Voters approve seven articles at quick Marion Town Meeting

Oct 24, 2017

Marion voters agreed to appropriate $105, 408 for LED streetlights, $25,000 for cemetery maintenance, $9,879 to correct the Old Rochester budget and $7,900 for a new speed trailer at Monday night's Town Meeting.

Voters also approved the new Master Plan and a payment in lieu of taxes agreement for a solar farm on Perry Lane.

Before the meeting began, Selectmen Chair Jody Dickerson honored Police Chief Lincoln Miller, who is retiring at the end of the year, and thanked him for his service.

“He used to ride his bicycle to the police station and volunteer there in high school,” Dickerson said. “I’m very proud of all you’ve accomplished.”

Residents gave Miller a standing ovation.

Voters unanimously passed the Energy Management Committee's request for money for LED streetlight bulbs after Dickerson explained that the lights would reduce light pollution and ultimately save the town money in energy and maintenance costs.

The $25,000 for cemetery maintenance was also passed unanimously. Cemetery Commission Chair Margie Baldwin said that there were overgrown trees and shrubs, but there was no money for care.

"We've tagged trees and overgrown shrubs for removal, but don't have the money or manpower to do it," she said. "Many headstones are broken, falling or leaning."

Also without issue, voters approved the $9,879 to cover the difference for the Old Rochester Regional budget. The wrong number was approved at Town Meeting in May, and the money approved Monday night would correct that.

When it came to approved the $7,900 for a new speed trailer, a couple residents looked for clarification on what exactly the speed trailer would do and why the town needed it.

“I was just curious if the device would be used to assist in traffic studies, such as for site plan reviews for the Planning Board,” Dan Crete said.

Another resident, Christian Ingerslav, said that unless the trailer could be used for speed control and enforcement, he thought it would be “a waste of money.”

Police Chief Lincoln Miller explained to residents that the trailer would be mobile and could be used all over town, and would collect data in addition to clocking speeds. He added that the data would help target specific areas where residents complain about speeding.

“If there are people complaining about speed…we can get peak speeding times,” he said. “It would get data to use for things such as reducing speed in certain areas.”

After little more debate, residents approved the money.

A payment in lieu of taxes agreement was also agreed upon unanimously, as was the new Master Plan.

The final two items on the agenda were passed over, after town officials realized they were not needed. The land swap between Great Hill- Marion, LLC and the Town of Marion was housekeeping to take care of utility easements.

For many years, the town has had a water tower on a parcel of land owned by Great Hill. When a new tower was recently built on another piece of Great Hill-owned property, the items were added to the agenda to swap land parcels.

However, it was discovered when the agenda was sent for legal review that the agreement for the new tower already granted the town easements for the property and the items were unnecessary.