Athol Selectmen declare March 5 “First Responder Appreciation Day”

  • Athol Selectman William Caldwell, right, seen with Town Counsel John Barrett at a recent board meeting, will not seek re-election to the board in the upcoming Annual Town Election. File photo

For the Athol Daily News
Published: 1/16/2019 9:00:27 PM

ATHOL – The Select Board Tuesday proclaimed March 5, 2019 as “First Responder Appreciation Day.”

The board recognizes individuals, both career and volunteer from 911 dispatchers, law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical services, search and rescue, and other organizations in the public safety sector who come together as first responders to protect and aid Athol in the event of an emergency.

They do not hesitate to risk their own safety in the performance of their duties to protect citizens 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The community can never repay the sacrifices that the first responders make. Acts of kindness and appreciation from citizens provide encouragement and support as the first responders confront dangerous and uncertain situations every day.

Licenses and permits

Common Victualler Licenses were ratified for Wendy’s and McDonald’s. Owners of the two franchises have been cautioned about the importance of filing paperwork on time.

The 2019 Common Victualler license was renewed for the Athol Pizza House. Concern for timely filing in regard to their liquor license was expressed that if not filed and approved on time, it would not be legal to serve alcohol.

Connie Bruseghini was issued a Vendor/Peddler Permit to sell produce at 15 Main Street (where “Joe Potato” was located,) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week.

A Vendor/Peddler Permit was issued to David Mason, an Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Mason was given permission to go door-to-door introducing himself and his products from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. He said he will let the Athol Police know where he is canvassing. Mason plans to open an office in town.

Changes of management on liquor licenses were approved for Ellinwood Country Club (Glenn Mallet is the new manager);  the Blind Pig (managed by Brian Martin). The Blind Pig’s application for Auto Amusement (two televisions and audio device), and Live Entertainment was approved.

All licenses for Victory Lane have now lapsed so they should no longer be conducting business.

A new All Alcohol Pouring License Permit was issued to C J Asian Inc., 130 Market Drive. The restaurant is under construction. The proprietor also owns the Tea House in Orange.

Public Works

Superintendent of Public Works Douglas Walsh has received correspondence from the Office of Dam Safety ordering the town to prepare and submit Emergency Action Plans for the Lake Ellis Dam and the Bates Power Reservoir Dam, both categorized as significant hazards. Bates Power is actually in Phillipston so officials from that town may be involved in the plan.

MASSDOT responded to a letter of concern regarding the beaver dam off Route 2 near Exit 18 and Market Basket. MASSDOT said the water is more than 50 feet beyond the state highway layout so they have no involvement. Town Counsel John Barrett said he will research what the town’s responsibility may be if the beaver dam is considered to be a nuisance or public problem.

Walsh said the L.S. Starrett Company is donating two easements that will be needed for the Crescent Street bridge project.

Annual Town Election

Nomination papers for the April 1st Annual Town Election are available now. All nomination papers must be submitted to the Registrars of Voters by Monday, Feb. 11.  Monday. Feb. 25 is the last day for the Registrars of Voters to file nomination papers with the Town Clerk and the Board of Selectmen to submit ballot questions to the Town Clerk. Wednesday, Feb. 27 is the last day to object or withdraw. The last day to register to vote is March 12 and is also the last day for polling locations to be designated by the Selectmen. The warrant must be posted or published by Monday, March 25. The Annual Town Election will be Monday, April 1 with polls open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Incumbents up for re-election are: Moderator – Lawrence P. McLaughlin (1 year term); Selectman – William J. Caldwell (3 year term), Stephen R. Raymond (3 year term); Athol-Royalston Regional School Committee from Athol (3 seats available) – Dale H. Lougee (3 year term), Kenneth A. Vaidulas (3 year term); Athol-Royalston Regional School Committee from Royalston – Charles H. Pretti (3 year term); Library Trustee – Sharon A. Brighenti (3 year term), Margaret E. Feldman (3 year term); Housing Authority – Edward F. Ledgard (5 year term); Constable – Kevin J. Materas (3 year term).

Selectman William Caldwell will not be seeking reelection as he has accepted a job in Becket as Town Administrator.


A motion was made to ban political signs from being placed on public property. The matter was tabled to the next meeting so Attorney Bartlett can check into possible first amendment issues.

Public Safety

Route 2A Safety representatives are looking at traffic issues in the area of Secret Lake, Ward Hill, and exit 18.

Areas of concern for pedestrian safety are the stretch of road between the high school and Market Basket, also from Hannaford to McDonald’s.

Solar powered blinking signs were suggested for problem areas. Constant blinking signs cost about $2,500, push button activated ones over $6,000.

Another spot causing concern is the North Quabbin shopping area with some vehicles illegally turning left onto Route 2A when the sign says right turn only.

Other business

Holly Young was elected as Athol’s voting delegate to the Massachusetts Inter-local Insurance Association (MIIA).

Attorney Barrett has sent a letter and email to the attorney representing the Hancock Motors estate asking for an update on the removal of the last two trailers on the property.

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