2017 Annual Town Meeting Continues Tonight, Monday, April 3

We're in Battin Hall in the Cary Memorial Building
1605 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington
Articles, Reports, and Presentations to Date
Live-blogging to commence once we are in session.

7:30 PM

Madam Moderator has gavelled us in and we're in session.
Updating as we go.
Tribute to Senator Ken Donnelly of Arlington, who passed away yesterday due to complications from brain cancer. Moment of silence.
Checking electronic voting devices.

Article 19 - Getting to Net Zero To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate a sum of money necessary to hire consultants to provide advice and analysis to the Getting to Net Zero Task Force and Town staff, determine whether the money shall be provided by the tax levy, by transfer from available funds or by any combination of these methods, or to act in any other manner in relation thereto. (Inserted by the Board of Selectmen at the request of the Sustainable Lexington Committee)

  • Funds Requested: $40,000 
  • Description: The Getting to Net Zero Task Force is exploring the possibility of reducing our buildings' emissions to net zero over the next 25 to 35 years. Lexington's buildings are currently responsible for 66% of Lexington's greenhouse gas emissions. The task force is composed of a broad range of stakeholders including local buisinesses, commercial and residential property owners, subject matter experts, Town staff, and appropriate Town committee members. The task force, with the assistance of consultants, will develop strategies, plans and recommendations to achieve an annual balance of zero greenhouse gas emissions from building operations for approval by the Town.
Selectman Pato moves the MOTION
Asks to recognize Mark Sandeen of Sustainable Lexington

Board of Selectmen (BOS): Unanimous

Appropriation Committee (AC): 7-2
Citizen mic: Asks TM to take the next step by continuing to fund the Getting to Net Zero Task Force; if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem
YES mic: TMM urges colleagues to support
Q: Wants to know the progress, if any, on renewables
Mark Sandeen: We just got notified that we are approved
Q: Wants concrete examples of how this Task Force will implement change
Sandeen: Running "Lexington Energy Challenge" - based on info that will implement specific programs for each type of building (historic, residential, commercial, etc). Currently building to "LEED Silver". Will impact new Hastings Elementary School, Fire Sation, Police. Looking to "green" our electrical supply. These all play together.
Q: Money for replacing windows in Monroe - how can this help with that?
Sandeen: I would suggest that this is a historic building, perhaps wait for the CPA Article to come up.
Requires simple majority
YES -148
NO - 4
Abstain - 3

Article 18 - Visitors Center (Citizen Article) To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate a sum of money for planning, constructing, originally equipping and furnishing a new Visitors Center, or for planning, remodeling, reconstructing and making extraordinary repairs to the existing Visitors Center, and for the payment of all other costs incidental and related thereto; determine whether the money shall be provided by the tax levy, by transfer from avialable funds, by borrowing, or by any combination of these methods; or act in any other manner in relation thereof. (Inserted by Dawn McKenna and 9 or more registered voters)

  • Funds Requested: $100,000
  • Description: The Visitors Center was built over 50 years ago for the Battle of Lexington Bicentennial visitors. It is the information gateway for tourists, residents, newcomers, and corporations considering locating in Lexington. Last year, 120,000 people entered the building, making it one of the most heavily used buildings in Lexington; they spent $190,000 in the shop underwriting the cost of operations. Lexington collects $1.4 million in annual hotel and meals taxes. The building has become outdated and is not fully accessible. When originally built, it was staffed by the Chamber of Commerce. Today the Town occupies, manages, and staffs the Visitors Center. it has become the hub of the Liberty Ride. Many who use the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway benefit from the facility as well. As we approach the 250th Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington, and implement the Battle Green Masterplan, this article would fund the design and construction of a 21st century Visitors Center providing new economic growth opportunities.
Dawn McKenna for the MOTION
Asks to recognize Jon Himmel, Tourism Committee (also on Permanent Building Committee)
Jon Himmel: Money for Design Process, specifically Schematic Design and Design Development, followed by Value Engineering, BOS review. Project is not eligible for CPA funding.
Asks to recognize Fred Johnson, Tourism Committee
Johnson: Lexington has Untapped Potential. 4th most visited community in Massachusetts. Lexington Hotels have had visitors from over 40 countries. Tourism creates jobs - 744 in Lexington. Need a 21st c Visitor Center.
Asks to recognize Dawn McKenna
McKenna: Building is inadequate in many ways. Unwelcoming. To piggy back on the previous presentation, it's an energy hog. Not fully accessible. Urges support.
BOS: 3-2
AC: 9-0
CEC: In favor of the project at funding level for schematic design; Jill Hai Chair, asks to AMEND the appropriation to $21,000 instead of $100,000 (by a CEC vote of 4-1)
    • McKenna - Opposed to this MOTION
    • BOS: 3-2 in Support
      • Selectman Kelly speaks in Opposition to the AMENDMENT
    • AC: 0-9 in Opposition
      • Citizen mic: Lexington Historical Society wants to see the project completed, which is what we voted to do
      • Q: Do the members of BOS support and oppose in the same ways?
      • Barry: No - different people.
      • Q: Timing of this project a concern?
      • McKenna: Want to be ready to come forward at STM this fall and not wait until next year's ATM.
      • NO mic: We have waited a long time to do anything to the VIsitors Center
      • YES mic: CEC is in favor of updating the Visitors Center, but TM doesn't know what the total cost will be, which is why we want the project to come back to TM to evaluate the dollar scope, not go to the BOS for a decision
      • Citizen mic: Jim Shaw, Vice Chair of Chamber of Commerce, we support the original MOTION and vote no on this AMENDMENT
      • NO mic: I have seen so many projects come before TM and get approved. This structure is needed
      • YES mic: Support this AMENDMENT, stick to the process.
      • Q: for CEC - policy to require all docs be approved at the same itme?
      • CEC: No. our practice has been to approve in three phases, but is not policy
      • NO mic: We have an obligation to provide good facilities. Time is of the essence
      • Q: If it passes, will BOS be in support of the AMENDED MOTION
      • BOS: It would be 4-1
    • YES - 82
    • NO - 69
    • Abstain - 3
AMENDED MAIN MOTION open for discussion
Q: Applaud the passion and persistence of Tourism Committee. What is the thinking on "pre-fabricated solutions"? and What about swing space?
McKenna: On pre-fabs - those decisions would come during the schematic phase. Swing space - three steps forward, two steps back; need to clarify. We don't know.AC: 8-0 in support of the new MOTION (one is absent)
YES mic: Jerry Michelson for Center Business - in support
Q: Is Economic Dev Director
Melissa Tintocollis: Have been learning a lot about the visitor-based economy. I understand Tourism is to have a vital center we need foot traffic and visitor spending. Tourism does that.
by VOICE VOTE: the Ayes have it to close debate and take the vote
YES - 150
NO - 6
Abstain - 2

Article 2 - Community Preservation Committee - to receive the report of the CPC and place on file.
VOTE taken by VOICE VOTE: the MOTION passes and the report is placed on file.

