$21.86M budget tops West Boylston warrant.

AuthorKane, Michael

Byline: Michael Kane

WEST BOYLSTON -- Voters have a $21.86 million budget, a $1.67 million sewer budget and several spending considerations to decide when the semi-annual town meeting convenes Monday. Town meeting opens at 7 p.m. May 19 at the Middle High School, 125 Crescent St.

While voters will be asked to support just less than $80,000 in requests from the Community Preservation Account, they will first be asked to return nearly the same amount to its coffers after the town and the local Freemasons failed to come to an agreement that dates back two years.

In May 2012, town meeting voters approved $79,950 toward preserving the windows at the Masonic Lodge on Church Street. However, with the money sitting unused for a second year, the Community Preservation Committee voted to rescind the 2012 vote, Selectman and Community Preservation Committee member Christopher Rucho said.

Voters will also be asked to support a negotiated lease for town-owned land on Paul X. Tivnan Drive for a solar field, which will sit adjacent to the Municipal Light Department's solar field on the corner of Shrewsbury Street and Tivnan Drive.

The lease calls for a minimum of three megawatts, with the capacity for four megawatts. The land area would be reduced by 5 acres per megawatt if the larger capacity could not be met.

The lease would pay the town $25,000 per megawatt per year, with an annual percentage increase in each of the following years for 20 years. At the end of 20 years, the company could apply for two additional five-year extensions.

After only two members of the public attended the Planning Board's hearing on medical marijuana zoning in March, Chairman Christopher Olson said the board felt the new bylaw likely would not be controversial at town meeting.

Medical marijuana was approved by voters statewide in a ballot initiative in November 2012. The attorney general has said municipalities cannot outright ban a dispensary. But they can regulate where it is located.

The overlay district, as proposed, would sit within the same...

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