Selectmen give TA authorization to sign police station project docs
By Robert Fucci
To keep the project the fluid, the Board of Selectmen during its Jan. 3 meeting gave Town Administrator Jim Smith authorization to sign various documents pertinent to the police station project.
Such powers are not uncommon, as Smith had the same authorization for the middle school/high school project a few years ago.
“The middle school/high school was a long project,” Smith said. “Construction was part of five years, give or take. That was very unusual. In the interest of expediency, I would like the authorization to sign these contracts with reviewing these contracts or change orders with the Police Station Building Committee. It worked well with the middle school/high school (project), and hopefully we can consider the same arrangement with the police station.”
Smith said every document that needs a signature will be brought before the Police Station Building Committee before authorization.
“Generally I think this makes a lot of sense,” Selectman David Hall said. “The way that it worked with the School Building Committee, it would have been impossible to have everything needed to be signed through this Board. I think this is the right thing to do.”
The Police Station Building Committee was established on Jan. 4. Wendy Mead was selected as the chair, Steve LeClaire as the vice chair, and Gerry Creiger as the clerk.
“The leadership of that committee might assist me if there’s an emergency that comes up regarding the police station,” Smith said. “Then, they might be authorized by the full Police Station Building Committee to sign that contract, or give me authorization to sign that contract or change order. That has to go through some approval. I won’t sign anything just because … unless there’s some formal vote or authorization by the Police Station Building Committee to sign it or authorize it.”
Members of the Committee include Smith, Police Chief Dennis Towle, resident David Lavallee, Selectman Jesse Limanek, Mead, accountant Tim Harrison, Creiger, Leclaire, and resident Wayne Junnila.
Limanek said because the Board is part-time, giving Smith the necessary power to keep the project moving along was proper.
“It would be one thing if we were a full-time governing body,” Limanek said. “But ultimately Jim’s job is to represent us. He is the day-to-day face of Town Hall. I think it’s just a matter of common sense to authorize him to make these signatures for us.”
During the Oct. 17 Fall Town Meeting, voters passed Article 5 regarding the designer, project manager and construction services for the new police station at the former Blue Jays site on Central Turnpike.
A motion to give Smith authorization powers passed by a 4-0 vote. Selectman Paul Maynard was absent.
“This is the second bite of the apple,” Chair John Hebert said. “Just to keep everything fluid, Jim, I think this is a good recommendation.”