Dunstable Board Advances Legal Fight Over Water Contaminant

In a move to address the presence of PFAS contaminants in Dunstable’s drinking water, the Board of Selectmen voted to enter into a legal services agreement with Napoli Schnek during their recent meeting. This agreement is aimed at investigating and assessing potential claims against companies that produce PFAS, a persistent and potentially harmful chemical found in the town’s water supply.

The discussion on the PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) litigation was a focal point of the meeting. The board weighed the options presented by two law firms, Napoli Schnek and SL Environmental Law Group, each offering draft agreements for representation in the lawsuit. While some members showed preference for Napoli due to personal contacts and recommendations, the decision to engage with Napoli Schnek was made after extensive discussion on the matter. The board also acknowledged the need for a Pasa mitigation program and the consideration of additional claims for funding, pointing to a broader strategy for addressing the contamination issue.

Following the step taken in the PFAS matter, the board proceeded with the annual reappointments. A list of appointments to various committees and commissions was reviewed, with a motion being made to appoint town officials, boards, and committee members as outlined in the document dated June 11th, 2024, which included the addition of an alternate to one of the committees. The motion was seconded and passed without further debate.

The meeting also featured a debate on the expansion of the job description for the director of senior services to include added responsibilities related to recreation. The board discussed the viability of a 17-hour per week part-time position to handle the demands of supporting both the Recreation Commission and Parks Commission. Members voiced concerns about the substantial workload and the need for a clear reporting structure. Despite these concerns, the board approved the revised job description, acknowledging the potential for the position’s evolution based on its success.

Addressing the inclusivity of town programs, the board debated whether new programming should be tailored specifically to seniors or if it should be open to all ages. The consensus was to aim for inclusive programs that invite the participation of the entire community. This decision aligned with the town’s broader goals of fostering a welcoming and active environment for all residents.

Another community safety issue was addressed through the consideration of placing road signs to alert motorists to give bicyclists sufficient space while passing. Although there were concerns about the signs contributing to visual clutter, the board recognized the importance of cyclist safety and agreed to the potential placement of signs at strategic entry points to the town.

Lastly, the board received updates on the MUD district and the approval of the Town Center zoning amendment. The Attorney General’s office had allowed the amendment, which included provisions for zoning changes, though it did not permit the prohibition of lottery sales. This development reflected ongoing efforts to shape the town’s infrastructure and commercial landscape in accordance with residents’ needs and regulatory frameworks.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Town Administrator:
Jason Silva
City Council Officials:
Ronald Mikol, Leah D. Basbanes, Kieran Meehan

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