September 26, 2014

Buckland trucks to come in from the cold

By DIANE BRONCACCIO, Recorder Staff | The Recorder | Thursday, September 25, 2014 | (Published in print: Friday, September 26, 2014) |

BUCKLAND —The 11 town highway trucks may not have a permanent home yet, but they will at least come in from the cold this winter.

Special town meeting voters Thursday night said “yes” to a plan for the town to rent the now-empty Mayhew Steel Products facility from November at least through June.

The town is to pay $5,000 per month for the 28,000-square-foot plant for a total appropriation this fiscal year of $40,000.

An additional $20,000 was requested, as a money transfer, to make some modifications to the building. These include a new door, new door frame and creating a small inner office to be heated in winter with a space heater.

The agreement includes an option for the town to renew the lease for a second year.

The town-owned Highway Garage has been closed since 2008, when the building inspector found significant structural damage inside. Since then, vehicles have been housed at various sites, with some staying outdoors in bad weather.

The old Conway Street garage has been completely condemned and will have to be demolished, Selectman Rob Riggan said.

“We have $1.7 million worth of equipment and we have employees with no roof over their head when they have to do maintenance,” he said.

In addition:

∎ Voters said “yes” to a Small Wind Energy Facility Bylaw that allows small wind turbines of up to 120 feet and a capacity of up to 250 kilowatts through a special permit process. Turbines larger than that, or with greater generating capacity, are prohibited within the town’s borders.

Also, smaller turbines of up to 100 feet tall and producing 25 kilowatts or less will be permitted in rural residential, commercial, industrial and historic-industrial districts by special permit.

Some residents opposed the bylaw, saying they didn’t want wind turbines in town. Others argued it is better to have town-established criteria, so that if someone proposes a wind turbine, the town has standards upon which to approve or reject the plan.

∎ Voters supported a Community Rights Resolution, giving residents the right to hold public hearings and vote on all “corporate, state or federal energy infrastructure and other large-scale projects within town.”

This resolution also prohibits such activities as photographing private property, negotiating leases, blasting to remove trees and road construction until the residents have voted in favor of the project.

URL to article: