SELECTMEN’S MEETING

NOVEMBER 29, 2004

 

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM.

 

Selectman Bond and Selectwoman Brunelle were present.  Selectman Andrews entered the meeting at 7:10 PM.

 

Selectman Wiksten was absent.

 

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the Minutes of November 22, 2004.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the Executive Minutes of November 22, 2004.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

 

Meeting with Mike Scipione – RE:  Brook Street Phase II Landfill Expansion & Testing of East Main Street Well

 

Brook Street Phase II Landfill Expansion

 

Mike Scipione, Weston & Sampson, was present.

 

Mr. Scipione told the Board the landfill project has been moving along.  Construction started in September of 2004.  The goal is to get the base liner put in this year.  He said the site has been graded, the clay liner has been installed and the plastic liner has been placed on top.  Currently, work is being done on the drainage sand leachate collection.  He said he is working with DEP to get temporary authorization to operate.

 

Mr. Scipione said the existing landfill is full, and needs to be closed off as soon as possible.

 

The project has taken on additional necessary tasks since the Contract was signed in 2001.  Regulations have changed, such as requiring a double liner in Phase 1 and Phase 2.

 

Mr. Scipione said an active gas management system has also been designed as part of the Administrative Consent Order.  Also, the development and bidding of a separate design for the truck scale has been done. 

 

In addition, there have been operational changes; a financial analysis was prepared for the Waste Management Advisory Committee, and a projected profit analysis was completed.  A preliminary cost estimate and layouts for a conceptual recycling and drop off center were also prepared.

 

Mr. Scipione said the new requirements have increased the project by about 4.5 months.  He said Town Meeting has appropriated funds for the changes.  About $330,000 remains on that appropriation.

 

Chairman Perkins asked about the WMAC, and how moving forward would commingle and integrate with the engineering already being done.

 

Mr. Scipione said Waste Management will reimburse the Town for reasonable construction activities, up to $250,000.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked about a separate contract for the gas management system.

 

Mr. Scipione said $360,000 was appropriated at Town Meeting, but a Contract was not completed to do so.

 

Mr. Healey pointed out that the Town is trying to accelerate the capping and closing of the first cell to deal with odor issues.

 

Selectman Andrews asked if there would be any other necessary items being eliminated from the supplemental contract.

 

Mr. Scipione said he did not know of any.  He said sometimes, if construction takes a longer period of time, the cost would go up.  He said this contract is based on a timeline.  Therefore, if it is completed sooner, the Town would also save money.

 

The total engineering cost for the project, including the amendment, is now $545,000.

 

Selectman Bond asked if Town Counsel would review the supplement for substance, or as to form.

 

Mr. Scipione said Town Counsel generally does both.

 

Selectman Bond said he had substantive questions to pose to Counsel, if the Board did not object.

 

Testing of East Main Street Well

 

Mr. Scipione told the Board that currently, the well field at #2 has poor water quality.  It has high iron and manganese.  A Vyreguard System was put in place to create zones for the iron to drop out.  This has worked with some success, and was fairly reasonably priced.  He said the Town has decided to treat the water for better quality.  The first step is to do a pilot study to decide what type of treatment would be best.  He said the Vyreguard System will be reviewed to see if it can be upgraded.  This would save costs to the Town.  The second phase would treat the water.

 

Mr. Scipione said a local firm is willing to pay for piloting of a new technology, which has not yet been approved.  He said it “doesn’t look like it will cost any money”.  The concern would be that it’s an untried system in Massachusetts, and it may take longer to get permitted “down the road”.  The cost would be $4,700, which would be reimbursed by the manufacturer.

 

Mr. Scipione said the data would be compiled and a report would be submitted to DEP for approval.  The next step would be the design.  That’s what the proposed contract is for.

 

Chairman Perkins asked what the timeline would be.

 

Mr. Scipione said about 1 year, including DEP approval.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked, other than the labor factor, what else was being looked at.  Was the system being evaluated for alternatives?  Or recommendations?

 

Mr. Scipione said they will look at the system the way it is set up, from a mechanical perspective, to see how to automate it better, and what the actual treatment capacity is now and long-term.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked how long the Town has had the system.

