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Upton Officials Still Negotiating Regionalized Dispatch Funding

Despite hitting a financial glitch, the Upton Board of Selectmen requested Town Manager Blythe Robinson press forward in an effort to partner with Hopedale to bring a partial-regionalized dispatch program to town. During a November 6 meeting, Robinson reported Hopedale officials will not agree to fund a portion of the dispatch agreement concerning grant funding.

Back in May, Upton began talks with Hopedale town officials to provide Hopedale with its emergency ring down services.

The disagreement involves state grant funding totaling $32,000 that Upton will receive annually for hosting the ring down services to Hopedale. The $32,000 figure is based on the anticipated volume of calls received that Upton would take. However, the grant amount would fluctuate if the number of calls increases or decreases.

Under the draft contract, Upton is requesting that Hopedale fund the full $32,000 if for some reason the state does away with the grant. According to Robinson, the Hopedale Board of Selectmen agreed to pay half the amount if the grant funding is terminated. Robinson said she recommended the Board continue to pursue the full amount.

Selectmen Jim Brochu said he wanted the regionalization to happen but felt the original agreement asking Hopedale to pay the entire amount of the grant was fair. "I think we should stick and stay to our initial agreement," said Brochu.

Selectman Chair Ken Picard agreed, stating he wanted to stay the course but that terminology concerning the possible fluctuating grant amount should be incorporated into the contract to be clear.

Robinson said she will report any progress at the November 20 Board of Selectmen's meeting and that she is continuing the process of negotiating the regionalization agreement with the town's union.

The potential dispatch partnership with Upton comes after Hopedale began measures to dissolve its current regionalized dispatch agreement with Mendon and Millville citing communication issues.

In other news that evening, the Board gave its blessing to Troop 132's Jose Porter to construct a new pavilion at Kiwanis Beach. The pavilion will be located to the left of the Beach's Ramsey Building. It will be used for various town events including concerts, winter carnivals, and also utilized during the town's summer camp. According to Porter, Blackstone Valley Tech. students have agreed to build the pavilion for no labor costs. He is also securing funding for the pavilion through the Community Preservation Committee, the Upton Men's Club, the Recreation Commission, and other local businesses. He hopes to begin the construction in July of 2013 and complete it by the fall.


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