TEWKSBURY — Special Town Meeting was held on Wednesday, May 3, at Tewksbury Memorial High School. Recently reelected Town Moderator Dustin Weir presided over the body of 91 voters. The national anthem was sung by junior Dasia Allen.
Article 1 was approved to transfer funds from accounts with a projected surplus to accounts with a projected deficit or to accounts to allow for the purchase of needed items or services in the amount of $708,820.
Article 2 was approved to utilize certified free cash to fund the FY2023 DPW snow and ice budget in the amount of $600,000 to account for excess snow and ice events during the winter.
Article 3 was approved to allow the town to utilize funds from water retained earnings for capital equipment and improvements in the amount of $1,225,000.
Article 4 was approved to allow the town to establish a special purpose Opioid Settlement Stabilization Fund in order to receive receipts from settlements on behalf of the town with entities involved in the sale, distribution, and manufacture of opioid products.
Article 5 was approved to transfer $111,715.97 from certified general fund free cash into the Opioid Settlement Stabilization Fund.
Article 6 was approved to transfer $111,715.97 from the Opioid Settlement Stabilization Fund to be expended by the town manager for any lawful municipal purpose. The town is required to use funds for areas such as support, treatment promotion, support people in treatment and recovery, connections to care for individuals, harm reduction to prevent overdose deaths and other related opioid related harms, wrap around services, education programs and services to prevent opioid misuse, general support services and programs for individuals and families, support diversion and deflection programs and strategies.
Funds will be provided to the police, fire, health, and school departments to work jointly to address opioid addiction and prevention within the guidelines of the use of these funds.
The body adjourned and returned to annual Town Meeting.
First, the body adopted Articles 28 and 29 to accept Border Road and Grammys Way as public ways after the articles were tabled from Monday’s meeting.
Article 35 was adopted to amend the town zoning bylaw to correct a discrepancy regarding dimensional regulations for the industrial districts; to clarify the definition of a major project in the town center; and to adjust size requirements for wall-mounted signs.
Article 36 sought to allow the town to allow for the conversion of certain commercial units to affordable housing. The amendment, proposed and designed by Town Planner Alexandra Lowder, has been discussed at several Planning Board meetings this year. According to the Town Meeting supplemental handout, “the commercial overlay districts were implemented to kick start development along Route 38 following The Great Recession in 2008. The intention was to encourage mixed uses of both commercial and residential developments to better integrate retail and dwelling uses. By the time these projects were permitted and constructed between 2015 and 2020 (some of which still have ongoing construction), the economic trends, especially as they related to commercial office space, changed significantly with the pandemic.
“Many of the constructed office/retail spaces (which cannot accommodate food establishments) have been left vacant, some for years. This provision would be applicable to a finite number of projects, only those which were permitted with both residential and commercial units as a result of these former overlay districts.”
The change would apply to about eight developments with 10 commercial units; applicants will need to apply for a special permit to make the conversion. The article was adopted.
Article 37, submitted by resident and Board of Health member Robert Scarano, seeks to eliminate a conflict between two sections of the zoning bylaw, giving Chapter 8, Section 8.2.4 on design standards for multifamily developments governing power where it conflicts with Section 5.3.2 regarding residential district dimensional and density requirements. The article was adopted.
Weir thanked attendees for participating in the meeting and adjourned after 21 minutes. The meeting can be viewed online at www.youtube.com/TewkburyTV.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.