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Mendon Voters Act on 11 Articles at the September Town Meeting

More than 150 residents attended the September 25 Annual Town Meeting which ultimately approved two debt exclusions, a bylaw, and several financial housekeeping articles. In total, 11 articles were voted on.

The two articles that warranted the most discussion, Articles 4 and 5, were debt exclusions that purchased the former St. Michael's property for $360,000 and fund it's $1.7 million renovations in order to bring the community a more spacious and accessible library. The approved purchase and renovations must now be approved through two ballot questions on November 6. The tax impact to a $300,000 home for both debt exclusions will total $54 for a 20 year loan.

Residents also approved Article 6, a new Right to Farm Bylaw brought forward by the town's Agricultural Commission. The purpose of the bylaw, which is already a Massachusetts General Law, is to promote on a local level the benefits of farming and agricultural based activities in the community.

Article 7, which was also supported by residents, will allow the Board of Selectmen to delegate some of its duties to a future Town Administrator when he or she is eventually hired. As a result, voters approved the acceptance of Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 41, Section 23A. Residents also supported Article 9 to designate Deer Hill Drive as a public way. As a result, the Highway Department will oversee its maintenance and repairs.

Other articles on the warrant included Article 1, which was passed over at the recommendation of the Finance Committee. Article 1 was asking for $2,149 to pay prior year bill but because free cash was not certified yet, Finance Committee Chair Rich Schofield told voters it could be held off temporarily.

Article 2 requested $6,093 to fund the town's property and casualty insurance and Article 3 requested $1,747 for workmen's compensation; both articles were passed unanimously and funding taken from the Finance Committee's Reserve Fund.

Article 8 was sponsored by the Community Preservation Committee requesting $2,500 from Community Preservation Act funding to install a device to prevent blockage by the beaver dams at Inman Pond. Article 8 passed unanimously.

Article 10 was initially seeking $12,500 to aid local veterans. However, because free cash was not certified in time for the meeting, only $2,000 from the Finance Committee's Reserve Fund was requested and approved for now to help assist two additional veterans in town obtain services.

And finally, residents approved Article 11 which was requesting $24,754 from stabilization to fund legal expenses sought by and awarded by the court to Attorney Thomas Lesser; Lesser is the lawyer for Showtime Entertainment which is fighting to construct a strip in town.


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