Dear Wayland Voter,
Two candidates on the April 2 ballot have campaigned on their record of finding shortcomings in town and school accounting. Tony Boschetto and Donna Bouchard discovered millions in surplus cash, and now the Finance Committee has found another $2.6 million.
Also in this newsletter: Residents comment on Cochituate intersection plans.
$2.6 MILLION SURPLUS IDENTIFIED
The Finance Committee has just learned about another surplus pot of cash this time $2.6 million that has been sitting forgotten and unused since 2007. At last week's FinCom meeting, Chairman Bill Steinberg referred to his March 27 memo in which he said the money was sitting in an account titled SBA.
The money is reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (SBA) for the 2002-2003 Wayland middle school renovations project. According to the memo, these funds were commingled in the same SBA account with money coming in more recently from the SBA during the construction of the new high school.
None of the auditors paid to review Wayland's finances in recent years had pointed this out.
On pages 56 and 67 in the 2013 Annual Town Meeting warrant, there is reference to the option of using unspent high school project funds to help finance the middle school roof replacement and a new DPW facility, proposals to be voted at the Town Meeting beginning on April 4.
At last week's meeting, the FinCom discussed correcting the funding source for Town Meeting to reflect that the surplus dollars the committee will recommend tapping are actually coming from the middle school renovations project completed a decade ago.
Wayland's new Finance Director Brian Keveny presented his accounting analysis of the status of millions of unspent dollars for capital improvement projects appropriated in recent years by Town Meeting voters. He recommended contacting the relevant departments to find out when they plan to complete numerous "ongoing" unfinished projects. Keveny also recommended that the FinCom consider establishing time limits.
-- Linda Segal
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOR COCHITUATE INTERSECTION PROJECT
MassDOT (Dept. of Transportation) held a public hearing on March 28 in Wayland Town Building concerning the reconstruction of Cochituate's outdated and dangerous Route 30 & Route 27 intersection. A number of abutters, town officials and staff, police and church representatives, business owners and residents of Wayland and Natick participated.
The Powerpoint presentation describing the project's on-again, off-again history as well as features of the 25% plans (percentage of design completion) was made by CDM Smith traffic consultant Kevin Johnson. Audience speakers expressed gratitude to state officials that this project is finally moving forward. State officials stayed afterwards to meet with individual abutters seeking to understand how the project will affect their properties.
75% plans are expected to be ready in early 2014 with intersection construction estimated in 2016. On average, about 16,000 vehicles pass through the intersection each day.
Among the issues discussed by the public were pedestrian and bicycle safety, new sidewalks, inadequate roadway width continuing west on Route 30 towards Lake Cochituate, connectivity to the Snake Brook Trail, Cochituate State Park and Hannah Williams Park, land takings, village and environmental impacts, decorative traffic signals and mast arms, dedicated turning lanes, and project scale.
The hearing process provides a ten-day public comment period following the March 28 presentation. State officials welcome receiving written input no later than April 8 at the following address: Thomas Broderick, P.E., Chief Engineer, MassDOT - Highway Division, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA. 02116-3973.
Project Title: Signal & Intersection Improvements at Route 27 & Route 30, Wayland
Project No. 601579. .
Public Works Director Don Ouellette said the presentation slides would be posted on the town website. To arrange to review the 25% plans, contact Wayland Highway Superintendent Stephen Kadlik: skadlik@...
-- Linda Segal
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Wayland Voters Network
Michael Short, Editor