Post image for Police: Rollover crash leads to drunk driving charges, Alcohol Compliance Checks, and latest logs

The Southborough Police asked me to share a warning with local businesses – ’tis the season for Annual Compliance checks:

The Southborough Police Department will be conducting annual Alcohol Compliance Checks of all licensed establishments beginning in November 2018 through June 2019.

These compliance checks are made to ensure that all establishments licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages in Southborough follow and comply with all rules and regulations pertaining to the safe sale and service of alcohol within the Town.

This notice is made in accordance with compliance policy, and with the recommendation of the ABCC (Alcohol Beverage Control Commission).

Any questions can be directed to Detective Keith Nichols at (508) 485-2121.

Speaking of alcohol – on Monday, the SPD shared pictures and a warning with a reminder of why it’s important to not let friends or family drive drunk. 

An allegedly under the influence driver wound up with a rolled over car, a trip to the hospital, and an arrest:

On Friday November 9th, 2018, officers responded to a one car roll over crash on Turnpike Road, in front of the Brickyard Plaza. An accident scene investigation determined that the vehicle had left the roadway and struck two telephone poles, before coming to rest on the vehicle’s roof. The operator, [a Hudson Woman], is being charged with OUI Alcohol; Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle; and Marked Lanes Violation. She was evaluated and transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

With the holiday season approaching, we urge everyone to find a sober driver if you have been drinking alcohol; or offer to drive someone home who has been drinking. There are also various car services like Uber, Lyft, or taxi services.

Please have a safe and responsible holiday season!

It was one of three alleged OUIs in town between November 6 – 11. The accident didn’t lead to an immediate arrest. So, the charges aren’t included in logs below. It is simply listed as one of 17 vehicle accidents  There was also a Warrant arrest made for an out-of-town crime and reports of two other possible crimes.

Revisiting the Accreditation news I shared last week, Chief Kenneth Paulhus and Sgt Ryan Newell briefed selectmen on their work. The chief explained that reaching full accreditation isn’t usually accomplished so quickly or efficiently. Paulhus credited Newell for his attention to detail spearheading the project. They both said that the fast work the department made of it was thanks to the support of the entire department.

According to the chief, the work of reaching and maintaining the Accreditation standard helps the department’s standing in court cases. He said it protects officers, the Town and residents. (You can hear more about it here.)

Now, here are the latest logs:  [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Reminder: Saturday Concert (for all ages) in response to Library flood

Above: The concert to benefit the Library (flooded in September) is this Saturday. Funds raised by The Friends will support the Children’s Room – but the entertainment is for all ages. (photo left by Beth Melo, right from Facebook)

Reminder – tomorrow, Thursday, November 15th – is the last day to pick up advance tickets for the Library benefit concert. Don’t worry if you can’t make it over. You can also buy tickets at the door on Saturday.

As you should know by now, the Southborough Library’s downstairs (including the Children’s Room) was flooded in September. If you are one of the many who asked how you could help, here’s your chance. Tickets sold to the Saturday concert will benefit the Children’s Room.

On Saturday, November 17th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Dave Garden and Hit The Bus will hold a family-friendly concert at Fay School.

If you aren’t familiar with the band, here’s a fun taste. Last year, band member Dave Garden got pulled on stage for a chance to sing with the Bare Naked Ladies. He blew the band and crowd away with his rendition of Brian Wilson Says. (You can read the story here.)

Benefit Concert Flyer with ticket prices

(click to enlarge)

Now you can hear him and his band live while supporting the Library Children’s Room. Through Thursday night the Library is selling tickets to the fundraiser for $5 per child and $10 per adult with a maximum of $30 per family.

Tickets will be sold at the door for $8 per child, $12 per adult with a max of $40 per family.

*Full disclosure – as many of you already know, I’m the President of The Friends of the Southborough Library.

