Paul working for you.

Friday, May 26, 2017

TA Report from May 25, 2017

 TA Report from May 25, 2017

Important Notice To All Departments
Please remember the last date to submit bills for FY ’17 will be 10 AM on Monday, July 10, 2017.
If you have capital or specialty projects in the FY ’18 budget please be prepared to talk soon about the timelines to get those out to bid. 

If youre going to need vacation rollovers, provide them by June 6, 2017, to Carter with employee name, reason needed, and how many hours needed. 

We are seeking applicants for Veterans Services Officer, Assistant Town Accountant, Administrative Assistant I (ODS), Treasurer/Collector & Seasonal Laborer. Please encourage qualified applicants you may know to consider applying (See Web Site). 

The following is intended to provide information where a full memo may not have been warranted or supplement the provided information.

Business Meeting or Workshop: 

3. We received bids on our $5M Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs). We had three bidders ranging from 1.5% to 2.25% gross and, after application of the bond premium, 1.05% net to 1.84%. This positions us just where we wanted to be for the fall bond rating and bond offering for the school project. You will now need to take a formal vote to award the placement of the Bond to Eastern Bank. As planned, this erases the deficit in the capital accounts and fully funds the several contract amendments for Colliers and SMMA from your meeting of 05/22. 

4. We have a need for two transfers. One is for $1.5k+/- to cover an unexpected expense in the group insurance for a second infusion into your high deductible insurance coverage for your 111F (Police & Fire) expenses. The second is $3.5k+/- to cover the out-of-class pay and staff shortages in a department. At this time, we are finalizing the numbers and best approach (i.e. statutory internal transfer or request for a reserve transfer). This may not be finalized until meeting time. 

Weekly Report: Many thanks to Carol H for processing our By-Law amendment for the Capital Committee so quickly. We already have it back approved! Carl G. has resigned (effective 06/13) to enjoy full retirement. The position has been advertised and I’ll review the RIF/RIG Draft to see if we should be looking to give the laid off ConCom clerk some sort of preferential treatment. With Mallory S. on leave with her new baby girl this will leave us short staffed during a busy building permit season. I’ll be approaching you to carry over some of Laurie W’s vacation time to help bridge the gap. Likewise, I will need to approach you to carry over some of Carolee’s time to cover for being short staffed in the Treasurer/Collector’s office as a result of the resignation of Ms. Myers. This also means that Ms. Eaton will be staying full-time for a short time into FY ’18. The T/C position has now also been advertised. I’ll be looking to put together a small screening group to shortlist candidates for a final interview. Our recruitment incentive of 05/22 was not enough to bridge any personal gaps in our prospective recruit for FF/EMT-P. We will shortly advertise the position out of house. I attended a meeting with Alan M. the Town Engineer, and TLWP representatives. The DPW report will fill you in. I met with the Chair and representatives of Collins following up on the development of Draft financial polices under the MA grant for submission to you in the near future. I’ve reached out to Glenn Eaton to see if we can establish a schedule that brings the EDIC formation before you in time for that group to lead the charge at the Fall Town Meeting (simplified permitting and the like) for the other items should you decide to proceed with those. We have been working to complete the contract package for the Scout Hall Insulation job. As the contractor’s parent company is an out of state entity, we have been struggling to get them to complete the correct forms. We hope to have it all resolved shortly so we can get them a notice to proceed next week. 

Administration & Finance 

Town Accountant: Over the last few weeks I have been in and out of the office using up my vacation. Now that the audits have been completed, I have been focusing on the back log of FY 17 things that need to be done. Also, have been working on the prior year’s issues that needed additional work, so hopefully in the next fiscal year can be reconciled. I am working with the departments that have outstanding accounts that they were not aware of that need to be cleaned up. I will be out of the office next week on vacation. 

Treasurer/Collector: The bad check policy has been approved by the Board of Selectmen and has been issued to the Departments. Real estate and personal property demands have been mailed. Jeffery and Jeffery Have been instrumental in helping collect past due personal property accounts, to date nearly $1,400 collected. Commitment 3 motor excise bills are going in the mail this week; thank you Luanne for helping stuff 700 bills! I also completed the tax taking of 21 accounts from Fiscal 2016, With all prior years up to date. 

