Westborough has new emergency notification system
By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
At the Board of Selectmen's Sept. 25 meeting Paul McNulty, the director of public health for the BOH said that his department has recently obtained an AM Radio Notification system. The new equipment was purchased through a grant from the Region 2 (Worcester County) Public Health Preparedness Coalition, he said.
The system, which will operate on channel 1610 AM, is located in the Forbes Municipal Building. The signal is about 10 watts, McNulty said, and reaches all sections of the town.
For the time being, test messages as well as some informational notifications of upcoming town events will be broadcast on a continuous loop. Some of those events included the town's Household Hazardous Waste Day, the Arts in Common festival and the Depression Screening Day that will be sponsored by Westborough Youth and Family Services in conjunction with Assabet Valley Pastoral Counseling Thursday Oct. 11.
“We will eventually use it for emergency messages like major accidents or weather-related things,” McNulty said.
Signs will be put up in various locations throughout the town to advise residents of the new station, he noted.
In other business, the board turned down a request for a parcel of town-owned land to be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
The organization had hoped to obtain property located at 1 Upton Road. That property is assessed at $180,000.
The entire board said while they supported the work of Habitat for Humanity, they did not feel comfortable at this time granting such a request. .
Leigh Emery, the chair of the Board of Selectmen, said that at many town meetings, the consensus from residents was that “[town officials] need to find ways to save money.”
“I think we'se reluctant to give away town property,” she said.
Steven Liedell, the chair of the Westborough Housing Partnership Committee, noted that as the property is currently town-owned, no taxes are collected on it.
“If you put a home on there, it will earn money for the town,” he added.
The board members agreed that they would rather have the town “test the market” and try to sell the property first before agreeing to donate it.
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