HALIFAX — Halifax Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6258 commander David Walsh and fellow VFW members presented Halifax Fire Chief Jason Viveiros an award as winner of the Massachusetts round of the VFW National Public Servant of the Year award at the Halifax Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
Viveiros honored with VFW award
Dozens of Viveiros’ family and friends, including his wife and parents, packed the Selectmen’s meeting room of Town Hall to surprise him Tuesday, and he appeared shocked by both their presence and the award, which highlights the achievements of emergency medical technicians, law enforcement and firefighter personnel.
He said he was “humbled” by the award and “lost for words,” which he said happens only rarely. He said that as a non-service member, he was honored by the recognition.
Walsh said that Viveiros will be recognized for the award at a ceremony later in the year in Boston by all the state VFW posts and then move on to compete nationally for the award.
The Selectmen and other town officials passed their congratulations on to Viveiros, and the mood was celebratory all-around.
Town contractor implicated in home-heating oil blending scandal
According to Town Administrator Charlie Seelig, recent reporting by WBZ-TV News has implicated Peterson Fuel, the town’s contractual heating fuel supplier, in blending higher-than-recommended levels of biofuel into Massachusetts home-heating oil customer’s tanks, an accusation the Worcester-based company denies.
Biofuel comes from renewable sources but blending too much in with fossil fuels can cause problems, some gradual, with many of today’s heating systems, according to the report and Seelig.
The town’s Director of Building Maintenance, Scott Materna, will have the town’s heating fuel tanks tested for their levels of biofuel, said Seelig, although the testing may take some time, because Peterson Oil has a contractual right to observe the testing and take samples of their own.
Seelig stated in a later phone interview that no damage to the town’s heating infrastructure from the contractor’s fuel has been discovered, so far.
Slowing down traffic with speed tables suggested
Seelig noted to the board, which took no action on the matter, that the Town of Swansea was using “speed tables” to slow down traffic in their community.
Speed tables, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, are traffic “calming” devices that are longer than speed bumps and flat-topped, with a height of approximately 3 inches and a length such that a vehicle’s entire wheelbase passes over. A speed table causes traffic to slow down, but not to the extent a speed bump does.
Although speed tables do slow traffic, common controversies with deploying the strategy include that they may damage vehicles and that they can slow down emergency vehicles.
Seelig said he has passed the suggestion on to the Traffic Study Committee to further look into the matter, “if indeed we have a speeding problem.”
Highway Department awarded half-a-million dollar grant
The Selectmen were pleased with the news that Steven Hayward, Highway Surveyor, had been awarded a $500,000 grant on Feb. 5 for the Highway Department, from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division’s Municipal Small Bridge Program in order to replace the Pine Street Bridge.
The board noted that it was not often that grants of this magnitude were awarded, and thanked Hayward for his hard work in obtaining the funds.
Other Selectmen’s news:
• Halifax resident Richard Crespi, 26, was sworn in as a Permanent Intermittent Police Officer for the Halifax Police Department in front of his family. His oaths of office were administered by Town Clerk Barbara Gaynor, and his badge was pinned by his sister, Samantha Crespi.
• Town Administrator Charlie Seelig said he has already begun the process of contacting all necessary contractors and vendors resulting from the Special Town Meeting warrant articles, which all were approved the night before.
• Kimberly King was interviewed by the board and appointed to the Council on Aging.
• Steven Littlefield, who has often served informally in the role of Assistant Veterans’ Agent, was officially appointed to that role.
• The Board of Selectmen will next meet Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room of Town Hall.