By Charles Kelleher Harris
DUDLEY-The Board of Selectmen want to make sure that the decision to issue a soil and loam removal permit is made with the community in mind.
At Monday's regularly scheduled meeting, James Pioppi, of Pioppi Construction was present for a public hearing about the permit application.
Pioppi sought a permit for removal at a gravel pit off Fish Road. However, during recent work at the site Pioppi Construction accidentally damaged a portion of the rail trail, which is property of the Commonwealth. Repairs to that area have not yet been made.
"They encroached on Commonwealth property and they need to rebuild that," said Town Administrator Peter Jankowski.
"Will you fix the area affected?" Selectmen Paul M. Joseph asked Pioppi.
"Yes. I will fix the area that has been affected," responded Pioppi.
Selectmen Peter Fox then asked if Pioppi had previously been given a timetable as to when the repair work had to be completed.
Pioppi responded that he had not been give a set time.
Jankowski then said that the board could issue the permit "with stipulations" including the satisfactory completion of repair work to the rail trail.
Selectman Vice-Chair Steven Sullivan then posed the question of who would be qualified to inspect the site and approve of the repairs.
Jankowski answered that a representative from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation would be notified upon the completion and then they would come and inspect the work.
Joseph then made a motion to grant the permit "pending acceptable and appropriate repair to the portion of the rail trail previously damaged by the permittee."
Pioppi said that the repairs would be made by early spring.
The motion was unanimously passed.
Also on Monday night's agenda were issues involving the Historical Commission.
Ed Bazinet addressed the board concerning the area known as the town common which currently belongs, not to the town, but to the Congregational Church.
Bazinet explained that the Historical Commission and Church elders had been working for quite some time on reaching an agreement in which ownership would be returned to the town.
According to Bazinet the church's governing body is prepared to fully cooperate, pending a letter from the town affirming that if any future work on the common involving electric, telephone or cable lines the church would not be responsible for any cost.
Bazinet said that the issue had been resolved between the town and Congregational Church as far back as the 1960s, but that the town had failed to ever complete the necessary paperwork.
"We as a town that goofed up in the beginning...should let them off the hook," said Bazinet.
The board then passed a unanimous motion to draft the letter which would deem the church "harmless" if issues with wires become an issue.
Bazinet also addressed the concern of the Civil War tablets on display in the town's municipal complex lobby needing to be mounted on a wall instead of leaning on the floor.
The tablets, copied from the original tablets at Nichol's College, were purchased several years ago, but have yet to find a permanent home.
Bazinet said that in the current location the tablets were in great danger of being broken or damaged.
"I would love to have those on the wall," he said. Bazinet said that an area in the lobby had already been designated for placement.
The town, however, is responsible for the cost associated with the mounting of the tablets.
"This is not going to be $200," said Jankowski, "It's going to cost a bit."
The board asked that Jankowski investigate the cost and report back at the next scheduled meeting.