SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

AUGUST 9, 2004

 

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

 

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

 

Selectman Wiksten was absent.

 

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the Minutes of July 26, 2004.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the Executive Minutes of July 26, 2004.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

 

Meeting with Pat Rogers, Chairman of the Waste Management Advisory Committee

 

Pat Rogers was present to give an update on contract negotiations regarding the Landfill.  He told the Board that WMAC has been meeting with Waste Management to prepare a draft contract.  He said there are still a number of issues to work through, but the process is moving along.

 

Mr. Rogers told the Board that Waste Management is asking to do additional water testing of the groundwater wells surrounding the Landfill, and leachate for analysis of the same chemical parameters including parameters listed under the Town’s Sewer Use Regulations.

 

Chairman Perkins asked for an update on the timeline.

 

Mr. Rogers said there are three (3) meetings scheduled for the month of August.  He said there are four (4) points to discuss, and he is encouraged that the process will continue to move forward.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of Waste Management for permission to perform additional sampling and analysis of the groundwater wells surrounding the Brook Street Landfill and leachate from the on-site leachate storage tanks, subject to Weston & Sampson Engineers, Inc. gathering the samples from the Landfill, with Waste Management reimbursing all costs associated with the sampling and analysis.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Meeting with John DeSousa, G.A.F. Engineering, Inc. – RE:  Re-alignment of Rocky Meadow & Wall Streets

 

Attorney Richard Serki was present, along with John DeSousa, of GAF Engineering, to represent AD Makepeace Company.

 

Attorney Serki explained that a 6-lot subdivision is being constructed at the intersection of Rocky Meadow and Wall Streets.  The Planning Board has issued its approval, and the 20 day appeal period has expired.  One condition of the Planning Board’s approval was the Board of Selectmen’s support of the re-alignment of the intersection.

 

Mr. DeSousa told the Board that there is more of a “fork” than a “T” at the intersection.  Cars travel at a high rate of speed onto Wall Street.  The realignment of the intersection will eliminate the fork, and will allow school buses, traveling onto Rocky Meadow Street, to stay within their own travel lane instead of crossing the median.

 

Mr. DeSousa said that the Highway Superintendent has reviewed the proposal, and has issued a letter of approval.

 

Chairman Perkins asked who owns the property at the intersection.

 

Mr. DeSousa said the Town owns it. 

 

Mr. Healey said the improvements will make the intersection much safer.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the re-alignment of Rocky Meadow and Wall Streets as shown on the plan entitled “Re-Alignment Plan of Rocky Meadow & Wall St., prepared by G.A.F. Engineering, Inc., dated 4-19-04”, as part of the Planning Board’s “Stoneyfield Way” Subdivision approval.

Unanimous Vote.

 

Meeting with Zoning Board of Appeals – RE:  Special Counsel

 

Bruce Atwood, Chairman of the ZBA, and Eric Priestly, a member of the ZBA, were present to discuss the Rocky Gutter situation.

 

Mr. Atwood explained that Paul Cusson, a developer, had proposed to establish a 40B project on Rocky Gutter Street.  He proposes to put 10 houses on 4 acres of land, not counting the roads within the subdivision.  All homes will also have wells and septic systems.  The exit, onto Rocky Gutter Street, was not wide enough for the Fire Department to turn a truck around.  The ZBA turned him down, and he appealed to the State.

 

Mr. Atwood explained that the neighbors have become very involved in trying to stop the project, and have funded a good part of the effort.

 

Mr. Priestly told the Board that Mr. Cusson had “set the tone” of the meetings with the ZBA, being extremely volatile during the first meeting.

 

Mr. Priestly said that the ZBA felt there were many issues, including health and safety concerns.  He said the Town did not win an appeal with the Housing Appeals Commission based on the turning radii for the fire equipment.

 

Mr. Priestly told the Board that, in the meantime, the property has been foreclosed upon.  He said a public auction was held, and the bid went $140,000+.  Because of the foreclosure, the ZBA has inquired about a Declaratory Judgment filing based on “loss of site control”.  He said the developer has to maintain site control to have a valid permit and application.  He said this aspect has never been challenged.

 

The appeal would now go to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and Mr. Priestly said he hoped that a Declaratory Judgment would be filed before having to go to the next level of the appeal process.

