SELECTMEN’S MEETING

MAY 13, 2002

 

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:01 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 May 6, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To approve the Executive Minutes of May 6, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

Request for Layout Acceptance – Natures Crossing

The Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Town Hall, 10 Nickerson Avenue, Middleborough, MA on Monday, May 13, 2002 at 7:05 PM to accept the layout of Natures Crossing, located off of Plain Street in Middleborough, MA, on such terms as the Selectmen shall determine for the purposes of a Town way, such property being shown on a plan entitled "Roadway Layout & As-Built Plan of Land for Natures Crossing in Middleboro Massachusetts", dated June 25, 2001, revised through April 17, 2002, drawn by Outback Engineering, Inc. which plan is on file with the Town Clerk’s Office.

Chairman Perkins read a letter from Basil Bartlett, Bartlett Investments, LTD, requesting acceptance of Natures Crossing.

Mr. Bartlett was present. He presented the green cards.

Mr. Bartlett told the Board that the road contains three (3) lots, on which houses have been built.

Chairman Perkins noted a letter from the Planning Board recommended that the plan be revised to include a reference to the approved subdivision plan and the Planning Board Certificate of Completion, with the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds recording information for both.

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

VOTED: To accept Natures Crossing as a Town way, as shown on a plan entitled "Roadway Layout & As-Built Plan of Land for Natures Crossing in Middleboro Massachusetts", dated June 25, 2001, revised through April 17, 2002, drawn by Outback Engineering, Inc., subject to the modifications as requested by the Planning Board.

Unanimous Vote.

Meeting with the Fred Weston Memorial Committee

Anita Cole, Chairman, Nancy Kitchen, Harry Pickering and Bob Lessard, members of the Fred West Memorial Committee, were present.

Chairman Perkins told the Committee that he has received several complaints, and would like to know what is going on with the property in reference to signage.

Anita Cole told the Board that, in 1971, the Board of Selectmen approved wording for signs on the property. Two (2) signs had been erected, on Tispaquin and Purchase Streets. These signs were not prominent. "No Hunting" signs were put up by the previous committee in 1988. These are no longer legible. Yellow signs were placed, which included the wording "No Trespassing", which was crossed out. The Committee voted to take these down. A Committee member took all signs down, leaving the original two (2).

Ms. Cole said she spoke to Mr. Healey, noting it was turkey season. He agreed that No Hunting signs were adequate. Ms. Anita said the signs were put up for ten days and then disappeared. She does not know where the signs are. Ms. Cole said she had contacted Fisheries & Wildlife, who told her that the signs needed to be posted conspicuously, and had to be specific.

Chairman Perkins asked the Committee that "some people" had been granted permission to hunt on that property. Ms. Cole said, to her knowledge, this has never happened.

Chairman Perkins asked why it was closed to hunting in the first place. Ms. Cole said that there are pedestrians and horses allowed, and no room to hunt safely.

Chairman Perkins noted that there is State-owned property across the street, open to the public, which allows hunting.

Ms. Cole gave Chairman Perkins a copy of a newspaper article from 1969 explaining why.

Selectman Eayrs noted the ambiguity in the will of Mr. Weston. He said that the property had been given in his memory, as a hunter and fisherman, but also asked that the property be used as a bird and animal sanctuary, and playground.

Mr. Lessard said he was on the Conservation Commission in the 1980s , which was mandated to oversee the property. He said that in February 2000 he saw the "No Trespassing" signs. He asked how it had left the ConCom. Mr. Lessard said that he had spoken to Rose Correia, who told him that Mr. Healey had handed it over.

Mr. Lessard noted that the Committee had voted to take down the yellow signs in December. Ms. Cole and Ms. Kitchen were going to do this. Ms. Cole had gotten ill and at the following meeting it was agreed that members, Mr. Lessard and Mr. Reed, would take them down. He said that Mr. Parks had asked that the "No Hunting" signs remain. All signs were removed except for the original two (2).

Mr. Healey said that member, Tim Reed, couldn’t attend the meeting, but had given a letter. Mr. Reed was unaware of the provision in the Will, and the vote of the Board in 1971.

Mr. Healey said that the current Committee represents varied interests, and competing uses. He suggested the Committee needs to come up with a plan.

Selectman Eayrs asked why Mr. Reed had removed the signs. Mr. Healey said the letter spoke for itself. Mr. Pickering said that Mr. Reed had gone outside the Committee.

