Town Dogging Delinquent Pet Owners

            Dog owners are on notice. Your time to own an unregistered pet without being fined is up.

            On Monday night, the Rochester Select Board signed the town’s Annual Dog Enforcement Warrant, notifying all dog owners in town their canine must be licensed.

            The warrant authorizes Animal Control Officer Anne Estabrook to catch and confine all dogs “not duly licensed or collared and tagged … for a period of not less than 10 days.” The fines imposed will be a $20 drop-off fee and $15 for every dog in the ACO’s custody. After the 10 days, the ACO may allow any person to adopt the healthy dog.

            It’s time for dog owners to act, Select Board Chairman Woody Hartley said.

            In other action, the board approved the use of town roads for Old Colony Regional Vocational-Technical High School’s “Frosty Runner Road Race” set for January 23, 2023. “It will be a frosty one,” Hartley agreed as the board motioned its endorsement.

            The selectmen set February 21 as the rain date for the race. They explained later that this run will circle the North Avenue school property and include town streets such as Snipatuit Road.

            The board then approved a retirement citation for former Assessor Debra Lalli, “for 22 years of outstanding service and dedication.”

            Lalli had retired as Assessment administrator in June in order to collect her pension. She then reapplied unsuccessfully to be appointed as an assessor to fill her open seat. The opening instead was filled by Finance Director Suzanne Szyndlar.

            The board then accepted the resignation of Rochester Police Sergeant Alyson M. Rego, a full-time officer since 2017, effective Friday, September 23.

            Next, the board announced that three people have already applied for the at-large seat on the newly created Public Safety Feasibility Study Committee. The noteworthy names are Robert Francis, who is a former building commissioner, Brian Porter and Zoning Board of Appeals member Richard Cutler.

            The board, however, filed these applications until Thursday, September 22. That is when the Select Board will interview the three bidders to do the feasibility study itself. This meeting will start at 6:00 pm at the Rochester Senior Center. Hartley said any other interested volunteers should submit their application by the board’s next meeting on October 3.

            Next, Town Administrator Glenn Cannon announced that federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds totaling $500,000 are ready to be divided between the town and Bristol County. Cannon asked the board if it wanted to organize an ARPA committee to decide how the town’s share of that money should be spent. He said he will collect more data that will help the board decide for its October 3 meeting.

            Next, Cannon announced two flu clinics have been scheduled for Tuesday, October 4: at Rochester Memorial School and at the Senior Center.

            Cannon then announced he has received several proposals from departments wishing to use the town’s next receipt of SEMASS donation funds. The amount of that donation is not yet certain, Cannon said. Hartley said the Select Board will only consider proposals with backup documentation that explains their particular needs. Here, too, the board postponed a decision until its next meeting, which will be held on Monday, October 3, at 6:00 pm at Town Hall.

Rochester Select Board

By Michael J. DeCicco

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