Selectmen Hold the First Meeting of 2011
A summary of the issues discussed at the Norwood Board of Selectmen meeting last night.
The Norwood selectmen resumed their normal meeting schedule last night, taking two public hearings and several new business issues including transfer of liquor licenses and an improvement project at Coakley Middle School.
First on the agenda was the monthly report from Chief of Police Bartley King. Chief King reported that in the month of December, Norwood police responded to 81 motor vehicle accidents, issued 291 citations for motor vehicle related offenses and made 59 arrests. He also reported that two new officers to the force are in the midst of training and expected to graduate mid-April.
King also spoke to the board regarding the break-in at a house on Hemlock Ave., reported Dec. 31, where several guns were stolen. The chief emphasized that the investigation is still open and any information from the public would be appreciated.
"This is of significant concern to us because those guns are still out there and we'd like to recover them," Chief Bartley said.
The board heard information on the transfer of a liquor license at the Sheraton Four Points Norwood from Factory Mutual Engineering Corp. to Neponset River LLC. This was an internal transfer, as both companies are affiliates within FM Global, and was done as part of an overall real estate reorganization. The transfer was approved unanimously by the board.
During the discussion of new business and information, Chairman Gerard Kelleher noted that the fire department reminds citizens to shovel out the fire hydrants in front of their houses.
"The house that's saved could be our own," he noted.
Several representatives of the school department attended the meeting to discuss refreshing the statement of interest with the Massachusetts School Building Authority for a project changing over the HVAC system at the Coakley Middle School from electric to gas.
A feasibility study on the project was done by RW Sullivan Engineering and presented to the board, including the differences in cost, efficiency and safety between the systems. Total basic cost of the project, based on a 2012 construction date, came in around $5.75 million.
The Coakley Middle School building opened in 1974, then serving as one of Norwood's Junior High Schools, so the main question by the board was whether the building would be kept and the money for modifications would be worth it. Selectman Plasko said that the changes were of course necessary if the building itself was to stay.
"I think if we're going to maintain this building, it's obvious we're going to have to do something," Plasko said.
After the presentation and much discussion, the board voted unanimously to sign the statement of interest to the MSBA.
A final issue of discussion came as good news for many residents from Chairman Kelleher.
"Believe it or not the Morse St. bridge is open," he said with a smile.
Selectman Thomas McQuaid also had an announcement, telling Norwood that he will not be seaking reelection after five terms on the board.
He did admit he was announcing a little early, with three months left in his term.
"I guess you could say I'm lame duck," McQuaid said.
At the end of the meeting the selectmen went into executive session for discussion of collective bargaining and negotiating procedures, especially concerning the firefighter and police contracts.