WEBSTER: Wastewater plant upgrades; 2013 financials
By Thomas D’Agostino
Town resident stickers will be ready for the upcoming season and there are a few changes in the policy as approved during the Board of Selectmen meeting held on Monday, February 6.
The board had received complaints in the past that households with multiple automobiles had to pay $35.00 per vehicle for a town sticker. The new policy will be $35.00 for the first auto, and $1.00 for each other vehicle in the household. This covers the price of the sticker.
The original proposal was for a $5.00 fee for each sticker after the first one, in order to cover administrative costs as well as the sticker price. Selectman Deborah Keefe stated, “Its not just the cost of the sticker, it’s the logging of the stickers, it’s the tracking of it, it’s the staff time and effort that has to be taken to log all of this in…and the more vehicles you have, the more time it takes to do this.”
Selectman Mark Dowgiewicz suggested that the extra stickers be only $1.00. “Not only are they paying for the sticker, but they also pay taxes in town that support the beach.” Mr. Dowgiewicz said in regard to the first sticker fee.
The board voted a first sticker fee of $35.00 and each additional sticker would be $1.00. Residents may present their registrations as usual in order to procure their stickers.
If additional vehicles are registered to other people in the household, then all individuals must present their registrations together to prove that their residency is the same as the primary original sticker holder. This means that all vehicle registrants in the household must be present at the same time to qualify for the multiple sticker discount. Selectman Deborah Keefe gave a reminder that the Town hall is open on Monday nights for those who cannot purchase their stickers during the day.
The stickers are $35.00 for first one, then $1.00 for any other vehicle; seniors, 60-years and over would pay $20.00, then $1.00 for each sticker thereafter and veterans’ stickers will still be free. If other vehicles in a veteran’s household are registered to someone else in the home, then that sticker would in turn be $1.00.
The compost facility is slated to open April 1.
Phase II of the wastewater treatment plant was also an issue at the meeting. DPW Director, J.T. Gaucher, along with CDM Project Manager Kristie Wagner, presented the necessary changes for the next phase of improvements at the plant. The upgrades include new screens, pumps and a new sludge pump to replace the old pump that is leaking through the seals. The newer equipment is pressure sensitive but the old pumps have no adjustment for pressure. According to Mr. Gaucher, the old pump starts and stops because of the high pressure it pushes through the new system, causing the system to shut the pump down until the initial pressure can be stabilized. The new equipment is stronger and up to standards. The new system is a four-pump system.
The next phase is estimated to cost $3.3 million. The cost falls below the estimated projection so extra funding is not necessary at this point.
In the Administrator’s Report, Town Administrator John McAuliffe stated that the town is on the right track towards financial stability for 2013. “I have a much better sense this year that we are going to have some stability. It’s really the best I’ve felt financially in my three years here, that I think we will be able to get through 2013. Not that anyone is going to be feathering their nests by any means but I think we’re going to have a little more fiscal stability.”
In regard to the state health insurance Mr. McAuliffe felt that a part of the stability was due to the adoption of the GIC plan for town employees. The plan calls for higher co-pays and deductibles for the employees. Mr. McAuliffe was sympathetic to the employees on the low end of the salary scale but at the same time reiterated that the issue was national and not so much localized to Webster. “This is a fact of life… this would be the fourth budget where we have had a major overhaul in some portion of our health insurance.” McAuliffe stated.
“It must have been nice to work in the day in age when you could actually say, ‘We’re going to give you more of an employee contribution. We’re going to lower your employee contribution to health insurance. We’re going to give you more money towards those costs.’ That must have been a nice day in age to live in. I did not get that cycle in my career yet.” Mr. McAuliffe said.
The board also approved the signing of a letter of support to NOAH for the funding of the A.J. Sitkowski School project.
The design contract for the School Street parking lot and Mechanic Street sidewalk reconstruction was awarded to Weston and Sampson Engineers Inc.
There will be a Democratic Caucus at the Webster Town Hall on Monday February 13, at 6 p.m.
The Lodge Restaurant was granted indoor entertainment licenses for entertainment, Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from noon to 11:59 p.m. The restaurant will use their facility the same way it has for over 25 years.
Town Meeting on Monday February 13 at the Bartlett High School starts at 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, 08 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Selectmen