The warrant for the upcoming Town Meeting contains more than 20 articles, ranging from asking voters to approve electronic voting at subsequent Town Meetings to allocating funding for the potential full renovation of the Fort Revere water tower.
The current plan is to hold the meeting on Monday, May 2, in the Hull High School gymnasium, according to Town Manager Philip Lemnios.
Voters will be asked to approve $2.2 million to renovate and repair the Fort Revere water tower on Telegraph Hill. This figure includes increases in the cost of building materials and labor.
“The project could be segmented into interior and exterior work if the price for both exceeds this amount,” Lemnios said at Wednesday’s Select Board meeting. “In that case we would have the exterior work on the building done first.”
Other articles ask voters to approve:
* $1.3 million for repairs, replacements, and upgrades associated with the town’s wastewater treatment plant and sewer system, funded by retained earnings in the sewer department’s enterprise fund;
* $1.4 million toward the dredging of the Nantasket Pier (Steamboat Wharf) area. This will be combined with a grant already received and potential future grant money; and
* $1 million for the design and construction related to repairs and improvements to the Fitzpatrick Way seawall. The town has applied for a $4 million grant to pay for the remainder of phase one of the project.
Other articles relate to approving Community Preservation Act funding for a North Nantasket Beach signage project, a plan to establish a Straits Pond walking path near Eastman Road, design and engineering work associated with the redevelopment of the Village Playground, design and construction of a new playground at the Green Hill/Gunrock Playground; the redevelopment of Jones Park with a new play structure and an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground at Kingsley Road and Touraine Avenue, Hull Lifesaving Museum improvements, and the Village Fire Station historic preservation and rehabilitation plan.
Voters also will consider articles seeking $525,000 toward the costs associated with the completion of the sanitary landfill assessment and closure.
“This area abuts an Area of Critical Environmental Concern,” noted Lemnios, adding that the
total cost of this project is between $12 and $14 million. “This figure is this year’s request. The project is still a long way out.”
Another item on the warrant relates to implementing electronic voting at subsequent Town Meetings. The article is co-sponsored by Town Clerk Lori West and Town Moderator George Boylen.
“Everybody would get a clicker [to register their vote], and voters’ names would not be shared,” Lemnios explained. “This system would take away the need for standing and ballot votes” but would not preclude them.
“On the more controversial articles, electronic voting would provide an accurate count quickly,” Lemnios said.
Two articles would benefit some veterans and their families. The BRAVE Act would provide a full property-tax exemption to surviving parents or guardians of soldiers and sailors, members of the National Guard who were killed or missing in action, and families of veterans whose deaths were the result of service-related injuries.
“This would be a way of honoring the service of those individuals who gave the ultimate sacrifice to their country and would ensure that surviving members of their family receive recognition from the community that their service was of value,” Lemnios said.
The second article, related to the VALOR Act, would provide for a property-tax abatement in exchange for meaningful volunteer services to the town by veterans of any age. The details have not yet been finalized.
Yet another article relates to “promoting economic development within the town and the more effective use of town property” and would allow the town to lease, extend leases, or renew current leases of town property up to the maximum allowed by law. The properties include the land under Jake’s Seafood Restaurant, Nantasket Pier (Steamboat Wharf, Inc.), the property housing Mezzo Mare restaurant, and other businesses that have made or will make improvements to the parcels of land they occupy.
Voters will also consider potential changes to the War Memorial Commission regarding its purpose, membership, appointments and terms, powers and duties, and other considerations. The commission oversees the care and maintenance of the War Memorial at Monument Square and the surrounding grounds.
Another article asks voters to appropriate $100,000 for professional services related to the recently-completed Best Educational Use of School Facilities study and the associated costs of implementing the final choice of the four options presented in the report.
The first relates to maintaining the status quo, while the other three involve consolidation of the existing schools, which would allow space for other town uses.
“What the School Committee decides will inform what we’re going to do with the library, senior center, light department services, and Town Hall,” said Lemnios. The language of this article has not yet been finalized.
The Select Board will sign the warrant at a meeting planned for next Wednesday, March 23, at 8 a.m., subject to change. There will also be a discussion about a potential citizen’s petition that was discussed at this week’s meeting to determine if it was properly submitted and whether it will be included in the warrant. The content was not fully explained, but the plan is to request more information from the petitioners either prior to or at the March 23 meeting.