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Thirty Articles Up for Vote in Mendon Tonight

On Friday, May 2, Mendon residents will vote on 30 articles during the Annual Town Meeting that will include a new $15.3 million budget, a debt exclusion, and Community Preservation Act projects.

Article 4, the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, shows an approximate $460,000 increase from $14,863,678 to $15,323,815. Part of that increase includes raises for town employees, a new Town Administrator's salary, and health insurance.

Also responsible for part of the new budget increase are the additional funding requests from the schools. Overall, the Mendon Upton Regional District's budget will have a $1.1 million increase. Mendon's increase shows a $203,500 increase from $7,747,727 to $7,951,227. Along with increased contributions from both Mendon and Upton, the district will be using $700,000 from its Excess and Deficiency account and $125,000 from the revolving account to supplement the $1.1M increase.

Blackstone Valley Tech. is requesting an additional $86,208 from Mendon. However, the high school is also requesting its 13 member towns to fund a $2.9 million expansion that will add three new vocations to its curriculum and include Engineering (Mechanical/Civil/Aerospace), Veterinary Assisting, and Legal and Protective Services. Mendon's portion of the increase, approximately $15,000 for the next 20 years, is being put before voters as a debt exclusion.

Other money articles to be voted on look to improve accessibility throughout the community and will request Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding to do so. Article 20 is requesting $40,000 for a number of Americans with Disability Act (ADA) improvements at the Town Beach, Memorial Field Complex, and the Colonial Dr. soccer field. Some of those improvements include renovating a restroom to make it handicapped accessible and installing paved paths from the Town Beach parking lot to various surrounding areas.

If passed, Article 21 will utilize $15,000 for ADA improvements to the Town Hall involving handicapped parking spaces, new signs, and installing a new automatic push button door opener at the lower level entrance of the building, among others. Article 22 was requesting funding to repair the Town Hall's ramp, however, that article will likely be passed over until more information is obtained.

Other CPA requests on the warrant include Article 17, which is asking for $400,000 from CPA funding in order to purchase 70 acres of land at 52 Providence St. Possible uses for the property could include expanding the senior center, sports fields, affordable housing, or open space.

Article 15 is requesting CPA monies up to $20,000 to fund the town's part-time Affordable Housing Coordinator and Article 16 will utilize CPA monies not to exceed $23,775 to fund a new basketball court and hoops at Memorial Field.

Both Articles 18 and 19 relate to Town Hall improvements. Article 18 is seeking CPA funding not to exceed $850 to repair a wall in the Town Hall and Article 19 is seeking CPA funds up to $13,500 to restore the Town Hall's wood floors.

Other articles on the warrant include several bylaws changes. Article 26 looks to update the town's Animal Control Bylaw, which has not been done for more than 100 years and includes information on licensing, fees, and complaints. Another bylaw, Article 28, will help to increase the inventory of affordable housing in town, if passed by residents, and Article 29 will help to manage in-law apartments in town.

Many of the initial articles on the warrant are standard and therefore voted on annually. As a result, Town Moderator Jay Byer may utilize the consent calendar motion concerning those articles in an effort to expedite the meeting. The complete warrant is posted on the town's Web site at www.mendonma.gov.




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