Government Spotlight

Capital requests on the Select Board Nov. 6 agenda

The Select Board will take a first look at departments’ FY25 capital requests—everything from a UTV for Fire Rescue for access to trails, fields and railroad lines, to a new dump/plow truck for Public Works and upgraded security at the Library, among many other items—at their November 6, 2023, meeting.

The board will also resume discussion of contracting out a soils and wetlands study of Town-owned parcels in the Upper Village with a view toward the land’s development potential. They will also consider options for replacement tires for the Transfer Station loader, discuss target practice at the Town pit on Morse Road, and review revised Bylaws for Boards and Committees.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Meetinghouse and will be broadcast on local cable and live-streamed at this link.

Capital requests. Departments have submitted their capital requests for FY25. Now the board determines whether to send all or only some on to the Capital Improvements Program Committee (CIP) for review and prioritization. Once recommendations come back from the CIP Committee, the board will decide how many to put on the May Town Meeting ballot for voters to consider.

Find the full slate of capital requests is in the meeting amended agenda packet at pp.18-74, complete with rationales, vehicle replacement schedules, maps and other information.

Some capital requests of interest:

— A dump truck/plow truck for Public Works to replace a 2006 vehicle, at a cost of $340,000 from taxation. Other Public Works vehicles requested include a pick-up truck with plow to replace a 2008 unit–the $90,000 cost proposed to come from the department’s capital reserves—and leases or purchase of a loader. Public Works currently has $571,454 in its reserve account. See pp. 44-47 for details on the FY25 vehicle requests and p. 72 for the vehicle replacement schedule running to FY 2049.

— $500,000 for paving is being requested. Roads on the ‘24-’25 to-do list include

  • final segments at each end of Gloucester Hill Road
  • Church Road
  • Chandler Mill Road from Route 100 to the Turnpike overpass
  • Cobble Hill Road (off Chandler Mill Road) and
  • Colbath Drive (off Range Hill Road near Route 26).

A segment of Morse Road and areas at the Transfer Station are also proposed to be paved using $265,000 in TIF funds. Find the complete paving schedule at pp.70-71.

— Fire Rescue is requesting a replacement UTV (“utility task vehicle,” typically larger and more of a workhorse than an ATV) with tank, pump and space for patient transport, to facilitate rescue and fire response on trails, in fields and forests and along rail lines (pp.21-28). The estimated cost is $29,700; the Auxiliary would contribute $6,700.

— For water rescues, primarily on Sabbathday Lake and Chandler Mill Pond (Lily Pond) and as mutual aid for nearby communities, a shallow-water inflatable rescue boat and trailer (pp.29-36). Its $25,000 cost is proposed to come from Fire Rescue reserves, which currently exceed $1 million.

— An EV Ford F-150 Lightning truck to be shared by Code Enforcement, Planning, Parks and Rec, and the Manager for site visits, hauling . Personal vehicles “take a beating,” especially on the town’s 182 private roads,” most of which are in deplorable condition,” according to the request. The estimated cost of the vehicle and charging station is $74,500. Surplus fee revenues from Code Enforcement would be a source of funding; grants and rebates might help offset the cost (pp.18-20).

Security upgrades at the Library, including cameras and motion detectors, for the safety of staff and patrons, particularly for times when a single staff member is in the building, rather than two. The estimated cost is $17,000 (pp.37-43).

— For fire suppression, a cistern at Morse Road and a dry hydrant on Sabbathday Road near the former Grange Hall are proposed. Together, the projects are estimated to cost $110,000. $53,000 is being requested, with the remainder coming from an existing account (pp.55-65).

More capital requests, plus details on action items regarding the Upper Village parcels, replacement tires for the Transfer Station loader, target practice at the Town pit on Morse Road, and revised Bylaws for Boards and Committees are in the full November 6, 2023, amended agenda packet at this link.

Public comments can be submitted by email before 10 am on Monday, November 6, 2023, to and If you want your written comment read aloud, please indicate that in the subject line.

Find contact information for Select Board members and links to meeting agendas, minutes and related documents at this link.

— Joanne Cole

NGX editor’s note: Page numbers in this piece have been updated to link to an amended agenda packet.