Annual Town Meeting passes most articles

| July 11, 2020
Stow voters at the July 11 Annual Town Meeting were given the option to sit inside the Center School or outside in a field behind the school under a large, open tent. All seating was set up to maintain proper social distancing between non-household members. (Ann Needle photo)

July 11, 2020

By Ann Needle

Saturday’s hot and humid Annual Town Meeting rejected only one item out of over 60 Articles, in a session running more than four hours. About 150 residents opened the meeting, dwindling to about 90 later on, with the audience split almost evenly between indoor and outdoor venues at Center School. ATM was postponed from May 4 to try to sidestep the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the added option this year to sit outside.

The only item rejected was $26,800 for the Highway Dept. to re-surface October Lane. The no vote came after both the Finance and Capital Planning committees each noted they were not backing the proposal, maintaining the work could wait, given an expected drop in state revenue.

By an overwhelming majority, voters quickly approved the Nashoba District’s request to borrow $1.5 million for a feasibility study of Nashoba Regional High School’s building needs. Nashoba Superintendent Brooke Clenchy told the audience the study cost should be divided evenly between the district’s three towns.

Concerning a recent Town controversy, voters approved a budget amendment to grant the Recreation Dept. an additional $24,500. Recreation Director Laura Greenough maintained that the revolving account that funds Recreation would run out, given the department canceled camp and other programs due to the pandemic and would not have fees from those activities to replenish it.

One fallout from this lack of funds has been the need to close the bathrooms at the Pine Bluff recreation area, a point of contention for residents fearing the Lake Boon beach is being used as a bathroom despite the fact that the beach is technically closed. But Greenough cautioned before the vote that the additional funds cannot guarantee the bathrooms will be opened, given Recreation must meet state standards as well.

The Independent will carry complete coverage of ATM in its July 22 issue.

Category: News

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