Here’s what residents will vote on at Marion Town Meeting

May 1, 2021

MARION — Voters at May 10 Town Meeting will be asked to further fund the town’s wastewater treatment lagoon-lining project, change a bylaw for high-density housing and cast votes on 49 other issues.

The meeting will begin at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, May 10, at the Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center. All registered Marion voters are eligible to attend and participate.

Those attending will be asked to approve $2.74 million in spending to complete the wastewater lagoon-lining project, needed to bring the sewage lagoons up to current standards designed to prevent wastewater from seeping into nearby Aucoot Cove and from there to Buzzards Bay.

The project, which has already cost the town about $9.5 million, involves draining the lagoon, removing the biosolid waste from the bottom, and relining with an impervious liner. The $2.47 million, Town Administrator Jay McGrail said, would complete both the biosolid waste removal and lining.

Originally, it was estimated by consulting engineers Camp, Dresser and McKee, Inc. that there were around 350 tons of sludge at the bottom. That number has since gone up twice, and is currently estimated at over 1,000 tons.

Residents will also be asked to vote on changes to bylaws.

One is an expansion of water bylaws, which would require all buildings to be connected to Marion’s water system within three months of the availability of service. According to the bylaw draft, the purpose of the bylaw is to protect the health and safety of residents by providing a public source of drinking water.

In another proposed bylaw change, residents will be asked to vote to restrict construction of high-density housing.

Currently, zoning bylaws allow for the construction of 12 units per acre on land zoned for high density housing. The proposed changes would cut that number in half.

In addition, the changes would remove language requiring that a minimum of 40% of developable property be buildable space, and that development on properties may not take up more than 40% of the land on which it sits.

Proposed changes to dog-related bylaws include the introduction of fines for residents who don’t license their dogs by the town’s deadline and fines for bringing dogs onto town property where they are prohibited.

Voterswill also be asked to approve spending for improvements to town buildings, including:

$81,000 for a new garage at the Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center, to be used for storage of items which are currency being held in trailers in the community center parking lot

$36,000 for resurfacing pathways to equipment at the Sippican School playground, making the playground handicap accessible

$90,000 to complete the ongoing renovation of the Town House’s facade.