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Citizens for Limited Taxation

Board accepts 13 articles for fall TM Monday, September 8, 2003
Craig MacCormack Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- Selectmen closed the warrant for the Oct. 7 Town Meeting Thursday night with little fanfare.

That does not necessarily mean, though, that the 13-article slate -- which includes several budget-related efforts, another try to finalize a land deal with Natick and an increase in marriage license fees -- will breeze by.

Also on the warrant are requests to relocate the senior center, renovate 57 acres of Tercentennial Park with a $137,000 state matching grant and create a revolving account for money brought in from a school bus fee.

Petitions include one from the Framingham Taxpayers Association dealing with money collected through pay-as-you-throw trash pickup and an effort to get formal backing from selectmen for the Baby Safe Haven Law.

The article expected to get the most attention, if it appears, is the land deal with Natick, which centers around a 14.5-acre parcel on Morency Street in Natick that would leave about 13 acres of open space and bring four new homes.

Conservation advocates plan to offer a counterproposal on Town Meeting floor, asking members to support keeping the entire area as open space.  Some town officials say selling the entire parcel may also become an option.

Town Counsel Chris Petrini has been working with his Natick counterpart, John Flynn, to finalize the compromise, saying he will let selectmen know by their Sept.  18 meeting whether the article should go forward.

Another article that could generate some buzz is the request to reduce property taxes to conform with a proposed trash collection fee.

If pay-as-you-throw trash collection brings in $2 million townwide, that should mean a $2 million overall drop in property taxes, said FTA spokesman Steve Kruger, one of several hundred signers of the petition article.

The senior center study committee is still negotiating to buy the former RCN building, with haggling over the $3 million asking price continuing.  When the number is struck, the committee will ask the town to pay for half.

The rest will come from private donations and contributions.

Framingham could be the first MetroWest Town Meeting to approve the baby safe haven measure and ask the Legislature for a special act, making the local law final.

Petrini is reviewing whether a request to require all developers to include at least 10 percent affordable housing in new projects of 10 or more units should be on the Town Meeting warrant.

The measure, sponsored by the Standing Committee on Planning and Zoning, was shot down in the spring.

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