Town Manager Newsletter – March 1, 2012
Greetings! I am pleased to announce the launch of the Town Manager’s newsletter providing information for residents on major projects and efforts of the Town. Town staff and committees are constantly working to sustain and improve the quality of life in Sudbury. In this newsletter, I hope to provide brief news items from the Town Department heads on the status of projects as well as other information residents might find useful. My goal is to have a new edition of the newsletter at least twice a month. We will put the newsletter on the Town’s website, and will add the ability for residents to sign up to automatically receive it in their email inbox. If you have questions on specific Town projects, drop me an email: email@example.com and I’ll try to get the information for a future newsletter. I hope you find this additional effort to provide information on your Municipal government useful.
Sincerely, Maureen G. Valente, Town Manager
The Selectmen held two Public Hearings. In the first, the proposed site plan for Buddy Dog Humane Society, Inc. was presented to the Board for consideration. The Board voted to direct Town staff to write an affirmative decision for the site changes which include improving the entrances and expanding parking proposed by Buddy Dog, which they will review and vote on at their March 7, 2012 meeting.
In the second, the Board approved a petition from NStar Electric and Verizon New England to install conduit at Pole 14/1 to 407 Boston Post Road, allowing for utility service to be brought in underground to the future TD Bank site.
The Selectmen also voted to approve a proposal to entice residents to give the Recycling/Transfer Station a try if they have never used it before. More information on this effort will be reported in the next Newsletter. And they considered a number of issues related to Annual Town Election and Annual Town Meeting.
Village Green: (Route 27/Hudson Road) is being redeveloped into a Mixed Use development. This area is zoned “Limited Business”. Developers are planning on using all existing buildings with façade improvements in front and rear of property. A small parking area will be added in front. At this point, no plan has been filed, but will require site plan review by the Board of Selectmen. Additionally, the Historic Districts Commission will review the buildings and landscaping under their charter. The trees were originally removed in order to assess functionality of the septic system. During the Site Plan review, a revegetation plan will be discussed.
Johnson Farm: (Landham Road/120unit rental/25% affordable apartment complex) The PCD has been working steadily with the Zoning Board on the Johnson Farm review. There have been multiple hearings held. The next hearing is scheduled for March 5. The primary factors for review are the feasibility of a large development on the particular site. Wetland, Stormwater and Traffic Consultants have been reviewing the application for the Town. The Conservation Commission is reviewing the application under the Wetlands Protection Act. This hearing will be closed on March 5 unless the applicant grants an extension. It is at that point where the ZBA will begin its deliberations. By law, a decision must be rendered within 40 days from the close of the hearing.
The Town of Sudbury has agreed to assist the Town of Wayland by providing Fire and Police personnel and equipment to all reported fires, medical emergencies, or other events which would normally require a Wayland Public Safety response to the Pelham Island Road area of Wayland for the next six to nine months due to work on the Pelham Island Road Bridge. The Pelham Island Road Bridge that connects Sudbury and Wayland has been closed as of February 27, 2012. Crews will begin work to relocate various utilities, then the bridge will be demolished. The contractor estimates six months for the new bridge to be completed. The closure of the bridge will impact the ability of the Wayland Fire and Police Departments to respond promptly to the 64 households in Wayland that are located on the west side of the bridge. Wayland will respond to this area with their normal compliment of apparatus. However, their route of travel will be via Route 20 and Landham Road.
The Sudbury Fire Department is issuing permits for outdoor burning through May 1, 2012. Permits may be obtained at Fire Headquarters at 77 Hudson Road for a $10 fee. Residents are reminded to call into the automated phone line or log in to register each day they wish to burn. Detailed instructions are provided on the permit. If you have questions about open burning, please call Fire Headquarters at 978-443-2239.
Police recently used an iPad application (app) to track an iPad, which was one piece of approximately $12,000 of stolen property taken from a Sudbury residence. Sudbury detectives, through the use of the app, tracked the signal to Boston where nearly all of the $12,000 in stolen items was recovered after executing a search warrant on a vehicle the iPad was located in.
The Police and Fire Departments continue to study the feasibility of a Combined Regional Dispatch through a state grant to Sudbury. The study includes 7 other towns – Wayland, Weston, Maynard, Boxborough, Concord, Lincoln and Acton. The consultant to the Police Department, L.R. Kimball, has gathered information relevant to the study reviewing how other dispatchers work in area towns currently, space issues, and personnel required, and many other questions that arise when considering such an important public safety issue. A report will be issued when all parties are satisfied that important questions have been answered, and due diligence has been accomplished.
Traffic calming tools continue to be employed such as the electronic signs now seen in various neighborhoods. The flashing speed signs appear to prompt drivers to watch their speed. The Department places high priority on traffic issues designed to slow and remind drivers to use caution when driving in thickly settled areas.
The North Road Walkway and Peakham Road walkways are complete. The walkway on North Road extends from Pantry Road to Davis Field allowing children to walk safely to Haynes School and safe access to conservation and recreation lands. The second phase of the walkway on Peakham Road will continue as soon as all easements are granted.
Open ditch drainage work is being done on Station Road and Union Avenue from Codjer Lane to Taylor Road and at the intersection of Willis Road and Mossman Road. Shoulder maintenance continues on the main roads and secondary roads.
The DPW continues work at the Transfer Station screening compost, maintenance of sidewalks, building handicap ramps and doing general improvements to the Station for the residents.
Emergency Response Trailer: The DPW grant application for an Emergency Response Trailer was approved. The trailer is 6×12 and includes traffic cones, barrels, barricades, warning signals and other items needed for a rapid response to a hazardous road situation.
The Sudbury Council on Aging is a nine member board dedicated to serving the social, recreational, health and educational needs of older adults in Sudbury. The Council is seeking two members as of June 2012. Download an application for membership at www.sudbury.ma.us, click on Committees and look for Council on Aging, or call the Sudbury Senior Center at (978) 443-3055.
There are many programs happening at the Senior Center, below are some of the highlights. For more information, please visit the Town website at www.sudbury.ma.us and click on Senior Center or call (978) 443-3055.
Say It With Music!
The Poetry of Robert Frost
Teen Tech Day
Essential Skills for Alzheimer Care.
Soups On: Get the 411 on 911!
New – Current Events Discussion Group
AARP Tax Help
The Health Director completed his second round of cafeteria inspections of Chartwell’s food service that took place between January 31 and February 15, 2012. Typically there are two rounds of inspections conducted yearly by the Health Director, Bob Leupold. Chartwell is the food service contracted by the Sudbury Public Schools. All cafeterias were given a Satisfactory grade.
Brian McNamara, Chairman of the Board of Health, has joined the Sewer Steering Committee to study and recommend a sewer system in the business district.
The Technology Department has just completed a project virtualizing our SQL server. Microsoft SQL Server is a relational model database server which is the backbone of many of the Town’s databases, including the Website, Patriot Properties and ViewPermit. Our virtual environment consists of VMWare running on a cluster of three hosts (Servers) which utilize our EMC network storage LUNs to create virtual servers. The physical SQL server will be redeployed as a domain controller at the main Fire Station.
Technology has also been working on the Connect CTY upgrade from Classic to version 5. Connect CTY is our rapid notification systems used by Town departments, the Water District and the two school systems to send out urgent phone and email messages to residents. The new version offers additional services that help users create and send messages faster using the new enhanced Web interface which includes a one-page message workflow that enables users to create complex messages in just a few clicks. Scenario templates, automated language preference recognition, and real-time delivery reports all serve to put more power in the hands of users. The Connect Access Portal gives notification recipients the power to customize their messaging experience, access previously received messages, and subscribe to content feeds. Along with the release's enhanced geo-mapping tools, the portal makes it easier for staff to send targeted and more relevant messages to residents. To prepare for the upgrade, training classes were held for all Town staff and K-8 School principals and administrators. The upgrade was completed during February vacation week.
The Treasurer’s Office recently conducted a bond refunding of $5,085,000 remaining from a General Obligation issued in FY2001. The original issue of $10 million was used to pay for the major renovations of the Israel Loring Elementary School. This refunding produces a gross savings of $591,136 over the next ten years.
On February 23, 2012 the Collectors Office issued its first motor vehicle excise bills for 2012. This first commitment contains 14,661 bills representing an estimated total of $2.08 million in local receipts. Each year the Town issues more than 17,000 excise bills.
Tailings represent unclaimed checks issued by the Town to outside parties. Tailings might include unclaimed tax refunds, vendor payments yet to clear, payroll checks yet to clear, etc. These municipal funds are retained in a repository, referred to as a "tailings account," until eventual final disposition. Each year the Town conducts tailings procedures to identify, locate and re-issue payment of unclaimed items. As part of this effort to identify parties with unclaimed checks, the Treasurer’s Office annually posts a listing of unclaimed checks on the Town web site.