

Moms Demand Action chapter presents Be SMART gun safety information

Members of the Hopkinton chapter of Moms Demand Action presented the board with information on safe firearms storage in the hope of preventing unintentional accidents and gun access by young people.

HPD moves forward with lieutenant promotion, deputy chief hiring processes

Kramer read information provided by Hopkinton Police Chief Joseph Bennett regarding the hiring process for a deputy chief and the promotion of an officer to lieutenant. A consultant has been working with HPD to facilitate these processes.

Community Paradigm chosen as consultant firm for town manager search

Community Paradigm, the firm that worked with the town during the fire chief selection process, was chosen out of three consultants to facilitate the town’s search for a new town manager.

Parade permit applications approved

The Select Board unanimously approved a parade permit application for a 100-yard dash to be held on April 13 starting at 11 a.m. rather than 1 p.m. The rain date will be the following day.

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