light hearted humor wraps it up.
By Thomas D’Agostino
WEBSTER - If you thought that your town officials have no sense of humor, you should have attended the Webster Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, August 13. The meeting actually started on a serious note with a dog hearing regarding two dogs that got into a fight at the town beach. One of the owners was allegedly bitten during the melee while trying to stop the two dogs from fighting.
On July 5, it is alleged that one dog, “Blackie,” a previous problem in the area, was at the beach with one of its owners, Ashley Bullard. William Dew was walking his dog “Chance” near the beach. It was alleged that when Blackie saw Chance, he began to charge after him. Mr. Dew removed his pet from his leash and according to witnesses yelled for his dog to attack. It was when Ms. Bullard attempted to separate the two dogs that she was allegedly bitten. Officer James Young Jr. was called to the scene around 6 p.m. Dew was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct. Both William Dew and his wife Joan claim that Blackie has attacked their dog several times, including once when Chance was a puppy. Town Administrator John McAuliffe felt Mr. Dew’s actions in this particular situation were not that of a reasonable person.
The board and Mr. McAuliffe also felt that there was no reason to continue the hearing as they were only receiving one side of the story due to the Dew’s legal advice of silence on the case. The case had to be continued until after September 11 as Mr. Dew, by request of his legal counsel could not divulge any information until after the pre-trial hearing. The board also voted to table any action against the owner of Blackie until the after the pretrial as well. This is the third time this year that a problem with the pet has come before the board.
In the regular meeting, Officer Rodney Budrow was sworn in as Deputy Chief. Mr. Budrow gave a heartfelt speech on his gratitude in serving on what he termed as the best police department in the Commonwealth. His wife Lou Ann and cousin Kelley Ford were present for the ceremony.
The board also recognized the Webster Fire Department in regard to a letter sent by the Town of Charlton. Fire fighters from Webster were called in to help with a mill fire in Charlton and were graciously thanked for their selfless service.
In regard to the Phase II Stormwater Management regulation, the board reluctantly approved the signing of paperwork to receive funds from the State Revolving Fund in regard to a loan for the project. The total sum of the project is $434, 231. DPW Director J.T. Gaucher addressed the board in regard to the loan. The board, knowing this, is still leery of having to spend so much money on the necessary project. Selectman Mark Dowgiewicz stated, “So, $434,231 is going to tell us where our rain water is going.” Later he said, “God forbid, how did we survive all these years?”
The board then joked with Mr. Gaucher, “This is what you get for your bright ideas.”
Vice Chair Deborah Keefe also added in humor, “Please don’t take our enthusiasm personally, we appreciate what you did.”
The board and Highway Department Superintendent Kenneth Pizzetti applauded Mr. Gaucher for being among the first to comply with the federal and state regulations. Mr. Pizzetti stated the loans will soon run out and other municipalities will be “scrambling” to raise the funds necessary for the mandatory compliance.
East Main Street merger
Also addressed was the East Main Street merger, coming from Rt. 16 through the stop sign and continuing west. A study showed that the merger seems to be working as designed. The board exchanged some light-hearted humor over the situation. Traffic bottlenecks into one lane 400 feet from the intersection and people speed up to get ahead of the vehicle in front of them. Board Secretary Jeffery Duggan joked that there could be lines painted in the right lane to direct traffic into local businesses. Other jokes were to have a sign that says Merge, Don’t Merge, arrows everywhere to confuse people so they slow down, and alternate speed limits in lanes. In the end, it comes down to driver courtesy and education. The lane ending cedes to the continuing lane.
Water main breaks
In relation to the two water main breaks in the town, the DPW has ordered extra emergency stock of pipe and couplings for quick response and repairs. An in-depth study of the water system will be conducted in order to locate any more potential trouble spots. The pipes that broke, although clean and corrosion free on the inside were placed in the ground around 1914. The breaks took place on Rawson Road and Perryville Road on August 3 and August 5 respectively.
The Fiscal year 2011 Audit showed the town had a positive variance of $51, 746. There was a debate about tax delinquencies dating back several years. Town Administrator John McAuliffe and Tax Assessor Marc Becker are working on a program for collecting delinquent taxes. “This is a clean audit, so we have a lot to feel good about.” Mr. McAuliffe stated.
The audit was performed by Borgatti Harrison & Co.
Licenses and approvals
A request to extend outdoor deck hours for Tal’s Place was approved. This request was in an effort to keep people from smoking and “hanging out” on the handicapped ramp later in the evening.
The board also approved the license for the 11th Annual Killdeer Island Block party to take place on September 8.
An Application for the Conservation Commission was also approved. Marissa McCann has a degree in Environmental Science and will be sworn in by the town clerk for the position.
Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church also received a one-day liquor license, as did the French River Connection.
Waterfront Mary’s Outdoor entertainment license was also extended with prior restrictions until the end of the license period.
Vice Chair Deborah Keefe addressed the board in regard to the beach. She has received letters as to what some of the residents would like to see done to the beach. One of those requests was to replace the faucet and showerheads in the beach house. A report on what has been improved and where the revenue was spent was also written. The board addressed concerns that it does not include the time town employees spent at the facility. The percentage of time in regard to their salary should also be reflected in the report. Seats, benches, electrical, plumbing, sand and the boat ramp were among the issues addressed at the beach this past fiscal year, costing about $27,000.
The Negus Street Reconstruction Contract was awarded to Freitas Construction Inc. of Ludlow for the sum of $663,446.50
The opening of the Town Meeting Warrant until September 6, at 3 p.m. was also voted and approved.
- Wednesday, 15 August 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News