EEE threat closes public fields after sunset; to be sprayed Aug 20

Schools - General School Written by Webmaster   
Friday, 17 August 2012 12:47

An excerpt from an email set to families with school kids, received from Marianne O'Connor, Superintendent of Schools.

"... We have been notified by the Dept. of Public Health and our local Board of Health that Westborough has been identified as being a high risk community for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). As a precautionary measure, the use of all school , town fields, and playgrounds after sunset is prohibited until further notice. 

Signs are posted at each of the schools to remind the community. All playgrounds and athletic fields will be sprayed on Monday 8/20. Additional information can be found on our website."

UPDATE: here are the three "Pesticide Standard Written Notification" document links, copied from the school's website containing information "for schools, day care programs, and school-age childcare programs":

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Westborough Community Band Concert - Sunday Aug 5, 2012

Westborough Today - General Town News Written by Webmaster   
Saturday, 04 August 2012 00:00

Last performance of the 2012 summer season!  Join us Aug 5th to hear our very own Westborough Community Band, in the bandstand at Bay State Green.

In their fourth year under the leadership of Matthew Lefebvre, they will play from 5:30-6:30 p.m.   Rain location is the Forbes Municipal Building (where they did GREAT the week before!)

Over 60 musicians from various towns will play patriotic music, pop, American standards and more during the concert, often including a piece with a featured vocalist.  Musicians range from high school to retired professional musicians who enjoy playing and performing.  The band is thankful to the Westborough Cultural Council for their continued support through grants each year.  For questions about the band, please contact Kathy Cincotta at klcincotta@gmail.com.

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Please come to special town meeting Tuesday 7-Aug-2012

Westborough Today - Opinions and Editorials Written by Webmaster   
Thursday, 02 August 2012 21:14

[An open letter received from Lester Hensley, Chair of our Westborough Economic Development Committee. -- webmaster]

Dear Westborough Residents --

On Tuesday, August 7th, there will be a Special Town Meeting at 7pm at the WHS Auditorium. On the warrant will be just two Articles -- so the meeting should be short. The Articles being put before the voters are part of a broader economic development and job retention strategy for the Town of Westborough. Summer is a cherished time, but 50 people are required for a quorum at this meeting. If you are in town next week, I hope you will consider coming to town meeting to learn more about the the articles and cast your vote.

Below is some optional background and brief response to some of the frequently asked questions about the articles on the warrant.

Background:

Westborough's Economic Development Committee (EDC) has been working since 2008 toward a goal of moderating our residential taxes by shoring up and expanding our commercial tax base. We do this by identifying existing businesses in Westborough that might be looking to expand or to leave, and encouraging them to stay and to grow right here in town. We also do this by proactively engaging new businesses who are looking at space in our area and convincing them that there is no better choice than Westborough.

One of the tools we have for retaining and attracting business and jobs is Tax Increment Financing or a "TIF". In short, in return for a company's commitment to stay and grow and pay taxes here in Westborough over a given period of years, we can offer a modest (and declining) adjustment to the taxes on their incremental growth. Even more important to the company, by being granted a TIF at the local level, they then qualify for state incentives to finance their growth and keep jobs right here in Massachusetts. Two companies will be committing to Westborough through a 15 years TIF agreement at this special town meeting.

FAQs

Q. Why a Special Town Meeting now, in the middle of summer, to act on this?
A. Time is of the essence when competing to retain or gain businesses in Westborough. Neighboring towns with City Councils can approve TIFs at regularly scheduled meetings. We need a quorum of 50 at a Special Town Meeting to approve a TIF. The timing of this meeting would allow these two companies to qualify for a state program this Fall.

Q: Why 15 years? and how much of a tax incentive would we be giving?
A. The basic tax revenues from the current value of these businesses would remain the same. The tax incentive Westborough is offering starts at 50% of only the added value of expansion. So with these agreements we'd be collecting new revenues immediately. The incentive declines by 10% per year and then remains at 10% from years 6-15. The 15 year timeframe keeps the business qualified for State incentives on future expansion and gives them incentive to grow again in Westboorugh instead of looking elsewhere.

Q. What accountability does the business have to Westborough?
A. These agreements include job creation targets as the company grows. If the company does not meet its job creation goals, then the incentive can be revoked by the Town and we have the right to recover what the company gained through tax savings.

For more information on the specifics of the agreements, you can come and hear our presentation at Town Meeting, or you can read about them on the Town Manager's blog at this link.

Thanks so much for your consideration, and hope to see you at Town Meeting on Tuesday!

