SELECTMEN’S MEETING

JUNE 9, 2003

 

 

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

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

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

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

VOTED: To approve the Minutes of June 2, 2003.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To approve the Executive Minutes of June 2, 2003.

Unanimous Vote.

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

Presentation – Frank McDonald – YMCA

Frank McDonald, of the YMCA, met with the Board to ask permission to send notices out with payroll, reminding employees that they are entitled to a 20% reduction in fees at the YMCA.

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

VOTED: To authorize a flyer from the YMCA to be submitted with payroll checks to be sent to all departments.

Unanimous Vote.

Public Hearing – Request for Family Type Campground Permit – 68 Purchase Street

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, June 9, 2003 at 7:05 PM, for the purpose of discussing the request made by Ralph & Barbara Holton d/b/a Tispaquin Family Campground for a Family Type Campground Permit for property located at 68 Purchase Street, Middleboro, MA. Anyone desiring to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated." The hearing was opened.

Attorney John Gushue was present to represent the Holtons. It was clarified that the hearing would address two (2) issues: the Cease & Desist notice and the Licensing.

Attorney Gushue said that the Health Department has not indicated what the violations are for the basis of the Order to Cease and Desist. He said he has spoken with the Health Officer and noted issues dating back to 2001 and 2002. He said there has been no findings of gray water discharge and the allegation is denied.

Attorney Gushue said a complaint had been made regarding the water supply, and this was dealt with at the Department of Environmental Protection. They have indicated, in writing, that there were no water violations.

To the order of beach testing, Attorney Gushue said this was performed weekly, privately by the Holtons because the Town refused to do it because there had been no license issued.

Selectman Eayrs asked if the results of the beach testing had been given to the Health Officer. Attorney said they have been submitted in litigation.

Selectman Rogers said the samples, which were collected by the Holtons, should have been collected by an independent lab.

Attorney Gushue addressed the allegation of Title V Violations. He presented an affidavit from Ray Waterman, Middleboro Cesspool. Mr. Waterman said that he has never observed any indications of septic system backups, malfunctions, overflows or failures, and has never been contacted for any septic system emergency pump outs. Mr. Waterman has provided service to the Holtons for 14 years.

Attorney Gushue also presented an affidavit from Robert Cummings, P.E., who addressed the septic and water systems and the methodology used to estimate the capability of the campground. Using the Health Officer’s methodology, the facilities are capable of handling 49 campsites.

Attorney Gushue noted that the septic system was constructed, and in place, prior to 1984. This would allow an additional 22 campsites with water and electricity hook ups.

Attorney Gushue said that all campsites are self-contained, none connected to a septic facility.

Selectman Eayrs noted that Inspectors from the Town have been denied access to the site. Attorney Gushue said his clients objects to "surprise" visits only.

Selectman Eayrs said the Board wants assurance that the campground is being run properly.

Jeanne Spalding told the Board that she and Bill Gedraitis had estimated 112 camping units on site at a recent inspection. She said this exceeds the agreed upon capacity of all previous years, and exceeds what’s allowable under Title V considerations. She noted that even Robert Cummings concedes that the number exceeds the design capacity.

Ms. Spalding noted that She, Bill Gedraitis, Catherine Hassett and Doris Balonis had all witnessed lines coming from trailers being dug into holes in the ground discharging gray water. She said she did not observe this at her most recent inspection.

Ms. Spalding said there is approximately 30 or more trailers with expired plates. There were also numerous trailers present in the Winter. The occupant of the house has been observed living in a trailer on the main entry road with sewage lines connected and full electricity hook up.

Ms. Spalding said one (1) Bath House was locked, with water pouring under the doorway.

Ms. Spalding referred to a letter from Howard Wensley, Director of the Department of Public Health, Division of Community Sanitation, dated June 11, 2002. Mr. Wensley says that "each campsite is intended for the placement of a single camping unit, hence the title ‘individual’".

Attorney Gushue said that is Mr. Wensley’s regulatory interpretation of the Code. He said the language is not clear, and can be interpreted in more than one way.

Chairman Perkins noted that the point is that the septic system can accommodate 43 – 49 campers, and there are currently 112 units. He asked if the Holtons were willing to take the number down to 57 campers.

Attorney Gushue said he disagreed with the characterization of the situation. He said there is no correlation between the units and the septic capacity. He said that there is no relationship with the Title V requirements because the campers are not connected directly to the facilities. He also noted that the average daily use is well below the numbers being calculated.

Mr. Healey said that the Town has to calculate according to the formula, no matter what the daily usage is.

Attorney Gushue aid the residential septic design model doesn’t apply to the campground.

Mr. Healey said there is a formula that applies to campgrounds.

