Town of Wendell, Massachusetts

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Home Town Government Selectboard 2008 Annual Wendell Selectboard Report

2008 Annual Wendell Selectboard Report

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The composition of the Selectboard and its office has remained stable in 2008.  In May Dan Keller was re-elected to his third term on the board. The Board is very fortunate to continue to work with Nancy Aldrich as Town Coordinator, Laurel Brenneman as Selectboard Clerk, and Joy Gorzocoski who handles the clerical duties in the Selectboard office. Larry and Lori Ramsdell, town custodians did an outstanding job cleaning and maintaining the Town Hall and Town Offices and providing additional custodial assistance in other town buildings.  Larry has made a number of small repairs to the Town Hall and is providing needed care to the Marmoleum floor in the Town Offices.

altTown officials and citizens were saddened by the illness and then death of Danny Bacigalupo in October.  Holding the position of Wendell’s Highway Superintendent for 20 years, Danny improved the condition of our dirt and paved roads and maintained them in wonderful condition.  He was also on the Cemetery Commission and was Tree Warden.  His work for the town will be evident for many years.

The Joint Building Committee continued to work on final details of the building projects, crossing the t’s and dotting the I’s. The two new town buildings, the Wendell Free Library and the Town Offices, serve the town well.  The energy efficiency is evident in low fuel and electric costs.  Most systems work well, an exception being the heat circulator pumps in the Town Offices, which were replaced once, while under warranty.

Members of the Town Offices Interior Design Committee continued their plans for displays of artwork and historical artifacts in the building. An eclectic selection of original art chosen in a juried selection process has been hung in the main hall of the Town Offices.  The bicentennial quilt was mounted in a specially designed case with financial assistance from the family of Nancy Richardson, the Wendell Cultural Council and other small private donations.  The quilt will be hung in the entry hall during 2009.

alt During the year the old Library building was renovated to serve as the new Center for Wendell seniors.  The building was connected to the town well and septic system; a bathroom and mini-kitchen were built in one corner; the floor was refinished; the building, insulated and gutters were installed.  To accommodate Good Neighbors, the Conservation Committee moved their office from the Town Hall to the Town Offices.  Their old meeting room was refurbished to store dry goods for Good Neighbors and to serve as the distribution center for free food on Sundays. With the help of Good Neighbors, the kitchen in the Town Hall was cleared out and made usable.

The Community Gardens blossomed this year with 15 households utilizing one or two plots. A variety of flowers, plants and herbs were planted, tended and harvested by Wendell citizens.  The Community Garden committee built an attractive, efficient tool shed near the garden using recycled wood from the old town hall demolished in last year’s construction project.  The shed also accommodates a snow blower for the custodians’ use.

A problem with the south boundary of the site for the new library, discovered during a survey in 2004, is still being researched and discussed with the adjacent property owner. Another lawsuit brought by an abutter of the Town Offices building was settled during the summer.

The Selectboard continued to address needed improvements to town buildings and infrastructure.  Repairs to and new roofing for the roof of the Town Hall and a new roof on the Police Station were completed by Tri County Construction in the spring.

An auction of property owned by the town as a result of tax takings took place in September. Fourteen pieces of property were sold; thirteen of the sales were completed.  The sale brought $117,900 into the town coffers and returned most all lots to the tax rolls. 

A dedication for the new memorial stone for Vietnam and Korean War veterans took place on Memorial Day.  The new stones along with stones for World Wars I and II and new flagpole inhabit a spot on the northwest side of the Gazebo, a site more spacious and more protected from road damage than the old one in front of the old library building.  A fourth stone has also been installed to accommodate the veterans of more recent wars.

 Over the summer the Selectboard worked with the state Department of Revenue and the Wendell Board of Assessors to establish a preliminary semi-annual tax bill system, providing a steady flow of income from real estate taxes for the Town.  The Selectboard is still pursuing partial reimbursement from the state for emergency expenses related to the tornado in 2006. Although the state legislature voted reimbursement of $150,000 during the summer, no payment was made in 2008.

 On December 11th an ice storm caused a state-wide emergency.  Residents of Wendell were without electric power and/or telephone service for anywhere from 24 hours to 6 or more days.  Many trees were damaged and roads were nearly impassible for several days.  The highway crew and tree warden along with many volunteers worked extraordinarily hard to open roads.  Late in December the Selectboard met with public safety officials and the Emergency Management Director to review our response to the ice storm and establish a more effective emergency response system, an on-going process.

 During the year the following appointments were made:  Lonny Ricketts as Emergency Management Director; Laurel Facey, Wanita Sears and Jenny Caron with Anne Diemand as an alternate to the Agricultural Commission; Laurel Brenneman and Wanita Sears to the Cultural Council; Peter Zera and Alex Lankowski to the Cemetery Commission; Peter Zera as Tree Warden.  David Bock was appointed Acting Highway Supervisor; and Alex Lankowswki, WRATS Custodian in October.

Charles T. Smith was awarded Citizen of the Year at Old Home Day to recognize his many years of dedicated service on various town boards, most particularly, his 33 years as chairperson of the Conservation Commission

 In addition to activities mentioned above, Board members or their representatives attended meetings with the Route 2 Task Force, the Franklin Regional Council of Government (FRCOG), and the Veterans’ District.  Ted Lewis and Nancy Aldrich attended meetings of STAR, Stand Together, Act Responsibly, a committee of representatives from small towns in the Commonwealth, which is working to ensure that small towns receive adequate and fair payments in lieu of taxes for state owned property.  The Selectboard met this year with the Town Treasurer, the Town Accountant, the Librarian, members of the Finance Committee, Good Neighbors, Planning Board, Board of Health, Landscapieng Committee, Community Garden Committee, Town Offices Interior Design Committee and Board of Assessors among others.

  The Selectboard thanks th many citizens of Wendell whose generous commitment of time and energy enable the work of town government to go forward.  These people and many others who work in unofficial capacities help to create the strong, vibrant community that we so love.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Ted Lewis, Chair

Christine Heard

Daniel Keller

 

 

Coming Events

Fire Department Committee
Mon Oct 15 @08:00PM -
Road Commissioners
Tue Oct 16 @06:30PM -
Last Day to Register to Vote
Wed Oct 17 @02:00PM - 08:00PM
Selectboard
Wed Oct 17 @07:00PM -
AA Open Meeting
Sat Oct 20 @06:00PM - 07:00PM
Wendell Meditation Group
Sun Oct 21 @08:30AM - 09:30AM
Mostly Yoga
Sun Oct 21 @09:00AM -
AA Open Meeting
Sun Oct 21 @06:00PM - 07:00PM
Early Voting
Mon Oct 22 @09:00AM - 12:00PM
Board of Health
Mon Oct 22 @07:00PM -

Old Home Day

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