GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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November 20, 2012

Voters OK $50K for more Conomo legal costs

Article to fund legal work regarding Conomo Point passes 52-33

ESSEX — The 85 voters who turned out for Essex’s special Fall Town Meeting Monday night gave their approval to 10 of the 13 warrant articles, including authorizing another $50,000 for the town’s legal work regarding the properties at Conomo Point.

Town Administrator Brendhan Zubricki said the legal costs from July amounted to money well spent, but added that the town’s law firm — the Boston-based Kopelman and Paige — had been very busy dealing with Conomo Point since that time, which marked the start of the new fiscal year.

“There were various tax board appeals, lawsuits, voter registration cases and eviction cases since then,” he said.

Voters were split over the issue. At first, residents yelled “yay” and “nay” back and forth, until Town Moderator Rolf Madsen finally had to ask voters to stand up for an accurate vote. That action showed the article passed with a 52-33 vote for approval.

Prior to the Town Meeting Monday night, Selectman also signed off on four additional purchase and sale agreements in the southern section of Conomo Point.

Zubricki said the Board of Selectman hope to have all 39 agreements in the southern half ready to be sold to tenants by the end of the year. Selectmen have already signed off on 34 purchase-and-sale agreements and deeds, he said.

In addition, the town is offering so-called bridge leases to the 60 properties in the Northern section of Conomo point next year, Zubricki said. He added, however, that rezoning and creating subdivisions of the property will be a lengthy process over the next couple of years.

During the Special Meeting, there was a vote slated to see if the town would enter an agreement with the mosquito control company, Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District of Newburyport.

Jack Card, the director of the mosquito control company, made his plea to voters.

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