EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

June 25, 2014

Plaistow selectmen set goals

PLAISTOW — Change is moving fast through town, and officials are gearing up to set their priorities and guide that change in the coming year.

The Board of Selectmen is putting together its annual goals, which typically include 10 to 20 short- and long-term priorities for the town to tackle, Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said.

“Water resources, a new police station. ... We have 20-plus goals we’re ever-pressing,” Fitzgerald said. “We have to keep those right in front of us so we can evaluate our progress.”

The board was scheduled to go over the goals on Monday, but they tabled the discussion until their next meeting after one member couldn’t attend. That meeting is scheduled for July 14, Fitzgerald said.

Possible goals could include exploring water resources. The board last year charged itself with holding a water resource symposium, Fitzgerald said.

“That led to the town receiving funding under two grant and water resource programs,” Fitzgerald said. “These goals direct some of the outcomes the town is looking to implement.”

The public safety complex may play prominently in the goals as well, Fitzgerald said.

Town Meeting voters agreed in March to spend $25,000 from public safety impact fee funds to design the town’s next police complex.

The work has been contracted out to Dore & Whittier Architects of Newburyport, Fitzgerald said.

The company will now design the best home for the department, which could come as an expansion of the existing complex or a brand-new building entirely.

Officials are also about to start negotiating a new contract with Comcast to provide service to the area. The contract typically runs for five to 10 years, Fitzgerald said.

The opportunity to renew the contract comes after selectmen voiced concern over the lack of competition against Comcast earlier this year. Selectmen at the time asked Fitzgerald to reach out to other companies that might be interested in serving the area.

The goal-setting process provides little opportunity for public input, as the selectmen each discuss individual priorities and put the list together from there, Fitzgerald said.

“Historically, these have been the selectmen’s goals,” Fitzgerald said, “so they’ve focused the discussion among themselves.”

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