Andover residents approve $197M budget  

Residents vote during Town Meeting with their red-and-green sided paddles. In the background is Town Moderator Sheila Doherty on a projector.

ANDOVER — On May 17 and 18 residents will have a chance to present, deliberate and vote on more than 40 warrants during the course of Town Meeting and an additional Special Town Meeting.

Both meetings will be held at the Richard J. Collins Fields house at the Andover High School and will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17.

Parking will be available at the lot beside the field house, on Red Spring Rd, West Middle School Lot, Main Lot at the High School and the Collins Center lot.

Regular Town Meeting will encompass the following 35 warrant articles, according to the town’s website and information from Town Manager Andrew Flanagan.

  • Article one is the annual town election were residents will vote on moderator, two Select Board members, two School Committee members and two Punchard Free School members.
  • Article two is to elect all town officers not required by law to be elected by ballot.
  • Article three establishes the salaries for elected officers for the ensuing year.

Articles four through eight are all warrants petitioned for by Andover resident Mike Meyers. All four are similar to warrants included in the Special Town Meeting.

  • Article four creates a general fund for school instructional assistants and places $500,000 from free cash into the fund. The fund is for paying instructional assistants equal to 75% of the maximum instructional assistant compensation for the APS competitive set.
  • Article five calls for an anonymous review of the town manager by municipal employees.
  • Article six prohibits the use of non-disclosure agreements by the town with the exception of when it is requested by the individual it would impact.
  • Article seven creates a mental health and well-being fund and puts $1 million in the fund, with the money coming from free cash.
  • Article eight requires the town to post every no bid contract or agreement on the town’s website.
  • Article nine will determine the town’s budget for fiscal year 2023, with the planned budget being $213,556,536, according to Town Manager Andrew Flanagan.
  • Article ten permits the town to raise money through taxation for the Capital Projects Fund for fiscal year 2023.
  • Article 11 is a series of financial housekeeping measures. Notable examples include authorizing expenditures like $1 million for the Division of Recreation and $400,000 for the Division of Youth Services.
  • Article 12 is a series of minor financial measures including the appropriation of $5,000 for paying a portion of the municipal costs associated with Andover Day.
  • Article 13 is the rest of the financial house
  • keeping articles and includes a grant program authorization and an article which authorizes the town manager to enter into a contract with the Massachusetts Highway Department Commissioners or the federal government for the construction and maintenance of public highways.
  • Article 14 authorizes the town to acquire easements by gift, purchase or eminent domain for Chapter 90 highway construction or any other federal or state aid program for highway construction.
  • Article 15 authorizes the town to grant easements for water, drainage, sewer and utility purposes on terms and conditions that the board deems are in the best interest of the town.
  • Article 16 transfers the sum of $100,000 from the Bond Premium Stabilization Fund to the General Fund to offset nonexempt debt interest payments.
  • Article 17 allows the town to appropriate and raise by taxation or available funds $14,000 for the Jerry Silverman Fireworks program for the fourth of July festivities.
  • Article 18 appropriates $9.5 million, $8 million of which will be used to pay the costs of purchasing professional services r
  • elated to the design renovation and construction of the Doherty Middle School, while $1 million of which will be used to pay for the Andover High School design project.
  • Article 19 appropriates $500,000 in the Water Enterprise Fund for the purpose of paying various maintenance costs related to the water distribution system and the Water Treatment Plant.
  • Article 20 appropriates $300,000 in the Sewer Enterprise Fund for the purpose of paying various maintenance costs related to the sewer collection system.
  • Article 21 authorizes the town to raise by taxation, borrowing transferring from available funds a sum of $5,350,000 to pay costs of purchasing capital equipment, making infrastructure improvements for purchasing services and materials related to capital improvements.
  • Article 22 authorizes the town to appropriate from available funds a sum of $1,870,430 to pay costs of purchasing capital equipment, making infrastructure improvements for purchasing services and materials related to capital improvements. These capital improvements include sidewalk repairs and IT platforms and infrastructure.
  • Article 23 authorizes the town to raise by taxation, borrowing, transfer from available funds a sum of $ 6,560,000 to pay costs of purchasing capital equipment marking infrastructure improvements and purchasing services and materials related to making capital improvements. $6 million will be spent on water main replacements.
  • Article 24 relates to the Other Post Employment Benefits Fund and among other things authorizes the town treasurer as the trustee of the Other Post Employment Benefit Fund.
  • Article 25 authorizes the town to appropriate and raise from taxation or transfer form available funds a sum of $502,481 to the Pension Stabilization Fund, said Flanagan.
  • Article 26 authorizes the Contributory Retirement Board to increase the maximum vase on which the cost of living increase is calculated for retirees and beneficiaries of the Andover Contributory Retirement System by $1,000 each July 1 for the next two years resulting in a base change from $12,000 to $13,000 e
  • ffective July 1, 2022. This article was petitioned for by Andover resident Kevin Connors.
  • Article 27 amends an action taken from last Town Meeting which appropriated $200,000 for a public safety bidirectional system and instead appropriates that sum for the purchase of Public Safety MultiBand Portable Radios.
  • Article 28 accepts a provision from Massachusetts General State Law Chapter 90 which allows the town to change the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph in thickly settled areas or business districts.
  • Article 29 discontinues a portion of Lewis Street as a public way.
  • Article 30 transfers the care, custody, management and control of a portion of Lewis Street to be discontinued.
  • Article 31 appropriates $75,000 from free cash for the purpose of operating and maintaining a stream gage station on the Shawsheen River in the vicinity of Balmoral Street and authorizes the town manager to enter into an agreement with the United States Geological Survey. This article was petitioned for by Andover resident John
  • Mahoney.
  • Article 32 appropriates $228,794.24 to pay costs for Shawsheen River Interceptor improvements. The Shawsheen River interceptor is a sewer pipe that runs adjacent to the Shawsheen River. The warrant also amends an action taken from a 2008 town meeting which authorized $4,000,000, of which $2,200,000 is unused, for the purpose of paying costs of constructing and reconstructing the Shawsheen River Outfall Sewer. The amendment allows these funds to be used to pay for the Shawsheen River Interceptor Improvements.
  • Article 33 authorizes the Select Board to acquire by eminent domain, gift purchase and fee easement or other interest in the land known as Hacienda way. This article was petitioned for by Andover Resident Courtney Famiglietti.
  • Article 34 authorizes the town to appropriate a sum of $413,000 for the acquisition of the land known as 138A Chandler Road. This piece of land abuts land owned by the town that is on track to be developed for recreational purposes.
  • Article 35 amends zoning bylaw Article seven.

