GROTON — With Annual Town Meeting behind them, selectmen took a breather last week and recognized a town police officer for his timely action.
According to Chief of Police Donald Palma, early in the morning of April 5 Officer Cory Waite received word that Westford police were in pursuit of a vehicle that was headed into Groton.
Acting quickly, Waite decided to deploy a “spike strip” across the road which the suspect vehicle was using, at speeds estimated to be in excess of 70 mph.
The vehicle duly appeared and roared over the spike strip, blowing out three of its tires, which brought it to a stop.
It was Waite’s quick response, said Palma, that resulted in the capture of the suspect by Westford police, who described their prisoner as being “impaired.”
Characterizing use of the spike strip as a “tricky maneuver,” Palma told selectmen that using one was not as easy as it might seem. An officer must first determine where and especially when the target vehicle will pass, because to guess wrong might mean damage to another car coming down the same road.
Timing, said Palma, is “critical” but Waite “saw an opportunity and took it.”
For his quick and timely action that night, Waite, a resident of Pepperell, was given a commendation by the board.
In other business on May 5, selectmen named acting town clerk Michael Bouchard to conduct the town’s May 20 election. A question was raised about possible conflict of interest, since Bouchard is a candidate for town clerk.
However, selectmen decreed that no conflict of interest exists because Bouchard is the only candidate on the ballot for the town clerk’s position.
Selectmen also voted to charge the West Groton and Lost Lake Sewer Committees, recently created with town meeting approval, to proceed with their mandate of exploring the possibility of creating wastewater services in those communities.
Also on Monday night, the board was informed by administrative officer Jeffrey Ritter that the elevator in the public library is finally working correctly.
Unreliable almost from the day it was first installed in 1999, the library elevator had the disconcerting habit of sometimes stranding riders between floors.
Over the years, the Library Trustees tried various “low cost” alternatives to solve the problem but none worked. To fix the problem once and for all, it was estimated that the cost of fixing the problem would come to $35,000 and residents at last year’s town meeting were asked to approve an appropriation of $17,500 for that purpose.