Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Delayed special Town Meeting convenes Thursday in South Hadley

— The special Town Meeting postponed by superstorm Sandy will get under way tonight at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.

The meeting was originally set for Oct. 29, the day Sandy made landfall on the Eastern Seaboard.

Voters will tackle a 13-article warrant asking them to approve newly surveyed boundaries for the Bynan conservation area, a step that could mean future expansion of the municipal landfill.

Interstate Waste Services of Ramsey, N.J., wants to expand landfill operations into 16 acres of the 162-acre abutting Bynan property. The proposal must pass several hurdles, including state and Board of Health, approval before being accepted.

Members of South Hadley Against More Expansion (SHAME), who oppose landfill expansion, have held multiple public protests. SHAME members have asked Town Meeting voters to block expansion the landfill, saying the operation creates nuisance odors, dust and debris and noise pollution.

South Hadley bought the Bynan property in 1978. The Conservation Commission recently accepted surveyed boundaries, setting aside a 107-acre parcel that will be permanently protected as passive recreation land.

In order for the 107 acres to be recorded at the Hampshire Country Registry of Deeds as protected land, Town Meeting voters must approve.

In other matters on the 13-article meeting warrant, voters will also be asked to ratify a Dec. 14 special Town Meeting vote allowing the town to borrow $4.2 million to build a new $10.1 million new library on the banks of the Connecticut River. A state grant and fundraising is providing the rest of the construction funds.

The ratification would correct a “procedural defect” in the previous decision, because the Capital Planning Committee did not submit a written report on the project to the Select Board — as required by town bylaws — before the December vote was taken.

Several funding requests are also on the warrant, including paying off $116,000 in costs for last October’s snowstorm; $35,650 for maintenance and an operating deficit for the Ledges Golf Course; and adding $13,000 to a $230,000 Capital Plan fund for Department of Public Works equipment.

Etta Walsh can be reached at ewalsh.gazette@gmail.com.

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