Selectmen appoint new police sergeant
DUDLEY - "Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink" could be the words being repeated in the Town after E. coli bacteria were found in Dudley’s water supply following a standard monthly water test performed last week. As of Monday, August 20, the town had still not received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") to cancel the Tier I – Boil Water Alert for Dudley citizens.
Contamination may be from ongoing road construction in the Dudley-Oxford Road area but is not definitive and the source may never be known. When monthly sampling was performed in the high school area by Water Deptartment employees, and those samples had been sent to the testing lab, E. coli results came back positive. The DEP was notified immediately and George Patrinos, assistant water superintendent, took immediate steps to chlorinate and shock both town water supplies as well as to flush hydrants for contaminants. Grit was found both upstream and downstream from the contamination area and the Water Department is anticipating a lifting of the Boil Water Alert by Tuesday, August 21.
Both Mr. Patrinos and Water Commissioner Jay Spahl were in the hot seat at Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, explaining how the contamination could have occurred, as well as the plans to rectify the communication breakdown about the Boil Water Notice and the unfortunate series of miscommunications to notify townspeople. The "Reverse 911" system (an emergency auto-dial phone system that would alert each resident of the water ban) was unavailable due to budget cuts, prompting the town’s emergency request to use the County Sheriff’s "Reverse 911" system. Unfortunately, the personnel at the Sheriff’s Dept. were unfamiliar with the system’s programming procedures, resulting in duplicate/triplicate phone calls to many residents and no phone calls to others. Dudley Selectmen were then bombarded by residents for explanations of the repetitive phone notifications; however, Carol Cyr, a Dudley resident, came before the Board and expressed her dissatisfaction with the lack of emergency alerts from the Town. Ms. Cyr stated that "I was notified by a Sutton resident of the E. coli and water ban and would never have known about this emergency otherwise." Selectmen, water department personnel, and Fire Chief Kochanowski agreed that emergency procedures must be reviewed in detail, implemented immediately, and that all town departments must be mutually educated on the procedures. A progress report would be submitted by Mr. Kochanowski at the next Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, Sept. 10.
Selectmen appointed James Hutchinson to the position of Police Sergeant. The appointment countered the recommendation of Police Chief Steven J. Wojnar and an interviewing panel of local police chiefs, who had recommended Marek Karlowics for the position..
Selectmen made made other appointments as follows: reappointment of Mary Kunkle to the Dudley Cultural Council until 6/30/13; new appointment of Nancy Runkle to the position of Sexual Harassment Officer until 6/30/13 pending proper training to be completed immediately; James Koebke to the Conservation Commission – term expiration 6/30/15 - Mr. Koebke’s dairy farm is listed as the last one of its kind in Dudley and has been in his family since 1910; and Fred Sugar as Government Access Manager – term expiration 6/30/13.
A public hearing was also held approving a Class II second-hand vehicle license to Jack Nasiff of 65 Schofield Avenue and then a formal introduction to the Board of Dudley’s new Library Director, Nancy Barta-Norton, who expressed her enthusiasm for her new position. The Library Trustees also received unanimous approval to transfer approximately $62,000 received from the Janet Malser Trust to their Endowment Fund, currently holding $1.2 million. Tim O’Day, Executive Director of the South Central Massachusetts Elderbus, then made a presentation for a pilot transportation program that would be available to any age group of Dudley & Webster residents. Costs would be subsidized by the towns and the test program would begin on September 1.
Michael Borkowski of EPG Solar returned to the Board in order to finalize the solar-panel farm contract. Electricity savings to the town once the project was up and running were discussed, along with the amended portion of the contract allowing a 5-year operations/savings review approval. The board’s final items approved were a Board of Health request to use the Clarinda Wood Fund in the amount of $40 to pay Harrington Hospital for Health Services in July 2012 and increasing the Town’s mileage reimbursement amount from 48.5 cents/mile to 49 cents/mile.
Items tabled until the next regular meeting were: cemetery fees/allocations; Senior Center/Dudley Municipal Complex facility user fee schedules; selection process for real property disposal at One Village Way & 63 West Main Street; Treasurer/Collector by-law request; and a pre-disaster mitigation plan review with Nancy Runkle, Town Planner.
- Wednesday, 22 August 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News