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Westminster OKs broadband transmitter on Town Hall

WESTMINSTER – Selectman on Monday night unanimously approved a state development agency’s proposal to place a broadband transmitter and generator on Town Hall.

The Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation is willing to give the town $10,000 to place a broadband transmitter on the third floor of the Town Hall. Town Administrator Karen Murphy said half of that amount will go toward purchasing a generator for the broadband device.

The agreement is to pay $2,000 each year, and the contract could be renewed in five years.

Also at the meeting, Selectmen Chairwoman Laila Michaud announced that Town Planner Stephen Wallace has posted the results of the Master Plan Committee’s citizen survey on the town website.

The survey drew 1,222 responses, 46.5 percent of the households in town, to answer 21 questions about the town. It was done both online and in hard copy.

A majority of respondents said their favorite thing about living in Westminster is the small-town character, but most also said they find the high taxes to be a drag.

When asked what types of renewable energy they’d like to see, 804 and 803 people said they’d like to see solar and wind energy, respectively. Only 98 people said they don’t want to see the town support any renewable energy.

The Fire Department got a 97 percent approval rating, and the Police Department a 96 percent approval rating. Meanwhile, the Sewer Department and Planning Board received 68 percent and 67 percent
approval ratings, respectively.

The survey summary pokes fun at the 15 percent of people who took the survey online, but indicated they had not viewed the town’s new website on question 19.

“Just how did they find the survey then?” the report asked.

Selectman also authorized hiring Renee Roy as a clerk in the assessors’ office and David LeBlanc as a dispatcher-in-training.

At the end of the meeting, selectmen indicated they do not wish to change the contract the town has with Ashburnham over how the combined school district is funded by the two towns.

Selectman Joseph Flanagan said the current contract was signed in the 1950s, and he wants to keep it the way it is, as future circumstances could change the ratio paid by the two towns under a new system.