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Voters Support Fire Department Requests and Build Up Reserves

In just over three hours, Mendon residents discussed and debated a 29 article warrant during the town's November 20 Special Town Meeting. A total of 142 residents attended the meeting. Residents passed a number of financial articles and kicked off the meeting by supporting Article 1, a transfer of $25,000 from free cash to pay bills from a prior year from E.L. Harvey and the Water Board.

Voters also supported a number of articles brought forward by the Fire Department, including Article 5, by transferring $72,000 from free cash to pay unused vacation time owed to members of the Department. Article 8 will utilize $30,000 from free cash to purchase turnout gear for the Fire Department, Article 9 established a Revolving Account for the Fire Department that will repair and maintain fire protection cisterns and be funded by developers at the time of installation. Article 10 set the Revolving Fund's limit to $10,000. In an effort to help build up the town's reserve, voters unanimously supported Article 2 to transfer $119,000 to Stabilization Account, Article 3 transferred $100,000

from free cash to the Capital Expenditure Account, and Article 4 transferred $24,000 from free cash to the Other Post Employment Benefit Account. Article 6 passed by a majority vote and funded a litigation settlement with a former employee for $60,000 and Article 7 passed to fund a regional substance abuse program for $6,200. There were also a number of Community Preservation Act articles voted on. Finance Committee Chair Mike Merolli explained to voters because the Committee had just received the figures associated with the CPA articles just prior to the meeting, members were unable to meet and properly vet the funding requests and therefore had no recommendation on the CPA articles presented that evening. Residents passed Article 11 which annually must place funding into each of the CPA accounts. As a result, $54,175 was placed into the CPA's historic, open space, and affordable housing accounts, $27,087 into the administrative account and the remaining into budgeted reserve. Article 12 was passed to utilize $500 of CPA funds to purchase archival sleeves and boxes to preserve historical documents. However, Article 13 failed and, as a result, Article 14 was passed over. Both articles involved an easement on the town-owned 52 Providence St. property to provide access to the back portion of the land for affordable housing units near the Senior Center. Several residents abutting the property questioned property lines and ownership. Resident Rolland Morin stated because it helps him to hear the Finance Committee's recommendations to make an informed decision, he was not in favor of supporting the funding request. The cost of the easement was $121,000.

Article 15 also involving CPA funding needed for the purchase and site costs for an easement over part of Kinder Morgan's Tennessee Gas Pipeline to access the town-owned 52 Providence St location was also passed over. However, Article 16 was passed to give the Selectmen authorization to accept the Kinder Morgan easement. And lastly, voters supported Article 17 which sought $500 from free cash for postage and printing costs for public hearings related to the demolition of historic homes.




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