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HARVARD — It took 370 registered voters two hours and 45 minutes to work through six articles on the Special Town Meeting warrant Tuesday night.

They approved all but the first article — a proposed amendment correction to the town zoning map. That article was withdrawn shortly after the meeting convened at 7 p.m.

Article Two sought to add a new section to the protecting zoning bylaw to allow the creation of “large-scale ground-mounted solar photovoltaic facilities.” The article covered one of five criteria needed for the town to get the state’s “Green Community” designation, which comes with perks such as grant eligibility for energy-saving projects.

Planning Board member Cara McGuire, referring to a handout sheet that described the proposal in detail, said the site targeted for the envisioned facility — 10 town-owned acres that include the capped former landfill off Depot Road — was chosen for its substreet topography and comfortable distance from residences, with only playing fields and the transfer station nearby.

“It would have little impact on neighbors or view sheds,” she said. She also noted that while passage of the article would allow a passive solar farm to be built, it would not mandate it. “We would not be committed to construction,” she explained.

Energy Advisory Committee Chairman Brian Smith, however, acknowledged that at least one company is interested in leasing the land to build such a facility. Another option would be for the town to do it, he said.

Selectman Tim Clark said a solar facility producing the wattage specified in the proposal could produce enough power to light up municipal buildings, with excess to sell back to the grid.

The motion passed by a greater than two-thirds majority.

The next two articles were also geared to meet “Green Community” criteria.

Article 3 was basically an extension of the one before it and according to Town Counsel Mark Lanza, the two articles could have been melded into one. The motion passed by a two-thirds majority without discussion.

Article four was a different story. It passed, but not without arguments on both sides.

Opposed by the grass-roots group Common Sense Harvard, among others, it sought to amend town bylaws to adopt the state “Stretch Energy Code.”

The so-called stretch code beefs up state building codes for new construction, including additions to existing homes.

Proponents characterized it as a green initiative for the common good, an energy-saving move that would be a win/win for the town, its citizens and future generations.

One resident said testing for code-required ratings would benefit homeowners, who would then know what they were buying into, energywise. She and others argued that if motor vehicles have fuel economy ratings, new homes should have a similar set of values, like the “Energy Star” ratings on windows, doors and appliances.

Opponents included several homeowners with drafty, older homes, and at least one local builder. They said it was an attempt to limit individual choice.

Selectmen Chairman Peter Warren spoke against it. Drawing on three decades in the Real Estate business, he said the stretch code undercut property rights and would further depress the market for new homes.

Building Commissioner Gabe Vellante, who is also Ayer’s building inspector, agreed. Citing estimates from area builders, he said it would add substantially to building costs. Even a 2,000-square-foot house, small by Harvard standards, would cost about $10,000 more to construct due to stretch energy code upgrades, he said.

The Energy Advisory Committee (EAC) sponsored the article. Smith, the chairman, said the group, formed in 2008, had been working to help the town cut energy use and cost. Recommendations ranged from simple moves such as replacing light bulbs and turning down the thermostat in town buildings to completed projects such as repairing the DPW roof and installing a new boiler at the Bromfield School.

“We’re always seeking funding,” to do more, Smith said, so they voted to go for the Green Community Act, which would allow the town to apply for grants.

If the proposal seemed like a rush job to some, the EAC explained why: To meet a filing deadline of Nov. 19, when applications for the designation and the next round of grant funding are due. The handout showed a list of 51 Massachusetts communities that got the designation last year, netting grants that ranged from more than $140,000 to nearly $1 million.

After over an hour’s discussion, resident Paul Green, who had spoken for it, called for moving the question. The motion to approve Article Four passed by a majority vote.

Article Five, which proposed petitioning for Home Rule Legislation to allow the town to purchase group insurance for its employees without collecting bargaining, moved more quickly, but it, too, was controversial. It passed by a small margin, despite strong objections and emotional testimony against it.

Town unions, including the Harvard Teachers Association, Police, Dispatchers and DPW unions put out a flier opposing the article, stating that passage would send a “bad message” to town employees that the town would rather work around than with them.

Harvard teachers and police officers, all town residents, spoke against it. They noted that collective bargaining ended amicably with the signing of new contracts just over three months ago and that the negotiations resulted in concessions and positive outcomes. Town side benefits included $1 million in cash reserves this year, for example, and no tax overrides for several years. They strongly urged voting down the article.

Police Officer Kim Murphy has lived in town four years but her ties are strong. “My husband grew up here,” she said, and she coaches at the schools. She gave a personal perspective.

In April, she was out of work with a collapsed lung and underwent two major surgeries over two months. “I’m 34 years old,” she said, stressing how swiftly a medical condition can strike. “I’m not the only one with health issues,” she said.

It means to the world to her, Murphy continued, to keep the same doctor, but she fears that if the town shops on its own for insurance plans, bypassing union bargaining, it might pick one that takes that option away. “It doesn’t make any sense,” she said. “That choice should be up to me, not the town!”

Resident Billy Salter disagreed with Selectman Marie Sobalvarro’s explanation that the article was a good idea in theory and practice, even if there’s no immediate intent to shop for a new insurance plan and saves the town money in the long run. “These unions have collective bargaining rights” that should be respected, he said.

Another resident said union members “shouldn’t take this personally.” The ability to decide which insurance plan an employer offers is “unheard of in the private sector” she said.

School Committee member Piali De, speaking as a private citizen, said she understands the need to control health plans’ rising costs. As a business owner, she would pick a plan that will compete in the marketplace and draw “the best talent,” she said. But in the “collaborative environment” between the town and its unions, an attempt to take the reins might have “unintended consequences.” If a decision to pass the article makes “our employees feel vulnerable,” it might not be the best way to go, she said. Besides, she doubts the state will grant the petition anyway.

Police Officer Gregory Newman said it’s the wrong move at the wrong time. “We’ve heard a lot of talk about negotiations,” he said, noting contracts signed in July that settled the insurance issue. “Now, less than four months later, the town wants something else.” This isn’t the time, he said. “Bring it up when the contracts expire.”

But George McKenna, of the Finance Committee, said the town won’t change anything now. He argued that the article “puts the town in a better place” in terms of insurance shopping when the time is right. Over his 13 years on the board, health-care costs have become a “budget buster” for the town, he said. “We need to be more competitive and this gives us that opportunity down the road.”

The motion required a majority vote for the article to pass. When a show of hands seemed evenly split, Moderator Bob Eubank called for a count. The vote was 138-117 in favor of the article.

With just one article to go, people poured out of Cronin Auditorium into the rainy night.

Article Six quickly passed on a unanimous vote. It created a revolving fund for the library building project, so that receipts from pilot programs there can be used to pay bills and expenses associated with those programs.

The final motion dissolved the meeting at 9:45 p.m..