WHITMAN — A public hearing on the status of the alcoholic beverage license issued to O’Toole’s pub, already delayed by legal negotiations, has been again rescheduled — this time, officials say, for the final time. The matter will be on the agenda for the Tuesday, Aug. 15 selectmen’s meeting.
Whitman Selectmen were scheduled to conduct a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, July 18 about the license at the 24 Raynor Ave. business following police investigations of disturbances at the pub, but Town Administrator Frank Lynam noted that he communicated with town counsel last week to confirm the plan to move forward. On Monday afternoon, however, after an email had been forwarded to O’Toole’s lawyer to confirm that all legal hurdles were cleared, that attorney requested additional information from the town.
“We responded and are providing them with copies of a recording and other items that are being requested,” Lynam said. “That will go out [Wednesday, July 19]. The hearing will be scheduled for Aug. 15 and it will occur.”
He said it was the third postponement of the hearing.
Lynam also noted that — after Assistant Town Administrator Lisa Green had announced last month that the town had received a $197,000 green communities grant for boiler replacement at the Fire Department and Library as well as an energy management system for the Library — the approved grant amounts were reduced by the calculation of expected energy savings from the new boilers.
That means funds will have to be used from the Fire Department revenue account for that boiler. At the Library, a $17,050 request to make up the difference in the $80,000 worth of improvements to the Library ran into a snag. Director Andrea Rounds has told Lynam she does not want to use available trust fund money for the work.
“Frankly, we don’t have the money available to make up the difference right now,” he said. “I guess we’ll be having a discussion in August and either the additional money will be available or we’re going to have to pass on that opportunity for the boiler and energy system.”
“That’s a lot of capital to pass over,” Selectmen Chairman Dr. Carl Kowalski said.
Lynam also noted the town, via the Library, had received $300,000 in a bequest from a patron for things other than library operating expenses.
The current boiler is original to the 1988 construction of the Library building.
“So, we’ll have a boiler that’s worth about $30,000 or $40,000 that we only have to pay $17,000 for — why wouldn’t we do that?” Selectman Dan Salvucci said.
“That’s a question we’ll have to ask,” Lynam said.
Salvucci also reminded motorists using side streets as detours during a DPW paving project on School Street to drive slowly.
“If you’re detoured on a secondary street, watch your speed, there’s lots of kids playing,” he said.
In other business, the board voted 3-0 to appoint Laura L. Howe to the post of primary animal control officer — on an on-call basis from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. — and Mary A. Drake as secondary animal control officer, pending both women’s completion of mandatory hiring processes. Selectmen Randy LaMattina and Scott Lambiase were absent.
“Laura has expressed great interest in serving the community in this capacity,” Lynam said.
Nita Sault was appointed to a vacancy on the Whitman Cultural Council. Both Howe and Sault had run for seats on the board of Selectmen in the May annual Town Elections and had expressed interest in further involvement in town activities after their campaigns fell short.
Selectmen approved a resolution to authorize the signing of a lease-purchase agreement for a sidewalk plow as supported by voters at the May 1 Town Meeting.
Lynam explained that, in order to complete the lease-purchase agreement, there are documents to be signed on behalf of the board.
Selectmen also approved a Class II auto dealer’s license for Ricardo Miranda Filho for his business RT Auto Sales & Repair at 288 Essex St.
The building inspector had no concerns about the application, provided the business removes all inoperable vehicles from the premises and that cars are displayed according to the site plan.
“I will try to make the place better,” Filho said in brief remarks to the board after their vote. “We’ll put nice signs there, better cars there, and keep it clean.”
Selectman Brian Bezanson lauded the Recreation Commission for the annual Fourth of July Family Field Day program.
“They do a great job and they’re giving up their holiday to do it,” he said. “I want to thank all the volunteers.”