All five articles on the warrant for the Special Marion Town Meeting carried on Monday evening, November 26 in the Sippican School Auditorium. Four of the articles passed unanimously.
The article that generated the most discussion was the fifth and final item which asked for $26,500 of the town’s free cash for mold remediation services in the Town House. According to Selectman Jonathan Henry, an air quality assessment was conducted on the basement and the results found high amount of mold. Spores are making their way up to the first floor which could potentially cause big problems for employees in the building.
So far, Town Administrator Paul Dawson estimated that the town has spent $58,000 for research into the air quality and no money has been spent yet for remediation. Water is still seeping into the basement through cracks in the building.
However, according to Conservation Commission member and resident Sherman Briggs, there are a set of bulkhead doors that have been primed and painted and are ready to install.
“I’ve been complaining about this for the past three years,” he said. “We could have taken the time to install them before this meeting. You have to start somewhere. The first thing you have to do is stick your finger in the hole before you do anything else.”
Several other residents voiced their concern over the amount of money that has already been spent for this project with very little result. As a result, they were hesitant to spend money for a project that could be pointless if a complete Town House renovation is not he horizon.
Still, the Finance Committee recommended voting in favor of the article in order to make the Town House habitable. The process for the Town House renovations could take 2-5 years to complete. In the meantime, the mold problem can be fixed in the basement.
The article passed with less than five oppositions. Here is a recap of the other four articles that passed unanimously at the meeting:
- Article 1: To see if the town will appropriate $84,300 for Fiscal Year 2013 for the Community Preservation Committee to meet the requirements of the Community Preservation Act. The money would be designated for projects dealing with Open Space, Community Housing and Historic Resources.
- Article 2: To see if the town will appropriate $30,000 for the Buzzards Bay Area Habitat for Humanity for the single-family affordable house that will be constructed at 185 Wareham St. in Marion. $10,000 would be transferred from the Open Space Committee, Community Housing and other annual revenues. The house will be approximately 1,100 square feet in size on a 22,000 square foot lot with three bedrooms, one bathroom and will be environmentally friendly.
- Article 3: To change the date of the Annual Town Meeting to the second Monday in May instead of the third Monday in order to a void conflict with Memorial Day weekend.
- Article 4: To amend the town’s bylaws from completely prohibiting alcohol on town owned beaches. Under the new bylaw, residents who apply for and are granted one-day liquor licenses from the Board of Selectmen will be able to drink alcohol on town owned beaches. Residents must go through an application process through the Board of Selectmen to be able to receive the license.
By Katy Fitzpatrick