Monday, August 20, 2018

So, Selectmen consider tax override to pay for Stoney bridge repairs?
With an estimated $800,000.00 in leftover tax dollars from last year, there does not seem to be a need for another tax increase in Templeton at this time. Will have to see how much of that estimated money comes to fruition and how much of it has to be used to fund the fiscal year 2019 spending plan, as in using one time funds to prop up a spending plan, which is against the town's financial policy. Little has changed regarding Templeton finance.

There is also a lack of clarity regarding Templeton debt, which is another question needing to be answered. In two years time, how much of an increase in Templeton taxes will be needed to pay for all of the Templeton debt?

from January 2018

Hubbardston will receive $425,000 to preserve bridges on Williamsville Road and Ragged Hill Roads over Natty Pond Brook and Templeton Brook.

Orange will receive $420,000 to replace a bridge on East Road over West Brook.

According to MassDOT and the Governor:
The Municipal Small Bridge program is a need and merit based program that seeks to fund those applications that demonstrate a critical need or substantially extend the life of an existing small bridge that is between ten and twenty feet in length.  Projects are evaluated according to a strict set of eligibility criteria that consider the condition, benefits, and repair status of each bridge.

Templeton taxpayers should demand that all other avenues of funding be looked at before any tax increase is asked for. Lack of accountability concerning Templeton debt is one important reason to avoid any new tax overrides at present time.

Monday, July 16, 2018
 ORANGE — Preliminary estimates show that the town will need more than the $420,000 Massachusetts Department of Transportation grant to replace the closed bridge off Route 2A, and Orange is going to the state to ask for more.
Many have expressed that they would like to see the bridge, which has been closed for three years, reopen. Residents, school bus drives and town officials have all expressed eagerness,
because the closure has severed a route from North Orange to Route 2A and the rest of the town.
The Select board has approved a letter to MassDOT District 2 Highway Director Peter Cavicchi asking for an additional $80,000, bringing the total to $500,000 — the maximum amount the town may get from the Baker-Polito administration’s Small Bridge Program.
“We were thrilled, to put it mildly, and very grateful to the state for this program,” Select board Chairman Ryan Mailloux said, reading his letter aloud. “It enables the town to fix a road and bridge issue that is a main route for our school buses and residents, that has been closed while we sought a solution.”
The town has a contract with Tighe & Bond for engineering and design work on the bridge, which crosses West Brook on the three-mile road. Town Administrator Gabriele Voelker has anticipated the project being done by “fall or winter.”
In preliminary designing, Tighe & Bond found that $420,000 was very unlikely to be enough to cover the cost of replacing the bridge.
Mailloux said the town is “exploring all areas” of possible funding in the letter, which is also being forwarded to state Rep. Susannah Whipps.
“We’ll be taking some of our Chapter 90 funds to help cover the gap. However, this directly impacts other necessary road projects,” Mailloux said.
The grant money is a portion of $5.2 million awarded in January to 12 communities to repair or replace small (10 to 20 feet long) bridges.
While the bridge is small, its location in a residential neighborhood has caused some problems. Selectboard member and school bus driver Tom Smith has said the bridge’s closure has added time and inconvenience to bus routes.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Laurel View Road and the Town of Templeton:

So far, the explanation is it will cost the Town (taxpayers) a lot of money to accept Laurel View Road. Why is that? After all, drive down Partridgeville Road and then drive Laurel View and tell me why the town plows one but does not wish to plow the other? The majority of the roads in Templeton are crappy, just like most towns and cities, so what is the big deal with one more of them. It seems like all these people ask for is equal protection under the law. They pay taxes and would like to receive at least a few service items for that money.

There is quite a bit of Town property on Laurel View Road, as in the light poles and wire, contact the Templeton Municipal Light department and ask what is the approximate cost of that wire per foot. Then ask what is the Town's responsibility with that wire and those poles; where does it end?

Truth is, there is always a way for things to get done and I do not think all of the options have been exhausted yet, how about special legislation so the town can take possession of the road without it meeting current standards so those taxpayers can get the road plowed in winter time and so the Town ambulance or fire trucks can get down there. They are after all paying more in taxes for that ambulance, but now the selectmen are telling them we cannot really help you much and we spent your money on lawyers to find ways to avoid helping you.

Again, I believe special legislation to accept this one road as is, get it surveyed by the company doing that work in town now and add it to the list of the many roads that need work. It should not be too hard or expensive to fix the few small issues listed as reasons why the town cannot plow the road. How much money was spent on scout hall and what are the plans for that? Looking at some paperwork from Town Hall and the selectmen / town administrator show estimates of $800,000.00 in "free cash" from FY 2018. Was there really a need for a tax increase to pay for ambulance service with that kind of money left over, either not spent or unexpectedly taken in. Remember the $190,000.00 left over from the last certified free cash explanation, so we are close to one million dollars of taxpayer money available for things. Now we just need the attitude from the selectmen of what can we do for you, the people we are suppose to look out for.

Rather than look for ways to not do it, find a way to do it; accept Laurel View Road and move on.
TO:        Board of Selectmen
FROM: Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator
RE:        Administrator’s Weekly Report
DATE:   August 16, 2018
CC:        All Departments

 
Important Notice to All Departments
Job Openings:    Director of Public Works
                                  DPW – Truck Driver (CDL)
                                  Seasonal Laborer (10 week)
 
 
 
Weekly Report: I conducted the Laurel View meeting with much time required for preparation and follow-up. I carried out eight interviews with prospective Management Fellows. Final interviews are tentatively set for 08/30 and we have asked if someone from the BoS would like to sit in on that process. We have what looks to be solid pool of candidates for DPW Director and will begin to assemble the interview team on that for the next week or two. We have received some sample RFPs on the Field Data Collection and Replacement Option study from DER and will attempt to finalize and get that out ASAP as we will need to fund it at the Fall Town Meeting.
Administration & Finance
Town Accountant: As Cheryl was out of the office Tue – Thus I had to get the warrant and payroll all completed on Monday. Tuesday was spent trying to get everything put away and organized in my new office location. Wednesday was a catch up day for all the work from July that had been put on hold so that I could get the Town ready for the auditors. Thursday I spent most of the day with the workers comp auditor. During this audit we discovered a few errors that will need to be taken care of over the next few weeks. I got the final numbers from sewer today, so on Monday will finalize everything thing for year end and complete the final quarter/year-end report for the selectman for Wednesday.
Treasurer/Collector: Treasurer/Collector Out of the Office. Sue O’Coin from the Assessor’s Office covered the office.
Assessor: Returned to office after being out last week. Worked on Sales Analysis and submitted it to DOR DLS for approval. This is the first steps in the tax rate setting process. Computer and Vision upgrade is proceeding in the office smoothly and everything should be completed by the end of the month. New growth for this fiscal year has been updated to property record cards. Prepared for, attended and continue to finish up work from the Board of Assessors monthly meeting held Tuesday. Notices were mailed out to Veterans so many are coming in with their paperwork and to sign their applications for FY19 exemptions. A reminder to residents to come in with the necessary paperwork and apply for your FY19 exemptions. Sue worked on Chapter land paperwork and letters will be going out next week to the owners to file with the office by October 1st. Sue stepped up this week to help out the Collector/Treasurer office and as always kept our office running great while I was out.

Town Clerk: Still busy with marriage certificates. We had a lot of vital records request this week. Updated all the new registered voter from the RMV. Held the last day of registration session for the Sept 4th primary. Did some research for different departments.

Public Works
Highway Department: The roof on the Baldwinville Fire Station porch and the roof on the Highway barn office will be started this week. Both projects were approved in the previous budget and were encumbered to be completed in FY2019. The MS-4 (Storm Water Report) has been completed and submitted for FY2018. He highway department assisted the Buildings and Grounds department in adding rip rap to a retention pond @ the senior center to alleviate the wash out of loam from the heavy rain. Catch basins in the area of Pine Drive, Pheasant Lane &Baldwin Drive were rebuilt because they were failing. A beaver dam was removed on Henshaw Rd and also on Musket Dr. The one that was removed on Musket was rebuilt by the beavers overnight and a trapper was notified of the situation. The heavy rain caused the drain on Drury lane to not be able to keep up with the flow. That is an old stone culvert that will be cleared of debris and inspected for improved flow. Pot holes were patched on Partridgeville Road and Royalston Road. We are working on the several managerial projects:
•Update on Stone Bridge progress for grants.
•Senior Center siding bids have gone out and are due by 8/29/18 no later than 2:PM
•The Roof for the Templeton center fire FD have gone out as well and are due by 8/29/18 no later than 2:PM
•Laurelview was swept, as a courtesy, prior to an informal meeting to be held at 12:30 PM on 8/14/18 with Jim Vacarelo and Jim Fay to assist in identify troublesome areas.
•An evaluation of the streets on the common will be performed by David Hawkins of Arboriculture Services prior to the Sept 5th Select Board meeting, and he and will report to the Select Board his recommendation(s).
•Snow & Ice operations plan is ongoing, Mark is working with Mike Smith, consultant.
•STATUS on Street sweeping: All side roads are complete and Main Roads remain to be completed. •Stantec, a Road Surface Management System company (RSMS) is currently evaluating the roads program and has completed 45.73% of the roads in Templeton. Mark will be meeting with him next week.
•Leo Provencher will be assisting in the Department next week. Thus far he has work 10 hours for the cemetery department; we have in for another 39 hours.
•The chipper is down. •Work on the roof at the Garage should be starting soon. •There has been a process created to streamline and increase successful communications. All DPW issues need to come to Pam Rogers, Admin Assistant, at highway@templeton1.org or (978) 939-8666. This will be imputed into a database and to track each issue through resolution.
•Work towards addressing several IT issues are being identified and resolved if practical.
 
Templeton Fire/EMS: 08/01 - 08/15 we responded on 49 calls of service. 32 EMS calls, 10 Fire service calls, 6 motor vehicle accidents, and 1 kitchen fire. our primary ambulance is out of service, it is back at the manufacturer getting warranty paint repairs completed before the warranty expires. Our secondary ambulance was out of service for a few days with a unexpected breakdown, this is now fixed and in service. As of today, one of our two new firefighters/ paramedics has started with us, and our other is awaiting his physical. We expect him to begin with us in the beginning of September