WHITMAN — The town might finally be able to sort out issues regarding their shared sewage situation with the city of Brockton.
Last year, Brockton mayor Bill Carpenter hit Whitman with a termination notice for outstanding payments due dating back to 2013. But at the Whitman town selectman meeting on Tuesday, the board worked on straightening out the issues and explained the situation in detail.
Brockton wanted Whitman to be a common user of their shared sewage system and for the town to share the cost of any repair expenses. While Whitman is willing to pay a share of it, they do not want to be responsible for the neighboring city’s issues when just 160 feet of the town’s pipeline extends into Brockton, Town Administrator Frank Lynam argued.
Recently, Whitman sent Brockton a check for $300,000 to take care of an audited 2013 payment and currently, they have $900,000 set aside to make the payments for 2014 and 2015. They will need to obtain another $600,000 from the Finance Committee to catch up on those payments.
Lynam said that it was not that the town was avoiding the payments. He said that there were errors in the original bill Brockton sent and the town would be more than compliant to pay when Brockton sent a correct bill based off of flow – the method which the town agreed to pay upon originally.
In the past few years, the town has spent $8,000 in audits trying to figure out why they were charged the amount they were instead of what they believed they would be charged, Lynam noted.
Unhappy with the inconsistencies, Selectman Daniel Salvucci suggested that the neighboring town may be hurting for money – which is why the rates could be higher than expected.
The board approved new procedure for issuing liquor licenses in town. From now on, they will send their rules, regulations and enforcement policies along with the license to establishments in town so that everyone is aware of the rule. The final page of the document will require the business’ signature and it appears as though they will either send it back to the town or keep it at their establishment. That part has yet to be determined.
Liquor licenses became an issue when an establishment in town violated theirs on several occasions and the town came to a conclusion – they did not have any way to strictly penalize an establishment for violating the rules.
With space lacking at the town hall, the board agreed that the archives room needed to be expanded in order to store more files.
“It’s a short term solution,” Lynam argued. “It’ll probably work for the next five to seven years. But then we’ll probably have to go digital at some point.”
Deficit spending was approved, at Lynam’s request, in order to demolish the barn on 215 South Avenue. It was damaged during winter storms and he said it was about to fall apart. While the town might not have had the funding at the moment, he argued that they will recoup the funds and then some when they sell the property.
While spending money may have been an issue, the town did receive a sizable sum from the state — $167,000 to be exact for being what the state of Massachusetts considers a “Green Community”.
Whitman and Hanson have shared a building inspector’s vehicle in recent times and in order to keep the deal in place, the board argued that the costs should be split equally – specifically gas and depreciation.
Using $3,200 from the World War II Memorial Fund, the Whitman Recreation Commission’s request to replace a fence around the basketball and pickleball court, which is located behind the police station, was approved. Pickleball is a game similar to tennis with a racket more similar to a table tennis racket and a ball more similar to a whiffle ball.
Ridder Farm’s request for a 12 General On-Premises Wine and Malt License was approved and takes effect specifically on holes four, 12, 13, 14 and 16.
Rickard D’Ambrosio’s Auctioneer License for DBA Gallery on 605 Bedford Street was approved.
The board set their April meeting schedule and their first meeting of the month will be Tuesday, April 5.