10 special Town Meeting articles cover DPW project and retail marijuana | news

TEWKSBURY — The warrant for the upcoming Oct. 3, 2022 special Town Meeting is online now for residents to review on the town’s website at www.tewksbury-ma.gov. Here is an overview of the articles.

Article 1 seeks to update and fix the salaries of certain elected officials. Several elected officials at past town meetings raised concerns that salary compensation was not adequate. The proposed change would raise the annual salary for Select Board members to $5,000 ($6,000 for the chair); $2,500 for School Committee members ($3,000 for the chair); $2,500 for the Planning Board ($3,000 for the chair), $1,000 for the moderator (up from $450); and $2,500 for the Board of Health ($3,000 for the chair).

Article 2 seeks to pay late bills in the amount of $126,041.35. Unpaid invoices cover such items as the state Department of Unemployment Assistance and water quality and control meters.

Article 3 seeks to raise and appropriate $2,134,335 for the FY23 departmental budgets, including DPW engineering and highway salaries, fire uniforms and professional services, police salaries, and elected official salaries. The funds are available since state and local revenue will be higher than projected.

Article 4 seeks to transfer $2,600,250 from the general fund free cash for one-time capital expenditures, including fuel storage upgrades, a prisoner transport van for the police department, an animal control vehicle, carpeting on the second floor of the library, and the DPW /school maintenance facility. If free cash is not certified by the state Department of Revenue prior to Town Meeting, the town will use the stabilization fund.

Article 5 seeks to borrow $26,500,000 to fund the cost of design and engineering, construction, and furnishing of the new DPW/school maintenance facility.

Article 6 seeks to set aside general fund free cash to go to the stabilization fund for future emergencies or one-time purchases or projects.

Article 7 seeks to appropriate $25.000 from the Community Preservation Fund to purchase equipment to upgrade and improve the skate park at the Saunders Recreation Complex on Livingston Street.

Article 8 addresses retail marijuana establishments. After being separated from the proposed zoning bylaw which was passed at spring Town Meeting, town staff and community members worked to survey residents and develop a proposal to ensure Tewksbury’s readiness to accommodate the growing retail marijuana industry.

The article places limits on the number of Select Board licenses available to retailers, capping licenses at 20 percent of the number of town liquor licenses. The article also sets general compliance requirements for marijuana retailers, including maintaining a host community agreement, adhering to all state and local laws, and engaging in patron age identification. The article places licensing power with the Select Board.

Article 9 updates the town zoning bylaw’s use table to allow licensed retail sale of marijuana with licensing from the Select Board and site plan review approval from the Planning Board, and limits retail marijuana sales to the South Village Business District, the General Business District, the Industrial 2 District, and the Interstate Overlay District.

Article 10 proposes a three percent local excise tax rate on the sale of retail marijuana.

The warrant may be viewed in its entirety on the town website at www.tewksburyma.gov/503/Town-Warrants or at town hall.

Special Town Meeting will be held on Oct. 3, 2022, at 7 pm at Tewksbury Memorial High School. Voters are asked to bring their mailed copy of the warrant to the meeting.

Residents may watch the meeting online at YouTube.com/TewksburyTVand on Comcast channel 99 and Verizon channel 33.


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