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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.



(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.


(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.



(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.


(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.


(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. 


(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.


(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.


(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.


(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.



(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.


(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.


(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.


(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.




(September 30, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen last night welcomed the town’s new fire chief along with appointing a new director of the Gladys B. Hurrell Senior Center, and approving this winter’s new snow and ice removal policy.

    Rehoboth Fire Chief Frank Barresi was officially sworn in by Town Clerk Laura Schwall to a packed room of uniformed Rehoboth call firefighters and other area fire chiefs. 

     Previously the deputy chief of the RFD, Barresi now assumes the only full-time town employee position within the all call fire department. Both Senator James Timilty and Representative Steve Howitt were on hand for the swearing in ceremony along with Barresi’s family of three generations of firefighters.

    Barresi thanks retiring Robert Pray, a 38-year fire department veterans, who served the town as fire chief for the last eighteen years.

    Selectmen last night also appointed a new senior center director to replace Norie Palmer who is retiring after many years working for the town at the center, most recently as director and previously as activities director.

    With unanimous support of the directors of the Rehoboth Council on Aging (COA), the governing board for the senior center, Linda Sherman was quickly approved by selectmen.  While nine candidates applied for the position, COA member Mary Beth Moriarty said that some were overqualified and some where under qualified, but Sherman, the center’s administrative assistant, was the perfect fit for the job.

    The town’s snow and ice removal policy was discussed by selectmen with Highway Department Director Mike Tyler.  Facing a reduced town operating budget and a 44% increase in the cost of road salt, Tyler said Rehoboth should “start doing what other towns are already doing” by establishing a system of primary, secondar and tertiary roadways.

   “We treat every road the same, plow every road. sand or salt every road,” explained Tyler.  “We can’t do that anymore.”

    Putting a new system into place now will assure a more cost-effective method of snow and ice removal. “We have to change it in the beginning and stick to our guns,” commented Tyler, as a way to limit over-time paid to town employees and contractors.

   Selectmen agreed with Tyler’s revised plan to divide the town’s roadways into three categories.  Primary roadways will be treated and plowed first, followed by secondary connector roadways, and finally roadways in residential areas or developments. 

    The highway department will wait to sand/salt until snow fall reaches one inch on roads. Plows will go out when snow fall has reached a depth of three inches.  Both primary and secondary roadways will be treated and plowed both in the daytime and overnight, however tertiary roads will only be treated between 7 AM and 3 PM.



(September 28, 2014)  Representative Steven S. Howitt (R- Seekonk) is pleased to announce the Governor’s signature and passage into law of Rehoboth’s Home Rule Petition, House Bill H4225, effective September 9, 2014.

   The purpose of this legislation, sponsored by Representative Howitt and co-sponsored by Senator James Timilty, allows the Town of Rehoboth to establish a dedicated account, otherwise known as a capital expenditure fund, to accept and hold revenue from Town situated solar farms.

   The fund, not to exceed $2 million dollars, are exclusively for public building infrastructure improvements in the Town of Rehoboth.

    This is a budget-neutral approach towards addressing the town’s long term capital improvement needs. Examples of how the fund can be used include everything from building a new public safety building or town hall to the replacement of a roof at the highway garage.

   Town Administrator Jeff Ritter confirmed all expenses would be approved by town meeting without having to ask voters to consider a Proposition 2 ½ override, unless the project amount were to exceed the $2 million cap. All appropriations will be authorized by a majority vote at an annual or special town meeting for any purpose related to capital improvements or for the repayment of capital debt.

    “This is a prudent fiduciary strategy to secure the preservation of our public buildings and the Town of Rehoboth for the future”, said Howitt who represents Rehoboth in the 4th Bristol District.


(September 26. 2014)  A committee to review the regional school district agreement and propose amendments has been firmly established this week with appointments made by the Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee, and selectmen of both Dighton and Rehoboth.

    The Regional Assessment Amendment Committee or RAAC will meet for the first time on Tuesday, September 30 at 6:30 PM in the DRRHS Media Center.  The public is welcome to attend.

    Earlier this year during the winter, Rehoboth selectman began talking about de-regionalizing the school district and breaking off with Dighton. Since then, Rehoboth residents voted against a ballot vote to take advantage of a grant to fix the roof of the high school located in North Dighton.

