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LOCAL MEETING ROUNDUP.

COLUMN: LOCAL MEETING ROUNDUP

Boylston

Selectmen SELECTMEN. The name of certain officers in several of the United States, who are invested by the statutes of the several states with various powers.  back chief's deployment of staff

BOYLSTON - Selectmen have thrown their support behind Fire Chief Joseph Flanagan's decision on after-hours emergency responses and staffing levels at the Fire Department.

Chief Flanagan outlined his procedures for the board last night, saying the town had received an anonymous complaint about staffing levels and responses to calls after 6 p.m.

From 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., four rotating on-call groups respond to emergency calls. Each group is assigned a full-time officer who must respond to all calls for one week per month. During the on-call week, that officer takes home the Fire Department's pickup truck, Flanagan said. That way, every call has one vehicle with a siren and lights and a communication system.

"The use of the department vehicle also ensures that the fire officer is able to maintain radio communication with the dispatcher Software that determines what pending tasks should be done next and assigns the available resources to accomplish it. It may execute other programs or generate a list for human operators to follow. See scheduler.  and other responding apparatus," Mr. Flanagan said.

Board members called the use of the vehicle reasonable, especially given that the full-time officers are not paid for the on-call duty.

- Michael Kane

Fitchburg

Committee recognizes two top students

FITCHBURG - Fitchburg School Committee members last night recognized two of Fitchburg High School's top students, who will be honored on the state level later this month.

Superintendent Andre R. Ravenelle said the success of high school students Kevin Chavez and Alex Hanno goes beyond academics and cannot be measured by standardized tests.

Mr. Chavez is the No. 1 ranked student at the high school, is president of the class of 2010 and plays soccer. He is interested in computer programming and created a program to map projectiles.

Mr. Hanno, salutatorian sa·lu·ta·to·ri·an  
n.
The student with the second highest academic rank in a class who delivers the salutatory at graduation exercises.

Noun 1.
 and in the National Honor Society honor society
n.
An organization to which students are admitted in recognition of academic achievement.
, is Student Council president and is involved in the theater program and has written a 400-page fantasy novel.

- Paula J. Owen

Gardner

Looser sign restrictions await planners' response

GARDNER - The election is over, a public hearing has been held, but don't go putting your political signs out on your lawn just yet.

Before the City Council can vote to allow political signs on private property, it will have to wait up to 20 days for the Planning Board Noun 1. planning board - a board appointed to advise the chief administrator
advisory board

governance, governing body, organisation, administration, brass, establishment, organization - the persons (or committees or departments etc.
 to meet on the issue and vote on its recommendation.

The ordinance change would ease restrictions on the placing of political signs on private property.

Under current city regulations, signs are not allowed on private property earlier than 30 days before an election. That regulation was deemed unenforceable Adj. 1. unenforceable - not enforceable; not capable of being brought about by compulsion; "an unenforceable law"; "unenforceable reforms"
enforceable - capable of being enforced
 and possibly unconstitutional by City Solicitor John Flick, who reviewed it after complaints were made two years in a row about signs placed by candidates in storefronts in the city.

The council held a public hearing last night and, although there were no objections to the ordinance change, the council will have to wait for the Planning Board to make its recommendation.

The law change would not affect regulations that prohibit signs of any type from being placed on city property except with permission from the mayor's office.

- George Barnes

Leominster

High school expansion could cost city $10M

LEOMINSTER - The Leominster High School Leominster High School (also known as Leominster High or LHS) is a public high school located in Leominster, Massachusetts. It is the only secondary educational institution found in Leominster. It is situated on a sprawling 26-acre campus in the western area of Leominster.  expansion project could cost $29.6 million, School Superintendent Noun 1. school superintendent - the superintendent of a school system
overseer, superintendent - a person who directs and manages an organization
 Nadine Binkley told the School Committee last night.

She stressed the figures were "very, very rough" and would continue to evolve.

The state is expected to reimburse the city for about 70 percent of the project cost, bringing the cost to Leominster to about $10 million, she said.

Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella stressed the importance of meeting all deadlines and following a timeline to ensure the process goes smoothly. Ms. Binkley said she expects to discuss this with the City Council in December or January.

- Sandy Quadros Bowles

Auburn

Tax burden shifts further onto homeowners

AUBURN - Continuing a trend that began last year, selectmen voted last night to shift more of the tax burden away from businesses and onto residential taxpayers.

Selectmen voted 3-2 for a 1.40 tax factor. That means a tax rate of $14.39 per $1,000 valuation for residential property and an approximate rate of $24.02 for commercial, industrial and personal property. The latter will change slightly because of a small-business exemption also approved by selectmen, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 Cynthia A. Cosgrove, chief assessor.

She said the tax factor was 1.54 last year, which resulted in a tax rate of $11.77 per $1,000 for residential property, $23.02 for commercial and industrial property, and $22.92 for personal property.

The new shift will add approximately $111 to the tax bill for a residential property valued at $225,200, the town median, for estimated taxes of $3,241.

The shift will reduce the average commercial or industrial tax bill on a property valued at $1.1 million to about $27,200 to $27,900, for a decline of approximately $1,370 to $1,400 from this year's taxes.

Selectman se·lect·man  
n.
One of a board of town officers chosen annually in New England communities to manage local affairs.

Noun 1. selectman - an elected member of a board of officials who run New England towns
 Robert D. Grossman, the board's chairman, said, "We need to show some effort to bring the business community back. If it continues to slide, the residents would have to pay more."

- Ellie Oleson

Dudley

Residents now can pay water-sewer bills online

DUDLEY - Starting today, residents have the option of paying their water-sewer bills online.

Town Treasurer Richard Carmignani received selectmen's endorsement last night to begin a program in which the town will accept online payments for bills such as water-sewer and property taxes.

A link will be added to the town Web site today to process water-sewer bills, while work continues to expand the service to include other payments. There will be no transaction charge to the resident or town for online checks. Residents paying by credit card, however, will be charged a fee based on the transaction amount.

In other business last night, selectmen set one tax rate for all property classes - commercial, industrial, personal and residential. The vote to continue with a uniform rate of taxation means the total tax levy will be borne equally by each property class.

- Debbie LaPlaca

Holden

Wachusett school board chairman looking for money

HOLDEN - Town officials may have found a solution to the budget demands heaped on the town by the recent school transportation cuts announced by Gov. Deval L. Patrick.

Margaret Watson, chairwoman of the Wachusett Regional School Committee, told the Board of Selectmen last night the school district has a $384,898 shortfall because of the governor's midyear cuts to regional school transportation. Holden's contribution to cover the shortfall would be $162,935. She said school committee members were making similar requests to officials in Paxton, Princeton, Rutland and Sterling.

However, Mrs. Watson reminded selectmen that town assessments were recently reduced and, in Holden's case, the reduced amount would more than fund the amount now needed. She said assessment letters were sent to the towns in June after each approved the district's budget. In October, the district's business office determined that Wachusett's debt service would be less than originally planned and also that the charges for oil remediation were lower, and on Oct. 28 the district sent new assessment letters, showing a total reduction of $397,570. For Holden the original assessment in June was $19,761,011, Mrs. Watson said.

"In late October, it was reduced to $19,592,160, a difference of $168,851," she said. "We will be requesting of Holden an increase of $162,935, which would bring the total assessment to $19,755,095. This is 42 percent of the amount that we need, still $5,916 less than the original assessment sent in June."

- Lisa D. Welsh

Paxton

Election for selectman's seat will be Jan. 19

PAXTON - A special election to replace Selectman Michael T. Quinlivan will be held in conjunction with the special statewide election Jan. 19 to replace U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Mr. Quinlivan, who is leaving town, is resigning, effective at the end of the month. The deadline for filing to run for his seat is Dec. 1

Town Clerk Susan Stone told the Board of Selectmen last night that voters will be given two ballots, one for selectman, the other for senator.

Contenders for the Democratic nomination for senator are U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, state Attorney General Martha Coakley Martha Coakley (born July 14, 1953 in Lee, Massachusetts) is the Attorney General of Massachusetts. She was sworn in on January 17, 2007. The former District Attorney of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, having served from January 1999 to January 2007, she was the District Attorney , City Year co-founder Alan Khazei and Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca. Republican candidates are state Sen. Scott Brown Scott Brown may refer to:
  • Scott Brown (DJ)
  • Scott Brown (Scottish footballer)
  • Scott Brown (English footballer)
  • Scott Brown (Welsh footballer)
  • Scott P. Brown, a Massachusetts state senator
 and Duxbury businessman Jack E. Robinson.

In other business, the board delayed action on Paxton's increased assessment of $36,835 for Wachusett Regional School District

Main article: Wachusett Regional High School
Wachusett Regional School District was founded in 1955 and is comprised of Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, and Sterling, Massachusetts.
. The amount would make up part of the $1,087,575 that Gov. Deval L. Patrick cut from the school district's transportation budget. Former Selectman John F. Malone asked the board to seek a ruling from town counsel on the assessment.

- Richard J. Hafey

Rutland

Board sets Dec. 2 for special town meeting

RUTLAND - The Board of Selectmen chose Dec. 2 as the date for the special town meeting to address the Wachusett Regional School District budget.

The purpose of the meeting, which will take place at Glenwood Elementary School Glenwood Elementary School is a public elementary school in Langley, British Columbia, a part of School District 35 Langley.

Students from Glenwood were involved in The Langley Schools Music Project in 1976-77.
, is to find $84,443 to cover transportation costs slashed in the governor's latest round of budget cuts.

Voters will be asked to adjust the general operating budget Noun 1. operating budget - a budget for current expenses as distinct from financial transactions or permanent improvements
budget items, operating cost, operating expense, overhead - the expense of maintaining property (e.g.
, use free cash and take money from the stabilization fund Stabilization fund may refer to:
  • Exchange Stabilization Fund
  • Stabilization Fund of the Russian Federation
  • Petroleum Fund of Norway (SPF)
  • Chile's Copper Stabilization Fund (CSF)
  • Oman's State General Reserve Fund (SGRF)
 to pay for the revised assessment.

The school district's funding was cut by $1,087,575; the Wachusett Regional School Committee is seeking $384,898 from the member towns and is covering the balance of the shortfall through budget cuts.

School Committee member Julianne Kelley said that while the district's $1 million rainy day fund was not reduced for this round of cuts, it is likely to be wiped out if another round of cuts occurs.

"Everything will be on the table," she said.

- Sandy Meindersma
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Nov 17, 2009
Words:1615
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