Connects to state intitiative; Commends fire department’s pursuit of grants
At Tuesday’s Selectmen’s meeting in Halifax, Selectmen agreed to join the “Community Compact”, a state program initiated by Gov. Charlie Baker to provide grants to cities and towns to promote “best practices.”
The “Community Compact” is “an opportunity for cities and towns to enter into partnerships with the state to accomplish mutually agreed upon goals,” according to information from the Office of the Governor. These “best practices” can range from Capital Planning to IT Security, to anything that a city or town might suggest. A town can apply for up to three areas in one application.
After a brief discussion, the Board decided to apply for the grants in the areas of Information Technology Security, Capital Planning, and Financial Reporting. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, who chairs the committee disbursing the grants, stated in the same information, “by promoting best practices and incentivizing our cities and towns, I look forward to championing this effort to create better opportunities for our schools and communities.”
Also during the Tuesday meeting, Fire Chief, Jason Viveiros was commended for “aggressively pursuing grants.” Chairman Kim Roy and the rest of the Board voted to send him a letter of commendation.
Chief Viveiros and his department secured another grant from F.E.M.A. in the amount of $714,210 towards the purchase of Halifax’s new aerial ladder fire truck. As taxpayers approved one lease payment of more than $160,000 toward the truck at the annual Town Meeting in the spring, these funds will be returned to the town.
Last Friday morning, the Lucas Automatic Compression machine, which automatically does the chest compression portion of C.P.R., was brought out again to assist with a rescue.
This is the second time in a week that one has been used, and the two the town owns were purchased through a F.E.M.A. grant, secured by Chief Viveiros.
Roy pointed out as well that she would also like to recognize the police officers who respond to emergency calls; they are often the first to arrive. “It really takes a village,” said Roy.
In other business, the board appointed Michael Zarrella to the Capital Planning Committee, discussed current and future improvements for the 5th Avenue beach on West Monponsett Pond, held a hearing on a dog bite that occurred in May, and received status updates on several ongoing matters.
The Board briefly interviewed Michael Zarrella, an 18-year Brockton firefighter and seven-year Halifax resident to the Capital Planning Committee. They unanimously appointed him to a term expiring in June 2018. “I want to give back to the town,” said Zarrella. Selectman Thomas Millias stated that he was “thrilled to be getting so many qualified candidates to fill board openings.”
Residents on West Monponsett Pond living near 5th Avenue beach, between 4th and 5th Avenues, have recently significantly cleaned up the beach. While the selectmen were very pleased with this improvement, some residents are asking for more permanent fixtures, everything from benches to volleyball nets. Selectman Troy Garron was concerned about the ongoing maintenance costs of such items, although the Recreation Committee is looking into how to keep up the beach now that residents have put so much work into it.
The Board held a pro-forma dog-bite hearing. Although the incident happened at the end of May, and involved two dogs from the same family, according to the selectmen a hearing is held anytime there is an incident involving domestic animal bites.
On May 28, two dogs, one a 14-year-old schnauzer, got into a squabble at 11 Baker Street. The owner stepped in to break the fighting dogs up, which Animal Control Officer Noreen Callahan, also present, mentioned was a mistake, and the owner received a minor bite.
Although everything turned out well, selectmen, especially Selectman Garron, were concerned that it was only a one time incident and quizzed the three family members on exactly what happened until he was satisfied that there was no danger to the family or public.
In Other News:
• There are two openings on the Planning Board. If interested, contact Selectmen Assistant Pam McSherry at 781-294-1316.
• Solar panel powered lights in order to light up flagpoles in town are being studied by the Highway Department and Town Administrator Charlie Seelig.
• The City of Brockton continues to be unresponsive according to Town Administrator Seelig to invitations to discuss water quality issues in the Monponsett Ponds, which Brockton taps for drinking water and which the selectmen believe is affecting the water quality of both ponds. This is an ongoing issue.
• The Board declared an SUV from 1986, still used by the Fire Department, as surplus at the request of the Fire Chief and the sale process of the vehicle will begin.
• Selectmen went into executive session with Police Chief Edward Broderick for the purpose of discussing the “Security of the Town,” which according to Town Administrator Charlie Seelig had to do with staffing changes.