TOWNSEND -- The Board of Selectmen appointed Deputy Chief Dave Roy as the Acting Fire-EMS Chief at their meeting Tuesday night.

Roy will take over temporarily after Fire-EMS Chief Donald Klein retires March 28. Day-to-day operations will be led by Capt. Mike Grimley, selectmen also voted. Both men will be assisted by John Elliott.

All three men were chosen based on recommendations from Klein.

"It's sort of chief by committee," said Town Administrator Andrew Sheehan. "They're sort of sharing the various components of the job and I think that they will do an excellent job."

After more than 40 years of service, including seven years as fire chief, Klein's last day on the job will be next Friday.

Selectmen will be interviewing candidates to replace him and making a decision in early April. The finalists for the position are Amherst, N.H., Fire Chief Mark Boynton, Dracut Fire Department Capt. Gregory Gagnon and Ayer Fire Department Capt. Timothy Johnston.

Klein issued a farewell to his department Tuesday night.

"I hope I've left the department in a state better than what I found it and, I'd like to say publicly that I wish members of my department all the best in the future, and to the new chief, whoever that may be," Klein said.

He also thanked the Board of Selectmen and the people of Townsend for their support.

"I hope I have done you proud as your chief, and wish everybody here the best of luck in the future," Klein said.

Klein is running for the open seat on the Board of Selectmen, which will be decided in the town election on April 28.

Whoever is chosen to succeed him could lead the department through the construction of a new fire station headquarters, a project that is set to go before voters at the Annual Town Meeting on May 5.

Klein had proposed an $11.3 million headquarters that would serve both West and Central Townsend. The town's five existing stations would all be replaced by the new headquarters, with the exception of the Harbor Station, which would continue to serve East Townsend. Built in 2004, the Harbor Station is the town's newest station.

At Tuesday's meeting, selectmen also unanimously approved the warrant for the annual election. In addition to 20 votes on open town positions, the ballot will also include a debt exclusion vote to build a new North Middlesex Regional High School, which voters supported in a Special Town Meeting on March 11.

Also on the ballot is a non-binding referendum to see if voters would be interested in weekly recycling pick-up at a cost of $71,000 to taxpayers.

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