While no specific proposal for a cell tower in Whitingham is currently on the table, the concept of placing a tower in the town was discussed by the board. The land behind the transfer station has been deemed suitable for a tower and, if a provider agrees, the town would be paid for the use of the land. The board was in favor of the idea and instructed town administrator Bonnie Jo Radasch to add a discussion of the concept to a future board meeting agenda.
In other business, town treasurer Almira Aekus reported on the municipal fund balance. Aekus reported $77, 096 as a fund balance, with a $60,000 reserve fund balance. Aekus recommended adding $40,000 to the reserve fund voted last year to maintain a reserve fund of $100,000. The highway department has a fund balance of $7,000. Aekus informed the board that Stanley Janovsky, road commissioner, would like to hold the money in a reserve fund.
Aekus pointed out to the board that the reserve fund had allowed the town to cope with the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene without taking out a loan. Board member Greg Brown said that the town should try to augment the reserve fund by a percentage every year. Aekus said that the town had a reserve fund of $160,000 at one point.
Board member Karl Twitchell advocated adding an article to the Town Meeting warning to allow the town to withdraw from the Windham Solid Waste District without requiring another town meeting, if the board members feel it is to the town’s advantage. The consensus of the board was that the matter could be brought up under other business at the end of Town Meeting. The board then approved the warning for Town Meeting without any changes.
The board discussed contracting the removal of recyclables from the transfer station to another vendor. Twitchell said that one supplier would be interested in a multiyear contract. Twitchell informed the board that the town could possibly save money by switching suppliers.
The selectboard report for the town report was reviewed and approved by the board.
Radasch reported to the board that she had discussed discounts with the town’s insurer. Radasch said there were some easy procedures that could be implemented, such as a safety committee, which could generate discounts for the town. The insurer said that he would send some suggestions to the board.
The board went into a work session at 8:30 to prepare for Town Meeting.