CHINA: Consultant advises select board on fire department compliance

by Mary Grow

CORRECTION: The headline on page 2 of the October 21, 2021, issue of The Town Line may have been misleading. In no way, shape or form was the consultant intended for fire department compliance. The presenter, Lynn Gilley Martin, of Fire Service Compliancy Associates, offers municipalities advice on compliance with state labor laws and regulations for each town department. It was an editing error. The original article follows:

In addition to acting on the sale of town-owned land on Lakeview Drive (see The Town Line, Oct. 14, p. 3), China Select Board members heard a variety of reports at their Oct. 12 meeting.

A new one was from consultant Lynn Gilley Martin, of Fire Service Compliancy Associates, who said she works with, but not for, the state Department of Labor. Her specialty is offering municipalities advice on compliance with state labor laws and regulations.

She makes sure each town department is informed about required programs and trainings for employees, both initial and annual; and about maintenance and inspection records for facilities and equipment, monthly and annual.

Martin showed board members an 8.5-by-11-inch public works manual that appeared to be close to three inches thick, and told them the corresponding manual for a fire department is even thicker.

Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood had gotten in touch with Martin about adding China to her clients. China employees are obeying regulations, Hapgood said, “but we could do it better.”

She and board member Wayne Chadwick agreed that carefully documented adherence to regulations ought to lower the town’s insurance costs.

Board members unanimously approved taking $3,650 from their contingency fund to contract with Martin for a year. In return, the town gets assistance that includes copies of department manuals and an annual consultation.

Hapgood intends to forward information to China’s three volunteer fire departments.

Because the meeting agenda was long, Hapgood emailed the monthly reports from town department heads instead of reading them. They included the following information:

  • Town Clerk Angela Nelson said as of Oct. 13, new voters must register in person. Oct. 28 is the deadline for requesting absentee ballots and for voting early for the Nov. 2 election.
  • Dog licenses for 2022 have been available since Oct. 15, Nelson said. The fee is $6 for a spayed or neutered dog and $11 for an unaltered dog.
  • Public Works Director Shawn Reed reported he already bought cutting edges for town snowplows for this winter. The price increased 56 percent over last year, he said, and he was warned they “may become difficult to obtain” later in the year.

The next China Select Board meeting will be about 6:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 25, in the portable building behind the town office. It will follow a 5:30 p.m. recognition party for Irene Belanger, who is retiring from the board in November after 42 years of service to the town.


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