The Recorder – Meeting notifications, wetlands protection on tap for Wendell Special Town Meeting

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Published: 4/1/2022 5:46:01 PM

Modified: 4/1/2022 5:45:07 PM

WENDELL — The Town Offices’ outdoor bulletin board isn’t going anywhere, but residents voting at the April 6 Special Town Meeting may designate an alternate posting method for meeting notices.

A warrant article asks voters if they wish to have notices posted to wendellmass.us, the town’s website, so as to have an additional means of fulfilling the meeting notice requirements of the state’s Open Meeting Law.

“For local public bodies, meeting notices must be filed with the municipal clerk with enough time to permit posting of the notice at least 48 hours in advance of the public meeting,” information from state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office reads. “Notices may be posted on a bulletin board, in a loose-leaf binder or on an electronic display (e.g. television, computer monitor or an electronic bulletin board), provided that the notice is conspicuously visible to the public at all hours in, on or near the municipal building in which the clerk’s office is located. In the event that meeting notices posted in the municipal building are not visible to the public at all hours, then the municipality must either post notices on the outside of the building or adopt the municipal website as the official method of notice posting.”

The Special Town Meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Town Hall on Wednesday, April 6.

This Town Meeting will be the first for Town Coordinator Glenn Johnson-Mussad, who started on the job on Jan. 24. Johnson-Mussad said he does not expect any of the warrant’s 12 articles to be particularly contentious.

“I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve never been to a Town Meeting before,” Johnson-Mussad said, adding that he loves the idea of voters “choosing their destiny.”

Residents will also be asked to amend the Wendell General Wetlands Protection Bylaw, designed to build upon the protections state law affords wetland areas, by extending protected resource areas to include temporary wetlands and the buffer zone around wetlands.

Areas subject to protection under this bylaw include any freshwater wetland, isolated wetland, spring, bog, swamp, lands subject to flooding and riverfront areas. Activities subject to regulation under the bylaw include those constituting removal, filling, dredging, building upon, degrading, polluting or discharging into or otherwise altering any areas specified as being under the bylaw’s protections.

The applications and permits mandated by the bylaw will not be required for emergency projects necessary to protect the public’s health and safety, provided that certain conditions are met.

The warrant also consists of articles concerning financial transfers. One asks residents to transfer $637,656 from free cash to the stabilization fund, while another pertains to transferring $35,000 from the stabilization fund to pay for a Highway Department tractor.

Another article asks voters to transfer $20,000 from the Rehab Loan Payback Account to use as a match for a grant the town is applying for from the Municipality Vulnerability Preparedness Program to pay for the installation of a solar and battery storage system at the Highway Garage and Fire Station at 5 Jackie Lane.

The entire Special Town Meeting warrant can be viewed at bit.ly/3LwnnfL.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or
413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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