Town Meeting Recap: Facility Improvement Plan Passes, Mosquito Project Fails
Town meeting also approved an electronic sign bylaw after four years of discussion.
The requisite two-thirds of Special Town Meeting voters last night authorized spending for a $6.5M facility improvement project that will not include any tax increases. Selectmen had endorsed the project, which is similar to one that failed by two votes at a meeting in February.
The project includes Municipal Center renovations and school energy improvements, and will be paid or through state aid, stabilization funds, various accounts and a 15-year bond to borrow $3.9 million.
Selectmen Chairman Dave Ross has described the scenario like this: "The choice is simple: does the town continue to pay high energy bills to the utility companies and operate with decades old equipment, or does the Town take those same dollars and upgrade its infrastructure at no additional tax burden to its residents."
The Grafton Finance Committee did not support the project, as the board believes funding sources, primarily from presumed surplus dollars from the high school project, were untested and might create a greater debt to the town, the Grafton Daily Voice reported.
Voters last night rejected an article to rejoin the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project. The state-supported group provides mosquito control and education programs about mosquito-borne illnesses. Opponents of the article, not convinced by informational sessions the town hosted in advance of town meeting, were concerned about the potential health impacts of the spraying.
Also at Town Meeting, voters passed amendments to the variable electronic sign bylaw.