The latest news from Andover Town Offices and around the community.
Town of Andover Newsletter
December 5, 2023 | No. 021

Town Manager Releases Recommended Capital Improvement Program for FY2025-FY2029

Town Manager Andrew Flanagan has released the recommended Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for Fiscal Years 2025-2029, marking the initial step in the yearly budget development process. The document provides a comprehensive framework for capital investments in Town projects and equipment over the next five years.


The CIP recommends the expenditure of $17,954,126 in FY2025 divided amongst several funding sources: general fund revenue, general fund borrowing, free cash, specially dedicated funds (e.g., Chapter 90 funding), and the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund.


Notable investments proposed in the plan include an updated Town and School Facility Master Plan, which will replace the previous assessment conducted in 2016 and account for significant improvements to facilities over recent years. It also includes a study to assess the creation of a Stormwater Utility, continued investment in sidewalk repairs and improvements, and investigation and implementation of safety enhancements at key intersections.


The CIP will be reviewed by the Select Board, School Committee, and Finance Committee during a Tri-Board meeting on Wednesday, December 6 at 7:00 PM at Memorial Hall Library.

Process to Apply 25 MPH Speed Limit to Additional Roadways Across Andover Continues 

In 2022, Town Meeting voted to opt-in to Chapter 90, Section 17C of Massachusetts General Laws, establishing a speed limit of 25 miles per hour in thickly settled areas and business districts. The Select Board subsequently voted to implement the measure on a town-wide basis. The adjusted speed limit is intended to make Andover streets safer for drivers and pedestrians, and to reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of a motor vehicle accident.


At the time of the measure’s implementation, 34 roadways throughout Andover had special speed regulations on file with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), making them exempt from the town-wide speed limit. A working group of Town staff was formed to evaluate and consider the targeted removal of these regulations.


In August, the Select Board voted to approve a recommendation from the working group, produced with guidance from MassDOT, to rescind special speed regulations on 16 streets throughout Andover. This move will have the effect of lowering the speed limits on the 16 identified roadways to 25 miles per hour, consistent with the town wide speed restriction.


A multi-step approval process must be completed in order for the special speed regulations to be formally rescinded and for the reduced speed limit to be enforced on the identified roadways.

Throughout the last several months, MassDOT has reviewed the rescission of special speed regulations for each street individually, rather than considering all 16 requests simultaneously. As a result, the status of the speed regulation rescission process varies by street.

Andover Welcomes Tristan Hoare as Chief Assessor

The Town of Andover recently welcomed Tristan Hoare to the position of Chief Assessor. His appointment marks a significant shift in leadership within the Assessor’s Office following the retirement of David Billard, who dedicated more than 35 years of service to the Town. Hoare’s appointment was confirmed by the Select Board in late October.


Under the direction of the Chief Assessor, the Assessor’s Office is responsible for determining the value of all residential, commercial, industrial, and personal property in Andover for taxation purposes and works to ensure that all properties are assessed accurately and fairly. The Office also maintains records of property ownership, land values, and property characteristics. On an annual basis, the Chief Assessor prepares and presents tax classification information to the Select Board to inform the setting of tax rates, a process which is currently underway for FY2024.


Tristan Hoare brings a wealth of experience to the role of Chief Assessor. Prior to joining the Town of Andover, he accumulated more than ten years of experience in assessor’s offices in other Massachusetts communities, developing a well-rounded understanding of all municipal assessing functions. He most recently served as Assistant Assessor in the City of Melrose, a position he held for two years.

December 4 Select Board Brief
Select Board Sets Tax Classification for FY2024, Reviews Recommendations of the Town Governance Study Committee  

The Andover Select Board convened on Monday, December 4 in the School Committee Conference Room at the Andover Public Schools Administrative Offices. Key actions taken by the Board included the approval of the tax classification for all property for FY2024. Additionally, the Board reviewed recommendations from the Town Governance Study Committee (TGSC), endorsing a series of actions that can be implemented administratively by the Town Manager and beginning its review of recommendations that require action by Town Meeting.

November 29 Select Board Brief

The Andover Select Board considered several significant fiscal matters as it gaveled in on Wednesday, November 29. The Board began its review of the Capital Improvement Program for FY2025-FY2029, which proposes capital investments totaling $17.95 million for the upcoming fiscal year; began the process of establishing the tax classification of all property for FY2024; and set a rate for the means tested senior tax exemption. 

