Water/Sewer Depts. Reject Request for Waiver on Fire Station Hookup Fees
Both Groton Water Department and Sewer Department have rejected the town's request to exclude permit fees for respective connections for the proposed new center fire station on Farmer's Row. Total for two hookup fees is $30K.
Town Manager Mark Haddad advised Selectmen that he asked both departments for exemptions for the fees because he does not want to consider an override to Proposition 2 ½ and the proposed fire station will come in at $7M plus so that every dollar counts. Other permit fees such as planning, electric, gas would be waived.
Selectman Peter Cunningham noted that the school department paid connection fees in the 1980s. He pointed out that the Water and Sewer Departments use connection fees for their capital fund, adding that the Water Department in particular still has issues with the amount of hydrant fees paid by the town.
One possibility is for Selectmen to place an article on the January Town Meeting Warrant, the same meeting that will vote on whether or not to approve the $7M for construction of the new fire station.
Selectman Josh Degen asked whether or not a town meeting vote would override the fees, and Haddad said that it may not be binding, but that town counsel could determine if this is possible. He added that such a vote would indicate the spirit of the meeting. He stressed that the request was for a waiver of connection fees, not flow rates.'
Cunningham said he thought discussion of a town meeting warrant article was premature and that he wanted to try to continue some discussion with the two town departments.
In other business Selectmen approved a change in hours of operation for Town Hall effective Sept. 10. As of that date, town hall offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays. Regular hours will be in effect for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Board agreed to reevaluate this change after six months to see how it is working for both the public and employees.
The Board also ratified Town Manager Mark Haddad's appointment of Hannah Moller to the new position of assistant to the Treasurer/Payroll Coordinate at grade 6 a $20.50 per hour; and Jonathan Greeno in the new position of Assistant Assessor/Data Collector at grade 9 at $24.22.
In addition the Board ratified the appointment of Savos Danos as a member of Great Ponds Advisory Committee, and Conservation Commission member Bruce Easom as a member of the William Barn Committee.