Weekly News Update – 03/25/2024

Weekly News Update – 03/25/2024

Traffic light issue at Main/Cedar reportedly resolved • EHop’s Know Your Vote on APRIL 29TH • Updated Candidates List for the 2024 Town Election • DPW continues with second phase of town hydrant flushing projectClimate Action Plan Open House give residents opportunity to shape Hopkinton’s goals • Fruit Street bridge work starts Monday, lane shifts/closures likely • UCTC meets to discuss charge, structure • Eversource introduces proposed underground cable modernization project that will impact South Street • Planning Board votes against endorsing citizens’ petition for Hayden Rowe, Colonial Avenue rezoning • Hopkinton Health Department faces ‘five-figure’ budget deficit, scales back services

eHop’s Know Your Vote on April 29th

eHop will hold its 12th Annual Know Your Vote forum on Monday, April 29 at 7:00-8:30 pm.  This will be an in-person forum at HCAM TV Studios (77 Main St, Lower Level). It will be broadcast live on HCAM-TV and YouTube. This is a unique opportunity to get the answers you need from town officials before Town Meeting.  This year, Town Meeting will vote on an FY2025 operating budget with a projected net tax impact of 2.35% as well as many other issues and projects including:

  • Zoning Change: MBTA Communities Zoning Bylaw & MBTA Communities Multi-Family Overlay District
  • Hopkins School Addition & Renovation
  • Adopt the Specialized Energy Code
  • Municipal Parking
  • Home Rule Petition – Senior Tax Exemptions, School Building Projects
  • Community Preservation: Restoration of the Historical Society Building
  • Zoning Change: 1 Colonial Ave., 81 Hayden Rowe, 83 Hayden Rowe (Citizens Petition)
  • General Bylaw Amendment – Membership Requirements for Certain Committees
  • General Bylaw Amendment – Non-Voter Participation at Town Meeting
  • Establish Government Study Committee (Citizens Petition)

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Last updated 03/22/24

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 April 1, 2024 at 5PM or a person may qualify by being the top vote-getter in one of the town political party caucuses.* Nomination signature papers are available from the Town Clerk’s office (18 Main St) starting January 16, 2024. 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 below to read more about it.

Contested races are:

View Article for full list of all candidates


Traffic light issue at Main/Cedar reportedly resolved

The traffic light issue at the intersection of Routes 85 North and Route 135 West (Cedar Street and Main Street) was successfully resolved on March 12, according to the project expert.

Main Street Corridor Project specialist Michelle Murdock explained in a March 19 email to the Independent that an issue with this traffic light was first reported by a resident on March 5, with subsequent reports about it from two other residents received on March 6 and March 11, respectively.

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DPW continues with second phase of town hydrant flushing project

The Department of Public Works is working on the second phase of a hydrant flushing project designed to remove minerals from the water, improving its appearance and clarity. The first phase of the project was completed on March 15.

DPW designs flushing program in response to recent challenges

“New England water sources in general are very high in iron and manganese,” Carty explained. “So as you continue to pump, you continue to draw more and more of that into our system.”

An older system becomes modernized

Carty noted that the original downtown main that was replaced during the Main Street Construction Project was from 1888. Over the past 15 years, the DPW has worked to make significant improvements, replacing old mains and creating looping patterns to improve water flow. Engineers have been providing advice on the wells in terms of pumping.

What residents can do during flushing periods

Carty advised residents to make arrangements to minimize water use during the flushing period to avoid drawing mineral deposits into home water service. Water should be checked before using it.

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Climate Action Plan Open House give residents opportunity to shape Hopkinton’s goals

This Thursday, Hopkinton will hold its first Climate Plan Open House, allowing residents to contribute their ideas about a sustainable future for the town.

Organized by Julia Chun, the town’s sustainability, economic development and equity project manager, the in-person workshop will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts (98 Hayden Rowe Street). It will feature food, learning opportunities and activities for children.

