NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – A plan to purchase a building on Douglas Road for use as a Department of Public Works facility was unanimously passed over by Northbridge voters at the fall town meeting on Tuesday.
Article 4 on the town meeting warrant requested $995,000 to purchase the former Old Colony building on Douglas Road for use as a department of public works facility.
The Board of Selectmen recommended voters pass over the article at the request of the Finance Committee.
Initially, the plan was to purchase the building now and ask voters next May for $2.1 million needed to renovate it for DPW use.
Finance Committee members Lisa Ferguson said the committee supports the Douglas Road plan, but thought the entire project should be presented to voters at the same time.
“The Finance Committee voted unanimously to support the entire DPW project as a whole project,’’ she said, “but out of respect to the taxpayers, we voted not to support article 4; it’s only part of the project and fiscally irresponsible and unfair to taxpayers.’’
Instead, the Finance Committee suggested voters be asked to fund the entire project - $995,000 to purchase the building and $2.1 for renovations – at a special town meeting on Dec. 4 and special election on Dec. 17. The warrant for the special town meeting closes on Friday.
Town meeting voters also passed over several other articles, including requests by the school department to replace the gymnasium floor at Balmer School and the sod at Lasell Field, and a request from the Fire Department to repair the concrete floor at the Rockdale Fire Station.
Money for those projects was transferred to the stabilization fund, however, and voters will be asked to approve the projects at the next town meeting in May.
Voters also authorized the Board of Selectmen to acquire easements for the Sutton Street reconstruction project, accepted Sandtrap Court as a town road, and approved a overlay district map that combines six maps into one digital map.f