Thursday, September 3, 2020

Town Council Recap: Sep 2, 2020 - Building Dept update, plot line changes approved, gifts accepted

Recap: The Town Council heard from the Building Commissioner, Gus Brown as he provided an update on the work of the department and coordination with Planning, Planning Board, ZBA, Inspections, etc. The presentation included photos of the variety of projects worked on recently.

This is one of a series of department updates to the Town Council to increase awareness of the work being done by some of the 'less known' departments. Board of Health coming up next.

The 4th set in the series of plot line zoning changes was covered in a public hearing and then ultimately moved to a second reading. Over time a particular plot of land may have ended up straddling 2 or in some cases 3 or more zoning categories. This clean up moves the plot into a single zone. 

The Town Council approved a series of donations. They also accepted a sewer line extension for a single property off Daniels St not currently served by sewer and where the ground can not handle a septic system.


As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online #tc0902 

  • Real time reporting underway for the Town Council meeting #tc0902 Chair Tom Mercer opens with the meeting statement and protocol. Meeting is available via local cable Verizon/Comcast and live stream via Town website
  • Statement from Town Clerk on a number of early voting ballots not counted as of last night, the matter is being addressed and the results will be shared when available #tc0902
  • Citizens comments: Dale Kurtz reminding bricks on sale for veteran walkway #tc0902 Laura Stevens speaking about kitchen use when she doesn't have a commercial grade kitchen. Can't use shared space due to COVID-19 requirements.
  • Moving to approval of minutes from July 29, motion to approve via roll call 8-0 (1 absent - Earls) #tc0902 opening public hearing on lot line changes along Beaver and Oak St, 4th of this session. Previously voted on by planning board and EDC
  • Most of the property owned by Town where FHS and school complex is #tc0902 Abutters and owners notified prior
  • Bissanti raises concern on reducing amount of Res 4 zoning. Zoning doesn't really apply to town property, usage or value doesn't change. Simplifies the zoning map as part of the overall plan. #tc0902 motion to close hearing, second, via roll 8-0 (1 absent - Earls)
  • Gus Brown, building commissioner to provide update.  doc linked here. #tc0902
  • FYI over 30 participants for the Zoom portion of the meeting, also available via cable via Verizon and Comcast as well as live streamed via Town web site #tc0902 Bruce Hunchard of ZBA speaks to their role
  • Viewpoint online permit process implemented in July 2019 if not the building permit process would really have stopped during COVID-19 #tc0902 thanks to multiple folks by Gus for their help in getting online.
  • Examples of work done #tc0902
  • More examples #tc0902
  • First of series of presentations scheduled for TC update, Board of Health coming up next. #tc0902 unregistered cars are not allowed on private property, some say one is, not ever is Gus' time has one been allowed.
  • "Change is a tough process but sometimes it is for the better" #tc0902 virtual inspections performed, pictures were taken and reviewed thoroughly, going back out now to sites where they do have pictures to confirm.
  • Pellegri can't remember a complaint during the time she worked with him as town clerk #tc0902 vacant property bylaw (not blight) did get money via fines from some of the banks, property owners for vacant property
  • Solar project in on Spring st will be paved to the new parking lot for access to both SNETT and Town forest trails. The rest of Spring st will be decommissioned sometime #tc0902 Jamie provides updates on solar project
  • Audience opportunity, no one takes it up. Gus makes closing comments thanks Jamie for leadership and Council for guidance #tc0902 
  • Moving to subcommittee reports; budget meeting 9/16 . EDC met earlier tonight recorded and broadcast Chandler joined to take Earls place
  • Motion on gift acceptance  #tc9902 seconded, passed 8-0 (1 absent) Attny Cerel chimed in that with all Council present no need for roll call This closes VFW info for the walkway, xfers funds to Town; ledger coming to help with location
  • #tc0902 motion on change of date from Nov 11 to the 4th  Motion carried 8-0 (1 absent)
  • #tc0902 regular transfer of cable funds to cable group  Motion passes 8-0 (1 absent)
  • #tc0902 motion to accept gift for senior center  Motion passes 8-0 (1 absent)
  • #tc0902 acceptance of deed and easement   motion passes 8-0 (1 absent) housekeeping issue, easement referenced but not formally declared previously compensation was made 20 years ago
  • #tc0902 zoning bylaw for the plot line changes for the public hearing earlier in this session. Move to 2nd reading   Motion to approve, second, passes 8-0 (1 absent)
  • #tc0902 sewer system extension proposal Motion to move to second reading, seconded, passes 8-0 (1 absent) property owner has no other options. Owner will maintain line; consider a public extension? Would require pump station for public
  • Town administrator report, all set. Requesting item for beer, wine licenses for consideration during this pandemic. #tc0902 Councilor comments, Chandler thanks for EDC Davis Thayer study? Jamie to forward link. Chandler censured on facebook for first time. Hamblen grants coming
  • Pellegri questions on report of museum, good reminder report should be forthcoming. Time spent initially on getting the vendor contract signed. CPA info session coming up Sep 8. #tc0902 unfunded mandates from schools? Jones asked before and hasn't seen yet.
  • Mercer on south meeting house, light on? Can we turn it off? Or for safety? #tc0902 Gus Brown came back to thank the town folks and contractors for their patience. Motion to adjourn, passed 8-0. That's all tonight, catch you next time

Photos captured during the virtual meeting broadcast 

Building Commissioner Gus Brown
Building Commissioner Gus Brown

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