SELECTMEN’S MEETING

MARCH 28, 2005

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the Minutes of March 28, 2005.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the Executive Minutes of March 28, 2005.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

 

Workshop with Agricultural Commission, Health Officer, and Animal Inspector – RE:  Stable Permits

 

Chairman Perkins read guidelines explained that the workshop is being held for the purpose of reviewing and revising the existing Animal Regulations and the revision drafts.  Written comments are welcome.  A public hearing will be scheduled to review proposed regulations developed as a result of the workshop meeting.

 

Chairman Perkins explained that the Agricultural Commission was established by Town Meeting, and appointed by the Board.  Darlene Anastas is Chairman, and Larry Harju is Vice-Chair.

 

Darlene Anastas told the Board she was present to answer any questions the Board had on the proposed regulations that were drafted by the Agricultural Commission. 

 

Ellen Williams, representative of the South East chapter of Bay State Trail Riders Association, was present, but not part of this workshop.

 

Ms. Anastas noted that Ms. Williams’ organization had been very helpful in providing background and research material.

 

Ms. Anastas reviewed a revised proposal which incorporated aspects of the Heath Departments Draft Proposal and recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.

 

Ms. Anastas explained that the Health Department’s proposal contains contradictions to Massachusetts General Laws relative to the right to farm, definitions of Agriculture, fire regulations, and normal Agricultural practices.  She said the Agricultural Commission cannot support the document.

 

Ms. Anastas said there are very few differences between the two (2) proposals, with the major one being the definition of “day hopping”.  She felt that the Health Department’s regulations were too restrictive.

 

Ms. Anastas also noted that horses are defined as equines, and this should be noted.  They are not just “farm animals”.

 

Ms. Anastas said the application process should contain a two (2) part document:  A “user friendly” application, and a set of regulations that further define and set boundaries.

 

Discussion ensued on the definition of an acre, and direction of surface runoff. 

 

Selectman Bond also pointed out several areas that needed more specific definitions.

 

Selectman Bond said that a lot of work had gone into the draft regulations, and felt the Agricultural Commission’s, along with the Health Department’s, should be “meshed together”.  He did note that there were some inconsistencies between the two.

 

Ms. Anastas said that the Health Department’s Regulations were too restrictive, and micromanages in terms of how to care and tend to an animal. 

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she was confused if the document was stable regulations or farm animal regulations.

 

Ms. Anastas said it began for stable regulations, and grew into animal regulations.  She said she would prefer two (2) separate documents.

 

Chairman Perkins said Middleboro is still a rural farming community, and he agreed that the Health Department’s proposal was “much too tight”.  He said he also was not comfortable with inspecting every animal in town.  He said he understood that things were changing, and said there needs to be a happy medium.

 

Ms. Anastas said the Agricultural Commission is more than willing to work at defining and working with the Health Department to make sure many of the issues are addressed.

 

Selectman Wiksten agreed there should be two (2) separate documents.  He also said minimum acreage needs to have some type of definition.  He noted a letter from Bill Wyatt regarding “grandfathering”. 

 

Selectman Wiksten questioned penalties being $5.00/day, saying this was just a “slap on the wrist”.

 

Ms. Anastas said this is specified as the maximum penalty under MGL.

 

Selectman Andrews noted that Jeanne Spalding had been assigned a job by the Board, and did what she recognized as her best effort. 

 

Ms. Spalding told the board that she had asked for participation from the horse community a few years back.  Because of time constraints, it didn’t move forward.  In the past year, she has talked to the Agricultural Commission and reviewed regulations from surrounding towns.  Because of recent circumstances, she asked the Animal Inspector to put together a draft for the Board and the Agricultural Commission.  She noted that regulations are usually drafted to address problems that have arisen and issues that have come up. 

 

Ms. Spalding noted that she receives many calls, especially from realtors, asking what the parameters and regulations are for animals.  She said right now nothing is clear.  She said guidelines don’t work, something more substantial is needed.  She said she is not looking to micromanage, but define some issues.  She said there needs to be tangible parameters, or issues can’t be addressed.

 

Ms. Spalding said that she agreed the regulations were a little too encompassing for all animals, but explained that she was trying to combine the two because she didn’t want equine people to think they were being singled out.  She said some of these issues can now be separated. 

 

Ms. Spalding said she is waiting to hear from the State regarding nitrates in “Z2” areas.  She also noted that she had followed up with the Fire Chief regarding sprinklers.  She has since “tossed” this recommendation.

 

Ms. Spalding said she would also like wetlands to be as defined under the Wetlands Protection Act.

 

There were also concerns with the setbacks.

 

Bart Harrison told the Board that since he was hired he has completed over 100 inspections.  He said there has been “little to complain about”.  He noted the proposal that had come before the Board in November that he felt was too excessive, and the need for specific regulations.

 

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

VOTED:  To authorize two (2) members of the Board to assist the Agricultural Commission and Health Departments, to meet as many times as necessary, to come up with a joint proposal by May 2nd, outlining all sections where there is agreement, and include a rider with those sections in dispute and why.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Discussion ensued on the format for the meetings.

 

Selectman Wiksten said he was not looking to redraft the regulations, and suggest the groups get together.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested anyone from the public who has concerns should submit them in writing to the Board now.

 

It was noted that, once a document is proposed, there will be a public hearing.

 

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

VOTED:  To have whatever working document is made to be available at the Selectmen’s Office and Health Department two (2) weeks prior to a public hearing.

            Unanimous Vote.’

 

Hearing (cont.) – Request for Transfer of Liquor License – TJ’s Convenience Store

 

This was a continued hearing from March 7th. 

 

Chairman Perkins read the following:  “A hearing will be held by the Board of Selectmen on Monday, March 7, 2005, at 7:45 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 William J. Griswold  d/b/a B.G., for a Transfer of an Annual Wine & Malt Package Store License for property located at 45 Everett Street, Middleboro, MA shown as Assessors Map 50J Lot 4346.  Anyone desiring to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated.”

 

Bill Griswold was present.  He told the Board that he is in the process of putting together a management team to get the store reopened.  He said he has received calls from neighbors requesting the store reopen.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that the Board does not have the capability of doing background checks without the applicant’s permission.

 

Mr. Griswold said he had no problem agreeing to a CORI check.

 

Selectman Wiksten asked if Mr. Griswold resided in Massachusetts or Maine.

 

Mr. Griswold said he resides in Maine.

 

Selectman Wiksten suggested a CORI also be done for the State of Maine.

 

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

            VOTED:  To continue the hearing until April 11, 2005 at 8:00 PM.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Request to Adopt Recommendations for New Cable Franchise – Permanent Cable Committee

 

Paul Falce was present.  He explained that Verizon wants to wire the town with fiber, and is looking to upgrade the telephone right-of-way and get into the cable business.  The Board needs to appoint a Permanent Cable Committee to negotiate this, and retain Attorney William August who helped negotiate the previous franchise.

 

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

VOTED:  To designate the Permanent Cable Committee as the negotiation committee for the Board of Selectmen, and to authorize the Committee to engage Attorney William August to be the attorney for the Committee.

Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Andrews asked how Attorney August would be paid.

 

Mr. Healey said an appropriation would have to be made at Town Meeting.  He said the Committee would need to obtain a figure for Attorney August that could be appropriated.

 

Selectman Andrews asked if the attorney’s fees would be incorporated into the fee structure.

 

Mr. Falce said the attorney’s fees are automatically recovered through franchise fees.

 

Selectman Bond suggested Town Counsel review any contract prior to it coming before the Board.

 

Request to Increase Administrative Fees for Police Details – Police Chief

 

 

Chairman Perkins read a letter from the Police Chief suggesting the Board increase the administrative fee from 10% to 15% for administrative duties concerning private details.  Chief Russell informed the Board that the Police Department is averaging thirty plus private details per day.

 

It was noted that the administrative fees are regulated under MGL Ch. 44 sec. 53C.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle questioned if the request is being made because of increased activity, or because it is taking longer to process.

 

Selectman Wiksten noted any increased fees would go to the General Fund.

 

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

VOTED:  To send the request to Town Counsel for an opinion as to whether or not the Board can increase the fee.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Approve & Sign Grant Documents – Fire Chief

 

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

VOTED:  To grant authorization to the Fire Chief to be the signatory for a Firefighting Equipment Grant.

            VOTE 4 -0 – 1 (Selectman Wiksten abstained)

 

Request for Support to Obtain Grant Funding – Fire Chief

 

Chief Silva asked the Board to submit a letter of support for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants.  He said this is similar to the grants that were obtained by the Police Department.

 

Chairman Perkins asked how many people would be hired if the town received the grant.

 

Chief Silva said it would depend on what direction the Board wanted to go.  He said it could possibly be used for the Fire Department to start a Town ambulance service.

 

Selectman Bond asked if the Town would be required to match the grant over the first 4 years.

 

Chief Silva said yes.  It would be 10% of the salary of a firefighter.

 

Chairman Perkins said he had no problem signing the letter as long as it did not tie the Town into having to use it.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested the Chief submit a proposal for different scenarios that the money could be use for.

 

Jeanne Spalding noted that the some of the Heath Department’s projects could be allocated as the Town’s contribution.  She will work with the Chief on the proposal.

