SELECTMEN’S MEETING

FEBRUARY 4, 2002

 

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

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

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

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

VOTED: To approve the Minutes of January 28, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To approve the Executive Minutes of January 28, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

Meeting with Town Clerk/Accountant – RE: Budget FY ’03

Sandra Bernier met with the Board to discuss her proposed budget for FY 2003. The total proposed budget is $220,855.00.

Chairman Perkins asked for an explanation on a request for a part-time clerical position for $9,236.00. Ms. Bernier said she was withdrawing the request because of the Town’s financial situation.

Ms. Bernier told the Board she is looking at increasing revenues, and would like to come back before the Board. She is suggesting increasing dog licensing fees to be more in line with surrounding communities.

Also, Ms. Bernier said that she is looking into becoming Passport Agents. This would bring in additional revenue. The initial fee would be $60.00, of which the Town would keep $15.00.

Mr. Healey told the Board that Ms. Bernier and Judy MacDonald are working with preliminary numbers that she revenue from the State decreased significantly. He said they have also learned that health insurance costs are going up 15% in this coming year. This is a cost of approximately $800,000.

Chairman Perkins agreed, noting that State aid will decrease this year. There is currently a shortage of $2 billion for this fiscal year, and about $1.5 billion in the "rainy day fund".

Selectwoman Brunelle reminded Ms. Bernier to provide the Board with monthly recaps on revenue receipts. Ms. Bernier said she had just received December’s receipts. She will provide the Board with a 6 month report.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked Ms. Bernier if she has had an opportunity to review all fees to see if we’re in line with other communities.

Ms. Bernier said she had done a study not too long ago. She noted that a lot of fees are covered by law.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked about the loss of revenues because of UCC filings. Ms. Bernier said the State has said they will reimburse the Town for loss of revenue.

Meeting with Wastewater Superintendent – RE: Budget FY ’03

Joe Ciaglo, Superintendent of the Wastewater Department, met with the Board to discuss his proposed budget. The total budget request for 2003 is $974,269.00

Mr. Ciaglo told the Board that his budget is level-funded with the exception of longevity and contractual increases.

Chairman Perkins asked about the capital outlay "New Equipment" line item. The proposal is for $20,000. $12,000 was expended last year. Mr. Ciaglo explained that this is maintained for emergencies, so that approval would not have to wait for a Town Meeting. He noted that a sewer line repair can occur at any time.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked about other line items that were requesting funds over what was expended. She asked if these could be cut back. Mr. Ciaglo explained that the Department is never in full knowledge of what they might have to do, and therefore requests to keep these items as requested. Mr. Healey noted that funds that aren’t expended are returned to Free Cash.

Mr. Healey noted that since 1990 the Department has operated as an Enterprise Fund. Since that time, the Consumer Price Index has risen 47.4%, while the Department has had only one rate increase of 5% effective on 7/1/96. Mr. Healey said that Mr. Ciaglo has done a remarkable job of maintaining the plant, and finding ways to save the Town money.

Selectman Rogers agreed, noting that the Wastewater division is very run well.

Meeting with Water Superintendent – RE: Budget FY ’03

Richard Tinkham, Superintendent of the Water Department, was present. He reviewed his budget with the Board. The total amount requested for FY ’03 is $1,881,602.69. This is an increase of about $10,000 over last year’s budget.

Changes being requested are as follows:

Personnel Services – asking for an increase for contractual wage rates, and to allow for more training and price increases.

Purchase of Services – Increases are being asked to allow for structural work on the East Grove Street Station and well, equipment repairs and service, funding a Rate Study and the annual Fixed Asset Report, telephones for the Foremen and Call Men, and other unexpected needs.

Consumable Supplies – Increases are being asked for price increases. Mr. Tinkham also told the Board that new installations of meters and radio read units are continuing. Selectwoman Brunelle asked if he had an estimated cost savings. Mr. Tinkham said it was too soon.

Capital Outlay – An increase for vehicle replacement and well cleaning is being requested. Mr. Healey will provide the Board with the schedule for vehicle replacement.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked Mr. Tinkham to provide a detailed report on water tower rental income.

Mr. Healey said there is a change for public fire protection. This will be built into the rate, and may come off the revenue side. He will update the Board after speaking to Sandy Bernier.

Selectman Wiksten asked for clarification on the difference between overtime and standby pay. Mr. Tinkham said that standby is scheduled for men who work overtime at the pumping station. This is contractual. The regular overtime is over and above the standby. This would be used for emergency repairs.

Selectman Wiksten asked if a rotating schedule would eliminate the standby pay for Saturdays and Sundays. Mr. Tinkham said he does not have the manpower to be able to do this.

Selectman Rogers asked Mr. Tinkham when the last rate study was done. Mr. Tinkham said it was completed three (3) years ago.

Selectman Rogers suggested replacing wells that are requiring more money in maintenance.

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested the Board schedule a meeting with the Water Superintendent to discuss collection procedures on billing. This will be scheduled on a future agenda.

 

 

Hearing – Request for Transfer of Liquor License – Xiu Lian Chen – 64 Wareham St.

Chairman Perkins read the following: "A hearing will be held by the Board of Selectmen on Monday, February 4, 2002, at 7:30 PM, in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Town Hall, located at 10 Nickerson Avenue, Middleborough, MA, for the purpose of discussing the request made by Attorney Peter M. Frasca, on behalf of Xiu Lian Chen, for a Transfer of an Annual All Alcoholic Restaurant License for property located at 64 East Grove Street, Middleboro, MA shown as Assessors Map 058 Lot 5596. Anyone desiring to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated." Chairman Perkins opened the hearing.

Attorney Peter Frasca was present to represent the applicant. He told the Board that his client had purchased the liquor license at auction from the Department of Revenue for $2000. She is petitioning approval for the transfer to her name. The liquor license is for the former "China Wok".

Attorney Frasca told the Board that Miss Chen may find another buyer for the license. If this does not happen, she will operate the restaurant. Miss Chen is familiar with the restaurant, having worked as a waitress.

Chairman Perkins read a letter from the Police Chief who had no objection to Miss Chen being named as the manager on the license.

The Board received correspondence from the Health Officer asking that the license be withheld until food service permits were completed. Attorney Frasca said that his request is to transfer the license, and he and his client realize that other licenses are permits are necessary before the restaurant can be operational.

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

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

VOTED: To allow the transfer of an Annual All Alcoholic Restaurant License for property located at 64 East Grove Street, Middleboro, MA shown as Assessors Map 058 Lot 5596 Xiu Lian Chen, 15 Beach Street, #4-C, Boston, MA 02111.

Unanimous Vote.

Request for Release of Earth Removal Bond – Wood’s Pond Cranberry

At the request of Attorney Robert Mather, this item was continued to next week.

Hearing – Request for Class II License – 562 Wareham Street – Austin Zipp d/b/a Kasara Auto Sales

Chairman Perkins read the following: "The Middleborough Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on Monday, February 4, 2002 at 8:10 PM in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Town Hall, 10 Nickerson Avenue, for the purpose of discussing an application filed by Kasara Auto Sales for a Class II License for the premises located at 562 Wareham Street, Middleboro, MA (Assessors Map 101 Lot 698. Anyone desiring to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated." Chairman Perkins opened the hearing.

Mr. Zipp did not have green return cards. He had mailed the notice Certified Mail. The Board asked the notice to be resent, with return receipt requested.

Selectman Eayrs also informed Mr. Zipp that the Health Department and Building Departments have expressed concerns with the request. He suggested Mr. Zipp address these issues prior to the hearing.

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

VOTED: To continue the hearing to March 4, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

Meeting with School Department – RE: Budget FY ’03

Superintendent Walsh presented a report to the Board of Selectmen with preliminary figures of the School Department’s request for FY ’03.

Superintendent Walsh said she is very aware of the fiscal concerns of the Town and State. She has concerns about pitting departments against each other. She told the Board that she was there to give them the facts. The decisions and pain is shared by all of us.

A presentation was given to the Board, detailing the budget and the need for increases. Ms. Walsh told the Board that the student enrollment is increasing by 2% annually. Ms. Walsh also noted that the per pupil expenditure is decreasing. Middleboro has one of the highest student/teacher ratios in the State. The School Committee has funded a study of space and facilities demands at the elementary and high school level.

The School Department is asking for an increase of $1,715,800. This includes $1,080,800 of contractual salary increases, $365,000 for educational services and supplies, and $270,000 for program funding.

Ms. Walsh told the Board that they were aware funding would be down this year. However, the Governor has made adjustments in the formula to make a difference for those communities that were at the bottom for State funding. As a result, the Governor is proposing an increase of $1,376,129 in State funds for Middleboro. Last year, the increase was $432,230. Ms. Walsh said she is optimistic that this will be the figure.

Joseph McDonald, Director of Information Services, told the Board that he believes that the State is looking back at adjustments that were made in 1999, and admitting that they made an error in reducing funding at that time.

Chairman Perkins said he has been tracking the funding formula. He said he has a great deal of interest in education. He said he does not have any cautious optimism that the numbers will be there. Chairman Perkins said if this occurs, an override may be necessary.

Ms. Walsh noted that she had begun her presentation by saying that the decisions ahead are going to be difficult. She said she does not want to have layoffs.

Chairman Perkins said he shared the same concerns. He wants to see the children educated, but the money has to come from somewhere to fund it.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if there was any indication that there would be additional Federal funding. Ms. Walsh said there will be, but it will be in the form of grants through the Department of Education. These grants will focus on pre-school, early childhood education, and reading programs. She said the grants will be competitive and will insist on accountability.

Mr. Healey said he is glad that the D.O.E. realizes that they have underfunded us. He hopes it results in us getting a larger share. He also noted that Rep. O’Brien had contacted him to say that the increase would not happen.

NEW BUSINESS

Request to Approve & Sign Septic Betterment – McAuley – 111 Cedar Street

Mr. Healey explained that the betterment program is to fund loans to people who have septic system problems. The State loans the Town money. The taxpayers receive an assessment, annually, in October on their tax bill.

There was a question concerning a notice from the Treasurer on outstanding taxes owed for 111 Cedar Street.

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

VOTED: To table the request for one week.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Approve & Sign Septic Betterment – Quinn – 884 Plymouth Street

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

VOTED: To approve and sign a septic betterment agreement for 884 Plymouth Street, in the name of Robert Quinn, for the amount of $13,807.50.

Unanimous Vote.

 

 

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Bristol-Plymouth Community Chorus

The Board’s Secretary informed them that there had been a problem with a rental in the previous week. Custodial fees were not assessed for the rental because it was on a regularly scheduled night that a Board meetings. However, the meeting did not occur, and as a result the custodian was called to open the building.

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

VOTED: To assess custodial fees for rental of the Town Hall Auditorium, and refund any fees that are not used.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To approve the request of the Bristol-Plymouth Community Chorus to rent the Town Hall Auditorium for rehearsals and Choral Concerts to be held on Sunday, May 19, 2002. Rehearsals are scheduled for April 22nd and 29th , May 6th and 13th from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The time needed for the day of the concerts 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To grant permission for the applicant to place a sign in front of the `Town Hall three (3) weeks prior to the concert. This was granted subject to the Town Manager’s approval of the placement of the sign.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To granted permission to professionally tune the piano, at the expense of the applicant.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Dr. Lincoln D. Lynch School

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

VOTED: To rent the Town Hall Auditorium to Jeffrey Stevens, Principal of the Lincoln D. Lynch School, on Friday, February 28, 2002 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM for a kindergarten family dance.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To waive the rental fee for the above request.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Middleboro Special Events

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

VOTED: To rent the Town Hall auditorium to Robert Saquet, Middleboro Special Events, on April 8, 2002 - April 13, 2002 for rehearsals and performance of a musical review from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Appoint Members to Zoning Board of Appeals

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

VOTED: To appoint the following individuals to the Zoning Board of Appeals:

Diane Bassett as an alternate Board member with a term to expire 4-1-03; and

Norman Diegoli as a regular Board member with a term to expire 4/1/06.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Nominate Animal Inspector – Department of Food & Agriculture

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

VOTED: To nominate William Wyatt as the Town’s Animal Inspector.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Deficit Spend – Highway Superintendent

Chairman Perkins read a letter received from Donald Boucher, Highway Superintendent. He is asking to deficit spend for snow removal.

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

VOTED: To authorize the Highway Superintendent to deficit spend for snow removal.

Unanimous Vote.

Mr. Healey told the Board that this is intentionally underfunded each year.

Request for Vacation Days – Secretary to the Board of Selectmen

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

VOTED: To approve two (2) vacation days, February 8th and February 15th, for the Board’s Secretary.

Unanimous Vote.

OLD BUSINESS

Update on Kennel License – Dann – 187 Miller Street

Chairman Perkins noted that all parties were present to discuss the kennel complaint.

Chairman Perkins read the following letter from Frances Gaouette dated January 29, 2002:

"Dear Chairman Perkins and Members of the Board:

I am writing in regards to an issue brought before you at the December 17, 2001 Selectmen’s Meeting. At such time, an order was given by you to remove three dogs from the above mentioned property and construct kennels according to current kennel licensing standards. Per the Board’s ruling at the meeting, this consists of concrete floors, poles, chain link fencing, a chain link fence room and a three-sided shelter against the elements. A thirty-day time period was granted to complete said project and agreed upon by all parties. Nothing had been accomplished in this time frame and Animal Control Officer Wyatt granted a two-week extension. As of today’s date, no work has yet to begin on said kennels.

Although three dogs were removed from the property there were still ten still living at the residence without any exercise runs or kennels. History was repeating itself today as I went out in our yard to play with my three-year-old daughter, Valerie. Another of their dogs, also an adult rottweiler, was tied to one of the same trees and actively barking at us, as it could see and hear us, in our yard. This is the same situation that repeatedly happened last year and the dogs continually broke their chains. There are difference dogs but the same issues. Needless to say, I was yet again unable to feel safe with any of my children playing in our own yard.

