AVON — Town Administrator Gregory Enos would like to thank and acknowledge Town employees for their hard work and dedication during 2020, and take a look back at what happened over the course of the year.
“Last year was challenging on so many levels, but we all worked together to make the year as safe as possible while providing a high level of service to the community,” Town Administrator Enos said. “Now that 2021 is upon us I wanted to take a moment to pause and look back at 2020.”
Here is a look back at 2020 in Avon:
Purple Heart Designation
In early August, the Town held a ceremony outside Town Hall to recognize being named a Purple Heart Community. The town received its Purple Heart Community designation earlier in the year by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization for combat wounded veterans that works on legislative initiatives and provides services for veterans and their families.
Veterans Service Officer Dale Kurtz spoke at the ceremony, thanking Avon veterans for their service to their community and their country.
Fire Station Renovation
The Town proceeded with an approximately $4.5 million renovation to the fire station on the heels of the completion of the newly constructed police station in 2019. The project remained on budget throughout the year, and is currently projected to be complete in July of 2021.
For full details on the project, visit the Town’s project page here.
Public Safety Hires
The Town hosted multiple swearing-in ceremonies for new public safety personnel, which were mostly attended virtually due to the pandemic.
New Firefighters include Nduabugbo Nnoli, Justin Powers and Christopher Sullivan, and new Police Officers include Officer Hans Guillaume.
Additionally, multiple call firefighters hired in 2019 were pinned in 2020 after successful completion of the Call Fire Academy. They include Sean Meany, Eloi Brouillard and Edward Zine IV.
The Town was awarded a $1 million MassWorks grant from the Baker-Polito Administration to perform substantial reconstruction and safety improvements to Central Street. Funds from the grant will allow the Town to make major repairs to the road, including adding a sidewalk, a raised curb and bicycle accommodations. Roughly 65% of the town’s ambulance service runs down Central Street, making smooth traffic flows for public safety concerns a major component of the work.
The Town’s application for the funds received a technical score of 50 out of 50, stressing the importance of the project and the need for the repairs to be done.
AA+ Bond Rating
This past summer, the Town received a AA+ bond rating from Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings, which reflects the high-quality financial condition/low credit risk of the Town. The report noted that the financial management team in Avon had worked to proactively take measures to cushion the effects of potential shortfalls due to the pandemic, and had additional measures at its disposal that the Town could implement should significant cuts to funding happen.
From the onset of the pandemic, the Town has worked hard to respond to the global health crisis and provide residents with accurate, timely and transparent information. A page on the Town’ website provides detailed updates, including testing information, links to local and state resources, and videos featuring Health Agent Kathleen Waldron and Fire Chief Robert Spurr.
In addition to specific projects and accomplishments, Town Administrator Enos would like to express his thanks to the many Town employees and departments that worked tirelessly to keep Town services running during 2020 despite the challenges of the pandemic.
Town employees were treated to an employee recognition event Thursday, Sept. 24 as a thank-you for the work they have put in during the past several months. An ice cream truck from Weymouth-based Ellie’s Treats visited the Avon Public Library, Avon Town Hall and the Avon Police Station as part of the event.
“There is not enough time to thank each and every one of the employees of our Town for the work they put in this year,” Town Administrator Enos said. “The level of service which our residents deserve and expect was met despite so many potential roadblocks, and it means a lot that so many passionate and dedicated individuals are committed to making the Town of Avon the best it can be, no matter the circumstances.”
Remembering Those Who Passed
The year also saw the unfortunate passing of several public servants. Town Administrator Enos and the rest of the Town remember those who served with distinction who passed away during 2020.
Such individuals include Joan Murphy of the Avon Public Library (who passed in December 2019), Selectman Bob Brady, Doreen Gouthro from the Town Clerk’s Office, and Carl Fischer from the Parks and Recreation Department.
Looking Ahead to 2021
Town Administrator Enos, on behalf of the entire Town of Avon, wishes residents a very safe and happy New Year. The Town looks forward to seeing what 2021 will bring and will continue to keep the entire Avon community up-to-date on what is happening in town, both in terms of its continued COVID-19 response and everything else residents need to know.