Bay Path funding approved
By Thomas D’Agostino
Bay Path appropriation and water quality control were the big issues voted on during the Webster Special Town Meeting on Monday, February 25 in the Bartlett School Auditorium. Twenty-seven of the twenty-eight articles on the warrant all passed unanimously. Article 27 was passed over for review.
Article 2 was for town approval of the authorization of Bay Path’s $73,722,405 for expansions and renovations to the school. This would expand the useful life of the school for at least fifty more years. The cost to the average taxpayer in Webster would be a high of $33.00 per year with an average of $25.00 per year for thirty years. Finance Committee Michael Finemore wanted to clarify that this vote was for the appropriation portion of the project. The debt exclusion vote, which will secure the funding, will be held on March 11. The article passed unanimously.
Article 25 was a recommendation for the transfer of excess borrowed funds from capital projects to help fund the mandatory upgrades to the corrosion control systems at various water pump stations. The total amount of $290,000 is to come from six other projects that have balances of excess funds available for transfer authorized under MGL Chapter 44, subsection 20.
Other articles concerned transferring $25,000 from the Civil War Monument Restoration Account and the transfer of $115,000 from Free Cash to the Stabilization Fund, a vote to rescind the authorization of unissued debt in the amount of $48,607 as approved at the May 9, 2011, Town Meeting. The Webster Police received a federally funded COPS Secure Our Schools grant in the amount of $48,627 requiring the town treasurer to require a sum of $49,148 for the project instead of the original $97,755.
A revolving fund was established for use and maintenance of the town hall auditorium. The town also voted to raise, appropriate or transfer $18,000 for expenses in regard to the three elections taking place on March 11, 2013, April 30, 2013 and June 25, 2013. Also, the town voted to spend $4,500 for a new voting machine.
$100,000 was approved for the improvements on the Waste Water Treatment Facility sludge landfill. $365,000 to be borrowed was authorized for the replacement of forty Scott Air-Paks for fire department personnel. The current equipment is fifteen years old and has reached the mandatory replacement threshhold.
A transfer from Free Cash of $41,208 to the DPW Electricity Account in regard to the reactivation of all streetlights was also approved.
$38,500 from Water Retained Earnings went to pay for the first Rawson Road water main break.
Voters also unanimously passed what Town Administrator and the Board of Selectmen jokingly called the “Mimosa and Bloody Mary Statute,” allowing businesses to be able to start serving alcohol at 10:00 a.m. instead of noon, including the last Monday in May, Christmas, and Sundays.