By Beth David, Editor
Acushnet will hold its annual Town Meeting on Monday, 5/9, at Ford Middle School, 708 Middle Road, beginning at 7 p.m. Acushnet has an open TM, meaning any registered voter in Acushnet can attend and vote on articles.
TM will decide on 27 town meeting articles, a $33.3 million operating budget, and more than $900K in spending from articles that will come from a variety of sources, including free cash and enterprise accounts. Those are funds earmarked for specific departments, such as water and sewer fees going to pay for water and sewer related projects.
Town Meeting will also be asked to place a moratorium on solar farms in town. The town currently has 20 approved large-scale ground mounted solar photovoltaic installations completed or under construction, according to the TM warrant.
“These projects have involved significant clear cutting of trees and ground vegetation and have been located in close proximity to abutting residential neighborhoods,” reads the information in article 24. “An installation in an abutting town has made clear the threat of further solar development in Acushnet to scenic vistas and recreational areas.”
The article says that the high demand for large solar farms could change the face of the town.
“The Town needs time to consider and study the future implications and impact of ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installations upon the Town as a whole, as well as the consistency of the already completed solar facilities with the Town’s current and future planning goals, and adopt regulation accordingly,” it reads.
The moratorium would be for 6 months. It requires a 2/3 vote from Town Meeting.
The largest capital improvement project request is by the fire department, looking for $320,000 from ambulance receipt funds for new breathing apparatus.
Other capital improvement projects include a request from the public works department for $280,000 from free cash to buy a 10-wheel sander/ plow truck.
The DPW is also requesting $50,000 from free cash for a slide-in sander to be able to use a snow truck for sanding as well.
The police department is asking for $86,400 from free cash to buy tasers, noting that the present equipment is out of date and the manufacturer recommends replacement.
The PD is also requested $9,500 from free cash for a new computer workstation and software.
The School Department has two requests from free cash: $15,000 for roof preventive maintenance, and $45,000 for repair and installation of new surface to parking lots. The DPW will provide labor for the parking lot work.
Emergency Management is also seeking some funds from free cash: $16,000 for anew gas furnace and associated duct work. The old furnace is failing.
Requests for Community Preservation Act funds total $88,750. The Historical Commission is seeking $3,500 for fencing replacement at the Long Plain Museum; $23,250 for storm windows at the Long Plain Museum; and $42,000 to finish the interior of the Perry Hill Church, funds in addition to $38,208 already used.
The Parks Commission is also seeking $20,000 in CPC funds for improvements to Pope Park, to purchase and install new basketball equipment, paint resurfaced court, install trash receptacles and “doggie stations.”
The warrant is available on the Town Clerk’s website: https://www.acushnet.ma.us/home/news/town-meeting-warrant
Click here to download the entire 5/5/22 issue: 05-05-22 FAYB
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