    At spring town meeting, a majority of residents voted to increase the school budget by almost $1.7M creating a deficit in the town’s operating budget that led to a failed Proposition 2 1/2 override ballot vote. Town department heads and committees were then asked to reduce their previously approved budgets (made contingent on the passing of the override) by 20 percent.  Those reductions, combined with other elements, were needed to reach a balanced budget of $23M that was then approved by residents at a special town meeting in August.

    According to officials, the D-R regional school agreement was last reviewed in 1986.  Since then, regulations have changed and the agreement is outdated.  The first step to de-regionalizing the district, in whole or in part, must be a review of the current agreement. Although some communities have tried, successful de-regionalization is rare in Massachusetts because the Dept. of Primary and Secondary Education encourages and offers benefits to regionalized districts.

   Towns also face the cost of the actual legal process of de-regionalization, commonly estimated at more than a million dollars.  A town that completely de-regionalizes faces hiring separate administration, losing benefits related to operating a regional system, and establishing a new high school.  New construction is expensive. Somerset’s newly constructed high school cost over $82M.

    RAAC is expected to meet twice monthly for a period of six to twelve months.  Co-chaired by school committee members David Katseff and Chris Andrade, the committee consists of two more representatives from the school committee, Tiffany Bartholomew and Sue Lorenz.

    Two members were appointed by the school committee, Susan McBride from Rehoboth and Tony Roderick from Dighton.  Rehoboth selectmen appointed Bill Dalpe, Jr. as their community representative and Glenn Jefferson was appointed by Dighton selectmen as their community representative.

    Each town appointed a selectmen and a member of their finance committee to serve on RAAC.  Selectman Skip Vadnais and FinCom member George Solas represent Rehoboth.  Serving as the Dighton officials are Selectman Dean Cronin and FinCom member Ed Swartz.

    Also serving on RAAC are non-voting members School Superintendent Anthony Azar, the D-R district business manager Catherine Antonellis and the school district’s consultant.


(September 22, 2014)  The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen have a busy public agenda tonight starting at 7 PM following an executive session for contract negotiations and an update on ongoing litigation involving the town.

    Four roadways will the subject of “order of taking” hearings beginning at approximately 7:15.  The roadways include Bella Woods, Medberry Lane, Red Fox Road and Round Farm Round.  Selectmen will then hear a request from Boy Scout Troop 13 to use the Rehoboth town office on Peck Street for their weekly Monday night meetings.

    The agenda for tonight’s meeting also includes a hearing a proposal from the Friends of the Rehoboth Animal Shelter (FRAS) for gutter replacement at the shelter.  Selectmen will conduct a discussion with Bob Materne, chair of the conservation commission on various issues and an appointment for a projects overseer.

    The BOS will vote to refer the proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment, tabled at spring town meeting, to the planning board.  Selectmen will aslo review a contract for services agreement between the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts and the town’s agricultural commission.

    A discussion will be held on the BOS’s appointment of a citizen representative for the Regional Agreement Amendment Committee (RAAC).  They will also discuss a letter received from the Massachusetts Association of Regionals Schools.  The Rehoboth selectmen first began discussing the prospect of de-regionalizing the school district several months ago.  RAAC was recently established to examine the existing regional agreement with representatives from both towns along with the school committee.

    Also on tonight’s meeting agenda are budget issues including reserve fund transfer requests, and approving the payment of an invoice for legal services using money from the local cable access funds. Public access television through a contract with Comcast is currently managed by the town rather than an independent nonprofit organization.  The town remains involved in lawsuits related to severing a contractual agreement with the prior nonprofit public access operator.

    Representatives from the finance committee will discuss the FY16 budget calendar with selectmen.

    Selectmen will vote to approve licenses for a new Mexican restaurant to be opened on Route 44.


(September 19, 2014)  Rehoboth police arrested a Rehoboth man yesterday on child rape charges after being called by school officials to Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School to interview the alleged victim.

    The fifteen-year-old student had reported he had been assaulted by an unknown male adult the previous evening around 6 PM in a wooded area off Providence Street.

    Late yesterday morning, Officer Jasson Ferreira met with school officials and the teen who reported he had been walking on Providence Street when he was approached by a man driving a blue sedan and lured into the woods where the alleged assault took place.

    Members of the RPD apprehended 34-year-old Daniel Ferreira of Chestnut Street late yesterday afternoon and charges him with rape of a child under 16, and enticement of a child under 16. Bail was set by Taunton District Court clerk Doug Darnbrough at $100K.  Unable to post bail, Ferreira was transferred to Bristol County House of Corrections in New Bedford overnight.  He is set to be arraigned today in Taunton District Court.