 

Mr. Priestly explained that Town Counsel had given an opinion that he did not believe it was appropriate to move forward because the property had been conveyed at the foreclosure to the winning bidder.

 

However, Mr. Priestly explained that the first bidder defaulted because he couldn’t get financing.  The second bidder passed, and it went to the third person. 

 

Jane Lopes asked who owned the property.

 

Mr. Priestly said he didn’t know.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said it was possible that the developer still owned the property if a transfer didn’t occur.  The Bank would not take possession unless they were the bidder.

 

Mr. Priestly said the Board had sent a letter to Town Counsel to file the Declaratory Judgment, but this has not happened.  He said Attorney Witten has agreed to file, but doesn’t want to “step on Attorney Murray’s toes”.

 

Selectman Bond asked if the present appeal was pending.

 

Mr. Priestly said it has been filed, but not read yet.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she would need answers, such as who owns the property, before supporting additional funding.

 

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

VOTED:  To authorize the Town Manager to contact Town Counsel in regards to working with Attorney Jon Witten to file a Declaratory Judgment, and to allow Selectman Bond to sit in on any scheduled meetings.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Meeting with Assessors – RE:  Appointment for Vacancy

 

Pat McManus, Chairman of the Board of Assessors, and Tony Freitas, a member, were present.

 

Ms. McManus told the Board that Kay Zakarian had resigned from the Board of Assessors, and notice was given in the newspapers for any interested individual to apply to fill the position.  One application was received from Dennis Eve.  The Assessors voted, as a Board, to appoint Mr. Eve, and asked that the Selectmen also support the candidate.

 

Chairman Perkins informed Ms. McManus that the vote much be a joint vote of both Boards.  He also said that the Selectmen had received a letter of interest from Frederick Eayrs.

 

Chairman Perkins said he had two (2) suggestions:  to re-advertise for a period of two (2) weeks, or make a decision tonight between the two (2) applicants, who were both present.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if the Assessors had had an opportunity to talk to Mr. Eayrs.

 

Ms. McManus said they had not, and said that the cut-off date for applications had been July 6th.  She felt the position should be left open for two (2) weeks, allowing the Assessors to speak to Mr. Eayrs, and anyone else who was interested.

 

Chairman Perkins said he understood the importance of having all seats filled, but did not want to see it done in a hurried manner.  He said waiting two (2) weeks would give the opportunity to interview both candidates.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle agreed, and told Mr. Eve that the decision was not derogatory towards him.  She said not too many people said the ad in the paper.

 

Selectman Bond suggested anyone interested apply to the Assessors by 5:00 PM on August 16th.

 

Mr. Eve said he has five (5) years experience on the FinCom, and has previously been an Assessor.  He said he would withdraw his application.

 

A decision will be made in two (2) weeks.

Request to Waive Fees – Blais Builders

 

Dean Harrison, Southwind Consultants, was present.  He told the Board that there were actually two (2) requests:  To reduce the total wastewater and water fee by 25%, and to split and pay the fees as the two (2) phases are constructed.

 

Motion was made by Selectwoman Brunelle, and seconded by Selectman Andrews, to deny the request to reduce the total wastewater and water fee by 25%.

 

Selectman Bond questions if there was “grandfathering” pursuant to the law based on the date of the application  He said this would make a difference in his decision.

 

Mr. Healey said he talked to Dan Murray, and said if the applicant wants the Board to consider reduction in fees for that reason, evidence must be provided.  He said nothing, apart from Mr. Harrison’s statement, has been received.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle withdrew her motion, but Selectman Andrews refused to withdraw the second.  A vote was taken, and passed 3 – 0 – 1 (Selectman Bond abstained due to lack of information).

 

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

VOTED:  To allow the fees to be split and paid in two phases:  Phase 1 being the condos, and Phase 2 being the apartments.  Payment, in full, for each phase is due at the time of the application of the building permit for that phase.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Update on Budget – FY’05

 

Mr. Healey said he had spoken to the Town Accountant, who indicated she is one or two weeks away from asking the DOR to certify the Free Cash. 

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested the Board set the date for Special Town Meeting at their next meeting.

 

Set Order of Conditions – Oiva Hannula & Sons Inc. – Wood Street

 

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

VOTED:  To postpone setting the Orders of Conditions for Oiva Hannula & Sons Inc., and Daniel and Janice O’Connor, until the next meeting.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that Selectman Wiksten was not present, and should be involved in setting the Orders for the Earth Removals.

 

Set Order of Conditions – O’Connor – Wall Street

 

See above.

 

Request for Permission to use Jackson Street Parking Lot – N.E. Animal Rescue, Inc.

 

Tracy Hazeldine, President of New England Animal Rescue, Inc., was present.  She explained that the Animal Rescue League has a “Spay Waggin” which is a mobile surgical unit, staffed by a veterinarian, which travels to various communities in order to provide low cost spay/neuter and inoculations to pets within that area.  First consideration is given to families on public assistance, or fixed incomes.

 

Chairman Perkins asked what the fee would be.

 

Ms. Hazeldine said $50 for a neuter, and $60 for a spay.  She said this also includes shots and vaccinations.

 

Chairman Perkins asked how a decision is made on who gets the use of the services.

 

Ms. Hazeldine said the Animal Rescue League tells them how to advertise, and has an “800 number” for people to call.  They schedule all appointments.

 

Ms. Hazeldine said 13 animals can have surgery in one day.  Typically, they are dropped off between 9:30 AM and 10:15 AM, and picked up later.

 

Ms. Hazeldine said the only request of the Animal Rescue League is that the van be parked at or near a Police Station in each community, because one of the medicines is classified as a controlled substance.

 

Ms. Hazeldine said, originally, the request was being made for September 9th, however this has been moved to sometime in October.  She said this is never done on a weekend.

 

Chairman Perkins noted the letter had be copied to the Police Chief, and asked if a response was given.

 

Ms. Hazeldine said no.

 

Mr. Healey noted that the sewer contractor is setting up on the far side of the Jackson Street parking lot by the Museum.

 

Chairman Perkins said he did not think it would be an issue to make room for the van.

 

Selectman Bond asked about an Indemnification and Proof of Insurance.

 

Ms. Hazeldine said she could get this information.

 

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

VOTED:  To allow New England Animal Rescue, Inc. to use the Jackson Street parking lot for the purpose of running a spay day with the Animal Rescue League’s Spay Waggin, subject to the following:

v     Proof of Insurance (Certificate of Liability Insurance) from the Animal Rescue League

v     A signed Hold Harmless Agreement

v     Written approval from the Police & Fire Chiefs

v     Approval of the new date by the Town Manager

Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to use Town Hall Auditorium – L.D.L. & School Street Schools

 

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

VOTED:  To allow the use of the Town Hall Auditorium on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 from 6:15 PM to 8:30 PM, for the kindergarten orientation.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Approve Revised ‘Notice of Betterment Agreement’ – Town Counsel

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the revised ‘Notice of Betterment Agreement’ for Jeffrey K. and Maryann E. Levesque, 6 Homestead Road, as presented by Town Counsel.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Request for Town Vehicle – Assessor’s Office

 

Mr. Healey is still working on gathering all data and information on automobile use and expenses for Town vehicles.  Information is expected to be returned to him by August 16th.

 

It was the consensus of the Board to put this request on the Agenda for September 13th, and notify the Assessor’s Office as such.

 

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

 

A bill submitted by Daley & Witten, LLC for the amount of $3,045.80 in regards to the Rocky Gutter appeal was forwarded to the Neighborhood Alliance.

 

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

VOTED:  To pay the bill submitted by W.B. Mason Company, Inc. in the amount of $104.74.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To pay three (3) bills submitted by the Middleborough Gas & Electric Department in the amounts of $33.70, $24.17 and $5.35, totaling $63.22.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To pay the bill submitted by Collins, Loughran & Peloquin, P.C. in the amount of $1,120.00.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

 

v     Mr. Healey informed the Board that he intends to retire in two (2) years.  he said his Assistant, Sue McCusker, will also retire at that time.  He made some recommendations to the Board, including elevating the Board’s Secretary to the position of Assistant to the Town Manager, and hiring an Assistant Town Manager next year to allow him to mentor that person for a period of time before retiring.

 

Mr. Healey also suggested a calendar be developed so a Search Committee can be established at the appropriate time.

 

v     Mr. Healey suggested Department Heads begin meeting with the Board in September and October to present their best projection of what they will require to meet their Department’s objectives over the next three to five years.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested September would be too soon, and suggested October and November.

 

v     The Town has been successful in getting the reconfiguration and re-signalization of the intersection of Route 28 and 105 moved up from FY’07 to FY’05.  Mr. Healey will get an update on when this might be installed.

 

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

VOTED:  To authorize the Town Manager to seek SRPEDD’s assistance on assisting with the Commonwealth Capital Fund application.

Unanimous Vote.

 

v     The Project Evaluation Report for the Middleborough Citizens Advisory Committee is available in the Town Manager’s Office.

 

v     Discussion ensued on the request of the Town Manager for the Board to ratify appointments of Richard Chamberlin and Patricia Delaney to the Conservation Commission.

 

Selectman Andrews said the Commission can have a dramatic impact on the valuation of land, and said voters are not getting the recourse as to who’s appointed.

 

Mr. Healey clarified that the General Laws dictate that he has the responsibility of making the appointments, subject to ratification of the Selectmen.  Mr. Healey said he understood if the Board wanted to set policy in the process leading up to the appointments.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she didn’t disagree with Selectman Andrews.

 

Mr. Healey asked if the positions should be advertised.

 

Chairman Perkins said yes, to give others the opportunity.

 

Selectman Andrews noted, at the very least, the appointments to these positions should be posted on the Agenda.

 

Mr. Healey said there is another appointment coming, and suggested the Board wait to appoint all three after it appears in the newspaper.

 

The Board will ratify the appointments on September 13th.

 

v     The Highway Superintendent sent correspondence to the Town Manager regarding the cost to repair the Freight House, which is $1,052.50.

 

Chairman Perkins asked where the money would come from.

 

Mr. Healey said it is in the DPW’s budget.

 

It was also noted that Dan Costello has donated 27 sheets of plywood for the project.

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the expenditure of $1,052.50 to repair the Freight House.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

OTHER

 

Agenda for Meeting with Finance Committee

 

Chairman Perkins told the Board that the FinCom would like to know, specifically, what the Board would like to discuss at proposed meetings with them.  He said the FinCom would like to discuss Contract Negotiations and Health Care Costs.

 

Selectman Andrews said this item could be easily handled if a FinCom member was present.  He said the Board is trying to open channels of dialogue with the FinCom prior to the Special Town Meeting.

 

Chairman Perkins said it is too early to have any idea of finalized Contracts.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she thought the proposed meeting with the FinCom was to resolve what will be accomplished at the Special Town Meeting.  She said there is a considerable deficit to cover, and there is a major concern that Free Cash won’t cover it.  She said the Boards need to discuss how this will be addressed.  A balanced budget is necessary to set the tax rate.

 

Chairman Perkins suggested asking the Board’s Secretary to contact the Secretary of the FinCom to give the specificity of the proposed meetings; to establish a meeting on August 23rd, or September 13th, for the purpose of opening a dialogue and discussion in reference as to how to accomplish the goal of balancing the budget at the Special Town Meeting.

 

Audit Report

 

Upon motion by Selectman Bond ands seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board

VOTED:  To ask all Departments involved in the Audit Report, as well as the Town Accountant, where appropriate, to give an explanation for the rationale of having previous issues that have not been addressed.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Mr. Healey suggested a time frame of two (2) weeks.

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

ü      A request from the Town Accountant to authorize a budget transfer request for deficit balances in the FY’04 budget will be put into the Special Town Meeting file.

 

ü      Mr. Healey will ask Bruce Arons to provide information to the Board as to what grants are available for commercial revitalization.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle also asked that the Town Manager advise Mr. Arons that he is expected to submit a budget for his office.  Chairman Perkins suggested he be reminded that this is not the first time the Board has asked for this information.

 

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

VOTED:  To enter into Executive Session at 9:27 PM for the purpose of discussing Contract Negotiations, not to return to Open Session.

A poll vote was taken.  Selectman Bond, Selectwoman Brunelle, Selectman Andrews, and Chairman Perkins approved.

            VOTE 4 – 0 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN