ATM Continues: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Back in Battin Hall for the sixth night of 2017 Annual Town Meeting.
Articles, Reports, and Presentations to Date
Live-blogging to begin once we're in session.

7:30 PM
Madam Moderator has called the Meeting to Order.
Updating as we go.
Brief recess for Town Manager announcements
Pat Goddard, Director of Public Facilities to retire this summer - this is his last Town Meeting. Town Manager and Superintendent taking a moment to celebrate and thank Pat for his 10 years of service. Many School and Town staff here.
Standing ovation from Town Meeting for Pat.

Meeting back in order
Motion to take up Articles 37 + 12

Article 37 - Amend General Bylaws - TreesTo see if the Town will vote to amend the Tree Bylaw to provide incentives to preserve large trees and to replant large shade tree species, or act in any other manner in relation theretoi. (Inserted by the Board of Selectmen at the request of the Tree Committee)
  • Description: Because of the time invested iin its growth, a large tree is proportionally more valuable than many small trees. Also, large shade tree species in general provide greater environmental benefits than small ornamental tree species. This article seeks to amend the Tree Bylaw to encourage the preservation of existing large trees in setback areas during major construction, and to encourage the planting of large shade tree species for mitigation of removed trees.
Board of Selectmen (BoS): Unanimously in support
Planning Board (PB): Unanimously in support
Conservation Commission (CC): Unanimously in support
NO mic: Big trees do too much damage to property. They should be taken down.
Q: What happens with trees around the house, branches in danger of doing damage?
Trees: Certified Arborist, if there is really a hazard, there is no penalty.
Requires simple majority
YES - 150
NO - 5
Abstain - 2

Article 12 - Municipal Capital Projects and EquipmentTo see if the Town will vote to appropriate a sum of money for the following capital projects and equipment:

    a) Center Streetscape Improvements and Easements - that this item be indefinitely postponed;
    b) Automatic Meter Reading System;
    c) Equipment Replacement;
    d) Street Improvements and Easements;
    e) Storm Drainage Improvements and NPDES Compliance;
    f) Hydrant Replacement Program;
    g) Comprehensive Watershed Stormwater Management Study and Implementation;
    h) Sidewalk Improvements, Additions, Design and Easements;
    i) Dam Repair;
    j) Townwide Culvert Replacement;
    k) Townwide Signalization Improvements
    l) Hartwell Avenue Ingrastructure Improvements - Supplemental Funds;
    m) Bikeway Bridge Renovations;
    n) Hartwell Avenue Compost Site Iprovements;
    o) Westview Cemetery Building Design;
    p) Westview Cemetery Irrigation;
    q) Highway Sign Machine;
    r) Townwide Phone Systems-Phase VI;
    s) Municipal Technology Improvemet Program;
    t) Network Redundancy & Improvement Plan
    u) Bedford Street at Eldred Street Safety Improvements;
    v) Transportation Mitigation [ADOPTED by TM, 3/27]
    w) Hill Street Sidewalk Design; and
    x) Ambulance Replacement
    and authorize the Selectmen to take by eminent domain, purchase, or otherwise acquire any fee, easement or other interests in land necessary therefor; determine whether the money shall be provided by the tax levy, by transfer from available funds, including enterprise funds, by borrowing, or by any combination of these methods; determine if the Town will authorize the Selectmen to apply for, accept, expend and borrow in anticipation of State aid for such capital improvements; or act in any other manner in relation thereto. (Inserted by the Board of Selectmen)

