We’ve been looking forward to greater efficiency in town/school meeting notifications ever since the town web site initiated an online calendar. Alas, what good is an online calendar if most groups don’t use it?
So, Thursday April 30, 2015 was a beehive of board and subcommittee meetings; the Mann House almost ran out of space.
The pipeline advisory committee showed up to locked doors; their meeting posting consisted of a hand scrawled note placed in the porch bulletin board. Since apparently no one with a key to the place knew about the meeting, we consider it poetic justice that some of it occurred outside on the porch. Using a piece of modern technology (a cell phone), Selectman Moser (who lives nearby) was pressed into service to come open the door.
The planning board’s ordinance subcommittee did have a member with a key; but in the recent security frenzy, it was obsoleted and as yet no replacement has been offered. So the only way in was through a window, which being a brand new energy replacement slid open really well (cough), but no one cared to negotiate the height of the sill to make an entrance that way.
Former planning board secretary Constance Lacasse showed up early as the only member of the public to attend the selectmen’s unanticipated revenue hearing. She was a bit befuddled as apparently the hearing was advertized for 7:30 in the local newspaper and 8:30 on the web. Hence she got the privilege of participating in the new ordinance development process as well.
Bob Larochelle showed up with newly minted aquifer overlay maps. Quite impressive, but they did take up a lot of space. No members of the public needed help negotiating the stairs, allowing the pipeline folks to use the second floor. Selectman O’Grady hedged his bets and hid in the selectmen’s office possibly reviewing building inspector applications, while selectman Moser went back home to band practice.
Feedback to the new ordinances is trickling in.
The aquifer ordinance “feedlot” section needs a bit of refining. Although everybody assumes they know what a feedlot is, the model EPA definition can be construed to make a feedlot out of any operation that has unsufficient acreage to grow its own hay (the gentleman farmers and horse people specifically would know who they are). There was some discussion about clarification by including an animal count; but then chickens do not have the same impact as cows, and what about folks that keep an entire menagerie?
There was discussion of limiting the lighting ordinances to “commercial” applications, since the selectmen did not wish to negotiate additional neighborly disputes – “one man’s glare is another man’s security blanket”, or something like that. We are always amused when standing on the town common witnessing the glare from the school where the lighting probably does meet code (most of the fixtures shed light down), but then immediately to the other side we watch a huge flat panel television in someone’s living room that always seems to be on. The devil is in the details.
The noise ordinance is still in the “gather other ordinance examples” stage.
The actual unanticipated revenue hearing was held when selectman Lavoie arrived and the planning board subcommitte was given the boot from the conference room. Presumably, the decision about how to spend the money had already been made, but a few more details were clarified.
The sander lost it backwards when a stream over Jackson Road unexpectedly froze. Now we could ask “what’s running water doing in the road” but we couldn’t possibly do that.
The back of the truck hooked the snowbank on one side, that caused the front to rotate and wedge in the bank on the other. Now being on an angle and top heavy with a full load of fresh sand, said vehicle rolled… Only damage to the driver appears to have been a bruised ego and whatever minor lumps go along with a slow motion debacle. He’s not the first truck driver to have had the pleasure of that experience in Mason.
Selectman O’Grady indicated that the insurance company paid out $16,000 plus the $1,200 towing charge required to remove the mess.
Road Agent Lizotte is eager to have his truck back and has already found a replacement for, you guessed it, $16,000.
Selectmen voted to deposit said check in the general fund and expend it.