Stormwater project, data storage top topics at May 20 meeting

May 29, 2019 | Sarah Heinonen

HAMPDEN – The Hampden Board of Selectmen conducted their weekly meeting on May 20, while the town elections were ongoing.

The Stormwater Committee’s Gary Weiner briefed the Board about on-going projects, specifically, equipment to monitor the stormwater system. The program involves the use of software that allows the Highway Department to keep track of structural maintenance that might impact the stormwater system.

The software and the iPad used with it were purchased by Tighe & Bond. The town budget currently has no money allocated for the software and iPad and will have to reimburse the company.

The guidelines for the program would affect businesses and individuals who disturb an acre or more of land and require them to take precautions to keep debris and dirt out of the stormwater system.

Weiner said the person in charge of oversight on the program could check sites and keep track through the development of a database.

Wiener said Tighe and Bond could be contracted to take water samples and send them out for testing. The Stormwater Committee unanimously recommended Tighe and Bond’s proposal for services regarding stormwater at a cost of $45,600. The board voted on and passed that contract.

At the moment, Weiner said, Board of Selectmen is, “the enforcing body for stormwater regulations.” He said Wilbraham was about one year ahead of Hampden in regulation and enforcement.

Town Administrator Mary McNally reported that the dispatch contract is settled but it must still be ratified by the union. Part of that contract is retroactive pay for dispatchers. While she didn't have the amount in front of her she said, “I don't think it's very much.”

Selectman John Flynn ask for a fiscal impact report.

McNally brought up inconsistencies in data storage among town offices and said that the Clerk’s Office did not use cloud storage out of preference, but that would be helpful since it would make accessing data between departments more efficient. Selectman Norman Charest said it was within McNally’s role as Town Administrator to make sure all offices are compliant with storage protocols.

McNally also told the Select Board that the town is acquiring free office furniture from Lego in Connecticut which is going out of business.

The fire chief position is still unresolved. McNally said they wanted to shop it around internally before hang it up to outside interests.

Green Meadows Elementary School wanted permission to create gardens throughout the summer months. The board approved the request.

Traditionally, after the Memorial Day Parade, the fire department hands out hot dogs to kids and the Police Department hands out ice cream. For the past 10 years, Flynn and former Selectmen Vinny Villamaino purchased the ice cream since it isn’t in the Police budget. Last year the town paid for it.

“Where's the boot?” asked Hampden resident Linda DeVries, who was at the meeting. DeVries was referring to a style of fundraiser that firefighters in other towns do to fund their community events. It involves holding the boot of a firefighter or police officer out at intersections for pedestrians and drivers to donate money. The Select Board lamented a lack of that style of fundraising.

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