    MOTION is MOVED by Selectman Pato
    We're hearing about each part; taking Qs. If any TMM wants to vote no, Town Moderator will separate out that part for the Meeting to vote separately on it.
    Capital Expenditures Committee (CEC) supports Part B by vote of 4-1.
    We're at Part H, taking Qs.
    Now we're at Part L, with a revision: "Hartwell Avenue Infrastructure Improvements - Supplemental Funds That the Town make a supplemental appropriation of $2,185,000 for the designing, permitting and constructing improvements to Hartwell Avenue, including replacing or rehabilitating the Hartwell Avenue bridge crossing at Kiln Brook and upgrading the Maguire Road intersection, and to take by eminent domain, purchase or otherwise acquire any fee, easement of other interest in land necessary therefor; and that to meet this appropriation the Town authorize an increase by said amount in the appropriation made under Article 11-h of the 2015 Annual Town Meeting so that the total appropriation authorized by such Town Meeting actions for these purposes by $6,935,000, and further, that the Treasurer, with the approval of the BOS, is authorized to borrow said increase of $2,185,000 under MGL Ch.44, sec.7, or any other enabling authority. Any premium received by the Town upon the sale of any bonds or notes approved by this vote, less any such premium applied to the payment of the costs of issuance of such bonds or notes, may be applied to the payment of costs approved by this bote in accordance with Ch.44, sec.20 of the MGL, thereby reducing the amount authorized to be borrowed to pay such costs by a like amount;"
    YES mic: Chamber of Commerce Board supports 10-L
    YES mic: PB supports 10-L
    CORRECTION to the immediate above: Supporting 12-L
    Taking Qs on 12-m
    Editorial: Oh man - understanding that the traffic on the bikeway bridge over Grant Street will be diverted, as will Grant Street traffic, during maintenance of 12-m bikeway bridge.
    Moving on to 12-n; taking Qs
    YES mic: Rises to applaud the Engineering Dept for their comprehensive and cost-effective approach to 12-n during our capital-straining environment.
    Now we're on 12-o
    Taking Qs on 12-o
    So far, no TMM has asked for any part to be taken up separately
    Request to separate the vote for 12-o
    NO mic: Doesn't want a "posh" space with increased fees for burial
    Q about the purpose for the structure
    Answer is that it is a space for grieving people
    NO mic: Capital projects and capital constraints - what's the line? Doesn't think this project rises to a critical level of need
    Project will be entirely funded through cost of sale of graves, not taxpayer dollars
    YES mic: The state of the current facility is inadequate, urges support
    YES mic: The cost of the project will be entirely covered outside of the tax levy
    Still talking about 12-o, to be taken separately
    NO mic: Capital costs will be covered, but I'm still seeing a $339,000 shortfall. Capital plan has had the Visitor Center since 2011 and this one has only been on it for three years. Doesn't think this is a priority. In reality we are not covered all costs.
    YES mic: For the safety and health of the people who work in that facility, we need to support this project.
    NO mic: TMM Calls the Question
    BOS on 12-o: unanimous in its support
    CEC: unanimous support
    AC: unanimous support
    Voting only on 12-o, which requires a 2/3 majority
    YES - 113
    NO - 38
    Abstain - 7
    12-o is APPROVED
    Now, 12-q
    AC: on 12-q was 6-2-1 --- new information and a New Vote is 7-1-1
    CEC: 3-2 on 12-q
    Moving quickly through 12-r, s
    Qs on 12-s
    Qs on 12-b
    Qs on 12-q
    Request to separate 12-q, but not ready for that yet
    Taking Qs on previous parts of Art.12
    YES mic: PB supports 12-u
    YES mic: PB supports 12-w
    BOS is in unanimous support of 12-w
    YES mic: TMM has been contacted by constituents in support of this sidewalk design (12-w); urges support
    Request for 12-b to be taken separately
    That's 12-b, 12-q to be taken separately
    YES mic: People in this neighborhood asked for a sidewalk four years ago. People walk to public transportation and they need a sidewalk. Also, kids can't walk to or from Diamond middle school without a sidewalk.
    YES mic: I've been waiting 30 years for this one, don't let it get away. Support this one
    We have reached the final part, 12-x. No comments.
    CEC: Supports all parts as presented
    AC: Supports all parts as presented
    BOS: Unanimous on all items
    Voting only on 12-b, which requires a simple majority
    YES - 141
    NO - 9
    Abstain - 4
    12-b is APPROVED
    Voting only on 12-q, which requires a simple majority
    YES - 139
    NO - 11
    Abstain - 5
    12-q is APPROVED
    Voting on remaining parts of Article 12 (not b,o,q,v)
    YES - 154
    NO - 0
    Abstain - 1
    Remaining parts of Article 12 is APPROVED
    Announcement that Al Gentile's last day is this Friday (Lexington Minuteman Newspaper)
    We are adjourned until 7:30 PM Wednesday, April 12, 2017 
    (No Meeting Monday, April 10, 2017 - first night of Passover)
    10:15 PM