The dog problem continues, an emergency management plan drawn up by Hampden breeders

HAMPDEN – Three months after a hearing into a dog that escaped from his fenced yard, the owners were again before the Hampden Board of Selectmen on November 7.

Animal control officer Shelley Sears informed the Board of Selectmen that a neighbor had again complained about a dog owner who had been the subject of a previous complaint. Neighbor Lorena Severino sent Sears two clips from her doorbell camera on Oct. 15 showing a then 10-month-old mastiff owned by Lyndsay Bibeau, on Servino’s property.

Bibeau appeared before council accompanied by an anonymous person who said the posts of a chain-link fence at the back of the yard, which belonged to Great Horse, were too far apart and the dog chased a squirrel under the fence. He said the dog returned to the yard after about five minutes. Since then, he said he had reinforced the fence with rebar to prevent a similar incident in the future. Bibeau added that the dog had completed a six-week obedience course and was now wearing a behavior correction collar.

Board of Selectmen member Craig Rivest suggested requiring the dog to be on a leash while in the yard.
Board chairman John Flynn told the couple that owners are responsible for protecting their pets. Bibeau’s companion said he checked the fence weekly to make sure it was secure and the dog was not allowed outside without adult supervision. Despite this, Sears said it was the third time the dog had escaped since July.

Board member Donald Davenport confirmed to Sears that there were no stings. Bibeau’s girlfriend claimed Severino was afraid of dogs and that’s why she complained to Sears.
“The neighbors just want to live in peace and go to their backyard,” Sears said.

Flynn told the couple, “We don’t want to come back every month.” He said a stray dog ​​can also be dangerous for the animal, because of the traffic. Flynn said while their couple were “trying,” if there was another report of the dog off Bibeau’s property unattended, “it’s not going to end well.”
Sears will follow up to confirm the repair of the fence and the behavior collar.

Emergency Management Plan

Fire Chief Ed Poulin and Police Chief Scott Trombly presented council with a draft of the new emergency management plan. Trombly called it a living document that will need to be reviewed and updated every five years. The most recent version is expected to be completed by June 2023.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency local coordinator Scott Flebotte explained that once the emergency management plan is complete, the next step would be to create a business continuity plan, which identifies the order of succession in government and where the government would meet in the event of a crisis, among other matters.

While these plans aren’t required by the state, Flebotte said he suspects their inclusion will impact the grant funding available to cities.

“This is your document,” Flebotte assured the board, adding that everything can be changed to better suit Hampden.

garden club

The Garden Club made several requests to the Board of Selectmen, including requesting a key to Academy Hall. Garden Club historian Connie Witt said that in the past, the Garden Club, which met and held programs in the city-owned building, had to ask the police department to open the building. However, the key to the police department has since been misplaced.

The group has also requested a key to the Academy Hall garage, where they would like to store the tables for their annual plant sale as well as various equipment that is currently stored in the homes of various members. Flynn wanted to check with the Historical Commission, which uses most of the garage for its city-owned property.

Witt requested that the two commemorations issued by the state legislature for the organization’s 90th anniversary be hung on the main lobby wall.

“Not very historic,” Flynn said, noting they were only a few months old, but Davenport said they were historic in the sense that they are state recognitions. Instead, Flynn suggested displaying them on an easel during meetings and programs.

The front door key has been approved, but City Manager Bob Markel will discuss the garage key and wall space with the Historical Commission to ensure there are no issues.

Land acquisition

Minnechaug Land Trust chair Sherry Himmelstein and vice chair Jennifer Bagge told the board the trust had approached and reached an agreement with a Walnut Street landowner to acquire 14 acres of land for 59 $000. Himmelstein said there are “sufficient funds” in the community preservation committee accounts for the land, which are expected to be approved at the annual town meeting in the spring.

While the owner said the parcel was buildable, Himmelstein explained that there was not enough frontage on the Walnut Street cul-de-sac to allow easement-free access from a neighbor. Additionally, Bagge said, part of the property is marshland with 200 feet of frontage on the Scantic River and the grade was too steep for easy construction.

Generally, the owner signs an agreement with the trust, which then assigns it to the city. Himmelstein said she spoke with the city council about the possibility of the city buying the property directly before the city meeting.

Both Flynn and Rivest shared that they were “uncomfortable putting the city on the hook” ahead of a formal vote in the town hall.

On the issue of stump crushing on city-owned land near a trailhead, Himmelstein said it was a potential liability because the thin stumps could “impale” someone if they fell. . The trust will seek reimbursement from the city at the annual municipal meeting.

Curb

Markel brought up the topic of building sidewalks on Somers Road from the Centennial Commons apartments to the Senior Center on Allen Street. Markel reminded the council that the Department of Recreation had given the city $25,000 for a design study, which consulting firm Tighe & Bond carried out for $21,000. The company estimated the project would cost approximately $341,000.

“Is this something the town cares about?” Flynn asked, noting that seniors didn’t express much enthusiasm for the project. Davenport suggested a survey to gauge interest, but Rivest wanted to move to the sidewalk with more urgency, fearing that Gaming Commission money, dedicated to projects that lessen the impact of the MGM Springfield casino, would be exhausted before an investigation is completed.

It was decided that Markel would obtain estimates and apply for the financing. He said the city can’t “take” the money if it’s decided the project isn’t in the city’s best interest.

Other topics

Flynn asked residents to volunteer for the Hampden-Wilbraham planning committee, the next step in realizing the district’s strategic plan.

“We need more people to participate. No more sitting on the sidelines and barking about things, but not intervening,” Flynn said.

Markel planned to attend a webinar Nov. 8 on the AudioEye program, which would make the city’s website accessible to people with disabilities. It will present its recommendation on whether to adopt the software to the board of directors.

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