EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 6, 2013

Budget, zoning before annual Town Meeting tonight

By Dustin Luca

---- — ANDOVER — Several major issues are before voters tonight as the first of what is expected to be three nights of Town Meeting convenes at 7 at Andover High School field house, 80 Shawsheen Road. More than 60 articles are up for votes.

In addition, a Special Town Meeting planned for tomorrow night at 8:15 in the midst of the annual session could provide one of the final steps for the proposed Cormier Family Youth Center. Residents will be asked to tap a town-maintained trust fund to allot $645,000 each for elderly programming and the youth center.

As is tradition, Town Meeting’s fourth article is the annual operating budget. This year’s budget is proposed at $144.6 million, a 4.15 percent increase over last year.

Voters will also consider the creation a new Industrial 2 zoning district for the area of Dascomb and River roads near the Route 93 interchanges. A similar proposal last year, put forward as a private warrant article by a resident representing a Campanelli Drive property owner, was withdrawn with the goal of letting the town take on the effort. The district would seek to encourage the creation of more services for the businesses in that sector of town, Planning Director Paul Materazzo said.

Other articles include a resident petition for $500,000 to renovate the Ballardvale Fire Station on Clark Road and Andover Street, $3.2 million for site improvements around Doherty Middle School in conjunction with construction of the proposed youth center, rezoning the “Golden Triangle” around Lewis Street to allow for the creation of a new Andover Transit Oriented Development District, a $225,000 school space needs study and $450,000 to purchase land at 77 Lowell Junction Road for conservation and recreational use, with a $1.3 million potential grant covering the remainder.

Only voters who registered by the April 16 deadline will be allowed to vote. Non-voters will be seated in a special section. Visit andoverma.gov for more.