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Hudson - Litchfield News August 6, 2010 - 3

Hudson Goes Green to Save Taxpayers More Green

by Doug Robinson Hudson has received in excess of $104,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which has been used to promote and implement a “greener” environment for Hudson residents. Not only do these funds generate a “greener” and healthier Hudson environment, the operational savings to Hudson as a result of “going green” will result in an annual savings in excess of $15,000 to the town. Known as the “Guru of Grant Writing,” Assistant Town Administrator Mark Pearson, his team of professionals within the Hudson Community Development Department, and the Town Engineering Departments continue to prepare, write, and, more importantly, have their grants accepted by local and federal regulatory. Due to their efforts, hundreds of thousands of dollars have begun to flow into Hudson in an effort to help Hudson become more “green,” more energy-efficient, more cost-efficient, and a less costly place to live for the Hudson taxpayer. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package. The stimulus was intended to create jobs and promote investment and consumer spending during the recession, states the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The $787 billion Act includes federal tax cuts, expansion of unemployment benefits, and other social welfare provisions, and domestic spending in education, healthcare, and infrastructure, including the energy sector. Having received

the grant monies, improvements have been made to the Community Center, the Hudson Police Department, and to the Town Hall. Programmable and progressive thermostats have been installed at the Town Hall; a new, 97 percent efficient boiler has been installed at the Community Center; and the air conditioning

Editor’s Note: Jean Serino of Hudson recently made a generous donation to the Rodgers Memorial Library. Here is her reasoning in doing so.

Generous Memorial Gift Given to Library

Assistant Town Administrator Mark Pearson points to the damaged door panel, which will be soon replaced due to funds received from the ARRA

unit servicing the Hudson Police Department has been upgraded to a more efficient and less costly air conditioning system. Over $17,000 was saved during the Police Department project as the rooftop unit was switched to a “chiller” or air conditioning unit, which was positioned on the ground. The front doors to the Community Center

New, energy-efficient front entrance doors

have been installed at the Community Center. Mark Pearson, Assistant Town Administrator, demonstrated the ease with which the new doors swing easily open and then properly close in accordance with ADA requirements

have already been replaced with an energy- efficient door, complete with proper seals and American with Disabilities Act (ADA)- compliant crash bars as closures. The remaining doors to the community center are scheduled to switch out shortly to the more efficient, energy-rated doors. Thanks the Hudson Highway Department, door sills and pavement ramping to the entrance of the Community Center have been properly graded in an effort to seal the doors completely from the exterior elements. “We anticipate saving the Town of Hudson $5,000 annually at Town Hall, the Community Center, and at the Hudson Police Department,” commented Pearson. “It is important to note that these are savings are annual, and that the total estimated savings are approximately $15,000.”

I met Ralph Kelley when I was in college and needed someone to type papers for me. Over the course of the next 10 years of school, he typed all my papers, and after that, all the articles I wrote for magazines and for my book. The first paper I wrote and he typed got an A, and I remember running into his kitchen, paper in hand, and screaming, “we got an A!” I kissed him hard on the cheek. His wife, Jean, kidded me about that kiss for years. We really did write all my papers together and it was because he was such a good grammarian that I did well. I did credit him in all my writings. Over those years and beyond, I came to know Ralph’s story: a poor kid with an alcoholic father and a mother who did the best she could, but often put him in foster care and orphanages. Ralph, who has a brilliant mind, would go to the public library and sit on the floor between the stacks reading everything he could. It was his way of escaping from the cruel reality of his life. He read Dickens, Tolstoy, Jane Austen, and Emily Brontë. He particularly liked

science fiction because in it, he saw the possibility of one day being freed from the prison of his wheelchair. Reading gave Ralph an education as good as any Harvard graduate and when there was a question over a word or a sentence, I would always defer to him. He read his whole life as a way of leaving the confines of his wheelchair, but also to learn, to enjoy, and to expand his world. You see, when he was 17, Ralph, while rescuing two young women from a fire at his place of employment, succumbed to the smoke and fell out of the window, falling on his back. In those days, people did not know not to move a person who had fallen on his back. In moving him, they disconnected two of the top vertebrae in his spine, rendering him paralyzed from the sternum down. Ralph received the Carnegie Medal for heroism for this act. He also became a life-long advocate for government- controlled safety rules in work places. Had there been an OSHA in place, there would have been no fire.

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Selectman Coutu Thinks Outside the Box to Raise Revenues for Hudson

by Doug Robinson

Hudson Selectman Roger Coutu presented to the Board of Selectmen a vision of opportunity for Hudson to raise revenues in these tough economic times. Thinking outside of the box, Coutu inquired of fellow Board members as to their thoughts with regards to selling town-owned property located at 4 Chestnut St. in Hudson.

Coutu stated that we “may not get full value,” but in “the meantime, we can generate tax revenue” from this property. He continued to state that this is a “valuable parcel of land” and that Hudson should “put it on the market. We know we can generate revenue to a developer.” The property located at 4 Chestnut St. is a five-acre

from the sale could be used for the recreation fund, general fund, and road improvements to the neighborhood. Chairman Ken Massey summed up the discussion by stating that getting this “onto the tax rolls earlier than later is beneficial.” We need to “maximize revenue,” he continued. He suggested that the town look into the possibility of sub- dividing the lots, as well as how best to target the monies raised.

Trees continue to grow and flourish as they line the area of 4 Chestnut St. while the selectmen ponder the future of this Hudson-owned land

Selectman Jasper continued to speak in opposition of the proposed plan, stating that “this is the absolute market for rentals” he has had in 40 years.

“This is a terrible time,” he said.

tract of land located off Ayers Ponds Rd. This site has been previously considered to house a recreation facility; however, the residents of the area voted against the endeavor. Selectman Shawn Jasper disagreed with Selectman Coutu, stating that this is the worst possible time to sell because the market is just not there. It is “not costing us to hold on … when we come out of this [recession], the land will be more valuable,” he said.

While Selectman Maddox sat on the fence and agreed with both Jasper and Coutu, he finally tilted to stating that the property was “doing the town no good, [and] should be sold off.” He further commented that the monies generated from the sale of the property should be placed in a “recreational facility, playground, whatever.” He further stated we should “look at options.”

Selectman Ben Nadeau commented that he, too, was “in favor of selling it,” and that he also agreed with Selectman Maddox’s idea with regards to the handling of the proceeds. “We should have the town engineer come up with a plan for the property,” continued Nadeau. He also stated that proceeds

Selectman Maddox commented that in- house staff could attend the project and that the time involved would be minimal. An “intern on a rainy day” could prepare the plans, commented Maddox, or they “can sit on it [property] for another 30 years.”

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