GRAFTON, Mass. — What does 2013 have in store for the town? The following are some of the topics that will come up in Grafton this year:
U.S. Senate Special Election Campaign: With U.S. Sen. John Kerry's likely confirmation as the next secretary of state, Massachusetts will see another special election in 2013. Representative Edward J. Markey has entered the race with an endorsement from Kerry.
So far outgoing Sen. Scott Brown, fresh from a re-election defeat at the hands of Elizabeth Warren, who will take office on Thursday, has not revealed his plans. If he decides to run, he will have a base and a seasoned election staff ready to go. But will he return to the Post Office Pub?
Medical Marijuana Bylaw: Massachusetts voters approved the medical marijuana ballot question in November But how will Grafton address the zoning issue if a permit is filed to open a dispensary? If it were to happen today, it can go in any business-zoned location.
Robert Berger, the Grafton zoning enforcement officer, has had discussions with the chief of police on creating a bylaw that would limit locations for a dispensary, if one were to be proposed.
But it takes time to create a bylaw — a petition has to be drafted, followed by reviews with selectmen, the planning board, and then a majority approval in a Town Meeting, the next which is scheduled for May.
The Grafton & Upton Railroad: On Jan. 14 a U.S. District Court judge will hear the Town of Grafton vs. Grafton & Upton Railroad case. His decision will decide whether a propane transfer station will be placed on Westborough Road and if so, will he require the railroad to make concessions to the town.
A new way to sell old equipment: During the October Town meeting, a majority vote allowed the town to auction old municipal equipment on websites similar to eBay. Although old fashioned gavel auctions have worked well in the past and will still be offered, by expanding to the Internet more bidders will mean higher sale prices for obsolete town owned equipment. At the May meeting, the town will vote on a list of equipment to sell.
Municipal center and school renovations: Voters from the October Town Meeting also approved renovating the municipal center and several school buildings. Soon, among other things, windows and boilers will be upgraded and masonry repaired, and town-owned buildings will become more energy efficient.