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Fruit Street bridge work starts Monday, lane shifts/closures likely

Hopkinton’s Department of Public Works announced that work will begin on the Fruit Street bridge over the MBTA tracks/Sudbury River on Monday (March 25), according to information from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Work is scheduled daily from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Lane shifts and/or alternating lane closures are expected, and drivers are asked to be aware of possible delays.

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UCTC meets to discuss charge, structure

The Upper Charles Trail Committee met Wednesday night for the first time in nine months at the request of the Select Board to review and discuss its charge and membership structure.

“We have been given very specific guidelines by the Select Board,” said chair Jane Moran at the meeting’s start. “They want us to review the current charge. And they want us to speak to some of the improvements.”

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Eversource introduces proposed underground cable modernization project that will impact South Street

Representatives from Eversource hosted a virtual open house Tuesday to introduce Hopkinton and Milford residents to its proposed underground cable modernization project.

The session is the beginning of Eversource’s outreach to gather community feedback. The project involves the replacement of two high-pressure gas filled (HPGF) lines with modernized cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) technology. The replacement will follow the same or similar route of the existing HPGF lines, which run a 1.3 mile route between a portion of South Street in Hopkinton through to Purchase Street in Milford between the two existing substations.

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Select Board approves new police officer, commends Eagle Scouts for community projects

The Select Board at its meeting Tuesday night approved the hiring of a new police officer in a 4-0 vote and recognized three Eagle Scouts for their leadership projects.

Kyle Quinzani was chosen from a pool of 33 applicants for the role of police officer, according to Human Resources Generalist Kristin Merrill. He currently is a student officer in the Merrimack College Police Academy and will be graduating on April 12 with a master’s degree as part of a dual program.

Residents continue to criticize Bennett’s performance

Earlier in the meeting, several residents continued to criticize Bennett’s performance. They questioned why he was not placed on administrative leave while being investigated by the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office and how he could effectively command the force during the Boston Marathon. They also asked when his performance evaluation would be completed by the Select Board.

Troop 4 Eagle Scouts honored

Troop 4 Eagle Scouts Ben Joyce, Sean Thapa and Dawson Markey were honored by the Select Board for their contributions to the town. Accompanied by their families and troop leaders, each Scout described his leadership service

Board approves Special Town Meeting

The Select Board approved 4-0 the request for a Special Town Meeting to be held on May 7 within Annual Town Meeting, which will begin on May 6.

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Planning Board votes against endorsing citizens’ petition for Hayden Rowe, Colonial Avenue rezoning

The Planning Board voted 5-3 on Monday night against supporting a citizens’ petition for a zoning map amendment that would change the zoning from residential to business for three properties if approved at the Annual Town Meeting on May 6.

MBTA Communities Act hearing continued

The hearing on the MBTA Communities Act draft zoning compliance plan was continued to April 22 to allow for state feedback to be received and reviewed before taking a final vote.

Hearing on stormwater management proposed amendments postponed

Discussion on proposed amendments to the town’s stormwater management regulations was postponed at the request of the Conservation Commission, Trendel said. The commission would like more time to review the potential changes. The hearing will be held at the next meeting on April 1.

Elmwood Farms III stormwater management permit hearing continued

At the request of the applicant, the stormwater management hearing for the Elmwood Farms III subdivision off Blueberry Lane was continued until April 1.

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Hopkinton Health Department faces ‘five-figure’ budget deficit, scales back services

Health Department Director Shaun McAuliffe announced at Monday evening’s Board of Health meeting that the department is scaling back its services because two per diem nurses had to take furloughs when it was discovered that their positions weren’t funded, creating a “five-figure deficit.”

Strategic plan funding thought to be previously encumbered was not

During his interactions with Johnston, McAuliffe asked the Accounting Department to verify that the $33,000 that was unspent from the fiscal year 2023 budget that was supposed to have been set aside by the previous town accountant for the Health Department’s strategic plan had been encumbered. He was told it had not.

Previously short-staffed Finance Department involved in controversial actions

While this action appeared to show diligence on the part of Johnston, it is the latest in a series of controversies involving this department, which had been short-staffed for many months prior to the new hires. It is unclear whether the vacancies in the department contributed to the error not being detected earlier.

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