Gary Russell was also present. He said that he had spoken to Mr. Reed. It had been a vote of the Committee to remove the signs. There was no vote to put any new signs back up.

Ms. Cole said that the vote had been to remove the yellow signs only.

Discussion ensued on what the correct wording should be for the signs. Chief Russell felt that a "No Hunting" sign means private property.

Mr. Lessard also asked why there were signs prohibiting being on the property ½ hour after sunset and ½ before sunrise.

Ms. Cole explained that there had been a problem with late night partying.

Chairman Perkins noted that Ms. Cole had mentioned that someone had helped the Committee by approaching people on the property who did not belong. He said any problems should be referred to the Police Department.

Selectman Eayrs suggested a sign which would read "Weston Memorial Forest – Public Preserve – No Hunting". Selectwoman Brunelle agreed.

Mr. Lessard also mentioned that there are no boundary lines at this time. He suggested the property be surveyed.

Selectman Rogers said the Capital Planning Committee had made a recommendation to ask the Peirce Trustees to fund this, in addition to other property that is owned by the Town. Selectman Rogers also noted that the land is within the Taunton River Watershed, and therefore assistance could be given in drafting plans for land use and rules and regulations.

Selectman Wiksten noted that there are different groups who wish to use the property. He suggested the Committee put together guidelines and rules for permittable uses.

Mr. Healey said the property is divided by wetlands. There is upland off of Tispaquin Street that abuts ConCom property. He suggested hunting could be allowed on this piece, and prohibited on the Purchase Street piece.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she felt this was a problem because of the specifications of the Will. She did not feel hunting should be allowed.

Chief Russell noted that people would have to cross the Weston property to get to the ConCom property. This would be a problem because guns are not allowed on the Weston property.

Selectman Wiksten asked how many acres the property consists of. Mr. Lessard said 311. Ms. Cole noted that a large portion of the property is swamp.

Selectman Wiksten said he would like the Committee to come up with a plan to make everyone happy.

Selectman Eayrs made a motion to allow the Committee to have signs manufactured. He suggested funding by the Peirce Trustees. Selectman Wiksten seconded it.

Discussion ensued on the wording for the signs. Chief Russell noted that all prohibitions should be listed.

Chairman Perkins suggested that the Committee hold on purchasing signs. Selectman Eayrs withdrew the motion, Selectman Wiksten the second.

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

VOTED: To request the Fred Weston Committee come back with recommendations for future use of the park within 90 days, and see if parts of the property could be surveyed instead of the whole property.

Unanimous Vote.

Meeting with Attorney Robert Mather – RE: Easement – Rebecca Estates

Attorney Robert Mather met with the Board. He said he was representing Richard Mecke, R.J.M. Corporation, who is proposing an 11 lot subdivision off of Maple Avenue, called Rebecca Estates.

Attorney Mather said there is an issue with drainage. He said the property is currently owned by Alex Anacki. Currently drainage drains in a system owned by the Middleborough Housing Authority. It is an open system which does not function very efficiently.

Attorney Mather said his client is proposing to rebuild the system and install a domed grate on the system so that it won’t clog. This meets the recommendation of Donald Boucher, Highway Superintendent.

Attorney Mather said he was here because there is no existing easements. Water can drain over land, but the proposal is to build it underground. The Housing Authority has voted to approve the easement subject to the form of the easement being approval by their counsel in Boston.

Attorney Mather said there are concerns about the location of the existing system. An existing pipe from Forest Street also drains into this system. The Town has no easement to do this. Attorney Mather said this is not unusual. The Housing Authority attorney wants to grant an easement tot he Town, instead of to the developer.

Attorney Mather said the Planning Board is in agreement with this. Until the subdivision is accepted, the developer will maintain the system and post a $10,000 bond. Attorney Mather said he is here tonight to ask that the Board accept the gift of an easement from the Housing Authority. Previous Town Meeting vote had authorized the Board of Selectmen to accept gifts of easements.

Donald Boucher was also present. He said he concurred with Attorney Mather. This would help with drainage on Forest Street. This would be a win/win situation.

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

VOTED: To accept the drainage easement over a portion of the Middleborough Housing Authority’s property in Middleborough, MA as described in an Order of Taking, dated August 8, 1966 and recorded at the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds in Book 3316, Page 352, with modifications including rebuilding the system underground, and installing a domed grate on the system, and to authorize R.J.M. Corporation to replace the existing 12" pipe with an 18" pipe.

Unanimous Vote.

