Ty’s City Council News: April 26, 2022

An extremely busy meeting this evening. We went through both committee meetings, followed by a full city council meeting. The following votes were made the City Council as a whole:

  1. Special Committee for Tax Abatement: Chair – Richard Conti
  1. Approved 8 to 1 a senior means exemption to relieve some of the property tax burden of qualified senior Attleboro residents.
  • The property must be owned and occupied by one or more persons who qualified for the state circuit breaker income tax credit the previous calendar year.
  • The property is owned by:
    • A single taxpayer aged 65 or older, or
    • Jointly by taxpayers as long as one is 65 or older and the joint taxpayer is 60 or over by December 31 of the previous year.
  • The property is the domicile (home) of the taxpayer(s).
  • The residential unit has been owned at least 10 consecutive years at the current Attleboro address.
  • The maximum assessed value of the property (home) is not greater than the prior fiscal year’s maximum assessed value to qualify for the circuit breaker income tax credit as set by the mass/ dept. Of revenue.
    Property taxes shall not be reduced more than 50% by this exemption.
  • Attleboro’s board of assessors has approved the application for the exemption.

There are more details that need to be explained by the board of assessors. However, first you would have to learn if you qualify for the circuit breaker income tax credit. Seniors can learn this information via Attleboro’s city assessor office.  Please give the assessor’s office some time before calling them. They need to be prepared for inquiries.

No exemption shall be granted under this act (which lasts three years unless reaffirmed by a vote of the Attleboro city council) unless the Mass. Dept. of Revenue certifies Attleboro’s residential tax rate including:

  • A burden shift within the residential tax levy. This means that all residents pay more property tax to cover the tax break that eligible seniors would get via the circuit breaker exemption.

Repeat: this act shall expire after three years unless the Attleboro City Council reaffirms this senior tax exemption.

Ty’s comments: This landmark tax policy gives those seniors who desperately need help a way to afford their property taxes. Meanwhile, that break is supported by the rest of Attleboro’s property tax owners. This means we are truly one community… A city where those who can help…. Assist those who might otherwise lose their homes during their senior years. I supported this senior tax exemption with the understanding I would not personally benefit. I, like many others, will pay a bit more in taxes to help fellow Attleboro seniors who need our help to stay in their homes. Seniors like myself will be helping fellow seniors who need the help.

  • License Committee:  Chair – Ty Waterman
  1. Approved 9-0 Leach Garner, Inc. application to sore flammables (hydrogen refrigerated liquid) at 49 Pearl Street, Attleboro.
  • Public works committee: Chair – Laura Dolan
  1. Approved 9-0 to appropriate $1,097,000 to construct a sidewalk (on one side of the street) on Read Street. Many residents have testified to the dangers of walking on the side of this long street and it will allow folks to safely live alongside this busy, major road in Attleboro.)
  • Finance Committee: Chair – Richard Conti
  1. Approved 9-0 the 2022 CDBG entitlement program – (Attleboro programs supported via the US Dept of Housing and Urban Development) for fiscal year 2023. 
  • Approved 9-0 a five-year plan for capital improvement program, 2023-2027. The plan includes the following projects, but is yet funded:
  • Management information systems; replace cisco switches.
  • Council on aging: replace rooftop HVAC system (with ARPA funds).
  • Fire department: Twin Village renovation phase 1 design.
  • Library: carpeting.
  • Planning & development: upgrade comprehensive plan.
  • Recreation department; Bartek HVAC system.
  • School department: Hill Roberts HVAC, Hyman Fine HVAC, Willett HVAC, Willett roof

The projects total $3,228,657 in recommendations. The city believes the ever-growing list of capital improvement projects need a line item to minimize the bigger cost of deferred maintenance.

  • IT & Infrastructure Committee: Chair – Todd Kobus
  1. Approved 9-0 a motion to transfer $160,000 from cannabis impact free money to the Attleboro police records room digital storage project. All police files would be scanned and indexed. The garage which currently houses the police records would then be converted back to the original use. 
  • City property Committee: Chair – Sara-Lynn Reynolds
  1. Approved 9-0 to accept the generous donation of three printers to the Attleboro Public Library from Sensata Technologies. Estimated value: $1,500. This is another of several nice donations from Sensata to our library!
  • Approved 9 to 0 to approve $9,996 for a consultant to assist the Attleboro Historical Commission with ranking the inventory included in the Mass. Historical Commission.
  • Approved 9-0 to accept the generous donation of 108 N95 masks from Seabra foods.
  • Approved 9-0 to accept the generous donation from the Martin Luther King Committee of Greater Attleboro for a painting The Beloved Community Triptych” for display at City Hall. Local artist Sandy Coleman created the painting – a wonderful gift from Sandy Coleman and the MLK committee.
  • Personnel, Veterans’, and Human Services Committee: Chair – Michael Angelo.
  1. Approved 9-0 to accept generous donations from the Holiday Spirit Committee of $435 to
    • the Health Department’s outreach office
    • the Council on aging for $325 in gift cards
    • the veterans’ office of $275 in stop and shop gift cards and $125 in market basket gift cards. 
  2. Approved 9-0 to accept a generous donation of $1,000 in stop & shop gift cards from Sons of the American Legion Post 312 to the Veterans’ Office.
  3. Approved 9-0 to accept a generous donation in CVS, Cumberland Farm, and Stop & Shop gift cards to the Veterans’ Office from Edith Meehan.

These wonderful donations illustrate the generosity of Attleboro residents and city employees for people in need.

  • Ordinance committee: Chair – Cathleen DiSimone
  1. Approved 9-0 to amend fees to the Capron Park Zoo. These are the first fee upgrades in many years and needed to continue quality care for the animals and the zoo.
  • Public safety committee: Chair – Peter Blais
  1. Approved 9-0 for $5,742.00 for new bedding throughout the fire department. 

This was the first time in recent memory that new bedding was purchased for our firefighters. Many thanks to each of our firefighter’s for their expertise, commitment, and protection of all our citizens!

Public hearings – May 3, 2022

  • Waive ordinance 11-15.2 to allow serving alcoholic beverages or wine on city property, from the Burgundian restaurant at 55 Park Street from April thru October.
  • Waive ordinance 11-15.2 to allow serving alcoholic beverages or wine on city property, from Morin’s at 16 South Main Street from May thru October.
  • Address the request from Old Colony Habitat for Humanity to waive certain permit fees for the construction of the next habitat building on Pike Avenue.
  • Discuss the proposed amendment to ordinance 10-4.11 “isolated stop signs” by adding westbound drivers on Jewel Avenue at Hawthorne Street.

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