ESSEX — Town Meeting voters last night ultimately gave their selectmen a green light to sell the town properties on southern Conomo Point, but only after an amendment was added to require that any sale be for an amount equal to or above the "appraised" value any of the sites.
The 450 voters who turned out to pack the Essex Elementary School gymnasium made their way through just a handful of 40 articles on the warrant for their Annual Town Meeting, forcing officials to continue it for a second night. That second night, however, will be Wednesday night — not tonight as initially planned, due to a scheduling conflict. The Wednesday continuation will also begin at 7:30 at Essex Elementary School.
The artlcle authorizing the sale of the southern Conomo Point properties, which needed approval by a two-thirds majority, was initially rejected by the meeting, with just 253 in favor compared to 197 opposed, but the amendment adding the floor price of the appraised value — made by resident Stuart Pratt — brought the article back for reconsideration, and this time it gained the needed margin, with a 296-99 vote for approval.
Article 2, on the other hand, never made it to the Town Meeting floor for a vote. That article, calling for a Conomo Point zoning bylaw, was referred back to the town's Planning Board on a motion by Conomo Point Planning Committee member and former selectman Mark Lynch. Going into the meeting, the The Planning Board had urged that the article not be approved as written.
In addition to tackling the Conomo Point issues, voters Monday nght approved electing a surveyor of bark and lumber, erceive the town reports, adopt the town's proposed wage and salary scale, and postponed an aticle aimed at paying off the town's unpaid bills.
For more on this story, look to tomorrow's print and online editions of the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com.
Steven Fletcher can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3455, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.