Town Meeting members voted Monday to put $200,000 toward energy conservation measures and efficiency improvements.
However, directly after that vote, they defeated an article that would have set aside the “energy rebate monies” from these steps to create an “Energy Conservation Fund,” which would have been used to support future energy-saving projects.
Town Meeting’s votes on these articles, Articles 8 and 9, respectively, on the Special Town Meeting Warrant, mimicked earlier votes by the town’s Finance Committee.
The committee had voted 15-1 in favor of Article 8 (the one-time appropriation) and 15-1 against Article 9 (the permanent fund). Town Meeting passed Article 8 in a voice vote and defeated Article 9 in a standing vote, 67-86.
Finance Committee chairman Allan Tosti and a number of Town Meeting members said that they thought it made sense to move quickly on Article 8, to realize the savings from the energy upgrades as soon as possible.
However, on Article 9, Tosti said the Finance Committee wanted to see more committees involved in the process before another fund was created.
“A creation of a fund at this time would be premature,” he said. “Let’s wait until we see how this first $200,000 is spent.”
Town Meeting ultimately agreed.
After passing the roughly $9.3 million capital budget, Article 41, Town Meeting members got through nine of 10 articles on the Special Town Meeting Warrant Monday before adjourning until 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 9.
During the Special Town Meeting, members also voted to put approximately $2.2 million toward ongoing renovations at the (Article 6).
They also passed articles 2, 3 and 4, while supporting recommendations of no action on articles 5 and 7.