, Newburyport, MA

Local News

September 30, 2013

W. Newbury board looks at items proposed for fall warrant


The board objected to a request by the Board of Library Trustees for $8,799.64 to pay an additional position “to help cover vacations, sick time and much needed time to complete tasks.” Knowles said the need should have already been factored into the budget for this year, which voters approved at the annual meeting in April.

The chairman suggested adding an article proposing the adoption of the state’s “Strong Chief” legislation for the fire department. But Selectmen Glenn Kemper and Joe Anderson preferred to let the Board of Fire Engineers look into the matter further before bring it to Town Meeting floor. The statute provides for the restructuring of the fire department’s leadership from a Board of Fire Engineers format to one that is run solely by a fire chief.

In other business , selectmen appointed Greg Pekarski as a reserve police officer for one year and Kymberly Codair to the Finance Committee. Scott Wolke has tended his resignation from the Board of Water Commissioners because he is moving out of town.

Selectmen reviewed a request for proposals for the annual financial audit, as well as a health insurance “Opt Out” program for employees, and a two-year lease with the Children’s Castle child care business located in a section of the Page Elementary School. The lessee agrees to pay the town $10,731 per month this year and $11,053 per month starting on July 1, 2014. Under the agreement, the town pays the utility bills.

They approved a street opening permit for 241 Middle St. and OK’d request by Town Counsel Michael McCarron to attend the state’s Municipal Lawyers Association annual meeting and convention in Yarmouth from Oct. 17-19. Cost for participation is $700.

Finance Director Warren Sproul provided selectmen with a copy of the Actuarial Valuation of the Postretirement Welfare Benefit Fund, also known as OPEB. Conducted by the USI Consulting Group, the study shows an amount of $140,659 for the town’s Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability, the amount West Newbury should be funding for the fiscal year. Contribution rates over the next two fiscal years drop to $49,487 and $42,633 respectively.

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