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|Cost of Nemo|
|Written by Gillian Smith|
|Wednesday, 20 March 2013 08:54|
Town meeting voters ap- proved more than $400,000 for various unexpected expenses as a result of the February bliz- zard more commonly referred to as "Nemo."
During the Special Town Meeting, voters faced eight different motions within Spe- cial Town Meeting article one, approving a total of $449,116 in storm-related expenses.
In motion five under article one, voters approved $4,000 tobe transferred from free cash. The funds were needed for re- pairs to the Girl Scout House roof damage from the Febru- ary blizzard.
In motion six, the town voted to appropriate $186,265 from free cash to supplement lands and natural resources for the purposes of tree removal from the blizzard. Motion seven appropriated $3,500 for salaries, expenses and supplies in connection with the February storm.
Motion eight approved $113,885 from free cash to supplement police services, which incurred extraordinary overtime during the February storm. In motion nine under article one, voters approved $28,064 from the town health insurance trust for fire services expenses due to storm Nemo.
Voters also approved $55,000 to supplement ice and snow removal expenses from Nemo and $57,000 from free cash for other snow and ice removal expenses. In motion 13 under article one, voters approved $1,402 from the town health insurance trust appropriation for the Council on Aging due to extended hours during the February blizzard.
In related news, voters approved the annual Duxbury Beach lease and agreed to a one-time transfer of $200,000 to cover storm damage repairs.
Finance committee member Kathy Muncey said the requested $200,000 would be used for rehabilitation of extensive and unexpected damages incurred from the February blizzard and subsequent winter storms.
The Town of Duxbury leases a portion of Duxbury Beach from the Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc., on a yearly basis. The beach was purchased in 1919 by residents who were fearful of plans to build summer cottages along the length of the beach. The Reservation was founded in 1975 as a Massachusetts charitable organization.
Maggie Kearney, president of the Reservation, said the lease has remained at $400,000 for a number of years. The town sells parking permits to residents and non-residents and collected more than $1.74 million in revenue in 2012. In February, Kearney said the beach sustained repairs estimated to cost $800,000, not including this past weekend's storm damage.
"In order to ensure the beach is ready to open for summer, we need to rebuild roads, crossovers, install 25,000 feet of storm fence and rebuild portions of the sacrificial dune," Kearney said.
Mary Lampert said she believes the town should ask Entergy, the owners and operators of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, for financial support for the beach.
"Entergy is dependent on the beach road for their emergency planning," Lampert said. "In order for a timely evacuation in the event of a disaster, they must be able to show they can allow for a timely evacuation of affected people on Saquish and Gurnet."
Requiring a two-thirds vote to pass, Article 11 was approved by a voice vote.