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MONSON — The Monson annual Town Meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 13 at Granite Valley School, located at 21 Thompson St. A Special Town Meeting will also take place at this time and location.

The annual Town Meeting warrant lists a total of 36 articles while the special Town Meeting warrant totals 10 articles. Both warrants were released to the Monson town website on April 30.

Of the annual Town Meeting articles, three relate to Community Preservation projects. These are Article 22’s request to appropriate $35,000 to preserve the Monson Historical Society Museum, Article 23’s requested $33,000 to renovate the varsity softball field at 43 Margaret St. and Article 24’s request for $32,000 to replace unusable track and field equipment at Monson High School.

Another notable article within the warrant is Article 25, which requests permission for the Select Board to sell the House of Art property. This would allow the new owner to oversee the work completed on the property, the article states.

On Sept 12, 2023, the Monson Board of Selectmen voted to demolish the House of Art in favor of utilizing the property for the expansion of the nearby Fire Department. This decision was reversed at the Nov. 6, 2023, Town Meeting after the community spoke out about the decision. Monson Arts Council President Alan Morin later told Reminder Publishing that the organization, which is the primary user of the property, had renovations in mind for the property, although no dates had been set at the time.

There are also two citizen petitions within this warrant. Article 16’s petition requests funds to purchase 400 electronic voting devices to use during Town Meetings while Article 17 requests that the Select Board’s three-member board be increased to a five-member board.

Additionally, the warrant includes seven articles that request changes to the town’s current bylaws. Articles 29, 30, 31 and 32 request minor changes to the language relating to the Department of Municipal Finance in order to clarify the roles of individuals in the Finance Department, Select Board and Board of Assessors, according to the warrant. Article 36 proposes the addition of a new bylaw to regulate solicitation in town by requiring a $25 license.

Alternatively, Article 28’s bylaw change reduces the Finance Committee from 13 members to 11 members, by request of the town moderator, while Article 33 would allow someone in an elected office to be appointed to the Board of Appeals if passed, the warrant states.

Similarly, two articles involve modifications to the town’s zoning map. In Article 34, 6 acres of an 87.5-acre Commercial Recreational lot is under consideration to be zoned as Rural Residential. This was previously approved by the Planning Board at its March 19 meeting, as stated in the warrant. In Article 35, the entirety of 189.62 acres across three parcels would be changed from a Rural Residential zoning to Commercial Recreational zoning.

Article 26 and 27 both relate to procedural concerns. One pertains to the sale of a currently empty lot that the town acquired in March 2023, Town Administrator Jennifer Wolowicz stated at the March 12 Select Board meeting. The other article gives formal permission to the currently ongoing tradition of providing Cemetery Commissioners with one town-owned cemetery plot following the completion of a term.

Lastly, the Annual Town Meeting warrant includes 19 articles that pertain to financial needs for regular operations of the town. These articles include requests to set aside funds for emergency events, to support trash and recycling collection in town and to pay the required sum to Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical School. Eight of these articles will be voted within one consent agenda, according to the warrant.

Special Town Meeting

The Special Town Meeting is also scheduled at Granite Valley School for 7 p.m. on May 13. Within its 10 articles, the warrant highlights five that involve costs related to town operations and another three that request funds for water and sewer projects.

The remaining two articles relate to the Monson Fire Department. Article 6 requests that the funds previously designated at the May 2022 Town Meeting for repairs to the station be instead designated for design renovation costs to the station. Article 7 further supports this renovation project through transferring funds for any unplanned costs, according to the warrant.

For more information about the upcoming Town Meetings or to view the official warrants, visit monson-ma.gov/244/Town-Meeting.

lmason@thereminder.com | + posts