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Mendon Board Decides to Revisit Senior Abatement Program Later

The Mendon Board of Selectmen agreed to revisit reinstating the town's Senior Abatement Program when they have a better idea on how the Fiscal Year 2013 budget will play out. The discussion came during an August 6 Board meeting.

The Senior Abatement Program allows residents 60 and older to work for the town in order to receive a deduction on their taxes. According to Finance Chair Rich Schofield, if reinstated, the program would cost Mendon approximately $12,000.

"It will cost a little bit of tax revenue but it gives a break to our senior citizens," said Selectman Mike Ammendolia.

Schofield then discussed what he deemed as a list of "gotta dos" or financial undertakings the town will need to fund, which so far total approximately $170,000. Some of the "gotta dos" include funding nearly $60,000 if Hopedale leaves the regionalized dispatch agreement, $31,700 to reinstate stipends, and $11,000 for DEP consent order start up costs, among others. Other unknown costs not included in the $170,000 total consist of legal costs relating to the adult entertainment judgment and funding to make municipal buildings handicapped accessible.

Selectmen Mike Goddard felt it was too premature to reinstate the Senior Abatement Program right now but stated as the budget comes into better perspective it could be revisited.

Selectmen Lawney Tinio agreed but noted he would like to reinstate the program "sooner rather than later."

In other news on August 6, the Board agreed to set fees for those taking part in the Solarize Mendon program, which installs solar electricity systems at homes or businesses for reduced costs. The Board agreed that the electrical fee would be a $75 flat fee and the building permit fee would be $5 per $1,000 cost of the system with a minimum of $100. The deadline to take part in the program is September 30. Anyone with questions should email Barthel at solarizemendon@gmail.com or call 508-473-3305. For information on the Solarize Massachusetts program, visit www.solarizemass.com.

And finally, the Board approved the formation of the Town Forest Committee. The Committee's charge will be to oversee 120 acres of town-owned forest located at the end of Milleville Road near the Southwick's Zoo property line. The Committee will consist of three to five members and will serve under the Conservation Commission. According to Shirley Smith, who initially brought the formation of the Committee before the Board of Selectmen, stated there are already several residents interested in serving on it.




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