WILMINGTON — Last Saturday morning, May 4, the annual Town Meeting was held in the Wilmington High School auditorium. Despite only roughly 100 people in attendance, several important topics were up for consideration, focusing on topics ranging from budgetary issues, to zoning, to school modifications. In total, there were 46 articles on the warrant.
Notably, a $119.5 million dollar general budget was approved for the next fiscal year. Included in this budget are the funds to hire new firefighters, in order to follow the state standard ratio of one lieutenant to five firefighters. Currently, the ratio at the Wilmington station is about one to eight.
Questions arose concerning the Fire Department’s use of their overtime budget. However, Chief McMahon attributed this to various injuries and deployment, factors that would have a lesser impact if more firefighters were hired. Despite challenges to the article, the original budget that was proposed passed.
Several articles were also passed that will bring technological upgrades into the school system. These include replacing and upgrading projectors, interactive whiteboards, and computers amongst other improvements.
Zoning also proved to be a major issue at this year’s Town Meeting. Specifically, the topic of inclusionary zoning, in which the town’s housing stock would be diversified through the construction of increased affordable and low-income housing. The town’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) would also be maintained.
In response to this, residents, including selectmen Michael McCoy, spoke in favor of crafting an amendment stating that open space not drop below 20 percent of the lot where any future project was proposed, in order to prevent building and construction projects from monopolizing the area. With the amendment attached, the article ultimately passed.
To learn more about the results of this year’s annual Town Meeting, contact the Town Clerk’s Office by calling (978) 658-2030, or visiting the Town Hall.