Essex Town Administrator’s Report | April 21



Board of Selectmen’s Meeting of April 10, 2023

Report covers from March 25, 2023, to April 7, 2023

Massachusetts House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee

Meeting Our State Representative, Ann-Margaret Ferrante, who is the vice-chair for the subject Committee, coordinated a meeting of the Committee on March 31, 2023, in Gloucester. Selectman Phippen and the TA were in attendance.  The Committee took testimony from various, high-level, and cabinet-level officials of the executive branch with respect to the State’s fiscal year 2024 budget that the Legislature is presently working to formulate.  Senator Tarr was also present and sat with the Committee.  The meeting touched upon a variety of important issues facing the State.

Preliminary Annual Town Meeting Motions

Mr. Zubricki has developed preliminary Annual Town Meeting motions for the Board’s review.

Town Meeting Booklet and Handouts

The Town Accountant and the TA finished compiling the Town Meeting booklet that contains the warrant and the Finance Committee Report (among other items) and I brought the booklet to our printing contractor on April 7, 2023.  Printed copies of the booklet will be available in the next couple of weeks and an electronic version of the booklet is already available at the Town website.  Major handouts (which are also already at the Town website) will include a summary and the full text of the proposed zoning bylaw reorganization and the full text of the proposed conservation bylaw.

Apple Street Project Monthly Report

Mr. Zubricki assisted our engineering consultant with the completion of the subject report for the month of March 2023 for the Apple Street Roadbed Elevation & Culvert Replacement Project during the week of March 27, 2023.  Our consultant then submitted the report to the MVP grant program.  The report featured a discussion of the recent Order of Conditions that has been issued by the Conservation Commission for the project.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Assistance

As the Board may recall, the Town was awarded around $20,000 through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to hire a consultant to assist with the updating of the Town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan.  MEMA held an informational webinar on March 28, 2023, for all participating communities to learn more about grant commencement and management.  The Town will be issued a Notice to Proceed by MEMA very soon and I have followed the necessary Federal guidelines to procure a consultant, in the meantime.  Proposals are due on April 20, 2023, and the Board will select the best proposal at its next meeting, on April 24, 2023.

Off-Season Event Grant, Final Budget Establishment Meeting

The TA met with personnel from Community Space Collaborative (CSC), the Town Planner, and the Chairman of the Economic Development Committee on March 30, 2023, to establish the final budget for the Town’s off-season even known as “Spring into Essex: Essex in Bloom”.  CSC has met several times with the Event Working Group to understand what types of activities will occur and, by extension, what types of supplies, vendors, and equipment will be necessary.  Of the $51,000 provided by the grant, $31,500 is available beyond what will be paid to CSC, and we have now determined how all of that money will be allocated.  The TA has already purchased outdoor portable tables and chairs via the grant and other purchases are in process.  The event will occur during the weekend of May 19-21, 2023.

Massachusetts Hazard Mitigation & Climate Adaptation Plan Workshop

The TA attended the subject workshop on April 4, 2023. Personnel from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s (MEMA) Emergency Management Group (ERG) presented an overview of the State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan (SHMCAP) and collected feedback from the attendees (most were municipal government personnel and officials). Generally, the SHMCAP takes a very broad look at various climate change-related risk factors and attempts to make recommendations for actions necessary to deal with predicted hazards. Participants ranked both coastal and inland flooding as the highest risks associated with climate change.

selectmen’s meeting, town meeting, emergency management, government, massachusetts emergency management agency, emergency management group, essex town administrator, ann-margaret ferrante, representative, zubricki, phippen