Swearing in a new police officer is a formal ceremony that requires one to pledge an oath to the United States and the Massachusetts Constitution. The ceremony is done before the Board of Selectmen, Town Clerk, and Police Chief. Michelle McIntyre’s family came to support her as well.
In an emotional moment filled with hugs and laughter, McIntyre chose her grandfather as the one to pin her after the swearing in.
Selectmen Chair Kim Roy congratulated McIntyre for graduating from the police academy. She said, “We’re very proud of you…we all want to congratulate you on a job well done. It’s not an easy process and we recognize that…we look forward to getting to know you.”
Fire Department considering outside billing service
Following the retirement of the Halifax Fire Department’s longtime administrative assistant, the fire department is weighing the possibility of outside billing versus in-house.
Fire Chief Jason Viveiros said he’s reached out to some of the outside groups that provide this service including Coastal Medical Billing and others.
According to early rough estimates from Chief Viveiros, there’s a $205,000 potential revenue increase if a service such as this is explored.
There’s potential for improving collections for ambulance billing here, but Viveiros said he doesn’t want this to be so much of a focus that people don’t call during emergencies. Viveiros said, “We don’t want people to refrain from calling an ambulance.”
Viveiros said most surrounding municipal fire departments already switched to outside firms for their ambulance billing.
Selectmen and Town Adminstrator Charles Seelig expressed a willingness to explore this option for the town.
Seelig said a three-year contract with the option to opt out after the first year would be ideal. He said this is to make sure any increases in revenue are hitting the levels expected by the town’s governing body.
Viveiros said he still has some more calls to make and research to complete, but he does have some drafts prepared for going over. Selectmen said funding for an outside billing firm could be voted on at a Special Town Meeting in August.
Fieldstone Farms Update
Selectmen approved a one-day liquor license for Walter Wunder for the Silver Oak Horse Jump Show at Fieldstone Farms on August 19. However, this liquor license approval led to discussion about a lack of building permits for a two-story building that was used for the horse show last year.
The two-story building NESN used to film last year’s horse show does not have a building permit.
Seelig said Fieldstone Farms will not be fined for the lack of permit, but the building cannot be used until there is a permit approved. Selectmen will send a letter to the property owner saying the structure cannot be used until there’s a permit.
• In a two-to-one vote, the Board of Selectmen approved a six-month extension of Richard Harrison’s unregistered vehicle permit. Selectmen were not happy with how long it took Harrison to put up the required fence. Roy, who voted no on the permit extension thought the fence looked awkward and wasn’t happy with the timing. Harrison, who is trying to move and sell the property is hoping to have the vehicle off the property within six months. Selectman Troy Garron said, “I would personally like to have something more definitive, but I can understand the circumstances. The selectmen said they wouldn’t be inclined to extend the permit again.
• A road cut was approved at 288 Oak Street for a new gas line.
The next selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for July 24. Open session begins at 7:30 p.m.