Dudley BOS commends Evan Healy, reviews Bay Path project, EDC progress
DUDLEY - The Selectmen’s first item of business Monday night (February 13) was to recognize 8-year-old Evan Healy for his quick action and usage of a “911” call. The Board praised Mr. Healy’s accomplishment with his proud family present. Evan is customarily picked up by his grandfather when school is dismissed but when he never appeared one day, he went to his grandfather’s home to find him lying at the foot of the stairs bleeding from a head wound. Evan comforted his grandfather, called “911,” and then cleaned and bandaged the injured man’s wound. His grandfather was taken to the hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery. For Evan’s extraordinary and level-headed action, Fire Chief Dean Kochanowski presented him with a Citation on behalf of the Town of Dudley. Each Board member gladly shook Evan’s hand and congratulated him for his courage and bravery.
Selectmen also appointed and unanimously approved Hector Chapa for a part-time laborer’s position with Building and Grounds upon successful completion of a CORI check and accepted Scott LeBlanc’s resignation letter from the Economic Development Committee.
The board held a public hearing on Leoni Pizzaria’s request for a wine & malt license. Attorney Mark Erlich represented the business owners. After being quizzed by Selectmen Nancy Runkle and Paul Joseph regarding their intervention training for alcohol sales, service, and use, and with Selectmen being assured that TIPS training was to be complied with immediately, the public hearing was declared closed. Selectmen approved the request with Chairman Steven Sullivan abstaining.
The board unanimously approved the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission’s estimate of a temporary increased resident population form establishing a quota of seasonal package stores licenses and also approved reimbursement of a previously paid Class Two Motor Vehicle License for the Small Engine Clinic located at 263 West Main Street as the business had been sold and is no longer selling used vehicles.
David Papagni, Bay Path Regional/Vocational High School Superintendent, and John Lafleche, Business Manager, then presented Bay Path’s addition/renovation building project plans for the Town’s informational purposes. The project’s architect and project manager were also present. The group reviewed the 40-year-old building’s needs and safety requirements for upgrades due to infrastructure failure and need for additional classroom/shop space. The building had opened with 850 students but its population has now increased to 1,074. They reviewed the fact that the state’s new procedures and requirements established by the Mass. School Building Authority would not only provide a 64% reimbursement rate but the project would be micro-managed at each stage of construction. In addition to being a “green building,” the project will provide a new 50,000 sq.ft. addition, 7 new science labs, expanded shop & related classrooms, enhanced sprinkler & fire alarm systems, a new potable water system, efficient HVAC equipment, abatement of hazardous materials, code compliance upgrades, and handicapped accessibility.
Total project cost was $73.8 million with a State reimbursement of $46,494,000 bringing a net cost to the 10-town school district of $27,306,000. Estimated net principal cost to the Town of Dudley was $2,838,633 with an estimated tax impact on the average business/residential property owner of $49.64/annually. It was mentioned that all 10 towns must approve the project for a successful move forward. Selectman Joseph inquired about potential pricing increases/decreases and Mr. Lafleche indicated that not only would cost savings be passed on to all taxpayers but, conversely, zero increases would be allowed after the proposal was passed by all district towns.
Jo-Ann Szymczak came before the Board to provide an update on the Economic Development Committee. She reviewed how the Committee was in process of developing new strategies for attracting more businesses to Dudley. They were in the process of contacting some of the Town’s larger employers like Nichols College and Henke Sass to determine outlooks on what potential businesses look for in choosing Dudley for their sites. Ms. Szymczak said that “they would like to come up with a plan of where we are and where we are going” to show businesses what Dudley has to offer and to attract them. The Committee is developing a website that would be tied into the Town’s website to show a good perspective on what Dudley’s assets are.
Police Chief Wojnar then reviewed the sergeant replacement process. The Chief wanted to move forward with the Police Dept’s internal list of interested candidates. He indicated that he was reviewing either an exam or assessment center process for the opening, which will be available in August. Selectmen voted to allow the Chief to declare a sergeant opening effective 8/1/12.
Following this vote, the Board discussed the dedication(s) for the fiscal year 2011 Annual Report book: Carl Benvenuti, Assessor from 1976-1993; Anthony DiDonato, Sr., Selectman; Freda Lambros, Town Clerk; and Town Veterans, to whom Rich Holewa wanted to dedicate last year’s Annual Report.
A unanimous decision was made to place the Veterans’ Court of Honor on the outside cover with Ms. Lambros and Messrs. Benvenuti & DiDonato on the inside dedication.
Fire Chief Kochanowski outlined his report on the Citizens Emergency Response Team (“CERT”) which is a group of Town citizens who would be trained by a volunteer, Rich Scanlon, to assist professional emergency personnel in the event of weather or other town-wide emergencies. Fire Chief Kochanowski stated that there are approximately 15 townspeople interested in serving.
Ongoing concerns about the Paula Lane and Circle Drive subdivisions were discussed with several residents coming forward to express their dissatisfaction with the lack of snowplowing in their area due to the Town not recognizing/accepting their roadways. There has been a long-standing right-of-way easement boundary that prevents the Town’s road acceptance. Local residents were advised by Selectman Joseph that they should pool their resources and perform a title search of the easement in question in order that the Town could go forward with roadway acceptance. It was noted that the situation has been ongoing since 2004 and much discussion ensued between the Board and irritated residents.
Correction to last week’s story about Town election dates: Selectmen and Town Clerk, Ora Finn, had come to an understanding that a bylaw change for Town elections to June instead of May would assist any newly-elected selectman in the Town’s budgetary process. Town budgets are currently reviewed by all selectmen two weeks after the election and it would not be fair to any newly-elected selectman to be a part of the budget process after only two weeks in their new position.
- Tuesday, 14 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Selectmen