SELECTMEN’S MEETING

MAY 9, 2005

 

 

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

 

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

Selectman Wiksten was absent.

 

 

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

 

Public Hearing – Special/Annual Town Meeting Warrants

 

Chairman Perkins opened the hearing. 

 

Selectman Andrews suggested that a handout with all figures should be provided to resident prior to Town Meeting.

 

Mr. Healey said this is usually done.

 

 

Special Town Meeting Warrant

 

Article 1

 

This article is for unpaid bills.  The figure was not known.

 

Article 2

 

This article is to place any available money in the Stabilization Fund.

 

Article 3

 

This is a housekeeping article to maintain the Water Pollution Abatement Trust Loan.

 

Article 4

 

This article is for Chapter 90 money.

 

Article 5

 

This article is for payment of the Administrative Consent Order with Penalty in regards to the Landfill.  The final figure is not yet known.

 

 

Articles 6 & 7

 

These articles are in regards to a TIF for Holiday Inn Express.

 

Article 8

 

This article is for $10,000 to supplement the Administrative office Building Electricity Account.

 

Article 9

 

This article is not needed because DOR has authorized deficit spending for gas and diesel.

 

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

            VOTED:  To remove article 9.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 10

 

This article is to correct payment to two (2) Water Department employees whose steps were calculated incorrectly. 

 

The Town Accountant was asked to provide a figure to the Board by Friday.

 

Article 11

 

This article is for $2600 to supplement the IT Budget to centralize benefits.

 

Article 12

 

This article is to supplement the Selectmen’s budget for ‘Labor Counsel’.  The amount needed is $10,800.

 

Article 13

 

This article is to supplement the Veteran’s Services Budget - Medical and Cash Aid.  The amount needed is $5,000.

 

Article 14

 

This article is to supplement the Sanitation Waste Disposal Cost by $18,000.

 

Article 15

 

This article is to adjust the Dog Division Budget by $2,670.

Article 16

 

This article is to supplement the Police Department Budget for overtime costs as a result of uniforming and equipping eight (8) officers that had to be hired unexpectedly this year.  The amount needed is $192,108.73.

 

Police Chief, Gary Russell, said that increases due to the contracts will be absorbed within his budget.

 

Article 17

 

This article is to supplement the Fire Department’s Budget because of contractual increases.  The amount needed is $190,115.

 

Article 18

 

This article is to supplement the Health Department’s Budget as follows:

 

Sundry Vehicles                        $500.00

Laboratory Testing                   $210.00

Office & Stationery                   $200.00

Postage                                    $  74.00

 

Discussion ensued on the use of a currier service for the Beach Water Testing.  The Board will ask for clarification on whether or not this is required, and if the costs are recouped in the fees.

 

Article 19

 

This article is to supplement the Library’s Budget.  Part of the request is for contractual increases.  The total request is $37,195.62.

 

Articles 20 & 21

 

These articles are to supplement the Highway Department and Sanitation Departments for contractual increases.  Chairman Perkins said he would get a figure.

 

Article 22

 

This article is to supplement the Town Clerk’s Budget by $207 through an inter-departmental transfer.

 

Articles 23 & 24

 

These articles are to supplement the Water and Wastewater Departments for contractual increases.  Chairman Perkins said he would get a figure.

 

Article 25

 

This article is to supplement the COA’s Budget by $21,000 through an inter-departmental transfer.

 

Article 26

 

This article is to supplement department budgets for contractual increases in the Clerical/COA Contracts.  The total amount is approximately $30,000.

 

Article 27

 

This article is for a supplement to the Town Accountant’s Budget for GASB 34 in the amount of $7,500.

 

Lisa Higgins explained that she had figured this amount to hire a temp service for data entry.

 

Article 28

 

This article is to supplement Wastewater’s Sludge Disposal Account in the amount of $170,000.

 

Mr. Healey explained that the additional costs are as a result of taking sludge to an incinerator in Rhode Island because of the closing of the Landfill.

 

Article 29

 

This article is to appraise land for a new public water supply well, and hiring of an engineer to do a Water Tank and Water Main Hydraulic Evaluation.  The total is $23,300.

 

Article 30

 

This article is for $28,000 to hire an attorney to negotiate with Verizon for a cable franchise.

 

Roger Brunelle told the Board that the Peirce Trustees had donated $5,000 to retain Attorney August.

 

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

            VOTED:  To send a letter of thanks to the Peirce Trustees.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

 

 

Article 31

 

This is a companion article to Article 29.  This article will allow the Town to acquire an easement by purchase, or eminent domain, on property owned by Leo Nelson, Sr. and Leo P. Nelson, Jr.

 

Article 32

 

This article is in regards to the MJHS project.

 

Virginia Landis was present.  She explained that the 2001 Annual Town Meeting had authorized $9+million for the project.

 

Since then, costs have risen, and the new estimate for construction is approximately $13.5 million.  This article will authorize the additional amount of $4 million.

