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The Board of Selectmen did not partake in a holiday break but, instead, met on Tuesday, December 28 in Town Building. Along with commending Stow Eagle Scout Dan Paladini, the Selectmen heard a report from Hudson Light & Power regarding rates, and reviewed the status of many ongoing projects as the year came to a close.
Stow’s representative to the Hudson Light& Power Board, Ed Brown, commented that the town of Stow is being well served by this local municipal power supplier. While the big name private utilities are being hard hit by the rising cost of the fossil fuels they use to produce power, HL&P is only slightly affected by these escalations. “Forty percent of our power is generated by nuclear sources,” said Brown, who added that hydro supplies another percentage while power is also bought from producers using other alternative methods.
These efficient production methods are actually allowing HL&P to offer a one-time discount to ratepayers. If users pay their current bill by January 10, 50% of the rate fee will be erased from the total. The company felt they were able to do this because of their positive financial condition. This applies to those who pay by check, credit card, direct withdrawal from a bank account, or in person at the HL&P office in Hudson.
Brown reported that the Board of HL&P is also in the process of creating their own green communities program, similar to the one developed by the state, which HL&P opted not to join. Brown explained that if HL&P had joined the state program, rates would surely have increased for users in order to supply the state with the percentage of payment required as a member of that program. It also appeared doubtful that Hudson and Stow could get a reasonable return on the investment contributed by its residents. “I like knowing the money could be reinvested in the community with probably a lot less bureaucratic mess,” said Selectman Tom Ryan, regarding HL&P’s plan for a self-managed program.
In other news, Town Administrator William Wrigley reported that every home in Harvard Acres now has a well line in the ground, with 110 of 179 homes fully connected. In a matter of weeks, every home should have a fully operational private well and be separated from the Assabet Water Company system. Wrigley said that the amount of progress made in the neighborhood toward this end is truly remarkable. “I never would have predicted back in September that we would have 110 fully connected homes by the end of the year,” he said.
Stow police Chief Mark Trefry officially retired on January 2 and senior Sergeant Bill Bosworth has taken over the helm at the police station as interim chief. The search committee for a new Chief will be accepting applications until January 7, after which will follow a thorough evaluation process of those applications, according to Wrigley.
Selectman Charlie Kern reported on the recent Pompo Reuse Committee public hearing, which was attended by only 6 residents in addition to the committee members. He said the committee has been actively trying to gather public input and comments about how the school should be used, with another public forum being scheduled in the next few weeks. “The Pompositticut School is a very valuable piece of real estate to this town,” said Kern. “I would hope the people in the town would show some interest in how it gets used.”
The next Board of Selectman meeting is January 11 at 7pm.