February News Notes
Rehoboth Election Season Kicks Off
Nomination papers are now available for the local election on April 2. There are several open seats including two three-year seats on the Board of Selectmen, held by Gerald Schwall and Susan Pimental, and two three-year seats on the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee, held by David Katseff and Katherine Cooper. Schwall has indicated that he will run if he is nominated at the Republican Town Committee Caucus on Feb. 13. Pimental has decided not to run for another term for personal reasons. Three others have taken out papers to run for selectman. They are Craig Chapman, Antonio Oliveira and Jonathan Clark. In the school committee race, Katseff is running for another term and has already returned his nomination papers. For additional information, see Town Clerk Laura Schwall’s column in this issue. Nomination papers must be returned to the town clerk’s office, with at least 38 signatures of registered voters, by 5 p.m. on Feb. 12.
Republican Town Committee Caucus Scheduled
The Rehoboth Republican Town Committee will hold its annual caucus at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the Gladys Hurrell Senior Center/Council on Aging on Bay State Road. The rain date is Feb. 21.
Democratic Town Committee Caucus Scheduled
The Rehoboth Democratic Town Committee will hold its annual caucus at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10 at Blanding Library. The rain date is Feb. 17.
Voters at Special Town Meeting Okays Putting Debt Exclusion for DR High School Roof on April Ballot
Voters at the Special Town Meeting on Jan. 29 voted in favor of putting a question on the April ballot for a Proposition 2 ½ debt exclusion for roof replacement/repair at the DR High School building. The roof has a 15 year life expectancy and is 28 years old. The roof is leaking and the water is causing damage to the building. The insulation is also insufficient and the flashings are worn.
Voters at Special Town Meeting Approve Additional Articles
Other articles approved at the Special Town Meeting on Jan. 29 include:
- $18,571 for amendments to the Fiscal Year 2018 budget
- $2,000 for a gas powered sign post drive for the Highway Dept. for installing roadside signs
- $15,100 for repairs to the HVAC system at the Gladys Hurrell Rehoboth Senior Center
- $90 for a prior year Fire Department Vehicle Repair bill
- Authorization to enter into up to 30 year license or lease agreements to renew the town’s current cell tower agreements which end in 2018, and negotiate new agreements if needed.
An article on the purchase of 15 acres of land adjacent to the current Public Safety Building on Anawan Street was amended to an “Option to Purchase” agreement for the land, with a non-refundable deposit of $20,000, with said option to be exercised by August 31, 2018,
For more details on the articles, see Town Clerk Laura Schwall’s column in this issue.
Town Building Report Delayed
The report being conducted on the condition of the town hall and the public safety building has been delayed, according to a Sun Chronicle article. Selectmen hired Russo Barr Associates in August to evaluate the roofs, walls and windows, check for hazardous materials, and make sure the buildings meet code regulations. The assessment is expected to cost $40,000.
E. Otis Dyer Donates 400+ Acres to Rehoboth Land Trust
E. Otis Dyer donated 431 acres of land to the Land Trust in December according to an article in the Sun Chronicle. A large portion of the land is the Squannakonk Swamp. Dyer spent forty years curating the land and buying pieces of swamp to add to it. He reportedly wanted to preserve the land in its natural state for the benefit of the wildlife and the community. The land is reportedly worth more than $250,000.