Duxbury has contracted with the Woods Hole Group, an environmental, scientific, and engineering consulting or- ganization in Falmouth, to appeal the 2013 flood insurance maps as presented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Following up a discussion from last week, Town Manager René Read said he has signed a contract for $3,500 with the Woods Hole Group, which will conduct an analysis of the flood maps. The town had hoped to hire another consultant but other companies were unable to meet FEMA’s Oct. 16 deadline for appeals.

Selectman Shawn Dahlen, who proposed pursuing an appeal of the flood insurance maps last week, also wants Duxbury to investigate whether it may be eligible for a reduction in flood insurance. He said other towns have obtained a designation from FEMA as communities that do a good job in minimizing flood hazards, which in turn allows FEMA to offer them insurance discounts. However, to reach this designation takes an effort from the community.

“There’s a certain level of work needed to get this done,” said Dahlen.

Dahlen said other towns have created citizen’s flood committees and he proposed that Duxbury pursue a similar committee consisting of concerned residents who would benefit by flood insurance reductions.

In other news, selectmen: 

  • Learned that the NStar electrical line clearing is complete with a few exceptions. DPW director Peter Buttkus said that only the state land off Route 3 has yet to be cleared. NStar is a third of the way done with replanting areas near homes along the cleared zone and is expected to finish this process by Nov. 19. So far, Buttkus said he has not heard anything negative about the land clearing, which had concerned many abutters. There is a one-year warranty on the plantings by NStar, he said. In a related issue, Buttkus said that NStar had filed with the Duxbury Conservation Commission to replace 32 of its electrical towers near wetlands. He said he would expect the power company would be replacing more towers than that number but he is not sure how many nor does he know what the structures will be replaced with.
  • Learned that the smalls claims court found in favor of the town in a case in which a non-resident took the town and Read to court after being denied a refund for the cost of his beach sticker. The person wanted his money back after claiming he couldn’t park in a park- ing lot when the over-sand area of the beach was full and that he was never properly notified about the regulations regarding beach stickers and parking.
  • Heard an update on revenues from Finance Director John Madden. Madden said the town is currently facing a revenue shortage of $890,000. This includes a $756,000 pension assessment from the Plymouth County retirement pension and $77,000 for insurance for the new high school and middle school. Madden said he is sure the pension assessment will be reduced once it is reviewed by an actuary and that he is not worried that the revenue shortfall will get any worse. Madden vowed to “close the gap” and said he has faced and overcome a worse shortfall – over $2 million in 2006.
  • Voted unanimously to open the annual town meeting and the spe- cial town meeting, which will be on March 8, 2014. The deadline to submit articles is December 3. Susan Kelley in the town manager’s office will help with warrant articles.
  • Accepted a $1,500 donation from Duxbury youth baseball for reha- bilitation of the Murphy and Train fields.
  • Appointed Christopher Tice and Arthur Evans to the Duxbury Historical Commission and reappointed Anne Antonellis, Marcy Bravo, Paul Brogna, Marilyn Murphy, Carol Chapman to the Council on Aging. Susan Grunwald was also appointed to this committee.