 

Chairman Perkins noted an article in The Enterprise regarding the Massachusetts School Building Authority being overspent by $1.3 billion.

 

Ms. Landis said that the Town is already far in the process and she is confident that this project will be approved.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if reimbursement would be given on the additional $4 million.

 

Ms. Landis said it would not.

 

Annual Town Meeting Warrant

 

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

            VOTED:  To move Article 4 of the ATM Warrant to the STM Warrant.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

This article is a housekeeping article in regards to the Nichols Middle School.

 

Article 1

 

This is the budget article for FY 06.  The figure is not yet known.

 

Article 2

 

This article is for setting the tax rate from the income from the sales oaf gas and electricity.  This year’s amount is $366,544 which is a slight increase from last year’s amount which was $350,477.

 

 

Article 3

 

This article is to place any available money in the Stabilization Fund.

 

Article 4

 

This article was moved to the STM Warrant.

 

Article 5

 

This is a housekeeping article to maintain the Water Pollution Abatement Trust Loan.

 

Articles 6 through 11

 

These articles are for revolving funds which are voted on annually.

 

Article 12

 

This article is to revoke a 53D revolving fund for the Park Department and establish a 53E ½ revolving fund.

 

Harry Pickering explained that this revolving fund is from fees for programs.  He said that at least $30,000 is now used for supervision of programs.  Maintenance of the pool is also paid from this account.

 

Mr. Healey expressed concern with the amount being limited to $25,000.  He suggested the amount be increased to $100,000.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle explained that the limit of $25,000 would only authorize that much to be spent in a fiscal year.

 

Neil Rosenthal asked if there were limitations on what the money could be used for.

 

Mr. Pickering said it cannot pay for full-time employees.

 

Roger Brunelle said that salaries can be paid from the account as long as you pay the benefits that go with the salaries.  He said there is no restriction on the amount to be limited.  He explained it is a percentage of the Town’s total budget, and $100,000 is well below the limit.

 

Article 13

 

This is a housekeeping article in regards to a TIF agreement with Ocean Spray.

 

 

 

 

Article 14

 

This article is for an appropriation of $81,049 for the IT Department to purchase software, computer equipment and other related equipment for various departments.

 

Article 15

 

This article is for $25,000 to purchase vehicles for the Building Department.

 

Bob Whalen explained that 90% of the maintenance budget has been spent on repairing two (2) 1995 former police cruisers that the Building Department uses.

 

Mr. Whalen said he expects to be able to purchase two (2) used, small 4WD SUVs with the $25,000.

 

Chairman Perkins asked Mr. Whalen to be sure to follow the procurement procedure.

 

Article 16

 

This article is for $180,000 to purchase a brush breaker for the Fire Department.

 

Article 17

 

This article is for $60,000 to purchase a replacement mini bus for the School Department.

 

Articles 18 & 19

 

These articles were removed at the request of the Police Chief.

 

Articles 20 & 21

 

Barbara Erickson was present.  She explained that these articles will increase the income and assets allowed for an exemption under 41C.  The Assessors are not requesting a reduction in the age requirement.

 

Ms. Erickson said there are 593 taxpayers who could potentially apply.  She said she did not anticipate a large increase from this year's applicants. 

 

Article 22

 

This article would authorize the establishment of a program for senior citizens to do volunteer work in exchange for a tax break.  The maximum amount allowed is $750/annually, based on the current minimum wage.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that Guidelines would be established if the article passes.

Articles 23 & 24

 

These articles will allow a Police Station Building Committee to be established, and $154,000 be authorized for engineering and architectural services.

 

Tom White suggested the Police Station Building Study Committee should give their report prior to this article.

 

Articles 25 & 26

 

These articles will rescind the 1987 ATM authorization to transfer property to the Housing Authority.  The properties are located on Wood Street and Wareham Street.

 

The Wood Street property is being considered for a new Police Station, and the Wareham Street property contains an easement for the Nichols Middle School.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that the Housing Authority has been gracious in freeing up these properties.

 

Article 27

 

This article is to change the location of an existing sewer easement.

 

Article 28

 

This article is a request for an additional commercial water hook-up in Carver.  Town Meeting approval is necessary by both towns.

 

Article 29

 

This article will support asking legislators for a legislative liquor license for a store in Rock Village that previously held a license.

 

Articles 30 through 33

 

These articles are to accept roads as public ways.  Article 2 will be removed as the developer has not prepared the necessary information.

 

Article 34

 

This is a petitioned article that requests authorization to seek Wild & Scenic River designation for the Taunton River through an act of the United States Congress.

 

Selectman Bond asked if this would effect private land owners.

 

A representative from the National Park Service said no private land owner has felt restrictions. He said State and Local Regulations would continue to apply.

 

Mr. Healey noted that the FinCom had voted to support this article.

 

Article 35

 

This is a petitioned article asking for a $2,500 appropriation to the South Shore Women’s Center.

