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Special Town Meeting: A Dedication, Then On with the Money Business

A special Town Meeting convening tonight will take up articles seeking additional funding for the Estabrook School building project and access improvements, along with a tax increment financing request from Vistaprint.

It'll start with a dedication, and then they get down to the money business.

At 7 p.m. tonight at Cary Memorial Hall, prior to the start of a special Town Meeting, a ceremony will be held for the dedication of the building’s auditorium, to be renamed as Margery Milne Battin Hall.

Over the summer, the Board of Selectmen approved the naming of the auditorium after Battin, a former longtime town moderator and role model for women who died less than two weeks after that decision.

“I can’t think of anybody in this whole community who has made more of a contribution to the community,” Norm Cohen, a selectman, said at the time.

The dedication came after a request from Bill Dailey, another respected resident, who suggested naming the auditorium after Battin in recognition of her more than 50 years of public service, which included time as a Library Trustee, selectman and several terms as Lexington’s first female town moderator.

The special Town Meeting will not actually convene until after the Battin dedication. It’ll officially start at 7:30 p.m., and warrant articles include funding requests associated with the construction of a new Estabrook Elementary School—a project pushed forward following the discovery of PCBs on campus last year—as well as a tax increment financing request tied to Vistaprint’s expansion plans.

For more information about the warrant and Vistaprint’s request, visit the town webiste’s special Town Meeting page.

Regarding the Estabrook project, Town Meeting members will be asked to approve about $2.5 million in additional funding for the building project, along with another $1.5 million for site access improvements, School Committee Chairwoman Margaret Coppe told The Globe.

(To view the full special Town Meeting Warrant, click the PDF above.)

On the Vistaprint request, the Paris-based company is seeking to expand its Lexington campus and operation, and is looking for a tax exemption for its expansion that would start with a 45 percent exemption in the first year and decrease incrementally until it’s a 2 percent exemption in years 11 through 13.

The Board of Selectmen voted to recommend approval of the TIF on Nov. 13. Asked to comment on her board’s recommendation on Nov. 18, selectmen Chairwoman Deb Mauger said, “The Board voted  in favor of the TIF as outlined on the Town's web site and we await the decision of Town Meeting,” in an email to Patch.

According to Vistaprint Information summary summary, the company currently leases an estimated 219,505 square feet of space in Lexington for marketing, technology development and other support functions. The company plans to lease another 100,000 of 150,000 square feet its property owner plans to construct at Vistaprint’s current location.

“The project investment is estimated at $57 million including $45 million in construction costs by the property owner, $7 million for leasehold improvements, and $5 million for new personal property by the company,” says the Vistaprint information summary on the town website. That same summary says the expansion project would retain 880 permanent full time jobs and create another 300 full time jobs here in Lexington.

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