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The next session of Town Meeting will cover articles 4 & 5 of the Spring 2016 Town Meeting Warrant. More information below.

Spring 2016 Town Meeting Warrant Articles

ARTICLE 1: HEAR REPORTS

To see if the Town will vote to hear and act on the report of the Board of Selectmen and other Town Officers and Committees, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SELECTMEN

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: No Position


Summary: To hear reports of Town Boards, Committees and Commissions.
ARTICLE 2: ELECTED OFFICIALS COMPENSATION

To see if the Town will vote to allow the following compensation for the following elected officials:

Town Clerk    $77,556
Town Moderator    $65

for the ensuing year, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SELECTMEN

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: To provide compensation for elected officials as proposed by the Town Manager.
ARTICLE 3: WAGE AND CLASSIFICATION SCHEDULE

To see if the Town will vote to amend and adopt for Fiscal Year 2017 the Town of Groton Wage and Classification schedule as shown in Appendix B of this Warrant, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SELECTMEN
 TOWN MANAGER

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Summary: This article proposes a wage adjustment of two (2%) percent for FY 2017 for the three (3) employees covered by the Personnel Bylaw. This follows the Supervisors’ Union Contract which calls for a two (2%) percent wage adjustment in FY 2017 as well.
ARTICLE 4: FISCAL YEAR 2017 ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGET

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate and/or transfer from available funds a sum or sums of money as may be necessary to defray the expenses of the Town for the next fiscal year (2017), and act upon the budget of the Finance Committee, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-FINANCE COMMITTEE
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
TOWN MANAGER

Board of Selectmen: Recommended (3 In Favor, 2 Deferred – Degen, Petropoulos)
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Summary: Budget – In accordance with Section 6 of the Town Charter, the Finance Committee conducts its annual budget process by receiving the Town Manager’s proposed balanced budget on or before December 31st; meeting with department heads and boards; holding public budget hearings in preparation for issuing its recommendations to Town Meeting; and presenting its budget recommendations at the Spring Town Meeting. The budget handout for this Article is contained in Appendix A of this Warrant. Please also see the Town Manager’s Report which includes the Finance Committee’s and Board of Selectmen’s recommendations.
ARTICLE 5: APPROPRIATE FY 2017 CONTRIBUTION TO THE OPEB TRUST

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, and/or borrow a sum or sums of money, to be expended by the Town Manager, to be added to the Other Post-Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund as authorized by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 32B, Section 20, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SELECTMEN
 TOWN MANAGER

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Summary: The purpose of this article is to fund the Town’s OPEB Liability. The Town will be appropriating the amount necessary to cover retirees’ health insurance in Fiscal Year 2017. That expense will be paid directly out of the Trust. It is estimated that the FY 2017 cost is approximately $200,000. This is money that would otherwise be funded in the Health Insurance Line Item of the FY 2017 Operating Budget. There will be no additional tax increase in FY 2017 for this purpose.
ARTICLE 6: FISCAL YEAR 2017 CAPITAL BUDGET

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, and/or borrow a sum or sums of money, to be expended by the Town Manager, for the purpose of funding the Fiscal Year 2017 Capital Budget as follows:

Item #1 - Swap Loader             $35,000             Fire/EMS

Summary: This request will be used for the swap loader project. The amount requested in FY 2017 is needed to complete the swap loader project approved last fiscal year. These additional funds will complete the project by providing a lighting unit ample for the needs of Emergency Management and Fire Departments. This lighting unit will be available to be dropped at a location to provide lighting, but also backup generation power in the event of an outage or other emergency.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Item #2 - Police/Fire Boat              $38,000             Police/Fire/EMS

Summary: This is a scheduled replacement. An increase in patrol and enforcement of lakes and waterways is needed. The boat currently in operation is second hand and in need of a major overhaul and is potentially cost prohibitive to maintain. An increased emphasis on enforcement issues at the Lake and concerns for quality of life issues for users is the primary concern to be addressed with this purchase. The Fire Department Boat has similar issues and its continued use is not conducive to the needs of the Department. This Boat will be a joint purchase and shared between the Police Department and Fire Department.

Board of Selectmen: Deferred (1 in Favor - Cunningham, 4 Deferred)
Finance Committee: Deferred (3 in Favor - Hargraves, Prest, Bacon, 4 Deferred)


Item #3 - Pick-Up Truck             $30,000             Highway Department

Summary: This is a scheduled replacement of a current vehicle. The average life of a pick-up truck is approximately 7 years. Replacing one vehicle every couple of years will allow the fleet to stay in good shape. They are front line pick-ups used for day to day operations as well as snow plowing.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Item #4 - Brush Mower             $45,000             Highway Department

Summary: This item is a scheduled replacement in Fiscal Year 2017 while the current mower still has value. This should be considered a normal replacement of equipment.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Item #5 - IT Infrastructure             $50,000             Town Facilities

Summary: This item in the Capital Budget was established six years ago and has been very successful. In Fiscal Year 2017, the following items will be purchased/upgraded with this allocation: Replacement Computers (23); Server Replacement and Upgrade; Network Infrastructure; and Network Switch Upgrades.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Item #6 - Building Security             $60,000             Town Facilities

Summary: This is the third year of a plan to upgrade and update the alarms in all Town buildings. It will include video, swipe cards as well as other entry protective measures to enhance the safety of our employees and the public. This measure is a recommendation of the Police Chief.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Item #7 - Baler             $40,000             Transfer Station

Summary: This will replace the older of the two balers used by the Highway Department at the Transfer Station. In FY 2012, the Town purchased a new baler to be used for our regional recycling efforts. The current, older baler used by the Highway Department at the Town’s transfer station will need to be replaced and upgraded in FY 2017.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Item #8 - Carpet Replacement             $20,000             Library

