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PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULED FOR TREE REMOVAL PLAN

(November 23, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen will conduct a public hearing on Monday, December 8 on an extensive tree removal plan proposed by National Grid for seventy-one locations on Fairview Avenue and eleven locations on Homestead Avenue. A detailed description of the plan, including tree location, species and reason for removal, is available for review as a PDF document on the town website.


REHOBOTH MAN CITED FOR DRIVING INTO RPD CRUISER

(November 20, 2014)  A Rehoboth man was cited by Rehoboth police for side swiping a RPD cruiser and injuring an officer on Tuesday evening.

   Patrolman Craig Forget had just pulled over to investigate a one-vehicle crash involving a deer in the area of 527 Winthrop Street (Route 44) when a box truck driven by Donald Dyer of Rehoboth swiped the cruiser causing severe damage to the driver’s side.  Officer Forget sustained minor injuries and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital for medical attention.

    According to police, Dyer made “no attempt to slow down or move left to avoid a collision with the police cruiser even though the emergency lights were activated.”  Dyer was issued a citation for negligent operation of a motor vehicle. He was also cited under the Commonwealths’ “Move over” Law. 

    The incident is being investigated by Sgt. Norman Todd, and Patrolman Jacob Miranda. It is unknown if the damaged police cruiser is one of the five new vehicles purchased by the RPD after being approved by residents at the annual town meeting last May.


TOWN NURSE OFFERS FLU VACCINE, MEDICAL SUPPLIES

(November 19, 2014)  The Rehoboth Town Public Health Nurse would like residents to know that flu vaccines are still available free of charge. Those interested should call Jaime Conlon, RN, BSN, CCRN, CEN to schedule an appointment to come to the Rehoboth Town Office for a flu shot. 

    The nurses office has medical supplies to offer residents free of charge including diabetic lancets for blood glucose testing, glucometers, and ostomy supplies.  Contact Conlon at 508-252-5947, ext. 3127 to arrange a pick up or to schedule a flu shot.


REHOBOTH CRASH SENDS MOTHER AND SON TO HOSPITAL

(November 16, 2014)  A single vehicle accident yesterday afternoon on Barney Avenue in Rehoboth resulted in the transport of a Rehoboth woman and her twelve-year-old son to Rhode Island hospitals.

    Rehoboth police and fire were dispatched to the scene after a Jeep Cherokee driven by Cynthia Medeiros, age 47 of Wheeler Street, stuck a utility pole shattering it into three pieces and rolling the vehicle onto the side.  Medeiros was trapped inside the vehicle and extracted by firefighters.  She was transported to Rhode Island Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

     According to the police report, passers-by assisted the boy from the car before responders arrived. He was later transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital as a precaution.

     The crash is under investigation by the Rehoboth Police Department.


CAR VS. GUARDRAIL CRASH RESULTS IN OUI ARREST

(November 16, 2014)  Rehoboth police report the arrest of 28-year-old William D. Pires of Dighton, MA on vehicular charges including operating under the influence.

    Pires was taken into custody yesterday evening after patrolmen Louis Dibacco and Jacob Miranda responded to the report of a single-vehicle accident in the area of Danforth Street and Perryville Road in Rehoboth.

    According to police, officers “observed a single vehicle crash vs. guardrail(s)” and charged Pires with OUI, operating to endanger and failure to stay within marked lines.  Pires was released on personal recognizance after paying $40 bail and is scheduled to appear in Taunton District Court on Monday.

   

FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN YOUTUBE FOR GOFF HALL/BLANDING LIBRARY

(November 14, 2014)  The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society’s campaign to raise the remaining 85K needed for building improvements now includes a YouTube video showing the need for universal access and ADA-compliant restrooms.

    The brief presentation features historic images of the one-hundred-year-old building along with contemporary photos showing the many uses of the auditorium and library. 

    The need for universal access and new restrooms is clearly shown with images of one young Rehoboth resident. Seven-year-old Aidan Benjamin volunteered to show the challenges he faces trying to access the downstairs children’s library. Although the building features a ramp to the front entrance, persons of any age with disabilities cannot readily navigate the single staircase to the lower level or the building’s 1915-era restrooms located downstairs. 

    Rehoboth residents were recently mailed a campaign brochure outlining the project with construction to begin next year.  The YouTube video will reach a larger audience of potential donors including supporters of libraries, gothic architecture, and the disabilities community.  Watch the YouTube presentation.       

