TEWKSBURY — The warrant for the upcoming Oct. 5, 2021 special Town Meeting is online now for residents to review on the town’s website at www.tewksbury-ma.gov. Here is an overview of the articles.
Article 1 seeks to raise and appropriate funds in the amount of $820,579 to FY22 departmental budgets. The additional funds are available because state and local revenue will be higher than previously expected.
Article 2 seeks to raise and appropriate funds in the amount of $3,795.71 to pay outstanding bills from the previous fiscal year. Items include Billerica Police Department details, priority dispatch, W.B. Mason, and Comcast.
Article 3 seeks to transfer $180,168 from the general fund free cash or the stabilization fund to allow the town manager to pay for the following: library carpeting, police station renovations, a boiler at the center fire station, a deputy fire chief assessment center, and a fire rescue vehicle.
Free cash will be used if it is certified by the state Department of Revenue prior to Town Meeting, and if not the stabilization fund will be utilized.
Article 4 seeks to transfer $150,000 from the water enterprise fund retained earnings to be expended by the town manager for capital improvements, including engineering services for inspection, repairs, painting, and other improvements to the Astle Street water tank. The enterprise fund is self-supporting, meaning fees that are charged for services (such as water) are used to pay for related expenses, rather than taxes.
Article 5 seeks to transfer certified free cash from the general fund into the stabilization fund to pay for future emergencies or one-time purchases or projects.
Article 6 seeks to appropriate $110,000 from the community preservation fund’s undesignated reserve to be expended for the purpose of drainage improvements at the State Field at Saunders Recreation Area on Livingston Street.
Article 7 seeks to transfer five parcels to the Tewksbury Conservation Commission to promote and protect en perpetuity watershed resources, open space, and wildlife habitat. The parcels, which represent 32.73 acres of protected land, are located on Catamount Road, Joanne Drive, behind 129 Fox Run, and behind Patten Road. The article also seeks to authorize the Board of Selectmen to petition the state legislature to take related actions to designate the land as protected.
Article 8 seeks to authorize the town to grant an easement to National Grid to provide electrical service to the new Pleasant Street elementary school.
Article 9 seeks to authorize the Board of Selectmen to sell a 0.46 acre lot on Birchwood Road and a 0.62 acre lot on New York Road.
Articles 10 and 11 seek to amend the town’s zoning bylaw to update the Groundwater Protection District to include institutional controls as part of the town’s compliance with the consent decree regarding the Sutton Brook Disposal Area as recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
As part of the superfund site’s closure, the town is required to protect public health. Certain restrictions include plume area and buffer area districts with provisions for special permits and controls. Article 10 will change the text of the bylaw, and Article 11 will establish an updated corresponding map.
Articles 12, 13, and 14, sponsored by the Board of Selectmen, seeks to change language related to the board, including changing the term “Board of Selectmen” to “Select Board,” any reference of Board of Selectmen to “board,” and “chairman” to “chair.” Article 12 seeks to amend the town charter, Article 13 seeks to amend the town’s general bylaws, and Article 14 seeks to amend the town’s zoning bylaws.
Article 15 seeks to accept Robbie Terris Way as a town street.
Article 16 is a citizen article sponsored by Christine Chesbrough that seeks to create a “Do Not Knock” registry. Currently, solicitors of items or services for sale must obtain a license from the town and may solicit residences unless there is a posted notice that states “No Solicitors No Trespassing.” The article would allow residents to complete a form to opt out of solicitation at their home, and registered solicitors that call on residences that have opted out will be fined $300 and will not be allowed to solicit homes in Tewksbury for a period of one year. The registry will be managed by the police department and town clerk. This bylaw would not apply to nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, youth organizations, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, schools, political purposes, religious organizations, or any group/organization prohibited per law.
Article 17 is a citizen article sponsored by Paige Impink, Chris Mullins, and others that seeks to change the term of an elected Planning Board member from five years to three years as provided for in the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41 Section 81a. The change will bring the term length for a Planning Board seat into alignment with other elected boards in Tewksbury with three-year terms: the Board of Selectmen, Board of Health, School Committee, Shawsheen Regional Technical High School committee, Board of Library Trustees, and town moderator.
Current members of the Planning Board may fulfill their full terms.
The warrant may be viewed in its entirety on the town website at www.tewksbury-ma.gov/board-of-selectmen/pages/town-warrants.
Special Town Meeting will be held on Oct. 6, 2021, at 7 p.m. at Tewksbury Memorial High School. Meeting participants must wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing protocols. Voters are asked to bring their mailed copy of the warrant to the meeting.
Please visit tewksbury-ma.gov for complete public health information and requirements. Residents may watch the meeting online at YouTube.com/TewksburyTV, and on Comcast channel 99 and Verizon channel 33.