Selectmen's approval brings Town Meeting agenda closer to finalization

By Matthew Bernat | Sep 05, 2017

October’s Town Meeting is taking shape as Selectmen approved a slew of items, including a tax break for a new business, money for a dog park and funds to repair the Town Hall auditorium, for its agenda.

Tuesday marked the final day Selectmen could place town-sponsored measures on the agenda. Citizen’s petition items requiring the signatures of at least 10 registered voters may be placed on the agenda until Sept. 7.

In total, 33 town-sponsored items are on the agenda. Selectmen approved 16 of those Tuesday. Voters at the Oct. 23 Town Meeting will have the final say on whether the items are approved.

Among those items was a five-year tax break, known as a TIF (tax increment financing), for Stone Path Malt. The business, which will sell malt to home beer brewers, is expected to create 14 full-time jobs in town and open in 2018.

Selectman Alan Slavin said that the town doesn’t often offer those types of tax breaks, previous recipients include TownPlace Suites by Marriott and Chatham Village Croutons. However, by offering the tax break developers then may seek additional funds from the state.

“The town has to show that we have some skin in the game, so to speak,” said Slavin.

Selectmen also placed an agenda item from the Community Preservation Committee requesting $20,000 for a new dog park. The effort is being spearheaded by the non-profit DPAW (Dog Park Affiliates of Wareham). The park is being proposed for a town-owned plot of just over an acre off Maple Springs Road.

The $20,000 requested will show the town is invested in having a dog park and could make it easier to obtain a grant for $180,000 that will be requested from The Stanton Foundation, according to DPAW.

Selectman Chair Peter Teitelbaum said DPAW has worked hard the past year to answer liability and maintenance questions that initially surrounded the park.

Another Community Preservation Committee request, one seeking $120,000 to repair the Town Hall auditorium’s leaking roof, was also approved.

A handful of items were not placed on the agenda. They included a request from the Marine Resources Commission seeking support to dredge the Wareham River channel.

The federal channel is approximately 1 mile long, 125 feet wide and runs from Parkwood Beach to the Narrows. Created in 1897 by the federal government, the channel was last dredged in the 1950s. According to the Marine Resources Commission, a deeper channel reduces the risk of boats running aground.

Selectmen voted against placing the item on the agenda because it wasn’t drafted properly, according to town counsel Richard Bowen.

“It’s not written as an article,” Bowen told Selectmen. “It’s nothing you can put on the warrant.”

Slavin said the item was written as more of an explanation for the need for dredging the channel. Instead, the item should have identified how the dredging should be funded.

Slavin suggested adding the dredging as an action item on the town’s Master Plan.

The Master Plan came up again as board members shot down a request from the Community Preservation Committee seeking to use $91,500 to buy Stoney Run. Located on Main Street, the committee eyed the plot of land for preservation and recreation.

Board members reminded the committee that last year they decided to hold off on buying preservation land until the Master Plan was updated. An updated plan would create a proper road map for preservation, according to Teitelbaum and board member Patrick Tropeano.

According to Teitelbaum, who participated remotely in Tuesday’s meeting, the method of assembling the agenda should be tweaked for next year to avoid a “disjointed” process.

“I had some concerns, but we came up with a Town Meeting warrant that doesn’t look like it was written by apes,” said Teitelbaum.

Comments (13)
Posted by: brazz | Sep 06, 2017 19:16

Seem like people want a lot of money for new projects. Why not spend some of that money cleaning the parts we have now? Cutting back brush that has overtaken many sidewalks. New projects mean more need for continued funding to keep those from becoming eye soars. We have plenty of eye soars could use the money. Don't get me wrong, I'm a dog lover and enjoy taking in the local history, but this town already seems overwhelmed with its current properties. Fix what we have now, and think about adding more later. My 2cents as 1st-time homeowner in Wareham



Posted by: sadie | Sep 06, 2017 21:07

Brazz  the town will not maintain the dog park the people running the park will do that. Wish w could use the cpa funds to clean up the sidewalks and the streets but you can't spend cpa funds on those items.

 



Posted by: Phredzzz | Sep 07, 2017 18:44

Sorry Sadie, but we disagree on this one. The Town OWNS every decision made by the Town. Sooner or latter, these decisions always come back to the Taxpayers in one form or another. This is especially the case when there is a liability issue when the well-intentioned volunteer's have fallen by the wayside and for one reason or another can no longer handle the issues that land on their Plate. There are hundreds and hundreds of examples where towns had to absorb the responsibility for an accident within the parameters of issues which were approved by Town Warrants. I agree with BRAZZ. Wareham has enough issues to deal with. If the interested Parties want these projects, then they should Raise the money, Build the Project, and Maintain the Project on their own Dime. Leave the overtaxed Public alone and save the money for Public Projects which benefit the entire community !!



Posted by: sadie | Sep 08, 2017 08:19

We will disagree on this item. I think dog parks add value to the homes in town. On average have 60-70% of the population in most town own dogs, that is a large percentage of the town.

I think this group has done a great job. The only tax money they have asked for is the cpa money, which is suppose to be spent on parks and recreation. The grant money they are applying for is from a private foundation it is not government money. The park will be maintained by the dog park group not the town. They will build the project with the grant money not the town.

If everything falls apart and the park closes,the town has a piece of land that has been improved by having fencing all around it. 

What projects benefit the ENTIRE  community?

It isn't up to you and I Phredzz,  it is up to the voters of Wareham, who will vote yea or nay at town meeting.



Posted by: Phredzzz | Sep 08, 2017 15:19

Sadie:  GOOD LUCK  !!  Come back in ten years and let me know how much of your expectations actually became reality. Your 60-70% number is mostly FAKE-News and there is absolutely NO proof that Doggie-Parks add to the value of residences. Everything I can find indicates those numbers(60-70%), are for household Pets and NOT accurate for Dog ownership. I am betting on the historical and traditional Lost-Cause nature of this type of venture. On the Slim Chance that this project escapes the Norm and becomes a success-story and is never a burden to the Taxpayers, then I will say hoorah and be the first one to say, Good-For-You Doggie volunteers. It will be my pleasure to be proven wrong !!



Posted by: Archangel | Sep 08, 2017 21:08

I agree  with you Sadie. I have been to many communities that have dog parks.I think this is a great project.



Posted by: Phredzzz | Sep 11, 2017 08:33

To Archangel. Yep, thats really TOO many communities with dog park's,  if you take a hard look at those so-called parks, you will see the real story of a mess with no grass and the Trashcans overflowing. Most people lose interest after the place starts stinking of dog-pee & poop, and the flies start taking over.



Posted by: Archangel | Sep 11, 2017 18:17

Phredzzz, you obviously feel strongly about this issue and I respect that. I do think there are many dog parks that are maintained and keep people actively interested and volunteering. I also think dog parks are a great opportunity for dog owners to socialize. http://www.falmouthdogpark.com/



Posted by: Phredzzz | Sep 12, 2017 15:17

ARCHANGEL: Point taken. However, I have a couple more things/questions; Since when is it appropriate for the majority of uninterested citizen's to foot the Bill for a Few who are "Socializing" while watching dogs Run, Pee, Poop, Fight, Bite, Bark, and Spread Fleas, Ticks, & potentially some other diseases? I own two dogs, but would NEVER consider it a community responsibility to furnish my Dogs with a Special Place to Run and Play. To be honest with you, I am seriously disappointed that we as a society do not have enough worthy projects to spend our time and resources. What ever happened to the concept of You Bought It, and therefore You Own It !! Looks to me like a lot of People are looking for someone other than themselves to Own the responsibility of taking care of their animals.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Sep 12, 2017 17:36

Before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, I'm a retired veterinary technician with 36 years of experience. I've also owned several dogs throughout my life. From the perspective of someone who loves dogs, but also understands the problems that can arise when they socialize, I think town meeting voters should seriously consider:

 

1) the responsibilities associated with dog park management

 

2) dog owner responsibilities  when using dog parks

 

3) the potential problems that can rise as a result of dog parks

 

The website below offers an overview of these issues:

 

http://leerburg.com/dogparks.htm

 

 



Posted by: Phredzzz | Sep 13, 2017 02:11

Andrea Smith: Thank you for a voice -of-reason. I grew up on a Farm surrounded by Animals of all Types, Sizes & Temperament's. I still own several animals but as I stated earlier, NEVER have I had expectations that someone other than myself is responsible for their care and wellbeing.



Posted by: Phredzzz | Sep 13, 2017 15:58

ANDREA SMITH and anyone interested in the Dog Park Proposal. I watched the videos and read the entire Article at  http://leerburg.com/dogparks.htm.

Very informative and I am especially surprised that NONE of the Dog Park enthusiasts have given you even one word of feedback. I realize the Blog is just one persons compilation about Dog Parks, but it would be advisable for the people who think they have all the answers to take a few moments to educate themselves about the potential problems that go hand-in-hand with the Dog-park issue. Well Done ANDREA.



Posted by: Archangel | Sep 13, 2017 18:06

Phredzzz and Andrea, you have certainly given me a different perspective on the dog park. I haven't personally seen the issues identified in the article but they do seem very plausable to me. I am going to have to give this issue some more thought. I appreciate the very respectful manner that you both presented your information and opinions.



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