What passed and failed at Upton’s Annual Town Meeting

2014townmeetingResidents approved an $18.3 million dollar budget at the Annual Town Meeting on Thursday night May 8, 2014; an increase of 4.3 percent from last year’s budget.

The Finance Committee noted in their report the Mendon Upton School Districts operational assessment increased by a little under $12,000; an increase of under one percent. BVT on the other hand had an increase of  $273,210 in the operational assessment over last  year; a 33 percent increase. The majority of the increase from BVT was due to an additional 25 students entering the school from Upton.

Of the 41 articles presented last night to the people 39 were approved.

Article 14 which requested the town amend the zoning bylaws to address the State’s Medical Marijuana law  failed. Upton voters did not want to amend the bylaw to restrict Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers to industrial/business zones. Towns cannot block medical marijuana dispensaries from opening up shops within their borders. One resident said although the State has only approved a limited number of centers doesn’t mean they won’t approve additional centers in the future.

The Treasurer Collector position will remain an elected one. Article 10 proposing the position be changed from elected to appointed failed. This article took the longest to discuss. Upton Treasurer Collector Ken Glowacki opposed the article saying, “I am not sure what is being fixed” and “An independent voice promotes discussion.” Glowacki also stated the Treasurer Collector position was different from most as it is a full-time job with benefits and a reasonable salary. The Board of Selectmen were in favor of the move. Upton Selectmen Member Ken Picard said this was about making sure a qualified person is in the position and the Town has a better chance if the position is appointed versus elected. One Upton resident commented they believed this article was more about a grab of power than anything else. The Selectmen strongly disagreed with that statement. 

Upton supported the $2.9 debt obligation to renovate BVT school and pay for Upton’s share of the cost of that project. For more information about the project go here. 

The Town decided to pay selected elected officials equally with a thank you stipend of $500.

Upton adopted a Stretch Energy Code which puts the Town on the path to become a designated green community.

A new fire truck was approved for the Upton Fire Department. For more information go here. 

Seven articles requesting Community Preservation Act Funds were approved;

  • $10,000 was approved for administrative services
  • $65,000 to Historic Resources Account and $65,000 to Open Space account
  • $88,000 to replace the basketball and tennis courts at Kiwanis beach within a three-year period
  • $12,500 to conduct a survey and engineering work to prepare for future installation of a new parking lot at Kiwanis Beach
  • $16,602 to make various improvements to recreational facilities at Kiwanis Beach and Leland Field
  • $20,000 to fund the removal of trees which are in poor condition and restore damaged cemetery structures at the Town’s First Cemetery off Grove Street

The Town Library was approved to apply for grants to apply for and conduct a feasibility study for a new facility.

For a copy of the warrant to review all the Articles which were approved go here.  

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