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Stoughton Town Meeting Approves Repairs for Town Hall Roof, Water Works; Establishes Glen Echo Use Committee

Session five of town meeting also approved a series of articles providing tax relief to those service men and women stationed abroad. Town Meeting continues with session six on May 23.

In a move supporters of the article said would cost a little more up front, but save the town money over the long haul, Town Meeting members voted unanimously Monday night at the fifth session of the 2012 Annual Town Meeting to install a slate roof on the historic .

To do this, Town Meeting approved the borrowing of up to $150,000 under the Community Preservation Program.

Town Engineer Ben Feehan explained that there is about $330,000 of available funds for the repair of the Town Hall roof. This is enough if the town wanted to use an asphalt surface, as is currently the case, but would need to approve the additional funding to cover the costs of a slate roof, which is around $380,000.

Town Meeting member John Morton, also a member of the Community Preservation Committee, said that while a slate roof is the more expensive option up front, it can last 100 years, as opposed to about only 30 years for an asphalt roof.

Prior to the current asphalt roof, Town Hall had a slate roof.

Town Meeting also approved the funding for another historic building, passing an article for repairs at Pumping Station #1, better known as the Stoughton Water Works building on Central St., near the Hansen School.

The unanimous vote authorizes the town under the Community Preservation Program to borrow up to $165,000 to repair the building's brick facade.

"It's a magnificent old building and its crumbling," Morton said.

The building is 120 years old, DPW Superintendent John Batchelder said. The part of the facade which includes the chimney section is in the worst shape, he said.

"It's not only a station that looks good, but it pumps water everyday," Batchelder said.

Town Meeting also voted to approve establishing, for the cost of $20,000, a Glen Echo Open Space and Recreation Development Plan Committee.

This eight member committee, with the help of professional assistance, will look at possible recreation uses for . The 2011 Town Meeting approved the funding for the town to , with the town completing the purchase of the land back in December.

Members of this committee will be appointed by the Board of Selectmen, Open Space Committee, Planning Board and Conservation Commission.

Town Meeting also passed three articles to provide tax relief for those serving the country.

Article 76 adopts a Massachusetts Law which allows Massachusetts National Guardsmen and Reservists deployed out of state, or their dependents, up to 180 days after that service to pay their property taxes without interest. This article passed 84-24.

Article 78 is the same as Article 76, except that it deals with the excise tax. This passed 83-29.

Article 79 adopts a Massachusetts Law which exempts excise taxes for those on active, full-time duty in the United States military, serving outside of the country. This passed 59-52.

Article 77, which would have adopted a Massachusetts Law granting real and personal property tax exemptions up to 100% of the total tax assessed to members of the National Guard and reservists on active duty serving in foreign countries, was defeated on a voice vote.

Town Meeting also voted to approve $20,000 for updating the Open Space and Recreation Plan and another $20,000 for forming a Capen Reynolds Use and Development Plan Committee, for this historic property and farm house on Pleasant St.

Town Meeting session 6 starts Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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