FROM: Carter Terenzini, Town Administrator
RE: Administrator’s Weekly Report
DATE: March 15, 2018
CC: All Departments
Important Notices Public Budget Meeting – Wednesday, March 28th at 6:30 p.m.
PLEASE spread the word and Posting! http://www.templeton1.org/sites/templetonma/files/file/file/publichearing031418_1.pdf
Now accepting applications for one Full-Time Police Officer position. Please double check the revised budget hearing schedule and keep all of your units tuned in! Business Meeting or Workshop: The following is intended to supplement agenda items where a full memorandum may not have been required or updates are needed.
Weekly Report: Monty Tech approved its Preliminary Budget. We have adjusted the budget to reflect this budget. You will see on the revision sheets circulated that we covered the roughly $35k above our hoped-for increase of $15k+/- with the $32k we moved from grants to the revenue ledger. While this eliminates any assistance in offsetting the potential NRSD assessment I do have some hope after spending a lengthy period of time with the Superintendent that he is mindful of the challenges facing us and exploring all possibilities for closing the gap in some fashion. While the final decision remans with the School Committee, our conversations have been respectful and co-operative. I attended the NRSD Re-Organization Committee. Unfortunately, I had to leave about 6:15p for our meeting. After a review of the costs and educational merits of two basic grade configurations, the conclusion was to meet again on 03/26 at 4:30 p.m. and come to a recommendation to submit to the School Committee. Given the complexity of the many issues involved – and matters I believe need yet to be explored – I’ll be reaching out to spend some extended time with each of you for a fuller briefing. Going into the Tuesday storm we had a deficit of roughly $42k. I attended the Phillipston FinCom to present the costs for local dispatch in several configurations. They made clear the programmatic decision of how to procure this service was not in their domain but did appear to have a general agreement that the price was not out of line. I will reach out to the BoS once more to advise them of the possibility of shaving the price by $1k if they do not desire the ConnectTY module. I briefed the incoming Town Counsel on the Draft ATM warrant and potential ballot questions. I have asked him to concentrate his first review on the “standard” questions (i.e. budget, CPC, and the like) while I await your intent on some of the other articles (Over-Ride, By-Law revisions and the like).
Administration & Finance
Town Accountant: Nothing to report this week.
Treasurer/Collector: Nothing to report this week.
Assessor: Returning to the office after being out 2 weeks. Committed and created real estate and personal property tax bills and export files for the 4th Quarter Tax Bills. Bills will be mailed out next week. Received notification and committed 2nd batch of Motor Vehicle bills, these will be mailed out March 26th with an April 24th due date. Also did motor vehicle rebills from other towns. These will be mailed next week with the same dates. Created supplemental tax bills for 2 new homes that received occupancy permits. Reviewed budgets from Town Administrator in preparation for next week budget meeting. Working on compiling information for Carter. Counter traffic still steady. Thank you, Sue, for covering the office these past two weeks.
Town Clerk: Spent the week performing the regular responsibilities and duties required for this office.
Highway Department: Snow, Snow and more Snow, it seems like SPRING will never get here. Trucks were prepped and readied for the weekly Nor’easter. The Older of the loaders was taken out of service. That is 4 vehicles in the last 4 weeks taken out of service, M11 the catch basin truck, H35 a 6- wheeled dump truck, H10 the department pick up and now the loader. Our aging fleet is rapidly depleting.
Buildings & Grounds: Snow removal for the Building & Grounds guys as well, continuous efforts in plowing, sanding and shoveling of parking lots, roads and walkways. Began to remove snow from roof edges and overhangs. Replaced stair treads @ the highway barn. Serviced the push mowers.
While looking for funds to cover increases in other things and considering overrides, cutting some services, I cannot help but to think back a few years and recall the highway department had two loaders, both were said to be worn out, too costly to repair. Even one highway employee stated that they were unreliable at the time. Apparently, the two loaders have been in service despite those statements. A new loader was bought with chapter 90 monies. All three loaders were in the public relations video showing the highway department in action down at the Town sand pit.
If those loaders were too costly to maintain, repair and were unreliable, why were they still being used? To me, unreliable means unsafe and if equipment is unsafe, take it out of service, period.
Taxpayers told that two pieces of equipment need to be replaced because they are worn out and too costly to repair, yet stay in service for many years afterwards and even after a new loader is purchased may cause voters to be wary of future claims that this or that is needed. There may be a true need, but hey, that is what they said about the loaders, but they kept using them for like six years more (and counting). Templeton needs truth in "advertising"