Summary: The 1999 carpeting on the second and third floors of the library needs replacing. There is much wear in the heavy traffic areas. The carpets in the Children’s Room, Stairs, Lobby, Sibley Hall, and Community Meeting Room were redone 5-7 years ago. This is the second year of a two year replacement plan. Last year, the Town appropriated $22,645 for this purpose. The second year calls for an additional $20,000 for a total cost of $42,645.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Item #9 - Property Improvements             $46,500             Parks

Summary: The Park Commission will use this funding to make the following improvements: Swing Bank at Cow Pond; New Fencing & Fencing Repair at Cow Pond and Woitowicz (Cow Pond fencing as required by Accessibility Review); Engineering study for Cow Pond Parking Lot (Major Safety and Traffic Concerns); Tow Behind Core Aerator; Playground Mulch for Christine Hansen Playground (Mandated by Accessibility Review; and Fencing Replacement for Christine Hansen Playground to match Minuteman Common).

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Item #10 - Police Cruisers             $89,746             Police Department

Summary: This request is to purchase two (2) police cruisers and related equipment to replace two (2) cruisers that are no longer cost effective to maintain. Maintaining six (6) marked cruisers allows for less mileage per year, better maintenance scheduling, assignment of cars to officers and for a programmed replacement schedule that ensures that line cars are rotated out at reasonable mileage and wear, and also that un-marked cars are rotated in the same fashion.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Item #11 - Police Department Tasers             $39,134             Police Department

Summary: The Department has been successful using Tasers as a less aggressive means of controlling combative and non-compliant subjects since 2006. The Department’s Taser inventory is now obsolete, is no longer supported by the manufacturer and in desperate need of replacement.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Item #12 - Golf Carts             $20,000             Groton Country Club

Summary: In FY 2013, the Groton Country Club replaced the fleet of twenty-five (25) golf carts with new 2012 Club Car DS gas powered carts using a five year lease to purchase agreement at an annual cost of approximately $20,000. This article seeks funding for the fifth and final installment payment.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Item #13 - Boom Sprayer Unit             $6,500             Groton Country Club

Summary: In FY 2014, the Groton Country Club replaced this essential sprayer that is needed to regularly distribute fertilizer and pesticides over the golf course throughout the entire golf season. This machine enables the Club to use concentrated liquid chemicals which are both much more efficient and cost effective than granular chemicals. The cost of this Unit is $32,500. The Town financed this purchase with a five (5) year lease to purchase agreement at an annual cost of $6,500. This item is for appropriation of the fourth of five installments.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Item #14 - Triplex Greens Mower             $5,100             Groton Country Club

Summary: The Country Club owns two triplex mowers. One is used to cut the greens. The other is used to cut the tees and collars around the greens. The greens are cut every day in addition to the tees and collars every other day. When this mower is not operating and needs repair, which is a regular occurrence, the Club has no backup to use. All courses have a backup greens mower. The greens must be cut daily or problems such as turf disease become manifest. If this mower is replaced as proposed in FY 2017 it will then be twelve years old. The Club plans to convert it at that point and use it as the tee and collar mower replacing the existing tee and collar mower which is currently over twenty years old. The current replacement cost of this type mower is approximately $25,500. It is recommended that the Town finance it with a five year lease to purchase agreement at an approximate annual cost of $5,100.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


 or to take any other action relative thereto.

-TOWN MANAGER
ARTICLE 7: FEASIBILITY/ASSESSMENT STUDY FOR SENIOR CENTER

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, and/or borrow a sum or sums of money, to be expended by the Town Manager in Fiscal Year 2016, for the purpose of retaining a consultant(s) to conduct a feasibility/assessment study to determine the future needs of the Groton Senior Center, including whether a new facility is needed, and all costs associated and related thereto, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-COUNCIL ON AGING

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously


Summary: This article seeks funding to retain services to review the current Senior Center. The Executive Office of Elder Affairs estimates the growth of the Groton 65 years and older population will increase by 117% by 2020. By 2035 Groton seniors will comprise 40% of the adult population. The current 5,000 square feet senior center, originally designed as a VFW hall and acquired by the Town in 1996 cannot meet the needs of the present senior/adult population. It also will be unable to accommodate the needs of Groton’s expanding senior population and the changing dynamics of senior programming. It is not possible to conduct concurrent programming due to the lack of quiet, separate space, and the Center is prohibited from offering programs for large groups (50 or more) due to room layouts and size. Overall building accessibility in this two story building is sub-standard due to the lack of an elevator. The building also lacks automatic doors, which compromises access as well as the independence and dignity of Center patrons.
ARTICLE 8: EXTEND SEWER SYSTEM TO INCLUDE 122 OLD AYER ROAD

To see if the Town will vote to extend the “Groton Center Sewer System,” as established by the vote of the Special Town Meeting of February 6, 1989, under Article 7, to include the property shown on Assessors’ Lot 222-55 (122 Old Ayer Rd), such extension to be only for the exclusive use of the property currently shown on Groton Assessors’ Maps as Lot 222-55, which is proposed to be used and occupied by Indian Hill Music, Inc., and on the condition that, and only for as long as, said property is used as a music education and performance center by Indian Hill Music, Inc. or its successors or assigns; otherwise, the system extension shall terminate and be null and void; and provided that all costs of designing, laying, and construction of the extension and any associated connection and the cost of additional capacity and the proportionate share of any General Benefit Facilities, and all other costs associated therewith, are paid by the owner of the property benefited thereby, whether by the assessment of betterments or otherwise, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SELECTMEN

Board of Selectmen: Recommended (4 In Favor, 1 Abstain – Schulman)
Finance Committee: No Position


