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Plymouth Town Meeting: Ready, set, done?  

Last year, a moratorium on wind energy facilities was narrowly defeated but, in doing so, town officials publicly committed themselves to reviewing the town’s existing bylaws in this area, resulting in Article 24, which modifies the town’s wind energy bylaws and dramatically restricts the locations where wind energy facilities could be located in Plymouth.

Credit:  By Frank Mand | Wicked Local Plymouth | Posted Oct 16, 2013 | www.wickedlocal.com ~~

PLYMOUTH – If you like your Town Meetings fast, free of controversy and low-calorie, this one may be just your cup of tea.

The warrant for the Town Meeting set to convene Saturday lists 29 articles, but many will not be acted upon and only a handful are expected to generate extended debate.

Those who have done this before predict the show will be over before 1 p.m.

Article 1 is a case in point. It asks Town Meeting to ratify the town’s personnel bylaw to accommodate negotiated changes in employee contracts, the most notable of which is the move (with some exceptions) from a four- to a five-day week for employees at Town Hall.

That might have been a controversial issue, but it was actually debated last year and the changes are already in place.

Capital expenditures can often stir the pot, but not this year.

Among the more notable elements of Article 4, are the A.K. Phinney Building Project, the Warren Cove Revetment and a new municipal security system.

Article 4B had been reserved for the 1820 Courthouse project – which definitely would have received a thorough review – but the town has decided not to bring that project forward this year.

The A.K. Phinney Building Project (Article 4C) involves the demolition of a building and excavation of contaminated soil on property adjacent to Stephens Field, part of the overall effort to redesign that historic recreation area.

Article 4D, the Warren Cove Revetment, seeks funds for the reconstruction of the stone revetment (sloping wall) that separates Bert’s Restaurant and the Pilgrim Sand’s Motel and the lowest point on Warren Avenue from the waters of Cape Cod Bay.

The town is looking for grants from both the Massachusetts and Federal emergency management agencies (FEMA, MEMA) to rebuild the revetment and, if they come through, the town’s share would be just more than $60,000. If those grants do not come through, this article would allocate the full $250,000 needed.

Article 4G could come under close scrutiny, as it seeks nearly $600,000 for a capital purchase. The town usually relegates purchases of this size to the spring meeting. But Town Manager Melissa Arrighi decided this project should not wait. It would fund a new surveillance and security system for school and municipal buildings, including Town Hall. Given the recent tragedy at the Washington D.C., Naval yard, there is an understandable sense of urgency to ensure the safety of municipal employees and the residents they serve.

Critics of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station might give close scrutiny to Article 10, which asks Town Meeting reps to ratify the Board of Selectmen’s decision to approve a new $29 million PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreement with Pilgrim’s owner, Entergy.

Last year, a moratorium on wind energy facilities was narrowly defeated but, in doing so, town officials publicly committed themselves to reviewing the town’s existing bylaws in this area, resulting in Article 24, which modifies the town’s wind energy bylaws and dramatically restricts the locations where wind energy facilities could be located in Plymouth.

Wind energy projects already underway would not be affected by these changes.

There could also be a lively debate near the end of the meeting, when articles 27a and 27b come up for a vote, largely because of the complexity of this article.

Article 27A is a swap between The Pinehills development and the town. The town gets access to property in the Pine Hills, where it intends to build a replacement for a nearby communication tower that is, according to town officials, “near collapse.” The Pinehills development gets a 1.8-acre parcel.

Article 27B, which is technically not related to 27A, joins that 1.8 acres to a separate 11.2 acre parcel, then modifies The Pinehills master plan allow another 13 homes somewhere in the development.

The fall Town Meeting officially convenes at Plymouth North High School at 8 a.m. this Saturday, Oct. 19.

Source:  By Frank Mand | Wicked Local Plymouth | Posted Oct 16, 2013 | www.wickedlocal.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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