Not in Town to Pay Your Taxes? Treasurer Has The Solution
Selectmen agree to school's solar initiative, Fire Chiefs request for communications standards.
For the 500 to 1,000 residents who fly to warmer climates in the winter or away to the beach in summer as well as the professionals who travel a great deal for work, sometimes a bill from Floyd Carman, Belmont's Treasurer, can get lost in the shuffle or remain jammed in the mail slot.
Currently, unlike municipal bills for things like utilities or parking tickets, Belmont residents' big bill, the quarterly real estate tax, can not be paid on-line. The check needs to either be in the mail or dropped off to Carman's office in the Homer Building.
But that all will change as Carman is prepared to have his office join a half dozen cities and towns in the Commonwealth to install e-billing which will allow any resident to pay their real estate taxes in front of their computer screen.
It's another service not just for those residents who are away in the winter or summer but it's a benefit for the entire community," said Carman.
Carman's proposal – which will only be for real estate taxes but not excise tax – was presented to the Board of Selectmen this week as another function that will allow for more efficiency and ease of payment while saving on paper and paper work.
The savings from installing the new software package this year will be small, admits Carman, but by the fifth or sixth year, it could provide an extra $4,000 to $5,000 to the town's coffers "which is a decent savings," he said.
Board to Colton: Solar OK with us
Belmont Energy Committee Co-Chairman Roger Colton came before the Board of Selectmen to ask if they would allow him and members of the Solar Initative Committee that includes residents and members of the School District, to move forward in writing a request for proposal to place solar panels on the roofs of the town's six schools.
Colton told the board the initiative was overwhelmingly supported by the School Committee, it would not cost the town or schools in upfront money and save the district nearly $3 million over 20 years.
"It's a nice project for the environment and will have a positive financial impact on the schools," said Colton. The board agreed as they voted to support the plan moving forward.
Board supports Fire Dept's communication request
One of the greatest difficulties facing public safety employees at the scene of a fire is communication. With the use of concrete and steel, conversing over a radio channel in a modern commercial or industrial building can be difficult at best and impossible at worse.
The death of six firefighters in the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire in 1999 and confusion during the evacuation of Tower One in New York City on 9/11 was partially blamed on ineffective radio communication.
Belmont Fire Chief David L. Frizzell came to Selectmen this week to adopt a standard for new commercial and large residential construction and those buildings undergoing major renovation to install communication equipment that will enhance radio transmissions throughout a densely-constructed structure.
Currently, only the Shaw's Supermarket in the Waverley neighborhood and the new Roger Wellington Elementary School are equipped with the electronics at a cost of $30,000. The board agreed to support the language presented by the Fire Department.