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Selectmen Receive Update on Options For Replacing Two Fire Engines

The town is looking to purchase to previously leased fire engines to replace two engines that recently failed inspection.

Tewksbury Board of Selectmen met at the Pike House on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Photo Credit: Chris Gambon.
Tewksbury Board of Selectmen met at the Pike House on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Photo Credit: Chris Gambon.

At a brief meeting on Tuesday at the Pike House, Tewksbury Board of Selectmen got an update from Town Manager Richard Montuori on two fire engines that were taken off the road after failing to pass inspection. 

Montuori said the most cost effective option for replacing the two engines is the purchase of two trucks previously leased by other communities, one a 2008 model and the other a 2009 model, each costing $330,000. 

At a December meeting, Montuori informed the board of other options including the purchase two new engines or paying for repairs to the two trucks that had failed inspection.

It would cost the town $189,000 to refurbish the first engine, a 1999 model, and $240,000 to refurbish the second engine, a 2002 model - a new truck can cost more than $500,000, according to Montuori. 

"Add up all the costs on the used trucks, transportation and retrofitment for being housed in our stations, and it's still much cheaper than the alternative," Montuori said.

A $20,000 nonrefundable deposit would be required to complete the purchase, and it would cost $10,000 to transport each truck from their current location, near Houston, to Tewksbury on a flatbed truck.

Montuori said he plans to ask the Finance Committee to transfer the sum for the non-refundable deposit from the reserve fund. 

Town Meeting approval is required to appropriate the funds for the purchase of the two engines, which would be ready to be transported to Tewksbury in June. 

The money to purchase the two previously leased trucks would come from the stabilization fund, according to Montuori.  

While Tewksbury has been without two engines, Wilmington has stepped in and provided the town with a loaned engine. 

Montuori said Tewksbury is planning to purchase the loaner truck from Wilmington for $12,000.

