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Charter articles lead warrant; Straw poll to guide board on buildings.

Byline: Donna Boynton

GRAFTON Charter amendments, a straw poll to help the town determine the fate of One Grafton Common and several housekeeping items are on the semi-annual town meeting warrant for Monday night.

The semi-annual town meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

There are 24 articles on the warrant.

The Charter Review Committee has submitted five articles for minor revisions to the Town Charter. They include adjustments to the recall procedure, the initiation of warrant articles, and guidelines for including the Board of Sewer Commissioners in the charter.

At the end of the meeting, the Board of Selectmen will take a sense of the meeting vote, asking voters if the town should keep or sell One Grafton Common. The vote is a non-binding poll of the voters to help guide selectmen in deciding whether to continue investing in the historic building or sell it to a private owner.

A recent architects report estimated that repairs would cost at least $2.5 million.

Apple Tree Arts, a local nonprofit organization, has expressed interest in a leasing agreement/investment partnership with the town, if the town decides to keep the building on the Town Common.

Other articles on the warrant include:

A request for $9,850 to repair water leaks to the exterior gym walls of the municipal building.

A request for $14,763 for Worcester Regional Transit Authority replacement funds, to pay for WRTA bus service for the senior center. The WRTA had reduced the grant to Grafton by $11,500, after it noticed a decrease in ridership. That decrease was because of many factors, including a second bus to complement the WRTA service and a delay in hiring a driver for the WRTA bus, which resulted in more use of the Grafton Elders Riding Together bus service.

A request for $59,907 for turf grass and maintenance of town-owned fields. Included in that cost is $2,988 for a permanent seasonal employee, $7,813 for an irrigation water and maintenance contract; $5,750 for fertilizer, pesticide and an aerating contract; and $43,356 for a pickup truck, trailer, mower and trimmer.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 12, 2007
Previous Article:Wind turbines, farms face votes; Warrant has 12 mostly routine items.

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