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GROTON — In a meeting with a packed agenda, the Board of Selectmen tackled a number of items including revisiting a vote taken only a couple weeks before when it decided to file for intervener status with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the natural-gas pipeline project.

The status allows Groton to work directly with FERC regarding aspects of a natural-gas pipeline proposed by the Kinder Morgan company. Once talked about as part of a possible construction route through Massachusetts, Groton was seemingly abandoned along with other Nashoba Valley towns when the route was shifted north into New Hampshire. But continued talks have shifted the route back south again kindling renewed concern by local officials prompting the filing. An intervener has legal rights to challenge FERC decisions, administratively and in courts if needed. Other rights include participation in negotiations or mediations regarding the pipeline and be privy to all of the documents other interveners receive.

A revisit of the board’s vote to file for intervener status was prompted by local residents who questioned the legality of the original vote due to its not having been formally listed on the Jan. 11 agenda when the question was addressed.

Among those present at Monday’s meeting to express their concerns about the filing were Groton Electric Light Department manager Kevin Kelly and Electric Light Commissioner Kevin Lindemer.

As a result, Town Manager Mark Haddad referred the question to the town’s legal counsel for an opinion. The verdict was that although the vote taken by the board could not be construed as a violation of the state’s Open Meeting Law, it would still be advisable if selectmen discussed the issue again before taking a vote to re-ratify their earlier decision.

As explained by selectmen as well as Haddad, the original vote was taken without placing the item on the Jan. 11 agenda because of time constraints. Faced with a Jan. 15 deadline to file with FERC about Groton’s qualifying for intervener status, it had been decided at the time to move quickly with a vote.

In opposition to the filing, Kelly told selectmen that being involved in the issue that way might actually enhance the possibility that Groton would be reconsidered for the pipeline route, a route not currently in the running.

Meanwhile, Chairman Jack Petropoulos pointed out that so far, having intervener status was costing the town manager much time as he was being inundated with emails on the subject every week.

Other board members however, felt it was better to err on the side of caution as it cost nothing to position the town in such a way that it would have a voice in the councils of FERC should the pipeline ever threaten Groton again.

In the end, selectmen chose to re-ratify their earlier vote as well as to reactivate the town’s dormant Tennessee Gas Pipeline Working Group.

Also at Monday’s meeting, selectmen:

* Voted to authorize the town manager to issue an RFP (Request For Proposal) for a study to determine whether it was feasible for the town to pursue creation of a new senior center. The request for support came from the Council on Aging which claimed that the current center would soon not be able to accommodate all of the town’s elderly residents who were expected to comprise 30 percent of the population by 2020. In voting for the authorization, selectmen asked that the feasibility study specifically include consideration of existing town owned buildings as possible sites for a new center. With an estimated price tag of $20,000 the appropriation of the money is expected to be made in the form of a warrant article at a future town meeting.

* Voted to appoint Robert Flynn to a three-year-term on the Nashoba Valley Technical High School Committee to end in 2019. Flynn was also appointed to complete the existing term of the town’s regular representative on the committee, which ends March 31.

* Considered a suggestion by Haddad that the town explore a program designed to help senior citizens with ever mounting real estate taxes. The program would allow anyone to donate money into a special account whose funds would be earmarked for senior homeowners on limited incomes to help with their taxes. Liking the idea but wanting to learn more before committing themselves, selectmen instructed Haddad to write a letter to the town of Littleton to find out how the program is working there.

* Voted to adopt Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policies and procedures regarding townwide accessibility to help those with disabilities as well as protect the town against liability suits. The vote was conditioned upon a review of the policies by the town’s legal counsel.

* Voted to ratify the appointment of Robin Eibye as interdepartmental administrative assistant and Robert Swan as cable production assistant.

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