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Personnel Board put on hold as STM concludes

TOWNSEND — The first night of the special town meeting ended last Tuesday with only 96 voters in attendance, thus failing to reach a quorum.

The STM concluded Thursday night with 111 voters easily satisfying the 100-vote quorum to hold a town meeting.

The first item sought permission to allow the Board of Selectmen (BOS) to appoint a Personnel Advisory Board. This item received a vote of take no action.

Selectman Peter Collins said he had conferred with his colleagues. “We felt take no action at this time was best. There is language that should be tweaked, and we would like more time,” he said.

Voters did agree to lease open space at Squannacook Meadows to the Townsend Ashby Youth Soccer Association (TAYSA). The lease allows TAYSA use of the athletic fields on the property and makes them responsible for the maintenance of the grounds.

Five of the zoning bylaw language changes were discussed, with four of them getting a positive vote. The article that did not receive the change requested dealt with delineating tributaries of the Squannacook River. Hawthorne Brook was not mentioned in the wording, and Collins said it is a major tributary and should be addressed. The article will reappear on the next town meeting warrant.

The verbiage changes approved include changing, “occupancy of three or more persons,” within the definition of Hotel/Motel, to now read, “lodging of persons.” Another change on the same article deleted the words, “a straight line,” substituting the words, “along the property line, within a straight line, a curved line or a combination thereof,” within the definition for lot frontage.

Another change now adds the words, “with copy to the Highway Superintendent,” in Section 145-24, Driveways and Entrances, of the Zoning bylaw. “No driveway edge shall be less than 15 feet from any fire hydrant” was added.

A zoning bylaw change to Section 145-40, Aquifer Protection Overlay District, which did read, “bathing and other water-related recreation and fishing,” now reads, “swimming, fishing and other water-related recreation.”

The fourth article that passed concerned Section 145-51, Telecommunication and Cellular Towers, to add the words, “other than those already provided for in the original Site Plan Review.”

Resident John Barrett requested a re-visit of an article voted down at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“I would like the town to reconsider the vote that was taken on the purchase of land at 231 South Row Rd. It is worth reconsidering,” Barrett said.

Niles Busler agreed with Barrett. “It would not cost the town a dime to vote yes and have it put on as a referendum question. It would give the people a chance to do research on it,” he said.

The original question asked the town for $830,000 to purchase 24 acres of land along with an antique house that sits on the property.

A voice vote was taken with a resounding “no” as the answer.