Following a change in state contracts, Burlington has entered into an agreement with Lexington to share a professional to certify that a gallon really is a gallon.
Town Administrator Paul Sagarino and Human Resources Director Joanne Faust first informed the Select Board in August that the state had decided not to renew its contract with most municipalities to provide the service of Sealer of Weights and Measures, meaning the town would have to hire someone to provide the service themselves.
A Sealer of Weights and Measures checks gas station pumps, store price scanners, deli scales and cab meters to make sure their measurements are accurate. According to materials provided to the Select Board in 2022, Burlington has about 600 devices that need to be checked, accounting for about 10 hours of work per week on average.
Burlington will pay 60 percent of the part-time Sealer’s salary and Lexington will pay 40 percent. The cost will increase Burlington’s budget line for the service from about $7,000 per year to about $16,000 per year, according to Burlington Budget Director and Chief Procurement Officer Whitney Haskell.
The new sealer, Moe Lefebvre, has 10 years of experience and has worked as the Deputy Sealer for the Town of Tewksbury.
The state is required to provide sealing services to any municipality with fewer than 5,000 residents, Sagarino told the Select Board in its Feb. 27 meeting. “There was a period of time 15 years ago when they had capacity and were recruiting cities and towns, larger ones, including the Town of Burlington,” he said. “So a bunch of communities jumped on board to have the state do the sealing. I’m not exactly sure what happened at the state level, but they made a decision about a year ago that they would no longer be servicing the cities and towns that they actively recruited a while ago. Quite frankly they left us a little bit in the lurch on that.”
Select Board Member Jim Tigges remarked that the move to share a Sealer with Lexington was another great collaboration between municipalities, building off the Public Health Excellence Grant shared between Burlington, Lexington and Wilmington.