HALIFAX – Halifax selectmen met Tuesday evening in the Great Hall at the Halifax Town Hall as they welcomed six new firefighters/paramedics to the Halifax Fire Dept. Fire Chief Jason Vivieros was all smiles as the Great Hall filled with more than 50 friends and family to witness the event.
Town Clerk Barbara Gaynor administered the oaths to each of the half dozen, and each new badge was pinned by an important person in that firefighter’s life: father, son, daughter, friend. Sworn in were Dillon Riley, John Eaton, Keri Kelleher, Alyssa Smith, Marc McGarry, and Bridget Ricciarelli.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, Chief Vivieros had two special awards to present. Chief told the audience of receiving the call that no emergency responder wants to hear, “unresponsive child at the bottom of a swimming pool” last month. “These guys never moved so fast…” to get to the scene. It was the keen observance of two children who noticed something wrong and got help. A 911 call was placed and when Halifax ambulance and EMTs got there, the child had been pulled from the pool, CPR begun, and the little girl was responding. Halifax took over and rushed her to South Shore Hospital where she recovered fully.
Chief Vivieros presented special commendations to the two children who averted this potential tragedy: Jonathan Greeley and Olivia Shea, and noted that it was Olivia’s little sister who was saved.
The audience applauded these two young heroes.
Selectmen heard recommendations from the Solar Field committee who encouraged the board to seek proposals from “as many as 50…” solar companies to see what is out there and make some comparisons.
Alan Winkler, with the Solar Field Committee, advised selectmen to thoroughly investigate owning their own solar array, instead of “leasing” the equipment and getting 25 cents off your electricity rate for the next 20 years. If the town owns its own equipment, it will reap all the benefits and tax credits, in addition to the power at an inexpensive rate. He further advised putting out an “RFP” or Request for Proposals as soon as possible to get the information in so the town can be ready to act by the first of the year.
Selectmen agreed that they did not want to rush into a solar project until they have all the facts, and asked the Solar Field Committee to assist them in understanding all the information.
Asked what background he had to make these recommendations, Winkler told the board he had worked as an accountant/auditor for many years for the firm of Arthur Anderson and then worked for an energy company with diverse energy projects. He has recently been working as a consultant helping people get the best deal possible in the energy field.
Halifax Town Administer Charlie Seelig told the board, “We have a group of residents who want to remove the blighted properties in tax title.” They suggest to pass some sort of by-law regarding the upkeep of properties, and also to see how owners can be helped to keep their properties up. The group will be meeting with selectmen on Aug. 27. The Tax Collector will also be at that meeting.
The perennial dog hearing for Tarawood Kennels has been continued to Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 7:45 p.m. Seelig agreed with selectmen that two hearings for the same Kennel have been scheduled and because the testimony and evidence is much the same for both hearings, they will run concurrently.
Seelig said that the original hearing for barking dogs will be heard as well as the 25 petitioners hearing which claims that no notification was given for any of the Appeals Board hearings which approved the special licenses for Tarawood Kennels. Seelig cited case law of Kramer vs. Somerville which called into question the validity of a permit when proper notification was not given. He also advised the board that legal remedy may be sought against the town because of the lack of notification to abutters by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Seelig furthered that the abutters might take the kennel to court as the numbers of dogs allowed has increased several times without due notice. Next Tuesday, Aug. 30, the matters will be heard in the Great Hall of the Town Hall at 7:45 p.m.
In other business selectmen
• appointed Cesar Calouro to the Halifax Fireworks Committee.
• heard from Rick Springer and Mike McGonnigle from Coneco Engineers and Scientists in Bridgewater who would like to submit a net metering proposal for a solar project on Franklin Street.
• reminded people of the upcoming State Primary Election on Thursday, Sept. 8. Election will be held at the all-purpose room of the Halifax Elementary School from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• heard from Douglas Hall, owner of a 3-year-old pointer/hound mix dog who ran into the street and bit a neighbor’s husky dog. The animal control officer testified that she felt Hall was taking the situation seriously, and is in the process of training this dog that he has owned for only 3 months. The owner of the husky was not in attendance. No further action was recommended.
• re-appointed Selectman Troy Garron to the MBTA committee.
• issued a permit for live entertainment to Salon Serenity for Saturday, Sept. 17, from 1-4 p.m.
• received a request from Larry Henrich for a solar assisted flashing stop sign to call attention to the stop sign at the intersection of Pine and Plymouth streets. Henrich would help defray the cost.
• voted to maintain the $50 fee for recycling for another year. The thought is to build up a surplus in the account so that new trash receptacles which would work with the new trash collection truck could be purchased.
Selectmen adjourned to the downstairs selectmen’s meeting room at 9:15 p.m. to go into executive session, for a grievance hearing to appeal a 3-day suspension for Al Hingst, and to discuss a dispatcher contract.