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Falmouth town meeting: Members OK more funding for turbine lawsuits  

Credit:  Members OK more funding for turbine lawsuits | By Ethan Genter | Cape Cod Times | Nov. 13, 2015 | www.capecodtimes.com ~~

FALMOUTH – As Falmouth town meeting rolled into its third night, wind turbines were still a central topic.

Town counsel and other groups asked for mid-year appropriations and fund transfers in Article 8 totaling $915,000, which was approved by the majority of voters. Part of that figure included a transfer of $615,000 from the certified free cash fund.

Of the $915,000 total, $350,000 was appropriated for the special counsel budget and the rest was designated for service rubbish contractors, recycling services and short-term notes.

With seven wind turbine lawsuits pending, Town Counsel Frank Duffy said the current budget would “not get us through the end of the year.”

The article was tabled during previous town meeting sessions when citizens asked for more detailed reports from town counsel.

So far in the 2016 fiscal year, the town spent nearly $49,000 on special counsel centered around the town’s wind turbines, Duffy said during a presentation Thursday night. Duffy estimated that special counsel would need $175,000 of the $350,000 appropriation for the ongoing lawsuits. In the 2015 fiscal year, about $103,000 was spent on special counsel regarding the turbines, according to Duffy.

Also approved was Article 15, which amended the town’s codes for licenses and permits and added an exemption to allow homeowners who have not paid their property taxes in full to obtain building permits for weatherization and home improvement projects.

Article 17 passed unanimously to stop people from draining their swimming pools onto nearby streets and neighbor’s properties. The article was proposed by Town Manager Julian Suso along with the Department of Public Works. It was amended to also add water pumped out of trucks.

The possible merger of the Falmouth Historic District Commission and the Falmouth Historical Commission was still under discussion at the Times deadline. Besides the merger, 11 of the 40 articles, including one on allowing foreign nationals the right to vote in local elections, still needed to be acted on.

Source:  Members OK more funding for turbine lawsuits | By Ethan Genter | Cape Cod Times | Nov. 13, 2015 | www.capecodtimes.com

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