SELECTMEN’S MEETING

DECEMBER 2, 2002

 

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

Selectman Rogers, Selectman Wiksten, Selectwoman Brunelle and Selectman Eayrs were present.

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

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

VOTED: To approve the Minutes of November 25, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

Presentation of Check – Darrin Degrazia

Darrin Degrazia met with the Board to present a check from the Middleboro Neighborhoods Alliance.

Mr. Degrazia explained that the Alliance began three (3) years ago in response to a proposed Chapter 40B project on Rocky Gutter. Money has been raised to offset legal costs of the Town.

A check for $2000 was presented to the Board.

Meeting with Finance Committee

Mike Stagliola, Chairman of the Finance Committee, told the Board that the Committee was looking for direction in the budgetary process. A letter had been written to the Board proposing that budgets be collected through the Town Manager’s Office, and then shared with the FinCom, no later than January 20, 2003. The letter further suggested that meetings be set up with the Town Manager to review the entire budgetary picture.

Chairman Perkins said this was a good suggestion. He said the Committee and the Board need to work together.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that MGL Ch 41 sec 59 says that Department Heads will submit budgets to the Town Accountant or an advisory committee (FinCom). She explained that the Board is "not trying to take the job from the FinCom", but also needs to get information to make policy decisions. She said that the FinCom advises based on the best interest of the Town, the Board supports what they feel the Town needs.

Selectwoman Brunelle told the FinCom that they need to work together. She noted that revenue enhancements, fee structures and indirect costs had been reviewed, resulting in tremendous increases for the Town. She said there are still areas to look at.

Selectman Eayrs said he was concerned with going into a budget year with a huge deficit, based on projections. He said he welcomed participation in trying to escape the "rollercoaster" of the structural deficit. He also noted that members of the Board have full-time jobs, and do not want to do the Town Manager’s job.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she disagreed with the FinCom’s position at the last Town Meeting. She explained how the structural deficit came about in 1990. The Town was facing the same situation as they are now, laying many people off. Selectwoman Brunelle was the Chairman of the FinCom at that time. There was an almost $2 million deficit at the time. She said the intent was to walk out of the June Town Meeting with a balanced budget. Health and Life Insurance for the Town was underfunded and subsequently refunded in the Fall. An agreement has not been made to address this. Selectwoman Brunelle told the FinCom that the Board is watching local receipts very closely.

Mr. Healey thanked the FinCom for their suggestions. He said he looked forward to working with the Committee. He did suggest that Department Heads and Committee Chairs be involved in reviewing the budgets.

Joe Correia reminded the Board that the FinCom has new members.

Discussion ensued on the budget format. The FinCom is currently working on a new format. Selectwoman Brunelle told them that any changes will be a major learning curve for Department Heads, and they would need to be involved. Sandy Bernier would also need to approve the format.

Mr. Healey said that Ms. Bernier has indicated that the format is acceptable, provided there is no changing or adding major accounts or account numbers. He said there are a few other issues to be resolved.

Chairman Perkins reminded everyone that a meeting will be held on Saturday, December 14th at 9:00 AM at the Nichols Middle School. The Board will meet with the FinCom and the School Department.

Mr. Healey reflected projected increases, including $2 million for the School Department, and another $2 million in capital repairs. He said the most significant problem will be dealing with the State and the Chapter 70 monies. The Town may have to make up the difference of any cuts made.

Mr. Stagliola told the Board that the FinCom has reviewed the Town Charter, reviewed the FinCom State Handbook, looked where the money comes from and what tools are available. They are also finalizing a "Financial Calendar" to show what time of year things need to be done. He also said the Committee will make a verbal report at Town Meeting.

Mr. Correia asked if the Board supported the FinCom’s suggestion for the Town Manager to gather the budget information.

Selectwoman Brunelle said that the Town Manager has a heavy workload, and was against him retrieving additional information "over the budgets".

Chairman Perkins noted that the Board has already requested, through the Town Manager, to get budget information. He asked why two (2) or three (3) different gatherers were necessary.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she did not want to see the Town Manager become a "gopher" for the FinCom. She said she was fine with the suggestions if done in the realm of his normal responsibilities.

Mr. Healey reminded the Board that his request was for personnel information. Ms. Bernier had suggested getting this information, because it is 90% of the budget. He said he never intended to ask for the budgets, as that is the FinCom’s responsibility.

Selectwoman Brunelle wanted to clarify that Mr. Healey will not have a say in other department’s budgets.

Selectman Wiksten asked if the Board was formally asking for level funding, or a 5% cut. Chairman Perkins said a lot more details will be discussed at the Saturday meeting.

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested inviting Rep. O’Brien. Chairman Perkins said this would be good at a later point, as the budget process is still on the Hill.

A letter will be sent to Department Heads inviting them to Saturday’s meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

Request to Approve Street Names – "Brookside Drive" & "Fidelity Lane" – E911 Database Coordinator

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

VOTED: To approve the street names "Brookside Drive" and "Fidelity Lane" for a new subdivision named Brookside Estates.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Approve Septic Betterment Agreement – Meszaros – 8 Water Street

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

VOTED: To approve a septic betterment agreement for property located at 8 Water Street, owned by James & Joyce Meszaros, in the amount of $10,466.00.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Accept Gift – Conservation Commission

The Board received correspondence from the ConCom regarding a donation of two (2) parcels from Charles E. Soule.

The property does not abut the Fuller Street property. Selectman Eayrs assured the Board that there is a right-of-way.

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

VOTED: To accept the donation of two (2) parcels of land located between Fuller and Cedar Street, from Charles E. Soule.

VOTE 4 – 0 – 1 (Selectman Eayrs abstained)

Request to Accept M.G.L. c.40 §39J – Water Price System: Definition of Costs

Selectman Rogers explained that the Town had previously adopted enterprise systems for the Water and Wastewater Departments under Chapter 40, Section 39K. Since then, the General Law designation of the enterprise fund acceptance statute changed.

The Board also received correspondence from Wesley Gardner, President of Consultants to Management, Inc., saying that the Town is in compliance with the requirements.

Selectman Rogers explained that, by adopting section J, DEP would award the Town two (2) points. These points would be important on a State fund application, as it is very competitive.

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

VOTED: To adopt MGL Chapter 40, section 39J.

Unanimous Vote.

Chairman Perkins asked if the Board could accept this without a Town Meeting vote. Mr. Healey said it could, noting that the section reads "any city or Town which accepts the provisions of this section, either by a vote of the city council, board of selectmen……"

Selectman Rogers said he would notify DEP as a courtesy. Selectwoman Brunelle suggested sending copies of Town Counsel’s and Mr. Gardner’s letters.

OLD BUSINESS

There was no "old Business" to discuss tonight.

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

Mr. Healey said there does not appear to be any action by Town Meeting to establish a standing Committee. It is simply an Ad Hoc construction, and therefore could consist of any number of people and type of representation the Board desires from time to time.

Chairman Perkins asked Selectman Rogers to explained why he had suggested amending the Committee. Selectman Rogers said he wanted to insure that the Committee represents the Town, and not people who might have a business interest, or abut the property. He said this may be a conflict of interest.

Selectman Rogers further noted that a Land Use Management Check Plan had been done and there was disagreement on the issues of hunting. He also noted a new committee that has been formed: ARM (Association for Rural Middleboro) to talk about the Weston Forest.

Selectman Eayrs suggested the Committee be left as it is.

Selectman Wiksten said he was not opposed to increasing the Committee, or "trying to put life into the Committee". He said the property is the most underutilized property in Town. He said the entire property should be explored to find the best uses for the whole Town, not a select few.

Selectman Eayrs said "No Trespass" signs should be taken down. This is the responsibility of the Town. If any abutters prevent the public from using the land, the Police Department should be called.

Chairman Perkins noted that the Board had been invited to the ARM meeting on Wednesday night. He asked if anyone planned on attending. Selectman Rogers said he may.

Selectman Wiksten said the Committee needs to be given a new charge, or direction to go in. He said there should be "open minds", and impartial individuals to help the Committee move alone.

Selectwoman Brunelle warned against increasing the number of members, noting the difficulty in acquiring a quorum.

Selectman Eayrs noted that four (4) of the seven (7) members have ties to the Town.

Selectman Rogers noted that a ConCom representative is missing, and Mr. Nelson (MHS Science Dept.) has not attended meetings.

Discussion ensued on adding more members to the Committee.

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

VOTED: To leave the composition of the Fred Weston Memorial Committee as it is, and to ask the Committee, if they are unable to accommodate Mr. Nelson’s schedule, to see if there is anyone else interested in serving from the Science Department.

Unanimous Vote.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the original Committee had been appointed by the Moderator.

Selectman Rogers noted that three (3) members have resigned. The Board suggested the Moderator make a public announcement to fill the vacancies.

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

VOTED: To declare the old cellular phones, valued under $500, as surplus.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To donate the old cellular phones to the Women’s Crisis Center.

Unanimous Vote.

 

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

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

VOTED: To pay the water bill submitted by the Town of Middleborough for 46 Soule Street in the amount of $47.17.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay two (2) bills submitted by Verizon in the amounts of $20.95 and $20.94, totaling $41.89.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay three (3) bills submitted by the Middleborough Gas & Electric Department in the amounts of $115.34, $5.35 and $7.98, totaling $128.67.

Unanimous Vote.

OTHER

Discussion of Water Issues: Water Liens; Two (2) Policy Issues (Fines & Information to Board); Finalized Project Plan for Water System Improvement

The Board discussed the draft proposed project plan that was proposed by Richard Johnson and Richard Tinkham, Water Superintendent. Copies of the plan had been sent to the Fire Department, G&E Department, and High Department for comments.

Selectman Rogers explained that the work would be broken into seven (7) phases. He said there is other work to be done that hasn’t been scheduled. He is asking the Board to authorize the seven (7) phases to move forward.

Upon motion by Selectman Rogers and seconded by Selectman Eayrs, the Board

VOTED: To authorize the Town Manager to move forward with engineering work for the water system as follows:

Phase 1 Residential Improvements Cleaning & Lining Projects

Phase 2 Commercial/Industrial Installation of Watermains

Installation of Water Mains by Town Forces

Phase 3 System Improvement – Elevated Storage Tank Rehab

Phase 4 Residential Improvements – Installation of Watermains

Phase 5 Residential Improvements – Installation of Watermains

Water Works Improvements Engineering Reports

Phase 6 Vaughan & Wilbur Street Wells

Water Works Improvements Engineering Design

Phase 7 Tispaquin & East Main Street Treatment Facilities

Unanimous Vote.

Mr. Healey also told the Board that small pieces needed to be added to the system to loop certain streets. These did not get included in the Plan. He suggested these be added to a tickler file for the next Special Town Meeting.

Selectman Wiksten asked if the work would be done in conjunction with street paving. Mr. Healey said that some of the streets have recently been paved. Selectman Wiksten asked if this cost would be part of the bid of the contractor. Selectman Rogers said that once the draft engineering is prepared, it will be given to people for recommendations as to what is most cost effective.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if there would be people added to the water service. Mr. Healey said there may be some, where the mains don’t currently go by. Selectwoman Brunelle asked that these residents be notified of the opportunity to connect, so that the road will not be opened at a later date. Chairman Perkins suggested letters be sent to these residents.

The Board also discussed a proposed bylaw and proposed water policies.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if the bylaw, which would impose a $300 fine for an authorized person using Town water, was in line with other communities. Mr. Tinkham said this is consistent with other communities, which average $200 - $300. This is the maximum, under statute, that can be charged.

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

VOTED: To approve the following:

Unanimous Vote.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked when the new water penalty of $15.00 would be imposed. Mr. Tinkham said this has already been implemented.

Mr. Healey noted that the Board has received notice of a Chapter 61A property being taken out. It is located on West rove Street and contains 34.4 acres. Under the new policy, this will be tested for drinking water.

CORRESPONDENCE

VOTED: To turn the matter of the Chapterland owned by Dorothy Freitas over to Town Counsel to see what additional steps the Town can take.

Unanimous Vote.

Mr. Healey said this involves a proposed subdivision. The Planning Board is considering a waiver of the requirement for two (2) accesses for subdivisions containing more than 12 lots. He suggested asking the Town Planner to meet with the Board to explain the implications of this.

Mr. Healey will follow up on this.

 

 

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

VOTED: To enter into Executive Session at 9:06 PM, not to return to Open Session, for the purpose of Negotiations.

A poll vote was taken. Selectman Rogers, Selectman Wiksten, Selectman Eayrs, Selectwoman Brunelle and Chairman Perkins approved.

VOTE 5 – 0

 

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN