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Select Board roundup: Altaeros TIF on hold; Southborough supports water connection

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Featured: News, News

At Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, Town Manager Norman Khumalo recommended that the board remove the Town Meeting article related to a proposed tax increment financing (TIF) agreement with Altaeros Energies, which the board did.

According to Khumalo, the company — which designs and builds aerostats — no longer plans to renovate and inhabit the building at 80 South Street. However, he said Altaeros is considering other options in town.

In November, Khumalo announced a TIF draft between the town, Altaeros and the property owner, Atlantic Oliver 80 South Street LLC.

Altaeros had proposed renovating the existing building to create a 105,000-square-foot space to accommodate the company’s research and development, manufacturing and corporate headquarters. Altaeros was to invest $23.9 million, including $5.1 million in renovations and $18.8 million in personal property.

The proposal called for 181 new, net, permanent, full-time jobs over a six-year period with those positions maintained over the term of the agreement.

In return, the town was to grant real estate tax exemptions for 14 years and personal property exemptions for seven years.

Southborough supports water connection

At its Town Meeting on Saturday, Southborough voted in favor of proceeding with design plans for Hopkinton to connect to Southborough’s water system in order to access water that comes from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

Hopkinton has a proposed intermunicipal agreement with Southborough to pay for the work and contribute $1 million in additional funds for three other water-related projects in Southborough.

The plan would address Hopkinton’s issues with PFAS in its current water supply. Khumalo noted that the town’s latest monthly PFAS test showed levels continuing to rise.

The decision to connect to the MWRA water was passed by Hopkinton Town Meeting voters last year. It eventually will return to Town Meeting for another vote for funding, but not this year. [Editor’s note: This paragraph has been updated and corrected to remove a reference to Town Meeting voting on it this May.]

Road acceptance article discussed

During a public hearing about the possibility of the town accepting two roads as public ways — both roads are includes in an article for Town Meeting — the board heard about an issue with one of the roads.

According to John Gelcich, the town’s principal planner, the developer of Foxhollow Road (a cul-de-sac off Pond Street) abandoned the project, leaving residents to address the issues needed for the road to become accepted. The work is expected to be completed prior to Town Meeting.

The other street is Box Mill Road (a new subdivision off Leonard Street), which already has the support of the Planning Board for acceptance despite an issue with a sewer trench.

The board voted to continue the hearing to its meeting on April 11.

Misc: New employee welcomed

The board confirmed the town manager’s appointment of Daurys Reynoso as a heavy equipment operator for the DPW. …

Doris Early, a nominee of the Democratic Town Committee, was appointed to the Board of Registrars. Diane Hayward was appointed to the Sustainable Green Committee. Scott Knous was named an associate member of the Historical Commission. Timothy Ritterbusch was named as an alternate member to the Upper Charles Trail Committee. …

The board accepted the resignation of Michelle Leibowitz from the Hopkinton Cultural Council. …

The board approved parade permits for the Jimmy Fund Walk on Oct. 1 as well as triathlons at Hopkinton State Park on May 21 and Sept. 10.

1 Comment

  1. Barry Rosenbloom

    A clarification – I believe the Southboro vote for the water project was only approving the funding to have an independent Audit performed of the design plans to obtain an evaluation to insure it is sound and addresses all features funded in the project cost and itemized to be constructed be for and within Southborough. That Engineering Review costing up to $ 200,000 was approved and under the agreement that Hopkinton will reimburse Southborough for the cost of that review.

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