Norwell: Town meeting votes on budget, open space acquisition

Norwell opened its special and annual town meeting at the middle school Monday night.

Town meeting approved a $40.4 million dollar level-service operating budget for fiscal 2012.

Selectmen chair John Mariano says the town had to dig deep into their cash reserves to provide a level-service budget this year, and next year the town could be facing a proposition 2 ½ override.

Mariano said, “We are most likely looking at an override for fiscal year 2013, or face some drastic reductions across all departments.”

Town meeting also voted to appropriate $1,25o,000  in community preservation funds to purchase 25 acres of open space off Mount Blue Street. The sale is contingent on the town receiving a $500,000 state grant.

Community preservation committee vice chair Alison Demong presented the article to town meeting floor.

“There’s $1.2 million for the purchase price. We’ve added $50,ooo for consultants, legal fees, parking and signage. If we don’t use the entire $50,000, it goes right back into the community preservation fund. Assuming we get the land grant for $500,000, the net is that Norwell will pay $750,000 for 25 acres of land,” Demong said.

Annual town meeting resumes Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the middle school.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.