Thursday, August 17, 2017
   
Text Size




  • Malden High graduates 446 at Macdonald Stadium

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Annual National Night Out Big Success

    Friday, August 04, 2017 11:01
  • Sergio Cornelio unanimously appointed City Clerk

    Saturday, August 05, 2017 09:22
  • DeRuosi’s Report Card

    Friday, August 04, 2017 10:24
  • Help choose the next Malden Reads 2018 book selection!

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00

News

Soderberg Insurance holds candy sale to support the homeless

alt

We often remember the less fortunate during the holiday season. However, poverty and homelessness are with us every day of the year. At Soderberg Insurance Services, Inc. the staff reaches out to help the homeless every day. The Lynnfield-based agency is selling delicious See’s chocolates in support of Boston’s oldest homeless shelter.

Founded in 1899, Boston Rescue Mission provides not only a clean bed and a nutritious meal to those in need, but also rehabilitative counseling. Many individuals who fall into homelessness suffer with drug and alcohol addiction. Boston Rescue Mission provides help to those who have lost their hope.

“We have many visitors each day,” stated agency president, Kathryn Soderberg, CPCU. “All members of the Soderberg team introduce the fundraiser and the charity to the agency’s clients and visitors. Almost everyone supports the fundraiser, which brings us a lot of joy as we know we are raising money for a great cause.”

The chocolates sell for $2.50 each. One hundred percent of the proceeds are donated directly to the charity. For more information, visit www.brm.org.

 

Town in no rush to fully fund OPEB/pension accounts

Despite a combined liability of $59.9 million in the town’s Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB) and pension accounts, there is no urgency to fully fund either one right now. The OPEB account provides benefits to retirees, such as medical and dental insurance, while the pension account is the source of the monthly checks that are sent out to each retiree.

Town Administrator James Boudreau said Lynnfield has until 2030 to fully fund the pension account, which carried a liability of $29.1 million as of June 30, 2016. However, he said there is no funding schedule for the OPEB account, which carried a liability of $30.7 million.

According to the town’s financial statements for 2016, $401,886 was allocated for OPEB and pensions. “It’s what the town could afford at the time,” said Boudreau.

However, page 16 of the financial documents showed revenues totaling $55.5 million and expenses totaling $53.4 million, leaving $2.1 million in “excess revenues over expenditures.”

Boudreau said the town’s OPEB account has a current balance of $934,000. “It’s on a pay-as-you-go basis; the goal is to put a little more money in every year,” he said.

Town Accountant Julie McCarthy said the $59.9 million liability represents the total cost of OPEB and pensions. She also said the town has continued to increase the OPEB/pension allocation each year, adding that it used to be $100,000. “We’ve continued to increase it,” said McCarthy.

However, McCarthy said the final figure is at the discretion of Boudreau and the Board of Selectmen. “We don’t have any kind of a dedicated plan for a certain amount,” she said.

Despite the $934,000 in the OPEB account, McCarthy said upcoming retirees should not be concerned about there being a lack of money to fund their pension and benefits packages.

By Christopher Roberson


 

Cost of Wakefield/Lynnfield Rail Trail jumps by $2.1M

The cost to build the Wakefield/Lynnfield Rail Trail has increased from $7.1 million to $9.2 million.

Vincent Inglese, president of the Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail, said the $7.1 million figure was only a “rough estimate” that project engineer WorldTech submitted to the State Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

“As part of the preliminary design submission, WorldTech submitted an estimate for construction,” said Inglese. “MassDOT then reviewed the submission and adjusted accordingly. The price will likely change again as the project advances and the design is more defined and additional project details are developed.”

However, Inglese remained confident that state and federal funds will be available by 2020 “to meet 100 percent of constructions costs.”

Since the state has already provided funding for the preliminary design phase, Inglese said an additional $300,000 will be required from both Wakefield and Lynnfield to fund the final design phase.

In addition, approval for the rail trail passed by one vote at Lynnfield’s Town Meeting in April.

