SELECTMEN’S MEETING

MAY 6, 2002

 

Selectman Wiksten called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM. He informed the Board that Chairman Perkins would be late.

Selectman Rogers, Selectwoman Brunelle and Selectman Eayrs were present.

Chairman Perkins entered the meeting at 7:40 PM.

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

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

VOTED: To approve the Minutes of April 29, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To approve the Executive Minutes of April 29, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To approve the Minutes of April 4, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

Request for WRPD Special Permit – Healy – Abbey Lane

Because this was a WRPD Hearing, the applicant requested that the hearing wait until Chairman Perkins arrived.

Chairman Perkins read the following into the record: "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 6, 2002 at 7:05 PM, for the purpose of discussing an application filed by J. David Simmons, Esq. on behalf of John & Susan Healey, 229 Lowland Street, Holliston, MA 01746 for a Special Permit under the Water Resource Protection District By-laws, to allow construction of a 10,000 sf, single-story distribution building and associated site improvements and utility infrastructure for a parts distribution business. The property is located on Abbey Lane, Assessors Map 079, Lot 758, zoned General Use District; W.R.P.D. "3". Anyone wishing to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated." Chairman Perkins opened the hearing.

Attorney David Simmons was present to represent the applicants. He returned the green cards.

Attorney Simmons introduced Jack O’Leary, project manager, and John and Susan Healy, applicants.

Attorney Simmons told the Board that the proposal was to construct a new facility to operate an antique motorcycle parts distribution business. He site is partially within WRPD Zone 3.

Attorney Simmons told the Board that the construction will be a 10,000 s.f. single story, pre-fab building. He compared it to another that was just completed on Abbey Lane. The site plan shows that the building will be located on the northerly side of the property, on high ground. There will also be loading docks, a septic system, and a detention pond.

Attorney Simmons told the Board that he had first spoken to the Town Planner and Building Inspector in October or November. The plan before the Board reflects the comments that had been made at that time.

Attorney Simmons told the Board that any natural vegetative areas that are disturbed due to development, will be replanted with extensive landscaping. This is included in the plan.

Jack O’Leary, engineer from Merrill Associates, presented the site plan. He said the building will be tying into the G&E and Town water services that are already there. There is no Town sewage. He said a perc test had been completed last January, and an onsite disposal system is proposed for the rear corner of the lot. He said that the system will include a septic tank and a pump chamber. Most of the system is outside the WRPD 3 and meets the Title V requirements.

Mr. O’Leary said the site will also have a drainage system, and an infiltration trench will be placed along the northern side of the building for roof run-off.

Attorney Simmons noted that the intent of the WRPD Bylaw is to protect the Town wells. He said that this property does not physically lie within the WRPD 3 zone, even though it is mapped that way. He said there is little chance that the project could effect Town wells, noting that the drainage runs the opposite way.

Attorney Simmons introduced John and Susan Healy, owners of Coventry Spares, LTD.

Mr. Healy told the Board that this has been a family-run business since 1966. The current distribution center is in Holliston. He told the Board that his son, who works with them, lives in Plymouth. He and his wife are looking to locate closer to them.

Mr. Healy said the operation is totally inside the building. There is no walk-in traffic, signs, or listing in the phone book. He said the business imports parts for motorcycles 25 years or older.

Selectman Eayrs asked if there would be any oils or grease, or delivery trucks.

Mr. Healy said there would be no oil or grease, and most of the business is done through mail order.

Selectman Rogers thanked the applicant for the submittal, noting that it was complete and professional. He agreed that the project was not too much of a risk of acquifers.

Selectman Rogers noted that the Health Department has requested that a waterless hand wash system be provided prior to the restroom facilities. Other departments supported the request.

John Picard, President of the Ashley Place Condominiums Association, had concerns about the screening to the property. He asked what distance there was between the building and the property line.

Mr. O’Leary said that it is 70’ to the property line.

Carla Thibeault, resident of Ashley Place, asked what the hours of operation would be.

Mr. Healy said the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, sometimes 6:00 PM, weekdays.

Another resident of Ashley Place had concerns about lighting in the back parking lot being on in the evening.

Attorney Simmons said any lighting would be from pole-mounted lights, which would shine into the parking lot. They would not be on all night.

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

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

VOTED: To approve the request made by J. David Simmons, Esq. on behalf of John & Susan Healey, 229 Lowland Street, Holliston, MA 01746 for a Special Permit under the Water Resource Protection District By-laws, to allow construction of a 10,000 sf, single-story distribution building and associated site improvements and utility infrastructure for a parts distribution business on property located on Abbey Lane, Assessors Map 079, Lot 758, zoned General Use District; W.R.P.D. "3", as shown on a plan entitled "Site Plan – Lot 3 Abbey Lane – Assessors Map 079 Lot 758 – Middleborough, Massachusetts – dated January 11, 2002. Additionally, the Board finds that the property:

    1. is in harmony with the purpose and intent of the WRPD By-law and will promote the purposes of the Water Resource Protection Districts;
    2. is appropriate to the natural topography, soil, and other characteristics of the site to be developed;
    3. will not, during construction or thereafter, have an adverse environmental impact on the acquifer or recharge areas, and
    4. will not adversely affect any existing or potential water supply.

Unanimous Vote.

Meeting with Community Preservation Act Committee – RE: Warrant Article

Michael Ambrose, Chairman of the Community Preservation Act Committee, met with the Board to give suggestions on the adoption of the Community Preservation Act.

Mr. Ambrose told the Board that the Committee is recommending the full 3% with a $100,000 exemption on assessment for residential property. He explained that 3% gives the Town the biggest guaranteed of getting the full State matching grant.

Mr. Ambrose said he has been working with the Assessors , and the recommendation would yield $267,000+ plus a matching State grant. The money can be used for Open Space, Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation. He suggested 80% of this money could go towards Open Space.

Mr. Ambrose noted that the average tax payer would pay $38.00 more per year. This is based on an assessment of $172,000. The first $100,000 would be exempt. The tax rate is then calculated on the remaining amount, and 3% is taken from that.

Selectman Eayrs said that passing this is important. He noted the most recent experience with Fuller Street, and said there are more coming. He said the $100,000 exemption made sense, noting that it was not a large tax increase. He said he was concerned that this gets a positive reception.

Mr. Ambrose said the Committee is doing all they can, and hoped that the Selectmen would support this. He reminded the Board that every new house is a new tax. This is a response. By purchasing Open Space, the Town would have to be dictated by developers. Mr. Ambrose also noted that the money can be used to purchase development rights to agricultural land.

Selectman Rogers thanked the Committee for their hard work. He questioned what would happen if it was 1 or 2% instead of the 3.

Mr. Ambrose told the Board that "the State gives 80% of the pot each year" to match. 20% is given as an equity distribution. If there is a surplus it is given in the third round. Town’s must be at the 3% to get any remaining funds.

Mr. Ambrose also noted that the Town could vote to discontinue the program in five (5) years if they so choose. There is also the flexibility to borrow against the projections of what will be raised, not the match.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she is not opposed to this going forward, but had concerns about acquiring open space and taking it off the tax rolls. She felt this should be part of the discussion.

Mr. Ambrose noted that the Committee can only make suggestions, but purchases would have to be approved by a Town Meeting vote.

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

VOTED: To fully support the adoption of the Community Preservation Act.

VOTE 4 – 1 (Selectwoman Brunelle voted against)

Selectwoman Brunelle explained she approved the article being placed on the Warrant, but could not support it at this time.

Hearing – Animal Complaint – 1 Bartlett Street – Bernier

The Board had received a request for a hearing for an animal complaint from Tracie Craig, 22 Lovell Street. The Complaint was against a dog , named "Hooker", owned by Paul Bernier, 1 Bartlett Street.

Animal Control Officer, William Wyatt, was present. He explained that there had been a previous record, at a previous address for the dog in question. It had attacked sheep, along with another dog. The dog had not killed any of the sheep. A restraining order was issued to keep the dog restrained at all times.

When Mr. Bernier moved to 1 Bartlett Street, Mr. Wyatt told him that the previous order was still in effect.

Mr. Wyatt told the Board of several incidents of the dog getting loose. On these occasions, he had received calls from Ms. Craig. When he arrived, the dog had already been picked up. Mr. Wyatt said he had spoken to Mr. Bernier about why and how the dog had gotten loose. He said he understood why it had happened. He explained that the dog had gnawed wires at the bottom of the kennel. The dog subsequently got loose the next day because the person who put the dog back in the kennel was not aware of the problem. It has since been corrected.