 

Request to Approve Street Name – E911 Database Coordinator

 

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

VOTED:  To approve ‘Justines Way’ as the name of an access path for the new condominium development known as South Woods Estates to be built off Wareham Street.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request for Nomination of Inspector of Animals – Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

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

            VOTED:  To nominate Bart Harrison as the Town’s Inspector of Animals.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Discharge Firearms – Duncan Christie

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of Duncan Christie, Colonial Retriever Field Trial Club, for permission to discharge firearms during the AKC Licensed Retriever Field Trial on Sunday, May 8, 2005, to be run on the land owned by Cumberland Farms.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request for One Day Liquor Licenses – Professional Bartending Service

 

Discussion ensued on the Town’s liability to hire single contractors, without Worker’s Compensation Insurance, to work on Town-owned property.

 

Selectman Andrews questioned if the Town would have to provide Worker’s Comp if a sole proprietor was injured on Town-owned property.

 

Town Counsel will be asked to advise the Board.

 

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

VOTED:  To grant two (2) One Day Liquor Licenses to Professional Bartending Service for April 2nd from 7:00 PM to 12:00 Midnight, and April 30th from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, subject to the provision of a Worker’s Compensation Certificate.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Approve and Sign Purchase & Sale Agreement for Morgan Mobile Home – Town Counsel

 

Selectman Wiksten asked if it was the intention of the purchaser to move the mobile home to somewhere in Middleboro.

 

Mr. Healey said he understood this was her intention, but she has run into problems.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she has now decided to move it to Maine.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve and Sign the P&S Agreement for the Morgan Mobile Home.

            VOTE 4 – 0 – 1 (Selectman Bond abstained)

 

 

Upon motion by Selectman Wiksten and seconded by mw, the board

VOTED:  To enter into Executive Session at 9:00 PM to discuss Contract Negotiations and Litigation, to return to Open Session to finalize the business on the agenda.

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

            VOTE 5 – 0

 

 

-----RECONVENE TO OPEN SESSION-----

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Request to Place Article on Town Meeting Warrant – Taunton River Wild & Scenic Study Committee

 

This was a continued discussion from last week.

 

Selectman Andrews felt that the document would “play with people’s values”, drawing tighter regulations than those that currently exist.

 

Selectman Andrews noted that the document didn’t feel the Wetlands Act “went far enough”, and further defined vernal pools.  He said this would infringe on the rights of the private property owner.

 

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

VOTED:  To place an Article on the Town Meeting Warrant seeking Wild & Scenic River designation for the Taunton River corridor through an act of the Congress of the United States.

VOTE 2 – 2 -1 (Selectman Wiksten and Selectman Bond opposed.  Selectman Andrews abstained).

            Vote did not carry.

 

Vehicle Use Policy

 

This item was tabled until next week.

 

 

 

 

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Mr. Healey informed the Board that the Ocean Spray Contract will be on next week’s agenda.

 

Selectman Bond asked that Town Counsel review the contract.

 

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

 

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

VOTED:  To pay two (2) bills submitted by Verizon in the amounts of $24.62 and $24.60, totaling $49.22.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To pay two (2) bills submitted by the Middleborough Gas & Electric Departments in the amounts of $5.35 and $5.35, totaling $10.70.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

OTHER

 

There was no ‘Other’ Business to discuss tonight.

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

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

VOTED:  To contact Attorney Leo Peloquin for clarification on independent contractor vs. employee laws.

Unanimous Vote.

 

            Attorney Peloquin will be asked to contact Selectman Bond.

 

v     Selectman Bond told the Board that Middleborough on the Move (MOM) has found three (3) grant writers.  He said MOM would have to come up with a way to pay an individual, who would also administer the grants.

 

Selectman Bond said Mr. Arons has been focusing on housing grants, and MOM would focus on commercial.  He said everything would have to go through Mr. Healey and Mr. Arons.

 

Once MOM agrees on an individual, they will provide a presentation to the Board.

 

v     A letter will be sent to the Fire Chief asking that he hold onto a surplus pick up truck until the Board completes its Vehicle Use Policy.  The Health Department has asked for the truck.

 

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

 

VOTED:  To advise the Planning Board that the Selectmen have concerns with the proposal for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife at their property boundaries on Rocky Gutter Street, to block vehicular traffic during nine (9) months ±of the year, and would rather the gate not be installed.

Unanimous Vote.

 

The Board is concerned about the rights of the public to access the land which has been designated for its use.

 

v     Correspondence from the Department of Revenue regarding amendments to the economic opportunity area credit will be forwarded to the OECD and the Planning Board.

 

v     The Board received correspondence from resident, John Yachimski, complimenting the Town on providing on line services for excise tax payments.

 

 

 

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

            VOTED:  To adjourn at 11:00 PM.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

 

 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN