PEPPERELL -- Pepperell voters will address 24 articles at Annual Town Meeting next Monday May 5, including a decision on whether to pass a $1.1 million Proposition 2 1/2 override, a petition to rezone a portion of Hollis Street and adoption of a more stringent building code.
The first article would appropriate money to supplement mold remediation at the public safety complex. Between a Special Town Meeting and a transfer from the Finance Committee's reserve the account, the town has already funded $210,000 for the project. Town Administrator John Moak said at the April 29 Board of Selectmen meeting that there is a chance the project could be slightly over budget, although he did not have an estimate at that time.
Article 2 would supplement the cost of snow and ice removal from fiscal year 2014, and article 3 would allow the town to appropriate $62,377 in state funding that was given to fix potholes and perform other emergency maintenance on the town's roads.
Article 4 would appropriate $8,000 to recover land owned by the town through tax title foreclosure at 52 Lowell Road.
Articles 5 through 7 are standard articles. Article 5 asks voters to appropriate $3,248 to pay prior fiscal year bills, Article 6 is to choose all town officers and committees and Article 7 is to fix the salary and compensation of elected officers.
Article 8 is to approve spending $11,841,531 for the town's North Middlesex Regional School District assessment, and article 9 is to approve a $1,413,198 assessment for Nashoba Valley Technical High School.
The budget is covered by Articles 10 and 11. Voters will be presented with two options - a balanced budget that features a 5 percent cut to the operational side as well as reduced services in Article 10, and a level services budget that increases by 1.5 percent but requires a $1.1 million Proposition 2 1/2 override in Article 11.
In article 12, voters will determine whether to approve borrowing for a roof repair project at Nashoba Valley Technical High School.
Article 13 is a citizen's petition that would rezone a section of Hollis Street from residential to commercial. Several of the properties included in the petition are already host to businesses, Moak said.
In Article 14, the Planning Board asks the town to amend a bylaw to allow the board to waive lot shape factor requirements if they deem a waiver beneficial.
The Planning Board also requested Article 15, which regulates the terms under which a medical marijuana treatment or cultivation center may operate in town.
The police department requested Article 16, which would amend a town bylaw to make public consumption of marijuana punishable by a $300 fine.
Article 17 would transfer $4,250 raised from library book fines back to the library for the purchase of books or other supplies.
Article 18 would appropriate road repair funding to be reimbursed by the state through Chapter 90 funding.
The Board of Public Works has requested Articles 19 through 22. Article 19 is a repurposing of $198,112 in borrowing that was approved in 2008 for a water and sewer project but never spent. If approved, the money could be used for future capital sewer projects, according to Department of Public Works Director Ken Kalinowski.
Articles 20 and 21 ask the town to accept permanent easements to maintain sewer and drain lines at 11 Tucker St. and 26 Hollis St.
Under Article 22, the town would approve the imposition of tax liens for overdue water bills, with an implementation date of July 1.
Article 23, submitted by the Board of Selectmen, asks voters to adopt the stretch energy code for building construction. The more stringent code is one of five requirements for Pepperell to become a "green community," which provides the town with grant funding.
Article 24 asks the town to appropriate $50,000 to fund a five-year program for the maintenance and improvement of the town forest.
Town Meeting will be held Monday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Nissitissit Middle School.
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