Mr. Wyatt spoke about an article that had been in the Brockton Enterprise that referenced these incidents. Mr. Wyatt said he has received four (4) letters from neighbors stating that the dog has not been a problem, and has been loose infrequently. When it has gotten loose, the neighbors say that the dog has not bee a problem.

Mr. Wyatt told the Board that Ms. Craig wanted stronger action taken. He told her to put a complaint into the Board of Selectmen. Ms. Craig faxed the complaint to the Police Department, but Mr. Wyatt did not receive it.

Mr. Bernier told the Board that he had temporarily moved the kennel because of work being done on his lawn, and then put the kennel back.

Chairman Perkins questioned whether or not Mr. Bernier was training the dog for fighting purposes, noting a statement from Ms. Craig that she has seen the dog "hanging from a tree". Mr. Bernier explained that the dog is trained for competitions, and has documentation to prove this.

Mr. Wyatt interjected, noting that the dog accused of training is "Magnum, who belongs to Mr. Bernier’s brother, and is not the dog in question. He said he had spoken to other trainers who said this is a common practice to build up jaw and neck muscles for competitions.

Mr. Bernier’s brother agreed, noting that the dog competes in weight pulling.

Selectman Eayrs asked why the Board was hearing this complaint. Mr. Wyatt explained that Ms. Craig wanted him to take stronger measure. Only the Board can do this. Mr. Wyatt said he did not recommend further action, noting that he felt this was a "personality clash more than anything else".

Tracie Craig was present. She told the Board that "Hooker" has been loose about 5 – 6 times. She had requested a hearing because she had been told that the dog had killed sheep, and it was supposed to be out of Town. She said she tried to confirm this with Mr. Wyatt, but was not able to. She told the Board about several incidents when the dog had gotten loose, and entered her yard. She said the kennel has a dirt floor, and no top.

Ms. Craig told the Board of an incident in which another dog had gotten loose, entered "Hooker’s" yard and was subsequently attacked by Hooker. Mr. Bernier told the Board that his dog was tied up, in his yard, and the other dog entered.

Jim Gaudette, a neighbor, told the Board that his property abuts the Bernier’s. He said that he has not had any problems with the dog in question. In fact, he said Ms. Craig had a dog that had gotten loose and killed a duck in his yard.

Mr. Wyatt said that the kennel is being moved to the back of the yard, which he felt was a "smart idea". He has been assured that the concrete floor will be put in.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that pitbulls get "bad raps". She felt that Ms. Craig’s concerns were legitimate, but found nothing that shows that the dog has attacked in any kind of threatening nature. She did not feel the Board could take any further action.

Selectman Rogers agreed, noting that the dog must be kept chained. Selectman Wiksten asked if Mr. Wyatt was confident that everything that can be done is being done. He said what he has recommended has been done. He said that each time Ms. Craig has called, he has responded.

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

VOTED: To take the matter under advisement, take no further action at this time, and to rely on the Animal Control Officer to report any deviation. The Board further voted to request that a concrete slab be completed in the kennel within 90 days.

Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED: To enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing a Union Grievance, to return to Open Session to complete the agenda.

A poll vote was taken. Selectman Rogers, Selectman Wiksten, Selectwoman Brunelle, Selectman Eayrs and Chairman Perkins approved.

VOTE 5 – 0

 

---RECONVENED TO OPEN SESSION---

Meeting with School Department – RE: FY ’03 Budget

Members of the School Committee, Superintendent Walsh, Assistant Superintendent Sullivan and Joe McDonald were present.

Mrs. Walsh told the Board that she had no presentation prepared, but was here at the request of the Selectmen to answer any questions.

Mr. Healey told the Board that the School Committee would certify a budget figure at their meeting on Thursday. He said the only number that has not been resolved is in the Indirect Costs. They will continue to discuss this. He suggested he and Mr. McDonald get together with Judy MacDonald and Sandy Bernier, before Thursday, to discuss this.

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if the bottom line budget submitted by the School Department was not funded, what would be the direction of the School Committee? Layoffs? Additional service cuts?

Supt. Walsh said, with a $1 million cut, 40 staff will be laid off. With $1.8, the number increases to close to 80.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that there is approximately 175 people in General Government and 425 in the School Department. Additional cuts would require General Government to lay off 30 people. This translates to 17% of the workforce. She said this would be devastating. She asked that the School Department consider this when they certify their budget.

