By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – At their July 26 meeting, the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen discussed whether to file an appeal to the allegedly onerous and overly expensive Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit regulations outlining requirements for cities’ and towns’ storm water management. The single-spaced, 42-page directive is a result of a process begun 10 years ago.
The selectmen agreed that some of what is to be done is a good idea, but it needs modification due to excessive over-government and the assignment of “back-breaking costs.” Regarding Chapter 11, section H, of the Town Management Act, the selectmen decided to pursue an appeal along with a number of other Massachusetts towns. The cost-sharing of an appeal will, the board noted, aim to make the law both affordable and effective.
Selectman Henry Fitzgerald noted that the act as passed imposes upon each town additional costs of between $800,000 and $1.5 million per year. Town Manager Daniel Morgado said the appeal would be based upon several issues and would allege that the intent of the U.S. Congress was being overstepped by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an agency that has been under fire for such over-reaches and allegedly working unlawfully with environmental activists to put a strangle-hold on all water bodies in the U.S.
Morgado explained that such an appeal would focus on several issues while emphasizing that the intent of Congress was being overstepped by the EPA.
“This will be a very technical argument,” he summarized.
He noted that the EPA’s attempt to regulate all U.S. waters (such as drainage ditches) would involve extraordinary costs forced upon the taxpayers.
“This is just too much for taxpayers,” he concluded. “This is not an issue for administrative complaint; it goes right to court” despite blocks from special interest groups.
Selectman John Lebeaux then moved to join with other towns in opposing the storm water control management regulations. The vote was 3-0 (with two selectmen absent).
In other business, the board unanimously approved a beer and wine license for Moe’s Southwest Grill at 61 Boston Turnpike. The board’s only condition was for the owner to ensure handicapped parking spaces be equipped with such signs, mounted upon poles and clearly visible from the street. The board also unanimously approved a Class II License (nine vehicles) and a Garage License (40 storage spaces and 20 business vehicles and equipment) for Lovey’s Garage at 155-173 Hartford Turnpike. Hours of operation will be 24 hours although night towing will be only upon the police’s request.