Voters uphold bottle ban, reject repeal

By Christopher McDermott

GREAT BARRINGTON — The town is still set to ban retailers from selling single-use plastic water bottles starting May 2019, after a clear majority of voters cast their support for the ban for the second time in four months at a rowdy special town meeting in Monument Mountain Regional High School’s auditorium.

In a 296 to 199 secret ballot vote, a majority of residents said “no” to an article that sought to repeal the ban, which voters passed at the annual town meeting in May.

Between that May vote and mid-July, anti-bottle-ban petitioner Laura Keefner gathered 337 confirmed signatures from Great Barrington residents to call the special meeting for August 6.

Retailers will be forbidden from selling single-use plastic bottles of up to one liter (32 ounces) of non-flavored, non-sparkling water within Great Barrington effective May 2019. Violators would face daily fines of $50 for first offenses, $100 for second offenses, and $200 for third and subsequent offenses.

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