Plympton selectmen discussed a possible avenue to lowering the speed limit at certain intersections in town during their Monday, October 7 meeting.
Vice-Chair Mark Russo said that it was his understanding that under Massachusetts general law, it was possible for a town to establish safety zones with speed limits of 20-mph. Russo said that according to town counsel, a vote would have to be held at town meeting to authorize the selectmen to establish such safety zones.
Several intersections were discussed as problematic with special mention being given to West St. and Cross St. and Main St. and Ring Rd. The latter of which will need a more permanent fix that could come in the form of a potential MassWorks grant which would include engineering as well as construction.
The pros according to Russo are that it is both a relatively easy and inexpensive way to improve safety. Russo said that the one real con would be that 20 mph is quite slow. Chair Christine Joy said she would like to find out if the 20-mph designation is non-negotiable. A resident in attendance added, “Bear in mind, when the speed limit is 20, nobody does 20, they do 30.” In addition to the question about the speed limit, other questions included whether or not a safety zone can be established on a state road, and what is an allowable size for the safety zone designation. Russo agreed to get answers to these questions before proceeding with having an article crafted to vote upon at special town meeting.
Town administrator Liz Dennehy gave the Selectmen an update on various topics including shared services for the Council on Aging. Dennehy said she is waiting to hear back from her colleagues in Halifax and Carver regarding getting the shared calendar ready for the three town’s Councils on Aging. The Highway Superintendent position is currently open with resumes being accepted until October 18. Last call for sealed bids on the old jail cell was this past Thursday, October 10. Dennehy also informed the Selectmen that the town accountant sent budget updates to the various town department heads to show them where they stand. This measure is part of an attempt to further professionalize the town’s financial operations.
The Board voted to appoint Tom Millias as the zoning enforcement officer beginning November 1 and running through June 30, 2020. “Thank you, Tom,” Joy said. Russo added, “With enthusiasm, that’s great.” Dennehy also mentioned that the Zoning Board of Appeals has two open seats for alternate members. “The only thing I would say there is that they do have to have a certain expertise, it can’t just be someone walking in,” Selectmen John Traynor said.
Traynor praised the many volunteers that came out to help with the myriad of events held this past weekend, including the Dennett Harvest Fair, the Plympton Historical Society Vintage Fair, Fall Fest at the Colchester Farm, reception and coffee time at the library, and the Cow Plop at the Family Fun Day at Next Step Farm. “There was more going on in this town than I’ve seen in my over fifty years here,” Traynor said. He continued, “Very good for the town, terrific. We need more of that.” Russo concurred saying, “I’ll just second everything you just said, a vibrant town on weekends is just what we hoped for.” Russo also seconded Traynor’s praise for the vintage fair saying, “It was classy. It’s a lot of work to put those on and I think PHS did just a great job, very impressive.”