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Town Meeting Day 3 roundup: Lykan TIF approved after delayed start due to low attendance

by | May 4, 2022 | Featured: News, News

Annual Town Meeting finally concluded Wednesday following yet another a delay due to the lack of a quorum. The highlight was the approval of a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement with Lykan Bioscience, which is planning to expand its footprint in town by constructing a 112,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at 105-107 South Street, next door to its current building.

“Lykan is making a significant investment that will increase the base tax rate of the property, create jobs and revitalize an underutilized site,” said Amy Ritterbusch, speaking on behalf of the Select Board. “The town believes that this investment would not occur without the TIF incentive, and the benefits of this private investment outweigh the forgoing taxes.”

The new facility is anticipated to cost $90 million and is expected to lead to at least 125 new jobs.

“We’ve talked quite a bit here of the now-three nights about some of the revenue and growth challenges facing the town, and now here we are, somebody coming to us with open arms, asking to do business with us,” said resident Matt Kizner, also a member of the Capital Improvement Committee. “I hope you’re ready.”

The voice vote was unanimous in support of the TIF.

A few minutes after the scheduled 7 p.m. start, Town Moderator Ellen Rutter put out a plea to HCAM viewers to drive to the Hopkinton High School Athletic Center, as Town Meeting was about 40 voters shy of a quorum (128 voters). The meeting had been suspended the previous two nights due when calls for an attendance check revealed no quorum present.

Town Meeting eventually got underway at 7:49 p.m. and started with resident Ann Karnofsky requesting a reconsideration of Article 45, which is related to the taking by eminent domain the forested land behind 71 Frankland Road that is targeted for a commercial solar array. On Tuesday, 87 residents voted against the article, with 26 in support. A two-thirds majority would have been needed for it to pass.

After some discussion, a vote to suspend the bylaw to allow for reconsideration, which requires a two-thirds majority, failed overwhelmingly by a voice vote.

Town Meeting wrapped up just before 8:30.

ARTICLES

MONDAY’S VOTES
REPORTS
Article 1, Acceptance of town reports, passed by coach vote (simple majority required)

FINANCIAL, FY 2022
Article 2, FY 2022 supplemental appropriations and transfers, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 3, Unpaid bills from prior fiscal years, passed by voice vote (four-fifths majority required)

FINANCIAL, FY 2023
Article 4, Set the salary of elected officials, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 5, FY 2023 operating budget, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 6, Establish shared housing services office revolving fund, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 7, Revolving funds spending limits, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 8, Establish access and cable related fund account, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 9, Public/education/government (PEG) access and cable related fund revolving account funding, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 10, Revoke HCAM enterprise fund, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 11, Authorized/unissued debt rescinding, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 12, Chapter 90 highway funds, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 13, Authorize petition for special legislation for limited means tested sewer and water user discounts, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 14, Transfer to other post-employment benefits liability trust fund, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 15, Transfer to the general stabilization fund, motion to take no action passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 16, Transfer to the capital expense stabilization fund, motion to take no action passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 17, Create school Special Education Reserve Fund, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 18, Transfer to the school Special Education Reserve Fund, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)

CAPITAL EXPENSES AND PROJECTS
Article 19, Pay-as-you-go capital expenses, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 20, Water tank cleaning, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 21, Vehicle replacement, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)

TUESDAY’S VOTES
Article 22, Massachusetts Water Resource Authority connection design work, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 23, PFAS filtration system for Well 6, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 24, Fruit Street well facility roof replacement, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 25, Fire Engine 2 replacement, passed by voice vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 26, Woodville Fire Station repair work, passed by voice vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 27, Air handling unit replacement, passed by voice vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 28, Fruit Street turf field replacement, passed 168-7 by standing count vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 29, Marathon School addition cost increase, passed unanimously by standing count vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 30, Lake Maspenock Dam area repair work, passed by voice vote (two-thirds majority required

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION FUNDS
Article 31, Community Preservation funds, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 32, Community Preservation recommendations, Motion 1, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 32, Community Preservation recommendations, Motion 2, motion to take no action passed by voice vote (simple majority required)

ZONING BYLAW AMENDMENTS
Article 33, One single-family dwelling per lot, passed by standing count vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 34, Maximum gross floor area, Industrial A District, passed by standing count vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 35, Off-street parking, passed unanimously by voice vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 36, Housekeeping/gender neutral references, passed unanimously by voice vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 37, Housekeeping, plural uses, passed unanimously by voice vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 38, Dimensional table, appendix, passed unanimously by voice vote (two-thirds majority required)

GENERAL BYLAW AMENDMENTS
Article 39, Housekeeping/gender neutral references, passed unanimously by voice vote (two-thirds majority required)
Article 40, Amend general bylaws for dog licensing, passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)

LAND ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION
Article 41, Accept easement, 2 Oakhurst Road, passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 42, Accept Gift of Land, Fitch Avenue, passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 43, Accept Gift of Land, Chamberlain-Whalen subdivision, passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 44, Land acquisition, Conroy Property, Saddle Hill Road, motion to take no action passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 45, Land acquisition, 71 Frankland Road rear, defeated 26-87 by standing count (two-thirds majority required)

WEDNESDAY’S VOTES
ADMINISTRATIVE
Article 46, Allowance for fines related to snow or ice removal, passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 47, Allowance for Town Hall to close on Saturdays, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 48, Commission on Disability, passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 49, Amend vote of Town Meeting, registrar stipend, passed by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 50, Prudent investment legislation, passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 51, Tax increment financing agreement with Lykan Bioscience, passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 52, PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement with Wilson Street solar farm, passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)
Article 53, Trustees of the School Fund vacancies, motion to take no action passed unanimously by voice vote (simple majority required)

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