School project defeated

A special Town Meeting last Monday rejected a proposal to appropriate $58.4 million for a new elementary school. The vote was 303 in favor and 221 opposed, short of the two-thirds margin that was needed because the funds would be borrowed. The Massachusetts School Building Authority has committed to funding 59.17 percent of the eligible costs of the project, which called for replacing the Maquan and Indian Head elementary schools with a prekindergarten through 5th-grade school for 800 students. As a result of the Town Meeting action, the town will not hold a special election that had been tentatively scheduled for Nov. 16 to consider a temporary tax increase to help pay for the project. In other business, the meeting adopted a temporary moratorium, through next June 30, on medical marijuana dispensaries, allowing time to develop zoning rules governing such facilities. It approved expenditures from the Community Preservation Fund to upgrade three Little League fields at the Botieri Field baseball complex, renovate the exterior of the historic Bonney House, and purchase the Harris Stone Properties. It also authorized spending for projects to repair the septic system at fire headquarters, to renovate the Factory Pond Dam, and to replace a storm-damaged water main.