AYER — All registered Ayer voters are called to attend the Ayer special Fall Town Meeting. The meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. this coming Monday, Oct. 24 in the auditorium at Ayer-Shirley Regional High School on Washington Street, Ayer.
There are nine warrant articles.
ARTICLE 1 suggests that all future amendments to the Ayer-Shirley Regional School Agreement be aired at public hearings before advancing to Town Meetings in the two towns. For passage, this article requires a simple majority vote of both the Ayer and Shirley Town Meetings. Shirley’s Special Town Meeting convenes Nov. 2.
ARTICLE 2 suggests an amendment to the Regional School Agreement to restructure debt loads for capital building projects. For elementary schools, Ayer and Shirley would agree to service their own debt loads for the separately-owned elementary schools (unless student enrollment exceeds 15-percent from the other town). For secondary schools, the debt service would be apportioned between the towns based on “foundation enrollment” figures reflecting all students from a town, including all students from K-12, School Choice and the Parker Charter School (but not the vocational school students). The article also requires a simple majority vote from each the Ayer and Shirley Town Meetings.
ARTICLE 3 asks whether or not to purchase a $69,430 emergency generator for Town Hall with Community Preservation Act (CPA) monies to prevent a catastrophic loss of property in the event of a power outage. The article requires a simple majority vote.
ARTICLE 4 asks whether to spend no greater than $35,000 for weed treatment at Flanagan (also known as Fletcher’s) Pond, and an additional $10,000 to be administered by the newly formed Ayer Dam and Pond Management Committee to study the needs of dams and ponds town wide. The funding source would be the town’s CPA fund. The article requires a simple majority vote.
ARTICLE 5 — If Article 4 fails, Article 5 asks Town Meeting to balance the current budget by paying $35,000 for the Flanagan Pond weed treatment from the Stabilization Fund, as Annual Town Meeting voted in May to spend that sum on Flanagan Pond weed treatments, though no funding source was indentified at that springtime meeting to cover the cost. The article requires a two-thirds vote.
ARTICLE 6 -The Ayer Water Department seeks authorization to borrower $100,000 to be repaid through its Enterprise Fund to augment $150,000 authorized at May’s Annual Town Meeting for the overhaul of the Spectacle Pond well field. A simple majority vote is needed for passage.
Article 7 — Voters will decide whether to accept 5 streets within the Pond View Estates project as public ways. If passed, the town would maintain and service the roads: Loon Hill Road, Iris Avenue and Rose, Orchid and Lilac Lanes. A simple majority vote is needed for passage.
Article 8 — Voters will decide whether to grant a permanent easement to Bonnet Realty, the new owner of the Fletcher (also known as the “Nutting”) Building at 49 Main Street, so that it may construct a 94 square foot handicapped accessible ramp along half of the width of the public sidewalk along the Pleasant Street side of the property. Liability, maintenance and snow removal duties would likewise follow to Bonnet Realty. A simple majority vote is required for passage of the easement.
Article 9 — Voters will decide whether to institute a bylaw which would restrict where Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders may reside in town. The bylaw, as drafted, proposes that no such sex offender may establish a permanent residence (lasting longer than 5 consecutive days or any 14-day aggregate in a calendar year) within 1,000 feet of a public or private school or licensed day care facility, passive or active recreation park such as the playing fields, conservation lands, Rail Trail bike path, or town beach. There would be similar residency restrictions barring offenders from living 1,000 feet from senior housing projects and senior community centers, such as the Council on Aging. Violators would be subject to a non-criminal fine, with notifications both to the offender’s landlord but also the Sex Offender Registry Board which labels offenders as Level 2 (at moderate risk of re-offense) or 3 (at high risk of reoffending). A simple majority vote is required for passage of the bylaw.
You can view the 11-page warrant in its entirety at www.ayer.ma.us by clicking on “Administration” link, then clicking on the “Board of Selectmen” link and then scrolling to the bottom left hand portion of the page and clicking on the link labeled “Warrant for Town Meeting is now available on-line.”