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George Clark resigns from DPW Board to avoid conflict


PEPPERELL — Long-serving Board of Public Works Commissioner George Clark has submitted his resignation to the Board of Selectmen. Clark, in a letter dated April 23, advised the town that an upcoming sewer project in his mobile home park at 6 Mason Street would create a conflict of interest if he remained on the board.

“It’s been a privilege to serve with the board,” Clark said.

“We’ll miss your knowledge and input, George,” said Commissioner Fred Farmer.

Clark reiterated that his decision to resign was to ensure “not to bring any conflict to the board” and was done with legal counsel. Clark is expected to officially resign after May 15.

Clark’s mobile home park is facing a situation where the septic system needs to be replaced or connected to town sewer.

Following Clark’s announcement, the board elected Lou Shattuck to serve as board chairman for the coming year. Fred Farmer was elected vice chairman.

* Sewer Superintendent Mark Richardson reported that the Wastewater Treatment Plant is currently processing 95 percent of its sludge by-product into compost. The compost is then sold for $10 per yard. However, the remaining 5 percent of the sludge has become a problem for the facility. Richardson explained that he has been investigating sending the sludge out to another facility, but noted there would be a cost involved.

“It could add $10,000 to $20,000 to the operating budget,” he said. Richardson explained that both Lawrence and Fitchburg were potential locations to truck the sludge.

* Responding to a report that the Water Division did not cooperate with the FinCom budget planning process during a March 27 meeting, DPW Director Robert E. Lee said, “To state we weren’t cooperative is ridiculous.”

“It is inaccurate and uncalled for,” he added.

Lee noted that Richardson responded to all FinCom questions from that meeting in a memo to the FinCom dated April 3.

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