BOURNE — The five-article special mandate and 18-point annual session demands all passed routinely and overwhelmingly on Monday night at the little-attended annual town hall meeting that included the reintroduction of electronic voting.
With Moderator Amy Kullar keeping parliamentary pace, the spending plan for fiscal year 2023 was approved at $73.4 million on a vote of 140 to 16. For the second year in a row, $338,000 was allocated to snow removal operations.
At the special town hall, voters supported taking $450,000 from the landfill’s retained earnings to fund a pilot leachate treatment system that disposal facility managers say could put the landfill on the national map.
Private roads repaired in Bourne
On a vote of 139 to 6, approval was given to Section 15, a request to amend local bylaws and allow the Public Works Department to carry out emergency repairs on private roads to ensure a safe public safety response.
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Director of Public Works Shawn Patterson assured voters that the $50,000 requested would cover pothole repairs on unaccepted streets, which make up more than half of Bourne’s roads.
Investment project in Bourne
Capital spending plans for next year total $4.5 million, with requests being funded through the city’s Free Cash Account. They include $404,329 to help fund the addition of a fuel depot at the public works complex near Scenic Highway, $252,676 for police cruisers, $46,500 for a new walkway/steps at the marina in Taylors Point and $200,000 to upgrade the school system’s technology plan.
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The loan will fund the $450,000 roof replacement at Bourne High School’s D wing, while proceeds from the landfill will fund an $880,000 Caterpillar road roller.
Community Preservation Act Fund in Bourne
Ten Community Preservation Act applications have been approved. They include the rehabilitation of housing authority housing in Waterhouse Road ($70,141), a feasibility study of the library building ($25,000), restoration and preservation of the town flag ($13,000) and the purchase/restoration of an 1857 city plan ($18,000) once appraised. .
There has been a dusting of Preservation Act funding requests related to upgrades to tennis courts and disability access in “certain parks” not in the mandate as to individual costs per location. Former coach Steve Mealy disputed the omission, saying the details were “essential information for voters to make spending decisions”.
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CPA chairman Barry Johnson said the unexplained costs are just estimates at this stage which he did not have on hand and the projects have yet to be tendered . Of the overall request of $330,000, he said, $30,000 would fund a project manager.
Recreation committee member Alice Howe identified land in various locations, including Keith Field in North Sagamore and Cataumet School, but she too did not address costs.
Other spending decisions at Bourne town meeting
Voters also regularly approved $10.9 million for the landfill division and $1.3 million for the sewer service, both of which are accounted for in corporate fund accounting.
Voters authorized $100,000 for the stabilization fund, $20,000 for the social services grant program, $150,000 for a special education reserve fund, and $428,000 in cash available for the capital stabilization.
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Free money was also mined for $45,113 to complete improvements to Old Bridge Road in Buzzards Bay. A sum of $50,000 was also approved to resume official state environmental monitoring, remediation and reporting of suspected underground contamination at 229-239 Main Street.