Board of Selectmen
Community Hall Annex
February 18, 2014
Present: Peter J. Letsky, Chairman; Sheila H. Dibb, Vice-Chairman, Joseph R. Becker, Leroy C. Clark and Nancy M. Macaruso, Secretary. Michael S. Pantos was absent.
Mr. Clark moved to sign Treasury warrant #17 and payroll. Mr. Becker seconded. Vote unanimous.
Mr. Clark moved to accept the executive session minutes from September 30, 2013 as amended. Mr. Becker seconded. Vote unanimous.
Mr. Becker moved to accept the minutes from January 27, 2014 as presented. Ms. Dibb seconded. Vote unanimous.
Mr. Becker moved to accept the minutes from February 3, 2014 as presented. Ms. Dibb seconded. Vote unanimous.
Mr. Clark moved to accept the executive session minutes from February 3, as presented. Ms. Dibb seconded. Vote unanimous.
Mr. Clark moved to accept the minutes from February 10, 2014 with attachment. Ms. Dibb seconded. Vote unanimous.
Executive session minutes from February 10, 2014 will be held until next meeting for additional information.
6 p.m. - Pole Hearing (Maple Avenue): No residents in attendance regarding the pole hearing. Diane Clowes was present from National Grid. Mr. Kellaher stated that he is OK with the placement as long as street edge of the pole is no closer than four feet to the edge of the pavement. No date of install yet. Mr. Kellaher will accompany Ms. Clowes when it’s staked to confirm the location once the ground thaws. Hearing closed at 6:15 pm. Ms. Dibb moved to sign the petition with the Superintendent’s addition of (street edge of pole is no closer than four feet to the edge of the pavement). Mr. Clark seconded. Vote unanimous.
Mr. Kellaher stated that there is a shortage of sodium state wide, but will work with what he has until more becomes available. Mr. Clark moved to authorize the DPW Superintendent to overspend the snow and ice budget. Ms. Dibb seconded. Vote unanimous. Some discussion on the rest of the budget – payroll is OK. He is down two trucks (a 2000 F350 and a new one with a full metal jacket which is still under warranty) and is waiting on insurance.
Chief Haapakoski answered a question from the last meeting - that the difference between a part-time officer and a full-time officer filling a day shift at 40 hours is approximately $8,174. Lengthy discussion on coverage. Some discussion on the Devereux PILOT payments – the town received approximately $19,000 in 2012 and approximately $12,000 in 2013. It costs the town roughly $48,000 to respond to their calls.
Regarding the Charnock Hill Road traffic complaint, a permit from the state is needed to restrict certain traffic.
The security system has been up and running at the public safety complex. The entire building is on camera and will focus as far back as the pool area.
An executive session will be scheduled at 5 pm on March 3rd to begin the police chief’s contract negotiations.
The Chief informed the Board that the department accreditation is moving along but not as quickly as it could due to financial constraints. He is revamping policies and procedures. The sergeants now have a contract and the patrolmen’s contract has been settled. The Dispatch contract is presently being worked on. The department lost a sergeant and the written exam has been given to begin the process of replacing that sergeant from within. Two more steps are to be completed by all the applicants before he brings a name forward. That third sergeant would fill the days off on the 3 to 11 and 11 to 7 shifts. The Chief, himself, would be the commander during the day. Chief Haapakoski would like to see more work done on the town website – he mentioned that his secretary is
proficient in web design and she will be invited to the next Selectmen’s meeting when Virtual Town Hall is present. The Chief ran down a list of statistics (violations) in comparison to years past and everything has increased significantly: arrests, criminal investigations, parking fines, traffic stops, etc. Mutual aid numbers have decreased due to the 4 and 2 schedule. He meets regularly with officers on all shifts and does a lot of communication by email. Each officer has to sign a receipt which goes into their file when they are informed of procedural changes. In a town of 9,000 people, 12 full-time officers are needed.
Mr. Becker is very pleased and feels that the Chief overall has met expectations or is on target for both the six-month and twelve-month reviews. Budget prep is on target, he has met the expectation for improving public relations, grant/funding work is satisfactory, shared dispatch director’s goals and objectives/review has taken place, the receipt submission has improved and his high work ethic continues. Mr. Becker suggested keeping a closer eye on the shared Dispatch where other towns are concerned – continue to check in with them on a regular basis. Mr. Becker feels he’s a good fit and thanked him for a job well done. Ms. Dibb echoed Mr. Becker’s statement.
Ambulance 27A is in pieces at DPW (brake issue). Parts have been ordered which were hard to come by and he is $3,000 into the repair which was not budgeted for. He strongly stated that it’s time to replace the ambulance. He may have to rent one if we aren’t able to continue the use of Oakham’s second ambulance. The weather has been affecting the repair time on vehicles as the DPW mechanic has been plowing snow. The tanker also has a mechanical problem. Some discussion re: a debt exclusion for a new ambulance and Ms. Dibb feels a special election prior to the annual town meeting may garner a better outcome rather than “bundling” it with other needs. CIPC has approved the second ambulance. To build an ambulance from scratch costs approximately $180,000 to $190,000 and to
purchase a demo unit $150,000 to $180,000. More discussion on ambulance equipment. Will add ambulance to the next agenda.
The outdoor warning siren, which was funded by an anonymous donor, has been installed and will be in use very soon.
Memo from Kelly Briggs (Recreation Director) recommending reactivation of Meghan Johnson as part time for Under the Learning Tree. Mr. Becker would like to know the reason/circumstance for her departure before reactivating. Will contact Kelly Briggs to provide an explanation for the next meeting.
Chairman Letsky stated that Carol Boucher (COA) and Peter Rock (Veterans’ Agent) have notified the Board that they will be retiring soon. The Board agreed that both people will leave “huge” shoes to fill.
Ms. Dibb thanked the DPW, Police and Fire Departments for their participation at the bonfire at Putnam Park last weekend. Everything went extremely well – good turnout.
Regarding Akuity and the IT Services, Mr. Clark moved to have the Chairman sign the contract contingent upon Town Counsel review and acceptance. Mr. Becker seconded. Vote unanimous.
Mr. Clark moved to adjourn. Ms. Dibb seconded. Vote unanimous. Meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm.
Nancy M. Macaruso, Secretary
Board of Selectmen