Work on the Winter Street/Route 53 roundabout will resume in April and the project should be completed by early fall, town officials said this week. Duxbury Town Manager René Read announced that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is expecting that its contractor P.A. Landers will begin work on the project the first or second week in April.
Read, Duxbury’s state representatives, MassDOT and police and Department of Public Works officials met last month to discuss the roundabout project, which was started in the fall of 2014, was slated to be finished by this March but was repeatedly delayed and is not done yet.
At the meeting with MassDOT, Duxbury officials stressed their concerns about how long the project was taking and with safety of motorists in the area.
Stealing political signs in Duxbury is an age-old problem usually blamed on kids picking up lawn signs here and there and throwing them on the side of the road, but in this campaign season, which has seen unusually aggressive tactics and attacks on the national stage, there has been a large scale theft of one candidate’s signs.
Colleen Horgan Slocum, a Duxbury native who is running for the School Committee, gave out 150 political lawn signs to her supporters in the last few weeks. All signs were placed by homeowners on their private property, she said. Each sign cost her $10.
Solcum and her campaign manager Patricia Thomas first noticed a problem last week when, on Saturday, March 12, her friends reported that at least 20 to 25 of their signs had been removed in the Standish Shore and Powder Point areas and along Washington, St. George, Cedar and Franklin streets.
The redevelopment project being proposed by Juliano Enterprises for the Millbrook business area is being vetted further. The Zoning Board of Appeals members said last week that they need clearer feedback and more time before issuing or modifying any permits.
Applicant Michael Juliano will have to meet with the Design Review Board again before the ZBA takes any official action. Members of the Design Review Board, including Chairman Sarah McCormick, were present at the ZBA’s March 10 public hearing as were Juliano and several neighborhood residents.
Juliano’s phase one proposal consists of adding six one-bedroom apartments to the second stories of 277 and 285 St. George Street.
The annual Town Meeting began Saturday morning with the Special Town Meeting articles. All 13 articles were passed, but several residents still voiced their concerns about taxes and the usage of free cash.
Finance Director John Madden defined free cash as leftover money, or “an accident” of budgeting. Free cash is intended to be a source of “one-time revenue” and is limited to expenses that only require a single payment.
At least four neighborhood residents and an adjoining business owner have expressed uneasiness over the proposed installation of a Dunkin' Donuts franchise in Cox Corner.
The Zoning Board of Appeals did not amend or transfer the existing special permits for the property at 1508 Tremont Street at its March 10 meeting and instead elected to continue the public hearing at a later date.
Cadete Enterprises, which owns and operates a total of 52 other franchises on the South Shore, presented its application and proposal for this project to the ZBA. John Cadete, who did not attend the meeting, was represented by his attorney Robert Galvin, Jr. Cadete Enterprises hopes to purchase the currently vacant space, formerly the site of two pizza shops, and is seeking a change in the current hours of operation.
Residents said they think this Dunkin' Donuts location will change the residential feel of their neighborhood and possibly even affect the quality of their lives. A dangerous intersection, inadequate lighting, the presence and amount of signage and a busy parking lot were all of primary concern.
Four people stood on stage at Duxbury Performing Arts Center on March 9 for four different reasons but each message was ultimately the same – drugs and alcohol have dangerous consequences for everyone, but particularly for the developing minds of teenagers.
The Duxbury Parent Connection, combined with Duxbury FACTS (Families, Adolescents and Communities Together), organized the presentation “Drinking, Drugs and Teens: What Every Parent Needs to Know” with four speeches and a question and answer session, for a packed audience of parents, teachers, administrators and students last Wednesday night. Rev. Catherine Cullen, pastor of Duxbury’s First Parish Church and co-chair of Duxbury FACTS, moderated the forum.
Duxbury Police Chief Matthew Clancy spoke about his effort to try to stem the tide on adolescent drinking and drug possession with civil fines. Clancy’s proposal, which was Article 14 passed overwhelmingly, 181-9, at Town Meeting on Saturday, March 12. Clancy said it creates a civil consequence when before there was often no consequence for kids other than calling their parents and sharing their names with schools.
Voters at Saturday’s annual Town Meeting approved the FY2017 operating budget of over $73.1 million but only after an attempt by one resident to throw out the budget and start over by making the town commit to a two percent property tax increase.
After Town Manager René Read gave his 2017 budget presentation and after Finance Committee chairman Betsy Sullivan discussed the budget overall, Tremont Street resident Terry Reiber asked what the overall property tax increase would be to fund the operating budget. He wanted to have the town keep its budget from increasing annually more than the rate of inflation.
“These budgets are death to the taxpayers by 1,000 additions,” said Reiber. “I would ask at what point are we going to hold the costs to the inflation rate? Let’s go for an overall two percent increase.”
By a margin of only nine votes, Duxbury adopted the local option meals tax at Saturday’s town meeting.
The vote on Article 13 was 103 to 94, a slim majority but just enough to adopt a state law that allows cities and towns to collect an excise tax of .75 percent on the sales of restaurant meals originating within the town.
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue estimates that Duxbury will collect an additional $94,000 per year with the tax. On a restaurant bill of $100, the local tax would be 75 cents.
At the annual Town Meeting late Saturday afternoon, an overwhelming majority of voters approved a measure that will allow Duxbury police officers to ticket to underage drinkers instead of arrest them. The vote on Article 14 was 181 in favor to 9 opposed. It was the last action voters took at the all-day session of town meeting on March 12.
Duxbury Police Chief Matthew Clancy proposed the article, which will add language to the town’s Chapter 7 public safety bylaw that allows police to ticket minors for underage alcohol possession if they feel that is the appropriate action under the circumstances.
The tickets carry fines. The first offense is $150; the second and additional offenses are $300 each.