The Plympton Board of Selectmen met Monday to provide updates on the Atwood acreage on Prospect Road, the preparation for the Annual and Special Town Meeting warrants, and the Fire Advisory Committees. They also introduced theconcept of forming a committee for Housing Production.
First on the agenda was the Atwood Property. Last week prior to their meeting, selectmen received another purchase and sale agreement for the Prospect Road property. The interested buyers plan to develop the property, including building four to five houses. Plympton’s option of a right of first refusal must be decided by July 10, 2018, 120 days from April 11, when the agreement was received by the board. Selectmen must then notify the Atwoods that they will or will not seek to go forward to purchase the land.
Plympton’s Open Space Committee hired an appraiser to verify the value of the property as a first step. While $800,000 is a large investment for the town, there is currently a sum of as much as $450,000 in CPA funds that could contribute to the purchase.
Mark Russo, board member, and Chairman of the Community Preservation Committee, spoke about the Cato’s Ridge and Churchill Park projects and how he genuinely favors preserving open land to provide an experience every member of the town can enjoy. He discussed following the Churchill Park model on the Atwood Property and creating fundraising similar to the planks on the Boardwalk at Churchill Park.
The Community Preservation Committee met Tuesday to discuss options if the town decides to exercise its right of first refusal.
The board plans to continue discussing the property and providing new details at each selectmen’s meeting as they become available. Selectmen hope the public will attend to state their opinions so they may continue in a direction supported by the town.
Up next for discussion were the Annual and Special Town Meetings. The Board of Selectmen, along with the guidance of Nathaniel Slides, Finance Committee; Barbara Gomes, Town Accountant; and Brian Wick, Town Meeting Moderator, went through each article for the Annual and Special Town Meetings correcting any wording, and addressing who will be speaking on behalf of the articles at the meetings. Christine Joy thanked Gomes and the Town Administrator, Elizabeth Dennehy, for the time they spent perfecting the structure of the articles for the meeting stating, “this is the easiest Town Meeting we have prepared in a long time.”
Fire Advisory Committees
Next, John Traynor, board member, provided updates on the Fire Advisory Committees. Several weeks ago, MRI or Municipal Resources Inc. completed their research on the Plympton Fire Department to see how they could better maximize the use of their resources. After the study, MRI presented the town with their recommendations to improve the Plympton Fire Dept. Selectmen created two committees to implement those suggestions that they found would work well in Plympton. Selectmen created the Fire Department Technician Committee and the Executive Oversight Committee to prioritize recommendations and evaluate them.
Last week, Plympton selectmen met with Halifax selectmen to investigate how shared fire services could possibly function, as suggested by the MRI study. Plympton selectmen feel confident they could work well with selectmen from Halifax if the towns decide to go further with shared services.
The Fire Department Technician Committee met Wednesday to consider the recommendations and find a direction to begin implementing them. Updates on their meeting will be presented at next week’s Plympton selectmen’s meeting.
Last on the agenda was the formation of a Housing Production Plan Committee. Lisa Sullivan of Old Colony Planning Council submitted a rough draft of the regulations of housing production for the town. The board hopes to form a committee of about four or five people to help finish the draft by December of this year. Selectmen will provide their feedback regarding the draft once the Annual and Special Town Meetings have passed. The draft will then be sent to the Zoning Board for approval and the formation of the committee will begin.
In other news:
• Selectmen received word from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development that it has approved the Housing Production Plan submitted by Plympton in April. The Housing Production Plan (HPP) certification lastS for a term of five years, expiring on April 11, 2023.
• The town has begun their search for an Animal Control Officer. There has been one interested applicant thus far applying for the job. Dennehy plans to interview him next week, once a job description has been developed and approved by selectmen at their next week’s meeting.
• Board members personally thanked Linda Leddy and Amy Cronin for all of their hard work on behalf of the Town of Plympton. They have volunteered on numerous committees throughout the past year and the board found them very worthy of recognition. With that being said, the board suggested creating a “Volunteer of the Year” award to help recognize the dedication of the town’s residents who give their time to volunteer for Plympton.
The next selectmen’s meeting has been changed to Tuesday, May 8, at 6 p.m.