I haven’t had a chance to report on Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting. But Southborough Wicked Local has posted three stories on selectmen’s votes.
Here they are. (Plus a little more relevant information from me.):
Southborough selectmen weigh demolition delay – :
Selectmen appear wary of a demolition delay bylaw as proposed for Town Meeting next month.
The bylaw proposed by the Historical Commission would create a mandatory nine-month period before structures built before 1925, or those deemed historically significant in the town’s historical property survey, can be torn down. The purpose of the bylaw is to preserve and protect historically significant buildings or structures, according to the proposed bylaw.
The majority of selectmen said on Tuesday night they were not comfortable taking a position on the bylaw as proposed. The board suggested the Historical Commission take another look at certain aspects, such as the nine-month time frame.
Selectmen Chairman Bill Boland took issue with including the historical property survey, which was completed in 2000 and revised in 2015. He said some residents might be surprised their properties are on the list.
“Who determines that historical significance?” Boland asked, noting one Main Street home built in 1960 is on the list. . .
“We were about to lose our icon of Southborough and we still might in the end result,” [Historical Commission Chair Joseph] Hubley said. “At least this bylaw would allow us to work the owner to see if there is a way to keep it from demolition.” (read more)
Southborough fire chief has new deal – source:
Under the new contract, [Fire Chief Joseph] Mauro’s pay will be $110,000 for the first year. It will increase to $114,400 the second year and $118,976 the third year. (read more)
Southborough selectmen debate capital projects – Southborough Wicked Local:
Selectmen Tuesday night voted to bring the purchase of a $550,000 new fire truck to Town Meeting next month, but held off on making a decision on a $306,000 project to replace the Town House windows.
On the fire truck:
The new fire truck will replace a 2000 pumper. It serves as both a pumper and rescue truck that carries the Jaws of Life equipment. . .
Town Administrator Mark Purple said the money will be borrowed and repaid with the town’s ambulance fund.
Fire Chief Joseph Mauro said the current truck was not designed to be a rescue-pumper. The new truck will be designed for the specific equipment. . .
Mauro said the new truck will last about 20 years. The old truck will be sold or traded-in.
On the windows:
John Parent, the town’s facility manager, said replacing the building’s original windows is a big project and “long overdue.” The Town House opened in 1870.
“We are starting out with 144-year-old windows,” he said, noting the windows are sealed closed with fixed exterior storm windows.
He said the new windows will be energy-efficient and will help regulate heating and cooling in the building
“When the sun hits the windows it just cooks,” he said. “It is like an oven. It is really hard to regulate the temperatures in the building when you don’t have energy efficient windows.”(read more)
Note: Selectmen were concerned by Parent’s analysis of a 78 year payback period for the window replacement. But Parent’s presentation highlighted other reasons he deemed replacement important.
The Facilities Manager said that there is a safety issue with having windows that can’t open (in case of fire). He also pointed out that for much of the year, windows cause offices to bake, impacting employee productivity.
Selectmen weren’t sold on the investment. They opted to hold the vote until after the Historical Commission takes a stance.
In the meeting, selectmen also debated a proposed $20,000 in engineering design for the Fire Station roof. According to Parent, the roof is leaking substantially needs to be replaced.
He advocated that the roof needs to be designed correctly to avoid problems of the past. Given uncertain future of public safety buildings, Selectwoman Bonnie Phaneuf was concerned about timing of designing a new roof. She asked if the insurance company will address damage caused by ice dams. Parent said yes, but the Town has a deductible.
Town Administrator Mark Purple said the building would be used for at least another five years. “We’re going to invest some money to improve that roof, to maintain the integrity of the building.” Selectman Dan Kolenda was confident that regardless of public safety building decisions, “that building itself is not going anywhere.”
The vote passed by four. Phaneuf said she opposed only because she needed more information.