WATERTOWN — The Town Council met Monday, November 16.
In his report, Town Manager Mark Raimo commended the work of the town clerk and registrars of voters, noting that 900 additional voters were registered for this election.
He announced that an objection has been filed in response to a legal proceeding regarding water and sewer rates and that that objection would come before the court on December 10.
Reacting to instances of close contact with people exposed to Covid-19, town officials closed town hall for deep cleaning until Wednesday, November 18.
There have been an additional 118 cases of the virus in the last two weeks, causing all town offices, including the Board of Education offices to close to walk-in traffic.
Only those with appointments will be allowed in town buildings.
The police department has implemented Phase 1 protocols and the highway department is adjusting work schedules to accommodate safety restrictions.
The purchasing agent is looking into tools that would more effectively apply disinfectant to kill the virus on contact.
The town has also purchased iPads to facilitate and improve the quality of town meetings as the meetings move to an all virtual environment.
Mr. Raimo said the new assessor’s first official day of work was that day but she has been training with the outgoing assessor for the last three weeks.
He is conducting interviews for the position of building official and has met with many departments, although has made adjustments given the in-person restrictions.
In other business, the council accepted a bid of $405,000 for the sale of the town hall annex, representing the higher of two bids and the sale of town hall for $125,000.
The council also approved an appropriation of $8,000 to purchase a replacement police cruiser due to a motor vehicle accident that occurred October 2 as police were conducting surveillance of suspects.
Police attempted to stop the truck, which rammed a state police cruiser and spun to collide with the town cruiser to be replaced.
Suspects were apprehended following the collision.
This money would be combined with the $15,228 Insurance funds and a reallocation of $12,000 from the police department 2020-2021 budget for a total purchase price of $36,000.
The council approved a bid waiver to allow the Watertown Police Department to upgrade its information technology network equipment and service provided by S & M Computers LLC, Middlebury for an amount not to exceed $73,166.14.
When the company was retained last year to assess the police department’s IT needs, four critical upgrades were identified and included in the current budget: email, firewall, a 911 call recorder, and a central network.
The project will consolidate several servers at the end of their lifespan and ensure backup of data and is expected to reduce the number of possible failure points, increase speed and reliability, and reduce the down time needed to maintain the equipment.
The council waived the bid because the company has performed satisfactory work for the department in the past, specializes in and is certified to work on law enforcement IT networks, designed and quoted the upgrade project, is local, and will purchase all hardware and licenses through an authorized dealer.