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Dec. 2 Selectmen Meeting Part One

The following is Part One of a transcript of the Dec. 2, 2013 Board of Selectmen meeting (approximately video times in parentheses)

A map of the telephone pole move discussed later in the meeting.
A map of the telephone pole move discussed later in the meeting.

The following is Part One of a transcript of the Dec. 2, 2013 Board of Selectmen meeting (approximately video times in parentheses) . For the main meeting story, see this link.

7:00 to 7:07 p.m.  (0:00 to 7:00)

The meeting convened, beginning with the pledge of allegiance, followed by informational announcements on a Muffins with Santa event and a notice for the 2014 Spring Town Meeting.

The deadline for petitioned warrant articles in the Spring Town Meeting is Jan. 6

Vivian Merrill also provided an announcement about the Rabies and Microchip Clinic coming this weekend at the town pound next to the Chelmsford Police station.

7:07 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. (7:00 to 15:00)

Selectman Pat Wotjas advertised a series of committee openings, followed by a request for a one day beer and wine license at the North Town Hall for a movie night on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.

The request was unanimously approved.

The Board then approved license renewals for various businesses in town, some with contingencies.

7:15 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. (15:00 to 20:00)

Animal Control Officer Erik Merrill provided an update on an alleged dangerous dog on Graniteville Road reporting that no progress has been made by a resident alleged to be in possession of a dangerous dog.

Merrill went to the property earlier in the day, and confirmed a letter requesting that he build an enclosure at his residence was delivered.

The deadline was Nov. 30.

Board of Selectmen chairman Matt Hanson read the consequences of violating the order by the board, which would result in seizure of the dog.

Merrill said that he received a text message from the owner at 5 p.m. with the owner saying he was willing to discuss the matter, but Merrill said there was nothing to discuss.

From there the Selectmen were in general agreement that the dog needed to be seized, with the owner of the dog being put on the agenda for the Dec. 16 Board of Selectmen meeting.

The board voted unanimously to seize the dog.

7:20 to 7:30 p.m. (20:00 to 30:00)

The board skipped to a bid award for gravel crushing at Richardson Road at the future lot of the dog park.

Town Manager Paul Cohen said if the weather cooperates, the work would start immediately, although it would take a significant amount of time to complete, and that there would be a limited amount of truck traffic relating to the project.

The bid award was approved unanimously.

Cohen then went to a bid award for tank removal and installation for a sewer pump at Wotton Street. There were lower bidders, but Cohen told the board that that their references could not be verified, and there were concerns over the amount of the bid and the expectation on how much it would take to finish the project.

The previous tank was put in approximately 20 years ago.

This bid award was approved unanimously.

Cohen congratulated the Chelmsford High School football team for defeating Billerica on Thanksgiving, with outgoing seniors having gone 5-0 against Billerica over the past five years.

He also discussed weather relating to attendance at recent holiday events as well as unique timing for the holiday tree lighting.

Cohen continued his report with updates on several meetings coming up in town as well as next spring’s town election and Town Meeting.

7:30 p.m. to 7:35 p.m. (30:00 to 35:00)

The tax classification hearing begun at the last Board of Selectmen meeting was continued, with a question from Sheila Pichette, who asked why the taxes increased this year.

It was explained that there was a difference in valuations and last year there was a sharp decrease in excess levy capacity, going from $1.1 million last year to $17,000 this year.

There was a motion to keep the single tax rate for all types of properties without invoking a small business exception as had been done in the past.

This was approved unanimously. 

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