WILBRAHAM – The City of Wilbraham will hold its annual city get-together on May 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of Minnechaug Regional High School. The warrant contains 41 articles that residents can review and vote on. While several are routine formalities for the consent agenda, many articles weigh finances against services, and some articles deal with constitutional amendments.
Article 6 is a vote on the city’s fiscal 2010 operating budget of $ 45.9 million, approximately $ 3.5 million from fiscal 2010 spending. As usual, the budget will be attached to the arrest warrant for review.
Article 13 suspends the $ 300,000 loan for a fire truck ladder approved at a previous city meeting. No extra money would return to the city, but Wilbraham would not loan the money and the move “improves our financial condition in the eyes of the rating agencies,” which gives the city greater borrowing capability in the future.
Article 19 would finance the 2022 Fiscal Year Reserve Fund to cover “unforeseen and extraordinary” costs incurred during the year. The finance committee must approve transfers from the reserve fund. Likewise, Article 22 would complement the Stabilization Fund and the Capital Stabilization Fund, essentially municipal savings accounts. The money for these two items would come from a mix of free cash and available funds and would be raised through taxes.
Article 21 finances the Other Post-Employment Benefit Trust Fund (OPEB). This fund pays for health care and all other expenses that the city is contractually obliged to cover after retirement. While $ 27,578 would come from a combination of water, sewer, solid waste and ambulance income, $ 500,000 would be raised and used on this item.
Article 14 requires voters to pay for capital projects from the city’s “free cash” account, which includes any funds remaining at the end of each fiscal year. The total cost of the projects is $ 894,100. The warrant states that using free cash for these expenses would save the city an estimated $ 214,344 in interest related to a bond.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) / Highway Department plans to spend $ 15,000 on a pickup truck and $ 50,000 on a hatchback service truck. The city would use $ 33,000 of corporate funds to pay the remainder of that expense and will be voted on in Articles 23, 24, and 25. The DPW is also calling for a $ 90,000 truck to replace an existing truck at the end of its life. Sidewalks and guard rails are a separate expense of $ 150,000.
The Leisure Department is filing a total of $ 50,600 for the purchase of an aerator, vehicle life, roller, and vehicle manipulator.
The Facility Maintenance Department provided $ 45,000 to purchase a new boiler for the Wilbraham Public Library, a condenser system tank at Memorial School for $ 33,000, and $ 100,000 for general repairs.
IT is looking for $ 92,000 for equipment to upgrade the network core, while replacing asbestos tile at Wilbraham Middle School with a vinyl composite tile would cost $ 100,000.
The fire department has submitted grants for a new fire engine and additional hose equipment. If the grants are awarded, the city’s share of the cost would be $ 35,000 and $ 10,000, respectively. The capital resources are dependent on the receipt of the grants. Also on the fire department’s spending list is a new $ 50,000 command vehicle, hydrant gates, and two thermal imaging cameras.
Finally, the Assessor’s Office has a $ 65,000 consultancy fee, and the Weights and Measures department has requested $ 1,000 for gas detection equipment.
Article 20 would require $ 150,000 in a mix of free money, money from the Stabilization Fund, and funds raised and used to clean up, resurface, and seal Wilbraham’s streets.
Amendments to the statutes
Article 26 contains a definition and zoning restrictions for nanobreweries. As defined, the companies sell 6,000 barrels or less of specialty beers or specialty beers annually. In addition to the zones where microbreweries can operate, nano breweries would be allowed in neighborhood office zones and neighborhood shopping zones.
Article 27 changes the weight limit for pickups, delivery vans, light panel trucks and sport utility vehicles that can be parked or stored in residential areas. The gross vehicle weight (GVWR) would be increased from 10,500 pounds to 11,500 pounds.
Article 28 would change the statute for large-scale, ground-mounted solar zones. Many of the changes are language changes in the interest of clarity. Other changes increase the business owner / operator’s responsibility to comply with city rainwater regulations.
Most changes, however, focus on the visual and environmental impact of solar field projects by adding additional setbacks, fences and vegetative shielding, minimizing glare and preserving wetlands, steep slopes and hills, visual amenities and scenic views. Tree, vegetation and soil. Options for city enforcement were also clarified.
Article 30 allows the development of a PILOT (Pay-in-Lieu-of-Taxes) agreement for the solar project at 126V Beebe Rd. PILOT agreements stabilize the income the city receives over the life of the project, rather than that from the To experience tax revenue related fluctuations.
Article 39 changes the language in the comprehensive Rainwater Ordinance to comply with federal and state mandates to regulate rainwater and other illegal water discharges. The new language describes the ability of the DPW to enforce the law through criminal or civil sanctions as well as through “non-criminal injunctions”.
Community Preservation Items
Articles 31 to 35 are applications for projects funded through various community conservation accounts. Article 31 provides $ 15,000 in administrative and operational expenses for the Community Preservation Commission from the undesignated fund.
Article 32 would preserve the city’s records with $ 5,145 from the Historical Fund.
Article 33 calls for $ 300,000 from the Budgeted Reserve Fund to develop and implement a master plan for a leisure complex focusing on 540 Stony Hill Rd. This includes funds to build pickleball courts, a year-round synthetic outdoor ice rink, a dog park, and bike paths. The total estimated cost of the project is US $ 525,000, of which the Wilbraham Parks & Recreation Department provided US $ 225,000 in grants and gifts.
Item 34 would use $ 17,563 from the Budgeted Reserve Fund to build a split rail fence between Stony Hill Road and the urban country club at Wilbraham Golf Course.
Also on the golf course, Item 35 would build an asphalt wagon path between holes 1 and 9 using $ 31,500 from the Budgeted Reserve Fund. The arrest warrant states that the trail can be used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter. The country club has pledged to contribute $ 3,500 and would be responsible for ongoing maintenance.
The last two articles were put on the warrant by a separate vote by the Board of Selectmen, with Robert Russell and Carolyn Brennan voting “Yes” and Robert Boilard “No”.
Article 40 would introduce a local excise tax of 0.75 percent and increase the tax on restaurant meals from 6.25 percent to 7 percent. The Finance Committee was also split when it approved this article. The collected funds are redistributed quarterly by the state to the city.
Article 41 calls for the adoption of bipartisan elections for city officials. The change would require the city to apply to the state for specific house rules legislation that would remove a primary or caucus for the appointment of city officials. Party designations would not be included in the candidates for the city office even with the election candidates in regular or special city elections.
The full arrest warrant can be found at wilbraham-ma.gov.