Discussion ensued on what figures the Town would be responsible for. He said if the School Committee were to asked for a $2 million override, and it failed, another $1.6 million would have to be cut.

Chairman Perkins said it was still unknown as to what is going on in Boston. He noted that figures released late this afternoon would be a $450 - $600 increase to taxpayers. He noted that this did not fix the problems at the local level. He did not think an override would pass, and suggested a plan needs to be in place.

Selectman Wiksten asked what the strategy would be for the School Department. He said he would like to avoid discussing this at Town Meeting.

Supt. Walsh said the Committee is looking at the budget line by line. There is no strategy right now. She noted that she has an obligation to notify staff by June 15th. If 75 people were given notices then, they would not return in October.

Selectman Wiksten said notices can be given, but it doesn’t mean they will be laid off. He said he had concerns that the Committees would not be unified before Town Meeting.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the Board needed to look at fees again. She suggested putting off a discussion of the Warrant Articles and a meeting with the Housing Sub-Committee until May 20th. The Board agreed.

Jane Lopes asked about the increase in Health Insurance copays. Mr. Healey said this is in negotiations. The increase would save about $250,000 to the Town.

Selectman Rogers said the Board would need to look at eight (8) points before seriously considering an override. They were:

Water fees, sewer fees, permit fees, debt exclusion, furloughs, early retirement, trash fees and bussing costs.

Members of the Board will attend the School Committee meeting on Thursday evening.

NEW BUSINESS

Review and Award Bids for Town-owned Property

The Board reviewed each of the bids that were made on Town-owned property.

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

VOTED: To award the bid for Map 020 Lot 2482 – 7 Woloski Park, to Robert Gragin for $2,610.00 for cleanup of the property and to provide extra land if ever needed to meet Title V Requirements.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To award the bid for Map 045 Lot 5265 – off Wall Street, to Mary Ann Wiedl for $1,502.00, with a deed restriction for preservation.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To award the bid for Map 035 Lot 5876 – 43 Lake Shore Drive, to Judith Ann Bigelow-Costa for $10,000.00 for a residential second home.

Unanimous Vote.

The Board received a letter from Edward Medeiros, a Commissioner for the Housing Authority, requesting that the awarding of the bids for Map 065 Lots 5363 & 5451 – Cherry Street, be postponed. He explained that the Housing Authority would like to look at this property for a potential site for elderly housing.

Selectwoman Brunelle said she thought all Town departments had been notified of the properties. Mr. Healey said the Housing Authority may not have been, because it is a State entity.

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

VOTED: To postpone the awarding of the bids for Map 065 Lots 5363 & 5451 – Cherry Street, for two (2) weeks to allow the Middleborough Housing Authority to explore the possibility of elderly housing on this lot.

Unanimous Vote.

Jane Lopes asked about two (2) other parcels that the State had been interested in. Mr. Healey said that the pieces were auctioned for considerably more money ($191,000) that the State had offered ($15,000). He noted that the parcel across from Stop & Shop will be the subject of an RFP.

Vote to Appoint Board Member to Sign Warrants

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

VOTED: To authorize Selectman Rogers to sign the bill warrants in the absence of any other available member.

Unanimous Vote.

Request for Permission to hold Tag Day – Middleborough Youth Softball League

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

VOTED: To approve the request made by Coleen Randall, Coordinator Assistant for the Middleborough Youth Softball League, to hold Tag Days on Friday, May 17th and Saturday, May 18th.

Unanimous Vote.

OLD BUSINESS

There was no ‘Old Business’ to discuss tonight.

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

VOTED: To allow Town employees, summonsed to Court, to attend without losing any of their time.

Vote 2 – 1 – 1 (Selectwoman Brunelle opposed, Selectman Wiksten abstained)

 

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 $174.60.

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 $71.58, $245.77 and $37.63, totaling $354.98.

Unanimous Vote.

OTHER

There was no ‘Other’ business discussed tonight.

CORRESPONDENCE

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that Ted Lang’s resume included the fact that he is a Veteran of the Air Force, having served two (2) tours of duty in Vietnam. If required, he could offer assistance.

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

VOTED: To enter into Executive Session, not to return to Open Session, for Negotiations and a Personnel Matter.

A poll vote was taken. Selectman Rogers, Selectman Wiksten, Selectwoman Brunelle Selectman Eayrs and Chairman Perkins approved.

VOTE 5 – 0

 

 

 

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN