, Newburyport, MA

December 12, 2012

Merrimac's public television finds new home in Town Hall

By Warren P. Russo

---- — MERRIMAC —The Town Hall will soon be the new home of the town’s public television station, as the Board of Selectmen approved cable manager Chris Liquori’s well-received proposal for the move at this week’s meeting.

According to Liquori, setting up the TV station equipment at the Town Hall would enable the addition of more sophisticated recording and transmitting equipment, and generally streamline operations.

Among the several items Liquori requested was an editing laptop for other producers to use at home to work on their programs. “A dedicated editing laptop — like a MacBook Pro — would give us a lot more capability,” he explained.

Liquori also requested a high-resolution DSLR still camera, which would also serve as a backup video camera, adding another $700 to the total.

Mailman suggested that it would be good to have such a camera to take photographs of houses lighted for the holiday, for example, as well as other town events.

Also included in the proposal were Final Cut editing software for $300, plus $1,800 for a high-end MacBook laptop computer, additional lighting, cameras, microphones, a recorder and assorted other gear, for a total of approximately $16,500. A motion to approve the various television equipment expenditures up to that amount was unanimously approved.

All of the proposed equipment is portable and movable, according to Liquori, facilitating the possibility of future moves.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, selectmen considered the following issues:

Approved a DPW request to declare an existing gasoline-powered 1990 Ford truck as surplus, with proceeds from the sale of the vehicle going into the general fund.

Approved a DPW request to purchase a $20,000 slide-in sanding unit for an existing DPW vehicle. This will provide the town with three combination plow and sand trucks — one for each of the three major sections of town as divided by the DPW for snow-clearing efficiency.

Approved license renewals for two used-car dealerships, as well as for a trailer display and amusement and entertainment businesses in town.

Approved fire Chief Ralph Spencer’s request to attend the Massachusetts Chiefs Conference Feb. 5-7 in Boxborough.

Set Jan. 5 as the Christmas tree drop-off date at the Mill Street site, for Merrimac residents only.

Accepted a grant-funded forklift work platform and fall protection kit that will enable safer work at elevated heights, as in changing streetlight lamps.

Heard Finance Director Carol McLeod report that the Fiscal 2014 budgets have been distributed to all town departments for their review.

Just before going into executive session, selectmen recognized Alice Fowle, 98, for having been awarded Merrimac’s replica of the Boston Post Cane as the town’s oldest resident. Fowle ascribes her longevity to “eating well,” according to Selectman Laura Mailman. The original Boston Post Cane is in Merrimac’s Town Hall museum.