Feeney Wins State Senate Seat
Democrat Paul Feeney won the special election to fill the state senate seat for the Bristol and Norfolk district formerly held by James Timilty, who retired at the end of April. Feeney beat Republican Jacob Ventura, former aide to state Rep. Steven Howitt, and independent Joe Shortsleeve, former news anchor for WBZ-TV in Boston. Feeney, former Foxboro selectman and state director for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, received 6,982 votes, or 47 percent and Ventura received 6,405, or 43 percent while Shortsleeve had 1,357 votes, or 9 percent. The district includes half of Attleboro, parts of Sharon and all of Foxboro, Mansfield, Medfield, Norton, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Walpole.
Utility Company Applies for Natural Gas Project
Liberty Utilities of Fall River discussed a natural gas pipeline project with the board of selectmen last month. The company has applied for a license to provide gas service to the residential development known as The Reserve at Spring Hill on Spring Street. The first phase of the project involves the installation of about two miles of natural gas main in order to serve 26 housing units, according to an article in the Sun Chronicle. Additional lines may be installed later to serve up to 175 more housing units. The board has 30 days to make a decision on the project.
Town Anniversary Committee Seeking Community Support
The committee that is coordinating events for the town’s upcoming 375th anniversary next year is seeking local businesses and organizations to get involved. Plans for the celebration include several events throughout the year with a big parade sometime next fall. Rehoboth was established in 1643. A listing of events and other information is available on the website: www.rehoboth375.com.
Selectmen Looking To Modify Regional School Agreement
Selectmen met with the Dighton Board of Selectmen last month and discussed revising the regional school agreement between the towns. The D-R Regional School Committee has been working on this project for a few years. A sub-committee was formed in 2014 to review the regional agreement, but was unable to develop a final draft to send to the full committee, according to a Sun Chronicle article. Now a task force has been formed to take up where that committee left off and is preparing their own draft document. The regional school committee plans to seek public input on the revised agreement soon.
Citizens Group Opposes New Proposed Gas Pipeline
Citizens Against the Rehoboth Compressor System, or CARCS, is gearing up to oppose another gas pipeline being proposed. The group worked for months to oppose the Access Northeast Project which included a compressor station near the border of Seekonk and Attleboro. The project was ultimately withdrawn from the federal approval process. Rehoboth voters in April also voted overwhelming against the compressor station in a non-binding ballot question and selectmen sent a resolution to the state officially opposing the project. Now the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved another interstate gas project proposed by Canada’s Enbridge and DTE Energy of Detroit. CARCS wants a new bylaw that would protect Rehoboth against future pipeline projects. For more information on CARCS, visit the website: norehobothcompressor.com.
Norfolk State Rep Proposing Gas Detector Bill
Rep. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) has filed legislation requiring all new and renovated residences to have combustible gas detectors, according to a Sun Chronicle article. Massachusetts now requires smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Seven years ago a propane tank explosion killed a construction worker and Dooley wants to prevent similar fatal accidents in the future. Another propane leak in Rehoboth in August injured three people. There are devices that are combination carbon monoxide and combustible gas detectors and they only cost slightly more than carbon monoxide detectors. Under the proposed bill, only new and renovated dwellings, not current residences, will require the device. The bill is being reviewed by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.