It was a full house at the Town Council meeting Sept. 12, with all nine councilors and a sizable crowd present.
Councilors voted on committee appointments and passed motions for a tax abatement for volunteer firemen, changes in the streets and sidewalk ordinance, and an expansion of the Farm Heritage Committee (FHC).
Paul Shupenko was appointed to the Calendar House Building committee with no term set.
Councillor Paul Champagne, who is also Chairman of the Calendar House Building Committee, said, “We have interviewed him and found him to be a suitable candidate to replace Mr. [Peter] Freeman.”
Tax relief for firemen
A unanimous vote was made in favor of the Volunteer Tax Abatement Language, a volunteer tax abatement for up to $1,000 for volunteer firemen. It now includes retired volunteer firemen and fire police that have serviced the municipality for a minimum of 25 years.
The streets and sidewalks ordinance was presented by Director of Public Works, Keith Hayden. Hayden said that the ordinance would now allow 30 feet of width for residential driveways, but changes had to be made regarding driveway material.
Driveways that are made out of concrete, brick, or pavers have an increased likelihood to damage snow plows, and plows more likely to damage the driveway, which can be costly for the town to repair.
The newly proposed Section C of the ordinance would read: Driveways constructed of concrete, brick or pavers shall have a minimum 2-foot asphalt apron abutting the edge of the road. All driveways currently constructed with these materials and not having an asphalt apron shall be considered in conformance with this ordinance. All new driveways constructed in this manner must apply (sic) to this section.
The ordinance passed with a 9-0 vote.
Councillor Ed Pocock III made a motion that 10 sites around town be placed under the jurisdiction of the Farm Heritage Committee (FHC) for maintenance responsibilities. Councillor Dawn Micelli said that she wanted to table the motion. “In my opinion committee members did not have time to digest the information or to have questions answered directly by members of the FHC,” she said.
After much discussion, the council made a vote, passing the motion with a 7-2 vote, with abstentions from Micelli and John Barry.
During public discussion, controversy arose as residents spoke about a trash pick-up ordinance because many people were upset about the very early hours that trash is collected. Kurt Holyst, an owner of a trash company, apologized to the crowd about the noise complaints they had, especially from residents with homes abutting schools.
“We try not to make noise but with the schools, there is no way one of our trucks is going to go into the school parking lot when there are children there. We have to service the schools on a daily basis. We would never take the risk to go into a school with a large vehicle during school hours,” Holyst said.