, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 8, 2013

Library tops questions facing voters


A proposed town operating budget of $20,127,443 is also up for a vote. Representing a 3 percent increase over the current budget, $9,487,410 of it will go toward paying for the town’s Triton Regional School District assessment.

The proposed budget holds money to hire personnel for the first time in years. The money will go toward hiring full-time people in the public works and fire departments, as well as a lieutenant for the police department.

Town Meeting will also be asked to authorize selectmen to acquire Long Hill Cemetery. The Beach Road burial site is currently private, but according to Town Manager Neil Harrington, Long Hill’s trustees have requested the town assume responsibility. Harrington said the funds Long Hill currently holds would be passed on to the town to cover maintenance.

In tandem with this request, Town Meeting is asked to establish a five-member Cemetery Commission to oversee all the town’s cemeteries.

Town Meeting will decide how the town will handle taxing its new solar facility. An article requests permission to enter into a 20-year financial agreement with the owners of the True North solar farm on Rabbit Road to establish a set payment schedule for the next two decades. Known as “payment-in-lieu-of-taxes,” if approved, it would alleviate the need to haggle over the worth of the utility every year, and the town would be assured of a steady revenue stream.

Three citizen’s petitions appear on the budget proposed by voters. One requests a change to the town’s zoning, allowing the raising and keeping of livestock, horses and poultry for commercial use in the Commercial 2 zoning district in town, instead of allowing such activities only by special permit.

Another would require two-thirds approval from Town Meeting before town officials, boards or commissions can establish any new policy or enforce any existing policy.

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