  

POLICE REQUEST 20K FOR NEW FINGER PRINTING EQUIPMENT

(November 10, 2014)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will meet tonight at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center at 7 PM following an executive session to discuss contracts for police dispatchers, clerical and highway department personnel.

   On tonight’s agenda is a $20K reserve fund transfer request from Acting Police Chief Lt. James Trombetta to purchase new fingerprinting equipment.  The evening’s agenda also includes an update on the Wheeler Street Bridge replacement. They will vote to accept of a gift of $600 from Friends of the Rehoboth Animal Shelter for replacement gutters on the town’s animal shelter behind the town office.  Selectmen will also discuss a job posting for a highway department mechanic.

    Bill Maiorano, director of the REMA, will announce an almost $6K grant for the town’s emergency management system. 

    Selectmen will spend some time recapping the October 27 special town meeting.


DORCHESTER MURDER SUSPECT FOUND DEAD ON REHOBOTH TOWNLINE

(November 10, 2014)  The body of a Boston murder suspect was found by Massachusetts State Police early Sunday morning in the woods off Route 195 near the Rehoboth/Swansea town line after the man’s vehicle was found on the side of the road.

    A statewide manhunt had been underway since Saturday afternoon for thirty-year-old Paulo Rosa of Dorchester, wanted in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, Audilia DaVeiga.  She was found in the couple’s home “suffering from life threatening injuries” after a 911 call by someone reporting a shooting.  According to a Boston Police statement, she died on the scene.  

    Sate police report Rosa apparently killed himself, but have released no other information on the cause and manner of his death.

    Five years ago on October 23, 2009, a New Hampshire murder suspect was discovered dead from suicide in the woods off Reservoir Avenue and Simmons Street.  Binh Vernet, age 48 of Londonderry, had stabbed his wife in their home in front of their two children. Suzanne Vernet, age 46, was found unconscious and flown to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston where she later died. 

    Rehoboth police were called to Reservoir Avenue after a report from neighbors about a suspicious van parked about 150 yards into the woods. Vernet’s body was discovered with the help of Officer Craig Forget, and the now retired police dog Cesar.

     According to investigators in New Hampshire, authorities never discovered a connection between the dead man and the town of Rehoboth. 


BE GENEROUS:  ANNUAL HOLIDAY GIVING PROGRAMS

(November 5, 2014)  Rehoboth’s annual holiday giving programs are just around the corner, from Thanksgiving baskets to holiday gifts for children and teens, to fuel assistance to help heat Rehoboth homes this winter. 

Helping Hands

    Rehoboth Helping Hands Food Pantry will once again provide Thanksgiving baskets to individuals and families in need.  Many local groups and organizations are collecting for this effort including schools, churches, and scout troops.  The Rehoboth Business Association will have a non-perishable food drop off on Saturday, November 8 from 9 AM to 12 Noon at the Edward Jones office on Route 44.  If you have any food donations, including home baked goods or perishable items, please call Rehoboth Helpings Hands Director Steve Martin at 508-252-3263. Families in need should also contact Martin if they wish to receive a holiday basket for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

    Martin reports pledges to donate Thanksgiving baskets have been made by the Rehoboth Congregational Church, Palmer River Elementary School, and American Legion Post 302.  Students and staff from Beckwith Middle School has in the midst of a food drive, and personnel from the Rehoboth Post Office held a food drive for Helping Hands in late October.  After Thanksgiving, Helping Hands Food Pantry will begin right away with their Christmas basket program. Food donations will again be collected by various local groups.

Blizzard of Giving Program

    The annual Rehoboth Blizzard of Giving program helps children and families with two ways to donate toys and other gifts. Donors can choose a specific gift request  from a Rehoboth family listed on “snowflake” bulletin boards located at several locations in town.  Pick a snowflake, purchase that specific request, wrap it and affix the snowflake identification.  Then drop off at any Blizzard of Giving boxes located at Anawan Cleaners, the Blanding Library, Chartley Country Store, D. L. Beckwith Middle School, and Palmer River Elementary School.  

   You can also donate any unwrapped toy item and drop it off at one of the Blizzard boxes by Friday, December 12.  Rehoboth Girl Scouts and girls from the local American Heritage troop will be collecting the donations.  Please contact Blizzard organizer Maureen Brawley for more info at 508-252-4867.  The contact for Rehoboth Girls Scouts is Colleen McBride at 508-252-6430.  Liz Day is the contact for the American Heritage Girls and she can be contacted at 508-336-5262.

Fuel Assistance Program

   According to Steve Martin, who also coordinated the Helping Hands Fuel Assistance program, there have been 15 local requests for fuel assistance, but only one pledge to help.  The need for help to keep homes warm this winter is critical.  While cash donations are needed to purchase fuel, donors may also wish to pay for wood, pellets, or an order of heating oil or propane.  Please contact Martin for more information at 508-252-3263 or write a check to Rehoboth Helping Hands (note fuel assistance) and mail to 127 Martin Street, Rehoboth, MA 02769.

For more info on Food Pantry dates and times, and ordering for holidays, please visit the Helping Hands page.


AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION TO HOLD EQUINE INDUSTRY WORKSHOP

(November 5, 2014)  The Rehoboth Agricultural Commission invites anyone interested to an informational workshop specifically for the equine industry on Thursday, December 11 at 7 PM to be held at the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center on Bay State Road. 

    Horse owners are an important part of the agricultural industry in Rehoboth and this group is not typically reached by traditional agricultural assistance programs.

    There will be a presentation from the Rehoboth Board of Health on the town’s horse regulations; information on composting horse manure; and a representative from the USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service to discuss the technical and financial assistance available to horse farms.

    The Rehoboth Agricultural Commission, in partnership with the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts is providing landowners in the Palmer River watershed with information and assistance to prevent nonpoint source pollution.

We will be presenting information on the Palmer River water quality initiative and how you can help through proper manure management, composting, pasture management, and addressing barnyard runoff.


VETERANS DAY OBSERVANCE AND FREE LUNCH FOR REHOBOTH VETS

(November 3, 2014)  Veterans Day will be observed in Rehoboth on Tuesday, November 11 beginning at 11 AM with a ceremony at the cenotaph at the corner of Route 44 and Danforth followed by a walking tour of the new veterans memorial across the road on the Redway Plain. 

   A free lunch will be served to all Rehoboth veterans beginning at 12 noon at American Legion Post 302, 84 Bay State Road.  Menu will be roast pork, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetable, rolls with butter.  Chicken will also be available for some.  Those planning to attend the free luncheon should call Bette Dyer at the Veterans Services Office at 508-252-4467, ext. 3100 to RSVP.


REMINDER FROM RFD: CHANGE YOUR CLOCK, CHANGE YOUR BATTERY

Call for info and assistance with your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

(October 30, 2014)  State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan and Rehoboth Fire Chief Barresi  remind residents that it’s time to pay attention to your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

   “When buying your Halloween candy this year, pick up some batteries for your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan. “We change our clocks right after Halloween on November 2, so remember when you change your clocks, change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” he added.

   One of the best things we can do as we get our homes ready for winter, is to make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have fresh batteries. A working smoke alarm is your first line of defense in a fire. Working smoke alarms give you precious time to use your home escape plan before poisonous gases and heat make escape impossible. Time is your enemy in a fire.

    “When changing your alarm’s batteries check to see if your alarms need to be replaced. Smoke alarms last about ten years and older carbon monoxide alarms last 5-7,” said Coan. There are some new CO alarms that just came on the market with a sealed 10-year lithium battery. The batteries in these alarms never need changing, but the entire alarm needs to be replaced every ten years.

     Fire Chief Barresi reminds Rehoboth residents to contact the RFD if you need assistance in assessing your smoke and carbon monoxide detector needs, or need help installing or replacing detectors.  Just contact the RFD at 508-252-3725.


SMALL ATTENDANCE AT SPECIAL TOWN MEETING; RESIDENTS SAY YES

TO CONTINUING PROCESS FOR SENIOR HOUSING AT OLD ANAWAN SCHOOL

(October 28, 2014)  Less than two hundred Rehoboth residents attended last night’s special town meeting held at the high school auditorium over two and a half hours. 

     Residents approved Article 6 to authorize petitioning the general court to allow the town to enter into a 99-year lease for the old Anawan School building next to the senior center.  The housing development team already approved to undertake the 38-unit affordable senior housing project, told the audience they would purchase the land and building outright, but selectmen wanted a 99-lease instead to retain some control over the project.