Summary: This article requests authorization from the Town Meeting to extend the Center Sewer System to include 122 Old Ayer Road in order to provide for Indian Hill Music’s use. This extension, if approved, will provide sewer capacity for the exclusive use of Indian Hill Music. Should Indian Hill Music not relocate to this location, the extension of the Center Sewer System will be rescinded.
ARTICLE 9: TRANSFER FUNDING FROM FY 2016 CAPITAL BUDGET

To see if the Town will vote to transfer all or a portion of the unexpended portion of the appropriation voted under Article 9 of the April 27, 2015 Spring Town Meeting, said sum to be expended by the Town Manager in Fiscal Year 2016 to pay for the construction of a new Playground at Cutler Field, and all costs associated and related thereto, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-PARK COMMISSION

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: This warrant article seeks clarification and specific permission to spend funds allocated for playground improvements at Cutler Field on new equipment instead of re-used equipment. No new money is requested. At the 2015 Spring Town Meeting, Town Meeting voted to fund $50,000 of playground improvements (see Warrant Article 9, Item #10 of 2015 Spring Town Meeting Warrant). The Park Commission received the $50,000 but did not spend the money as further cost estimates revealed that the Park Commission would spend less money overall and receive warrantied equipment if it purchases new equipment instead of moving existing playground equipment from the Prescott School playground. If Town Meeting approves this warrant article, the Park Commission would spend fiscal year 2016 allocated funds on the purchase and installation of new playground equipment at Cutler Field playground.
ARTICLE 10: FUNDS TO REPAIR RETAINING WALL AT PUBLIC LIBRARY

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, and/or borrow, a sum or sums of money, to be expended by the Board of Library Trustees in Fiscal Year 2016, to repair the retaining wall located on the south side of the Groton Public Library, and all costs associated and related thereto, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES

Board of Selectmen: Recommendation Deferred Until Town Meeting
Finance Committee: Recommendation Deferred Until Town Meeting


Summary: There is a 35 x 11 foot long retaining wall on the south side of the Library that holds up the front lawn. The wall has held up extremely well for decades – its exact age is not known – but it is now completely cracked down the middle and broken in two. This was caused either by improper drainage or root pressure from large plantings or a combination of the two. The Library is requesting $30,530 to repair the wall. This will involve excavating the front lawn to below the base of the wall, pulling the broken section back into line, installing steel plates to secure both wall pieces, filling the crack(s) with cement, and adding stone and a pipe that runs under the wall for proper water drainage. Additionally, a 4 foot high safety fence will need to be installed on top of the wall, as required by building code for any drops over 30 inches high. After the wall work is completed, most of the left side of the front of the library will be nothing but dirt. A landscaper will be retained to install planting beds, a new lawn, and new plantings, and to edge and mulch the area to get it back to the way it currently exists.
ARTICLE 11: CURRENT FISCAL YEAR LINE ITEM TRANSFERS

To see if the Town will vote to transfer certain sums of money within the Fiscal Year 2016 budget, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SELECTMEN

Board of Selectmen: Recommendation Deferred Until Town Meeting
Finance Committee: Recommendation Deferred Until Town Meeting

Summary: To transfer money within the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget should the need arise. A handout explaining any necessary transfers will be available at Town Meeting.
ARTICLE 12: APPROPRIATE MONEY TO OFFSET SNOW & ICE DEFICIT

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate, transfer from available funds, and/or borrow a sum or sums of money, to be expended by the Town Manager, to reduce the deficit in the Fiscal Year 2016 Snow and Ice Budget, as approved under Article 8 of the 2015 Spring Town Meeting, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-TOWN MANAGER

Board of Selectmen: Recommendation Deferred Until Town Meeting
Finance Committee: Recommendation Deferred Until Town Meeting


Summary: The Town anticipates a deficit in the Fiscal Year 2016 Snow and Ice Budget of approximately $100,000. Ordinarily, such a deficit is made up in the following Fiscal Year. However, in an effort to minimize the impact on the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget, the Town Manager has recommended that some of the deficit be dealt with this year by utilizing any available funds from the FY 2016 Operating Budget, Free Cash, or the Town’s Overlay Surplus Reserve. The appropriation under this Article will reduce the deficit.
ARTICLE 13: TRANSFER WITHIN WATER ENTERPRISE FUND

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Groton Water Department to transfer a sum or sums of money from the Water Enterprise Fund Surplus to the Fiscal Year 2016 Water Department Budget, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF WATER COMMISSIONERS

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously
Water Commission: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: This article allows the Water Department to transfer money from its surplus account to cover any deficit in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. More information will be provided at Town Meeting to explain any transfer requested under this article.
ARTICLE 14: TRANSFER WITHIN SEWER ENTERPRISE FUND

To see if the Town will vote to transfer a sum or sums of money from the Sewer Enterprise Fund Surplus to the Fiscal Year 2016 Sewer Enterprise Department budget, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SEWER COMMISSIONERS

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously
Sewer Commission
Recommended Unanimously

Summary: This article allows the Sewer Department to transfer money from its surplus account to cover any deficit in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. More information will be provided at Town Meeting to explain any transfer requested under this article.
ARTICLE 15: PRIOR YEAR BILLS

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds, a sum or sums of money for the payment of unpaid bills from prior fiscal years, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SELECTMEN

Board of Selectmen: Recommendation Deferred Until Town Meeting
Finance Committee: Recommendation Deferred Until Town Meeting

Summary: Town Meeting approval is required to pay bills from a prior fiscal year. A list of unpaid bills will be provided at Town Meeting.
ARTICLE 16: APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR DEFICIT BALANCES IN GRANTS

To see if the Town will vote to transfer a sum or sums of money from available funds to offset a deficit balance for the 911 Training Grant for Fiscal Year 2014, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SELECTMEN

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: Over the last several years, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has awarded the Town of Groton grant money to be used for training of Dispatch personnel. These are reimbursable grants; the award is not forwarded to the Town until after the expense has been made. In regards to the grant noted above, the Commonwealth disallowed a small portion of the Town’s reimbursement request after the vendors had been paid. This deficit must be cleared in order to close out the account for FY16 year end.
ARTICLE 17: AID TO ELDERLY AND DISABLED TAXATION FUND

To see if the Town will vote to accept the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 60, §3D to establish a Town aid to the elderly and disabled taxation fund for the purpose of defraying the real estate taxes of elderly and disabled persons of low income; and further to establish a taxation aid committee to consist of the chairman of the Board of Assessors, the Town Treasurer and three residents of the Town to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen, which committee shall adopt rules and regulations to carry out the purposes of the fund and to identify the recipients of such aid; or to take any other action relative thereto.

-TOWN MANAGER

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: Chapter 60, §3D allows the Town to set up a separate fund to which residents may donate money that can be disbursed for property tax relief for low-income elderly property owners and qualifying disabled owners.
ARTICLE 18: COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE FUNDING ACCOUNTS

To see if the Town will vote to make the following appropriations from the Community Preservation Fund.

Allocation of Community Preservation Funds to the following sub accounts:

CPC Operating Expenses             $10,000
Open Space Reserve             $65,000
Historic Resource Reserve             $65,000
Community Housing Reserve             $65,000
Unallocated Reserve             $445,500

or to take any other action relative thereto.

-COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously
Community Preservation Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: This is an accounting procedure that is necessary to ensure the Community Preservation Committee will have access to the funds raised during Fiscal Year 2017. Except for the CPC Operating Expenses, none of these funds will be spent without additional approval at Town Meeting.
ARTICLE 19: COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS

To see if the Town will vote to adopt and approve the recommendations of the Community Preservation Committee for Fiscal Year 2017, and vote to implement such recommendations by appropriating a sum or sums of money from the Community Preservation Fund established pursuant to Chapter 44B of the General Laws, and by authorizing the Board of Selectmen, with the approval of the Community Preservation Committee, to acquire, by purchase, gift or eminent domain, such real property interests in the name of the Town, or enforceable by the Town, including real property interests in the form of permanent affordable housing restrictions and historical preservation restrictions that will meet the requirements of Chapter 184 of the General Laws, as may be necessary or proper to carry out the foregoing, or to take any other action relative thereto.

CPC Proposal A:             Housing Coordinator Salary             $52,500

Summary: The Town established the position of Housing Coordinator in 2009. Since that time, the Community Preservation Administrative Account has paid the salary of this position. Two years ago, the Community Preservation Committee approved the increase of the positon to 25 hours and requested that it become an annual funding item to be approved by Town Meeting, with the funding to come from the Community Housing Reserve. Town Meeting approved this for the last two years. This will be the third year that this position will be funded in this manner. The full amount is to be paid from the Community Housing Reserve.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously
Community Preservation Committee: Recommended Unanimously

CPC Proposal B:             Middle School Track Rehabilitation             $160,000

Summary: This project would re-surface the track at the Middle School. There are a number of benefits for executing this project. This project will upgrade a valuable asset for the Middle School. This facility receives significant use by the general public, including acting as the site for the annual Groton Road Race. Utilizing CPA funding for this project would not require increasing the tax burden for residents. In addition, rehabilitating the track will provide improved safety for all the children using the track. The full amount is to be paid from the Unallocated Reserve.

Board of Selectmen: Deferred (1 In Favor – Cunningham, 4 Deferred)
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously
Community Preservation Committee: Recommended (5 In Favor, 1 Against – Hewitt)

CPC Proposal C:             Historic Monument Restoration             $38,000

Summary: For the last two years, the Groton Historical Commission has undertaken projects to restore 27 milestones installed throughout Groton. This project will focus on the remaining 56 monuments still visible throughout Town. This work will take place in two phases, with the first phase being funded in Fiscal Year 2017. The first phase will consist of location, and condition assessment by a stonework professional and a specialist in historic metals preservation. Up to five stone monuments will be restored and a report will be prepared describing the location and condition of each monument and recommended treatment specifications. The full amount is to be paid from the Historic Reserve.

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously
Community Preservation Committee: Recommended Unanimously

CPC Proposal D:             Prescott School Upgrades             $165,071

Summary: The Friends of Prescott have submitted this application for fire suppression improvement and handicapped improvements to the Prescott School. The future of the Building is currently being reviewed by the Municipal Building Committee for the Prescott School. Any future use of the Building by the Town is going to require a fire suppression system and improved handicapped access. This funding will be used to install a fire suppression system on the second floor and various handicapped improvements throughout the building, all of which will be needed regardless of the future of the building. To fund this, $100,000 would be paid from the Historic Reserve and $65,071 would be paid from the Unallocated Reserve.

Board of Selectmen: Recommendation (3 In Favor, 1 Against – Degen, 1 Deferred – Eliot)
Finance Committee: Recommended (4 In Favor, 1 Against – Manugian, 2 Deferred – Robertson, Prest)
Community Preservation Committee: Recommended Unanimously

-COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE

ARTICLE 20: AMEND CHAPTER 218-28 – ZONING CODE

To see if the Town will vote to amend the Code of the Town of Groton, Chapter 218 Zoning as follows: Amend Section 218-28 Development Rate Limitation by deleting Section 218-28, Development Rate Limitation, in its entirety, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-PLANNING BOARD

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: No Position
Planning Board:  Recommended Unanimously

Summary: The Development Rate Limitation provisions are being deleted because the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has determined that limiting growth for an unlimited duration is not a proper exercise of zoning authority.
ARTICLE 21: AMEND CHAPTER 218-6 – ZONING CODE

To see if the Town will vote to amend the Code of the Town of Groton, Chapter 218 Zoning as follows:

By deleting existing Section 218-6.E (1), which reads as follows:

(1) A nonconforming structure or use may be altered or extended, provided that such alteration or extension is in accordance with the applicable intensity regulations or other dimensional requirements of this chapter and does not increase the extent of the nonconformity, and provided further that the Board of Appeals determines by the grant of a special permit that such alteration or extension is not substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the existing nonconforming structure or use, except that no special permit is needed if the alteration is to a nonconforming single- or two-family dwelling and said alteration does not increase the nonconforming nature of the dwelling.

And by inserting in its place a new Section 218-6.E (1), to read as follows:

(1) A nonconforming structure or use may be altered or extended, provided that such alteration or extension is in accordance with the applicable intensity regulations or other dimensional requirements of this chapter and does not increase the extent of the nonconformity, and provided further that the Board of Appeals determines by the grant of a special permit that such alteration or extension is not substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the existing nonconforming structure or use, except that no special permit is needed if the alteration is to a nonconforming single- or two-family dwelling and said alteration does not increase the nonconforming nature of the dwelling. Notwithstanding §218-6.B, a structure which was used as a single- or two-family residential structure shall be eligible for treatment as a nonconforming structure hereunder regardless of any period of nonuse.

or to take any other action relative thereto.

-PLANNING BOARD
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: No Position
Planning Board: Recommended Unanimously
Zoning Board of Appeals: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: The provisions for nonconforming uses, lots and structures are being amended for single-family, residential development to provide greater flexibility for residential owners and more clarity for permitting officials. The proposed amendment is based upon a collaborative effort by members of the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. It will allow single- and two-family residential structures to be eligible for nonconforming structure status regardless of the limitation in Section 218-6.B of the Zoning bylaw, which states: “Wherever a nonconforming use or structure has not been used for a period of more than two years, it shall not be reestablished, and any future use or structure shall conform to this chapter.”
ARTICLE 22: AMEND CHAPTER 128, SECTION 3(E)

To see if the Town will vote to amend Section 3(E) Chapter 128, of the Code of the Town of Groton, Dogs by deleting the phrase “10 days” and inserting in its place “7 days,” thereby changing the length of time a dog must remain in the Groton Town shelter from ten days to seven days, as is required by State Law, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-GROTON ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: No Position

Summary: This amendment will allow the dog to be placed earlier in a pre-adoptive situation with one of the many rescue organizations in our area. Ten days is a long time for a dog to be in confinement. This article is sponsored by Groton Animal Control Officers Tom Delaney and George Moore.
ARTICLE 23: NON-BINDING RESOLUTION (TENNESSEE GAS PIPELINE INTERVENTION)

To see if the Town will vote to direct the Board of Selectmen to file as Interveners to oppose the Northeast Expansion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in Massachusetts, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SELECTMEN

Board of Selectmen: Recommended (3 In Favor, 1 Against – Petropoulos, 1 Deferred – Eliot)
Finance Committee: No Position

Summary: On June 30, 2014, the Groton Special Town Meeting voted to adopt a non-binding resolution to oppose the Northeast Expansion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in Massachusetts. Since that time, the primary route of the Pipeline has been changed to a route in Southern New Hampshire. On January 11, 2016, the Board of Selectmen voted to direct the Town Manager to file as an intervener on behalf of the Town of Groton in the regulatory proceedings relating to this project. The purpose of this non-binding resolution is to either confirm this vote or provide the Board with new direction.
ARTICLE 24: APPLY FOR GRANTS

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to apply for Federal and State Grants for which the Town is or may be eligible and to expend the funds received thereunder, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF SELECTMEN

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: To allow the Board of Selectmen to apply for grants that may become available during the year.
ARTICLE 25: DEBT SERVICE FOR SURRENDEN FARMS

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate and/or transfer from available funds, a sum or sums of money, pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44B, Section 5 for debt service for Fiscal Year 2017 for the Surrenden Farm Land Acquisition, as authorized under Article 1 of the April 24, 2006 Special Town Meeting, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously
Community Preservation Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary:
This article appropriates the debt payments for the Surrenden Farm Land Purchase. Funding for this article will come from Community Preservation Funds. The anticipated debt service for Fiscal Year 2017 is $476,144. To fund this, $80,000 would be paid from the Open Space Reserve and $396,144 would be paid from the Unallocated Reserve.
ARTICLE 26: STORMWATER MANAGEMENT REVOLVING FUND

To see if the Town will vote to renew the revolving account under Chapter 44, §53E½ of the General Laws for the purpose of utilizing receipts and fees received under Chapter 198 of the Code of the Town of Groton, Stormwater Management - Low Impact Development, said receipts and fees to be credited to said account and expended by the Earth Removal Stormwater Advisory Committee for administration, oversight and review activities under Chapter 198, with the maximum amount to be expended in said account not to exceed $10,000 for Fiscal Year 2017, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-STORMWATER ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: This article reauthorizes the use of the revolving fund for technical review and processing of applications submitted under Chapter 198, Stormwater Management - Low Impact Development.
ARTICLE 27: CONSERVATION REVOLVING FUNDS

To see if the Town will vote to renew the revolving account under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, §53E½ for the purpose of utilizing receipts and fees received for agricultural or silvicultural activities conducted on Town-owned conservation land under the care and custody of the Conservation Commission, said receipts and fees are to be credited to said account and expended by the Conservation Commission for oversight and management of conservation lands owned by the Town, with the maximum amount in said account not to exceed $50,000 for Fiscal Year 2017, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-CONSERVATION COMMISSION

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: This article reauthorizes the use of the revolving fund (established in 2007) for the management of conservation land in Groton. Reauthorization allows for reduced fees for management of conservation lands in Groton.
ARTICLE 28: AFFORDABLE HOUSING REVOLVING FUND

