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Select Board roundup: Regional emergency communications center studied

by | Sep 20, 2022 | Featured: News, News

During a short Select Board meeting on Tuesday night, Town Manager Norman Khumalo shared information about a feasibility study for a potential regional emergency communications center that would include Hopkinton and neighboring towns.

Hopkinton, Grafton, Hudson, Marlborough, Northborough, Southborough and Westborough are the towns involved. Through the state 911 Department, the Collins Center for Public Management was retained to study the feasibility of establishing a regional emergency communications center (RECC) for all the communities or join a future state 911 wireless center/RECC.

The study reviewed the technical, operational and cost requirements to establish an RECC, the potential locations of the RECC and the governance options for the communities. At the towns’ last meeting, Southborough, Hopkinton, Westborough and Grafton expressed an interest in moving forward with an RECC within either Westborough or Hopkinton. The remaining three communities were unsure of their continued participation in the study. They have until Oct. 1 to decide whether or not to move forward.

Fire Chief Bill Miller said he is in favor of the process, noting that it is not new to him.

“It’s the next generation providing the residents of the Town of Hopkinton the next level of excellent service on top of what we’re already offering,” he said. “So, I support it.”

Meaghan DeRaad, the town’s public safety communications director, said she would like more information about the plan.

“Obviously it is a very big project and a big change that would come across,” DeRaad said. “There’s been pros and cons throughout the industry with other places that have done this. Right now it’s kind of a ‘We’re not sure yet,’ because we don’t know all of the details. I can see both sides of the spectrum here. And it’s a matter of getting through this study to determine those answers that we don’t know right now. As we progress through the study and we find out more information and dive deeper into the project itself is when we’ll be able to make more educated decisions. Right now you can’t make an educated decision because we don’t have the information to base it on.”

Misc.: Family Day organizers recognized

Khumalo called out the Friends of Hopkinton for “putting together a fabulous party” at Saturday’s Hopkinton Family Day.

“Perhaps the two-year hiatus [due to the pandemic] gave you the passion and the energy to deliver this spectacular event, and indeed you did. I also want to thank the community for showing up for the day. The atmosphere at the schools was electric. Everybody was having fun. It was positive. And I can’t wait for next year.” …

During a joint meeting between the Select Board and Planning Board, Matthew Wronka was selected to fill a vacant seat on the Planning Board. …

The board accepted a gift of $456 to the Hopkinton Police Department from a group of youngsters who hosted a lemonade stand and bake sale at Legacy Farms.

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