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Mendon Residents to Vote on Restoring a Police Officer and Meals Tax at Town Meeting

During Mendon's November 15 Special Town Meeting, residents will vote on whether or not to approve a meals tax in an effort to generate additional revenue for the town. If passed, Article 16 would place an additional .75 percent tax on the state's existing six percent meals tax.

It is estimated the meals tax would generate approximately $30,000 in new revenue annually for the financially struggling town. Selectmen Chairman, Michael Goddard said Board members spoke to various restaurant owners in town concerning the additional tax and received mixed reactions about it.

Residents will also vote on Article 11, a $35,500 transfer from the Police Clerk's salary line item and an additional $5,000 from a yet unknown source that will reinstate a police officer's position recently eliminated due to budget cuts. The Police Clerk's position was also cut from the budget, however, there are no plans to restore it.

Since Mendon is dealing with a total budget shortfall of $212,112 that includes the new growth, estimated receipts, state aid, and snow and ice line items, Article 1 is asking to transfer $158,856 from free cash and $53,256 from the Hartford Ave. East Account to remedy the deficit, which must be resolved prior to setting the town's tax rate.

Article 2 is requesting to transfer $16,000 to Town Hall Salaries from the Town Coordinator's Salary Line item and the Hartford Ave. East Account.

Article 3 is requesting $15,000 be transferred to Fire Department Call Salaries to cover funds spent during Hurricane Irene and a full-time firefighter, who is out due to a long-term injury. 

Article 4 is asking voters to transfer $3,315 to Election and Registrations, which was the cost of the override election in July.

Article 5 will transfer $4,000 from the Hartford Ave. East Account to the Town Hall Computer Expense. The line item was incorrectly budgeted.

Article 6 is a request to transfer $431 from Police and Fire Accident Insurance to fund Property and Casualty Insurance.

Due to Hurricane Irene clean up costs, Article 7 is requesting a $12,000 transfer to the Tree Warden Expense to come from the Hartford Ave. East Account, Veteran's Aid Account, a Test Well Account, and the Health Insurance Account.

Article 8 is a $1,000 transfer to the Planning Board Expense line item and Article 9 is a $5,000 transfer to the Treasurer/Collector Tax Title Foreclosure line item.

Article 10 is seeking to transfer $44,704 from free cash to stabilization.

Article 12 is requesting to transfer $7,100 to the Police Department's Quinn Bill.

Article 13 is a housekeeping issue to transfer funding to each of the Community Preservation Act's reserve accounts including Historic Resources, Open Space, and Community Housing. The amount has not been determined.

Article 14 is to accept Massachusetts General Law Section 26G, Chapter 111, which, to summarize, states that a septic system installer who sits on the Board of Health may work at a septic system installation business in the same community as his Board of Health's jurisdiction.

And finally Article 15 concerns changes to the Wetlands Protection bylaw to further protect the town's water supply, groundwater, flood, erosion and sediment control, storm damage, and water pollution prevention, fisheries, wildlife habitat, rare species, and recreational values. The changes hope to provide clear, concise definitions, procedures, fee collection authority, and enforcement. The full context of the bylaw can be found on the Town's Web Site.

The Special Town Meeting will take place at Miscoe Hill School and begin at 7 p.m.


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