INDUSTRY — Town meeting voters on Saturday passed a wind power safety ordinance, funding for municipal software and updating of the town's tax maps and set aside $25,000, half the amount needed for a town evaluation.
With passing of the articles the budget for the town is $390,728. The amount included some decreases to raise funds for the three new expenses listed above.
An article asking for $3,500 for July fireworks caused the most discussion among residents who questioned continuing the display but in the end, voted overwhelmingly to raise the money.
The annual July show held in Wing's field off Route 48 brings people in 800 to 1,000 vehicles to view the show, which First Selectman Earl Ireland called "the best" and "one that puts Industry on the map for a day."
Volunteers with the town's Fire Department hold the event to raise money for equipment not funded in the budget.
Some firefighters said the fireworks display involved a lot of work and could be a gamble to raise enough money, once expenses are paid, to make it worthwhile. The cost of fireworks has gone up to about $10,000 for the display, leaving the department with just a few thousand dollars in profit.
Some taxpayers questioned why they should pay for the show through their taxes and then pay to view the show.
Dan Maxham suggested next year adding $3,500 to the Fire Deparment's budget rather than budgeting the amount for fireworks.
In other business, casting ballots with a vote of 73-3, citizens accepted a wind turbine safety ordinance devised over the past year by Planning Board members.
"It puts something on the books," Planning Board member Dan Maxham said. "It's a starting point that won't leave us unprotected."
Once some citizens realized it was not a vote for or against wind power, the measure passed with little discussion.
Residents also approved $7,000 to update tax maps, which has not been done for about 10 years. The update will make the maps available to citizens from the town's website. It also will help with the town's real estate reassessment. Voters approved raising $25,000 this year and $25,000 in 2014 for selectmen to contract with a real estate property assessing company.
The reassessment will ensure "all properties are measured with the same yardstick and everyone pays their fair share," Ireland said.
Voters also approved spending $19,000 from the town's savings on new accounting software that will improve accounting work and allow citizens to re-register vehicles online.