Northbridge DPW To Seek Approval For New Facility

  • Comments (17)
This building on Douglas Road has been proposed as a new department of public works for Northbridge.
This building on Douglas Road has been proposed as a new department of public works for Northbridge. Photo Credit: Deborah Gauthier

NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – Voters will be asked Tuesday to approve plans for a new Department of Public Works facility on Douglas Road at a Special Town Meeting.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Northbridge Middle School auditorium, 171 Linwood Ave.

Recommended by the Northbridge Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee and Building, Planning and Construction Committee, the proposal is to purchase the former Old Colony Stationary at 371 Douglas Road for $995,000.

The estimate to refurbish the 29,200 square foot building for DPW use and make some repairs to the current DPW facility on Fletcher Street, is $2.1 million.

Article 2 on the two-article town meeting warrant requests the purchase and renovation, borrowing and exempting the money from Proposition 2 ½, which limits a yearly increase on property tax rates to 2.5 percent.
The money cannot be borrowed unless voters at a special election, scheduled for Dec. 17, agree to the exemption.

Town Manager Theodore Kozak said the debt exclusion will cost taxpayers with homes valued at $265,000 an average of $38.53 per year for the 20-year life of the loan.

Article 1 on the warrant asks voters to authorize the Board of Selectmen to acquire, by purchase, gift or eminent domain, an easement on property at 2-4 Fletcher St. for accessing and maintaining Douglas Road and the Douglas Road bridge, which currently is being reconstructed.

  • 17

Comments (17)

The best way to save the tax payer's money and improve the quality of the town's infrastructure would be to privatize public works and send all jobs out for bid. Whats the motivation of the DPW to get work done effectively and efficiently when they know the job will be there regardless of performance? And while we're at it the town should privatize the Water and Sewer department as well.

Privatization is a Sound Bite a lot of Politicians like to throw around in the Municipal Sector, their was a lot of studies done on Privatization of Public Services during the Weld /Celluci Administration. It sounds good at first the Private Company starts off with a low figure, and once the Municipality has laid off their Municipal Staff and sold off the their Municipal Equipment the cost of the Private services now can go through the roof in a lot of cases. Plus do to Federal and State Emergency Management Regulations formed after Hurricane Katrina, their are certain restriction on Municipal Services related to those functions that are deemed essential during Emergency situations.

In a nut shell it could work for a very small parts or supplement some Municipal Government functions, you may wish to read the Massachusetts studies on the Pacheco Privatization Law in how it came into being.

For example when ever Sutton Street is acted upon their will be some Private Companies working in partnership with our own Town Services and State Services in that reconstruction of Sutton Street.


Gov to cut $225M, blames ‘fiscal cliff’ deadlock!

By Chris Cassidy
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - Updated 2 minutes ago

Gov. Deval Patrick blamed stubborn Washington leaders stumbling to find an agreement to the high-stakes fiscal cliff debate for bad budget news in the Bay State.

“I just want to add my voice to those calling for a comprehensive solution by the end of this calendar year relative to the fiscal cliff,” said Patrick at an afternoon State House press conference today. “Because by all accounts, that uncertainty and the resulting slowdown in economic growth is the direct cause of our budget challenges.”

Patrick announced disappointing state numbers and painful budget cuts today. November tax revenue is $235 million less than what the state had budgeted. That’s on top of flat October revenue that came in $162 million less than expected.

Overall, the state faces a "$540 million shortfall just five months into the fiscal year."


Since Northbridge Annual Town Budget is half State Aid from the State, approx $17 Million Dollars ? Could a cut in State Local aid have a possible impact on the Taxpayers?

Another factor to maybe think about tonight?

If the State should cut Chap 90 funding looks like I will be wearing my NASA approved Apollo Moon Boots for walking, running, on our Lunarscaped Sidewalks and Roads for some time..

The proposal put forth for tonights meeting by the BOS is the worst proposal out of the 3 possibilities. From both logistical and fiscal standpoints it makes the least amount of sense of any of the 3.

The $8 million dollar proposal was a better deal value wise.

Just a quick note to my fellow towns people. In case you missed the memo, the Whitin Machine Works closed in the late 70's and the Whitin Family has stopped subsidizing this town.

