Four Towns Regionalize Veterans' Agent
Westborough, Shrewsbury, Northborough and Grafton unite.
Veterans from Westborough, Shrewsbury, Northborough and Grafton may soon be served by the same veterans' department.
Westborough selectmen voted Tuesday night to join the Central Massachusetts Veterans' Services District with their neighbors.
“Due to the proximity of all four towns’ town halls, and how we have this scheduled, it will actually provide additional services to veterans in all four towns. Our office is open certain days and hours. Right now, they’ll have access five days a week, 40 hours a week,” Westborough Town Manager Jim Malloy said.
Shrewsbury, Northborough and Grafton have shared Veterans' Agent Richard Perron, with administrative support in each town, since 1999, the proposal states.
Perron plans to retire soon, the proposal notes.
Malloy said he, Assistant Town Manager Kristi Williams and Veterans Agent/Director of Veterans Services George Perry III have met with officials from the other three towns for “four or five months.”
Malloy noted that “the cost will be broken out by the population of each of the communities within the district.”
The four towns spent $292,634.98 total on veterans' services during the last fiscal year, the document says.
The regionalization plan's proposed first-year budget is $216,750. The figure includes $50,000 for a director, and stipends totalling $20,075 for two part-time agents.
"In light of our current fiscal constraints, the towns believe that this step is a reasonable way in moving forward," the proposal states.
"We need to understand whether a need exists prior to having to choose between an existing public safety or education employee and additional staff in the veterans' services area. We are in a position where the towns have to make these types of choices."