Selectmen’s Report September 16, 2012

by on September 17, 2012 in Life in Nelson, Selectmen

Hello Everyone,

It’s been an all too short summer but a lovely one nonetheless. We’ve been invited to and did attend the Roxbury Bicentennial celebration, continued to make steady progress in our remodeling project for our Town Offices and to support the good work of our Town Buildings Committee, begun to conduct traffic studies to try to improve the safety of our town roads, hired a new Deputy Town Clerk/Tax Collector, and begun thinking about budget development for the upcoming year.

Roxbury Commemorative Granite (photo by Rick Church)

Back in July, the Select Boards of Nelson and Marlborough, and a representative of the Keene City government were invited to attend the Roxbury Bicentennial Celebration. We were advised that we would be given a commemorative piece of Roxbury granite. I was pleased to be able to attend this gathering on the 18th of August and to participate in the event. It turns out that back in the mid to late 18th century when the Townships of Packersfield, Marlboro, and Keene were incorporated, that there was no Roxbury. The folks living in Southwestern Packersfield, Northwestern Marlboro and Eastern Keene complained to the State Legislature that they needed to become an independent township so that they could worship and conduct town business without having to travel the great distances to the meeting houses located in Packersfield, Marlboro, or Keene.  In 1812 their petition was granted by the Legislature and the new Town of Roxbury was incorporated on December 9th of that year. Land from Packersfield, Marlboro, and Keene was taken for that purpose. So, on August 18th of this year, the Town of Roxbury thanked Nelson, Marlborough, and Keene for their land and returned to each of us a piece of their town, an inscribed piece of granite. A photo of the gift to Nelson and the booklet produced for the bicentennial is attached. Both of these reside in our Town Archives if anyone would like to take a closer look.

Our remodeling project for our Town Offices is proceeding on schedule thanks to the good work of our contractor and the diligence and persistence of Edie, Teri and Edith. As many of you know, the Town Offices have been open during most of the work and we are hopeful that we will be able to hold our first Select Board meeting in the new space on this Wednesday, 9/19.

The Town Buildings Committee, with architect Rick Monahon, is continuing with the development of concepts and plans for the remodeling of the Library basement, the shoring up and remodeling of the Town Hall, and the restoration of the second floor of the Brick Schoolhouse. Lisa Sievert, Susan Hansel and Bert Wingerson completed and submitted a grant application for $50,000 to LCHIP for the Town Hall project. Thanks to Lisa, Susan, and Bert for their great work. The next in a series of presentations of this developing project will be presented by the Buildings Committee and Rick Monahon at the Chapel by the Lake in Munsonville on this Thursday, 9/20 at 7:00 pm. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

In response to a number of concerns reported to the Select Board regarding the speed of traffic on our roads, Southwestern Regional Planning conducted a traffic study on Nubanusit Road. The results of this study showed that in fact a majority of the traffic exceed the desired 20 to 25 mph speed limit. Since the conclusion of that study our Police Department has acquired a traffic recording and speed monitoring device for our own use. It is available for traffic studies on any roads in Town and can be employed at the request of anyone in Town. Please contact Rich Pratt or a Select Board member if you would like us to conduct a traffic study on your road.

We want to welcome Julia Lennon as our new Deputy Town Clerk/Tax Collector. Julia will be training with Teri and Edith for the rest of this year. Since both Teri and Edith are planning on retiring from their positions at the end of this year, Julia’s experience will allow her to take on the job of Town Clerk/Tax Collector should the Town choose to elect her in March.

Thanks to Edie and Teri, we’ve filed all of the necessary financial reports with the DRA so that they can proceed to calculate our property tax rate for 2012. With that done, we can move on to developing our Town Report for 2012 and our budget for 2013. Budget development this year should be greatly simplified because of the good work done by Edie and Anita to make our financial reports conform with DRA requirements. Along with maintaining our Town services, special items of interest in our budget for 2013 will be staff salaries, financial support for our Fire and Rescue Department, and the building projects that the Town Buildings Committee is developing.

Finally, on a housekeeping note, we have modified the way in which we conduct our Select Board meetings and our procedures for the public to access the services of our Town Administrative Assistant. We have made these changes in an attempt to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our Board meetings and to provide the best possible customer service while creating a positive and manageable work environment for our Administrative Assistant. Copies of our new meeting protocol and our customer service procedures provided here:

Procedural Changes for Town Administration

Procedures for Town Administrative Assistant

We are hopeful that these changes will allow us to provide the best possible service to the people of Nelson.

Thanks and please let us know if you have questions or comments.

Dave

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