Weston Select Board OKs purchase of new plow truck

Almon Crandall gets the green light on purchasing a new plow truck for Weston. All photos by Bruce Frauman.

By Bruce Frauman
©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Weston can expect delivery of a new plow truck in mid to late fall now that the Select Board gave Road Foreman Almon Crandall authorization to spend $87,697 to purchase a new Ford 550 cab and chassis from Stewart’s and a dump body, plow and sander from HP Fairfield. Choosing to spend $5,000 on an extended warranty and $300 for a paraffin undercoat will be left to another meeting, pending further research.

Weston Emergency Management director Mark Falango started the April 25 meeting by commenting that it was nice another public building — the Annex, housing the Little School — now has a handicap ramp. Falango was attending the meeting in case the board had any questions about the annual updates to the Local Emergency Operation Plan and the National Incident Management System. There were no questions and both updates were approved unanimously.

Weston Emergency Management director Mark Falango.

Town Clerk and Treasurer Kim Seymour recommended that the town borrow $400,000 from itself to cover a Tax Anticipation Note. Seymour said the TAN rates from Berkshire and Merchants banks are not as favorable as they were last year. Board member Charles Goodwin made a motion to borrow $400,000 from Special Funds and pay 0.45% interest. This is the rate that Special Funds is earning interest. The board passed the motion unanimously. Seymour told The Telegraph that the loan is required for the town to be able to pay its bills through the summer.

A conflict of interest policy, which Goodwin said is mandated by the state to be in place by 2020,  was tabled to allow for more research. A Lockout/Tagout policy, an addition to a policy previously approved regarding safe maintenance of vehicles, was passed without comment.

Board chair Denis Benson read through a list of open appointed positions. There are no applicants for an alternate to the Planning Commission, alternate to the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Windham Regional Commission representative. One unnamed person is considering joining the Conservation Commission. Goodwin thought that the Planning Commission “has applicants in front of them” for the zoning administrator and floodplain administrator positions, but has no names to offer.

Select Board chair Denis Benson looks over documents.

Board member Ann Fuji’i corrected the wording in the minutes of the April 11 meeting that clarified the nature of a discussion started two years ago by the Conservation Commission about the overgrown Conservation Camp.

The Conservation Commission “discussed, but did not review, a possible trail to the Conservation Camp.” She said this was a “follow-up” to a discussion started two years ago among the Conservation Commission, the Weston Historical Society and the Forest Service.

The Forest Service did not want “anyone doing anything” until an archeologist could look at the foundations, she said. The Forest Service was also looking for someone to “cut back the blow down or clean it up.” Since this has not happened yet, the Conservation Commission “talked about following up with them and the Historical Society” with the goal of cutting a trail into the site and cleaning up around the foundations, Fuji’i said.

Fuji’i also said members of the Conservation Commission have met with a Community Association Task Force on Cold Spring Brook Park. A meeting with an engineer is planned for May 16.

Board member Ann Fuji’i talks about the Conservation Commission.

Finally, board Administrator Cheryl Barker said she saw that the town of Londonderry has hired the New England Municipal Resource Center  to administer the town’s reappraisal and a town reappraisal is due “in the next few years.” Charles Goodwin said the last town-wide reappraisal of land was in 2005. He added, “The CLA (Common Level of Appraisal) went down to .88, which is dangerous territory,” so a town reappraisal is not far off.

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