By Thomas D’Agostino
Are the Webster town stickers for ease of resident entrance and access to the beach, compost facility, beach maintenance, funding operations and repairs to the facilities, cost of monitoring and safety of the beach, or just an unnecessary expense for the residents? The answer is all of the above except for the latter.
Once again, the issue of the town sticker floated to the surface during the Board of Selectmen’s Meeting on Monday, January 23, and it was completely clarified that the sticker is not a parking fee.
During the town meeting on October 17, a citizen petition was voted by the residents in attendance to change the cost of the sticker from thirty-five dollars to one dollar for town residents. Officials kept reiterating that the sticker price is not a parking fee but a fee for use of the compost facility and upkeep of the beach and recreation area.
Town Administrator John McAuliffe stated that Chapter 334 of 1958 in the town by-laws states that the town may charge out of town residents a fee but says nothing in regard to residents being exempt from any fees. “You might feel like it’s a great victory to say no more thirty-five dollar fee, we will go back to a dollar, I guess we’ll go back to zero, but that does mean the compost facility is not going to be funded. It does mean that any operation at the beach is not going to be funded.” McAuliffe stated.
Selectman Deborah A. Keefe brought forth the issue of checking cars at the gate without the sticker on the windshield. “We cannot afford to have twenty, thirty cars lined up checking registrations to see whether or not they are Webster residents. And that’s what would happen if we don’t have a sticker on your car.” Keefe said.
Selectman Keefe went on to state that without the funding, there would be no lifeguards, no police monitoring trash throwing or cleanup. “I hate to say it but in this day in age, if you don’t have people monitoring it, the place becomes a dump…So, without some form of revenue associated with maintaining the compost and the beach, and I said from day one, it is not, not a parking pass, it is the use of the access of the location.” Keefe stated.
Another issue is without stickers; people would have to be hired to check the registrations and driver’s license of every vehicle coming into the beach. This means that town residents who once had free rein to drive right in would also have to wait in line to be checked. The longer the line, the longer the wait. Keefe went on to state that she hoped the residents understand what the board is trying to do is maintain the safety, usage and upkeep of both the beach and the compost facility. If the fee did not exist, then it would have to be added to the town budget and that burden would be put on all residents.
Town Administrator McAuliffe stated that the fee is a voluntary one. If residents do not wish to use the compost facility or the beach, they are not liable for the fee.
It was unanimously voted to keep the fee at thirty-five dollars. There will be a provision for families with two vehicles to obtain a second sticker if both registrations are brought in at the same time.
Also on the agenda was the Sex Offender By-law update. The updated article is slated to be on the warrant for the May town meeting.
Cindy Howard and Linda Cournoyer from the Center of Hope gave an overview of their mission and invited the Board of Selectmen to tour their facility to see the work they perform for the surrounding communities. The Center of Hope Foundation provides people with disabilities and their families with the resources, services and opportunities to be contributing members of their communities and to achieve the most fulfilling and meaningful lives possible. The board stated their appreciation for their cause and agreed to meet at some point in support of the center.
The remaining sewer abatements were accepted.
Arthur Hunt was named as new manager of the 200 Sportsmen’s Club.
A Class II License application for 8 East Main Street was tabled until further information on the facility could be gathered.
The board voted and approved four articles sponsored by the Town Administrator to be voted on at the Special Town Meeting, Monday, February 13. The articles will be posted in the Patriot Newspaper.
State Representative Kevin Kuros was also on the agenda to give a local update but could not make the Board of Selectmen’s Meeting due to a State of the State Address.
- Tuesday, 24 January 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Selectmen