The Plympton Board of Selectmen met Monday, January 6 for the first time since the holidays. Selectman Mark Russo was absent, but Chair Christine Joy and Selectman John Traynor were in attendance. Town Administrator Elizabeth Dennehy said she met with Halifax Town Administrator Charlie Seelig and Brockton Area Transit (BAT) to discuss what services BAT could potentially offer both Plympton and Halifax. “What we found out,” Dennehy explained, “is that they have a couple of different ideas as far as involvement.” The first, most introductory level, would involve BAT helping build the towns’ volunteer base. In this scenario, BAT would help coordinate with Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) on training initiatives. Dennehy explained that this would be beneficial as volunteers could be covered on insurance once they had completed some sort of formal training.
A mid-level involvement includes BAT working with MassDot to help the town acquire more vehicles to be utilized by volunteer drivers. This would require more formal involvement including identifying a bus stop. Traynor asked what kind of charges were associated with each service. Dennehy said that while they didn’t get into cost during this initial meeting, BAT was aware of the assessments for both Plympton and Halifax and seemed willing to work within those constraints.
Dennehy said that much of BAT’s funding comes from MassDOT as well as the federal government and a lot of numbers were needed to support their requests. Dennehy said, “Charlie and I have to kind of go back to the drawing board and figure out what our demand really is. They’re going to work us through that and give us some tools.”
Dennehy also discussed the best possible method to gather data such as when and where rides would most be in demand. Options include surveying residents, attending Council on Aging meetings, and reaching out via social media.
BAT appeared to be interested in having Plympton and Halifax bring a third town aboard. There is currently a well-established program in Hanson and BAT encouraged Dennehy and Seelig to reach out to them for more details. BAT also encouraged Plympton and Halifax to continue to pursue The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) as they might be a better fit.
Traynor and Dennehy also met with the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce earlier Monday. Traynor described the meeting as “positive” and “very successful” and said, “the takeaways from that is they could assist us by providing letters to either GATRA or BAT.” They also told Traynor and Dennehy that they could provide assistance to some smaller businessess in town by highlighting them throughout the region. They would also be able to hold a grand opening for any new businesses that may come into town. Traynor emphasized that they were interested in hearing about both SYSCO and Hubbell Inc.
Plympton awarded $93,000 in Choice Small Town Grant
Dennehy shared with the selectmen that the town was successful in securing a Housing Choice Small Town Grant in the amount of $93,000. The grant is available to Massachusetts’ towns with populations under 7,000 residents. Dennehy said the money would be put toward a consultant who will work with the Town Campus Committee.
And then there were five on ConCom
The Board voted to reduce the number of people on the Conservation Commission from seven to five members. Two of the members have left town and the Commission was having difficulty with quorum issues. Remaining members include Richard Burnet, Amy B. Cronin, Linda Leddy, Michael Matern, and Marta J. Nover. The Board also voted to appoint Rob Firlotte as the highway superintendent (he was previously serving as an interim) through June 30, 2020.
Class 2 licenses approved
The Board also voted to approve several Class 2 licenses for various business in town. Those businesses include Angel’s Auto and Towing, Carey Auto Inc., Competition Auto, Plympton Sand and Gravel, and Plympton Cycles. Conditions specify the number and type of vehicles to be sold as well as limiting the number of vehicles to be displayed. Other conditions include that the premises be kept neat. All conditions are subject to change with thirty days’ notice from the Board of Selectmen.
As is customary, the Board ended their meeting with their rants or raves for the last few weeks. Traynor said,
“I thought the meeting today with the council kind of showed that Plympton, even though it’s very small, has lots of resources and we know how to go out and touch on them.”
For her rave, Joy said she was impressed with the turnout at town meeting and was thankful that both the funding for the Council on Aging van and the article to enable the Board of Selectmen to make safety zones passed.
Traynor said that the success of town meeting was a testament to all of those working on the various boards.
Joy agreed saying, “It’s not like it used to be. We’ve got a very good group of people who are doing their homework and making presentations that make sense to the residents and there is a level of comfort and trust with it. We’ve come a long way.”