Boston Marathon organizers appeared before the Select Board on Tuesday night to receive a parade permit for the April 18 event — the 126th running of the prestigious race — and gushed about their relationship with Hopkinton.
“We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to work with all of you year after year,” Boston Athletic Association CEO Tom Grilk told the board before the permit received unanimous approval. “It is a relationship unlike any other not only in the world of sport but in the world of anything, to have an event that operates on a world stage done in conjunction with a municipality, with a town that looks like nothing if not America to people around the world.”
Grilk said the BAA’s objective for 2022 is “an enhanced experience for everybody, over what we all did in 2021.” He said vaccination requirements will be implemented for participants, volunteers, medical staff and vendors who have direct interactions with participants and volunteers.
“We certainly affirm our commitment to do everything we can to make this be the best experience it can for the town, for residents of the town, in every way,” Grilk said. “We confirm and affirm our financial support which will be forthcoming in the normal course of such things in the very early part of March in this, the second Boston Marathon in six months. It is a rather breathless experience for a great many of us, I’m sure.”
COO Jack Fleming, after noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first official women’s division in 1972, said the athletes village behind the high school/middle school will be similar to what it was in 2019 — prior to the pandemic — although the BAA is hoping to move athletes through the area more quickly and efficiently.
The race start also will be similar to 2019, with set times starting at 9:30 a.m., and the first wave start at 10 a.m. For last fall’s race, organizers went with a rolling start to limit participants standing around in close proximity to each other.
The last official starter should cross the start line by 11:30 a.m., Fleming said, with the roads reopening by 1 p.m.
Grilk offered thanks to the Hopkinton Marathon Committee and other volunteer groups in town.
“There is nothing like it in the world of marathoning anywhere else,” he said of the groups’ contributions. “You don’t find that in New York, in London, in Chicago, in Berlin, in Tokyo. There’s not the citizens group that drives it forward. There are very few things in this world that are a singularity. This is one.”
Lykan Bioscience TIF close
Town Manager Norman Khumalo said there would be a presentation to the board at its next meeting regarding the proposed tax increment finance (TIF) agreement with Lykan Bioscience.
“About one and a half hours ago, our negotiating team and the Lykan team reached a tentative agreement on a draft TIF agreement to be presented to the board at your next meeting,” Khumalo said.
Lykan is looking to expand its headquarters on South Street.
Budget presentation delayed
Khumalo was to present the consolidated fiscal year 2023 budget to the Select Board for discussion, but he said a late-breaking development forced a change.
Khumalo explained that Eversource, the town’s biggest taxpayer, is appealing a potential $2.2 million in tax revenue.
“This action strongly suggests that Eversource will likewise appeal the additional tax increment that is expected to be levied in 2023,” Khumalo told the board. “And that increment is an important source of funds in the budget I have forwarded to you.”
Check back tomorrow for more on this story.