Best regards,
Lester Hensley
Chair, Westborough Economic Development Committee

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Town Manager explanation of special Summer 2012 town meeting

Westborough Today - Official Notices and Information Written by Webmaster   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 21:49

[Press release submitted by Town Manager Jim Malloy -- webmaster]

The Board of Selectmen has scheduled a Special Town Meeting for consideration of granting two Tax Increment Financing Agreements (TIF) to two companies. These are the only two items that will appear on the Town Meeting warrant. The Town wants to make sure that accurate information is being provided regarding the reason for setting a Special Town Meeting and what the agreements entail.

The reason the Town Meeting is scheduled on Aug. 7, 2012 (at 7 p.m. at the High School) is that it provides the time necessary to get on the agenda for the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) agenda for September. The EACC reviews each TIF and approves of the TIF and the State’s Investment Tax Credit at their meetings. If the Town waited until the October Fall Town Meeting, the next EACC meeting would either be at the end of December or early January which would put any incentive off for six months. In order to compete with other states and other communities in MA, especially cities that can grant TIF approvals every other week when their city council meets, the Town scheduled the Special Town Meeting at the earliest date possible.

The most important part of these types of TIF agreements is for taxpayers to understand that the “tax break” that is being offered is only on the increased or incremental value from the company’s investment in their property and that the Town will collect more tax revenues after the TIF than before. For example, if a company buys a building that has a current base value of $5,000,000 and expands the business and after the expansion the property is valued at $7,500,000 the TIF is applied to the difference (or $2,500,000). There is never any break on the base value, so the Town always collects at least the amount it was collecting before the TIF.

In this case, both TIFs are very similar and offer a 15 year incentive on any increase in property value that reduces the taxes on that increased property value by the following percentages:

Year 1 50% (on the incremental increase in value)

Year 2 40%

Year 3 30%

Year 4 20%

Year 5 10%

Years 6 – 15 continue the 10% incentive.

Of the two companies that the Town has offered a TIF, the following is a breakdown of the benefits to the company, expected job growth and benefits to the Town:

The first company is Danafilms, which is presently located at 5 Otis St. and manufactures plastic and plastic sheeting. They are looking to expand their line and add an agricultural plastic sheeting product used in baling hay. The parent company owns the business here in Westborough and another plant in Kentucky and is trying to make a decision on where to locate this new line. The company is planning on adding 20 jobs to the existing 62 jobs here in Westborough. The estimated tax benefit to the company under the TIF is between $13,500 and $34,500 over the 15 year life of the TIF (we use a range because it’s difficult to determine how much of their investment will be reflected in increased assessed value for tax purposes). The additional taxes the Town is estimated to collect should the company expand in Westborough is between $77,226 and $193,066. The State Investment Tax Credit is estimated to be approximately $300,000.

The second company is MicroChem, which is presently located in Newton, MA and manufactures specialty chemicals for the electronics industry. They have outgrown their current location and do not have the ability to expand. They are looking to relocate in Massachusetts and are looking at purchasing the property at 200 Flanders Road in an industrial area. The company currently employs 47 people in Newton and would add another 23 jobs if they relocate to Westborough for a total of 70 new jobs in Westborough. The estimated tax benefit to the company under the TIF is between $232,000 and $264,000 over the 15 year life of the TIF. The additional taxes the Town is estimated to collect if the company relocates to Westborough is between $1,329,103 and $1,510,000. The State Investment Tax Credit is estimated to be approximately $500,000.

Description

Dana Films Microchem Total

Estimated additional
taxes for town 

135,258 1,419,724 1,554,982

Estimated tax break
on increased value 

23,921 247.636 271,556

Estimated state
investment tax credit
 

300,000 460,000 760,000

Estimated total
investment 

  5,000,000   13,000,000   18,000,000

# of jobs retained

62
n/a (new 
company) 
62

# new jobs

20 70 90


In summary, the two companies would create 90 new jobs and retain 62 existing jobs, generate over $1.5 million in estimated new taxes over the next 15 years in exchange for providing an incentive valued at approximately $272,000 during the same 15 year period and a state investment tax credit (does not involve the Town) of $760,000. If at any time, either company did not meet their employment goals, at the Town’s discretion, the tax incentive could be terminated.

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Westborough Community Band Concert - Sunday Jul 29, 2012

Westborough Today - General Town News Written by Webmaster   
Sunday, 29 July 2012 14:18

UPDATE!  Rain threat has moved us indoors.

Time for an INDOOR picnic!  Come on down to the FORBES BUILDING to relax with the Westborough Community Band on Sunday, July 29th. In their fourth year under the leadership of Matthew Lefebvre, they will play from 5:30-6:30 p.m.   Their first concert this season was at the Westborough Fourth of July Block Party.

Over 60 musicians from various towns will play patriotic music, pop, American standards and more during the concert.   The band practices every Wednesday and is open to all.  The musicians range from high school to retired professional musicians who enjoy playing and performing.  The band is thankful to the Westborough Cultural Council for their continued support through grants each year.  For questions on rehearsals contact Kathy Cincotta at klcincotta@gmail.com.

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