Braintree town councilors approved a supplemental appropriation for $4,410 to All Souls Church on Tuesday, after debate about the expenditure earlier in the evening.
Councilors on the Ways and Means Committee were taken aback by the request, which was to be added on to a $82,500 appropriation from the Community Preservation Committee to help finish repairs to the roof and replace several gutters.
The additional money will be used to put snow guards on the roof to help the repairs last longer, church members said.
However; Councilor John Mullaney was hesitant to hand over more cash, as it put the town on a slippery slope to conducting all of the church’s repairs going forward.
“What bothers me is this wasn’t a big deal because we’ve already given out $82,000 and we’re only asking for another $4,000. But is it possible we’re going to give more money -and it is. We could be the preservator of this building for the next 25 years. I have a hard time with that,” Mullaney said.
Mary Mitchell, chairman of board of trustees at All Souls Church, said the church was developing fundraisers to avoid that possibility, and that any CPC requests the church made were for the historical preservation of the building, and not maintenance.
Some councilors were also put off by the fact that the church had signed on to a Historical Preservation Deed Restriction with the town, but those documents were never shown to councilors.
Planning Director Christine Stickney said the deed restriction was a component of the CPC appropriation, which councilors knew about when they approved the appropriation.
The document was at issue during the last Ways and Means Committee hearing, and the issue of funding was tabled until the documents could be brought forth.
Chairman Paul Dan Clifford said the process had been more painful than it needed to be, and requested that all documents relative to appropriations be brought forth in the future without a specific request for them.
With the document in hand, councilors voted 3-to-2 to recommend the appropriation, with Councilors Mullaney and Clifford voting in the negative.
When the motion for the appropriation came before the general council, it was recommended in a 7-to-2 vote.
Mitchell said she had gratitude for the original allocation to replace gutters and that the new appropriation would “allow us to maintain the beautiful integrity of the building’s historic nature."