Selectmen's Notebook: New Sewer Rates and a New Deputy Chief

Sheehan discuses increased crime rate.

Capt. Al Vasas has been selected by to serve as the town's new deputy fire chief.

Vasas will succeed Deputy Chief Mike Hazel, who was selected to assume command of the upon the

Hazel and Vasas will assume their new roles on an acting basis as of 5 p.m. Friday, May 27, when Mackey concludes his last day of work. Mackey will officially retire in July, after his leftover vacation time is used up.

"I believe he'll make an outstanding deputy chief and that he'll be a great asset to the new chief," said Montouri, when announcing the appointment at Tuesday's Selectmen's meeting.

The two finalists for the deputy chief position were Vasas and Capt. Mike Sicard. Montouri called them both outstanding candidates and said it was a difficult decision. He took time to thank Sicard for going through the interview process twice, as he had also been a finalist for the position of chief.

In other business:

  • P According to Sheehan, police have logged approximately 18,000 "calls" since the start of the year. That's a significant increase over the same time period last year. Sheehan blamed the increase in crime, largely found in the areas of B&Es, vehicle break-ins, and petty theft, on increases in drug use/addiction and the continued poor economy.
  • Selectmen approved the renewal of three pool table licenses for Maverick's. Board member Ann-Marie Stronach noted that these licenses have nothing to do with Maverick's request for a Karaoke license.
  • Montuori announced the new sewer rates, Rates for residential and commercial sewer users will be slashed anywhere from 15-30 percent, depending on the volume of usage. However, the board also approved sewer rate increases of 55-60 percent for non-property tax paying entities such as churches and out-of-town businesses that are tied into the Tewksbury sewer line. According to Montouri, these increases were proposes in the interest of fairness because these type of property owners should not benefit from the rate reduction if they will not be impacted by the property tax increasae associated with the debt shift.
  • Action on a request from a resident, Montouri presented information on the town's funded and unfunded pension liabilities, acknowledged as a large piece of the town's annual budget. Montouri said the total unfunded actuarial accrued liability was $65,676,429. (A complete breakdown and explanation of the unfunded liability and its impact on the finances of the town will be featured in an upcoming Tewksbury Patch article.)
  • The board approved a common victualer license for Top Garden restaurant.


Rob Dugan May 28, 2011 at 04:44 PM
That's why we all payed a betterment fee Bill, because it is a betterment for the town. Now we're just paying the bill for our neighbors that tied in. No one pays to pump out my tank.
K Reynolds May 28, 2011 at 09:35 PM
time to get out of tewksbury. the service was not available for use when my parents' septic tank had to be replaced to the tune of $13k. since they had a new system, they declined to tie in when sewer finally came down their street. had to pay the fee anyway, and now will continue to pay for something they do not use. seems the project has been administered poorly. my aunt across town paid $800 to tie in at the initial phase; my parents pay thousands for the same "fee" later on even though they declined the service. how is that fair? shouldn't the folks who paid the initial $800 fee have to make up part of that difference since the town far underestimated what the cost would be? tewksbury officials bit off more than they could chew, totally botched the whole thing, and now the costs are spiralling out of control thanks to their ineptitude.
Jade May 28, 2011 at 11:29 PM
Eventually everyone will have to be hooked up to the sewerage. If you have working septic system, why should you have pay for those who already hooked up. We are having our taxes raised to make up for the difference. Don't complain, your sewerage fees are being reduced.
malcolm nichols May 31, 2011 at 11:04 AM
Stop worrying about the sewer, take a look at that unfunded liability. It's a liability because we have to pay it and it's unfunded (meaning we have not saved a dime to pay it). We MUST STOP all unfunded liability. If we want it fund it, if we don't want it cancel it.
Bill Gilman May 31, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Malcolm ... I'm not sure that what you are suggesting is legal. These employees who are collecting a pension from the town are collecting a benefit that was agreed to in collective bargaining. The unions and the town agreed to contracts and the town committed to paying these pensions. Now, if you want to negotiate different contracts with existing employees so that the cycle does not continue ... thats another story. But the town is no different than a private employer, once a promise is made it must be fulfilled. Now, if I'm wrong on the legality of this, I'm open to correction.


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