According to the Wakefield/Lynnfield MA Rail Trail Initiative Facebook Page, the project is included in the state’s Transportation Improvement Plan for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

The required 25 percent of the Design and Engineering Plan has also been submitted to the Department of Transportation for review.

“So, hang in there for a few more years and we will soon have another place to bicycle or walk with our kids or pets besides Lake [Quannapowitt],” representatives said in a Facebook posting. “This is truly an example of the old adage: good things take time.”

Originating in Wakefield, the 4.4-mile trail will cross into Lynnfield at Reedy Meadow along the old Newburyport Railroad bed.

After exiting the meadow, the trail will pass Reedy Meadow Golf Course and Pillings Pond before crossing Pillings Pond Road at the Lynnfield/Peabody line.

In a November 2015 interview, Janet Long, then-chairman of the Lynnfield Rail Trail Committee, said she was leery about taking the trail through the meadow. In the 25 years that the railroad has been out of use, the Saugus River has washed over the tracks and has submerged approximately 400 feet of the rail bed in about six inches of water.

Although there had been discussions about a rail trail going back to the late-1970s, it was not until 2004 that the idea gained enough traction to form a committee.

Although the tracks are abandoned, the property is still owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and TR Advisors.

Therefore, Long said a 99-year lease needed to be negotiated by officials in Wakefield and Lynnfield. However, Inglese said a lease agreement has yet to be agreed upon.

The state also earmarked $39.7 million to be spent from 2015 to 2019 on pedestrian and bike trails.

However, not everyone has been pleased about the plans for a rail trail, as Long said a group of residents banded together to form Citizens of Lynnfield Against the Rail Trail.

“We are convinced that this project will create new costs and dangers for Lynnfield and for our fellow residents,” they said in a statement on their website, http://www.notforlynnfield.com.

The group had no further comments at this time.

By Christopher Roberson


   

Lynnfield Public Library receives birthday proclamation

alt

On August 4, the Massachusetts House of Representatives offered its sincerest congratulations to the Lynnfield Public Library in recognition of the library’s 125th Birthday Celebration on July 22, 2017. Since opening in 1892, the library has expanded and grown, and it now has a collection of 72,000 items, an average of two programs per day and 200 daily visits to the library’s web page, and it provides services to over 300 individuals per day.


 

Police Capt. Karl Johnson reacts to recent fentanyl incident

In this week’s Advocate Asks interview, we asked Police Capt. Karl Johnson for his reaction to the recent fentanyl incident in Chelsea in which three police officers were taken to the hospital after being exposed to the drug. In response, the Chelsea Police Department will be purchasing an array of protective equipment for its officers.

 

Q: What is your opinion about what happened with three police officers in Chelsea?

A: The Chelsea incident is unfortunate; I’m glad to see that those three officers emerged from it without serious harm and I applaud the Chelsea Police Department’s proactive efforts to safeguard its members by acquiring protective gear.

 

Q: The Chelsea Police Department will be investing in masks, eyewear and gloves to protect its officers. Do you believe the same precautions are needed for your department?

A: For law enforcement generally, it serves as a cautionary tale, a reminder that we cannot possibly prepare for every contingency, our best efforts notwithstanding.

 

Q: Is there an estimate in terms of what these items might cost?

A: I can’t speak to the cost of such protective gear, but I can tell you that disposable gloves, for example, are used frequently and are worth every penny spent on their purchase.

 

Q: Do your officers encounter situations involving fentanyl on a regular basis?

A: The majority of the Lynnfield Police Department’s officers are EMTs. Each cruiser is equipped with a medical bag containing gloves and masks, along with the other equipment that you might expect.

 

Q: What safety precautions do you currently have in place?

A: While fentanyl is not encountered here on a regular basis, its regional presence seems to be growing. It only stands to reason that we’ll see an increase in proportion to the trend.

Q: Do you see fentanyl as a major threat going forward?

A: Lynnfield officers are regularly updated on incidents such as the Chelsea situation through roll call training and email distribution of outside training materials. Protective gear has been standard for several years and new gear is always considered.

   

Page 1 of 61




Login Form