ROCKPORT — Nearly 300 Rockport residents last night gave routine approval to a series of spending items at Annual Town Meeting at the Rockport Middle and High School gym, then gave their overwhelming approval to a warrant article aimed at allowing a potential local grocery store to sell beer and wine.
The vote to approve the beer and wine sales, whch drew fewer than a handful of negative votes from the 295 registered votes in attendance, is now forward for clearance from the Legislature to bring to town voters.
Earlier, the 295 voters who had checked in approved shelling out $6,374 to cover the costs of bargaining with the local union representing clerical workers in a variety of town departments.
Town Meeting also agreed to spend $45,000 to cover Rockport's cost of firefighter training at the state firefighting academy in the Middlesex County community of Stowe.
Both of those items were among those approved at Special Town Meeting that preceded the 36-article Annual Town Meeting.
Both of those are traditionally held on the first Saturday of April, but were moved this year after some residents and others expressed concern that the initial April 7 scheduling clashed with Easter weekend and the Jewish celebration of Passover. Voters and town officials, however, were able to complete all decisions required on the warrant last night, so there is no continuance needed tonight.
Among other early approvals, Town Meeting approved to plug $50,000 in taxpayer money into the town's Sewer Enterprise Fund to cover expenses, and to transfer any "unspent" money from this year's budget into the capital repairs account for a water tanks project.
We will update this story here at gloucestertimes.com as more information becomes available. For full meeting coverage, look to tomorrow's print and online editions of the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com.
Reporter Steven Fletcher contributed to this report. He can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3455, or at email@example.com.