    While selectmen and other town officials spoke in favor of the article, some residents voiced concern about tying up town property for 99 years, water and septic issues, and age restrictions.  The developers assured residents they will do all the appropriate studies and take whatever measures necessary to assure safe water, septic and environmental concerns.  The project will take several years to complete, and they have yet to determine age or other requirements.  Officials made it clear the playground behind the building, most of which will be demolished and rebuilt, will remain.

   Other warrant articles approved included: an amended Article 1 related to the town’s current budget, and a corrected version of Article 2 related to unemployment compensation, the fire chief salary and wages for the a full-time highway department position.  Article 3 to pay previous fiscal year bill was approved. Article 4, submitted by the selectmen, to spend $14K for a new computerized fuel management system to keep track of gas used by town vehicles was approved. Article 5 to offset receipts for the town’s transfer station overseen by the board of health was approved.   Article 8 was approved to authorize selectmen to “research, develop and participate” in contract(s) to aggregate electricity for residents and businesses in Rehoboth, and other services. 

    A bylaw amendment on the “reconsideration process” at town meeting was approved despite a motion to table. Reconsideration is a process for defeating an article for further debate. Concerns were raised by residents that a significant bylaw change should be brought before a larger audience of residents at annual town meeting, but the article passed.

    Also passed was Article 11 to increase fines for residents $50 for false fire/security alarms.  According to Acting Police Chief Lt. James Trombetta, public safety personnel last year responded to 546 alarms, but  526 were false.

    Three articles were tabled last night including Article 7 to allow National Grid to construct a transformer on the Redway Plain off Route 44.  Because the park commission that oversees the Redway Plain as town property met last Saturday and voted against the proposed new transformer, the issue was tabled. 

    Article 10 to amend bylaw to only allow officials to change (increase) budget line item at town meetings. Also defeated was part-two of Article 12 to amend bylaw on town meeting notification, allowing the town clerk to curtail the existing system of mass-mailing of a printed paper version of the meeting warrant to all households. While going digital will save the town several thousands dollars for each warrant mailing, residents express concern that not everyone uses a computer and could miss information.  They were assured paper copies would be available, by law, at physical locations and additionally sent by mail upon request, but the measure was still defeated. 

     Article 13 regarding zoning bylaw changes on dog kennels was also tabled.


BOS TO MEET BEFORE SPECIAL TOWN MEETING TONIGHT

(October 27, 2014)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen are scheduled to meet tonight at 6 PM in Room 211 at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School prior to the Special Town Meeting in the auditorium at 7 PM.

     On the selectmen’s agenda is an interview with a candidate for the position of assistant director of the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center followed by a vote to approve a “statement of road conditions form” for the highway department.

    They will vote to approve a “REPAC audit payment” in an unspecified amount using funds provided the town by Comcast for local public access television. The town remains in ongoing litigation with the non-profit cable access provider REPAC that was discharged from their contract before it expired. The town then assumed control of operation of local access channels and programming.

    Selectmen will vote to approve a request from the fire chief to increase fire details fee.  The town’s firefighters are not town employees, but volunteer on-call personnel.  The BOS will also vote to approve an agreement with SE Mass Law Enforcement Mutual Aid.

   The special town meeting will be called to order after the selectmen’s meeting.  Residents are asked to review the warrant sent by mail to each household in preparation for the meeting.  Thirteen articles are addressed in the warrant and can be found online here.

    

FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN FOR GOFF MEMORIAL HALL AND BLANDING LIBRARY

(October 24, 2014)  The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society (RAS) announces a fundraising campaign to raise the remaining $85K needed to fund improvements to allow universal access to the 100-year-old Goff Memorial Hall and Blanding Free Public Library.

     Goff Hall, owned and operated by the RAS, was rebuilt in 1915 following a fire that destroyed an older public hall.  It remains the town’s most significant historic building and a cultural hub for the town. Located in the Rehoboth Village Historic District the building is on the Massachusetts Registry of Historic Places.

      “Currently visitors and patrons with limited mobility find it impossible to navigate the building’s one staircase,” said Tom Charnecki, RAS board president. “Anyone who can’t use the stairs, can not access the restrooms nor the Children’s library located on the lower level,” he added.  “And the vintage 1915-era restrooms are too small to accommodate people trying to assist children or another adult with a disability,” he emphasized.

   While a handicap ramp at the front entrance allows access to the front door, Goff Hall will become more functional for all visitors with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant restrooms.

    Safety will be enhanced for everyone with new entrance/exit options for both the main level and lower level (children’s library) of the building.  Those attending events held on the grounds will have access to restrooms without having to pass through the auditorium or library.

   “No one should have to be carried into and around the building,” said Charnecki, something that happens when disabled patrons attend events. Goff Hall is the town’s only auditorium for public cultural events. “No one should avoid coming to outdoor events because they can’t access a restroom inside the building,” he noted.

     The non-profit RAS has already raised $245K to fund the improvement plan and make the building complaint with ADA regulations.  Residents voted at town meeting to approve a $165K grant using Community Preservation Act funds.  The Massachusetts Cultural Council recently approved a $70K grant; and the Bristol County Savings Bank Foundation donated $10K for the improvement fund.

  1.      The project will focus on maintaining the exterior and interior architectural integrity and distinctive decorative features of Goff Memorial Hall.  The two new handicap accessible public restrooms will be code compliant with a new approved septic tank.

  2.    Exterior access from the lower level will allow future enhancements such as a Children’s Outdoor Reading Garden excavated, landscaped and terraced into the hill of the site.The project includes rehabilitation and enlargement of the existing paved parking area near the building.

  3.      A preservation architect will be retained to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal code requirements along with ongoing preservation of this landmark building. Local contractors will be used wherever possible under RAS oversight.

  4.      The RAS board is appealing to the public in a campaign letter to residents, businesses and organizations.  Campaign organizers hope the remaining $85K to completely fund the project will be raised in order to break ground in early 2015. Click here for full details and online donation button.

  5.       “Back in 1643, the town founders believed in establishing a town with “room for all,” said Charnecki, referring to the definition of the word Rehoboth.  “Now we need to make the library and Goff hall accessible to all.”  

     Donations to the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and public charity, are tax deductible to the fullest extent.  The public is asked to consider in-kind donations and corporate matching. Make checks payable to RAS and mail to P.O. Box 2, Rehoboth, MA 02769.

     For more information about the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society’s fund-raising campaign, please contact RAS President Tom Charnecki at 508-252-5718 or Blanding Library Director Laura Bennett at 508-252-4236.


ACCREDITATION TEAM TO VISIT DRRHS IN NOVEMBER

(October 24, 2014)  Principal Kevin Braga of Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School announced today that 16 educators will conduct an on-site accreditation visit of the high school from Sunday, November 16 through Wednesday, November 19.  The accreditation visit will be conducted under the direction of the Committee on Public Secondary Schools of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The visiting committee will be chaired by Michele Saulis, a curriculum leader at Connecticut River Academy in East Hartford, CT. Michele Saulis has had extensive experience in the Association’s accreditation process.

   “The purpose of this accreditation visit is to review and determine from an outside professional viewpoint the extent to which the school is meeting the Standards for Accreditation,” explained Braga.

   As part of the evaluation, the visiting committee will meet with all school constituents, review the school’s self-study, visit a number of classes, and examine examples of student work submitted by the school. During the comprehensive self-study, the faculty attempted to identify the school’s strengths and determined those areas in which changes would be beneficial.

   The chair of the visiting committee, Michele Saulis, said “Our purpose in visiting is to assist the faculty in its pursuit of quality education for its students and provide support for decisions by leaders related to school development.”

   According to Braga, accreditation by the Association “does not imply perfection but does ensure that the school has the resources, leadership, and organization necessary to support the ongoing improvement required of all schools.”

    He pointed out that members of the visiting committee are contributing their services to the school. “This spirit of professional cooperation is one of the noted features of the New England Association,” he said. “The goal of an accreditation visit is to stimulate drive for improvement in the school.”

    One of the major requirements for NEASC membership is that the entire school be evaluated following the extensive self-study by the professional staff. This evaluation is conducted by a visiting committee of professional educators, sent by the Committee, who review all materials prepared by the faculty in self-assessment, visit classes, and talk with students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members during their four-day visit to the school.

    The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, founded in 1885, is the oldest accrediting agency in the country and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the sole agency to award accreditation to PreK-12 schools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in New England.


ARREST MADE IN 2010 REHOBOTH HOME BREAK-IN

(October 22, 2014)  Rehoboth police announced the arrest of a suspect in a December 2010 home break-in on Plain Street .

