WHITMAN — As snow piled up during the first months of 2015, Fire Chief Timothy Grenno, director of the Whitman Emergency Management Agency said he had little difficulty in borrowing several front-end loaders and dump trucks to help clear streets.
The state, through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), however, has advised that the town enter into a public works mutual aid program to prepare for future emergencies.
Selectmen approved the proposal, 4-0, on Tuesday, June 21. Selectmen Chairman Carl Kowalski was absent.
“This is a necessity for us if we wish to avail ourselves of assistance from the state and other local, regional and statewide agencies in the event we have an incident or occurrence that requires additional aid,” said Town Administrator Frank Lynam. He said the town has done so in the past without a specific agreement, but that the state is now requesting mutual aid agreements.
“It’s typically not what you’re going to see with police and fire, where every time they get a run they have to reach out to nearby communities,” Lynam added. “This would be extraordinary circumstances, where either we need help or some other community needs help and we’re able to provide it.”
The DPW will be acting on the request on Tuesday, June 28.
“This was brought to my attention from MEMA,” Grenno said. “They didn’t have on file a signed agreement for the DPW. This just allows us to legally bring, if we have [for example] six water main breaks in town and the DPW needed assistance.”
Selectmen also approved the town’s first Farmer Series Pouring Permit since adopting the program two weeks ago. Old Colony Brewing Inc., was awarded a permit for its new location at 605 Bedford St.
The permits are designed to promote local agriculture by allowing shop owners to offer what they produce as well as package goods. The fee is $350. Selectmen’s approval is subject to the approval of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABCC) and receipt of mailing, advertising and permit fees.
Old Colony Brewing President Dennis Nash explained the application.
“This is for a business that has been operating and is now relocating to what perhaps would be a better location,” Lynam said.
Nash echoed that thought.
“We opened about two years ago on Temple Street and we decided to start a small business to see if this would work,” Nash said of the microbrewery he and his two partners began. “Whitman has been great. We were packed every time we were open and ran out of a lot of beer, which is good.”
He said the combination of the permit and new location would help expand the business’ services.
“This permit will allow us to give samples, to have the community come in and talk to us more,” he said. “It will help us grow the business and have more people come in and get the beer. … We lost some business, where people didn’t want to buy the beer because they couldn’t try it.”
Nash said the business also purchases local ingredients and sees a lot of customers coming from other parts of the state.
The board also approved an application by DJ’s Country Store (Deborah Johnson) for a common victualler’s license at the convenience store at 535-2 Plymouth St. The request, explained by General Manager Joel Richmond will permit the store to expand the ability to serve customers who wish to consume to-go foods ad beverages while playing Keno or shopping.
Approval is subject to receipt of license fee and a final inspection and approval by the Board of Health.
The store already operates a self-serve coffee bar, according to Richmond, who said the store plans to add self-serve fountain drinks and packaged snack foods either purchased from vendors or made in the restaurant the company owns next door. No food preparation will be done in the store, which would be limited by available space to 8 to 10 seats.
In other business, Lynam updated the board on penalties handed down after a compliance audit performed in town by the ABCC. Two were issued suspensions, which were in turn suspended and one was given a warning — all conditional on no further violations. O’Toole’s Pub was issued a four-day license suspension, with two of those days suspended, for serving alcohol to minors. The pub will have to close for the remaining two days, which will be done on Wednesday, Aug. 3 and Thursday, Aug. 4. O’Toole’s is permitted to seek an alteration of the punishment through an appeal to the ABCC.
Selectman Dan Salvucci urged residents to attend a public hearing at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 28 at Whitman Town Hall to discuss intersection changes at routes 18 and 14 and routes 18 and 27.
“We’re trying to make those two intersections safe,” he said.