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Hospital Fund Helps Mass. Town Public Safety

NORTH BROOKFIELD - Four of this community's cash-strapped public safety agencies will share $16,179 - the balance in the Holden Hospital Fund account.

A reserve of $3,179 will be set aside for future disbursement, but North Brookfield EMS, the town's private, nonprofit ambulance service, will receive $8,674.

The Police Department will receive $1,771, the Fire Department, $1,167, and the North Brookfield Emergency Management Agency, $387.

Barre town accountant Dan Haynes, a partner in the Paxton accounting firm of Hirbour and Haynes, had good news for selectmen with an audit of the town's fiscal 2009 accounts.

Reviewing the management letter with Jason M. Petraitis, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and Clerk Mary F. Walter, Mr. Haynes had overall high praise for the town's financial management team, citing some software issues, reconciliation controls and a move toward standardized vouchers for the town's payroll.

"We're getting there," Mrs. Walter said of the payroll project, adding, "We're doing the best we can."

The board received notice from the School Committee this week that it would soon begin a search for a successor to former Superintendent Erin Nosek, and hoped to have a search committee ready to go by mid-September.

Mrs. Walter said the board should observe protocol and allow the School Committee to take the lead, along with interim Superintendent Gordon Noseworthy, in finding a permanent replacement for Ms. Nosek.

Mr. Petraitis said selectmen in the past had sent letters to the School Committee and felt this was an appropriate occasion.

He reminded his colleague that all town departments would be charged with "thinking outside the box" in preparing fiscal 2012 budgets.

The chairman said the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District is also looking for a new superintendent, and this would be an opportunity for the two districts to share the services of a superintendent and save money at the same time.

"The savings have to come from all departments, and the School Department leads the way in spending tax dollars," Mr. Petraitis said.

Mrs. Walter did not go along with the idea of a letter from the board, but said if Mr. Petraitis felt that way, he should personally attend a School Committee meeting and speak with that board.



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