To see if the Town will vote to renew, under the authority of the Town Manager, a revolving account under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, §53E½ for the receipt of revenue and funding of expenses related to marketing and monitoring Affordable Housing units within developments in the Town, said revenue, in the form of receipts and fees, to be credited to said account and expended by the Town Manager for this purpose, with the maximum amount in said account not to exceed $50,000 for Fiscal Year 2017, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-TOWN MANAGER

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: A revolving fund is a tool used by cities and towns to allow a particular department or board to account for its revenues and expenses for particular programs separately from the General Fund. Program expenses can be directly offset by related revenue taken in, and expenditure of those monies requires no additional appropriation. Revolving funds must be authorized annually by Town Meeting at which time spending limits are established. This particular fund will utilize revenue collected in connection with land development for the purpose of promoting occupancy of affordable housing units as they become available. The funds will be spent largely on marketing and monitoring functions.
ARTICLE 29: HOME RECYCLING REVOLVING FUND

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Home Recycling Revolving Fund, in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, §53E½, to be expended under the direction of the DPW Director, in order to place anticipated revenues collected from the sale of recycling equipment as well as monies received through related State grants, which shall be used to purchase additional recycling equipment, advertise the availability of such items, or undertake recycling related activities, and to establish the limit on expenditures from said account for Fiscal Year 2017 at $10,000, or take any other action relative thereto.

-TOWN MANAGER

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: This account is proposed in order to permit the DPW to accept receipts from both the sale of recycling equipment (including, but not limited to, recycling and compost bins) and funding obtained through related state grants, which may upon deposit be used without further appropriation to purchase additional recycling equipment or other items that will serve to enhance town-wide recycling efforts.
ARTICLE 30: ACCEPT LAW INCREASING REAL ESTATE TAX EXEMPTIONS

To see if the Town will vote to accept the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 59, §5C1/2, inserted by Section 14 of Chapter 62 of the Acts of 2014, for the purpose of increasing the real estate tax exemptions by 100 percent to all persons who qualify for property tax exemptions under Clauses 17, 17C, 17C1/2, 17D, 22, 22A, 22B, 22C, 22D, 22E, 37, 37A, 41, 41B, 41C or 43 of G.L. c. 59, §5, or to take any other action relative thereto.

-BOARD OF ASSESSORS

Board of Selectmen: Recommended Unanimously
Finance Committee: Recommended Unanimously

Summary: This article is geared toward elderly persons, blind persons and veterans with service connected disabilities. It would increase the exemption under state statute up to 100% of the exemption. Section 5C1/2 was enacted in 2014 and replaces the special legislation that previously authorized the additional exemption, section 4 of Chapter 73 of the Acts of 1986, as amended by Chapter 126 of the Acts of 1988.

Town Meeting

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Introduction

Open Town Meeting is the form of municipal government for Groton. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this is the basic form of governance for most small municipalities. The town is the basic unit, and Town Meeting is the method provided by the Constitution and the State Legislature for the governance of towns. Property ownership is not a requirement for voting at Town Meeting. Renters as well as owners, if registered to vote, may attend and vote at Town Meeting.

In the Open Town Meeting form of government, any registered voter may attend, speak, and vote. Attendance must be in person; there is no absentee voting in a Massachusetts Town Meeting. State law requires the town to hold at least one Town Meeting each year in the early Spring. This is an Annual Town Meeting, and the principal business of the Meeting is to appropriate money to fund the Town's expenses for the fiscal year which commences the following July 1st. Money may be provided from "free cash" or other available funds; by borrowing; or, within limits set by the state, by appropriation directly against the municipal tax rate. The town's tax rate is set annually through assessment of both real and personal property values. The Annual Town Meeting allows for action on other subjects also. If additional matters come up at a later time, they may become the subject of a Special Town Meeting which may be called by the Selectmen or by citizen's petition.

The Warrant

The Warrant is the notice to the voters of matters to be considered and acted on at an Annual or Special Town Meeting. Sometimes the articles in the Warrant are quite general, and sometimes they are very detailed and specific. Town departments and officials may request the Board of Selectmen to insert articles in the Warrant during the period in which the Selectmen publicly declare that the Warrant is "open". Citizens may also petition to place articles on an "Annual Town Meeting" Warrant. Petitions require 10 signatures of registered voters for an Annual Town Meeting Warrant, 100 signatures for a Special Town Meeting. A copy of the Warrant is posted by a Constable at the Town Hall and both Post Offices as well as other public places at least 14 days before any Town Meeting.

In the Warrant, the Selectmen call the Meeting to convene at a certain time and place within Groton. If all the articles are not acted upon in one session, the voters present decide the date and time to which the Meeting will be adjourned to complete its business. However, the Selectmen generally have suggested additional dates, reserved the facilities and made arrangements for public address systems and other aids so that Meeting usually decides to reconvene on the dates suggested by the Selectmen.

Annual Town Meetings

Groton holds two Annual Town Meetings (ATM) per year. The Spring Town Meeting is held on the last Monday in April, primarily consisting of financial articles and the budget. The Fall Town Meeting is held on the third Monday in October. The Annual Town Meetings are called to order at 7:00 PM. There is no quorum requirement for an Annual Town Meeting, which means the meeting can begin immediately no matter how many people are in attendance.

Special Town Meeting

Special Town Meetings (STM) may be called by the Board of Selectmen or by any other voter upon petition to the Selectmen. A petition to call a Special Town Meeting requires 200 signatures. A petition to add an article to the Warrant of a STM which has already been scheduled requires 100 signatures, if the Warrant is still "open". All signatures must be certified by the Town Clerk to verify that the signers are registered voters in the Town.

Special Town Meetings called by petition usually reflect the specific need of a group or committee, however, once the Warrant is opened, other articles may be added. The Board of Selectmen must call the Special Town Meeting for a date no later than 45 days after a petition is filed, and the Warrant must be posted at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date. There is a quorum requirement at Special Town Meetings; before the Meeting may begin, 2% of the registered voters must be in attendance.

Rules and Procedures of Town Meeting

Groton's Town Meeting is a blend of tradition and rules established in the book Town Meeting Time, a handbook of parliamentary law prepared under the auspices of the Massachusetts Moderators Association. This guide is simpler and easier to understand than the more widely known and consulted Robert's Rules of Order. Both books are available for reference at the Groton Public Library.

Town Meeting in Groton is held in the Groton-Dunstable Middle School Auditorium located on Main Street (Route 119) unless otherwise posted.

The Moderator

Town Meeting is conducted by the Moderator, an elected position with a term of three years. The Moderator serves as the presiding officer, regulating the proceedings, deciding all questions of order and making public declaration of all votes. The Moderator's goal is to conduct the Town Meeting in a fair, yet expeditious manner, allowing all points of view a fair hearing while still keeping the process moving. The current Moderator is Jason Kauppi. Mr. Kauppi can be reached at (978) 732-8671 or moderator@townofgroton.org.

Town Meeting Agenda

The Warrant is the official agenda for the Annual Town Meeting. It is mailed to each resident, and the voter should bring it to the Meeting, as extra copies are limited. The Annual Town Report and other informational material of importance to the Meeting are available in the lobby outside the Auditorium as well as in the Town Clerk's office in Town Hall.

The Town Report contains much information about Groton, including the names of all elected and appointed officials, their reports for the preceding year, minutes of the previous year's Town Meetings, and financial data about the Town contained in the Town Accountant and Treasurer's Reports.

The printed Warrant contains all the articles for consideration, together with such recommendations to the Town as were available from the Finance Committee and the Selectmen. The voter needs the Finance Committee Report and the handouts since the Moderator generally refers to article by subject matter only, and frequently will not read the full text of motions to be made under the articles, but may refer instead to the Warrant. The Finance Committee holds a public hearing on the budget and financial articles and makes a Report available before the Town Meeting. Notice of the public hearing is published in the local newspaper.

Articles are usually considered in the order in which they appear in the Warrant. The Selectmen determine the order in which articles are placed on the Warrant, taking into consideration appropriateness of subject matter, the need for professional support personnel (such as engineering consultants) to be present and other relevant interests. Articles dealing with similar subject matter are often grouped together: financial, school, planning and zoning, etc. Citizen's petitions are generally placed at the end of the Warrant.

There are occasions when common sense or expediency dictates that articles should be considered in a different order from that in the Warrant, and the Meeting has the power to change the order. If the desired change is to defer consideration of an article, it may be accomplished by a "motion to postpone action" until after a specified article. If the desired change is advancement of a later article, it may be presented as a main motion if, and only if, no other business is pending. Votes to change the order of consideration normally require majority vote for passage, but if the motion is mere jockeying for position, the Moderator may, under his power to regulate the proceedings, require a two-thirds vote. A motion "to postpone indefinitely" effectively kills action on an article.

Articles and Motions

To vote effectively at Town Meeting requires both understanding the issues and understanding the wording of the motion on which one is voting. An article (as printed in the Warrant and Finance Committee Report) describes the subject under discussion, while a motion made under the article describes the specific action on which one is voting. In some cases, the action is fully and accurately described by the article, and the motion may simply be "to take affirmative action under article ___." Motions must be seconded before discussion may begin or a vote is taken. At the Groton ATM, motions for each article have recently been made and seconded by the Selectmen. A presentation of the article may then be made by the group or groups submitting the article for consideration.

Frequently, it happens that the wording of a motion differs from the wording of an article. The wording of the article must be settled prior to the close of the Warrant. The Moderator will not allow any expansion of the intent of the article since the voters must be properly warned in advance of actions they will be asked to approve. Great efforts are made to have the wording of motions in hand a few days before ATM in order to permit review by the Moderator and Town Counsel.

Speaking on a Motion

When speaking on a motion, a voter should go to one of the microphones located at the front or in the center aisle of the auditorium and give name and address and committee association (if speaking on behalf of a committee). All remarks and questions should be addressed to the Moderator. When it is apparent that several people wish to be heard, lining up expedites the proceedings. In recognizing persons who wish to speak, the Moderator gives preference to those who have not already spoken on the article currently under discussion.

Within the general framework of parliamentary procedures, the goal of the Moderator is basic fairness in the consideration of issues before the ATM. This does not mean that everyone who wishes to speak will be heard: when the Meeting decides that it has heard enough discussion and is ready to vote, a motion may be made from the floor to "move the question". Such a motion suppresses debate and must be voted on immediately. The Moderator will not hear a motion to move the question if it is presented at the end of a statement or opinion.

Amendments

If a voter wishes to change a motion in some fashion, the procedure is to amend the motion. All motions to amend must be in writing and must state exactly how the voter wishes to change the motion. That way, the Moderator can know exactly what it is the voter wants to do before ruling on the motion or putting it to a vote. A voter who wishes to amend a main motion must have the amendment in writing and available to hand to the Moderator before rising to offer the amendment. The Moderator may refuse to put to the Meeting an amendment which is not immediately available in writing - The Moderator also will rule out of order any motion to amend which changes the original motion so drastically that, in the Moderator's opinion, the motion is no longer within the "four corners" of the article.

An amendment may consist of adding, deleting, or substituting words in the motion. It may take the form of a "motion to substitute" a different motion. Sometimes a speaker tries to amend "the article", but this is improper language. It is the motion on the floor, not the article on the Warrant, that is to be amended.

