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Swift Town Meeting Passes 28 Articles in Mendon

In what some called one of the quickest Town Meetings on record, on May 4, residents got right down to business and passed a 28 article warrant in just over one hour. In addition to voting in favor of the $14 million Fiscal Year 2013 budget presented, a total of 73 residents also supported a number of road acceptances and approved a new cemetery for members of the Mendon Mennonite Church, among others.

One of the reasons the meeting went more swiftly than in prior years was the way in which the budget was presented. Instead of reading every line item of Article 4, Town Moderator Jay Byer read only the main sections of the budget. The only hold during the budget reading concerned a question on the 26 percent increase request from Blackstone Valley Technical High School, which according to Finance Chair Rich Schofield, is the result of an additional 10 Mendon students to the school and an adjustment of the state's funding formula which mandates Mendon pay more.

Byer also helped expedite things by utilizing the consent calendar motion; this allows standard articles to be voted on in one motion. Those articles included Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 14 and are summarized as follows:

Article 5 gave permission for the town to use its Chapter 90 funding from the state.

Article 6 funded the annual update valuation totaling $9,200 and Article 7 paid $10,000 for the annual cyclical inspection.

For Articles 8 through 11, voters established revolving accounts for the Taft Public Library, the Planning Board, the Highway Department, and the Conservation Commission, respectively.

Article 12 approved the Land Use Committee's Five Year Plan and Article 14 matched the Police Department's grant for $2,500.

Other articles approved included Article 13 to fund the town's ambulance lease payment for $28,848.

Three additional articles concerned Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding. Article 15 released $96,239 from the CPA funding to pay the Fino land debt. Article 16 also utilized CPA monies to pay $6,000 for the removal of invasive weeds from Inman Pond and Article 17 requested $20,000 from CPA funding to pay for a temporary Affordable Housing Coordinator.

Article 18 funded the Police Department's temporary trailer for $16,000, which will have to be paid until the new police headquarters is built, and Article 19 appointed a member of the Board of Selectmen, Michael Ammendolia, to the Conservation Commission.

Article 20 was sponsored by members of the Mendon Mennonite Church who requested the town's permission to develop a new cemetery on their Cape Road property. The article passed by a majority vote and now the members of the Church must go through the Department of Environmental Protection for approval.

The remaining Articles on the warrant concerned road acceptances involving Deer Hill Road, Freeman Place, Leone Lane, Lowell Drive, Millbrook Drive, Springbrook Court, and Forest Park Drive. Residents unanimously decided to accept the roads, which means the Highway Department can perform major repair work to them if necessary. In addition, Mendon will eligible for more Chapter 90 funding from the state.


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