    Stephen Babbin, age 44 of Warwick RI and Carver MA, was arrested by Rhode Island State Police last weekend on an outstanding Rehoboth police warrant on charges of daytime breaking and entering, vandalism and larceny.  Babbin was taken into custody by RPD on October 20 and arraigned in Taunton District Court.

   According to Rehoboth police,  Detective Jasson Ferreira was recently able to link the suspect with DNA evidence collected from the crime scene.  Ferreira was assisted by Rehoboth Sgt. Brian Ramos and Massachusetts State Police Forensic Services Group. 


MIXED AGENDA FOR TONIGHT’S SELECTMEN’S MEETING

(October 20, 2014)  Following an executive session to discuss collective bargaining for unions representing town employees, the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will meeting with the Town Moderator Bill Cute and Town Clerk Laura Schwall to review the warrant for next Monday night’s special town meeting.

    They will also review Article 12 of the warrant submitted by Schwall to amend the town general bylaw on “calling of town meeting” to discontinue printing and mailing a paper version of the warrant.  Instead, town meeting warrants will be available on various online sources with paper copies available at the town office.

   Other business to be conducted: a tax classification hearing with the board of assessors; appointments and resignations, and a vote to approve a $15,779 transfer from the town’s reserve fund.

   As always, the public is invited to attend and participate in open public forum.  Tonight’s regular session will begin at 7 PM at the senior center.


DEVELOPERS PRESENT 38-UNIT SENIOR HOUSING PLAN 

(October 15, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen last night heard the preliminary plan from non-profit co-developers to transform the old Anawan School into affordable senior housing. The process is expected to take several years.      

    Currently Rehoboth has no affordable housing units. Leasing town-owned property for revitalization as 38 housing units will increases tax revenue and create local construction and management jobs, along with providing safe, affordable housing.

    After sending out a request for proposals, town officials selected the Taunton-based The Neighborhood Corporation and the Providence-based Women’s Development Corporation (WDC) as the preferred developers. Both organizations have impressive records in developing and then managing affordable, energy efficient housing in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. 

     Carolyn Medina, an attorney and Director of Development for WDC, outlined the plan for transforming the old school which is located on town-owned parcel of property adjacent to the senior center.  She said her organization has recently begun working with the Neighborhood Corp, represented last night by Director Dean Harrison who will seek financing from state agencies and private sources for the Rehoboth project.

   Harrison explained state funding is a very competitive process and he will also be working with federal home loan banks for local funds for construction financing and “targeting soft loan programs.”  He emphasized the rent of the proposed 38 units will be set by HUD at the maximum rate including utilities.

    “We want the public to understand that people will have to pay for these apartments,” he noted. “They won’t be Section 8 housing.”  As an example, he gave the current rents set by HUD at $933 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1120 for a two-bedroom.  The revitalized school property will contain 34 one-bedroom units and 4 two-bedroom units. 

    According to Medina, the original front portion of the school will be renovated and the rear section (an addition to the school) will be demolished.  The new building will complement the look of the senior center next door. The estimated construction cost of the project will be around $5M.

    “This will be great for seniors who are looking to downsize and be able to stay in Rehoboth,” said BOS chairman Mike Costello.

    The developers vowed to work closely with town officials throughout the process during the next few years.

   Voters will be asked at special town meeting on October 27 to approve a measure to petition the state legislature to allow the town to enter into a 99-year lease with the developers, the first requirement in the process to finally bring affordable housing for seniors and senior veterans to Rehoboth.


SELECTMEN APPOINT NEW VETERANS SERVICES OFFICER

(October 15, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen last night voted to appoint Jack Taylor to the position of Veterans Services Officer (VSO) after a committee led by Selectman Dave Perry narrowed the field down to one candidate.

   “We are very comfortable with him,” said Perry. “With his experience, he is best to slide into the position.”

    Taylor, a Navy veteran, brings a tremendous amount of experience to the VSO position.  During his career following retirement from active duty, he held the position of Director of the Newport Naval Hospital, and then moved into the non-profit sector working as chief financial officer for the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Massachusetts. After retiring in 2011, he worked as the VSO for the Town of Dighton. Taylor told selectmen working as VSO was “the best job of my career.”

    Selectmen unanimously approved his appointment pending the usual background checks and pre-employment physical.


LIQUOR LICENSE APPROVED FOR NEW MEXICAN RESTAURANT

(October 15, 2014)  Selectmen last night approved an all-alcohol license for Don Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant contingent on finalizing paperwork and inspections by the Rehoboth Board of Health.  They had previously granted a restaurant licence and entertainment license to the parent company Los Compadres.

    The restaurant is expected to open soon at the previous location on Route 44 of Milano’s Restaurant. Owners applied for a liquor license a year ago, but ran into septic system and water issues that needed to be addressed before opening the restaurant and bar.

  

TOWN HISTORIAN’S STORY MAKES FRONT PAGE OF SUN CHRONICLE

(October 14, 2014)  Today’s front page of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle features an article by Rehoboth historian E. Otis Dyer who writes about his “grandfather’s lifelong love affair with motorcars at the dawn of the 20th century.” You can read this very enjoyable and fascinating look at yesteryear by clicking here.


BUSY AGENDA TONIGHT FOR REHOBOTH SELECTMEN

(October 14, 2014)   The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen will meet tonight at the senior center beginning with an executive session at 6 PM to discuss contract negotiations and litigation.  The regular public session will be called to order at 7 PM with open forum followed by the town administrator’s report.

    A public hearing will be called around 7:15 for selectmen to hear an application for all liquor license for Don Tequila’s, a new restaurant on Route 44 in the previous location of Milano’s restaurant that closed several years ago. The liquor license hearing will be followed by a utility pole hearing from Mass Electric and Verizon NE for a location on Chestnut Street.  

    Selectmen will interview a candidate for the town employee position of Veterans Services Officer (VSO).  The position has been vacant since late summer following the departure of Steve Arruda who was hired in February as VSO to replace long-time VSO Bill Saunders who retired in March.

    Two article items for the upcoming special town meeting on October 27 will be discussed.  Article 6 is a petition to the state legislature to allow the long-term lease of the old Anawan School for the purpose of “creating senior and senior veterans affordable housing.” 

    Selectmen will also discuss Article 8, a vote to give the board the authority to “research, develop and participate” in a municipal aggregation of electricity.  Ross Perry of SRPEDD and Stefano Loretto of Good Energy are scheduled to attend tonight’s meeting and join in the discussion.

    Tonight’s BOS agenda includes continued discussions on a Lake Street signage request, and article assignment for the special town meeting.  Selectmen will also be accepting a resignation of a member of the Veteran’s Memorial committee; re-appointment of a Rehoboth representative on the Bristol Plymouth Regional Technical School; and a few other business items.

    Open public forum will be conducted prior to the selectmen’s individual reports to the community.


TRAFFIC BACK UP ON TREMONT AFTER TWO-VEHICLE CRASH

(October 8, 2014)  Yesterday morning, Rehoboth public safety including police, fire and EMS responded to the scene of a collision between a car and tractor-trailer on Tremont Street. The passengers in the car were evaluated by EMS personnel while Rehoboth Fire contained a fluid spill. The driver of the truck was uninjured. Traffic was backed up on both sides of Tremont Street for approximately 30 minutes. The cause of the accident remains under investigation by the RPD.


CORDIAL FIRST MEETING FOR REGIONAL ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE

(October 2, 2014)  All twelve voting members of the newly formed Regional Assessment Amendment Committee (RAAC) were in attendance for their first meeting held at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School on Tuesday night.

   Along with the twelve appointees, the three resource (non-voting) members were also in attendance including School Superintendent Dr. Anthony Azar,  District Business Manager Catherine Antonellis, and a consultant to the regional school committee and district.

    According to David Katseff, RAAC co-chair and longtime member of the school committee representing Rehoboth, the meeting was cordial with introductions and a discussion of the “process” for amending the regional school district agreement.  The last time the agreement was updated with any “significant amendment” was 1987.    

    The group anticipates two meetings per month for a period of six to twelve months before making a recommendation that will then require review by legal counsel of both towns, approval by voters at town meeting, and finally approval from the state.

    The next RAAC meeting will be held on Thursday, October 16 at 6:30 PM in the Media Center at DRRHS.  The committee will begin reviewing the existing agreement between the towns of Dighton and Rehoboth to operate a regional school district.  Members of the public are always welcome to attend.


ARCHIVED NEWS ARTICLES - 2014


ARCHIVED NEWS ARTICLES - 2013

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