The Plympton Board of Selectmen began their meeting on Feb. 26 with Linda Leddy, a member of the Conservation and Open Space Committees. She and Amy Cronin of the Conservation Committee have drafted an Earth Removal Bylaw regarding the potential Atwood property sale on Prospect Road. This bylaw will be presented to Plympton voters at the Annual Town Meeting.
This bylaw protects the residents of Plympton from destruction of their air and water quality, protects the wildlife in a potential earth removal site, and provides a checklist for approving a sand and gravel removal application presented to the town. Plympton’s earth removal bylaw is seriously outdated and the town recognized its need to update the by-law, as surrounding towns’ bylaws for sand and gravel contain more in-depth procedures.
Leddy and Cronin researched the bylaws of 20 to 30 Massachusetts towns, focusing on those that are rural with smaller populations. They centered on Hubbardston, a town located near Worcester, Sutton, and Marshfield, when drafting Plympton’s version, all of which have been approved by the attorney general and are active bylaws.
One major issue presented with drafting the bylaw was who will approve the application and permit for sand and gravel locations in Plympton. Leddy stated, “Sixty to seventy percent of towns researched use the Board of Selectmen as the board overseeing the project,” and ultimately approvinacting ong the application.
With this information, the board agreed and voted to allow the Board of Selectmen to be the entity to oversee the the applications for the town. The board suggested that along with this decision that they bring the Conservation Commission into any decision making, as it is an agricultural topic as well.
The town’s attorney has not been consulted yet, but will evaluate the proposed bylaw once Leddy and Cronin have finalized their wording. The polished version will be presented to selectmen on Monday March 5, and then will be presented for approval to Town Council.
The members of the board then individually thanked and recognized Leddy and Cronin for their hard work and determination for the town of Plympton. John Traynor stated, “This town is run by our amazing volunteers”, which was then followed by Christine Joy stating how wonderful these two women are and how they have stepped up to benefit the town in a time of need.
Following the discussion of the bylaw, the board discussed Rocky Harvest Water LLC, violating time restrictions by arriving before 6:30 a.m. to pump water. Since mid January, this has been the sixth violation of hours of operation for Rocky Harvest, which concerned board members. Joy asked, “How many times can they violate until we finally do something?” The board plans to contact Rocky Harvest to attend a meeting to discuss the issue.
The meeting ended positively by recognizing two promotions of special police officers who will provide coverage during parades and special events until June 2018.
The board also spread the news of Silver Lake’s Track and Field creating new school records at a state competition, and the success story of Officer Douglas Mazzola helping to reconnect a missing dog and his owner this week.
The next selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 5.