By Max Bowen
At its meeting on Monday, Oct. 28, the Town Council reviewed plans for an Economic Development Subcommittee and potential tax abatements.
Economic Development Subcommittee
At its meeting in August, the council briefly discussed the potential of creating a subcommittee focused on new economic development opportunities. On Monday, Councilor Adam Scanlon presented a draft writing on the subcommittee and its purpose. The council was supportive, though Councilor Justin Pare pointed out that this is also the purview of the Town Manager.
“I would see this subcommittee as a way to process this,” said Pare. “There’s no formal venue through which to do this.”
The council agreed to review the draft and continue discussion at the Nov. 13 meeting.
Following the passage of the Proposition 2 ½ override, the issue has been raised that those on fixed incomes may have difficulty making ends meet. To help address the issue, the council looked at the abatement and exemptions available, such as the Senior Workoff Program.
“There are different financial mechanisms that can be looked at,” said Pare.
The council voted unanimously to refer the issue to the Finance Subcommittee for further review and to see what exemptions or abatements can be improved upon or added.
Police dispatcher contract approved
Earlier that evening, the Finance Subcommittee met and voted to recommend favorable action on a contract for the town’s 13 dispatchers, who take both police and fire calls. Acting Town Manager Michael Gallagher said the contract includes a 2 percent raise across the board and a 4 percent differential for those working the evening shifts.
“It takes a lot to train them,” said Gallagher.
The council voted unanimously to approve a transfer of $18,029 from the Salary Reserve Fund to cover the increased costs in the new contract.