SELECTMEN’S MEETING

APRIL 5, 2004

 

 

As this was a reorganizational meeting, the Board’s Secretary called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

 

Selectman Perkins, Selectman Wiksten, Selectwoman Brunelle, Selectman Bond, and Selectman Andrews were present.

 

 

The Board’s Secretary asked for nominations for Chairman.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

            VOTED:  To appoint Wayne Perkins as the Chairman for one year.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Chairman Perkins asked for nominations for Vice-Chairman.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Andrews, the Board

            VOTED:  To appoint James Wiksten as Vice-Chairman for one year.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

 

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

 

Upon motion by Selectman Wiksten and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

            VOTED:  To approve the Minutes of March 29, 2004.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

 

Hearing (cont.) – Request for WRPD Permit – O’Brien – 498 Wareham Street

 

Chairman Perkins read the following:  The Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Town Hall, 10 Nickerson Avenue, Middleborough, MA  on March, 22, 2004 at 7:05 PM, for the purpose of discussing an application filed by Outback Engineering, Inc. on behalf of Edmund O’Brien, proprietor of O’Brien Automotive, Co., for a Special Permit under the Water Resource Protection District By-law, to allow construction of a 50’x60’ building to be used as a vehicle maintenance shop with outdoor parking on a site presently used as a single family residence.  The property is located at 498 Wareham Street and is shown as Assessors Map 094 Lot 1078, zoned General Use X, W.R.P.D. “Z3”.  Anyone wishing to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated. “  The hearing was opened.

 

Attorney Robert Kraus was present to represent Edmund O’Brien.  Joseph Fermanian, Outback Engineering, presented the green cards.

 

Attorney Kraus told the Board that the request is to construct a 50’x60’ garage at the rear of property at 498 Wareham Street.  The O’Briens will live in a single family house at the front of the property.  The property was purchased by the O’Briens in October of 2003.

 

Attorney Kraus explained that Mr. O’Brien had been in the automotive repair business for 25 years in Bridgewater.  He no longer operates this business.  The garage will be used to store empty trucks which will be used to haul sand and gravel.  The business will be known as Transcend Trucking Corp.

 

Attorney Kraus presented the Board with evidence that there were no problems with the Town of Bridgewater.

 

Mr. Fermanian explained that the site consists of 3 acres, with a 3000 s.f. residence in the front.  There is an existing driveway.  The 50’x60’ building, and associated parking will be in a gravel area in the back of the property.

 

Mr. Fermanian said a 100’apron would be paved upon entering the site to control dirt.  He said there would be 3,000 to 4,000 s.f. of an impervious paved parking lot for public parking, consisting of five (5) spaces and one (1) handicapped space.  The trucks would be parked in the evening, and would be in and out of the garage for maintenance.  He said the business would strictly be a sand and gravel operation, not an automotive repair business.

 

Mr. Fermanian said the parking lot incorporates a 1000 gallon water quality inlet to provide oil and grit removal prior to being discharged to another water quality swale.  The turnaround/parking area in the rear remains gravel as there will be no public parking and only six (6) trucks will turnaround and/or park in that area.

 

Selectman Bond asked if there would be any plans to expand the operation to more than six (6) trucks.  Attorney Kraus said there would not.

 

Mr. Fermanian explained that Mr. O’Brien has consulted Thomas Silvia, a chemical engineer from Environmental Strategies & Management Inc. to look into the potential environmental impacts of the gravel area.  Mr. Fermanian noted that an environmental assessment was done in Bridgewater, and came out clean.

 

Mr. Fermanian said the current vegetation of grass and brush, and an existing tree line, provides an adequate landscape buffer.

 

Mr. Fermanian noted that the WRPD Bylaw regulations say no more than 40% of the site can be impervious.  With the current proposal, there would be only 10%.

 

Attorney Kraus showed the Board a drawing of the proposed building.  Bay doors will be located on the back of the premises.  He said the Building Inspector has indicated this would be permissible.

 

Mr. O’Brien was asked what the hours of operation would be.  He said he normally begins at 6:00 AM.

 

Chairman Perkins commended the applicants for following the procedure in filing.  He said all of the paperwork is in compliance.

 

Chairman Perkins noted comments from Departments that were submitted tonight.  The Conservation Commission asked if a wetland consultant had verified that there are no wetlands on the site.

 

Mr. Fermanian said that Leeann Bradley, Outback Engineering, had walked the property, which continuously slopes back towards a pond which is several thousand feet away.  She said there are no wetlands on the site.

