TOWNSEND -- Selectmen voted 2-0 to approve a one-year extension of the town's contract with Radio Engineering Associates (REA) for delivery and maintenance of government cable television access.

Effective July 1, the new agreement requires REA to "perform all work and furnish all services necessary to provide the town with maintenance and operation for government access television and related services."

The contract also calls for the town to compensate the contractor in the sum of $12,000 for the year which, in turn, will be responsible for insuring its employees and providing for property damage.

Under the agreement, REA is contracted to provide "day-to-day operation of the existing governmental access television channel 9," recording of other programs as needed, ensure broadcast scheduling and staffing, updating the community bulletin board, setting up recording and sound system for town meetings, maintenance of equipment, help public access coordinator at the local cable television station, and work with town officials in their relations with cable provider Comcast.

Selectmen also voted to approve a new two-year contract with the town's telecommunications union effective July 1 to June 30, 2016.

Under the new contract, dispatchers and other telecommunications personnel will work in shifts of 3 on and 4 off with 13.


3 hour daily work schedules making for 3 days of work and 4 days off.

Hours of work will be from 6:20 a.m. to 7:40 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. to 7:40 a.m. daily.

Shifts working the front desk will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Employees will continue to be able to earn vacation, personal, sick, and bereavement time and if a holiday falls within vacation or personal time taken, workers will be compensated for 8 hours pay.

Senior telecommunicators will be paid $22.64/hour; day shift employees $19.36; and evening shift employees $20.11.

Also on Monday, Selectmen Carolyn Smart and Colin McNabb (Chairwoman Sue Lisio was absent) voted to:

* Approve a request by the Recreation Commission to increase spending from its revolving fund by $8,000.

* Approve a request from Highway Superintendent Ed Kukkula to take $20,000 from the town's Chapter 90 transportation funds for use in repaving the full length of Spaulding Street. Also for the Highway Department, selectmen voted to approve expenditure of $38,800 in transportation funding to research, conduct a field survey, prepare preliminary designs, environmental permitting navigation, and contractual bidding for work involved in the removal of existing culverts beneath Old Meeting House Road and replacing them with a new structure.

* Approve a contract between the Water Department and Weston & Sampson CMR Inc. for construction upgrades to the town's water distribution system at a cost of $156,249. Similarly, board members voted to sign a contract between the Water Department and Stantec Consulting Services for oversight duties at a cost of $31,300. With the agreement, Stantec will perform general administration of the construction contract with Weston & Sampson and otherwise act as the Water Department's representative with the contractor as work proceeds.

*Appoint Carrin Cullota to the Meeting Hall Gallery Committee; John DeAngelillo to the Fire-EMS Headquarters Building Committee; and Jerrilyn Bozicas as an associate member of the Planning Board.

* Set July 31 as the date for Special Town Meeting when residents will be asked to decide on a single issue: should the town vote to oppose plans by Kinder Morgan to run a gas pipeline through town.

The next meeting of the Board of Selectmen is scheduled for Aug. 12.