By Abram Neal
PLYMPTON – Monday evening Plympton Selectmen met to continue to work on the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting on May 13th. The Finance Committee also reported to selectmen where they stand on their recommendations for final budget warrant articles.
Town Coordinator Dale Pleau stated that most of the articles are completed, but he continues to edit the language in several.
One important question is whether and how the town will contribute to the South Shore Community Action Council, a non-profit group that provides assistance to needy citizens. The selectmen had previously voted to donate $2,000, but cannot directly donate in this way according to Town Counsel.
Concerns were raised to Selectmen that the heaviest users of the services provided by the SSCAC, the Council on Aging, are not satisfied with services rendered. Chris Maiorano, Director of the Council on Aging, later told the Express that the Council was either not aware of services offered, or found that services were cost prohibitive. Maiorano has called Plympton’s representative to the SSCAC, Janis Morrison, to COA’s next meeting. Selectmen did pass a motion to make the gift if a financial vehicle to do so is found. FinCom will consult with the board further on the matter.
FinCom was invited to the meeting and presented some preliminary findings, but also sought advice from Selectmen on whether areas of the budget needed further funding. They were very clear that the budget was in near final state but preliminary, and that they, “needed to make sure it all added up,” Funding for D.A.R.E. was previously removed, but FinCom was optimistic that moving some money around could restore it. Furthermore, the Town Clerk’s office asked for further funding at a previous Board meeting, and the Selectmen agreed that it was needed. Selectmen were so strongly in favor of the Clerk’s request that they asked their salaries be reduced to $0 and the money appropriated to the Town Clerk’s office.
The FinCom stated there was no money to further fund any other departments this year. The only other major concern was that the animal control budget looked high this year, which will be looked into, and Board Chairman Mark Russo otherwise thanked FinCom for keeping the budget under control.
An audience member voiced his concern about an item that was glossed over in correspondence last week. Eversource had sent a copy of a letter to the Board that was addressed to the Board of Health stating that they are going to be spraying herbicides along their power line right-of-way to reduce unwanted vegetation. Last week the Selectmen seemed satisfied that all proper permits had been pulled and that they didn’t need to sign off on anything. This week, the Chair of the Board of Health, Art Morin, confirmed that Eversource had acted properly. The audience member asked to know specifically when and where the spraying would take place, as he was a bee-keeping hobbyist. He also had concerns over chemicals seeping into groundwater and stated that this had been a concern in neighboring communities and Cape Cod. Mr. Morin told the audience member that he would forward documents from Eversource to him and the Board of Selectmen decided that they may address the issue as an agenda item at at next week’s meeting.
An ongoing issue with fire inspectors and town assessors making home visits at the same time, concerning some residents, has not been resolved. It seems that the issue more specifically now is that the assessors are not identifying themselves as such. Residents do have to allow in fire inspectors, but not assessors. The Board and Town Coordinator are waiting for further advice from Town Counsel.
Finally, Mr. Russo read a letter of commendation from Police Chief Patrick Dillon regarding life saving action taken by Officer Brent Peterson. An unresponsive adult male was found by a family member, who called 911 and began CPR. Officer Peterson arrived at the scene and administered NarCan, a medication that is an opioid antidote. He then took over C.P.R., provided 6 cycles of twenty chest compressions and two breaths, reviving the patient and restoring normal heart function and breathing. The Board commended Officer Peterson as well, who will receive a “Life Saver Day” (a paid day off).
In other news:
Due to the Patriots’ Day holiday, the next Board of Selectman meeting will be held Wednesday, April 22, at 6 p.m.