Highway Commercial District Approved at Wrentham Town Meeting
A Wrentham highway commercial dstrict on Route 1 was approved 213-23. Town meeting will resume tonight at 7:30 p.m.
After night one of the Wrentham Annual Town Meeting, 12 articles were passed and Route 1 was officially rezoned for commercial use. The meeting, which started at 7:30 p.m., adjourned around 11:07 p.m. after the passing of Article 12-B. The meeting will resume tonight at 7:30 p.m. inside the auditorium at King Philip High School.
Town moderator Keith Billian started the evening recognizing some of the recently retired town employees including retiring call firefighters Fred True and Ed Perry.
On hand to recognize the two men was state senator Richard Ross who read a resolution for both men and congratulated them on their retirement.
Also retiring are wire inspector William St. Francis and Finance Committee member Sue Kost.
Before looking at the first article, Billian asked for a moment of silence in memory of recently deseased town dispatcher William Daniel Jr. and also dedicated the meeting in his honor.
Prior to article Nine, the only article contested to any degree was article Eight when an amendment was proposed to let the library keep fines and fees collected to replace lost and stolen books.
Finance Committee chairman Jerry McGoven spoke against the amendment, saying he not for any department keeping the money they collect.
Agreeing with him, the voters went against the amendment 140-75. Afterwards, article eight was passed on a voice vote.
After much deliberation, article nine was passed, 213-23. The article creates a highway commercial district that would allow for more development on Route 1.
“We know that we need revenue. We’ve seen Foxborough experience a building boom on their section of Route 1. We’ve seen Plainville experience the same,” Wrentham Town Planner Paige Duncan said.
Despite realizing that any benefits from the article were years away, the officials and residents who spoke in favor it remained optimistic that it could be a source of revenue down the road.
Passing on a voice vote, Article 10 simply gave definitions to what could be built in the highway commercial district. There were some concerns over the inclusions of definitions for amusements and water parks, but Duncan put those fears to rests stating that those establishments would not be allowed and the definitions make sure of it.
After Article 11 was but on hold, Article 12-A was passed with a voice vote as was 12-B but not with out some holds and proposed amendments.
Both an amendment to give the Wrentham Board of Health a full time clerk and give $142,500 from the stabilization fund to the recreation department didn't pass, because of concerns that the proper funds did not exist.
The amendment for the clerk fell, 125-65, while the money for the recreation Department was denied 100-63, receiving well under the two-thirds support it needed to pass.
With Article 12-B passing just after 11 p.m., the meeting was adjourned until the next evening. When the meeting restarts, article 11 and articles 13-28 will be considered.