NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 23, 2012

Salisbury OK's pursuing housing law change

Town seeking to count mobile homes as affordable housing

(Continued)

Attempts to alter the 40B regulations on a statewide basis have failed in recent years. But Harrington said when other communities heard of Salisbury’s efforts last year, he started getting phone calls. Officials in Danvers and Peabody asked for copies of the town’s petition and sent in their own versions, with other communities joining in as well, he said.

Town Meeting last night also approved all fund transfers requested on the warrant, most of which were from this year’s $436,633 free cash account, which is money left unspent from last year’s budget. The free cash transfers will cover purchases and repairs to town equipment; funding of approved labor contracts, employee training and consultants’ fees; as well as a $58,000 deposit into the town’s stabilization, or rainy-day, fund.

Even with the $336,200 in approved transfers from free cash, Harrington said there’ll still be more than $100,000 left in the account.

Town Meeting also voted to indefinitely postpone a citizens’ petition that would change the way the town bills for sewer usage. According to Salisbury Town Counsel Thomas McEnaney of Kopelman and Paige, the language in the petition was faulty. McEnaney said in Salisbury, the Board of Selectmen has the authority to act as the town’s Sewer Commission and set rates.

In addition, he said, because the wording of the petition didn’t stipulate which town bylaw it was meant to amend and how it would specifically change it, even if it was approved, it would not have mandated the change it sought.

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