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Northborough selectmen discuss snow, ice, solid waste

Northborough – After two years of discussion, the Northborough Board of Selectmen unanimously chose at its Jan. 24 meeting to keep the current pay-as-you-go solid waste program.

After months of increasingly heated debate, public input sessions and committees, the board determined that the proposed change to a toter system was not conducive to the needs of the town.

Selectman Jeff Amberson noted that “this is probably the most debated thing we’ve done since I’ve been on this board. I think we’ve completed our due diligence on this.”

Since starting this review, the board had gathered a great deal of information in addition to fielding hundreds of public comments and e-mails. After multiple careful discussions, the board noted at its meeting that there various reasons for keeping the current system. Selectman Leslie Rutan shared comments she had received, such as the fact that bags encouraged recycling, aided the elderly, those who winter elsewhere, and those who use little. The system also lessens clutter, allowing over-sized items to be recovered frequently.

A plight shared by most of the other towns in central Massachusetts, Northborough too is facing a snow and ice fund that has dipped dangerously low. Town Administrator John Coderre said that in addition to the Department of Public Works (DPW) budget, the town budgets roughly $177,000 for a snow and ice fund. This fund now has approximately $9,000 remaining.

“The last time we had this conversation, it was the end of February and at least there was an end in sight to the snow,” Coderre said, “but when you look out at the forecast, it doesn’t look good.”

At the next meeting, Coderre will bring forward a motion to deficit spend.

Keeping with the season, Selectman William Pantazis highlighted the work of the DPW in its snow removal efforts this season. While complaints outweigh congratulations, Pantazis assured the public that the DPW employees are working at a high level and implored residents to do their part around sidewalks and fire hydrants. Rutan also asked for drivers to be cautious as snow banks can cause impaired vision for drivers and imperiled pedestrians.

Kathy Dalgliesh, director of Northborough Cable Access Television, petitioned for a change in the revenue stream that the station receives from cable companies.

“It’s changing a rather convoluted way of totaling our operating money that we get from Charter every year into a flat 3 percent instead of this formula that we developed,” Dalgliesh said. “It’s simplifying everything.”

Approved unanimously by the board, the town’s public access will continue to thrive with money from cable companies.

School Superintendent Charles Gobron came forward with a statement of interest for the Lincoln Street School to submit to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

“We feel it is in our best interest to thoroughly address programmatic space needs at the Lincoln Street School,” he said. Gobron’s plan lists improvements for the library, media center, and a need to meet demographic changes for students such as those who are non-English speaking.

Selectman Fran Bakstran informed the board that she is stepping down at the end of her term.

“I have decided not to seek a third term for the Board of Selectmen, though I have enjoyed the six years that I have been on the board with you all,” she said.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=8784

Posted by on Jan 28 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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