By MAUREEN DOHERTY
LYNNFIELD — The long-awaited Annual Town Meeting is slated for Monday, April 27 in the Lynnfield Middle School auditorium.
Town Moderator Arthur Bourque will strike the gavel at 7:30 p.m. to commence the meeting provided a quorum of 175 voters is present. All Lynnfield registered voters — and there are over 9,200 — are eligible to partake.
There are 24 warrant articles included on this year’s Town Meeting warrant. Voters will be asked to approve a budget of $50,215,851 for fiscal year 2016. This represents a 2.62 percent increase over the final FY’15 budget of $48,934,429.
This FY’16 figure includes an omnibus operating budget of $47,668,389 (Article 7) and a capital spending plan of $1,314,820 (Article 8). It also includes appropriations of $180,000 each to the stabilization fund (Article 9) and capital maintenance fund (Article 10), which, if approved, would be $30,000 more than was appropriated to both funds last year.
The omnibus budget includes $24,577,724 for education, an increase of $940,853 over last year’s budget of $23,636,871 or 4.16 percent.
King Rail club house
Article 20 requests voters to approve a transfer of $150,000 from the sale of real estate account to pay for architectural and design services for a new clubhouse at the King Rail Golf Course.
Article 17 deals with the potential disposition of Centre Farm. Voters will be asked to transfer to the Board of Selectmen “for the purpose of sale the real property known and numbered as 567 Main Street … including the structures and fixtures.”
The article also seeks to give authorization to the selectmen to “sell, transfer and convey” the property “subject to an Historic Preservation Restriction under G.L. c. 184, sections 31-33, pertaining to the said property and the exterior of the structures and fixtures … such sale otherwise to be on such terms and subject to such conditions as the selectmen may deem prudent.”
Voters overwhelming approved the purchase of Centre Farm from the Donovan family last June to prevent it from being subdivided.
Scenic Road Bylaw
Voters will also be asked to amend its bylaws to adopt a Scenic Road Bylaw that is supported by the Planning Board, Conservation Commission and Historical Commission under Article 18. The bylaw was submitted to the Planning Board by the Tree Committee, a subcommittee of the ConCom.
Language specifying specific streets has been removed from the bylaw. If passed, public hearings would be held in the future on any street recommended for designation as “scenic.”
Alterations to sign bylaw
The Planning Board has also submitted four other articles for consideration by the voters. Articles 21 to 23 deal with the regulation of signage. Article 24 would add a definition in the Groundwater Protection District to define the word “acre” as meaning 40,000 square feet.
Article 21 seeks to amend the zoning bylaws by adding a subsection to the end of Section 6 under “Signs” as follows: “6.8 Standards Applicable in all districts: Signs shall neither contain moving elements nor convey the appearance of movement, whether by changing pixelation or any other physical or electronic representation of movement.”
Article 22 seeks to amend the town’s zoning bylaws to add a subsection to Section 2 of the sign bylaw which would define a “sign” as any of the following:
“2.15 Sign: Any letter, figure, character, mark, plane, point, marquee sign, design, poster, pictorial, picture, stroke, stripe, line, trademark, reading matter or illuminated service, which shall be constructed, placed, attached, painted, corrected, fastened or manufactured in any manner whatsoever, so that the same shall be used for the attraction of the public to any place, subject, person, firm, corporation, public performance, article, machine or merchandise, whatsoever, which is displayed in any manner outdoors including any of the foregoing which may be visible in any manner for the outdoors.”
Article 23 seeks to amend the zoning bylaw by adding four subsections to Section 2 regarding “definitions” that would define meanings applicable to all definitions under the bylaw. Subsection 2.16.1 concerns the “tense and construction” of words, including that the use of the word “shall” within the bylaw is “always mandatory and not merely discretionary.” Section 2.16.2 defines “precedence” as only concerning the specific subsection; Section 2.16.3 defines “specific definitions” as meaning that “each term used shall have the meaning given” unless “another meaning is required by context.”
Section 2.16.4 states that any “missing definitions” for words used in the bylaw shall “have the meaning as defined in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Building Code in effect on April 15, 2015.”
Last week, the selectmen voted 3-0 to include nine articles in single consent agenda motion to them to be taken out of order. Four-fifths of the voters at Town Meeting must agree to allow a consent motion move forward.
This is done to expedite the meeting. If a single voter objects to inclusion of any one of the nine articles in the consent agenda, that warrant article would be returned to its original location in the warrant and voted upon separately.
These nine warrant article are 1, 2, 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16. Article 1 is acceptance of published reports from town offices and committees; Article 2 is to choose town officers not chosen by ballot; Article 3 fixes the compensation of each elective officer of the town as follows: Board of Selectmen Chairman ($850) and member ($700) and Board of Assessors Chairman ($4,100) and member ($3,550).
Articles 11 to 14 re-establish four existing revolving fund accounts with a set amount of funds generated from fees to pay for contractual services and expenses. The Council on Aging fund limit is $40,000; the Board of Health Flu Clinic fund limit is $15,000; the Board of Library Trustees fund for book expenses is limited to $10,000; and the Recreation Commission fund is limited to $160,000.
Article 15 seeks to appropriate $655,000 from the Emergency Medical Service Enterprise receipts to defray the cost of providing EMS services in the town.
Article 16 seeks to appropriate $770,000 in Golf Course Enterprise receipts to pay expenses and contractual services to fund golf course operations and to credit this fund with all fees and charges received in FY’16 from those using the golf assets.
Article 18, proposed by Town Clerk Trudy Reid, seeks to adopt MGL that prohibits collecting a dog license fee from residents 70 or older.