A motion to amend requires only a majority vote, even though the motion to be amended may require two-thirds or more for final passage.

Size of Vote

A majority vote is required for passage of a motion unless otherwise specified. Most votes are voice votes, the results determined by the Moderator.

Any seven voters may challenge the ruling of the chair on a voice vote. The Moderator will then call for a standing vote. This action must be taken immediately after the Moderator declares the vote result. A standing vote simply means a visual counting of "yes" or "no" votes by raised hands. These votes are counted by Tellers, registered voters in attendance who com forward and are sworn in by the Town Clerk to count the vote.

Some motions require a two-thirds vote for passage. Included in this category are votes which authorize borrowing, property transfers, and zoning bylaw changes. A few motions require even higher levels of affirmative vote for passage.

Reconsideration

Groton allows a motion for reconsideration, but only under specific conditions spelled out in Section 81-5 of the Town Code:

At any Annual or Special Town Meeting, no motion to reconsider shall be made at the initial or an adjourned session except by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the voters present and voting.

(In addition, the Moderator also requires that a voter who has voted on the prevailing side of the question must put the question to reconsider.)

A motion to reconsider requires a second, may not interrupt a speaker, is debatable to the same extent as the motion being reconsidered, and requires a majority vote irrespective of the size of vote required for passage of the motion to be considered.

Ballot Voting

While all voting takes place for Town government at Town Meeting, ballot voting does exist in Groton for these occasions:

Local, State, National elections. To decide of express the sense of the Meeting on certain major issues before the Town. Funding for expenditures approved at Annual or Special Town Meeting that go beyond the levy limit; these require an override, a capital outlay exclusion, or a debt exclusion.

The levy limit is a restriction on the amount of property tax a community may levy. Under state law (Proposition 2 1/2), a community may not increase taxes more that 2 1/2% over the previous year's levy (plus the value of any new growth that has occurred in the Town) and may not levy more than 2 1/2% of the total full and fair cash value of all taxable real and personal property in the community.

An override asks the town to approve a permanent increase in the levy limit of a community.

A capital outlay exclusion asks the town to approve a temporary increase over the levy limit to raise funds for the cost of a specific capital project.

A debt exclusion asks the town to add to the levy limit an amount equal to the annual debt service for a specific capital project; the increase continues only for the life of the debt.

Citizens who organize to influence the outcome of a ballot vote must register with the Town Clerk, account for any money they raise, and file reports according to rules established by the State Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Annual Town Election

Groton's Annual Town Election is held on the fourth Tuesday following the first session of the Spring Town Meeting, and is considered part of the meeting. This usually falls in the third week of May. The Election is called on the same warrant as the Spring Town Meeting. All multiple member elected offices have an open seat at each election. Questions to the voters will also appear on the town ballot as required.

Regional School Districts

Groton belongs to two Regional School Districts: the two-town Groton-Dunstable Regional School District and the seven-town Nashoba Valley Technical High School District (Chelmsford, Groton, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend, and Westford). School assessments are part of the annual budget and are voted upon by the Town Meeting in the towns that make up the District. If the results of the votes in the towns differ, the question is returned to the town voting "no"; a second "no" vote in that town requires a joint meeting of the towns unless the difference is otherwise resolved.

Override and debt exclusion questions for the school districts are also decided by ballot vote. Borrowing for the schools is approved when two-thirds of the District School Committee members vote to incur the debt. Once the District School Committee votes to incur debt, the towns must act within 60 days to approve or disapprove. Approval is automatic if no action is taken by the towns. The ballot vote to authorize a debt exclusion question may be held either before or after the Town Meeting at which the borrowing article is considered. The Town Meeting vote appropriates the money; the ballot vote approves the debt exclusion or override.

For local elections, the ballot vote is held on the third Monday following the beginning of the Spring ATM. The polling center is open from 7 AM to 8 PM.

Voter Registration

Residents may register to vote at the Town Clerk's office in Town Hall in Groton or at any other place designated by State law. You may vote only in the town you choose as your official place of residence. Voters must be registered to vote for Annual Town Meetings the 20th day before the meeting and 10 days before a Special Town Meeting. To vote in a special election, voters must be registered 20 days before the election. On the last day, the registrars of voters must hold a registration session lasting at least from 9 AM to 8 PM. Once registered, you are always registered unless you move to another town. However, failure to respond to the Census could cause you name to be placed on the inactive voting list by requirement of the office of Secretary of State. Special registration dates are announced by the Town Clerk.

Miscellaneous Matters

The tables in the lobby are reserved for material voters will need for the Meeting, such as copies of motions, the Finance Committee Report, the Warrant, and similar materials. Within the limits of available space, persons wishing to distribute materials relating to matters to be considered at the Meeting may place copies on the tables. People wishing to distribute information usually contact the Selectmen's office first. Sufficient copies must be provided for all voters who attend the Meeting. Individual distribution of materials, signing of petitions, and similar activities must be done outside the lobby space, in order to permit orderly check-in of voters and efficient distribution of materials needed for the Meeting.

In addition to Town Meeting, Groton's municipal government is made up of almost a hundred officials and committees, of which approximately 75 are appointed by the Board of Selectmen. A few positions are appointed by the Moderator. Together, these officials conduct the business of the Town on a day-to-day basis, providing administrative, public health and safety, financial, utility, recreation, and other services.

Other Sources of Information About Town Government

Directory of Town Officials and Committees Committee Handbook Town Report (printed annually)

These materials are available at the Town Clerk's office in Town Hall.

Broadcast

ATM and STM are taped either for live broadcast on local Groton access cable channel 17 or for delayed viewing.

Refreshments

Refreshments are made available at Town Meetings by various civic groups in town as a fundraising event for that group. Those interested in providing refreshments should contact the Board of Selectmen's office prior to a Town Meeting.