MATTAPOISETT — By a wide majority, town meeting voters Monday approved banning retail marijuana sales operations from anywhere in Mattapoisett.
After close to an hour of debate on the pros and cons of the move, Town Clerk Catherine Heuberger said, residents chose to prohibit recreational pot sales businesses from town under its zoning bylaws by a margin of 183 yes against and 52 no and under general bylaws by a margin of 190 yes against 53 no.
The citizens petition articles were spearheaded by retired selectman George Randall and signed by 46 residents as a strong reaction to the 2016 state-wide legalization of recreational marijuana.
Elsewhere on the warrant, voters unanimously approved both the proposed FY2019 $26.6 million operating budget and spending $260,000 to design and engineer a larger, more modern fire station. Fire Chief Andrew Murray said the need for new headquarters is crucial because of the current 60-year-old station's cramped conditions.
The plan is to build a new station with five equipment bays and ample parking for personnel and visitors alike on a portion of unused town-owned land next the police station. The current facility would then be sold or "repurposed."
Of the other proposed large expenditures, only one request was voted down, $75,000 of Community Preservation Act funds to build a dog park on town-owned land behind the police station.
Heuberger said what led to the plan's defeat was that the residents of the area did not want the park in their neighborhood.
Voter approvals included:
$50,000 to continue Phase VIII road improvement design work on Mattapoisett Road, Main Street, Water Street, Beacon Street and Marion Road.
$250,000 to carry out Phase VIII road improvement design work including bridge improvements on Acushnet Road.
From Community Preservation Act funds, $10,000 to analyze fully restoring the American Legion Building and $20,000 to replace the roof of the Community Building on Park Street.
Reserving $50,000 for the resolution of a dispute between the town and recyclables trash hauler, ABC Disposal. The company has said it needs additional town funding because recyclables are no longer profitable in overseas markets.