Part One of a transcript from the Jan. 14, 2014 of the Board of Selectmen meeting. For other parts of the transcript, click here.
The first order of business was an acknowledgement of the efforts by the Westford Fire Department fighting the recent fire on Beaver Brook Road and within hours of the fire, the department began fundraising for victims of the fire, the Daily family.
Board of Selectmen chairwoman Andrea Peraner-Sweet thanked the firefighter for these things as well as a variety of other things they do such as picking up Christmas trees.
Westford Fire Department union president David Greenwood presented a check for $20,000 for the victims, and said that another donation for $1,000 came in on Saturday.
Andrew Sherman, a dispatcher with the Police Department announced that a GoFundMe page they started also accumulated $10,000 for the family.
Selectman Val Wormell moved to waive the inspection fees and building permit for the Daily family to rebuild their home.
Jason Daily talked thanked the Selectmen, Fire Department and also thanked the community at large. He said that his family recently moved to town, and it was easy to research things like the schools in town, but he was unaware of the nature of the people in town and was glad he moved here.
Town Manager Jodi Ross finalized the appointment of new Fire Chief Joe Targ, who has served as interim chief since August.
Ross said that the search included applicants from across the world and praised Targ for his work during the past few months.
Prior to August, he was a captain on the department.
Selectman Scott Hazelton made remarks adding on the search for a new chief and added praise for Targ, specifically in regards to his work handling the Beaver Brook Road fire.
The board unanimously approved the appointment.
Targ thanked the board for the opportunity to lead the department and praised his fellow firefighters.
Town Manager Ross also announced that the Fire Department received a $4600 grant for the S.A.F.E program.
Town Manager Ross congratulated Westford Police officer Mike Breault for receiving the AAA Safety Hero Award and announced a $156,000 grant for energy efficient projects now that Westford is a “Green Community.”
Peraner-Sweet announced that on Jan. 29 at the J.V. Fletcher Library, the League of Women Voters is holding an event on running for public office.
She then discussed a person who came before the board several weeks earlier asking the Selectmen to ask Congresswoman Tsongas to renew the Glass Steagal Act.
Peraner-Sweet said that the board was not well versed in the nuances in the law, and at this time the board would focus on local issues rather than sign a letter endorsing or opposing the law.
She then said that finalization of the hunting committee membership will likely be discussed at the board’s next meeting and that the NMCOG Town Center Study will be discussed either at the board’s next meeting or the board’s first meeting in February.
The board then addressed a request to approve an amendment to the Graniteville Woods Conservation Restriction.
Westford Director of Land Use Planning Chris Kluchman told the board that developers had engaged in construction in restricted areas without the town’s initial knowledge.
The Conservation Commission learned about the issue last April and worked with the developers on a solution for the issue along with state agencies.
In October, the resolution was to amend the restriction to allow things like driveways and retaining walls in this area with the town getting 19,000 sq. ft of new conservation area in the development, approximately four times of what was disturbed.
Kluchman added additional information after this. She was filling in for town conservation agent Bill Turner, who could not attend the meeting.
She said that town legal counsel advised the board to advise the Conservation Commission to execute the agreement between the Conservation Commission and the developer and approve the restriction amendment.
Selectman Kelly Ross made a motion to do this, Wormell seconded. It was unanimously approved.