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Appointments bring old and new into the town’s service


PEPPERELL — Selectmen appointed Catherine Pries of 3 Blue Herons Way to the Board of Registrars this week following the resignation of Patricia Sergi. Sergi served on the board for the past six years.

“I decided that maybe it’s about time that I started to become a little bit more active in the community,” said Pries who has lived in Pepperell for 23 years.

The three-member Board of Registrars can have no more than two members from each political party. The term runs from April 1 through March 31.

Council on Aging

The board also appointed Laurie Durno to the Council on Aging. The three-year term runs through June 30, 2016. Durno’s credentials favored her over applicants Dorothy Cleary and Philip Durno, her uncle.

“No matter who you select, everybody will be happy,” said Philip Durno.

“I’ve been a resident of Pepperell my whole life. I’ve always been involved with the seniors,” said Laurie Durno. “My heart’s always been with helping seniors,” she said.

VFW manager

Mike Flaminio of VFW Post 3291 and president of the board of directors at the VFW, received approval from the board as the new manager on the facility on Leighton Street. Flaminio assumes the role from William Farnsworth who served for the past 18 years.

“What actions are you going to be taking to make sure that the establishment runs as a respected place as it should, and has,” asked Selectman Michael Green.

“The latest that we’ve done to help ourselves out and our customers out, we installed some video cameras,” said Flaminio. He said the security cameras will help to “keep the place in order.”

In other business

*Town Administrator John Moak updated the board on the new electronic payroll system. That new computerized system is expected to go live on July 1.

*The board approved a recommendation to the Finance Committee for a reserve fund transfer of $459.48 for the Planning Board to cover an overspend in advertising due to unusually high costs for proposed zoning amendments.

*The board approved a recommendation to the Finance Committee for a reserve fund transfer of $485. The transfer covers a salary increase for Town Administrator John Moak for half a year at 1 percent.

High School Feasibility Study

Chairman Stephen Themelis reminded both the public and the board that the High School Feasibility Study is underway. The committee is looking at renovation and/or new construction. Members of the School Committee, local Finance Committees and the Building Committee will be holding a joint meeting during the first week of June.

Themelis explained that the Peter Fitzpatrick site would not be adequate for either a new high school or an annex to the existing high school. He noted that the location would be difficult to commute to for parents in Townsend, and lacked the space for adequate parking and athletic fields.

A review of other existing facilities in Townsend, Ashby and Pepperell confirmed a lack of infrastructure to support the needs of a high school.

“We’re looking at all this information and trying to resolve which way to go,” said Themelis.

“One thing that seems to be clear is that the Peter Fitzpatrick is not going to be a viable location for a future high school,” he said.

The June meeting will feature a presentation by the designer who’ll provide design concepts for review by the various boards and committees.

Memorial Day

Board members reminded the public that the annual Memorial Day Parade will kick off at 9 a.m. at the VFW and make its way to Town Hall. Dedication ceremonies will take place along the way at the Veteran’s Memorial and Main Street Bridge.