Once the two leased trucks are delivered in June, the town will look to sell the Wilmington loaner engine as well as the two engines that failed inspection, according to Montuori. 
mike monahan January 13, 2014 at 02:40 PM
@ TONY D, we have to reach out to business and actively market the community.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 13, 2014 at 02:54 PM
First of all, I used the words legalized extortion as one wrote it sounds like my ideas are illegal. I was just answering as it is. WE need legal ways to ask for more. Also,I am being accused of an anti development campaign which is far from my intentions. My concerns and ideas do not define abusing a position on the board. I maintain my belief that its time to hold others hostage to our troubles and release the town residents from any future burdens. Hopefully, town manager will take a serious look at the possibilities. If you do not like how it sounds,perhaps I can change your mind to understand that its an idea..or simply :just refuse to vote for me. Again, a position on the Planning Board is something I would honor and would appreciate votes from those people that know me and those willing to give me a chance to do the job. At all times I will be mindful to what our residents want..even those I disagree with. A plan will never be prejudiced by me. I will be happy to share a lengthy record of good works and fair decisions while serving as a town official on the Tewksbury Conservation Commission and Zoning Board.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 13, 2014 at 03:05 PM
Bob you For sure do not know me. I am not and never will be anti American. I am an All American girl brought up right. I have a sincere love for Community,State and Country. You do not seem to understand my concerns for Tewksbury. AND i can prove we are an A+ town. Can you tell me how Tewksbury can be described as any less to those businesses wishing to come here. I am certain East Coast Corporate teams will pin a gold star next to our town when shopping for a spot in this state.
Bob January 13, 2014 at 03:35 PM
Donna, I didn't say you were anti-American, just the idea of "legalized extortion". I understand your concern for Tewksbury, I just don't agree that you should extort, legal or otherwise, anything from any business or resident. If it is a good deal for both, it will be done. There must be a sense of partnership and there will be give and take. As for A+ I can only say that with water and sewer rates doubling+, the empty store fronts on 38, decaying elementary schools and a community with serious drug issues, we are far from an A+. Our location alone should make us a B+ but companies don't appear to care. I spoke to one entertainment company representative that just opened locations in Lynnfield and Burlington and asked "why not Tewksbury" and he said "it wasn't even in the conversation as it doesn't have what we were looking for". Also see Home Goods...
Tewksbury2001 January 13, 2014 at 07:43 PM
To think we should sit back, wait for business to come and then when they do come we make them "pay dearly with no deal and legally extort them" is just foolish. Is anyone else running for this position?
mike monahan January 13, 2014 at 08:03 PM
@Donna say a developer is going to buy the caswell or the mini golf place across from the country club. Are you saying that you would be in favor of levying some sort of tax or charge As part of their permitting process? Those two particular pieces of suburban blight are already grossly overpriced. . Both parcels are in prime retail locations so attract a developer to build a small retail center with a small afforbable residential component (thereby meeting the 40B threshold) The town could help negotiate the offer with the seller, lend marketing assistance to the developer to find suitable retail tenants and ease the permitting process, INSTEAD of giving tax incentives. You need to understand how development works
mike monahan January 13, 2014 at 08:11 PM
Tewkesbury2001, I hope not.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 14, 2014 at 07:40 AM
hi and good morning. First and above all, ThankYou Bob for stating our most serious of problems. That is exactly what I mean when saying..I love this community.I acknowledge and I am worried sick over The drug issue. But Bob, when comparing us to other local OR any other city or town across this State for marketing purposes.. It is not correct to drop our grade for being a community with a serious drug problem. We and Each And Every city or town located in the State of Massachusetts has a serious drug problem. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is clearly in a crisis. We are beyond epidemic levels of emergency response. The State of Massachusetts has the highest heroin overdose death rate in the Country.Sadly, Burlington and Lynfield have exactly the same horrific statistics as Tewksbury does. Yes,Our costly sewer and water plans Have to be paid for..however you are missing the best part of that problem. The town of Tewksbury has state of the art water meters and an operates with absolute accuracy. Not too many cities and towns can say that. Any business should be excited to learn that. AND the entire community is on sewer. Again a huge positive marketing point. Water and Sewer gets an A on the checklist. Bob , I agree we need NEW Elementry Schools. Again..my love for Tewksbury shines through! I am sure we will find a way to do so. It seems to me that you recognize the important things that weigh heavily on our shoulders. Although we disagree about whether water and sewer is a plus or minus, I do agree the bills are too much and any help residents can get from grants and future development must occur. Please try to understand I know the Town of Tewksbury NEEDS the tax base. I want to invite and exclaim our already in place well thought out friendly permit process for Planning Board applicants. Push our Quality marketing points as we bring in a business to the empty store fronts or solicit big business for Ames Pond.As a member of the Planning Board, I would most likely in all cases use my vote to the positive of development for the Gain of a much needed tax base. Until the time that new rules would allow us to make them give more ,it would be wrongdoing to deny an application because one feels 'we should get more' .Trust me, I know and understand the duties and obligations of a town official. My experience participating in town government has given me a wealth of knowledge. I have experience working with local and state officials,residents and developers. I really should not make patchers read long answers,This is a comment line. However all should know ,my statements,ideas and responses are heartfelt..and not being placed here as a campaign effort. P.S. I talk a lot..and using computer is new to me.. I will try to write less when responding.