Selectman Eayrs said that the Board has to enforce the regulations, and cannot change them. He suggested the Holtons apply for more units to be licensed.

Attorney Gushue said his client has always had 94 – 125 units from 1984 until today. He asked why there was a question now on the number.

Mr. Healey said that Mrs. Holton has acknowledged keeping multiple units on a single site, and has promised she’d cut back to the 57 sites.

Mr. Healey noted that the campers are "self contained". He pointed out that an employees of the Campground goes to the units and collects the waste. He asked what then happens to it.

Attorney Gushue said it goes to the septic fields.

Discussion ensued on what the system can accommodate.

Mr. Healey said Attorney Gushue was avoiding the fact that Title V requires 75 gallons/day per campsite.

Attorney Gushue said the best evidence is that there has never been a failure.

Al Baroncelli, 64 Purchase Street, asked why the campsite continues to operate when the Town has told them they can’t. He also suggested there is a family there with children going to the Middleboro Public Schools.

Mrs. Holton said there are two (2) year-round residences and she is entitled to rent one of them. Those are the children going to school.

Mrs. Holton told the Board that the sewer and water are separate – water doesn’t go into the septic system, but goes into gray water wells. She said ‘black water’ is all that goes into the sewer systems.

Mrs. Holton also explained that she had denied access to Ms. Spalding on one occasion, during the winter, when she had been denied a license.

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

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

VOTED: To deny the request of Ralph & Barbara Holton d/b/a Tispaquin Family Campground for a Family Type Campground Permit for property located at 68 Purchase Street, until such time as they provide information that they are in compliance with the Health Department.

Unanimous Vote.

The Board asked Jeanne Spalding to provide a specific list of what is necessary for the Holtons to be in compliance, within the next 2 weeks.

 

 

Meeting with Attorney Robert Mather – RE: Chapterland – Milky Way Realty Trust

Attorney Robert Mather was present to represent Milky Way Realty Trust, made up of the Gates family.

Attorney Mather presented a plan to the Board of the proposal to take three (3) house lots out of Chapter 61A. These will be buildable lots.

In addition, there is a front piece, not in 61A, which will give more frontage.

Attorney Mather noted that, most of the time, a P&S is included with the proposal. He said this is not the case of an intended sale. It is a case of intended conversion. Full and fair market value would be determined by an independent appraiser if the Town were interested in the property. Attorney Mather estimated the value to be $450,000 for three (3) house lots.

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

VOTED: Not to exercise the Town’s option to purchase land owned by Milky Way Realty Trust, currently under Chapter 61A, as described in a letter to the Board dated April 22, 2003.

Unanimous Vote.

Meeting with Jay Bisio – RE: Requirement to Supply Taps on Cherry Street

This was a continued discussion from last week. Mr. Bisio was not present.

Richard Tinkham reminded the Board that the issue had been who would install taps: the developer or the Town. He said it has been done both ways.

Chairman Perkins asked what the cost was. Mr. Tinkham said about $100 for each tap.

Selectman Wiksten said he did not believe this was the responsibility of the developer.

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

VOTED: To establish a policy regarding supplying taps for curb to mains in that the Town should pay the cost of installing the taps for curbs to mains, and should residents want to tie into the system, the residents would be responsible for reimbursing the Town for the cost of doing the tap.

Unanimous Vote.

Hearing (cont.) – Request for Title V Variance – Peck – 167 East Grove Street

Mr. Healey said that only one of the parties had showed up to an arranged meeting today. Certified notices will be sent to reschedule the meeting.

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

VOTED: To continue the hearing for two (2) weeks.

Unanimous Vote.

Meeting with Kevin Walker, GAF Engineering, Inc. – RE: Request to Connect to Walnut Street Drainage System

Kevin Walker, GAF Engineering, was present. He told the Board that, on behalf of Seven Hills Corporation, a request was being made to connect to the Walnut Street Drainage System.

Mr. Walker told the Board that Seven Hills Corporation is in the process of modifying a previously approved subdivision formerly known as H.B.O. The site was originally permitted in 1986. Construction was stopped due to the economic situation at that time.

Since that time, numerous issues with stormwater runoff, including offsite flooding, have occurred. The plan will be modified to provide a drainage system capable of controlling runoff on the site while protecting off-site abutters. This is being reviewed by the Planning Board.

Mr. Walker told the Board a request is being made to allow for the connection of the outlet pipe from a detention basin to the Walnut Street drainage system. For the 100 year storm event, the outflow will be approximately 0.75 cubic fee per second which is roughly 3% of the current runoff flowing to this area. No additional impacts to the drainage system are expected due to the connection.

Chairman Perkins asked if ConCom approval was necessary. Mr. Walker said it was not for this section of the property.

Mr. Healey said he supported the request. He said it will solve several problems.

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

VOTED: To approve the request made by Kevin Walker, GAF Engineering, Inc. on behalf of Seven Hills Corporation, to connect to the Walnut Street Drainage System as referenced on the plan entitled: "’Walnut Hill Estates’ – Drainage Tie-In Plan – Walnut Street & Marion Road", dated June 9, 2003 drawn by GAF Engineering, Inc., subject to approval of the Highway Superintendent.

Unanimous Vote.

NEW BUSINESS

Update on Budget FY’04

This was discussed under the Town Manager’s Report.

Request to Approve & Sign Contract for Rte. 28 Water Main Improvements – Weston & Sampson

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

VOTED: To authorize the Chairman to sign the Contract for Rte. 28 Water Main Improvements.

Unanimous Vote.

Selectman Rogers asked the Water Superintendent to put notification in the newspaper so residents will be aware of the construction.

Request Permission for Cycling Tour – National MS Society

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

VOTED: To approve the request made by the National MS Society for permission to route the "Great Mass Getaway Cycling Tour" through the Town of Middleborough on Saturday, June 21, 2003.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Auction Land – PAD Corporation

David Gabriel, PAD Corporation, was present. He asked that the Board auction a 12.5 acre piece of land on Wareham Street. Mr. Gabriel said he is proposing to build a plaza similar to "Winter Place" in Bridgewater. He hoped it would include a bank, convenience store, and Laundromat.

Mr. Healey said that he has told Mr. Gabriel the auction will be a competitive process.

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

VOTED: To authorize the auction of 12.5 acres of land located on Wareham Street, shown as Assessors Map 088 Lot 4265.

Unanimous Vote.

Mr. Healey will check to see if there are any other parcels that can be auctioned.

Request to Plywood Building – Washburn Mill Building

The Board received correspondence from Scott Seifert, Deputy Fire Chief, and William Gedraitis, Building Commissioner, regarding the Washburn Mill property. The request has been made to plywood all openings and windows and post continuous professional security watch.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked what the status of the sale was. Mr. Healey said it is close to closing. He suggested referring the request to Bruce Arons to ask Mr. Costello to take responsibility.

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

VOTED: To refer the request to plywood the Washburn Mill property to Bruce Arons to contact Mr. Costello.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Central Baptist Church

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

VOTED: To approve the request made by Central Baptist Church to rent the Town Hall Auditorium on Sunday, September 7, 2003 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon.

Unanimous Vote.

Set Summer Schedule for Board of Selectmen’s Meetings

The Board’s consensus was to postpone this item at this time and continue to meet each week.

OLD BUSINESS

There was no "Old Business" to discuss this week.

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

Budget Update

Mr. Healey told the Board that the Finance Committee has finalized a budget which cuts $1,202,260.70 from the Level Services Budgets submitted by Department Heads. The FinCom will recommend a non-contingent budget of $9,764,197. The contingent budget could restore up to $1,200,000 of these cuts if the Debt Exclusion is approved.

The budget, as recommended, represents an overall 11% cut of the Level Services Budget.

The FinCom also reviewed the Articles for Town Meeting. If Articles 13 and 14 were to be voted from available funds, it would add $78,704, reducing the positive balance to $99,520.

Discussion ensued on the FinCom’s recommended budget. Mr. Healey said it is not a "working" budget, as Town Departments cannot function as they should with these cuts.

Selectman Eayrs noted that, while the FinCom developed a balanced budget, it is not a workable. He noted the zeroing out of postage.

Mr. Healey said that a number of questions have been raised. First, will the layoffs be immediately effected, and second, the Superintendent has advised that there will be an effort to certify the budget that the School Committee has approved. The FinCom’s contingent budget includes the additional $600,000 that the School Department is requesting.

Chairman Perkins said it is incumbent upon the FinCom to present a balanced budget, and they have done that. He said the School Department can try to change the budget, but he could not understand how Town Meeting can vote to give the money without a source of funding.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the Town Clerk’s position is only funded for 2/3 of the budget because she may retire in February. She said the position still has to be filled.

The COA is also losing an Administrative Assistant. Selectwoman Brunelle said that this person makes out the reports to get funds which offset costs.

Selectman Eayrs asked, if the Debt Exclusion fails, will the Board have a week and a half to come up with revenue sources to balance the budget?

Chairman Perkins said there are some options. He said the Board could work over the Summer to look at further cuts, or additional revenue. He said the Board has not seen the final Cherry Sheet figures, and it is not know what will be certified as Free Cash.

Selectman Wiksten said the Board has to move now to let employees know what they are doing. He noted that, if a Debt Exclusion passes, there are commitments not to raise fees. He said the choices are a Debt Exclusion, layoffs and cuts, or raised taxes by generating fees.

Selectman Rogers said he did not disagree. He noted that the Board has not talked to employees about potential givebacks.

Selectman Eayrs said the townspeople will have a choice. The Debt Exclusion is a "cleaner approach" which solves the current financial issues. If it fails, the Board will be in a situation to raise fees to make up the difference.

Chairman Perkins disagreed that the choice was a Debt Exclusion or raised fees. He said that was not what the Board was elected for.

Selectwoman Brunelle said all of the Board agrees that there are certain areas of cuts which are unworkable. She said it may be necessary to raise fees or eliminate or curtail services for non-essential departments, such as the Park and Library Departments.

Selectman Wiksten said that he was more in favor of a Debt Exclusion than fees. He explained that it would be easy for another Board to "tack on more money" to the fees once they are established.

Selectman Eayrs asked what would happen as of July 1st if the Debt Exclusion did not pass.

Chairman Perkins said that emergency measures would have to be taken. He noted a letter from Lincoln Andrews suggested increasing Planning Board fees. He said the Board may want to revisit those types of generators to get through these problems.

Selectman Eayrs noted that, if the Debt Exclusion does not pass, employees, such as the COA Administrative Assistant, will be out of a job. He asked if the Board should present a modified budget.

Jane Lopes asked why the FinCom was not invited to this meeting to discuss this.

Chairman Perkins explained that the FinCom had been asked three (3) times this week to meet with the Board. They refused saying they are too busy.

Selectwoman Brunelle agreed with Selectman Eayrs, asking if the Board should further work in July and August before layoffs go into effect.

Chairman Perkins said he was in favor of working further for one (1) month.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that Department Heads had presented level funded budgets. $940,000 of the problem goes back to 1990 and has never been addressed.

Mr. Healey noted that layoffs will effect 12 full-time people, 4 vacant positions and 2 part-time positions. He said each week delaying the layoffs creates more of a shortfall.

It was noted that a $200 trash and recycling fee would generated $1.2 million. It still would not give the Town the $1.8 million that it needs. It also would not give the School Department the additional $600,000 that they are requesting. Increasing Local Receipts will temporarily deal with the additional shortfall. Beyond that, permanent sources of revenue have to be established.

Mr. Healey noted that the Building Commissioner and Health Officer would like to come back before the Board to discuss fee increases.

Chairman Perkins said, if he had to make a choice, he would rather see trash and recycling fees implemented. He said a Debt Exclusion only effects people who own property.

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

VOTED: To inform Department Heads that no layoffs will take effect before July 30th.

Unanimous Vote.

Mr. Healey clarified that action to suspend layoffs will be held for 30 days, with the intention of coming up with a way to "fill the gap". If not, then the layoffs will be inevitable.

Selectman Eayrs said the budget will have to be balanced in September.

Jane Lopes asked what would happen if Town Meeting voted for the FinCom recommendations and eliminated those positions.

Chairman Perkins said the positions can still be eliminated, but they do not have to be eliminated by July 1st.

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

VOTED: To ask the Finance Committee to provide information on an alternate budget that is "workable", restoring revenue generating positions and basic needs such as postage.

Unanimous Vote.

Selectman Wiksten suggested each Department Head prepare an impact statement on the budget being recommended by the FinCom.

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

VOTED: To request impact statements from Department Heads, addressing the consequences of the FinCom recommendations, and providing a "workable" budget adding back minimal services that were cut.

Unanimous Vote.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the Board had only been given 25% budget cuts from Department Heads. She asked for copies of the level service budgets.

Update on Water Projects

Mr. Healey informed the Board that the Massachusetts Highway Department will approve the open cut at the rotary rather than requiring an added expense for direction drilling to place the 16-inch main in West Grove Street.

Mr. Healey was asked to provide an update on the Nemasket Bridge at next weeks meeting.

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 $2,065.56.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay two bills submitted by Forms & Graphics, Inc. in the amounts of $113.70 and $106.00, totaling $219.70.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay three bills submitted by Middleborough Gas and Electric Department, in the amounts of $73.87, $185.44, and $62.69, totaling $322.00.

Unanimous Vote.

OTHER

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

VOTED: To accept a check from the Peirce Trustees for the Veteran’s sign, and send a letter of thanks.

Unanimous Vote.

CORRESPONDENCE

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

VOTED: To send a letter to the Planning Board encouraging them to review possible fee increases.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To enter into Executive Session, not to return to Open Session, to discuss Litigation at 9:40 PM.

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