The Plympton Board of Selectmen met virtually on Monday, Sept. 27, continuing their discussion from previous meetings on heavy truck traffic exclusions on certain roads in town. Town Administrator Liz Dennehy said she had heard back from the Old Colony Planning Council (OCPC) who said the best option would be to do a heavy commercial vehicle exclusion on portions of Main, Center, and Maple streets. Highway Superintendent Rob Firlotte had previously questioned whether including Main St. in that exclusion would preclude the town from future grant funding opportunities. Dennehy said OCPC is currently looking into whether or not the funding would be affected. The town had previously been interested in including other streets but needed approval from Kingston to pursue those. Kingston decided they were not interested in participating at this time. The Selectmen voted to approve moving forward with the exclusions with the caveat that Firlotte’s concerns be explored further.
Selectmen also held a public hearing to consider the application of Eversource for a new pole at Mayflower Rd. Selectmen Chair Christine Joy opened the hearing to anyone who would like to speak either in favor or against the pole. Karen Johnson spoke on behalf of Eversource. Johnson said the pole was needed to run electric service to a solar array farm. Joy asked if the pole was standard size and Johnson confirmed that it was and that it would be placed within an existing pole line. There was no one present to speak against the installation of the pole. Selectmen voted unanimously to authorize Eversource to install the pole.
Firlotte provided the Selectmen with an update regarding ongoing Highway Department projects. Prospect Road paving was completed. He said that work on the wooden Winnetuxet River Bridge has been suspended indefinitely and he is unsure when work will be able to be resumed. He said that he was in the process of trying to find someone capable of making stencils large enough to go on the road to mark where the new safety zones are located. If needed, Firlotte said he would make his own though he said they would be smaller than originally desired.
Selectmen also awarded the bid for the work on the ADA ramp at the Townhouse. Dennehy said the lowest bidder was St. John Corporation out of Wellesley whose bid was $110,000. “Then we also asked the bidders to price out one alternative which would have to do with our current entrance of the Townhouse and they priced that out at $17,900.” Dennehy said she was recommending that Selectmen award the bid to St. John Corporation pending a favorable recommendation from the Town Properties Committee. Dennehy also recommended not proceeding with the alternative although she said it might be possible to pursue it for town meeting. The Selectmen voted unanimously to award the contract.
Dennehy provided Selectmen with a Town Administrator’s update including grant funding. She said they got their Green Communities grant application in by the deadline with the help of OCPC. She said they are moving forward with another Green Communities application. Dennehy said that the quick deadline of October 8 means many communities take a year off in between applications but said she is hopeful they will be able to submit materials in time. Dennehy said she has an upcoming meeting at Dennett Elementary School with the school nutritional director, the lead custodian, and the lead cook to see about using some of that potential funding to possibly replace outdated appliances. “The school staff is very excited about this,” she explained. In addition, Dennehy said they are also looking into the library heating system.
Chair of the Plympton School Committee as well as Chair of the Town Properties Committee Jon Wilhelmsen provided an update on the school saying that work on the new playground was underway. He said that after many delays, all the equipment has been delivered. He said that installation of the rubberized surface would have to wait until spring as it needs a constant temperature of 52 degrees to cure properly. Wood chips are to be used in the interim.
Selectman Mark Russo began the rants and raves portion of the meeting saying his rave was for the town of Brewster. During their town meeting Saturday, they approved the purchase of 66 acres along Long Pond in addition to another approximately 60 acres along the ocean. “This is invaluable land almost never available on the Cape… I salute the townspeople of Brewster for making an investment into the long-term future of their town,” Russo explained.
Selectman John Traynor went next saying it was nice to see Dennehy send out a list of long-term items. “It shows the progress we’re making in terms of addressing a number of things,” he explained. He said his semi-rant was with the Post Office as they are sending more and more services to Carver. Traynor said he hoped it was not indicative of a plan to close the Plympton branch. Joy said her first rave was for Rob Firlotte. “He’s getting a lot of really good work done and he’s so engaged and responsive to concerns,” she said. Her second rave was for all of the great work being done by the Council on Aging.