Bob January 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM
Donna, you need to remove the rose colored glasses! Not "the entire community" is on sewer. Many cannot afford the hookup fees. The water and sewer are WAY over priced and are a 100% negative for any community trying to appeal to business or residential growth. Drug use is rampant throughout the state but we are not better. We have poor infrastructure and access with a resident base that has rejected the mall, casino and Market Basket expansion. To the business community we are anti-business and it will take a lot of work to change that opinion. We need people in town government who want to work WITH businesses and not extort them.
TONY D January 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM
mike - I realize the Town has to reach out by any means to get business' interested in locating to Tewksbury. The problem is that the person, or persons, responsible do not seem to be very successful. Whatever incentives they are offering apparently do not out-weigh the negatives.
Bob Rauseo January 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM
What mall did we reject? As I remember, the zoning variances for the proposed Mills Mall on South Street passed easily. The fact that the mall was never built was not a result of Tewksbury residents. Is there something else?
Karyn January 14, 2014 at 12:49 PM
You are correct, Bob R.....Mills imploded on itself.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 14, 2014 at 01:29 PM
Dear Bob Rauseo, you are correct. I used it as an example of what I believe the town should get from large projects. And I was trying to explain to those that do not understand my logic that perhaps in the future we can get better offers or create new rules to get more. Thankyou for keeping the record straight. I trust you know how to sort opinions from facts. I think many opposing my comments, do not know Tewksbury's past boom to grow and how much of it has backfired against us. Hopefully, our Town Manager and other leaderships can advertise us for MORE than some patchers believe we are worth.
Bob January 14, 2014 at 01:53 PM
Bob R, I remember outrage against the mall and the access road to South St area. There were issues about support etc. and the originally planned @1-2 million square foot mall was reduced to @ 750,000 square feet. It passed and if I recall correctly the BOS had a few new members after the very next election. Does STOMP ring any bells?
Bob January 14, 2014 at 02:08 PM
Donna, We got ZERO from the mall. Nothing was ever built. Anyone who thinks there was not any opposition to the mall has amnesia. It was every bit as vitriolic as the casino issue. BOS members were targeted for removal. By the time Simon came back with a plan people could sort of agree with, the recession started and it sits empty today. We all know what happened in the past. Poor town management etc. we need to move forward and we have to reach out to businesses as partners and not extort from them! We have blight up and down 38 with empty store fronts and empty lots. We need to get those filled and successful before we can even be an A community. It will take a public/private partnership to get it done.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 14, 2014 at 02:09 PM
Bob..I am not removing my rose colored glasses for you or anyone else. Tewksbury is one of the best choices any business can make. I will continue to shout out the facts of what makes this so. If a resident has a good idea or something is said to change my mind about an issue or corrects a fact stated.. then I will speak accordingly. Do not ever expect me to say Tewksbury is not a leading community in this Massachusetts for ALL the Best! That is factual not love. The love part is my past,present and future hopes for Tewksbury . No matter what.. you will not be able to take my devotion and destroy it. Also, you are wrong to state OUR Water and Sewer improvements are a negative. AND to say 100% a negative leads me to believe that you do not understand what Tewksbury has accomplished. Any commercial or residential owner will be better off in a town able to offer sewer than those many cities and towns that are twenty years behind us. Also you should STOP using the worst thing that has ever happened to families in this town (drug problem) as a negative sell point. It has no bearing on a market as it is happening throughout our great State of Massachusetts . We are burying children, AND we are not alone. Also,I maintain my position that something has to be done in order to insure the Tewksbury First Responders are never shut down again and our dangerous intersections get everyday police details.If that means going after the possibilities of getting more, so be it. Also what do you mean poor infrastructure? We have a state of the art Police Station, an awesome Library,And Three nice new Schools.Please try to see the beautiful place Tewksbury is for ALL we got to be proud of.
Who Me? January 14, 2014 at 02:13 PM
Bob, please drive down South Street and tell me how in hell that road was/is able to support Mall Traffic? Anyway it was dependent on highway access which was never going to happen. Also there was housing involved in the Mill's plan. The full extent was never understood as it would have involved Mill's to sit down and give full disclosure...they juked and jived on a regular basis. However, at the end of the day it was Mill's themselves who imploded, as predicted, and hence the pie in the sky pie spoiled....as they always do. The Mall issue did not hurt any sitting Selectmen and actually sans one classic straw candidate one pro mall Selectman would have lost.
