Small Warrant Could Bring Big Changes…February 11, 2015

By Nancy Arsenault
A Special Town Meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 23 at 7pm at Hale Middle School. Barring another Monday snowstorm, the meeting will address three warrant articles (Fire station/community center, Pine Bluff upgrades and Cemetery plotting), all of which are hoping to begin this spring.  Holding the Special Town Meeting in February was necessary to ensure the bid process could be put in motion prior to the construction season, if voter approval is given.

A required election day, to address only Article 1, will take place on Saturday, March 7 at Center School from 7am – 8pm.  This is the first time in recent years that a Saturday has been chosen for a polling date, and town officials are hopeful that the weekend date may see an increase in voter participation.

Article 1 is asking voters to approve $9.2 million for the renovation of Pompositticut School, making that the new home of the Stow Fire Department, Council on Aging, Recreation Department and Food Pantry. Since last May’s Annual Town Meeting, the project’s Building Committee has been working to develop a design that will accommodate a growing Fire Department, as well as offer the expanded space requested by the Council on Aging, while also utilizing space for other municipal needs. The COA, charged with serving the senior population of Stow, is also recognized as the only social service agency in the town and in recent years, has been offering assistance and services to townspeople of all ages. A link to the graphic presentation of the project and a description of the construction and design layout is available at : Pages/StowMA_BComm/StowMA_Pompo/All%20Slides.pdf

Article 2 is being presented by the Recreation Department, asking for approval to apply $242,000 in Community Preservation Funds to an expansion project at Pine Bluff Recreation Area. This project includes construction of structures and hardscapes, as well as maintenance and landscaping of the terrain and other natural areas that have not received attention in decades, according to Recreation Director Laura Greenough.  The design also makes the beach area more accessible to elderly or physically impaired residents. There will be a drive up beach access along the shore and a viewing deck built on the bluff overlooking the beach that will be handicap accessible. Changes to the parking layout will also ensure a safer area for children to play, away from moving vehicles.

Article 3 describes the Historical Commission plan to create an electronic mapping database for the Town’s two oldest cemeteries. The work to create this plan includes ground penetrating radar technology and GPS coordinate applications for every plot.  This project is asking for $24,000 in Community Preservation Funds. For more details, see the article on page 1