(September 19, 2014)  In response to yesterday’s arrest of a suspect in the alleged sexual assault of a Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School student, the following statement has been released by School Superintendent Dr. Anthony Azar:

   “We are troubled and saddened about the events that have unfolded over the last 24 hours. Although this incident occurred well outside of the school day, it certainly gives rise to all of us to remain vigilant in protecting our children at home, at play, and at school. Counseling teams in all buildings, as well as staff, have been alerted and will be available to both students and staff as the need arises. We applaud our public safety officials for their quick response to this incident, and as always protecting the well-being of our students. All parents were alerted to this incident through our One Call Now communication system.”


(September 17, 2014)  Two Rehoboth citizen volunteer representatives are needed for the recently created Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee’s Regional Agreement Amendment Committee (RAAC). Rehoboth residents who may be interested in volunteering to serve as a citizen representative on a newly formed Regional Agreement Amendment Committee (RAAC) to reassess the regional agreement are encouraged to apply ASAP for an appointment to be made next week.   

   The regional school committee, along with the boards of selectmen from both towns, agreed to appoint two citizen representatives each.  One will be appointed by the respective town’s selectmen, and the other by the regional school committee.  Applicants must be able to attend two meetings per month for a period of six to twelve months. Interested parties should apply immediately.

    Those who wish to seek an appointment by the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen should send a letter of interest along with a resume and completed Talent Bank form to Rehoboth Town Administrator Jeff Ritter at the Rehoboth Town Office.  You can email him with any questions at

    Those interested in being the school committee’s appointee to RAAC, should immediately send a letter of interest and resume to Dr. Anthony Azar, Superintendent.  Please address that correspondence to: Eliza Couture, Chairman, Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School Committee, 2700 Regional Road, North Dighton, MA 02764.

    Applications must be in by Friday, September 19.  The Rehoboth selectmen plan to make their appointment on Monday, September 22. 

    The appointments will be announced at the next regular meeting of the school committee on Tuesday, September 23.  


(September 16, 2014)  The Rehoboth Lions are accepting nominations through Saturday, September 20 for their 14th annual Citizens Recognition Awards to be presented at a banquet on October 22 at the Venus de Milo in Swansea, MA.

    Everyone is invited to submit a nomination for the twelve awards presently annually to individuals who either live or work in Rehoboth, or an educator/staff from Palmer River Elementary, Beckwith Middle, and DRRHS.

    For more details about the awards and how to nominate, go to the Features page or visit the Lion’s website.  Nominations must be submitted by September 20 to Russell Latham, PO Box 633, Rehoboth, MA 02769. The following info is required: nominator’s name, contact info and signature along with the nominee’s name and contact info (specific which award) along with an additional narrative page explaining your reasons for nominating that person.


(September 15, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen will meet tonight at the senior center with a relatively short agenda including a discussion with Highway Dept. Superintendent Mike Tyler on the town’s snow removal policy.

    Other road-related items on tonight’s agenda include voting to approve the Chapter 90 final report with a total figure of $210K and approving the Winter Rapid Recovery Road program final report with a figure of $92K.

    Selectmen will appoint an interim Veterans Service Officer/Veterans Graves Officer, and make appointment to the recently formed Regional School Agreement Review Committee.

    They will review the draft warrant for the upcoming fall special town meeting scheduled for October 27.


(September 12, 2014)  Rehoboth’s Animal Control Officer Jane Foster issued a warning to dog owners during open public forum at Monday night’s selectmen’s meeting.

    Dog owners who are delinquent in renewing annual dog licenses will be first receive a citation and fine.  If licenses with proof of current rabies vaccination are not renewed, a warrant will be issued for the dog owner’s arrest.

    “You will end up in court and you can be arrested,” said Foster.  

     Selectmen Skip Vadnais noted the issue of unlicensed dogs is taken very seriously by officials.  If an unlicensed dog is collected by animal control, the animal will be cared for at the animal shelter behind the town office.  Owners then face a fine for the annual license, a late fee, and shelter boarding fees.  If they owner does not comply, an arrest warrant will be issued.


(September 12, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen recently completed making appointments to the town’s new Animal Advisory Committee created in April.

    The five-member committee, created to advise the selectmen on issues of animal welfare, includes two alternate members who can attend meetings but have no formal vote.  Jane Foster, the town’s animal control officer will also play an active role working with the advisory committee.

    As liaison with the committee, Selectman Skip Vadnais stated the group will be charged with addressing important issues and policies related to companion animals, farm animals and wildlife.  The committee will advise selectmen with their recommendations. 

   The five members of the committee are: Koren Collins, Richard Cohen, DVM, Amy Hurd, DVM, Richard Panofsky, and Lynn Pray.  The two alterate members are Elizabeth Botelho and Robin Seaman.  The group will begin meeting soon.



(September 10, 2014)  On Monday night, Rehoboth selectmen voted unanimously to promote Deputy Fire Chief Frank Barresi to the position of full-time fire chief to replace Chief Robert Pray who is retiring.

   Rehoboth firefighters filled the back of the meeting room at the senior center in support of Barresi’s appointment.  Barresi, a 27-year veteran of the Rehoboth FD, received chief level accreditation in June through the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission, a gubernatorial appointed board that has established a process for uniform credentialing for the level of fire chief.

   Pray, who is retiring after 38 years in the department and 18 years as chief, told selectmen he was confident the town’s on-call fire department would be left in good hands with Barresi in charge.  BOS chair Mike Costello said Barresi was the best choice to lead the department.

    While Pray’s last day on the job is October 3, his official retirement date is March 6, 2015.


(September 10, 2014)  Rehoboth selectmen have accepted the resignation of Rehoboth Senior Center Director Norie Palmer effective next month. 

    Palmer served as the center’s activities director for several years before being appointed to the position of director in September 2011.  She told selectmen she was submitting her resignation with a heavy heart.  She and her husband are moving permanently to their second home in Florida. Palmer currently serves as vice-president of the non-profit, Friends of the Rehoboth Animal Shelter.

    The senior center director is a town department head position who works together with the Rehoboth Council on Aging board of directors to manage senior center operations and staff. In March 2013, the salaries of senior center staff were hotly debated prior to spring town meeting.  While selectmen objected to raising salaries, town voters approved the pay increase for the director from $29K per year to $36K.



(September 8, 2014) Bristol County Savings Bank (BCSB), through its charitable foundation, recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society (RAS) specifically to help fund a $165K building rehabilitation project at Goff Memorial Hall.

   The foundation grant will be combined with other funding sources. Rehoboth voters approved funding 50% of the project using Community Preservation Act funds. The RAS must raise the remainder from other grants and public fundraising.

    Built in 1915, Goff Hall houses the Blanding Public Library and an auditorium used by many groups in Rehoboth for meetings and other events. The renovation is required to make the building accessible to patrons with disabilities including the construction of handicapped-access restrooms. The building currently does not meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The new restroom facilities will be part of an addition to the building.  All exterior work must meet historic preservation guidelines.

     “Supporting the communities we serve is a core principle of the Bank so we look forward to seeing firsthand the positive impact these not-for-profits will continue to make throughout the greater Attleboro area,” said Patrick J. Murray, Jr., President of the BCSCF and President & CEO of BCSB.

      Bristol County Savings Bank is an active supporter in the communities in which it serves. The Foundation was established in 1996 as part of the Bank’s 150th anniversary celebration.  Its purpose is to fund needs that contribute to the economic and the social well-being of the people and institutions located in the in the bank’s service area with particular emphasis on education and literacy, economic development and housing for the low- to moderate-income population. 



(September 8, 2014) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen have a lengthy agenda for tonight’s regular session at the senior center beginning at 7 PM following an closed executive session to address personnel issues and contract negotiations.

    After a public hearing on proposed tree removal on Williams Street, the BOS will vote to accept resignations and make appointments and reappointments to municipal committee.  They will also vote to accept the resignation of Norellen Palmer, the present senior center director.  An in-house applicant for the position of fire chief will be interviewed.

    Selectmen will continue their discussion, for the fourth time, to place an additional stop sign at Fairview Avenue and Ash Street to make that intersection a three-way stop.  Another intersection on Fairview at Homestead was make into a three-way stop earlier this summer.

    Also on tonight’s agenda is voting to increase the Valor Act tax abatement from $350 to $400 for those veterans volunteering a designated number of work to the town in exchange for reduced property taxes.

    The board will review the draft for the October 27 special town meeting.  The warrant is expected to be closed on September 18.  As always, open public forum will follow the posted agenda items.