Belmont Fire Chief announces pick for new lieutenant

BELMONT — At the recommendation of Fire Chief Dave Parenti, selectmen promoted Firefighter/EMT Ryan Brown to lieutenant Monday night.

According to Parenti, the department advertised for the spot made available when Lt. Bob Laraway retired and Brown applied as did many others.

He said after testing, an oral board conducted with representatives from other departments and a chief's interview, Brown finished with the highest score.

"He has taken great initiative and has done what he needed to do," said Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin when making the recommendation to the board.

Parenti said yesterday that he will begin advertizing for a full-time firefighter to replace Brown and a full-time firefighter to fill an additional position authorized by the voters at annual town meeting. He said one position is a 24-hour rotation spot and the second position – that will be filled as of July 1 – is a full-time day position boosting the number of firefighter/EMTs during the day time from two the three.

In other Belmont news, selectmen voted to deed the property at 200 Daniel Webster Highway (China Garden) to the town for non-payment of taxes. Beaudin said she had tried to contact the owner but has not had any response. The business has not paid property taxes in three years.

Selectmen also noted that under a previous agreement, the Casino on Route 106 continues to pay the town $3,000 a week to catch up on its back taxes. Selectmen voted last year to allow the gambling venue to catch up by making the weekly payments and Beaudin said that with one exception, they have lived up to the agreement.

Selectmen also signed an eight-year contract with Casella for solid waste removal and recycling. Beaudin told selectmen that the contract amount for 2015 is $220,000 which includes the company picking up curbside recyclables.

"It's an extremely reasonable rate," Beaudin said.

The town reported that the rebuilding of the lower part of Ladd Hill Road is ready to begin this summer. The project goes to bid on April 10 and the sealed bids will be opened on April 24. The project is being done in two parts with the lower part being done this summer and the upper part being scheduled for 2016.