Water and taxes: two of the favorite Abington issues people complain about on social media.
And by coincidence, both are on the agenda for Monday’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting.
First up will be a joint meeting with the Board of Assessors to go over the FY 2023 tax classifications and recommended tax rate. The assessors make the recommendation, but its the Board of Selectmen that sets it.
The current tax rate is $15.22 for $1,000 of valuation. That puts the tax bill for a $494,000 home at about $6,908.88, or about $400 more than the previous year. However, last year the average tax bill for commercial properties DECREASED by about $1,600. That’s because, like in most communities in Greater Boston, the Abington residential real estate market, until recently, had been skyrocketing, while commercial valuations had been stagnant. It also means homeowners are shouldering an ever larger portion of the town’s overall tax bill.
The tax rate also takes into consideration new growth (new homes and businesses or increased valuation due to improvements and additions), and existing debt that was approved through a Prop 2 1/2 override.
Selectmen have been reluctant to enact a split tax rate, which is allowed under state law, because in order to provide residential property owners with a 6 percent cut, taxes on business owners would have to jump 50 percent.
(Brief editorial comment: The long-term solution isn’t to cut property taxes – because it also means cutting services and weakening the schools – rather its to strengthen the town’s commercial tax base. Consider 1145 Bedford Street. It was a single-family home valued at about $282,000 three years ago. It has since been developed into a retail business valued at $622,000. That’s an additional several thousands of dollars in property taxes for the town without adding any residents. And there’s a bunch of commercial properties in this town that seem to only exist to hold mulch or store boats.)
Kristel Cameron, the superintendent of the Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works, will also be in attendance Monday night to give an update on the town’s water system. Selectmen Chairman Alex Bezanson said the Board has been inviting various department heads to keep updates and this happens to be Cameron’s turn. Residents continue to be concerned about the department’s response to PFAS levels in the water supply. The reportable threshold for the so-called “forever chemicals” was lowered in 2020 triggering many municipal water supplies to undertake mitigation efforts to remove the substances. The Water Works is working on a large overhaul of its treatment plants that could start as early as next year. The department has also implemented new policies requiring developers to contribute toward a fund to help replace leaky pipes or find ways to save water in their developments. These polices came after a study determined that the system may not have enough water for all the residential and commercial developments in the pipeline, depending on mitigation efforts and timing of the construction. Bezanson said those in attendance will be able to ask Cameron questions.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PTO MEETS MONDAY
The Abington Middle School PTO meets tonight at 7 p.m. in the AMS cafeteria. The agenda includes updates on the street sign raffle, 8th grade wreath fundraiser, calendar fundraiser, and winter social.
UNIFIED SOCCER GAME THURSDAY
Practice for the next unified soccer ganme is Tuesday, Nov. 15. The game will be on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. against Rockland.
REBUILD BEAVER BROOK PLAYGROUND NIGHT OUT ON SATURDAY
The group behind the new Beaver Brook Playground is hosting an event this Saturday starting at 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus. Tickets are $25 online or $35 at the door. There will be live music and a silent auction featuring Patriots tickets, youth sports league registrations, Eager Beaver Camp membership, Island Grove Pool membership with dedicated parking space for the season, a stocked high-end cooler, tons of gift cards to local restaurants, and more.
NEW AHS DRAMA PRODUCTION THIS THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
The AHS Drama Club will perform “The Play That Goes Wrong“, a comedy in two acts, this Thursday, Nov. 17 and Friday, Nov. 18th at 7:30 pm in the AHS Auditorium. A play within a play, the show depicts what happens when a local drama society murder mystery production goes awry. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, $8 for adults. Tickets are available at the door the evening of each performance. All seats are general admission.
AHS WINTER SPORTS REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
Students in grades 9-12 interested in playing winter sports must register online no later than Tuesday, Nov. 15 by visiting this link (https://www.familyid.com/abington-high-school-athletics/winter-sports-2022-23-6) Students are reminded that they must pass 5 classes during term 1 to be academically eligible for winter sports, according to the Athletic Department. Students must have had a physical within the last 13 months. Physical forms can be sent to Ms. Reid email@example.com.
Board of Health (11/7)
Planning Board (11/7)
Conservation Commission (11/8)
Zoning Board of Appeals (11/10)
The 69th Annual Tri-Town Parade (Whitman)
Town Manager’s Corner feat. Kristel Cameron, Water Superintendent & Tara McManus, Sr. Associate with Weston & Sampson –
Griffin’s Dairy Committee, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes reports from the project manager and community garden manager.
Affordable Housing Trust Fund Committee, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes discussions about the fund’s strategic plan, a conversation with Habitat for Humanity about using land off Gliniewicz Way, and an update on the Center School.
Board of Selectmen, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a m,oment of silence for Brian Fay, discussions about the FY23 tax rate, and a presentation by the water department.
Board of Assessors, 6:30 p.m. Town Hall. This meeting is a joint meeting with the Board of Selectmen to discuss the FY23 tax classifications.
Council on Aging, 6 p.m., Senior Center. Agenda includes a report from the director.
Community Preservation Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes discussion about projects.
Cable Advisory Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a review of the draft Verizon contract, and an opportunity for citizens with complaints about the quality of service.
Park & Recreation, 7 p.m., 350 Summer Street. Agenda includes a discussion about field fees, Abington Celebrates updates, and updates on other projects.
Charter Review Commission, 6 p.m. Town Hall. Agenda includes a review of proposed changes, and discussion with any members of the public in attendance.