I can’t help but feel all of the time, effort and expense we all devoted to this issue last December has been for naught. How many extensions are to be granted? Where are the concrete floors? Where is the chain link fencing? Is there ever going to be a kennel constructed in compliance with the ruling you issued, after much deliberation, on December 17, 2001?

Very truly yours,

Frances A. Gaouette"

 

Chairman Perkins read the following letter from William Wyatt, Animal Inspector:

"On February 3, 2002 Dr. Johnson and myself William R. Wyatt, Animal Control Officer went to 187 Miller Street to inspect their kennel. It did not meet requirements; we gave them some suggestion and left the property.

On February 3, 2002 at 5:00 PM I received a call from the Parker/Dann residence in regards to their kennel. They had completed the requirements and asked if I would return to inspect the kennel. At 5:30 PM I returned to 187 Miller Street and inspected the kennel. They had completed the requirements and the kennel is now ready to house the three (3) dogs they have been boarding at Nightingale Kennel for $30.00 a day.

Officer Lorie Miranda, M.S.P.C.A., Law Enforcement, Glenn Harris, State Animal Health Officer, Dr. David Johnson, DVM of Middleboro Animal Clinic and myself all agree the kennel is now adequate for the dogs.

However, proper care must be taken when dogs are taken in and out of this area.

Hopefully this will resolve the problem.

Respectfully submitted,

William R. Wyatt

Animal Control Officer"

Ms. Gaouette said she was relieved to hear that steps have been taken to upgrade the facility. Her only concern is whether or not the facility is for all the dogs. She asked if she would no longer see dogs tied to trees.

Chairman Perkins noted that Mr. Wyatt was not present tonight, as he is not feeling well. He asked the Danns to respond. Mr. Dann said this will no longer occur.

Discussion ensued on the past discussion of neutering the male rottweiler. Mr. Dann said that they are not breeding any dogs, and the females are being fixed. He said that all dogs will be kept in the kennels.

Selectman Eayrs asked how many dogs are currently on the property. Mr. Dann said there are six (6).

Selectman Eayrs said that the Board can only go on the opinion of the Animal Inspector and others that reviewed the property. At this point, the kennel seems to be in compliance. He advised Ms. Gaouette to bring any infractions or problems back to the Board or the Animal Control Officer.

Mr. Dann said the kennel is 12’x12’x18’, has cemented poles, a roof over the kennel, lally columns and a concrete floor with sand. The fence is constructed to the roof. Selectman Wiksten asked if there were proper precautions to keep the dogs from digging out. Mr. Dann said that there is 1’ wide cement around the kennel.

Mr. Healey asked if there would be three (3) dogs kept in the house, and three (3) in the kennel. Mr. Dann said that two (2) dogs would be in the kennel, and four (4) in the house. All dogs are brought in at night. This was done by order of Mr. Wyatt.

Selectman Rogers asked if there was a clear definition of what a kennel is, and when puppies are considered dogs in the count allowed in a kennel.

Selectman Wiksten suggested looking into this in the future. He suggested asking Mr. Wyatt to meet with the Board to discuss this.

Selectman Wiksten asked if there were any outdoor runs for the dogs. Mr. Dann said that the old kennel will be rebuilt to a run. It measures 12’x12’x25’.

Review Town Manager’s Budget – FY ’03

Mr. Healey told the Board that there are several items not included in his budget that need to be done. They include: stone work on the façade of the Bank Building ($45,000), pointing and sealing of the building ($30,000), and fixing exterior work on the Town Hall ($35,000).

Selectman Rogers noted that some of these items are included in the Capital Planning Report.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked why there was an increase of $3,500 in the ‘Building Repairs and Maintenance’ line item. Mr. Healey said this is for price increases.

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

Jane Lopes asked if a date had been set to review the proposals. The Board scheduled this for March 25, 2002.

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

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

VOTED: To pay the bill in the amount of $250.00 submitted by Debbie Blais Real Estate, Inc. for an Opinion of Value on the Soule Homestead.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay five (5) bills to the Middleborough Gas & Electric Department in the amounts of $5.04, $11.08, $5.14, $113.99 and $11.18, totaling $146.43.

Unanimous Vote.

OTHER

There was no "Other Business" to discuss tonight.

CORRESPONDENCE

The Board received correspondence from the Water Superintendent asking for direction on handling an outstanding Development Charge for 102 North Grove Street. The Board had made an exception for the payment, allowing it to be paid in 12 installments, because of a hardship.

The Board advised Mr. Tinkham to contact this customer. Mr. Healey noted that this will be placed on his tax bill if his obligation is not met.

 

 

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

VOTED: To adjourn at 9:04 PM.

Unanimous Vote.

 

 

 

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN