SELECTMEN’S MEETING

FEBRUARY 9, 2004

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

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

 

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

Selectman Eayrs made a correction to the Minutes.

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

VOTED: To approve the Minutes of February 2, 2004 as amended.

Unanimous Vote.

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENCES

Meeting with N.E. Animal Rescue, Inc. – RE: Proposal for Volunteers at Middleboro Animal Shelter

Tracey Hazeldine, President of New England Animal Rescue, Inc., was present.

Ms. Hazeldine had given the Board a proposal which would provide volunteers for the Middleboro Animal Shelter to help with cleaning and feeding of the animals. They would also provide routine medical care for animals by their Association.

Ms. Hazeldine said her association was not asking for any power or authority over the animals, nor the day to day operations or functions of the Animal Control Officer.

Ms. Hazeldine said there would be liability insurance for the volunteers, and they would be responsible for any instance that happened. She said a screening program would be held for all volunteers, and a training program, written by a vet technician, to read body language of an animal. She said the group would rely on the Animal Control Officer to advise volunteers as to which animals can be approached. He would have full authority over the volunteers.

Chairman Perkins read a letter from the Police Chief. (attached)

Chairman Perkins asked if Ms. Hazeldine would like to respond to the Chief’s letter.

Ms. Hazeldine said she would need more time to research the facts.

Chairman Perkins asked what type of insurance the group had, and what the limits were.

Ms. Hazeldine said the actual policy has not been chosen. It will be provided by a non-profit organization.

Chairman Perkins asked if the group would be interested in doing something on a private basis in conjunction with the animal shelter.

Ms. Hazeldine said the group was not forming for the express purpose of the shelter. She said they will be providing care for animals taken out of other shelters. A foster care program has not been set up yet. She said she wanted to see how the Board reacted to the proposal before moving forward.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if any of the members had worked in any other communities.

Ms. Hazeldine said they used the Town of Milton as a model.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she understood the Chief’s concerns. But, she noted there are "lots of volunteers that work on Town properties". She said she would like to pursue this is work about something regarding the liability issues.

Selectman Wiksten said the COA, which has volunteers, is different because volunteers are needed there. Volunteers for the animal shelter have not been solicited.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if the issue was volunteers on Town property, or working with animals.

Selectman Eayrs said this was a major concern. He noted the number of lawsuits against the Town. He said the dog pound is a dangerous place, and a majority of the animals are unmanageable. He agreed the group may have a purpose, and he encouraged them to pursue something in terms of taking care of the animals on advice of the Dog Officer. He said he would not support volunteers working at the shelter.

Jim Hazeldine, a member of the Board of Directors of New England Animal Rescue, Inc. said there are already volunteers working at the shelter.

Chairman Perkins said he did not believe there were any, and if there were, the Board was not aware of it.

Marisa Labanca, an Officer of the group, said she understood the concern regarding liability, but encouraged the Board to visit the pound to see the condition of it. She said the group could improve the conditions, making it more attractive, and save the Town money.

The Selectmen were also told that dogs are currently adopted without having medical attention. She said this is a liability to the Town because there are no rabies shots given.

Janice Bergan asked about signing a ‘waiver’. She said this is done at a shelter in Rhode Island.

Chairman Perkins explained that attorneys have determined that a liability waiver is "not worth the paper they’re written on when you go to court".

Chairman Perkins said he was getting mixed signals from the group. He has understood their proposal was in reference to adoption of the animals, not cleaning up the shelter and working on Town property as the President had indicated. He also noted that there is currently no Liability Insurance, and this needs to be further defined.

Ms. Bergan noted that there is also a problem with cats in Town.

Chairman Perkins said the proposal did not address cats. He suggested the group put together a detailed proposal, look at the liability situation, and come back before the Board.

Ms. Hazeldine said the group had gotten together with the idea to support the Middleboro Animal Shelter exclusively. They have since been advised by an attorney that the organization would cease if the shelter closed. Consequently, the Middleboro shelter is not the main focus of the group.

Selectman Eayrs said there is plenty for the group to do working with the shelter, not in the shelter. He said the liability issue is a concern.

Dennis Hurley, former Assistant Dog Officer, asked the Board to go to the shelter to take a closer look. He said Mr. Wyatt cannot cover it all because of his workload.

Meeting with Michael Grant – RE: Trailer at 529 Wareham Street

Michael Grant, owner of K.R.S. Repossessions, Inc., was present.

Mr. Grant told the Board that he has a repo business, currently at 195 Wareham Street. He has a tax ID number, and is incorporated. No license is required for a repo business in Massachusetts.

Mr. Grant is requesting permission to store an unoccupied house trailer at 529 Wareham Street, for future office space for his business. He said he is currently renting the land from Arthur Gamache. He will develop the land, erect a fence, and convert the trailer to an office.

Chairman Perkins said he had looked at the trailer, and said it was "derelict".

Mr. Grant said that parts had to be removed to get the trailer down the street, but it would be repaired.

Chairman Perkins asked where vehicles are stored now.

Mr. Grant said at 195 East Grove Street. Anywhere from 5 to 30 cars could be in the yard at one time.

Chairman Perkins said a "bunch of things" will need to be done to bring the property to compliance. He questioned if the business would even be allowed, noting the close proximity to Town wells.

Selectman Wiksten said there would be 3 – 6 months of work to be prepared. He said a septic system will be required. He asked Mr. Grant if he had been in the Building Inspector.

Mr. Grant said he had, and was told to come before the Board to get permission to store the trailer before proceeding any further.

Selectman Wiksten said he wanted to see an engineer’s plan of the property.

Selectman Eayrs said it was not the Board’s place to tell Mr. Grant what he could or could not do. He said there would be a lot of expense to bring the property to code, but the Board could grant a temporary permit for storage to allow Mr. Grant to find out what the requirements will be.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if the trailer could be permitted on a long term basis once is was refurbished.

Chairman Perkins suggested granting a temporary permit, allowing Mr. Grant time to talk to the Building Department.

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

VOTED: To authorize Michael Grant to store an unoccupied trailer at 529 Wareham Street for a period of 60 days.

Unanimous Vote.

Public Hearing – Infiltration and Inflow Policy & New Sewer Rates and Charges

Chairman Perkins read the following: "A public hearing will be held in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Town Hall, 10 Nickerson Avenue, Middleborough, MA on Monday, February 9, 2004 at 7:45 PM, for the purpose of reviewing proposed New Sewer Rates and Charges and a Revised Sewer Policy: Infiltration and Inflow. Anyone desiring to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated." The hearing was opened.

Joe Ciaglo, Wastewater Superintendent, was present. He said that the policies and fees that were done in 1987 and 1989 were revised.

Mr. Ciaglo explained that this policy would provide a methodology to evaluate where the cracks are in the collection system and to repair them.

The policy would include three (3) options:

  1. A proponent to perform a ‘water use reduction program’;
  2. A proponent to perform construction services to repair previously identified II locations in the sewer service area.
  3. A proponent to pay into a ‘sewer project engineering or construction’ fund so monies can be accumulated and used by the ‘Board of Sewer Commissioners’ to ‘find’ where II problems exist or make repairs to existing II problem areas by hiring a contractor.

Mr. Ciaglo said the policy will apply to all connections of 2000 gallons or more.

The other part of the proposal is a change in sewer connection fees. This would be for new construction. If construction were within the existing gravity sewer, the permit fee would remain $125.

Mr. Ciaglo said that it has been suggested that Middleborough would have the highest rates in the State. He gave an example to show that the actually buy-in fee would be anywhere between $11.07/gallon to $17.07/gallon. He noted that a septic system cannot be built for this amount.

Mr. Healey said the policy talks of an estimate of the flow, or consumption. He said there is no way to know what this would actually be. If it’s higher, the Town would "short itself". He suggested adding language which would allow the Town to go back and check what the actual flow is. If it’s higher, the fee would be adjusted. He said this is currently done for larger water customers, and should also be done for sewer customers.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted language that said no extension would be allowed outside the area unless the Board of Selectmen declared a public health emergency. She questioned why this would not be allowed to pick up customers outside the boundaries.

Selectman Rogers said this was an existing policy.

Selectwoman Brunelle said the policy should not be continued if the Town is looking to expand the sewer service.

Mr. Ciaglo suggested the language say the Board may extend the sewer system service area as they see fit, for either developmental purposes or the event of a health emergency.

It was noted that any additional sewer service area would have to go to Town Meeting for approval.

Mr. Ciaglo suggested language that would say the Board may extend the sewer service beyond the existing area pending Town Meeting approval. However, the Board, in the event of a health emergency, may extend the service at their discretion.

Mr. Healey said another issue that the Board should address is the increase of usage by current customers outside the current sewer service area and out of Town. He said the new fees should be imposed on all new and current customers who increase the flow by 2000 gallons per day or more. He said this would parallel the existing water agreement. He also recommended that, once the new fees are voted, the Board should negotiate directly with national Development (Lakeville Hospital) to request a contribution to unrelated water charges. He said this is permitted by State law.

Selectman Rogers said the question of selling water and sewer services to Lakeville had nothing to do with this hearing.

Jane Lopes asked Mr. Ciaglo to define the sewer service area.

Mr. Ciaglo said it is that area that is presently constructed, and upon which a home or a business abuts and existing gravity sewer line or could reasonable do so.

Neil Rosenthal pointed out a contradiction, on two separate pages, on residential fees not in the service area.

Mr. Rosenthal also asked if the fees would remain the same for existing commercial properties.

Mr. Ciaglo explained that the fees for expansion on commercial buildings is paid by the square foot area.

Mr. Rosenthal said the fee should be based on the actual usage regardless of the size of the building.

Chairman Perkins said it was not the intention of the Board to assess a new fee to someone who has already paid a betterment.

Mr. Ciaglo said the only betterments assessed on a bond project was for the West Grove Street sewer project. He said Mr. Rosenthal’s comments could be taken into the record, and that area could be specifically excluded.

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

VOTED: To continue the hearing for two (2) weeks to incorporate recommendations, and language clarifications.

Unanimous Vote.

Meeting with Jeanne Spalding – RE: Nurse’s Aide Position

Jeanne Spalding was present. She provided an explanation in regards to her request to hire a part-time Certified Nurse. Ms. Spalding explained that the Certified Nurse’s Aide and the Public Health Nurses perform separate functions.

Selectwoman Brunelle said that she had asked for the clarification, and was satisfied with Ms. Spalding’s explanation.

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

VOTED: To allow the Health Officer to hire a part-time Certified Nurse’s Aide for 18 hours/week.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To allow the Health Officer to hire a temporary part-time clerk.

Unanimous Vote.

It was noted that the part-time clerk will be paid for with remaining money already in the budget.

NEW BUSINESS

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium & Waiver of Fees & Custodian – Lynch & School Street Schools

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

VOTED: To allow the use of the Town Hall Auditorium on April 2, 2004 from 4PM to 11PM for the purpose of a retirement party for Jeffrey Stevens, and to waive the fees.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium & Waiver for Custodian – Davis/Korben

A request was made to use the Auditorium for a wedding reception, and waive the requirement for a custodian, as Jeffrey Stevens has volunteered.

Mr. Healey said he would be happy to serve as the Town official in addition to Mr. Stevens.

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

VOTED: To rent the Town Hall Auditorium to Christine Korben and Pamela Davis on May 29, 2004 from 2PM to 10PM for a wedding reception, and to waive the requirement of a custodian.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Use Town Hall Lawn – Middleboro Rotary

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

VOTED: To allow the Middleboro Rotary Club to use the Town Hall lawn on July 10, 2004 for its Arts & Crafts Fair.

VOTE 4 – 0 – 1 (Selectwoman Brunelle abstained)

Request for Permission to hold Parade – Fourth of July Parade Committee

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

VOTED: To issue permission for the Fourth of July Parade to be held on Saturday, July 3rd, and to allow parade tags to be sold.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Discharge Firearms – Colonial Retriever Field Trial Club

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

VOTED: To approve the request made by Duncan Christie, Colonial Retriever Field Trail Club, to discharge firearms during the AKC Licensed Retriever Field Trial on Sunday, May 2, 2004, on land owned by Cumberland Farms.

Unanimous Vote.

OLD BUSINESS

There was no ‘Old Business’ discussed tonight.

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

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

VOTED: To pay the bill submitted by Hathaway Publishing in the amount of $846.75.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay three (3) bills submitted by the Middleborough Gas & Electric Department in the amounts of $187.69, $455.65, and $82.19, totaling $725.53.

Unanimous Vote.

OTHER

VOTED: To rent the Town Hall to ‘Democracy in Action’ on Monday, March 15, 2004 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM for a presentation by Barney Frank on the Medicare Bill, and to waive the associated fees.

Unanimous Vote.

VOTED: To sign and publicly acknowledge the following sponsors of Kramer Park:

Allen & Major Associates, Inc. Debbie Blais Real Estate, Inc.

Brookfield Engineering Labs, Inc. NES Clothing Company

Colonial Maintenance Contractors, Inc. Woodstoves and Fireplaces Unltd.

Unanimous Vote.

CORRESPONDENCE

VOTED: To forward the recommendation of the Police Chief to have a 3-way Stop at Locust and Spruce Streets, to the Highway Superintendent.

Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED: To enter into Executive Session at 9:00 PM, not to return to Open Session, to meet with Labor Counsel to discuss 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