Town Awarded Grant for Installation of Solar Lights Along Playstead Field Walkway 

Since its completion in 2021, the paved walkway along the northern edge of the World War I Memorial Playstead has substantially improved pedestrian access to key destinations including the Robb Senior Center, the Cormier Youth Center, The Park, Town Offices, Doherty Middle School, and Downtown Andover. The pedestrian route has been a welcomed enhancement to students, seniors, and persons with disabilities, and has provided a significant benefit to residents of the 200-unit Andover Housing Authority property located behind the field complex. 


In November, the Town of Andover was awarded a grant of $147,421 through the Merrimack Valley Renewal Fund that will enable further enhancements to this frequently used walking corridor through the installation of solar powered streetlights along the pathway. 


The grant will fund the purchase and installation of sixteen solar powered streetlights. Twelve of the units will be used to illuminate the pedestrian walkway, and the remaining four will be positioned to light the adjacent parking area off of Chestnut Court, also added during the 2021 project at the field complex

Downtown Parking Improvement Project Reaches
Substantial Completion

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, construction on the Town parking lots behind Old Town Hall has reached substantial completion. Lot 1, immediately behind Old Town Hall, and Lot 2, located across Bartlet Street, have been closed intermittently throughout recent months during construction of the comprehensive Downtown Parking Improvement Project.


Paving and curbing work in Lot 1and along surrounding roadways, including Park Street and Barnard Street was completed in November. Line striping was completed in both lots during the last week of the month.


Contractors remain on-site to perform work related to the construction of the community gathering and performance space located between Lot 1 and Old Town Hall. This work is anticipated to be completed in the next week, which will the conclusion of any significant disruptions to parking associated with the project. Lot 1 will be closed daily before 4 PM this week while work continues.


Additional finishing working, including the planting of trees and installation of other landscaping elements, will be completed next spring.

Director of Public Health Thomas Carbone
Receives Statewide Honor 

Andover Director of Public Health Thomas Carbone was recently honored with the Jeffrey P. Stephens Award in recognition of his unwavering commitment to excellence and his dedicated efforts in advancing local public health.

This prestigious honor is bestowed by the Massachusetts Health Officer’s Association during its annual conference. The honor is awarded in tribute to the late Jeffrey P. Stephens, a distinguished member of the MHOA Board of Directors, recognized as a driving force for positive change in local public health. Stephens' contributions extended well beyond his immediate community.

Tom Carbone has more than two decades of experience in the field of public health. He has served as Andover's Director of Public Health since 2006. Throughout the course of his service to the Town of Andover, Carbone has consistently dedicated himself to enhancing the health of the community and supporting others within the public health field. 

Town Accepting Applications for Spring Session of the
Andover Leadership Academy

Andover's Leadership Academy is a 12-week course designed to enhance townspeople's understanding of Town government operations and for municipal leaders and townspeople to learn from one another through conversation. The program is intended to advance understanding of and participation in civic affairs as well as to increase awareness of the challenges facing municipal government.


The Town of Andover is currently accepting applications for the Spring 2024 session, which will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 9:00 PM, running from March 6 through May 22.

Town of Andover Host Holiday Happenings on Friday, December 8

On Friday, December 8 from 4-8 PM, the municipal complex around Town Offices will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland for Holiday Happenings! The festive celebration will feature food, live entertainment, crafts, carriage rides, photos with Santa, and more. Activities will be spread out across the Robb Center and Cormier Youth Center, with carriage rides leaving from the front of Town Offices.


Performance Schedule: 

5 PM - AHS Marching Band – Outside Stage 

6 PM – Free Christian Church – Outside Stage 

6 PM – Andover Chinese American Charm Circle – Inside at AYS

6:30 PM – Creative Arts Dance – Inside at AYS

7 PM – Andover School of Ballet – Inside at AYS

2,004 Voters Attend November 20 Special Town Meeting

2,004 registered voters attended the Special Town Meeting on Monday, November 20 at the Andover High School Field House. The meeting marked the first time that electronic voting was used at Town Meeting following its approval at Annual Town Meeting in 2023. 


Town Meeting voted to disapprove Article 7A, which would have appropriated funding to complete schematic design of a full AHS replacement project, and voted to approve Article 7B, appropriating $500,000 to design an interim project to make short-term improvements to the existing AHS facility. Design of the project will be managed by the Permanent Town Building Advisory Committee which would include representation from school administration, town administration, the Andover High School Building Committee and the School Committee. 


Full results from the Special Town Meeting can be viewed at the link below.

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