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July 8, 2010
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
July 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm
Community Hall Annex

Meeting opened at 6:35 pm

Present:  Sheila H. Dibb, Chairman – Joseph R. Becker, Vice-Chairman – Leroy C. Clark, Cherilyn A. Bulger and Michael S. Pantos, Clerk.

Also present:  Paul Cranston - Town Counsel, Clealand B. Blair, George Kiritsy, Gary Kellaher – DPW Superintendant, Thomas P. Ruchala – Fire Chief, Norman Anderson – Planning Board Chairman and several residents from Central Tree Estates.

Chairman Dibb stated the purpose of the meeting was to work out the differences of opinion (between Blair Builders and the Fire Chief) regarding two fire hydrants in Central Tree Estates.  Mr. Becker stated that there was an initial plan accepted by the Planning Board showing the two hydrants in question; and somewhere along the line there was a revised plan and we need to figure out if that plan was adhered to by Blair Developers.  He would like to determine the chain or sequence of events (are they missing or not).  Mr. Becker would like to compare the initial plan to the as-built plan.  The as-built plans cannot be located as of this meeting.

Louis Cornacchioli asked what paperwork the Selectmen used when laying the ways.  Mrs. Dibb stated that it had voted to lay the ways based on the paperwork submitted.  Mr. Blair stated that the plans were submitted to DPW and they did not like where the hydrants were located.  According to Mr. Blair, Robert Haines, now-retired Water Dept. employee, located where the hydrants should be and that is where they were placed.  He said the Planning Board received the as-built plans and approved the new locations and he has a letter from the Planning Board stating so.

Norm Anderson stated that the Planning Board does not approve or disapprove water / sewer lines; that is DPW’s job.  Attorney Kiritsy presented various diagrams of Central Tree Estates subdivision showing that the present hydrant coverage meets, and in some areas exceeds, all subdivision regulations.

Chief Ruchala stated that the hydrants at the end of the cul-de-sacs can be accessed, but there will be additional response time – the subdivision is safe, but could be safer.  He also referenced the Planning Board subdivision 01/22/02 rules & regulations stating that hydrants will be placed no more than 500 feet apart.  Mr. Blair stated that his subdivision was prior to this date.

Mr. Anderson produced the approved 1997 plan and Chief Ruchala pointed out all the hydrants.  Chief Ruchala stated that it was placed on the town meeting warrant before the punch list was complete.  Mr. Becker wanted to see the as-builts, but they could not be located.  Town counsel stated that the as-builts should be on file with the engineer.  Mr. Pantos moved to request the Planning Board contact Cullinan Engineers for the paper trail as well as gathering all the Planning Board’s documents and hold another meeting with everyone involved.  Ms. Bulger seconded.   Mr. Becker asked to revise the motion for the Planning Board to pursue if all questions are not answered.  Vote unanimous.  Mr. Kellaher will contact Cullinan Engineers tomorrow and get all the paperwork so everyone can meet again to resolve the problem.

Mrs. Bulger asked Mr. Blair if he would just put the hydrants in to make this all go away to which he firmly replied no.

Discussion on the bond.  Mr. Anderson stated that there is a clause that 10% of the original bond amount may be retained one year after road acceptance.  Town Counsel will look into.

Chief Ruchala defended his decision to stand up at town meeting and inform the people in attendance of the missing hydrants.  He also stated that he has said right along that they  were missing, so this was not a last minute surprise.  He further stated that if the people vote to accept the roads, he will do his best, but still feels the people are being cheated out of the safety they deserve.

Due to the newly implemented open meeting law, representatives from Wachusett Greenways were not recognized as they were not listed on the agenda.  This was a continuation from the last meeting, but the agenda for tonight’s meeting was posted prior to that meeting so it did not get on the agenda.  Mrs. Dibb and Ms. Bulger wanted to discuss the matter anyway since there was no definitive answer regarding this one way or the other from the Attorney General’s office when the Town Clerk called to inquire.  Mr. Pantos, Mr. Clark and Mr. Becker feel it should wait to be posted on a future agenda.

Mr. Pantos moved to adjourn.  Mr. Clark seconded.  Vote unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy M. Macaruso, Secretary
Board of Selectmen

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