Thus we as a town need to step up and realize that we need to start investing in OUR town because nobody else will. If we want better schools, roads, fire, safety and services WE need to be willing to pay more to fund these improvements. Heck, forget about building new things, we need to fund maintaining our existing building. If you don't want to pay any more in property taxes then don't complain when your home values decrease because buyers prefer to buy houses in towns with better schools and infrastructure. In my opinion if the DPW flops tonight then we need to shelve this project and move on to building a new firestation.

I am really tired of people being so proud of our town having the lowest tax rates of the 12 neighboring towns. This low rate would be great if the town had adequate schools, roads, buildings and infrastructure to be proud of, but when you town lacks these needs and it has such a low rate then there is nothing to be proud off. All we are doing is being proud of being "cheap" as we hold on to a dream that the Whitin family will ride back into town and start subsidizing our town budget again. People looking to move to our town will love the cheap taxes but it will not take them long to pass on the town in favor of spending $500-$700 more in property tax to move to Upton or Sutton in favor of better services etc. When they do this the laws of supply and demand dictate that we all need to lower our property value to compete with these towns.

Ok, off my soapbox let the lashing begin because I state the obvious.

Congressman James' McGovern delivered a "$5 Million Dollar Federal Grant" to the Town of Ware for a Fire Station. He said he would help the Town with a DPW and a Fire Station, why not give him a chance?

Plus the Town own's two location's a DPW can be built on, why should we give up almost $1.5 Million in Property Tax revenue by taking Douglas Road off the Town Revenues roll's for 50-60 years? You admit in your comment we are not a financially so fit Town?

Lets give Congressman James McGovern a chance he came through for the Town of Ware. Who knows maybe a combined new DPW/Fire Station on Town owned property in the future.

Lets shore up the present DPW we can get another few years out of it.

"Tonight We Are All Abutters, Seniors, and Taxed Out and Surcharged Out American Taxpayers!"

If we go over the 'Fiscal Cliff' in Washington the average American household will see their Taxes increase by $2000-$3500 dollars next year. The Bush era Tax Cuts expire on 01/01/2013, for all Americans if no action by Congress on the Fiscal Cliff. Plus as a Town with half it's annual Budget is State Aid, can we afford to take this Property off the Towns Tax Rolls for 50-60 years??

At the last Board Of Selectmen Meeting Congressman James McGovern said he will help the Town with a new DPW and Fire Station. Lets take him up on his offer fellow Taxpayers, plus don't be sidetracked this is the Towns last chance for a new DPW.

Politicians change their minds like we change socks! :))

If you are a senior and expect to get an increase in your taxes of $2000-$3000 you are doing just fine financially. Your RE taxes are deductible from your income. If you have a low assessment you will be paying less.
Listen to the numbers an put them in the right column. If income taxes rise you will be getting a larger discount in your income tax from the RE tax. We ask you, " please listen to all the logical arguments and not the "scare propaganda" for something that will cost less and give you less and still increase your RE taxes.

'No Scare Tactic'

In a recent FOX New Sunday 12/02/12 Interview with House Speaker John A. Boehner the Real Estate Tax Exemption was discussed and he was asked by Mr. Wallace if the Real Estate Tax Exemption was on the table ref Fiscal Cliff talks. He replied he was not going to debate it on a Sunday Morning News Show, what does that tell you?

Ask any Senior on Social Security if their Social Security COLA has kept pace with Inflation, and if Medicare's yearly increases has eaten away at their yearly COLA.
The answer will be YES, and their COLA has not kept pace with inflation over the last twenty years.

More Info: From 'The Hill'

Reid says Boehner debt plan would raise taxes on Middle class
By Russell Berman - 12/04/12 11:03 AM ET

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday slammed Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) debt offer, which Reid said would 'raise billions of dollars in taxes on Middle-class families".



The "scare propaganda" refers to "those" that are persistently touting a project that is less money for less project. If any new $1M+ project were to be built it would increase our RE taxes.

Thanks for making it clearer for me, so anything 'OVER' 1 Million Dollars would mean increase RE Taxes.

Plus I heard the touted Tax break for Paying Off the High School early is for only 'one year' for the Tax Payers, from what I am hearing?

Maybe the Town leader's will let us know tonight if that rumor is true?

When you quote Fox, you loose credibility.

Just referencing what the Speaker said, if you do a Google Search I am sure other News Media or PBS could have also covered it.

I agree you have to filter what FOX reports I recall some of their Contributors saying the President was going to loose by a landslid.:))


Intelligence report!
Best wear the nearest "flack" vests for data attacks.
The silence has been deafening!

Any results?