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Select Board roundup: Main Street progresses, new employees introduced

by | Sep 13, 2022 | Business, Featured: News, News, Police & Fire

At Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, Town Manager Norman Khumalo indicated the Main Street Corridor Project continues to progress.

“Substantial work has been completed,” Khumalo said. “We’re now focusing on doing the work that will help us wind down ahead of the winter.”

Pushed for more details, Khumalo explained that the majority of the western portion of the project is done.

“Broadly speaking, from the Main Street intersection to Wood Street, the bulk of the work to be done in the road or underground is done,” he said. “That’s why we did resurface [the road] as well as progress to do the sidewalks, And then, from Walcott Street to the Common, we’re now doing the work that is required to be under the road. However, remember, our goal is not to do the excavation before the [April 17 Boston] Marathon. We will do that after next year’s Marathon.”

With the sidewalks still being rebuilt, walking along Main Street from the Route 85 intersection to Wood Street has been a challenge.

Stated Department of Public Works Director John Westerling: “I had a concern about sidewalks before the winter, and the contractor assured me that it’s their intention to have the sidewalks complete end to end, north and south, including the bike lane, before snow flies.”

Asked if there was a way for the Select Board to be more supportive of business and residents who are directly affected by the project, Khumalo said: “We are continuing to meet biweekly with the Chamber of Commerce to attend to the issues that are brought to our attention.”

Stewart, Prescott recognized

The board recognized two longtime town employees who recently retired.

Jamie Stewart was a heavy equipment operator for the Department of Public Works who retired Aug. 31 after 36 years with the town. Michael Prescott, a firefighter, retired Aug. 26 after 31 years with the town, including seven years as a call firefighter.

“We’re losing some very well-tenured folks who know the system, and it’s a big loss,” Select Board member Irfan Nasrullah said. “But it’s a great move for both of them to move on to the next phase of their lives.” …

John Knauss was sworn in by the Town Clerk as a training lieutenant for the Fire Department. …

The board confirmed the town manager’s appointment of three employees for the Department of Public Works: Stephen Freiberg (mechanic), Brendan O’Leary (working foreperson) and Colin Barry (working foreperson).

Committee positions filled

The Board of Library Trustees, participating in a joint meeting with the Select Board, filled a vacancy with the appointment of Warren Carter. The term expires at the May 2023 Town Election. …

Jamie Wronka was chosen to serve as an alternate member for the Upper Charles Trail Committee to a term expiring June 30, 2025. …

The Sustainable Green Committee filled two vacancies with the appointments of Mary Beth Lavoie to a term expiring June 30, 2024, and Alice Potapov to a term expiring June 30, 2023. …

Mari Jae Benning was appointed to a seat on the Hopkinton Cultural council to a term expiring Sept. 13, 2025. …

Jon Pollack was appointed as a constable to a term expiring June 30. The town has three elected constables as well as three unelected constables.

Misc.: Generous gifts accepted

The board voted to accept a gift of $55,000 from the Friends of Hopkinton Senior Citizens to the Hopkinton Senior Center for the purchase of a van and associated transportation costs, another $5,000 from the Friends of Hopkinton Senior Citizens to the Hopkinton Senior Center for emergency medical transportation, $15,000 gift from the New England Laborers’ Training Trust Fund to the town, and $100 from the Hopkinton Trails Club to the Hopkinton Public Library to be used for the purchase of hiking and trail-related books.

Select Board Chair Amy Ritterbusch called out the Friends of Hopkinton Senior Citizens donation as “extremely generous and much appreciated.” …

Regarding the town’s proposed connection to the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) water pipeline through Southborough, Khumalo said, “We are continuing our conversations with our neighbors from Southborough.” …

Khumalo reported that there has been about 200 responses to the town’s budget survey, which closes Oct. 6. …

The board approved the installation of stop signs on both ends of Huckleberry Road at the intersections with Fruit Street.

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