Essex Town Administrator’s Report for April 26


This report was presented by Essex Town Administrator Brendhan Zubricki at this week’s Board of Selectmen meeting on April 26, and it covers topics of interest for town business from April 10 to April 23.

Change Order: Public Safety Building Elevator Sill Angle Credit

In the elevator design documents, a steel angle bracket that would pick up the public safety building elevator sill if it cantilevered out from the slab was specified. It was included in the Miscellaneous Metals scope in case it was required based on the elevator manufacturer’s submittal. The sill angle bracket was not required to be installed in coordination with the elevator installation, resulting in a credit for the associated labor cost in the amount of $1,994.26.

Change Order: Public Safety Building Camera System Modifications

Additional security camera coverage was requested by the Essex police department, including main stairwell, physical training, patrol entrance corridor, evidence storage and processing, and booking areas, resulting in added cost for the equipment supply and installation, programming, and power ($27,490.22).

Revision of Base Plans for Old Fire Station Demolition/Site Restoration

In the past, the Board briefly reviewed a second draft of the restoration plan for the old fire station site, which included final grading.  The Board had made certain comments that were passed along to our designer but the revised plans were not ready for the two meetings. Revised plan sheets and sizing recommendations for the shed that will house the antique fire pumper are now available for further review.  In the past, the Board also asked if Community Preservation Committee Chairman Kim Drake (also Planning Board Vice-Chair) could review the plans in her capacity as a landscape architect.  She has agreed to do so, and will provide comments as soon as possible.

Folsom Pavilion Demolition & Plan to Fund Design/Construction for Replacement

At the last meeting, the Board agreed that the Folsom Pavilion needs to be demolished as it is unsafe for continued use and is too far deteriorated to repair.  As such, the TA has made arrangements with a demolition contractor to have the building demolished in the near future if the Board still wishes to proceed (see below).  In preparation for the work, Mr. ZubrickiI obtained a demolition permit from the Building Inspector and arranged for an electrical contractor to remove the power feed to the building. Subsequent to the last meeting, the Chairman of the Historical Commission questioned the demolition of the structure in advance of a full plan for replacement.  However, given that the structure is unsafe and that Summer Camp Dory will be opening as usual, in June, it makes more sense to remove the building sooner than later.  The Board may wish to begin discussing a possible plan for a new pavilion at the present meeting. Funding for design and construction will be necessary.

Draft Annual Town Meeting Motions

Mr. Zubricki has prepared draft Annual Town Meeting motions for the Board’s initial     review and discussion.

Regional IT Grant Status Update

The TA met virtually with personnel from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and personnel from various communities collaborating on a regional computing project with the Town of Danvers.  As the Board may recall, once all communities are directly connected to the Town of Danvers datacenter via municipally-owned fiber optic lines, we hope to be able to benefit further from shared services offered by Danvers.  Essex is already connected and already uses the datacenter for file backup/disaster recovery.  We would like to explore shared software and possibly VOIP phone service as well.  Soon, the Board will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the participating communities that will kick off as of July 1, 2021.  The group is also preparing a request for quotations from IT vendors on the State Contract to provide a variety of possible support services.

Regional Pilot Project Grant Program Award

Cape Ann communities have received the subject grant award in the amount of $180,000 for an economic recovery plan known as Cape Ann ComeBack.  The grant application was submitted by the four Cape Ann Communities, in partnership with the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, the Essex Merchants’ Group, and others.  Town Planner Matt Coogan, Ken Riehl from the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, and Donna Roy from the Essex Merchants’ Group were instrumental in assisting with the application.  The program will work in three main areas: direct business support, a virtual innovative marketplace program to supplement in-person sales, and a coordinated marketing campaign.  A kickoff meeting for the new program was held on April 21, 2021.

Patriots’ Day Holiday

The office was closed on April 19, 2021 in observance of the subject holiday.

Town Administrator Leave

The TA was out of the office, on leave, for a portion of April 22 and all day on April 23, 2021.