NEW BUSINESS

Request to Refinance – Carbone – 19 Marie Drive

A request was made by Doreen Carbone, 19 Marie Drive, to allow refinancing on her property. Approval is necessary by the Board because of a deed restriction for low income housing.

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

VOTED: To approve the request made by Doreen Carbone, to refinance property located at 19 Marie Drive.

Unanimous Vote.

Request for Septic Betterment Agreement – 62 Fairview Street

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

VOTED: To grant a septic betterment to Thomas Waterman, 62 Fairview Street, in the amount of $11,977.00.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Appoint Special Officers – Middleborough Police Department

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

VOTED: To appoint the following individuals as Special Officers for the 2002 appointment year:

David Enos Mike Mills

John Mills Todd Sarkisian

Unanimous Vote.

OLD BUSINESS

Update on Budgets – FY ’03

The Board had invited the Town Clerk/Account and Treasurer/Collector to attend this meeting to discuss the FY ’03 budget.

Mr. Healey told the Board that Sandy Bernier was ill and would not be attending the meeting. He said Ms. MacDonald may be late.

Three members of the Finance Committee, Lisa Dufresne, Joe Correia, and Tom Tansey, were also present.

Mr. Healey had provided the Board with three (3) documents: A comparison between 2001 and 2002 of Cash Receipts for Building, Wiring, Plumbing and Gas Permits; Recommended Budgets for FY ’03, and the updated Local Receipts.

Mr. Healey also told the Board that he and Superintendent Walsh had signed a Joint Memorandum supporting level-funding of the School Department Budget to annual Town Meeting. He said the School Committee agrees to make further cuts in the Fall if necessary.

Mr. Healey said that the General Government reflects cuts already made. He said he will continue to work on new sources of revenue.

Mr. Healey said that the Joint Memorandum had been adopted by the School Committee on Thursday night. He is recommending that the Board of Selectmen support this.

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

VOTED: To support the Joint Memorandum signed by the Town Manager and the School Superintendent.

Unanimous Vote.

Mr. Healey updated the Board on the budget. He said that, with cuts, it is still $1.2 million out of balance. He said he is hoping to regain some losses in the Cherry Sheet figures. There have been some increases. Mr. Healey said he is also talking to the Assessors about the Overlay Reserve.

Mr. Healey noted that there has been a substantial increase in Building Permit fees - $110,000 in four months.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked about the COA Trust Fund. The figure shows $150,000. Lisa Dufresne said that $100,000 of that will have to be left for their building project. Selectwoman Brunelle said she thought that had already been taken out.

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested that the Board request the Town Accountant to provide the balance in the COA Trust Fund and a 12-month ended period projection for Local Receipts to the Board. She also suggested the figures be given to the Finance Committee before their meeting on Wednesday.

Selectwoman Brunelle also asked for a detail on fringe benefits. She wanted a listing of all, by account. Selectwoman Brunelle said she would rather use other revenues than the Stabilization Fund.

Chairman Perkins said that the budget would not be balanced at the Annual Town Meeting. He said the figures should be better know in the Fall, and then they could look at how much would have to come out of the Stabilization Fund.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the Board needs to do something else to develop revenues.

Joe Correia said he was concerned with the Memorandum. He suggested if a figure was "locked in" at the Annual Town Meeting by a reconsideration motion, there was a risk of passing funds that cannot be taken away in the Fall.

Mr. Healey said that, regardless of the votes, the budget would be unbalanced going into the Fall Town Meeting. He said the Memorandum is a commitment from the School Department to balance their budget if the State does not provide more Chapter 70 money. Mr. Healey also noted that this is not a one year problem. He said the Town needs to hang onto some money going into the next fiscal year.

Mr. Correia noted the risk of passing the budget, not getting any funding, and then having to make deeper cuts because ¼ of the budget would have been spent at "full tilt".

Ms. Dufresne told the Board that the projection for money saved for furloughs would be about $400,000 for a 5-day General Government week.

Chairman Perkins noted that the Town could make up millions of dollars in a couple of weeks by doing this. He said this would be a "last ditch effort", but it needs to be out on the table. This would be a way of saving services and saving jobs.

Mr. Tansey asked what would happen if Town Meeting did not vote to take the money back from the School Department. Mr. Healey said another meeting would be held. He said there has to be a balanced budget to set the tax rate.

Mr. Tansey asked if the Board had any ways in place to raise revenue before the Fall Town Meeting.

