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Select board works together to solve day-to-day challenges

April 02, 2014
DALTON — Newly elected select board member Nancy McVetty became chairman on a unanimous vote, 3 to 0, on March 17, the first meeting following the March 11 town meeting. Julia Simonds, who is in the third year of her term, declined the nomination.

The board also agreed to change its weekly Monday meetings from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The board had its first split vote that night, according to the minutes. Barden and McVetty voted "yes" to Barden's motion to turn the cameras in the building's security system toward the outside windows to provide only perimeter surveillance plus monitors in the town-tax collector's office and not to be a financial burden to the town. Simonds voted "no," saying the system's cost was not either a hardship or burden to the town.

At the board's next meeting on Monday evening, March 24, McVetty set some ground rules for office procedures. Mail addressed to individuals or boards can only be opened by the addressees and not by others, according to federal law, she explained. And only copies of documents and files can be taken out of the municipal building but no originals, the chairman explained.

McVetty reported that the board's administrative assistant, Amos Bell, had unfortunately fallen on the ice in his driveway at his home and that others had to temporarily fill in. After meeting in a short executive session, the board voted, 3 to 0, to have Cathy Fountain hold office hours from noon to 8 p.m. on Mondays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays. Jessie Wentworth will be on hand on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that townspeople can buy town trash bags, dump stickers and the like.

Fire Chief Ron Sheltry reported that he and Bob Wentworth would volunteer to do some light maintenance work in the municipal building, changing light bulbs and repairing doors.

He also said that June Garneau, working for North Country Council, has asked to delay starting on the town's Emergency Management plan until June 1. He agreed since it works out well for him and the other stakeholders.

The chief said he is working on an accountability tag and photo ID system that meets the town's needs as well as those of North Pack mutual aid system. "It's a safety issue," Sheltry explained. The cost of buying the needed software and laminating machine is likely to be in the $1,200 to $1,500 range.

Sheltry said that developing a system under which the Department can buy gasoline at a municipal price at the Jiffy Mart in Whitefield is imperative, since only a limited number of gallons are on hand in Dalton. The town uses about 600 gallons a year.

He is also looking to buy an fire alarm system that would include heat monitoring capabilities, likely at a initial cost of $800 plus some $240 a year. A frozen pump in an engine could cost thousands to replace, Sheltry warned, making this, in essence, an insurance policy. "We have $1 million inventory in that fire station," he said.

The select board also discussed keys, job descriptions, TAN interest rates and whether or not security glass should be installed when the office locations of some town employees are changed for efficiency's sake. The selectmen agreed to find out the relative prices of a new window with plain glass as well as one outfitted with security glass.

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