Board of Selectmen
February 25, 2008
Community Hall Annex
Present: Donald R. D’Auteuil – Chairman, Douglas C. Briggs, Leroy C. Clark,
Joseph R. Becker and Nancy M. Macaruso, Secretary. Mrs. Dibb is on vacation.
Treasury Warrant #18, Police, Fire, DPW payrolls were signed.
Minutes: Mr. Briggs moved to accept the Executive Session minutes of
January 28, 2008 as presented. Mr. Becker seconded. Vote unanimous. Mr. Briggs moved to accept the February 11, 2008 minutes as presented. Mr. Becker seconded. Vote unanimous.
REPORT OF TOWN DEPARTMENTS:
Mr. Christianson inquired as to whether the Safety Manual he submitted was accepted. Mr. Briggs moved to accept the Safety Manual. Mr. Becker seconded. Vote unanimous. A copy will be sent to MIIA.
DPW Superintendent Christianson stated that he would like to set up interviews for the water operator position and will notify the Board as to when the interviews will take place. Mr. Clark will be present during the interviewing process. Mr. Becker questioned the Superintendent on privatizing the water plant. Mr. Clark has calls into people to come in to speak to the Board, but he has had no response yet. Mr. Briggs asked if there was any interest among the present DPW employees taking exams and acquiring the necessary licensing as a back up (using an internal posting). Testing takes place in April. Mr. Christianson agreed with Mr. Briggs’ suggestion.
Mr. Becker stated he has concerns regarding the employee payroll among departments; for example: water employees working for DPW and being paid out of water budget when they are actually performing DPW duties), and vice versa and would like to see the hours charged accordingly. Mr. Clark suggested avoiding overtime costs with the full-time secretary by utilizing the part-time secretary more. Mr. Christianson will discuss and consider it during his budget preparation.
Mr. Becker stated that the cost of some of the subcontractor’s work has been accumulating significantly over the life the Primary Building project and probably should have been bid out. Mr. Becker will sign the current warrant but would like it noted that he feels a particular invoice should not be paid. Mr. Clark would like to know how the charges have been justified. Mr. Christianson will do a breakdown of the charges on the project to this point and will report back to the Selectmen.
Mrs. Johnson from Glenwood Road inquired of the Board as to the policy on blowing snow onto private property. During a recent storm, the sidewalk snow blower operator blew salt and sand 50 feet into her hayfield. Mr. Christianson replied that there is no policy but will look into it and speak to the operator to avoid future incidents.
Chief Baril respectfully requested the Board appoint Travis W. McCauley as a part-time officer. Officer McCauley is not only a Rutland native but was the first intern in the Rutland Police Department when Wachusett started the Criminal Justice Program. Mr. Briggs moved the Chief’s recommendation. Mr. Becker seconded. Vote unanimous.
The Chief informed the Board that he has received 37 personal protective equipment kits which were distributed between the Police and Fire Departments.
Mr. Becker addressed Chief Baril on the need for appointing a parking clerk. The Chief is gathering input from other communities and will have it available for the next meeting. He explained that the parking clerk is the one to deal with fines, arranging court appearances, appeals, etc.
Chief Ruchala informed the Board that the new fire truck has arrived. Final payment was made Friday and the registration has been transferred. Some more equipment will need to be added and hopefully will be in service next week. Lengthy discussion on ambulance rates took place. Mr. Briggs moved to incorporate the new ambulance fees as proposed by the Fire Chief. Mr. Briggs seconded. Vote unanimous. A copy will be sent to MIIA.
The Fire Chief submitted a letter from Town Counsel regarding the Reverse 911 which will be discussed at the next meeting.
Mr. Clark questioned the Chief Ruchala on the Blair billing for the tanker to which the Chief explained that the bill was sent and is unsure if it has been paid yet. Mr. Becker asked if this incident was a common occurrence and the Chief replied that it was not. It will be applied to the Water Enterprise.
Mr. Becker inquired about the training wages for fire and ambulance and would like to see it broken down into days and times for each employee. Mr. Becker is also concerned about significant overtime for training purposes specifically for employees who work for other departments (they work 40 hours in their respective departments and then get paid overtime for training). Mr. Becker feels their full-time jobs are first priority and they’d have to decide if they would continue the training if overtime pay for training is eliminated. Mr. D’Auteuil stated that they only way around that is to not send them to training or to have the training during the day. Chief Ruchala stated that only one class can be run and historically it is during the evening. The Board will take this under
advisement and discuss at the next meeting.
6:30 pm – Public Hearing (Arline Drive – Phase II Road Acceptance). Mr. D’Auteuil read a letter from the Planning Board whose recommendation is unfavorable. Construction has been completed in reasonable conformance, but the applicant is in arrears with the Town. Mr. D’Auteuil asked Mr. Anderson, Planning Board Chairman, for a letter stating that the outstanding issues with Cullinan Engineering have been completed. Mr. Bacon asked for a four-week extension to clear up any problems and would like to get the roads on the Annual Town Meeting warrant. Mr. Briggs moved to continue the hearing to March 24, 2008. Mr. Becker seconded. Vote unanimous.
7:00 pm – Continuation of a dog hearing (Fox/Morse). Mr. Clark, Animal Control Officer, stated that he has had no complaints since the last meeting and suggested dropping it. Mr. Becker asked whether he had contacted the complainant to see if there were any new complaints. Mr. Clark stated that he’s checked the area several times and with no complaint on record, he figures the problem has been resolved. Mr. Clark’s recommendation is to take no more action and close the hearing. Mr. Briggs moved the Animal Control Officer’s recommendation. Mr. Becker seconded. Vote unanimous.
7:15 pm – Darlene O’Connor – Present on behalf of the School Improvement Council and Parent Advisory Council of Naquag Elementary and is concerned about children’s safety during the elections held at the school mainly due to all registered voters having access to the school and bathrooms. She has spoken to the principal at Naquag and the Superintendent who also have concerns. She would like the polls moved to another suitable building. She explained that the police officer stationed at the poll is there to protect the ballots and not the children. Mrs. Hayden stated that there are several issues to consider - time and cost factors involved (every voter must be notified by mail if the location were to change), handicap accessibility, etc. She would also like to have the
disability commission come and approve any facility being considered. Mrs. Hayden explained that she is attending a meeting next week and will discuss petitioning legislature regarding the closing of schools on state election days. Mr. Briggs would like to see a letter from the Superintendent addressing this issue. Chief Baril agreed with Mrs. O’Connor. Mrs. Hayden will come up with a list of potential sites (public and private) and will bring it forth on March 24, 2008.
Addison Redfield questioned the Chairman on the offsite back up storage of files. Mr. D’Auteuil explained that Mrs. Dibb is looking into this matter with Horace Moody.
Procurement Approval requested by the Board of Assessors (James C. Keane Company). Mr. Briggs moved to accept the assessor’s recommendation to appoint James C. Keane Company to do the building permit inspections and interim year adjustments. Mr. Becker seconded. Vote unanimous.
Letter from DEP regarding State Revolving Fund Borrowers’ meeting. Mr. Christianson and Mr. Briggs will be attending.
Sick Leave Buyback for three retiring teachers. Mr. Briggs stated that many things can be done: special town meeting and use stabilization, article on Annual Town Meeting, take from free cash in the fall, etc. Copies will be put into the budget files.
Letter from MIIA on Discrimination Prevention Training (4 days). Mrs. O’Brien will attend.
Council on Aging Reserve Fund Transfer for the shortfall that occurred when the Director performed the Outreach Worker’s job during the transition at a higher rate of pay. Chairman D’Auteuil explained that this is not unforeseen in his opinion and they should work within their budget, but it is up to the Finance Committee. Mr. Becker disagreed and explained that in the past the Finance Committee has granted requests for transfers for shortfalls in wage accounts. Mr. Becker would also like the Board’s opinion. Mr. Briggs stated that they knew at the beginning that this account was going to be short and this should have been an article on the last special town meeting warrant. Mr. Becker moved to forward this transfer request to the Finance Committee. Mr. Clark
seconded. Vote 3 to 1 with Mr. Briggs in the minority. The original paperwork will be forwarded to the Finance Committee.
Mr. Becker would like a memo sent to all departments under the Selectmen to inquire about the procedures used when purchasing office supplies. A memo will be sent.
Chairman D’Auteuil read a letter from John Scannell (DCR) who is requesting to reinitiate discussions of the DCR-Rutland Sewer Use Agreement. Mr. Briggs stated that this paperwork contains the changes from the initial agreement. Some discussion.
Mr. Briggs will draft a “Letter to the Editor” to be published in the Landmark and the Worcester Telegram regarding the debt exclusion.
The Executive Session was eliminated.
Mr. Briggs moved to adjourn. Mr. Clark seconded. Vote unanimous. The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.
Nancy M. Macaruso, Secretary
Board of Selectmen