VIDEO: Annual Town Meeting Highlights
Here's a quick highlight of some of most interesting things that happened at Annual Town Meeting.
Annual Town Meeting attracted 139 elected representatives, who decided Monday how the town will spend its budget monies for the next year, and set other priorities.
Here is a quick recap of the five most important items on the 38-article warrant:
1. Snow, Snow, and More Snow: Clearing the sidewalk in front of a property will remain the responsibility of homeowners. Town meeting voters rejected an article placed on the warrant by petition which would have changed that. Voters also approved a new $100 fine for anyone who pushes, shoves, or otherwise dumps snow on to streets and sidewalks.
2. Town Finances are Solid: The $79.3 million budget approved at town meeting is a 3 percent increase over this fiscal year's spending. No town employees are being laid off. In fact, employees are getting raises from 1 percent to 2.5 percent.
3. More Green Space: Town voters agreed to spend $113,000 to purchase a house and land at 26 Dilla St., which borders about 40 acres purchased by the town earlier this decade. Once the house is torn down, the town expects to provide public access through the area, which connects to the Upper Charles Trail.
4. Main Street Traffic May Improve: Town meeting approved $95,000 for acquisition of easements along East Main Street and Main Street, for traffic signal, sidewalk and intersection improvements. The $3.5 million project, coordinated and mostly paid for by the state Department of Transportation, eventually should lead to smoother traffic flow.
5. More Main Street apartments, an argument for another day: The proposal would have allowed owners of eight buildings facing Main Street downtown to add top-floor apartments. This might have been the most interesting debate, but the proposal needed more work, decided the Planning Board, which asked voters to skip over it.