Board of Selectmen’s Meeting of November 29, 2021

Report covers from November 13, 2021 to November 26, 2021

Route 133 Essex River Bridge Project Update

The contractor for the subject project has announced that the project will commence during the third week of December, 2021 (as original proposal–which was the first week of December).                                               

Safety Committee Meeting

The next Safety Committee meeting will take place on December 23, 2021.

Field of Dreams Irrigation System Winterization

Our sprinkler system contractor winterized the irrigation system at the Field of Dreams on November 15, 2021.

Cape Ann Caucus

Selectman Phippen attended the subject meeting on November 19, 2021.  The Caucus brings local and State government personnel and officials together with members of the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce twice a year to discuss topics of interest.

Promulgation of Regulations for the Issuance of Resident Parking Stickers

The recent Fall Town Meeting authorized the Selectmen to promulgate regulations for the issuance of resident parking stickers.  The Town Clerk has developed a memo to the Board that lays out some concepts that she feels would be valuable to consider when finalizing regulations.  The regulations cannot take effect until the Office of the Attorney General approves the recent change to the Essex parking bylaw that authorizes this action.

Grant Agreement with Essex Housing Authority for use of CPA Funding

Now that Town Meeting has approved funding for roof replacement work by the Essex Housing Authority (EHA) at the Chebacco Terrace property, Town Counsel recommends the development of a Grant Agreement that will stipulate what needs to get accomplished and by when.  As such, a draft Agreement was developed and circulated to the Executive Director of the EHA for review.  The document will be finalized by filling in some necessary information and is available for the Board’s review and approval at the present meeting.

Preliminary List of Potential Article Topics for Annual Town Meeting

The TA has developed a preliminary list of potential article topics for the Annual Town Meeting that will be held on May 2, 2022.

Proposal from Conomo Point Association to Modify Pier/Float License

The Conomo Point Association has annually received a license from the Board to deploy its ramps and floats from the two stone piers owned by the Town at Conomo Point.  The Association has completed a review of the usual license language and wished to discuss that language for the upcoming license period (spring of 2022). Chairman Pereen, Town Counsel, and the TA discussed the Association’s ideas for changes with two representatives of the Association on November 24, 2021 and we will have an additional conversation before bringing the matter before the full Board.

Apple Street Culvert/Roadbed Elevation Grant Update/Scope Revision

Our engineering consultant (TEC) has completed much of the field and preliminary engineering work necessary to advance the subject project toward final design.  A grant from the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) was originally intended to bring the elevation of the Apple Street roadbed in the first of two low spots through its permitting phase.  However, DER requested that our consultant revises the scope of services to include more in-depth modeling and analysis that DER feels will be key to eventual State and local permitting efforts (such as a downstream tide gauge study and more attention to sea level rise predictions).  TEC provided a revised scope of services to DER and we will be discussing the finalization of project scope changes with DER on December 3, 2021.  Ultimately, a revised scope of services will be sent to the Town by DER for approval and signature.  It is necessary for the tide gauge study and sea level rise modeling to be approved out ahead of the full revised scope, in order to allow time to get that work moving.

Expression of Interest for Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Grant

The DER roadbed elevation design project referenced above will bring the design for the first of two low spots along Apple Street to a completed state.  The second low spot along Apple Street has had the benefit of a full feasibility study but has not progressed to the final design phase.  We are looking to future Federal funding for the construction phase of this project but we need to get the final design for the second low area completed.  As such, Mr. Zubricki has submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the MVP State grant program to ascertain with program staff whether our project is a good candidate for final design funding for the second low area and permitting for the entire stretch of roadway.

Green Communities Grant Program Annual Report

The Town Planner filed the subject report with the State during the week of November 15, 2021.  Filing the report each fall is a prerequisite to applying for new Green Communities projects each spring.

Thanksgiving Holiday

The office was closed on November 25 and 26, 2021, in observance of the subject holiday.

Town Administrator Leave

The TA was out of the office, on leave, all day on November 12, 2021 and for a portion of the day on November 23, 2021.

This report is available at on the morning after any regularly scheduled Essex Board of Selectmen’s Meeting.

route 133 essex river bridge project, field of dreams irrigation system winterization, greater cape ann chamber of commerce, essex housing authority, the conomo point association