 

Sue Ann Welscott, representing South Shore Women’s Center, was present.  She explained that in 2004 115 calls were received from Middleborough residents.  Service was provided to 69 women, and 90 residents were assisted through the Court Advocacy Program.  Services are also provided at the High School.

 

Harry Pickering noted that this article had failed last year, and hoped that it passed this year.

 

Article 36

 

This article allows committees to be heard.

 

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

 

Budget Information

 

Selectwoman Brunelle presented information from the Collaborative Leadership Group.  She reviewed revenue and expenditure information.

 

Four estimates were presented:  Full-budget requests from departments ($4.2 million shortage), reduction from FY05 funding ($1.3 million shortage), 10% reduction from FY05 funding ($758,000 shortage), and the Town’s minimum local contribution for the School Department.

 

$103,000 will able from the reduced B-P FY05 assessment, and $151,000 available in Free Cash.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that 100% of last year’s Local Receipts projections were used.  She said the Excise Tax is at 75% of what the projections were.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said information regarding departmental fees was not known at this time.  She noted that $500,000 could be received for Free Cash as a result of negotiations with neighboring towns for water.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that this would still leave a shortfall with a 10% cut.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she didn’t see the Landfill contract being completed before June 30th. This could free up $1.8 million.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that this would only be “one time money”.  He added that a sizeable amount should be “tucked away” in case the contract failed.

 

Chairman Perkins said the options would be an override or layoffs.  He said the Unions can also be asked to increase the copays for the health insurance. 

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said that health insurance has the largest impact, noting that there has been a 144% increase since FY’02.  The current amount is $7.9 million.  She said part of the increase is rates, and part is additional personnel.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle also explained the town’s “structural deficit”, which was created by funding this year’s budget with next year’s money.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the CLG has not made any recommendations.

 

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

VOTED:  To send a letter to General Government Department Heads requesting that they resubmit their budgets showing 5% and 10% cuts from FY’05 funding, and providing a written narrative of the consequences.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the information would be needed as soon as possible, as Town Meeting is scheduled for June 6th.

 

Mr. Healey told the Board he has scheduled a department heads meeting for Thursday.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested that any employees who leave by June 30th not be replaced.

 

Dr. Sullivan, School Superintendent, addressed the Board.  He thanked them for allowing the CLG to continue.

 

Dr. Sullivan said that the School Department is cognizant of the overall budget issues facing the Town.  He said they are reviewing their needs for what is most pressing.  The School Department’s 5.4% increase includes some new initiatives, but mostly attempts to provide the current services provided to students.

 

Dr. Sullivan acknowledged that the Chapter 70 monies was slightly increased, and thanked the Town for what was funding last year.

 

Dr. Sullivan said he contended any increases in Chapter 70 monies should be placed with the School Department.

 

Mr. Healey said the House Budget shows an increase of $180,850, with the Senate “promising to outdo the House”.  He supported the monies going to the School.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said if the increase occurs, based on these numbers, the General Government will have to further reduce its budget.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Request to Hold “Tag Day” – Middleborough Youth Softball League

 

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

VOTED:  To approve Tag Days for May 13th and 14th, for Middleborough Youth Softball League.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Approve & Sign Notes – Treasurer/Collector

 

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

VOTED:  To award a bid for Landfill-Taxable money in the amount of $365,000 to Eastern Bank at an interest rate of 3.90%.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To award a bid for Department Equipment money in the amount of $72,000 to Eastern Bank at an interest rate of 2.90%.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Conflict of Interest Issue – Kopelman & Paige

 

Mr. Healey explained that Attorney John Giorgio, who represents the WMAC on the WM Contract, is also part of the firm that is Town Counsel for the Town of Lakeville.  He said there is a potential for the appearance of a conflict of interest, and a Disclosure is required.

 

Town Counsel has indicated that this is not a problem, and is a procedural matter.

 

Upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Andrews, the Board  determined, pursuant to G.L. c.268A, §17 and Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:07, PR 1.7(a) and (b), that the interest of Kopelman and Paige, P.C., as Town Counsel to the Town of Lakeville is within the proper discharge of its official duties.  It is further determined that Kopelman and Paige, P.C.’s representation of the Town of Lakeville will not materially limit its responsibilities to the Town of Middleborough in matters not related to the negotiation and drafting of an intermunicipal agreement, in which Middleborough will provide water and wastewater service to certain Lakeville properties, and I consent to Kopelman and Paige, P.C.’s representation of the Town of Lakeville in this regard.

 

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

            VOTED:  To authorize the Chairman to sign the Determination.

VOTE 3 – 1 (Selectman Bond against)

 

 

World Series Trophy

 

Selectman Bond noted that the World Series Trophy had been brought to the MHS Gymasium last week for residents to view.  He said Senator Pacheco, who was also present, made the experience “pleasurable and easy going event”.

 

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

VOTED:  To send letters of thanks and gratitude to Senator Pacheco, the Red Sox Organization, and the School Department, in regards to the display of the World Series Trophy.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

 

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

            VOTED:  To adjourn at 10:40 PM.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN