Selectmen Meet October 3rd
by Bobby Blair 10/4/12
Selectmen burned a little midnight oil Wednesday night in a meeting which lasted three hours and ten minutes ...
Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Jay Marsden presented a proclamation declaring September 16th American Legion Day in Holliston.
Accepting on behalf of the Charles F. Duford Post #47 was Legion member Steve Bradford above left and Chairman Marsden.
Also under the public comments section of the meetining Rebecca Donham questioned selectmen about the town's accident waiver policy. Resident Bill Dowd discussed Holliston inclusion in the West Suburban Health Group and what if any benefits the town derives.
Leo Sullivan above right representing Capital Partnership made a presentation to the board concerning the cost of electric service in town. Through the use of community choice and aggregation Sullivan's company hopes to save Holliston residents and businesses $660,657 per year. By taking advantage of dips in energy prices, Capital locks in those prices for a savings. The savings do not include the transmission of electric service, only the cost of the energy. Companies such as Capital have come about since deregulation took place in Massachusetts and other states such as Indiana and Illinois. Sullivan noted that Ashland and Marlborough have taken advantage of community choice and aggregation, and Framingham and Natick are in the process. The process of Holliston joining in lowering its electric costs, must first be presented to town meeting. Selectmen opened the Town Meeting Warrant Wednesday night for this purpose. Rate payers on an indivual basis would have the right opt out of the aggregation.
Capital requests for a backhoe and truck were amended by Highway Chief Tom Smith. Smith had originally requested $95,000 for a new backhoe but now wishes to have an excavator which will turn 360 degrees for the price of $60,000. The older present backhoe will be kept in reserve. Smith also requested $110,000 for a new truck replacing one which is sixteen years old.
John McCarthy owner of Casey's Crossing on Railroad Street requested that the Board look into the fees charged for alcohol licenses in town. McCarthy felt that Holliston's license fees were 333% higher than surrounding towns. Selectman Kevin Conley said "we should bring it back into line" regarding the town's fees. Selectman Jay Leary suggested reviewing the fees charged by at least 15 towns and not just the several that McCarthy cited. The review of fees was taken under advisement.
Attorney Peter Barbieri representing Metrowest Reality Group appeared before the board seeking a solution to drainage problems on Charles Street. Metrowest Realty Group (MRG) is beginning its renovation of the Village Plaza at 100 Central Street by adding a second floor. While MRG has already meet with the Conservation Commission and Planning Board for permitting, the flooding which occurs at the rear of the property near the town canal had not been addressed. While the initial discussion was about drainage, the discussion soon turned into one about curb cuts and loading docks. While Attorney Barbieri suggested that a sidewalk on the same side of the street as his client's building may provide a solution to the flooding, the town fathers along with Highway Chief Tom Smith disagreed over whose responsibility a new sidewalk would fall - the builder or the town.
Fire Chief Michael Cassidy (forefront) and selectmen revisited once again the topic of stipends for Holliston's local call firemen. Cassidy requested a sum of $215,000 for his department which he said runs "at a fraction of the costs of nearby departments". Chairman of the Board Jay Marsden told Cassidy "what you're advocating here is almost a 50% increase".
Firefighter Lt. Mark Heavner (rear 2nd from left) told the board that firefighters as far back as 2007 had been promised increases in their stipends and those stipends had only been partially increased. Selectman Jay Leary countered Heavner reminding him that firemen opted out of an opportunity for a solution by tying the stipends to a previous override. Ongoing discussions concerning stipends will be discussed when selectmen take their meeting on the road by holding a meeting with firemen on October 15th at 9 p.m. at the Central Fire Station. Selectmen adjourned at 10:40 p.m.
Posted in Politics.