Assessor: Processed 3 Motor Vehicle Commitments for FY17 to the Collector/Treasurer, totaling $ 1,002,762.30 committed for FY17. Bills have been processed, stuffed and are now ready to be mailed with a billing date of May 25, 2017 with a due date of June 26,
2017. Attended Department Head meeting Tuesday. Continue to review building permits and line up fieldwork. Working on updating newer commercial properties in town and getting ready to go out and visit them. Continue to receive inquiries from residents about interest and demand
bills going out. Getting paperwork ready for FY18 exemptions. Sorting and organizing town maps in the office. Lighter office flow this week. 

Town Clerk: Posted the approved by-law from the Attorney General’s Office. Still busy with Marriage Certificates and genealogy. 

Public Works 

Highway Department: More sweeping for the week as the weather was pretty good. The highway assisted the water department with the rebuild of a catch basin. There was a meeting held with Fuss and O’Neill the engineers working on Royalston road to propose other road projects. And also a meeting held in North Hampton for review criteria for bridges. The fleet is suffering with 5 vehicles red lined with various problems that are costly and will have to wait until the New Year to be repaired. 

Cemetery & Parks: The water has been turned on in the cemeteries for the watering of flowers, plants and shrubs. Prepared for one Saturday burial, planted trees and trimmed and mowed the surrounding area. Added additional trash barrels @ Gilman Waite for upcoming week end softball tournament. Prepared for a mid week funeral service @ Green Lawn cemetery. Mowed and trimmed all common areas in preparation for the Memorial Day week end. Bark mulch and mowing and trimming done @ the Baldwinville fire station. 

Sewer Department: Contacted Tuthill Company executives to demand they repair blower which failed while under warranty at no cost. After receiving no satisfaction I recommend to Commission that we proceed with litigation having Town Counsel file suit and me representing the Town. Attended annual town meeting where the budget and the Pleasant Street pump station affirmation vote both passed unanimously. I notified the engineers, USDA, bond counsel and town counsel of the successful votes and scanned and forwarded the town clerks vote certification to relevant parties. I attended the selectmen’s audit management meeting. The crew rearranged the secretary’s office to improve work flow. Marked out dig safes on Route 68 from Baldwinville center to Gardner line. I learned of a grant from DEP for free GIS data development for all town sewer infrastructures. Only 15 towns were able to participate and we are one of the few! Chuck and I worked to select, organize and tabulate approximately 175 blue prints which were picked up by an engineer from Tighe and Bond Inc. This is a huge leap forward in technological capability that I have wanted to have done for over 10 years, but cost and time were prohibitive. I am elated at this opportunity. Instructed Chuck to begin gathering quotes for the installation of the Crotty Ave. pump station replacement pumps and valves. Investigating a way to possibly lower chemical costs, set up a polymer tank and lines at disc filter. Purchased a new refrigeration unit for head works composite sampler 

Public Safety
Templeton Police Department:
Nothing to report this week. Templeton Fire/EMS: Nothing to report this week. Emergency Management: Nothing to report this week. 

Development Services 

Building Department: The Building Department issued three permits for roof replacement and Commissioner Hanks completed multiple inspections Gas/Plumbing had a total of one permit issued and the Electrical Inspector had three. 

Planning Board: Received payment for the Gardner T Hangar project; preparing for the stormwater public hearing. 

ZBA: Variance decision for Michael Bouthot time stamped by Town Clerk; mailed decision to petitioner with instructions on appeal; processed minutes from last ZBA meeting. 

Conservation Commission: Filed “notice of intent” for Drury Lane and Cottage Lane and submitted public hearing notices to the Gardner News for both to be published; processed minutes from last ConCom Board meeting. 

Board of Health: Agent witnessed percs at both Gray Road and Lord Road; scheduled percs for Laurelview and Otter River Roads next week. On Saturday, the BOH held a bulky waste event that had approximately thirty cars come through, filled two roll off dumpsters and took paint, electronics, metal and lights containing mercury. Continued work on trash issues and Abandoned Housing Initiative. 

