FORD FINALLY FIXES AMBULANCE FOUL-UP
After six months and many excuses, Ford had finally honored the terms of its warranty and delivered a new engine for a town ambulance. The three-year-old, $365,000 ambulance uses a Ford F-550 Power Stroke Turbo diesel engine, and it blew last fall. It was under warranty, but Ford told Abington Fire Chief John Nuttall that because of supply chain issues, it didn’t have a timeframe for delivering a replacement. For the past six months, the Abington Fire Department has had to borrow ambulances from other agencies while pushing additional wear and tear on its other two older ambulances. Boston 25 News ran a segment about the town’s problem with Ford, after which Nuttall confirmed Abington isn’t alone in this situation.
“I have heard from a number of fire departments in the area and around the country having similar issues, which is forcing ambulances to be out of service,” he told Abington News in an email.
Ford officials reached out to immediately after the Boston 25 segment aired but still couldn’t guarantee a new engine would be available before the end of the year, Nuttall said. And then suddenly, this week, a new engine and all needed components were delivered to the Foxborough garage where the Abington ambulance has been sitting.
“The repair should take about two weeks to complete, due to a couple of ambulances already scheduled, as well as the complexity of the repair,” Nuttall said.
Meanwhile, Nuttall believes more stringent federal emission standards plus a push toward electric vehicles are making it more difficult for fire departments to keep vehicles in service.
“An even larger problem is the issues caused by federal emissions regulations, specifically on diesel engines, that is drastically reducing the expected lifespan of very expensive emergency vehicles,” Nuttall said. “Abington has already experienced expensive repairs to a few of our newer trucks because of this, and I expect it to grow worse as they age.”
CONSERVATION COMMISSION HAS QUESTIONS FOR BROCKTON AVE BUILDER
The Conservation Commision is again taking a close look at 154 Brockton Avenue. Commission Chairman Paul Bunker told the board this week that he believes the current residential home was not build in accordance to several conditions, including improper site grading, deck stairs and patio that extend into a wetlands buffer, and dead restoration plantings. Bunker said he discussed his concerns with the builder, Mento Landscape and Paving, Inc., during a recent phone call that included fellow board member Tim Warner, as well as representatives for the builder. Nobody from Mento was at this week’s commission meeting; they asked the discussion be continued until the board’s April meeting. An attorney for Mento told Abington News they will “continue to work with the commission to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion given the conditions of the site.”
Back in 2021, the site was the focus of some controversy when the Conservation Commission’s previous chairman signed off on a building permit, saying it didn’t need commission review despite GIS maps clearly showing a stream just feet from the proposed foundation. Work started and the foundation quickly filled with water. Other commission members objected to the then-chairman’s sign-off, his decision was reversed, and the project was brought in front of the full commission for review. Ultimately, the commission approved the project with several conditions, including that home be built on a drier part of the site, and any changes to the approved site plan come back for commission review.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS FOR ANNUAL TOWN ELECTION NOW AVAILABLE
Town Clerk Leanne Adams said absentee ballots for the town’s Annual Town Election are now available. The town election is scheduled for Saturday, April 29; voting will take place at the Beaver Brook Elementary School.
Applications for absentee ballots are available online, or can be requested be sending the Town Clerk’s Office a signed note. Postcards will not be sent out for the town elections; postcards are only mailed for state and federal elections, Adams said.
Registered voters may choose to vote via absentee ballot for any reason, whether they will be out of town, or just prefer to vote early. The deadline to apply for a vote by mail ballot is April 24 at 5 p.m. on the 5th business day before the election. Ballots can be returned via a secure drop box in front of Town Hall.
Anyone with questions can call the Town Clerk’s Office at 781-982-2112 or email email@example.com
NOTES FROM THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
Selectmen at their meeting Monday night:
- Approved new contracts for the police, fire, and library unions. (Selectman Mike Kolodziej, who is a firefighter, recused himself from the vote on the fire department contract)
- Recognized Green Wave senior hockey player Jake Quinn, who was named SSL winner of the Boston Bruins / MIAA sportsmanship award winner.
- Congratulated Conservation Commission member Alex Leary for earning his conservation agent certification.
- Appointed Donna Green to a tenant board member seat of Abington Housing Authority
- Appointed Peter Walters and Nora Acevedo to the Opioid Settlement Fund Allocation Committee.
- Appointed Alex Hagerty to the Historical Commission.
- Heard from South Shore Regional Technical High School Superintendent-Director Thomas Hickey on a plan to allow Marshfield into the school district.
- Approved a proposal allowing Civil War reenactors to use Island Grove Park overnight in April
COMPOST SITE REOPENS SATURDAY
The town’s compost site, located at 171 Groveland Street, reopens for the season this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents are able to drop off leaves and grass clippings, as well as scrap metal, at no charge. The yard waste is turned into compost, which is also free to residents. For a fee, residents can also drop off certain electronics, propane tanks, air conditioners, and mattresses. Payment can only be made by check. More information is available here:
TOWNWIDE YARD SALE SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 15
It’s almost yard sale season, and Abington Celebrates is coordinating a townwide event on Saturday, April 15. Abington Celebrates will be hosting a yard sale featuring donated items outside the North School from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Money raised will help pay for the Founders Day Weekend fireworks display. Residents and business owners can also pay $20 to have their own yard sale listed on a map that will be distributed at the North School. Participants will also receive a yard sign.
AHS STUDENTS MEET JUDGE BRADLEY
Hingham District Court First Justice Heather Bradley spoke to 25 Abington High School juniors and seniors who are studying criminal justice on Friday, March 17, as part of the Massachusetts Trial Court’s National Judicial Outreach Month. According to a release from the court, Judge Bradley spoke on a number of topics, including the role of the district court and its practices and procedures, and answered questions from the students. Trial Court and Appeals Court judges from across the state speak to students and members of the public about the importance of an impartial, independent judiciary governed by the rule of law. Every March, as part of an effort to build community understanding and trust in the judicial system and the court’s commitment to equal access to justice, Trial Court and Appeals Court judges from across the state speak to students and members of the public about the importance of an impartial, independent judiciary governed by the rule of law, the release said.
ASPIRE HOSTING CANDIDATES FORUM ON APRIL 22
A new community group is partnering with the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts to host a candidates forum. ASPIRE — Abington for Social Progress, Inclusion, Representation & Equity — has scheduled the event for Saturday, April 22, at 6 p.m. at the Senior Center. It will consist of a Q&A featuring candidates for School Committee, Planning Board, and Board of Selectmen moderated by the League, followed by an informal candidate reception. Anyone who would like to suggest questions can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15.
Abington Community Access & Media will also be coordinating candidate interviews in the coming weeks. Abington News will begin publishing its Candidate Question of the Week feature later this week.