Marilyn Fenollosa, Chair of CPC, speaks to the report

Article 10 - Community Preservation 2018 Operating Budget and CPA Projects (except 10-h) To see if the Town will vote to act on the report of the Community Preservation Committee on the FY2018 Community Preservation budget and, pursuant to the recommendations of the Community Preservation Committee, to appropriate from the Community Preservation Fund, or to reserve amounts in the Community Preservation Fund for future appropriations; for the debt servcice on previously authorized financing; for adiminstrative expenses of the Community Preservation Committee for FY2018; for the acquisition, creation, and preservation and, if acquired with Community Preservation Act Funds the rehabilitation or restoration of open space; for the acquisition, creation, preservation, and rehabilitation and restoration of recreational land; for the acquisition, preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of historic resources; and through the acquisition, creation, preservation and support and, if acquired with Community Preservation Act funds, the restoration or rehabilitation of community housing; including, in all cases, rehabilitation or restoration that constitutes capital improvements or extrordinary repairs to make assets functional for their intended use; and to determine whether the money shall be provided by the tax levy, or from estimated CPA surcharges and the estimated State match and supplement for the upcoming fiscal year, by available funds in the CP Fund, from transfer from other available funds, by borrowing, or by any combination of these methods or act in any other manner in relation thereto. (Inserted by the Board of Selectmen at the request of the Community Preservation Committee)

  • Funds Requested:
    • a) Interpretive Signage Project - $38,400
    • b) Parker's Revenge Interpretive and Public Education Signage & Displays - $41,350
    • c) Greeley Village Rear Door and Porch Supplemental Request - $56,712
    • d) Affordable Units Preservation - Pine Grove Village/Judges Road - $1,048,000
    • e) Willard's Woods and Wright Farm Meadow Preservation - $40,480
    • f) Cotton Farm Conservation Area Improvements - $301,300
    • g) Wright Farm Supplemental Funds - $37,900
    • h) Stone Building Feasibility Study - $25,000 (to be taken up at ATM on Wednesday, April 5)
    • i) Munroe School Window Restoration - $620,000
    • j) Center Streetscape Improvements - (recommend IP)
    • k) Community Center Sidewalk - $220,000 (recommend IP)
    • l) Park Improvements - Athletic Fields - $125,000
    • m) Town Pool Renovation - $1,620,000 COSTS are TBD - pulling out until ATM on Wednesday, April 12
    • n) Park and Playground Improvements - $60,000
    • o) CPA Debt Service - $2,404,259
    • p) Administrative Budget - $150,000
  • Description: This Article requests that Community Preservation funds and other funds, as necessary, be appropriated for the projects recommended b y the Community Preservation Committee, the debt service on previously authorized projects, and for administrative costs.
    • Parts to pull:
      • 10-h wed 4/5
      • 10-m wed 4/12
      • 10-j,k IP
    • BOS: Unanimous on all aspects
    • AC: Unanimous in Support
    • CEC: Unanimous in Support
      • YES - 145
      • NO - 0 
      • Abstain - 3
    • MOTION CARRIES to put in the above buckets
  • 10-c Greeley Village Rear Door and Porch Supplemental Request - $56,712 (presentation and discussion for all parts follow)
    • requires simple majority
    • YES - 149
    • NO - 0
    • Abstain - 2
    • Approved
  • 10-a Interpretive Signage Project - $38,400
    • requires simple majority
    • YES - 154
    • NO - 0
    • Abstain - 3 
    • Approved
  • 10-b Parker's Revenge Interpretive and Public Education Signage & Displays - $41,350
    • requires simple majority
    • YES - 119
    • NO - 26
    • Abstain - 5
    • Approved
  • 10-d Affordable Units Preservation - Pine Grove Village/Judges Road - $1,048,000
    • Planning Board (PB): Supports this part, and all parts, of Article 10
    • requires 2/3 majority
    • YES - 146
    • NO - 1
    • Abstain - 3
    • Approved
  • 10-e Willard's Woods and Wright Farm Meadow Preservation - $40,480
    • requires simple majority
    • YES - 137
    • NO - 1
    • Abstain - 3
    • Approved
  • 10-f Cotton Farm Conservation Area Improvements - $301,300
    • requires simple majority
    • YES - 109
    • NO - 23
    • Abstain - 9 
    • Approved
  • MOTION to take up 10-g tonight
  • VOICE VOTE - TM does not approve
  • TM will take up remaining parts of Article 10 this Wednesday
MOTION to ADJOURN until Wednesday, April 5
We are adjourned
10:35 PM

And that's a wrap!
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