Monday, Nov. 6, the Plympton Board of Selectmen and Fire Chief Warren Borsari reviewed the state of the town’s emergency preparedness following the unexpected tropical storm on Monday Oct. 30.
Plympton was able to handle the situation without having to call on outside help, but both Borsari and the Board agreed there are items that need to be addressed to improve the town’s emergency preparedness going forward.
One thing Selectman John Traynor mentioned was it was unclear whether the town house should have been closed on Monday, as it’s normally used as a warming shelter during these types of emergencies. Traynor asked Borsari who is typically responsible for opening a shelter.
Borsari said it’s the responsibility of the fire department to open these shelters and there also needs to be some sort of police presence at least outside the building. Both Borsari and the Board admitted there could be staffing or budget issues with this.
With these concerns in mind, Borsari mentioned utilizing the CERT program. CERT stands for Citizen Emergency Response Teams. Borsari described it as a “community oriented, civic-minded approach. According to Borsari, there are resources available to help Plympton incorporate the CERT program.
Another emergency preparedness suggestion came from Traynor. He said more text updates and social media alerts should help the community be more prepared for bad weather and allow them to know where emergency shelters are if needed.
Borsari said the police department already does reverse 911 calls for the fire department, but he said he was open to Traynor’s suggestions.
The wind ended up being worse than Borsari thought it would be. Borsari said there weren’t any extra people on staff; the department had on its usual two fire engines and two call cars.
Most of the town ended up losing power, and the fire department had to act in a situation they admit they weren’t fully prepared for. Borsari said the highway department was great and helped remove trees.
Plympton opened a warming shelter at the town hall on Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Most of the town had its power restored by Wednesday, November 1, 2017. According to Borsari, there were eight customers still without power Wednesday.
Chief Borsari praised the job that the town’s major electric supplier, Eversource, did handling the outages. He said, “In my opinion, Eversource did a very good job for us.”
Housing Production Plan Update
Selectman Chair Christine Joy said that the Housing Production Planning Committee reviewed its survey results. The committee used this survey in order to get community feedback on how to create more affordable housing in Plympton.
Joy said most of the survey results came from people in their mid-40s to mid-50s. The committee is also working with Council on Aging Director Joy Marble to get more input from senior citizens.
There’s a Housing Production Planning Committee Meeting on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. The committee plans to finalize a draft for its housing production plan at this meeting.
• The Plympton Board of Selectmen successfully negotiated a contract with Elizabeth Dennehy, who will become Plympton’s first Town Administrator. Dennehy’s first day will be Monday, November 27, 2017.
• According to the Board of Selectmen, Municipal Resources Inc. (MRI) will have its first draft of its operational study of the fire department in about 90 days. Before releasing the draft, MRI will do one-on-one calls with each member of the Board of Selectmen to discuss the state of the department.
The next meeting of the Board of Selectmen is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. Open session begins at 6 p.m.