Marion Considers Adding Facilities Manager

The addition of a full-time Facilities Manager in Marion could become a reality after issues and concerns were raised regarding the maintenance of several buildings in town.  A discussion was held at the Marion Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting on Tuesday, December 18.

In the fall, Selectman Jody Dickerson, along with Capital Improvement Planning Committee Member Norm Hills, toured 11 buildings around town that are in need or several repairs. Both are concerned with the lack of a plan to maintain these buildings and feel it is urgent to get a plan into place.

“We believe this is something the town has to address shortly before these minor repairs turn into major repairs,” said Dickerson.  ”We wanted to bring it to your attention.”

“It is probably in the best interest of the town to hire someone who is in charge of all of the buildings so moving forward, you don’t end up with crisis situations,” said Hills.

Town Administrator Paul Dawson suggested the possibility of hiring a Facilities Manager who would be able to oversee all of the buildings in town. He said it might be a good idea to compare salaries of other Facilities Managers in neighboring towns and bring it up to the Financial Committee for consideration.  A decision could be made as soon as the Spring Town Meeting.

“With the number of buildings we have and the value of them, it really calls for someone with a specific training and background to handle that,” Dawson said.

In other news, Dawson also informed the Selectmen that the Marion History Museum repair project might have to go out to bid again.  According to Dawson, the bid in which the town had originally selected in the initial bidding process failed to include the price of carpet labor and installation costs in his proposal.

“We’ve run into a snag,” he said.

Dawson had originally mandated that all interested candidates include that figure in their bids, however, this particular candidate did not. There were only two bids made on the project, and the other candidate’s figure exceeded the town’s budget and was therefore discarded. The original candidate has time to rework his bid and resubmit it to Dawson before going back out to bid.

Grant King of SRPEDD informed the Selectmen of a project that they will be conducting in the coming months. SRPEDD will be reviewing the land use component in each of its 27 towns as it pertains to the South Coast Rail.  Every five years, the maps are reviewed in order to determine which areas of town should be deemed as Area for Priority Development or Areas for Priority Protection. A public workshop will be held in January for all residents who would like to see the boundaries on the map changed.

“We hope that the workshop will be attended by all interested citizens and relevant boards,” said King.

The Selectmen agreed to endorse a letter in support of the residents of Little Neck Village, who are planning to reach out to State Representative William Straus and Senator Marc Pacheco to see if a road study can be conducted on Route 6 near the development.  Residents are complaining that there is both increased traffic and speeding in their vicinity and are interested in pursuing traffic calming opportunities.

The Marion Board of Selectmen will meet again on Tuesday, January 8 at 7:00 pm in the Marion Town House.

By Katy Fitzpatrick

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