FROM THE DUNSTABLE BOARD OF SELECTMEN

What’s Going On?   Winter 2022

The goal of this newsletter is to share information from the town’s municipal departments as well as volunteer boards & committees. Please note, that some information could be subject to changes.

Town Hall Employment

– The Town of Dunstable had several open positions this year. After many hours of interviews over the past 9 months, we have hired a new Town Clerk- Ellen Faiella; Treasurer/Collector -Erin Caton; Administrative Assistant for the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission – Carol Rock; as well as Acting Police Chief Hoar and Fire Chief Farrell. 

– The Board has hired Mr. Jason Silva as our permanent, full-time Town Administrator.  Jason lives in Beverly, MA with his wife and 3 sons. Jason comes to us with a background of diverse experience, notably, having served as Town Administrator in Marblehead for over 3 years, Chief of Staff in the State Senate in the office of Senator Joan Lovely, Chief of Staff and Director of Municipal Operations and Capital Improvements in Salem MA, and Executive Director of the Salem YMCA, among other things. He has a Master’s Degree from Suffolk University in Public Administration.  We are excited to have Jason join our team and looking forward to working with him!

– The Board extends a huge THANK YOU to David DeManche who served as our Interim Town Administrator since March.  His expertise and knowledge were truly needed throughout this past year. It has been a pleasure working with David, we wish him a happy retirement! 

– We are currently accepting applications for an Executive Secretary to the Town Administrator and Board of Selectmen. 

– Thank you everyone for your patience while we went thru this year of transition. We are pleased to now have a (almost) fully staffed Town Hall!

Public Safety Services

– Dunstable Fire Department has hired a new part-time Fire Chief.  After several years of interim Chiefs, we are pleased to introduce Chief William Farrell. Please stop in the department and welcome him!  The Department also has 2 fire fighters working from 8 am – 4 pm, seven (7) days a week.  We hope this will increase visibility and provide the best service we can to the residents.

– Dunstable Police Department:  The Board of Selectmen wishes to congratulate Chief James Dow on his retirement and thank him for his long, devoted service to the Town. To lead the Police Department, we have appointed Eric Hoar as the Acting Chief of Police. Congratulations to Acting Chief Hoar.

Route 113 Highway Project

– Route 113 project is continuing on with the installation of the utilities and roadway construction, and will continue as long as weather conditions allow.  The water line replacement has been completed from Hillcrest Street to McGovern’s wall. Currently the overall project is going according to schedule but please continue to be patient with traffic delays, road detours, and reduced access to the town. Construction workers and police officers are working to guide traffic.

Affordable Housing Committee Update

– The RFP (Request for Proposal) received 3 responses for the MUD/Affordable Housing project at 164 Pleasant St (behind the Post Office). The Affordable Housing Committee is working through its project criteria to determine next steps. Criteria aspects were defined by the group to find a developer that can accommodate size, scope, character of Dunstable to help us achieve the most impactful benefits to Dunstable.

– The Town of Dunstable is updating our 2016-2020 Housing Production Plan to guide decisions on how to create affordable housing and how we can work toward making sure all people can afford a home that meets their needs. As part of this effort, the Dunstable Affordable Housing Committee in conjunction with the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG) developed a short survey on the needs, goals and future for housing in Dunstable. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete. Surveys will be accepted through December 23rd.

The survey site is here: www.nmcog.org/dunsurvey 

Gas Line Utility Work

– Work is happening on Hall Street with the construction of a natural gas line. Boston Gas is overseeing the work. Please be on the lookout for various detours (as needed) and utility workers just past the Hall / School / Lake Street connection.

Special Act for Town Administrator

– We held a Special Fall Town in November. One of the warrant articles was the Special Act for Town Administrator. This was a document to create and solidify the authority and responsibilities of a Town administrator for the Town by a Special Act Legislature. After a lot of lively debate, the article was defeated, 53 yes to 57 no.  The Board has noted the concerns and criticisms, and will be reconvening with the Governance Committee to further discuss this Special Act. The warrant contains the Special Act language and is posted on the town website:  https://www.dunstable-ma.gov/home/news/special-town-meeting-called-november-14-2022-swallow-union-elementary-7-pm

Union Building

– The Groton Dunstable Regional School Committee has determined that they no longer have use for the Union Building as of the Spring 2024.  They are looking to exit the lease agreement and return the responsibility of this building back to the Town. A committee is being appointed to consider the future use of this historic town building.

350th Anniversary Committee Update

– 350th Anniversary Committee has organized many events over this year, i.e. Trivia Night, Ice Cream Social, Corn Hole Tournament, Grand Gala event, Holiday Light Tour and Jingle Fest among others.  The Gala was very well attended and was the kick-off for the official anniversary year of the town. All had a wonderful time! Upcoming events include Family Game Night with the Swallow Union PTO, Craft Show, Concert by the Nissitissit String Quartet concert, parade, scavenger hunt and more. Please check out the Dunstable 350th Facebook site, Neighbor to Neighbor, and Nextdoor for the upcoming events in 2023!

Questions? Email bos@dunstable-ma.gov