The Plympton Board of Selectmen met virtually on Monday, Oct. 17.
Tom Millias, who serves as the Inspector of Buildings/Building Commissioner and oversees zoning determinations and zoning enforcement, attended the meeting to provide an update on the Building Department. Selectmen have been continuing the tradition begun last year of inviting various department heads to attend different meetings to get an overall sense of what is going on in the town. “We continue to be quite busy with permit applications… despite the high cost of materials,” Millias explained.
Millais turned things over to Kathy Cannizzo who acts as an Administrative Assistant as well as dealing with zoning determinations and enforcement to elaborate further on zoning issues. “One item we continue to pursue is signs,” she explained. She said that no sign should exceed 6 sq. ft. of area without a signed permit from the Planning Board. She also said that no property should have more than three commercial vehicles without a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. “We’ve also been dealing with a lot of preexisting houses looking to add on,” she said. “We’ve been dealing with a lot of older lots that have suddenly and recently been put on the market,” Millias added. He said that following the chain of title to determine what needs to be presented to comply with the new bylaws has proven challenging.
“One of the items I would like to touch on… is with dog kennels. We are in the process of putting in some observations and suggestions to the Zoning Bylaw Committee,” Millias explained. He said that the zoning section of the bylaws and the municipal section of the bylaws conflict with one another that presents a problem. Selectman John Traynor asked if they could identify those conflicts and ask the Bylaw Committee to address them. “I’m in total support, Kathy your knowledge of the zoning bylaws just staggers me,” he said to Cannizzo. “Me too,” Millias said concurring with Traynor.
“We are engaged, and we are involved, and we have been dealing with quite a few things,” Millias said of the enforcement. Selectman Mark Russo asked what kind of feedback is received when they speak to residents about enforcement. “A lot has to do with how you approach people; I’ve never been a guns blazing kind of guy – that’s counterproductive,” Millias said. He continued saying that most residents are receptive and do their best to cooperate. He credited Cannizzo with having a pleasant demeanor about her that helps ease the tension.
Town Administrator Liz Dennehy went over the Warrant for the Special Town Meeting that will be held on Nov. 30. Article 1 is for the acquisition of Turkey Swamp. Article 2 is put forth by the treasurer to afford her the ability under Mass General Law to setup payment plans for landowners. Article 3 is for the unemployment line which is budgeted at only $1,000 annually. Dennehy said that the estimated amount needed is $21,000. Article 4 looks to exempt the Fire Chief from Mass General Laws that require he be under 65 years of age. She said the article is to allow him to retain the position through age 70. Article 5 is a housekeeping article for the wage and personnel bylaw. Dennehy noted that it wouldn’t affect anyone’s benefits. Article 6 is from the Assessor’s office to transfer from the overlay surplus fund to reduce the 2023 tax rate. Article 7 is from the Town Properties Committee to replace or repair the roof at the Old Townhouse. The Selectmen voted to recommend the articles. The Selectmen also voted the approval for the posting of the warrant for the Nov. 8 State election.
Also on the agenda for the evening was the approval of the Conservation Commission’s Acceptance of two different deeds for two pieces of land located off Prospect Rd. The lands were gifted by Curtis Shaw and Robert Sarofeen. Chair Christine Joy asked if they abutted Two Brooks Preserve and was told they were in that general area. Dennehy said that the acquisition of the land would help the town in their overall footprint of protected lands. One of the lands is referred to as Cob Fresh Meadow and is 1.5 acres. “The Curtis Shaw land is known as Sampson Fresh Meadow,” Dennehy said. “So, both of these lands are going to help make connections with Two Brooks Preserve,” she continued. The Selectman voted unanimously to accept the land that was gifted.
Among her Town Administrator’s updates, Dennehy said she met with the Finance Committee to discuss some potential changes to the budget process. She said they would be meeting on November 14 to vote their recommendations. She said that at the November 7 Board of Selectmen’s meeting, the Town Moderator would be in attendance to iron out the language for the motions at the Special Town Meeting. Dennehy also said that the heat pump system work that was done under the Green Communities Grant is nearly done, noting that it would be able to be closed out almost as quickly as it was opened.
Russo led off the raves with one for the foliage in October calling those lucky enough to witness it “quite blessed.”
Traynor said his rave was similar noting that his grandniece got married outside at Perkins Farm. “Looking across the pond toward Main St. with the foliage in the background, it was something like you would see in Yankee Magazine, it was beautiful,” he said. “
My rave is for Liz and Chief Ahl with managing the strike,” Joy began. “This has been so much time and energy around the clock, really managing a very big situation,” she continued. She said her second comment was more of a warning as a coyote went after her and her dog while walking. “You just need to be aware of your surroundings.”