TM Monday at LMS

Oct 12, 2017 by

Published in the October 11, 2017 edition

By DAN TOMASELLO

LYNNFIELD — The fall session of Town Meeting will take place on Monday, Oct. 16, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Lynnfield Middle School auditorium.

After a barn burning session of April Town Meeting that lasted just over four-and-a-half hours, October Town Meeting will be a quieter affair with just 14 articles appearing on the warrant. Town Meeting will need a quorum of 175 voters in order to conduct the town’s business.

Community Schools will be providing daycare to local families in the LMS auditorium.

Article 1 seeks to allocate funds in order to pay unpaid bills from fiscal year 2017. Article 2 seeks to appropriate funds to “supplement certain accounts in the current 2018 fiscal year for various purposes.”

During last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Administrator Jim Boudreau said the town is still finalizing the numbers for Articles 1 and 2. As a result, the selectmen voted to defer issuing a recommendation on the two articles until the night of Town Meeting.

Last week, the selectmen voted unanimously to indefinitely postpone Article 3. The warrant article would have sought to allocate funds in order to construct a clubhouse and equipment storage building at the King Rail Reserve Golf Course.

Article 4 seeks to appropriate $25,000 for engineering work related to the Beaver Dam Brook culvert removal project, which was unanimously endorsed by the selectmen. Boudreau said recently the MBTA informed local officials if the town hires an engineer to design the project, the MBTA would remove the culverts in order to alleviate flooding issues in the Perry Avenue area.

According to the warrant, Article 5 seeks to allocate $260,000 in order to purchase and equip a new ambulance for the Fire Department. Boudreau said purchasing the ambulance was originally included as part of the town’s FY’18 capital budget, but was put on hold because the town did not have enough retained earnings in order to buy the emergency vehicle.

“What Town Accountant Julie McCarthy and I are recommending is that the town leave $50,000 in retained earnings and take the balance from retained earnings and put it towards the ambulance,” said Boudreau. “We would use town funds for the rest and next year once retained the retained earnings are certified, we will pay the town back what we are borrowing.”

The selectmen voted unanimously to recommend Article 5.

Article 6 will ask Town Meeting to approve revising the town’s Personnel Bylaw, which would revamp an existing policy that was last updated in 2005. Personnel Board member Mike Griffin said recently the bylaw pertains to recruitment, training development, promotions, job classification, compensation plans, performance reviews and employment conditions.

Boudreau said Town Counsel Tom Mullen is currently reviewing the Personnel Bylaw article. As a result, the selectmen voted to delay issuing a recommendation on Article 6.

The Planning Board submitted Articles 7, 8 and 9. Article 7 will ask voters to approve a recodification of the Zoning Bylaw by deleting sections 1-15 in the existing bylaw, which would be replaced by the recodified bylaw.

Additionally, Article 8 asks Town Meeting to “amend the re-codified Zoning Bylaw by amending the section entitled “commence of construction or operation by changing the words six months to 12 months.” Article 9 will ask Town Meeting to approve amending the re-codified Zoning Bylaw by amending the section regarding the lapse of special permits by changing the words 24 months to 36 months.

The selectmen delayed issuing a recommendation on the three zoning warrant articles until the night of Town Meeting.

Article 10, which was submitted by Town Clerk Trudy Reid, will ask townspeople to approve switching the date of the April town election from the second Monday in the month to the second Tuesday. If Town Meeting approves Article 10, the vote would authorize the Board of Selectmen to petition the State Legislature to approve special legislation that would amend the Town Charter in order to hold the annual town election on a Tuesday. The selectmen endorsed Article 10.

According to the warrant, Article 11 would authorize the Board of Selectmen to sell town-owned land on Witham Street for $10,700.

“Some of the neighbors have asked us to make this parcel of land available,” said Boudreau. “We would restrict that parcel so nothing could be constructed on it. We wouldn’t want to sell it and have somebody put up a billboard or a cell tower.”

Article 12 will ask the town to approve increasing the number of both package liquor licenses and pouring establishment licenses that can be issued in town. Boudreau said the town does not have any all alcohol package store licenses available and has one all alcohol restaurant license available.

“When I talked to people about this, they said if you ask for one you should ask for a couple so you don’t have to go back,” said Boudreau. “After speaking with other communities, the number people generally look for is five.”

Dalton expressed reservations about expanding the number of package store licenses.

“My reservation on this is on expanding the package store (licenses) other than the one requested by Whole Foods,” said Dalton. “We have businesses in town that have invested money in their business and I would like them to have some protection.”

After a brief discussion, the selectmen voted to recommend Article 12. However, the selectmen will make a motion at Town Meeting to amend Article 12 by reducing the number of package store licenses from five to one.

“I don’t think we need five package store licenses,” said Crawford.

Article 13 would authorize the Board of Selectmen to petition the State Legislature for special legislation that would authorize the town to convey the old South Library, 630 Salem St., to the Lynnfield American Legion for $1. Boudreau noted the facility will be used by local veterans.

The selectmen voted unanimously to endorse Article 13.

Article 14 is a citizens’ petition, which seeks to amend the town’s Zoning Bylaws’ portion pertaining to radio telecommunications facilities. Boudreau said the warrant article is covered in the Planning Board’s recodification of the Zoning Bylaw. As a result, the selectmen voted 3-0 to not recommend Article 14.

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