Westport says no to solar rules, yes to spending questions

Westport workers fix East Beach Road again after Sandy. Money approved Tuesday night by town voters will help pay for this and other repairs needed after three big storms. Westport workers fix East Beach Road again after Sandy. Money approved Tuesday night by town voters will help pay for this and other repairs needed after three big storms.

Westport workers fix East Beach Road again after Hurricane Sandy. Money approved Tuesday night by town voters will help pay for this and other repairs needed after three big storms.

WESTPORT — Voters made relatively quick work of most  items  on the Special Town Meeting warrant Tuesday until the last one — a proposed by-law meant to provide zoning regulation to solar energy installations.

That question eventually received a majority of votes (68 for, 49 opposed) but failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to become part of the town code.

Earlier, voters passed ten questions  that involve funding — most got unanimous approval. These issue include $110,000 to boost the town’s veterans’ fund, $70,000 for a new math teacher and reading materials, $500,000 to start a loan program for septic system improvements, and $610,000 for costs related to storms over the last three years.

Also approved quickly were Articles 4 and 5 that create a Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund. Established by state legislation in reaction to fears that funds to pay for municipal retirees are woefully underfunded in many places, the fund creates an account specifically earmarked for promised retiree benefits. The town treasurer and administrator have said that having such an account will help the town’s bond rating.

Meeting attendance was announced as 171.

More details to follow.

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