Bob January 14, 2014 at 02:35 PM
Donna, I have found in my career that if you don't ever admit to a problem, you will never fix that problem. I am not negative on Tewksbury, I am honest about our warts. To be successful in negotiation, you must understand the position of your opponent. To say everything is unicorns and rainbows in Tewksbury is not being honest. There is a reason step one in AA's 12 step program is to admit to a problem.
Bob January 14, 2014 at 02:42 PM
Who, I never stated I thought it was a good idea (I thought it was pretty stupid). The project was impeded by residents and those delays caused a part of Mills selling to Simon. To say it was ONLY Mills imploding isn't telling the whole story. Which is all I was pointing out regarding the mall.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 14, 2014 at 03:02 PM
Oh my goodness Bob Please do not distort the point I make about using a huge present drug issue as a negative sell for any market wishing to come here. You are WRONG to attack me with an AA statement. I can tell you, first hand, I do not hide in a closet about families or community facing a devastating drug problem - having a struggle with the highly addictive opiates. Wise up or shut up about that subject in relation to development. FYI I do not need your advice about AA"s step one. Clearly ,I wrote full disclosure about what is known to me about the horrible tragedy of addiction that family,community and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts faces each day. I said STOP using it as a topic of debate regarding future businesses coming to town because it has no bearing. At no time did I or would I tell you not to talk of the drug problem. Instead, I hope you will contact your local and state officials And the federal government to express concern, as I do faithfully and often.
mike monahan January 14, 2014 at 03:03 PM
@donna I find your statement "As a member of the Planning Board, I would most likely in all cases use my vote to the positive of development for the Gain of a much needed tax base." frightening
Who Me? January 14, 2014 at 03:08 PM
Bob, I'm glad you thought it was a stupid idea...stupid ideas have a way of being impeded by residents though....
Who Me? January 14, 2014 at 03:14 PM
I believe well before the blond bimbo came here to sell her favors Mills Corp was already being investigated by the Securities & Exchange Commission for its financial dealings and securities violations.
Bob January 14, 2014 at 03:25 PM
Donna, who "attacked" you with any statement on AA? I don't know ANYTHING about you personally. I simply stated that before we can fix what is wrong with Tewksbury, we must face it and not hide from it. I am sorry if you thought I was "attacking" you with that statement but I assure you it was not intentional. This is not a personal discussion but a discussion about Tewksbury. I am sorry if you can't see that. I will respectfully decline to enter any further discussion you are involved in.
Bob January 14, 2014 at 03:31 PM
Who, I agree the residents have that right. But don't be surprised when the next business coming down the pike decides Tewksbury isn't worth the time, effort and expense to establish themselves in town. That was my only point and when elected officials wish to "legally extort" more out of them, it will get that much harder. I seem to have hit a nerve with Donna and unintentional as it was, I don't wish to continue this discussion thread. Have a great day!
Who Me? January 14, 2014 at 03:39 PM
You as well Bob.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 14, 2014 at 04:19 PM
Bob I accept you did not mean to make a personal attack. I took it as one because I openly expressed and agreed with you about the present drug issue .And then I was hurt to hear you say the first step in AA is to admit problems or they will not be fixed. I am sorry for saying wise up or shut up but it seemed fitting for an answer in order to express my anger about what I thought was wrong of you to say. I did not mean to be rude. I was wrong.That is not me. I look forward to a campaign of positive participation and clean debates between candidates and residents. Whether we communicate or not, I hope you will give me a chance for your vote because I deserve it.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 14, 2014 at 04:28 PM
Dear Patchers I fully understand the debates here have been about Tewksbury. I complain and rejoice for the good and after all , I repeat.. the Town of Tewksbury is one of the best communities in Massachusetts in a position to attract business because of ALL we have to offer. I LOVE THIS TOWN!
TONY D January 14, 2014 at 05:32 PM
Bob, I agree. Donna's choice of words and their presentation would not be conducive to prospective commercial/industrial tenants. With her rhetoric, she is using this thread as a "soap box" for "her" ideas to run for Planning Board member. With this in mind, she certainly has not gained my vote. End of my discussion on this thread as well.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 15, 2014 at 07:43 AM
To Tony D. I think you misunderstood why Bob put a stop to the conversation. I believe Bob did so for all the right reasons. He knew.. the topic hits home and it was hard for me to talk about. It is not that you were not so kind which bothers me, it is your distorted version. To call it a Soapbox as if I would use that issue as such is bull. What happened is you witnessed two patchers talking about something difficult to discuss. As for your claim that I am here with my rhetoric, I thought during campaign time and other times when people want to express ideas and causes that Patch Comments is a place to be. Stand your ground and do not vote for me. I do not want your vote. I am asking those who know of my loyalty and love for Tewksbury to vote for me. I am asking those that do not know me to give this hometown girl the job and trust I will act in the best interests of the Town of Tewksbury.

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