Vibrant Town Center
Town center vision and goals
- Sherborn Town Center will maintain its legacy as a historic rural village with inviting gathering places and successful businesses that contribute to the social vitality and fiscal stability of the town.
- We need to build a community destination in Town Center by creating an opportunity for development of new services, and to make Town Center visually appealing.
- Enhancement of social and commercial activity in Town Center also will support Sherborn’s overall financial health, will increase the desirability of the town and will improve our property values.
- Current capacity and future expansion of businesses and properties in Town Center are severely limited by lack of safe public water supply and waste-water systems.
- Septic contamination of well-water in Town Center is not only a potential health threat, but it could threaten town finances by forcing expensive emergency infrastructure remediation. More information
Actions Needed to meet the goals
- To create public sewer treatment in high-density area with many failing and non-confirming septic systems. To provide clean water to town center for residences, businesses, town services and the school. In May 2014 the Board of Selectmen formed the Town Center Options Committee (TCOC) to study the technical and financial options available to add water supply and/or wastewater treatment systems.
- To finance approximately $8M (TCOC estimation) needed to build a sewer treatment plant and a public water supply infrastructure.
- To subscribe a minimum number of initial sewer/water customers to cover maintenance costs.
- To define public utilities district to provide needed services and to support operating costs while be limited enough to keep future development under control.
- To change zoning regulations in the town center to allow development.
- The successful solution will depend on the residents’ ability to define and agree upon specific additions and changes that are consistent with their shared vision of the future Town Center.
- To collaborate with Town center property owners, developers and financial supporters to find the most effective economical and timely solution.
To create a financially feasible solution to provide the town with a municipal water and sewer system, the town needs to partner and collaborate with local businesses and developers. To be able to fund such a system by developers through a Tax Incremental Financing approach (TIF), the project requires an anchor development to build the system and support the initial maintenance costs.
The Sherborn Square development is proposing a partnership with the town where the developer builds the system and transfers ownership to the town once built. The developer presents an opportunity to make this possible. This is potentially the last remaining option for the town since this is the last remaining large undeveloped parcel in the town center. Alternatively the town would have to build the system by itself in the future, at much higher costs.
1. Why does the town need a public infrastructure system in the town center?
The properties along Main Street are mostly small lots with both onsite septic discharges and private water supply wells. Many of these lots do not conform to current regulations for minimum setbacks between wells and septic systems that the State has determined are necessary to protect public health. Providing Municipal Sewer for this area would allow for the abandonment of those onsite septic discharges, which would directly improve the water quality and public health associated with those water supply wells. All municipal buildings would be connected to this system. Water could also be used for existing unused fire hydrant system.
2. Why is the developer proposing a partnership with the town in building a municipal sewer and public water supply?
Like many businesses in town, the developer would like to utilize public infrastructure as is provided in many other towns across the commonwealth. This proposal would benefit both the town and developer. The town would own and operate its own STP and Water District, while the developer would have more flexibility in planning the proposed development.
3. Would a public infrastructure eventually help with tax revenue and economic growth?
Providing municipal sewer and public water supply to this area will allow for smart, Town-friendly growth of a vital business district to allow for a more vibrant downtown and to promote activity within the Town of Sherborn that residents must currently go to other towns such as Medfield or Holliston to enjoy. Without access to municipal wastewater, this growth cannot be achieved by relying on septic systems.View All
Charles E. Yon
Michael S. Giaimo
Paul R. DeRensis
Addie Mae Weiss
Town Center Options Committee