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BYOB, Animal Shelter Support and More News from Around the Region

A roundup of new in the area.

Selectmen to Let Residents Vote on BYOB
After three weeks of discussion, the selectmen will let the people of Mansfield decide the fate of the bring your own bottle (BYOB) policy in the spring town meeting.

While the board, with the exception of selectmen Chair Olivier Kozlowski, was against the policy due to a lack of resources to enforce it and the availability of two liquor licenses, they agreed to let the town decide where to go with BYOB.

According to the town’s legal council, to outright prohibit BYOB, a bylaw must be approved by the town's residents at a town meeting due to the current bylaw that prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public and inside establishments accessible by the public that do not have a liquor license.
The advice led to a motion that would leave the fate of the policy in the hands of Mansfield residents. Any action to prevent a BYOB policy by the selectmen would most likely not change the current legal status of the policy due to the bylaw that already exists.

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Residents Pack City Hall to Support Animal Shelter Project
More than 100 people came to Attleboro City Hall on Tuesday to encourage the City Council to support the mayor’s request that the city acquire a $1.116 million loan for the construction of a new animal shelter. Many people say the current shelter in inadequate to provide the appropriate care for the animals.

"We're not seeking to build the Taj Mahal, as we've heard," said Kim Penque, president of the Friends of the Attleboro Animal Shelter. "We are simply seeking to build a shelter that is adequate for our needs today and that will fully function for our community tomorrow."

Nobody spoke in opposition to the mayor’s request. One speaker said he thought the cost was too high, but he stressed he was not opposed to the project.

The City Council will vote on the mayor’s request at the meeting on Tuesday.

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Norton Selectmen Object to Housing Regionalization

The Norton Board of Selectmen sharply criticized Governor Patrick’s proposed cost saving measure to shrink the state’s 240 local housing authorities to half a dozen regional districts at their meeting Thursday. They said it would hurt the seniors and the handicapped.

In Massachusetts, about 90,000 state subsidized units house low-income seniors, families, and handicapped residents. Eligible tenants pay about 30 percent of their net income. Seniors and handicapped living in state-operated housing do not pay for utilities, while others pay a portion of that cost. Norton has several state-operated congregate housing developments and some single-family units; the largest project is Woodland Meadows off Route 123.

Chairman Tim Giblin said the huge regionalization effort would create an average of 80 housing authorities under one administrative umbrella. Local management and maintenance would remain intact under the new proposal, but budgeting and other administrative duties would be handled by the larger authority.

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