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Ashland selectmen approve cleaning contract for town buildings

August 04, 2021
ASHLAND — The Ashland selectmen approved a contract for cleaning six town buildings and the dog warrant and dealt with a number of other issues at their Aug. 2 meeting.

Town Manager Fred Welch presented a new one year contract with Life Maid Easier Cleaning Service which increased the number of Town buildings the Ashland company cleaned from four to six, citing the better and more consistent service the company provided for the change The selectmen voted to approve the $1,620 per month contract.

The selectmen signed the annual dog warrant that authorizes the police department to pursue unlicensed dogs. Welch explained that the warrant had been delayed because of the accident suffered by the Town Clerk/Tax Collector, but added that she has been working with some success to get dog owners to pay their annual fees, so the number of dogs on the list has been reduced.

The Town Manager noted that, as previously approved by the selectmen, the town has switched to a new provider of computer services, Lakes Region Computer, under a three year contract. He had already seen an improvement in services, and a faster response time. Under the old contract, the Town was required to get its equipment through its former provider. Under the new agreement, the Town will own its own cloud. Welch also reported that First Light was upgrading the town telephone system, so that there will be one telephone number for the town departments, with callers able to choose the department they wish to reach by pressing one number.

Welch will be meeting with Eaton the next week to work on their proposal for new electric meters, which will be "100 percent accurate" and will enable the electric billing to be done on time. This led to a discussion of billing problems, particularly with online billing, which Welch suggested could be due to computer program errors.

Welch also reported that the Town has filed with the state for $215,137 in federal funds, and may be eligible for more federal funds. The next highway block grant will be $54,421.

Trustee of Trust Funds Amanda Loud presented the Trustees' quarterly report to the Selectmen. Some trust funds are being switched to Vanguard, which charges lower administrative fees. She explained that five trust funds have been sent to the attorneys for legal advice. Some town trust funds are for cemetery plots in the privately owned Green Grove Cemetery and should in her opinion be turned over to the Green Grove Cemetery trustees. For two trust funds, the present Trustees of Trust Funds do not have the identification numbers that would allow them to access the funds. it may require a court order to obtain access to those accounts.

Parks & Recreation Director and Selectman Ann Barney explained that the new Booster Clubhouse roof is supposed to be installed in September or October.

The selectmen approved two intents to cut wood. New estimates have been obtained for the door locks at the Town Hall, which the Police Chief will explain at the next meeting. After some discussion, the selectmen voted to rebate $52.34 charged in interest to a taxpayer, whose property tax bills were sent to the wrong address.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
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