Community Services
Council on Aging/Senior Center: 

Library Director: We have been accepting donations of flowers in preparation for our “6-pack Saturday” on May 27. All of the flowers collected will be planted in our ‘Roz Hendrickson Memorial Garden’ by library staff and volunteers. Many thanks to all who donated and
helped! The Trustees will be meeting soon to discuss/vote on what days the additional 5 open hours will be distributed, as well as putting together a job description for the additional Library Assistant position. Planning continues on our Summer Reading Program activities. Story Hour concludes next week with a festive celebration. We continue to fulfill numerous material requests which have been placed on the CWMars network, and circulation in general is steady. 

Community TV: Nothing to report this week. 

Important Dates to Remember Selectmen’s Special Meeting on May 30, 2017, at 6 p.m.

Selectmen’s Workshop Meeting, Monday, June 5 2017, at 6:30 p.m. Selectmen Business Meeting on June 12, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. 

Department Head Meeting on Tuesday, May 13, 2017, at 9:00 a.m.


  1. This must be a copy/paste job as the "planning board" did the same thing last I'm glad to see they are notifying department heads in advance............."Hey, we have a meeting two weeks ago, remember to attend!

    1. Maybe they are just trying to see if anyone would notice !!

  2. Replies
    1. One question, why are we looking for a Veteran's Agent ? Why don't we work something out with Gardner ?

    2. Also, when we have holes in the roads big enough to drop an elephant into, why are we helping the water department do anything ??? Fixing the roads should be the first thing on Alan's list.

  3. Good question Bev. Why haven't we looked to "regionalize" Vets services?

    Bev. Roads................I personally feel this stems from how we as a town are organized. Roads, Sewer lines, water lines, water towers, parks, cemeteries, most buildings are not on the Capital Master Plan.

    Without a plan, without information we cannot make good decisions, we cannot plan, we cannot avoid major potential pitfalls.

    1. It does ot take a rocker scientists to fill a hole ! My husband said we will go back to dirt roads. I think he is right !

    2. Be careful what you wish for when regionalizing the veterans agent.

      Templeton was once a member of North Quabbin veterans services. During that membership in North Quabbin,Templeton paid out as much in administration fees as it did in Veterans benefits.

      Gardner has been been hit hard in its Veterans budget. Gardner's veterans budget has grown from about $70,000/year to per $700,000/ year. And yes, Gardner does get reimbursed 75% AFTER it has paid out the veterans benefits.

      Any change to the way Templeton provides Veterans benefits must be done by April 30th of the calendar year.

      Bob M.

      In my opinion, Templeton will not move forward until a few things happen:

      Good financial team
      Permanent TA
      Repeal of Chapter 93 Acts of 2000

      In order to plan capital projects in a coherent manner, Templeton needs a true DPW. It needs to consolidate sewer, water, highway, cemetery, parks, building and grounds into a DPW.

      I was against combining highway and cemetery, because it is just a bandaid.

      As it currently stands, it is every department jockeying for place in order to push through its operating budget as well as its capital projects.

      So a department has a capital project it wants to force through. It loads up the town meeting and it passes.

      Templeton does not have an accurate debt schedule to plan its capital projects upon. It is a free for all.

      Nothing will change unless and until the town goes bankrupt.

      That day is fast approaching.

      Enjoy the overcast before the rain begins AGAIN!

  4. My regionalizing comment was tongue and cheek as I dont feel in most cases regionalizing works long term. I do feel we could regionalize some administrative aspects though, but not the boots on ground

    I agree with you about the DPW.

    I also feel we need to limit the reach of the BOS into all other committees. I dont want 40% of our most vital committees filled with BOS members or any other board members for that matter. It impairs change and creates "in the bubble" thinking. Mass Ethics even talks about this subject as unacceptable, but not in Templeton............

    I think its safe to say our history with Capital Projects leaves plenty of room for improvement. I did read somewhere that it will all be fixed and our utopia returned by 2022.

    Still out in the weather............

  5. rocker scientists Bev we are short two laborers and patch what we can when other most important things are taken care of.I will say i did patching on both south and Barre rd.
    We take care of the worst first.
    Have a call we go out. If you see a problem report it.Call and report it we don't go around to patch until the sweeping is concluded and this year the money is tight to purchase patch as it has a high cost.
    I guess you can't please all the people all the time.
    But then some people exaggerate just a little!!!