For more information on the amendment to the bylaw and on other warrants visit https://andoverma.gov/398/Town-Meeting

Special Town Meeting

The Special Town meeting will be held on May 17 and, if necessary, carry over until May 18.

The following six warrants will be discussed and voted on during the Special Town Meeting

  • Article one authorizes “a one-time pandemic stipend and retention premium for educational support professionals (instructional assistants, food services workers, administrative assistants, custodians and any other educational support professional) providing in-person work since March 20, 2020, in the flat sum of $800 per person.”
  • Article two implements an annual, anonymous, municipal-wide performance review of the Town Manager and Superintendent of Schools. The review is to be conducted by an “independent, industry-leading HR/employee appraisal performance management firm.” The report is to be posted publicly on the town’s website.
  • Article three prohibits the town from establishing non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, with government employees or students. However, the warrant also states employees or students may still request that the town not disclose their identity or something that would lead to the discovery of their identity.
  • Article four establishes a fund for mental health and well-being services and transfers $1 million from free cash to that fund.
  • Article five requires the town to post on the official, public website all no-bid contracts over $10,000 that the town is involved with
  • Article six is “to authorize the select board to void the Town Manager’s $10.9 million plan approved by the Select Board on March 3, 2022 and commence a new transparent community planning processes for Covid 19 funds.” The warrant also prohibits COVID-19 funds from being used to offset any reductions in local government revenues or fees.

For more information on Special Town Meeting warrants visit

https://andoverma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10905/2022-Special-Town-Meeting-Warrant?bidId=

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