LUDLOW — When Ludlow conducts its spring Town Meeting on Monday, May 13, voters will be asked to fund capital projects, the beginnings of a park and a comprehensive project to improve and re-envision the streets in one area of town. They will also have the chance to weigh in on zoning changes to several properties.

Article 7 would address the property where Veteran’s Park School was located until its demolition late last year. Voters will be asked for $50,000 to hire engineering consultant Tighe & Bond to perform a feasibility study on turning the 13-acre property into a recreation area. The study would take up to five months, include two public visioning and feedback sessions and consider potential activities and uses, as well as the constraints of the surrounding wetlands.

Ludlow’s capital improvement plan for fiscal year 2025 would be funded through Article 10, which calls for $2.24 million. More than half of the funding would come from free cash, including $500,000 for repairs to the rear wall at Ludlow High School, $335,000 for the third year of a five-year Fire Department ladder truck lease and $219,540 to restore the historic windows at Hubbard Memorial library.

Additionally, Article 11 covers four items on the plan totaling $148,823 from the Westover golf retained earnings account, as well as $73,428 from the Westover golf operating budget would pay for the second year of a four-year lease for the fleet of golf carts.

At the May 2023 Town Meeting, voters approved borrowing $2.4 million to make HVAC improvements to the town’s Public Safety Complex. Since then, higher material costs and a more in-depth understanding of the conditions has led to an increase of $400,000 in the estimate.

Article 30 seeks the most funding. It asks to borrow $3.2 million to finance the “State Street/Ludlow Mills Improvement District,” the creation of which voters approved at the June 2020 Town Meeting, and which was amended at the Town Meeting in October 2023. The idea behind district improvement financing is to fund public projects, which creates a more inviting environment for private investment, which leads to higher assessed property values in the district and related tax increases. The tax money derived from the investments will be used to pay back the bond. Once the debt is paid off, the incremental tax increases will go back into funding more public projects.

The work planned for the district includes sidewalk replacement and roadwork on East Street, parking and pedestrian improvements at Hubbard Memorial Library and a gas line extension on Stevens Street. The most dramatic change will be the transition of two partial streets from roads made for car traffic into avenues made for use by pedestrians. The affected sections are Stevens Street between East and State streets and State Street between Stevens and Oakridge streets.

Zoning changes

Article 31 is an amendment to the zoning bylaws that would create greater visibility at street intersections and driveways. The change would require no fence, structure of plantings higher than three feet within 25 feet of an intersection with another street. When it comes to driveways, the three-foot height limit would apply to the triangular-shaped area 10 feet from the street and 25 feet from the driveway’s edge.

The owners of three properties are seeking zoning changes in Articles 32-34. The owner of 8-10 Wedgewood Dr. would like to change the zone from Agricultural to Residence A, so a lot can be created on which to build a single-family home. The owner of 191 West St. wants to operate an auto repair business at that address and is therefore asking its zoning to be changed from Agricultural to Business A. Finally, the owner of three parcels at 0 West St, would like to change them from Residence B to Industrial A in keeping with the zoning of the surrounding properties. The Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend all three zoning changes.

Ludlow’s Town Meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium.

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