 

Mr. Healey noted an issue in regards to zoning.  He explained that Bob Whalen, who is “still getting used to zoning enforcement” had consulted with the Town Counsel.  He learned that in 1977 George Decas issued an opinion to Bill Gedraitis that permits can be issued for commercial uses within a residential zone.  This has been the policy and practice of the Building Department since that time.  Mr. Healey said the project is in compliance with zoning.

 

Joe Linehan, 500 Wareham Street, said his property abuts the O’Brien’s.  He expressed concern with a driveway easement, which is very near his bedroom window.  He was also concerned with the business starting at 6:00 AM.  Mr. Linehan also noted that there is “lots of water” in the rear of the property when it rains.

 

Mike Kessler, 503 Wareham Street, lives across the street from the property.  He said he was concerned with traffic at that time of the morning.  He noted that there is already a large amount of traffic traveling on Rte. 28.  He felt that 18-wheelers, trying to cut across the traffic, would create a worse problem.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that a lot of the issues brought up are zoning issues.  He explained that the Board’s only concern was whether or not it was in compliance with the WRPD Bylaw.  He noted that the area is a mixed use area, and Mr. O’Brien has the right to run a business.

 

Mr. Fermanian said that two (2) test pits were completed at the future site of a proposed septic system.  He said a 10’ – 13’ area was dug, and no water was encountered.  He said there are no wetlands on the property, and when it has rained it doesn’t “pond up”.

 

Attorney Kraus emphasized that engineers have been on the property and have determined that it is not a wetland sensitive area.

 

Selectman Wiksten asked if the area needed to be flagged.  He noted the conflicting reports given by the neighbors on the wetland issues.

 

Mr. Healey suggested asking the ConCom for a “Request for Determination”.

 

Mr. Fermanian said this is only necessary if you are proposing activity within 100’ of wetlands.

 

Mr. Healey asked if the applicant’s botanist could supply the information regarding the wetlands.

 

Attorney Kraus said he would be happy to submit this information, and asked that approval be made subject to receiving this information.

 

Discussion ensued on the definition of automobiles and tractor trailers under the WRPD Permit.

 

Selectman Wiksten asked if the project would be strictly limited to trailer dumps, and not tankers.

 

Mr. Fermanian said there would not be tankers.

 

It was noted that the Town Planner had said the Bylaw does not allow trailer dumps.  However, none of the Board members had seen this in the Bylaw.

 

Attorney Kraus reminded the Board that this would also be a zoning issue.

 

Selectman Wiksten said he would also like more trees planted along the buffer.  Attorney Kraus said this could be done.

 

Brian McMahon, 496 Wareham Street, said that unless trucks are brand new, there will be leakage.  He suggested this should be kept in a tank and pumped out.

 

Selectman Wiksten asked if the Board could allow the turnaround area to be gravel.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the Board can.

 

Jeanne McMahon, 496 Wareham Street, expressed concern about air pollution.

 

Chairman Perkins said this was not in the realm of the Board.

 

Mr. Healey noted that there have been three (3) attempts in the past to change zoning issues to eliminate conflicting uses in favor of residential use.  This has been overwhelmingly rejected at Town Meeting each time.

 

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To approve the request application filed by Outback Engineering, Inc. on behalf of Edmund O’Brien, proprietor of O’Brien Automotive, Co., for a Special Permit under the Water Resource Protection District By-law, to allow construction of a 50’x60’ building to be used as a vehicle maintenance shop with outdoor parking on a site presently used as a single family residence, located at 498 Wareham Street and shown as Assessors Map 094 Lot 1078, zoned General Use X, W.R.P.D. “Z3”.  The Board further found that the project is

a.      Is in harmony with the purpose and intent of the WRPD By-law and will promote the purposes of the Water Resource Protection Districts.

b.      Is appropriate to the natural topography, soil, and other characteristics of the site to be developed.

c.      Will not, during construction or thereafter, have an adverse environmental impact on the aquifer or recharge areas, and

d.      Will not adversely affect any existing or potential water supply.

Unanimous Vote.

 

 

Upon motion by Selectman Andrews, and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED:  To amend the motion to include the determination of the Highway Superintendent on how often the oil separation tank needs to be cleaned.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Update on Budget – FY’05

 

See Town Manager’s Report.

