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Upton Town Meeting Approves Senior Work Off Cap and Fire Department Repairs

During a November 15 Special Town Meeting, Upton residents voted in favor of setting a funding limit concerning the town's Senior Work Off program and to fund repairs to two Fire Department vehicles. In all, 13 articles were presented to residents with all passing. A total of 48 registered voters attended the meeting; just eight above the necessary quorum of 40 needed.

Due to the passage of Article 8 on the warrant, the town's Senior Work Off program will be capped at $15,000. The program allows senior citizens to work for the town in exchange for credit on their annual property tax assessments. Previously, there was no cap set for the program. According to Assessor Charlie Marsden, the highest amount ever utilized in past years was $10,000.

Residents also saw the need to repair two Fire Department vehicles totaling $10,500 for Article 4. This funding will replace the transmission in Brush Truck #2 and the radiator in Fire Engine #2.

The remaining articles are summarized as follows

For Article 1, residents voted in favor of accepting the roads in the Glen Echo subdivision, including Howarth Drive and Francis Drive and Article 2 was a bylaw change that will now clarify language concerning setback distances for accessory structures.

Article 3 was a $3,500 transfer put forth by the Personnel Board for their next classification and compensation plan review and Article 5 was a $2,000 supplemental appropriation to the Conservation Fund.

Article 6 transferred $5,000 to the Board of Assessors Expense Account for legal expenses concerning several court cases. Resident Robert Snow stated he was concerned about other committees and boards having "little pockets of legal accounts being spread all over town and the precedent it was setting." However, according to Board of Selectmen Chair Robert Fleming, the Board still oversees and approves all legal expenses for the town.

The passage of Article 7 will now allow the Board of Assessors to exempt from taxation personal property valued at $1,000 or less.

Articles 9 through12 concerned Community Preservation Act funding. Article 9, a housekeeping issue voted on each year, transferred $14,000 to each of the three reserve funds including open space, historic resources, and community housing.

Article 10 returned $40,164 back to the Community Preservation's Historic Resources Account as a result of a Town Hall window project being cancelled. Article 11 transferred funding back to the Community Preservation Act's Open Space Reserve totaling $338. This was the result of unspent funds utilized for a completed foot bridge project. And Article 12 also returned unspent funds totaling $2,648 to the Community Preservation's Act funding for a cancelled project at Glen Echo.

And finally, Article 13 allocated $35,000 to the town's stabilization fund as a result of higher than anticipated new growth.


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