Chairman Perkins said that there will be an unbalanced budget in June. This would leave three (3) months to get actual numbers. The Board could look at increasing fees, furloughs, and the early retirement bill.

Mr. Healey said that the Superintendent has talked about an override for next year. Mr. Healey said the Town cannot continue to be required to give all new growth monies, to the School Department without legislation picking up some.

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested the Board keep a watchful eye on the budget situation, and dedicate one meeting a month to financial information. The Board should require Ms. Bernier to attend those meeting.

It was noted that the Local Receipts did not include the sale of the Town-owned land.

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

There was no further discussion of the 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 Collins, Loughran & Peloquin, P.C. for April 2002 in the amount of $1,413.75.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay the bill submitted by Consultants to Management, Inc. for work on GASB 34, in the amount of $2,880.00

Unanimous Vote.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked the Board’s Secretary to obtain an update on the GASB 34 project from Sandy Bernier.

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

VOTED: To pay the bill submitted by SEMASS Partnership for April 2002 in the amount of $11,063.98.

Unanimous Vote.

OTHER

Review Washburn Mill Property Proposals

The Board received copies of the proposals for the Washburn Mill Property. There were three (3) proposals submitted from Donald Berham, MBC Development, Inc., and Costello Dismantling Co., Inc.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that there were no non-collusion certificates, or certificates that local, State and Federal taxes have been paid.

Chairman Perkins noted a statement from Bruce Arons saying that all proposals met the submission requirements and guidelines.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she would like verification that those items were included.

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested the discussion be put off for one week until questions are answered.

Selectman Eayrs asked about the financial capability of the applicants.

The Board asked that Mr. Arons be invited to attend next week’s meeting to discuss these concerns.

Mr. Healey said that the Board needed to identify one (1) proposal and then work out details. There will be required bonding and a reverter clause.

Selectman Eayrs said his vote would be based on what group has the financial capability to carry out the proposal.

Selectman Wiksten suggested a letter of backing from the bank if the proposal goes forward. He noted that the Board could have a priority list, to choose another proposal, if one fails.

 

 

Clarification on Articles for Town Meeting Warrant

Mr. Healey told the Board that the Charter Committee had submitted Articles to update the Charter to reflect more accurately what is currently happening.

There are two (2) articles that refer to the Town Clerk/Accountant position. He said the Board needs to decide if they will keep this as a single position, or split them, if Sandy Bernier retires. He suggested these Articles be put off until the Fall.

Selectwoman Brunelle and Chairman Perkins agreed. Chairman Perkins said he would like to have input from other people, including Ms. Bernier.

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

VOTED: To omit Articles referring to the Town Clerk/Accountant position.

Unanimous Vote.

Mr. Healey will notify the Charter Committee in the morning, and the Board’s Secretary will follow up with a letter.

Purchase & Sale Agreements – Town-owned Property

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

VOTED: To approve Purchase & Sale Agreements for Town-owned Property to the following

Gregory Lessard 035-5174 Plymouth Street

Robert Lessard 035-5174 Paul Road

Clayton Maki 045-282 Lake Shore Drive

Charles G. Reynolds 079-4452 Off Walnut Street

Paul J. & Selma A. Sweeney 034-5556 Off Plymouth Street

Unanimous Vote.

Request for Vacation Day – Board’s Secretary

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

VOTED: To approve a Vacation Day for the Board’s Secretary for Friday, May 17, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

Update on Early Retirement Incentive

Mr. Healey said that Rep. O’Brien’s office had called this after noon. The Governor has not signed this bill. He will check first thing in the morning.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the Board had asked for information from all departments regarding anyone retiring in the next (5) years. Mr. Healey will provide this information to the Board for next week’s meeting.

CORRESPONDENCE

Jane Lopes said she had talked to Dan Murray. He said he could not find any case law where a Town had taken a property by eminent domain to perfect the title. However, he did find references to this happening. She asked who would challenge this?

Selectman Eayrs said he agreed, but noted that banks are very particular when loaning money. Mr. Ryan cannot borrow any money until he has proof of title. He suggested someone could always challenge the taking.

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

VOTED: To direct Town Counsel to proceed with the necessary steps to file in Land Court, and to authorize Town Counsel to proceed with eminent domain.

Unanimous Vote.

VOTED: To authorize Connie Morman, 15 Bourne Street, to sketch the old Middleborough Schools for the purpose of illustrating a book on that subject.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To enter into Executive Session at 9:00 PM to discuss negotiations, not to return to Open Session.

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