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Post image for Public Works Updates: Main St, Paving, Guardrails, Rec fields, Town road projects, sidewalks, and more

Above: Approvals needed for fixes at the freight train crossing downtown are also holding up another project in town. That’s one of many updates from the DPW last week. (image from Google Maps)

An update by the Public Works one week ago covered a whole lot of ground. DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan briefed selectmen on numerous road, field, and water projects. She also informed them of grant initiatives she’ll be pursuing. And she warned them about potential complaints. Here are highlights.

State projects – “Main Street Reconstruction” and Route 9

MassDOT is in the driver’s seat of the TIP project* at this point. But there’s finally news on progress. The initial bid stage was completed. DH Perkins won and the state has assigned a “resident engineer”. Galligan expects the state to schedule a pre-construction meeting this winter with Town chiefs. She plans to give monthly updates for the public once the project starts moving.

She confirmed that the work being done across from Sears Road is the utility moving the Gas Main further east and in conjunction with the TIP project.

The state is also responsible for the construction work on Route 9. Initial work is almost complete with all curbing and the binder on the sidewalks to be finished this fall. Final top coats won’t be done until next year with work to be done by end of summer.

Town projects – “Main Street”, Deerfoot/Flagg Road, Cordaville Road, and sidewalks

The Town is planning roadwork to extend beyond the boundaries of the “TIP project”. As I explained in June, the project will be mainly focused on the downtown Main Street area between Park Street and Boston Road.

To combine bids for savings, Galligan is putting the Deerfoot and Flagg Road intersection project on hold.

Right now, the Main St portion is held up by approvals needed by CSX for its freight train crossing downtown. To deal with area stormwater issues, Galligan wants to install a new system that includes drainage pipes under the tracks. She also wants to lay the water main and gas line underneath and improve the crossing in the roadway and for pedestrians. 

The DPW chief hopes to tap into a federal grant for the crossing. She also hopes to make use of state offered “Complete Street” grants to fund related (and unrelated) sidewalk projects.

The state helps fund projects to make roads safer for walking and biking, with a potential of $400K per year. To apply, selectmen must adopt a policy for “infrastructure development practices”. Galligan will bring them a draft to approve in the next few months. 

Sidewalks related to the Town’s Main Street project would connect to Newton Street’s Southborough Medical Group. At the Route 85 ends of the Main Street Reconstruction, she hopes to extend sidewalks to the cemetery and St. Mark’s road.

Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf asked Galligan to come back to the board with a formal presentation on the downtown Main Street project to inform the public.

Galligan is already planning to hold another public meeting on the Cordaville Road project. It is another of the projects she hopes Complete Streets can help fund. That project has been on hold because of the number of other ongoing projects. Abutters had been invited to a September 2017 Public Works Planning Board meeting to learn more and ask questions. She plans to hold another meeting this winter. She’ll then be looking for public support for funding the project.

Another grant program, Safe Routes for Schools, helps with the last mile of connectivity for walking students. Galligan is looking into that for help with the recent work to fix the walking path from Deerfoot Road to Trottier and new sidewalks planned for Woodward School. 

Town road/lot paving and maintenance:

Extensive rain this year has thrown off project timelines for Town paving work that began this summer.  [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Gobble Wobble 2018: Volunteers needed and reminder to register

Above: Recreation needs more people to step up and help out at and before the Gobble Wobble – like these 2016 volunteers. (Photo by Chris Wraight)

The Friends of the Southborough Recreation Department are hoping that families in town will continue to support its Thanksgiving tradition – the Gobble Wobble.

Many runners and families in town already take part in the 5k race, 2 mile walk, or the Kids Fun Run. But organizers are trying to reach more than just runners. They need volunteers to help keep the event running this month (and every year).

The event is their big annual fundraiser and helps fund important recreational projects in town. This year, it will also support the Southborough Food Pantry. 

Volunteers are needed Nov. 21-22. You can sign up to help with set up, pre-registration pickup, registration, babysitting and/or clean up. 

For those of you planning to take part in the run or walk, don’t forget to register. The race is a week from tomorrow. (Click here, or scroll to the end of the post for more details.)

Below is Recreation’s call for help:

Calling all Volunteers!
The Gobble Wobble needs you!!

Wednesday, November 21 we have slots available from 1:00 until 8:00.
Thursday (Thanksgiving), November 22 we have slots available from 6:30 am until noon.
To sign up [click here]
You can also email us at GobbleWobble@yahoo.com
Race shirts are provided to all volunteers as well as food. Come join us for this fun and exciting event!

Another message from Friends of Southborough Recr reminds the public of the good works the registration fees support:

Did you know that the Southborough Recreation provides over 2,000 residents almost 650 programs and activities each year? These programs include affordable quality afterschool classes ranging from karate to STEM activities, flexible summer camp programs, athletics such as swimming, skiing, yoga and use of fields.

The benefits of bringing a community together around health and well-being opportunities are clear. For over ten years Friends of Southborough Recreation (FOSR), a 501c3 nonprofit, has proudly collaborated with business and community leaders to raise funds that promote and support Southborough Recreation in order to improve health, togetherness, and community spirit through recreational activities and facilities for all ages.

To that end, Friends of Southborough Recreation (FOSR) is gearing up for its biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gobble Wobble. The 12th annual Gobble Wobble is a 5K certified race, two-mile walk and Kids’ Fun Run on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 22, at the P. Brent Trottier Middle School, 49 Parkerville Road.

We are thrilled to partner this year with the Southborough Food Pantry. A portion of the proceeds from the race will be donated to the pantry. Donations will also go toward scholarships and program support to continue our commitment of ensuring all resident have access to quality programs that help build healthy lives.

And a big thank you to our 12th Annual Gobble Wobble Sponsors: [click to keep reading…]

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Before hiring a new chief for the Fire Department, the Town wants to hear from you. As part of its process, the screening committee announced a forum for public feedback later this month. Those who can’t make it can email their thoughts.

(If you’re interested in that, you’ll probably also want to know what the Town posted to attract applicants. Click here to view the wanted ad. The ad prompts potential applicants to check out a more detailed posting here with this job description. Applications are due November 20th.)

The screening committee is now inviting input from:

All residents, employees, and property owners of Southborough, as well as all others interested in the functioning and operations of the Southborough Fire Department

The notice goes on to explain:

The charge of our committee is to identify and recommend up to five finalists for consideration by the Selectmen for the position of Fire Chief. We would appreciate any comments regarding the operations of the fire department, qualities you value or think are critical in a Chief, and any concerns you may have.

We would ask that you take one of the following steps to advise us of your suggestions or concerns:

  • Attend the Open Meeting scheduled for Monday, November 26th at 7:00pm to be held in the McAuliffe Hearing Room in the Town House. This meeting will solely focus on providing a forum to hear from those that are interested or want to provide input into this process.
  • For those that are unable to attend, send an email to our Committee Chair, Jason Malinowski, at jmalinowski@southboroughma.com. If you wish your email to be read into the minutes of the November 26th Open Meeting, please indicate this preference and include your name and address.
  • Reach out to any resident member of the Committee by leaving a written message directed to their attention with a note that it relates to the Fire Chief Screening Committee at the Town House.

Comments received by Monday, December 3rd will be considered as part of our process.

Thank you in advance for your help and valuable input into this process.

Fire Chief Screening Committee Members

Jason Malinowski, Chair (Resident)
Janet Maney, Vice Chair (Resident)
Sam Stivers, Clerk (Resident)
Chief Ken Paulhus, Southborough Police Department
Chief Kevin Breen, Marlborough Fire Department

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The most recent Board of Selectmen meeting covered more ground then I could find time to write about last week. Fortunately, Southborough Wicked Local covered two of the agenda items for us. (Stay tuned for my story tomorrow on the update from Public Works.)

Town manager proposal back on the table

Last winter, Kolenda asked to bring a Town Manager Article back to Annual Town Meeting. He pitched fellow board members that he’d like to see the Town Administrator have more authority to act without the board for efficiency (and shorter agendas). In March, the majority of Selectmen determined more time was needed to examine the pros and cons and hear from residents. They agreed working on that would be one of their priorities in FY19. 

