PLAINVILLE — Residents at Monday’s special town meeting took steps to improve drinking water quality and increase the number of liquor licenses the town can offer.
An unusualy large crowd of 85 residents turned out for the meeting that involved only 12 articles on the warrant and lasted just over an hour at Wood School.
Voters approved $150,000 to clean the Sharlene Lane water tank and look into water treatment options.
Local officials are trying to bring down levels of two disinfectant byproducts found in town water in September and December. They say the elevated levels are not immediately dangerous but could pose a health hazard to some people over the long-term. The byproducts are the result of chlorine used to disinfect the system reacting with natural organics in the water.
Public Works Director Paul Scott said it is believed the build-up of sediment in the water tank contributed to the contamination problem, and the tank cleanout will be done before hydrant and water main flushing this spring.
In the other key decision, liquor licenses from the state Legislature now that residents have backed that request.
Selectmen want more licenses available for future development, particularly along Route 1.
The town is allowed 14 licenses for restaurants, but only has two more to give out. Selectmen would like six more. Plainville also has two liquor store and five beer and wine licenses but all are being used. Selectmen would like three more licenses for liquor stores and five more for beer and wine in convenience stores.
A large commercial development off Route 1 that goes into Wrentham is expected to need a few licenses.
“We’re trying to keep these in reserve so in case we do have these situations, so it doesn’t deter development,” selectmen Chairman Rob Rose said.
Some residents had reservations, but only about a dozen opposed the request.
“My opinion is we have plenty of licenses...for the little town of Plainville,” Sheryl Norman said.
Kathy Parker, the town’s treasurer/collector, who was speaking as a resident, said she feels there are enough liquor stores in the area for residents, noting several are close by in neighboring towns such as Wrentham and North Attleboro. “I think the carry-out market is well served,” Parker said.
“I don’t think it’s in the best interests of Plainville.”
Parker added local license holders don’t want more competition and should be supported.
“We’re not going to give these out like playing cards,” Rose said, noting the market will determine the need. “We have standards. They are going to go to reputable businesses.”