Cote, Britton elected to Plaistow Board of Selectmen

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Breanna Edelstein, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.
·3 min read
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Mar. 10—PLAISTOW — New political careers began as a result of Tuesday's municipal election, while voters also supported a number of Fire Department and town spending requests.

For Selectman, William Cote earned 540 votes, while Darrell Britton Jr. ended the election with 400. Those tallies were enough for the two newcomers to edge out incumbent Julian Kiszka, who had 354 votes.

Doug Thompson, Brian Stack, and Christina Cruz were frontrunners in the four-person race for Budget Committee seats. Philip Spitalere's 231 votes were not enough for him to secure a spot this year.

Thompson received 598 votes, Stack had 564 votes and Cruz was at 468.

A 60% percent vote required to authorize $450,000 for a water service incentive program was narrowly missed when only 58% of voters supported the proposal.

According to officials, the town would have been able to secure a bond at reduced interest rates to assist homeowners who may want to finance a hook-up to potable water. The fees would have been charged quarterly on the homeowner's water bill until paid.

However, enough voters were behind the creation of a water department operating budget — containing $431,300 — in preparation for a potable water system in town. The budget is funded through water usage fees and not property taxes. It will include amounts to not only operate the water system, but also for its expansion.

The vast majority also supported the operating budget of $9.7 million.

In a vote of 619 to 170, voters said yes to 24-hour coverage for EMTs, firefighters and hazard response personnel. Officials said ahead of the election that the current budget does not fund staffing from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

There is no one at the fire station to answer calls during this time and there is a significant delay in response, officials explained. By supporting the warrant article, $314,000 will be added to the Fire Department's annual operating budget to fund 24/7/365 coverage for calls for service for pre-hospital emergency medical care, fire suppression, and rescue services.

That amount will be included in the operating budget starting this year.

Plaistow fire officials were also largely supported — with a vote of 620 to 163 — to buy half of the needed mobile and portable radios.

The current radios are said to be 16 years old, and in dire need to be replaced for firefighter safety. The replacement effort will see $100,000 to be deposited into the existing Fire Department Radio Capital Reserve Fund from the General Fund.

Town officials will get started on what they say is necessary work to fix the cap of the Plaistow landfill, located off of Old County Road.

Ahead of the election, officials explained this is a proactive approach to future higher costs to comply with Department of Environmental Services regulations for landfills. Also included are the removals of the old salt shed and old loose tires currently buried on the premises. A price tag of $575,000 was approved by a vote of 430 to 335.