Article 9 of tonight’s Special Town Meeting is to see if the town will vote to accept the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40, Section 8C, which authorizes the town to establish a Conservation Commission for the promotion and development of the natural resources and for the protection of watershed resources of the town.
If the town meeting takes affirmative action, Norwood would join some 100 cities and towns of the Commonwealth which have already accepted this enabling act.
The neighboring town of Sharon was the first in the Commonwealth to create a conservation commission. As a result, Sharon has set aside certain areas for “Green Belts,” protecting the town from over-development and maintaining its water level. Foxboro also has a conservation commission which will seek public funds at the annual March town meeting for the acquisition of land to create a “Green Belt.”
Available to towns having conservation commissions are State funds up to 50 percent of the costs of approved land acquisitions or recreational planning projects.
Section 8C of Chapter 40 of the General Laws provides in part as follows-
“Such (conservation) commission shall conduct researches into its local land areas and shall seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes … It shall keep an index of all open areas within the city or town . . . with the plan of pertaining information pertinent to proper utilization of such open areas, including lands owned by the commonwealth or lands owned by a city or town. It shall keep an index of all open marshlands, swamps, and all other wetlands in a like manner, and may recommend … a program for the better promotion, development or utilization of all such areas … The commission shall consist of not less than three nor more than seven members . . . appointed by the Selectmen, excepting towns having a manager form of government, in which towns appointments .’hall be made by the town manager subject to selectmen …”
The Norwood Board of Selectmen voted on July 26. 1961 on the motion of Walter Dempsey to insert the article in the warrant.