Topics: Municipal Finance

Selectmen Approve Treasurer/Tax Collector's Salary Upgrade

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Treasurer/Tax Collector Amy Bullock will be getting a raise in January and selectmen are hoping that will address what they termed as a “poaching” effort by the town of Dennis to lure her away. After lengthy discussion among selectmen and Town Administrator Christopher Clark last week over a proposal Clark put forward to move Bullock from a M-4, step 9 to a M-5, step 7 pay grade as an “anti-poaching ...

Harwich Tries To Halt Employee Poaching

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The town has lost two department heads this past year and a third department head, Treasurer/Tax Collector Amy Bullock, has been offered a position in the town of Dennis. To retain employees, Town Administrator Christopher Clark sees the need to implement some “anti-poaching initiatives.” What often drives the decision to leave a position in one town to take a similar position in another town is comp...

CHATHAM — For many seasonal residents, this is the weekend for cleaning up, packing up and heading south for the winter. But before they go, members of the town’s summer residents’ advisory committee gave their annual report to selectmen Monday, staking out positions on a number of key issues facing the town. Committee Chairman Colette Trailor said her group and its subcommittees received detailed informatio...

Selectmen Hold Off On Building Department Fee Increases

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — A presentation made by Building Commissioner Raymond Chesley to selectmen shows building permit fees in the town are 57.2 percent less than the average of the surrounding communities on Cape Cod. The town has been looking at its fee structures in various departments and Chesley, in a public hearing last week on proposed fee increases, pointed out the fees in his department have not been raised since ...

Harwich Community Center To Open On Sundays

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — With a $65 million annual budget, the town has a lot of moving pieces and once in a while a program can get lost in the numbers. That was the case with funding for Sunday openings of the community center. The Sunday opening issue was raised by former selectman Jannell Brown, who in late June emailed Town Administrator Christopher Clark inquiring about the status of Sunday openings. She said she thoug...

Culminating years of work, lawmakers last week passed legislation that would extend the hotel-motel tax to short-term rental properties, boosting town coffers and raising funds for expensive wastewater treatment projects. But one day after the legislative session ended, Gov. Charlie Baker sent the bill back to committee for more work. Despite the current uncertainty about the bill’s future, most agree that the...

Selectmen Considering A Fraud Risk Assessment Policy

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The town is putting in place a fraud risk assessment policy that is committed to deterrence, detection and correction of misconduct and dishonesty. The town has been without such a policy and putting one in place has long been a recommendation of the town's auditors. “There haven't been any problems that are generating the policy. It's a protective measure,” said Finance Director Carol Coppola. She s...

Town Will Move Ahead With Green Vehicle Purchase

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The second reading of the town fuel efficient vehicle policy was approved Monday night without a hitch, but efforts by the administration to put the policy in motion required exhaustive debate. The policy is part of the town's effort to implement the Green Communities program approved by town meeting in May. Two of the five criteria for the program were approved in town meeting and the town fuel effi...

CHATHAM – One of the longest-serving members of the finance committee in recent memory is stepping down. Roslyn Coleman opted not to be reappointed after 18 years on the finance panel, said Moderator William Litchfield, whose is charged with appointing finance committee members. “Roz served with great dedication and devotion over the course of six terms on the finance committee, which is at least a modern d...

Selectmen Support Green Vehicle Policy But Stall Purchase

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — In an effort to implement the Green Communities program approved by town meeting in May, selectmen approved the initial reading of a fuel efficiency vehicle replacement policy Monday, but stalled when the administration sought to put the first vehicle on the road. Town meeting adopted the Stretch Energy Code and put in place a bylaw for large scale ground mounted photovoltaic arrays in May, said Town...

CHATHAM — The obvious take-away from a consultant’s report last week is that Chatham could face more than $37 million in capital projects in the next five years. But the more subtle message is that the town should think about big-ticket purchases as a yearly expense, rather than items on a finite to-do list. Selectmen last Monday received an interim report from Monica Lamboy of the Edward J. Collins Center f...

Pet Cemetery Project On Hold After Financial Review

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — “Errors were made, but nothing that rises to a major level,” Interim Assistant Town Administrator Robert Lawton told selectmen Monday night regarding the use of funds and the decision-making process for the pet burial ground project on Queen Anne Road. “There was no intent to hide anything,” Lawton said. After speaking with Cemetery Administrator Robbin Kelley, Lawton said he found she understood ...

HARWICH —Bond rating agency Standard and Poor's has issued a stable outlook in the town's annual credit rating, retaining Harwich's AA-plus long-term rating. The rating is an important factor in the interest rate the town gets when borrowing money. “The stable outlook on the long-term rating reflects our opinion of Harwich's very strong economy, supported by strong management with good financial policies and p...

Town Meeting Approves Sewer, Saquatucket Grant

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — An overflow of voters filled the community center gymnasium and a satellite room on the opening night of town meeting Monday, voicing support for phase two of the comprehensive wastewater management plan, a new fire station in East Harwich and additional funding for the Saquatucket Harbor landside construction project. The first night of the annual legislative session began as a slow roller with the ...

East Harwich Fire Station Cost Jumps $700K

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The low bid for the reconstruction of the East Harwich fire station came in $700,000 more than the estimate projected by the project architects Kaestle Boos Associates, Inc. Selectmen on Monday night voted to support the $6,750,000 project to be placed before voters in the annual town meeting. Fire Chief Norman Clarke apologized for the early estimate provided the East Harwich station #2 rehabilitati...

Articles Seek Funding For Airport, Library, COA, Dredging This is the first of a three-part series looking at warrant articles for Chatham's May 14 annual town meeting. CHATHAM – It's a big year for capital expenditures. When all capital spending proposals are combined – the annual five-year capital improvement plan, water department capital projects and a half dozen special capital funding requests – ...