PEPPERELL — Selectmen did not let the lack of a permanent town administrator slow them down.
The new administrator, Mark Andrews, comes on board Dec. 1, but with the help of Peggy Mazzola, interim town administrator, the board did business as usual Nov. 17.
At the recommendation of Town Clerk Lisa Ferolito, selectmen appointed Chris Rose as her temporary assistant. Ferolito received 25 applications and interviewed seven applicants.
“Out of all the seven candidates, Chris Rose had the most qualifications,” the town clerk said.
“I have years of customer service and office experience in high tech and health care,” Rose said. “I think those skills will serve me well here.”
Rose’s appointment is valid through Dec. 16, at which time she will be re-appointed by the new town administrator, said Chairman Michael Green.
Selectmen and the Pepperell Housing Authority named a new commissioner to the housing authority.
The commissioners are not involved with the day-to-day operations of the town housing complex, said Executive Director Marilyn Tremblay. They work on projects, the budget and contracts. The only time they are involved with a tenant is if someone has a complaint about the executive director, she said.
Tremblay recommended Bruce Haskins, who has a background in business management, for the seat. The Pepperell police officer volunteered for the position.
Phil Durno, who attended the meeting, also volunteered for the position.
“I’m happy we had more than one person apply,” she said. “I want to thank both of these gentlemen for applying.”
A fifth seat on the board, a state seat, is still vacant, Tremblay said. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development wants a tenant on the board. She has asked a tenant who voiced interest in a seat on the Housing Authority to apply for it.
Building inspector Harry Cullinan spoke with selectmen about the fee schedule to inspect a solar farm slated to be installed on Nashua Road, on top of the old landfill.
The town did not have a fee schedule for inspecting solar farms. The existing inspection fee for solar panels installed on a home was $80 and for solar panels installed at a commercial building was $150 per 100 panels.
At the building inspector’s recommendation, the selectmen set the fee for solar-farm inspections at $10 per $1,000 of construction costs.
Green asked if the fee was appropriate.
“We want to be commercial-friendly,” he said.
“We’re low,” Cullinan said.
The Planning Board applied for five District Local Technical Assistance grants through Northern Middlesex Council of Governments for a total of $18,950 worth of staff time.
If all funding is approved, NMCOG will help with adopting the stretch code required to qualify for the green community initiative, studying commercial and industrial rezoning, completing a self-assessment tool, developing an economic development strategy and creating a solar farm bylaw.
The incoming town administrator and the retired town administrator plan to meet later in the week to work on Andrews’ transition, Mazzola said.
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