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MACC Base partners continue to clash over inter-town agreement

  • Milford Select Board Chair Gary Daniels leads a multi-town teleconference on the state of the MACC Base intermunicipal agreement on Monday. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/1/2020 4:03:20 PM

Milford, Mont Vernon and Wilton continue to clash over their continued sharing of dispatch services, with Mont Vernon and Wilton pushing for a contract with clearer ways to upgrade the system in the future.

The Milford Area Communications Center, or MACC Base, is co-owned by all three towns and serves the town of Lyndeborough as a customer. The agreement between three towns expires on Dec. 31.

During a joint meeting between the three boards via teleconference on Monday night, Milford Select Board Chair Gary Daniels opened the meeting by putting forth an option to extend a similar contract the towns have been operating under since 2013 for another three years, with some minor changes.

A multi-year contract is something the Mont Vernon and Wilton boards have been pushing for, but members of both of those boards objected to using the 2013 version of the contract, instead of an updated version written in 2018. Wilton and Mont Vernon were prepared to move forward with the 2018 version at the time, but Milford balked, and the 2013 contract was extended as a compromise.

Daniels said the Milford board still objected to two of the issues that were sticking points in 2018 – that the contract extension would last for 10 years, and Milford losing one of their votes on decision-making processes.

The relationship was further strained by Milford doing an independent study on options for a new dispatch center, including a Milford-only center built onto the police department, and put forth a warrant article requesting funds for a stand-alone department this past March. The article didn’t pass among Milford voters.

Wilton Selectwoman Kellie-Sue Boissonnault and Mont Vernon Selectwoman Kim Roberge questioned continuing with the 2013 version of the contract. Roberge said the updated version of the contract involved clarification on how to borrow funds to upgrade the system and “move forward” and quizzed Daniels on whether returning to the 2013 contract was a signal in Milford’s continued interest in striking out on their own.

“The board hasn’t made that decision yet,” Daniels said.

“This still limits it for an additional three years,” Roberge said.

Wilton Selectman Matt Fish said something has to give for the partnership to move forward.

“Here we are again, two years afterwards, and we know what this is about,” Fish said. “About the Milford Police Department wanting to have control over MACC Base, and your voters basically didn’t go with that. When is your board going to show political support for something that’s going to continue our partnership? What’s it going to take to make this happen?”

“Right now, Milford is tying everyone’s hands, and you have for several years,” said Boissonnault.

The Wilton Select Board put forth that they would like to start negotiations from the 2018 version of the inter-municipal agreement, and asked the Milford Board to provide feedback on their stance on the agreement. The Milford Board requested the other towns do the same, using the 2013 agreement.


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