 

Appoint Member of Board to Sign Warrants

 

Upon motion by Selectman Andrews and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED:  To authorize Selectman Bond, in the absence of any other available member, to sign the Town Warrants.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Approve Annual Appointments

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

            VOTED:  To appoint the following individuals to one (1) year appointments:

                        Fence Viewer – Robert Whalen

Robert Whalen

Tree Warden – Donald A. Boucher

Moth Superintendent – Donald A. Boucher

Animal Control Officer – William R. Wyatt

Forest Fire Warden – Robert W. Silva

Alternate Wiring Inspectors – Mike Bell & John Hogan

Pound Driver & Keeper – William R. Wyatt

Town Counsel – Daniel F. Murray

Veteran’s Agent – Paul Provencher

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request for Permission to Film – Kevin J. Young

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To approve the request of Kevin J. Young to film on Walnut Street on the weekend of April 23rd – 25th for a film he is producing for Emerson College’s student run organization Frames Per Second, subject to approve of the Police Chief.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Andrews suggested the applicant provide copies of the film for the Library for public viewing.

 

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Marie Nelson’s Piano Students

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To approve the request of Marie Nelson to rent the Town Hall Auditorium on June 6, 2004 from 9AM to 5PM for a piano recital.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she would work with Chairman Perkins on reviewing the Town Manager’s evaluation.

 

Selectman Andrews volunteered to replace Ted on the Collaborative Leadership Committee.  Mr. Healey said he would get the information for Selectman Andrews.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Andrews, the Board

VOTED:  To appoint Chairman Perkins to replace Pat Rogers on working on the IMA with Lakeville and Taunton.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

VOTED:  To present a letter of commendation to the Police Chief for an incident on Chestnut Street.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Chairman Perkins will work on the wording for the letter.

 

 

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

 

ü      Mr. Healey provided the Board with information on the state of the budget.  He said New Growth will yield an estimated $500,000.  A 2 ½ % increase in the Tax Levy will produce just over $1 million.

 

Mr. Healey said that the School Department is “guaranteed” a state mandated increase from the Town of $976,216.  In addition, the School Department has a critical need for an additional $1,254,490 above Net School Spending.  The total increase needed by the School Department alone is $2,230,706.

 

All other Town Departments critical needs budget increases total about $650,000 (of which $401,000 is to meet Police and Fire Department needs).

 

Mr. Healey suggested that if the Landfill operational management contract is entered into by the end of June, and if local receipts exceed ’04 estimates by $1,000,000, critical needs budgets, outstanding bills, additional debt service projects, and money for the Stabilization Fund will be available.

 

ü      Mr. Healey told the Board that Mr. Costello, through his Attorney Robert Mather, has approached the Town to mutually release one another from the Agreements involving the Grain Mill Property.  This would free Mr. Costello from his obligation to develop plans and to get them approved by the ZBA, and the Selectmen, and then to develop the site.  The Town would be released from any and all obligation to transfer the property to Mr. Costello, and would be free to pursue other options for the property.

 

Mr. Costello has agreed to complete the demolition and grinding up of the cement on the site, remove all metal and debris from the site, and, to the extent possible, use the crushed up concrete and other fill material to level the site to facilitate future reuse.  Mr. Costello will also release the Town from any claims for payment for this and previous work on the site.

 

Mr. Costello will continue to store some items on the property for the next several months.  He will indemnify and save harmless the Town from liability while doing the remaining demolition work.

 

Mr. Healey told the Board that Attorney Mather and Town Counsel have prepared an Agreement to be signed by both parties.

 

Mr. Costello was present.

 

He told the Board that it has been a difficult four (4) months.

 

Selectman Bond said it would be great to bring this issue to an end.  He asked what type of assurance the Town has that the work will be done within the time frame.  He questioned if the materials would be removed within the agreed upon time of eight (8) months.  Other than this, he felt the Agreement was a good idea.

 

Mr. Costello said he anticipated being done with the work on the site within the next two (2) weeks, and being completely out of the building in eight (8) months.  He said he has very little material there and intends to move it out on a regular basis.  The material will be brought to other sites.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested a list of those items that are currently stored.  She also asked if there was a condition for Mr. Costello to do something with the roof of the freight house.

 

Mr. Costello said there is not.

 

Mr. Healey said the building would remain the property of the Town.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked about selling some of the timbers on the site to recoup some costs for the Town.

 

Mr. Costello said he had planned to remove them, but would leave them if the Town wished.

 

Selectman Andrews noted that the Town is not “in the business of selling timbers”.  He suggested Mr. Costello just get rid of them.

 

Selectman Wiksten noted that, 5 – 6 years ago, when the project began, an estimate was given to the Board of $180,000 to demolish the building.  He suggested the Town Manager, or his designee, stop in at the site frequently to look out for the Town’s interest.

 

Upon motion by Selectman Andrews and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To enter into the Agreement of Release and Termination with Dan Costello as reviewed by Dan Costello and approved by Town Counsel, to authorize Mr. Costello to remove all timbers on the property, and to have a designee of the Town frequent the site.

      Unanimous Vote.

 

ü      Mr. Healey told the Board that he has submitted an Article for Town Meeting to authorize the sale of all three (3) lots of land across from Stop & Shop, totaling 34 acres.

 

Mr. Healey also informed the Board that Ray’s Gift Shop has been sold.  The land is contiguous with the Town-owned land. 

 

Mr. Healey asked for permission to continue to explore this, and said there might be a $3,500 charge to do further engineering.  This will be attached to the articles.

 

Upon motion by Selectman Wiksten and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED:  To authorize the Town Manager to move forward with the land on Rte. 28.

      Unanimous Vote.

 

ü      Mr. Healey told the Board that the State will be auctioning off land on Plain Street that consists of 16 acres with over 781’ of frontage.  He said the Town had looked at this land in the past for a fire and ambulance sub-station.  The property abuts Oak Point.

 

Mr. Healey told the Board that the legislators had passed a new general law that doesn’t require the State to offer the land to a municipality prior to offering it to the general public.

 

Mr. Healey said a public hearing was held last week, and there potential buyers there.  He said he had received a call from Senator Pacheco asking if the Town had an interest in the property.  Mr. Healey suggested contacting the legislature delegation to ask that the property be removed from the list to be auctioned.

 

Selectman Wiksten suggested the Housing Authority may have an interest in the property.  He said the State may be more sympathetic to the Town if the property would be used for affordable housing.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To authorize the Town Manager to contact the legislators in regards to the Plain Street property.

      Unanimous Vote.

 

 

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To pay five (5) bills submitted by the Middleborough Gas & Electric Department in the amounts of $5.35, $5.35, $115.02, $313.88 & 72.56, totaling $512.16.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked the Town Manager to provide an update on the Rock Village School lease.

 

OTHER

 

There was no ‘Other’ Business discussed tonight.

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

v     The Board received a letter from Darrel Michaelis in regards to the new stop signs on Spruce and Locust Streets.

 

Chairman Perkins said the matter has been referred back to the Police and Fire Chiefs, and the Board is waiting for their input.

 

Mr. Michaelis, who was present, told the Board that he had spoken to the Police Chief, who said he would not be against removing the signs.

 

Mr. Healey said it should be noted that the signs were placed there after multiple accidents, and complaints about the way cars enter that intersection.

 

Mr. Michaelis suggested the need for more radar or speed control.

 

v     The Fire Chief advised the Board of a $12,800 community grant associated with the Federal Homeland Security funds.  He asked that the Board allocate some of these funds to the Fire Department for equipment that could be purchased for the safety of Firefighters.

 

v     The Board approved the request of the Fire Chief to block East Main Street to through traffic at the points of Sachem Street, and then Plymouth and Wood Street between the hours of 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM on May 23rd.

 

v     The Board received correspondence from the Gas & Electric Department asking for clarification about the specific details of the plan for expanding the holiday display.

 

Mr. Healey said that the had spoken to Ted Eayrs, who said he would be happy to continue working on this project.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Andrews, the Board

VOTED:  To send a letter to Ted Eayrs the authorize him to continue to work on the display project.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

v     Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To send a letter to support House Bill 4484, “An act to Accelerate School Building Assistance Payments to Cities, Towns, and Regional School Districts and to Increase Efficiencies in Public Construction Projects”.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

v     Discussion ensued on correspondence from the Fire Chief marked “confidential”.  Selectman Wiksten said this should not be marked confidential, and should be discussed publicly.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

VOTED:  To remove the label of “confidential” from correspondence from the Fire Chief, and to place the item on next week’s agenda for discussion.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

v     Middleboro on the Move will hold an informal presentation of the proposed design for the Center Street Parking Lot at the Cranberry Country Chamber of Commerce on April 8, 2004 from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM.

 

Mr. Healey thought that the presentation was odd, in that the owner and lessee of the parking lot had not be consulted in regards to this.

 

Selectman Bond said the group wanted to find out what was possible before approached someone.

 

v     Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Andrews, the

VOTED:  To authorize the Town Manager to send a letter of support of the restoration of lottery revenues to towns.

Unanimous Vote.

 

v     Mr. Healey noted that a complaint from Sam Pike in regards to property located at 65 Short Street, owned by Robert Backlund, was valid.  He has taken correction action, and notified Mr. Backlund to cease and desist.

 

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Wiksten, the Board

            VOTED:  To adjourn at 9:08 PM.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN