The Plympton Board of Selectmen discussed the possibility of extending the town’s moratorium for the sale of marijuana until June 30, 2019 at its meeting on Thursday, March 8.
This extension was discussed due to a lack of progress from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission regarding how the new industry will be regulated. Selectman John Traynor said, “They haven’t figured it out at the state level, so we have to wait to figure it out at the town level.”
According to Selectmen Clerk Mark Russo, this proposal most likely protects the town from facilities opening for now but said there’s a slight chance for problems. When attending a meeting, Russo learned it’s still uncertain an extended moratorium protects the town if the state takes action in the meantime.
“There’s a slight chance this won’t protect us,” said Russo. “It’s unlikely, but possible.”
All three members of the Board of Selectmen agreed that an extended moratorium is the best option for the time being. Any extended moratorium would have to be approved at Plympton’s annual town meeting. The article would essentially be a change to the zoning bylaw governing the current moratorium.
Police Station Construction Update
Dan Palotta, the project manager from P-3 LLC that the town hired for the construction of the new police station, proposed that the Board of Selectmen formerly sign the construction contract notice of award for the project.
According to Palotta, the state requires that the town must award the contract to the “lowest responsible bidder” as long as references check out and the project doesn’t come in over the town’s budget. Palotta said, “We will build you a building in the appropriation you made.”
When discussing the building inspection process, Public Safety Building Committee Chair Colleen Thompson asked if having the town’s building inspector check in on the construction is considered a conflict of interest.
Palotta said it’s not a conflict of interest because he isn’t the one responsible for the formal inspections. For this type of project, Palotta said it’s the responsibility of the designer to inspect and send updates to the building department.
The building is going to cost $375 per square foot. At this price, Palotta said, “You’re going to have a 21st century police station, something I don’t have to tell you has been needed for 20 years.”
Earth Removal Update
Linda Letty and Amy Cronin wrote a draft for the town’s earth removal regulations. Russo said he wants to get some expert opinion before finalizing the draft.
Selectmen Chair Christine Joy said her only concerns were with the cubic yard threshold being too restrictive and there being activities in the draft that may not be eligible for exemption.
Traynor agreed with the concerns over the threshold. He said, “I was having trouble envisioning 300 cubic yards.
• Selectman Joy said she’ll have the annual town report completed by the Board of Selectmen meeting on March 19. The report is due on March 21, so the Board will be able to discuss any last-minute changes at that meeting.
• Town Administrator Elizabeth Dennehy said she completed the town’s green community application, which was audited by the private company, Energy Source. Dennehy said she worked with a state official on several specific projects in the application including LED lights for Dennett Elementary School. She said, “you can apply for up to $250,00 every year.”