The item was back on last Wednesday’s agenda. SWL writes:

Selectmen are once again looking to bring a measure to Town Meeting to switch to a town manager form of municipal management.

The board will create a committee to look into the switch. Selectman Dan Kolenda will draft a charge for the committee and present it at a future meeting.

“The majority of the board supported moving forward with that at our goal-setting meeting,” said selectmen Chairwoman Lisa Braccio during a board meeting Wednesday night.

The article went on to provide some historical background on the Town’s previous attempt to make the change in 2012. You can read that here.

You can look back at past blog coverage about the Town Manager legislation initiative here.

When the legislation was initially addressed, the Town Administrator was a weaker role. It required the 3-member Board of Selectmen to shoulder a bigger burden. In 2013, a compromise initiative that passed beefed up the Town Administrator’s authority. (Articles granted him authorization to sign payables, vouchers, etc and made him the supervisor of departments that report to selectmen.) The board of selectmen was also expanded. You can read about that here.

Southborough Golf Club to close early

Based on the projected date – make that “closed early”. One challenge the Town has grappled with was building the new Public Safety Complex while keeping the former St. Mark’s Golf Course open. Although they weren’t able to fully keep that promise – it looks like selectmen were only forced to close the course a couple of weeks early.

While the town and its golf management company figured out how to operate the course during construction of a new combined police and fire station on the property, the land where the temporary trailer is located is needed for a sediment basin, according to selectmen Chairwoman Lisa Braccio. The basin is needed for crews to bring the foundation to grade.

The golf course is operated and maintained by New England Golf Corp. of Westwood.

“The basin being at the location of the temporary trailer at the golf course, they have agreed to close on Nov. 12 instead of the contractual date we had of Nov. 30,” Braccio said. The town in February renamed the St. Mark’s Golf Club to the Southborough Golf Club, which documents show is its original name.

The board voted Wednesday night to waive the company’s $1,000 rent.

You can read the rest here.

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Postseason update: Cheer and XC to State Championships this Sunday

November 13, 2018 01:58:30 PM
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An update on Algonquin varsity post-season sports.

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Events this week: Family school nights, Stress reduction, fun fundraisers and more

November 13, 2018 12:35:49 PM
Thumbnail image for Events this week: Family school nights, Stress reduction, fun fundraisers and more

Here are some highlights of events in and around Southborough this week.

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The week in government

November 13, 2018 09:07:33 AM
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A list of board and committee meetings for the week with my selected highlights from the agendas.

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Veterans Roundup: 11/11 Ceremony, Recognizing service in War on Global Terrorism, Honor Flight, and remembering Buffalo Soliders (Updated)

November 12, 2018 05:24:57 PM
Thumbnail image for Veterans Roundup: 11/11 Ceremony, Recognizing service in War on Global Terrorism, Honor Flight, and remembering Buffalo Soliders (Updated)

In honor of Veterans Day, I’m sharing news on multiple efforts by Southborough residents to honor veterans past. (It includes news that I’m overdue in sharing.)

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Obituary: Richard F. “Dick” Tibert, 88

November 12, 2018 09:17:51 AM
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Richard F. “Dick” Tibert has gone to be with his Holy Savior and rejoin his wife Irene on November 9, 2018 after a brief, brave battle with cancer.

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Reminder: Scouting for Food pickup was this morning

November 9, 2018 06:00:08 PM
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It’s time for the annual Scouting for Food drive. Look for scouts posting bags on doorknobs this weekend. They’ll be coming back around the following Saturday hoping to find pantry donations for pickup.

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Town struggling with budget challenges (including schedule)

November 9, 2018 05:33:12 PM

Budget projections are always higher in the fall before it gets scaled back. But this time appears to be worse than usual.

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Postseason update: Girls Soccer, Field Hockey and Volleyball out of tourneys; XC postponed

November 9, 2018 11:20:24 AM
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An update on Algonquin varsity post-season sports.

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