Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Some additional questions/ comments about the new DPW Project

The following letter is from Moira Murphy- a long time town resident with questions and comments about the new DPW facility project.  This letter was read to Select Board members at their regular meeting on January 4, 2016

I want to thank you for the opportunity to address the Board.

I was not able to attend the November town meeting when the issue of the proposed DPW sites was discussed. But I understand only about 140 or so townspeople attended the meeting, so there are likely many residents like me who were unaware, and may still be unaware, of this issue.

A number of people have recently brought this to my attention and have expressed concerns about the Wolf Swamp Field site proposal in particular and, as importantly, about the process that is being used to develop a proposal and keep residents informed. Most residents including myself understood both votes to approve funds for the DPW project were to further analyze the 3 sites- Grande Meadows, Wolf Swamp and the current site. Is that the case? or is the DPW task force moving forward with the Wolf Swamp site only as the site? That also raises the question of the current task force town resident members? There should be representatives from members of youth lacrosse, soccer, baseball and Wolf Swamp Field abutters as they are stakeholders of these fields.

I think these process items are important since so few residents were at the town meeting, and only very high-level information was shared about the selection and scoring process.

I would like to present some questions :
  • What are the key dates in terms of when critical decisions will need to be made?
  • What town votes will be required and when?
It would be good for the public to understand how the process of site selection will work - e.g.:
  • Which committees are involved in the process, who has primary responsibility, and who are the members of the various committees?
  • How residents will be kept informed of discussions, and what opportunity will be provided for resident input?
  • Are the various committee meetings open to the public?
  • Will minutes be published?
  • How will this be shared with residents?
  • Is there opportunity for additional resident representation? What would that process be?
I know the town residents approved funds to evaluate multiple DPW sites. For the May town vote, will the committees be presenting the results for just 1 site, or will results be shown for 2 sites and the current site?

Thank you again for the opportunity to address these issues, I look forward to the answers from The Select Board as there are many questions that the public needs to know to be able to vote for the funds to builds new DPW facility.

Respectfully Submitted,
Moira Murphy
Longmeadow, MA

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