 

Richard Tinkham told the Board the Vyredox System has been in place for 22 years.  The Vyreguard System was added more recently.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if more efficient systems had been developed since then.

 

Mr. Scipione said not similar to this type.  The newer systems are considerately more expensive.  He said he believed the current system is upgradeable.  He said he would know for sure when the study is completed.

 

Discussion ensued on the technology being piloted. 

 

Mr. Scipione said something is added that will consume what’s creating the iron/manganese problem.

 

Mr. Healey said it is the same idea as the Wastewater Treatment Plant system.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked where else the system has been used.

 

Mr. Scipione said in Canada.  He said there are several in the pilot phase in the U.S.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if more information would be reviewed if a recommendation was made to use this system.

 

Mr. Scipione said much more information would be provided.

 

Pat Rogers told the Board that the there are only three (3) Vyreguard Systems currently in use in the Commonwealth.  He said it is a “cheap alternative”, and has served the Town well.  He also noted that the original priorities of the Capital Planning Committee had been to do the Tispaquin Street Wells.

 

Mr. Healey said Tighe & Bond are currently engineering those systems.

 

Mr. Scipione also told the Board that the interceptor project is moving along, with lots of construction going on.  He said a good job is being done.

 

Meeting with Patrick Rogers, Chairman – Waste Management Advisory Committee

 

Pat Rogers was present.  He explained that the Contract for the landfill is moving along.  The DEP required a minor site assignment for a modification from 60 to 109 tpd.  No objections or negative comments were received following the public hearing that was held on October 19th.  The Board has 45 days, or until December 3rd, to discuss the decision to increase the tonnage.  The WMAC recommends approval.

 

Selectman Bond read the Draft Decision and Statement of Findings regarding the public hearing.

 

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

VOTED:  To find that the proposed Minor Site Assignment Modification for the Town’s Sanitary landfill, in accordance with the Department of Environmental Protection’s Regulations, 310 CMR 16.22(3), does not present a threat to the public health, safety or the environment, and hereby approval the request to increase the tonnage up to 109 tons per day, or annually, up to 39,785 tons per year, and to provide the appropriate legal notices to be made in appropriate places of the final decision.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Mr. Rogers said he would submit a copy of the notice to the Selectmen for advertising within 7 days.

 

Request for Stable Permit – Kimberly Savino

 

The Board, acting as the Board of Health, heard a request for a Stable Permit.

 

Representatives from the Health Department and Conservation Commission were present, along with the applicant, Kimberly Savino.

 

Chairman Perkins opened the hearing.

 

Ms. Savino told the Board she is in the process of buying a lot on Precinct Street.  The lot consists of 6.95 acres, which is mostly wet.  She is asking to have up to 7 horses on the property, and has been told by the Board of Health, Building Department, and Conservation Commission that the Town allows one (1) horse per acre, based on a recommendation of the MSPCA.

 

Ms. Savino said she contacted the MSPCA who told her they would never set this. 

 

Ms. Savino said she has 2 – 3 acres of dry land to develop.  She has been told that she can only use the dry land, and therefore is limited to 3 or 4 horses.

 

Ms. Savino said she has also spoken to the MSCPA and her Veterinarian, Dr. Chase.  Both agree that the turnouts being requested are more than sufficient.  She said many of the horses she has are “rescues” with health issues.  She is asking the Board of Health to resolve the issue.

 

Ms. Savino said her original proposal has changed, noting that the barn will now be built on the back of the lot, away from the well, abutters, and street. 

 

Ms. Savino said she also spoke to the Animal Control Officer, Bart Harrison, who expressed concern with using bleach to clean the barn floors.  Ms. Savino said the barn will not be flooded, and will be mopped up as needed.  There will be no major drainage.  There will also be good absorbency footing and drainage options around the barn.

 

Discussion ensued on the number of horses that would be kept.  Ms. Savino said she has 4 horses, and will take on 2 borders.  There is the possibility of adding another rescue.  The amount would not exceed 7.

 

Selectman Bond asked if the horses would be ridden or driven daily.

 

Ms. Savino said that the borders would. 

 

Selectman Bond questioned the paddocks, noting they would have to be more than 2,000 sq. ft.

 

Ms. Savino said her vet said the requirement of 2,000 sq. ft per horse is “ridiculous”.  Older animals don’t use

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if there were guidelines, or current regulations, in place.

 

Jeanne Spalding introduced Bart Harrison to the Board.  She told the Board that the original request was for 1 horse, and then increased to 4, and now 6, plus a llama and other farm animals.  She said the Health Department is just “going by what the Animal Control Officer has indicated in the past”.

 

Ms. Spalding said the Health Department also works in conjunction with the ConCom, in not considering wetlands as useable.  She explained that there were concerns for EEE and the West Nile Virus in muddy areas, not only the wetlands.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said there were 2 issues:  The location of the barn and the number of animals.  She asked if the number of animals has been restricted in the past.

 

Ms. Spalding said yes, Bill Wyatt, the former Animal Inspector, has done this, along with the ConCom. 

 

Selectman Bond asked if Mr. Wyatt’s past practice and procedures were in a written ordinance.

 

Ms. Spalding said it is in the guidelines, and on the application itself.

 

Selectman Bond asked if there was anything else besides the Board of Health Regulations and the Stable Regulations.

 

Ms. Spalding said no.

 

Chairman Perkins said he has had previous complaints from residents questioning the need for 1 acre per horse. 

 

Ms. Spalding said the basis is from good farm practices.  She explained horses are grazing animals, and need 1 acre.  She didn’t want an area “muddied up”, or have an animal grazing where feces are being dropped.  The horse could become ill.  She said there is a leeway for the acreage if there is an area to “change over”.

 

Ms. Spalding noted the manure regulations require a 3-sided tight container.  She noted that this would not make sense on a 50-acre parcel.  Field spreading and composting have been allowed.

 

Mr. Harrison said, after speaking to Ms. Savino and reviewing the plans which showed the barn in front, that there’s actually ¾ of 1 acre of dry land.  The rest is wet.  He said wetlands cannot be used, as it would alter the land.

 

Selectman Bond said he didn’t dispute that 1 acre per horse, or the definition of an acre, has been used as guidelines by Mr. Wyatt.  He said the problem is there is nothing written.

 

Mr. Healey asked if the wetlands had been delineated by wetlands biologists.

 

Ms. Savino said yes.

 

Mr. Healey noted that, for many years, the ConCom’s position has been that horses may not graze on wetlands, and has imposed restrictions on upland areas if they drain toward a wetland.

 

Richard Chamberlin, Chairman of the ConCom, agreed.

 

Mr. Healey said the wetlands policies and regulations cannot be ignored.

 

Mr. Harrison said, although the regulations are not “written in stone”, it is clear that an individual planning on having 6 horses on ¾ acre of land is counterproductive.  He also said no actual values were shown in regards to the paddocks.  He said the conditions of the horses can be taking into consideration.

 

Chairman Perkins asked about Dr. Chase’s opinion that the paddocks are acceptable.

 

Mr. Harrison said he has spoken to Sgt. Martin at MSPCA who gave guidelines.  Their position is, as long as they have shelter, food and water, they are not concerned.  He concurred that regulations are left up to the towns.  Glenn Harris, the State Animal Inspector, also agreed.

 

Chairman Perkins questioned if Mr. Harrison was saying 7 horses could not be given approval unless there were 7 acres.

 

Mr. Harrison said it would depend on the set-up.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the problem is there are no adopted regulations.  She said she didn’t disagree that the guidelines may or may not be adequate, but noted the Board is hearing conflicting comments.  She asked if there were guidelines in regards to the additional animals.

 

Ms. Spalding said all animals fall under the stable permit regulations.  She also said she has been trying to get the Board to address this, noting that this is not the first case.

 

Selectman Andrews asked Bruce Atwood, Chairman of the ZBA, how many 40B houses would be allowed on the same property:  6.95 acres with ¾ acre of upland.

 

Mr. Atwood said approximately 6, providing septic systems could be designed.

 

Selectman Andrews said, in his opinion, required 20 acres for 20 horses was unreasonable, but agreed that 6 horses on ¾ acre was unacceptable.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if there were any zoning bylaws that were used for guidelines.

 

Mr. Atwood said they have nothing to do with animals.

 

Selectman Bond said he agreed that horses should not be put on wetlands, but said the problem is providing notice to the public to keep things even and fair.

 

Mr. Chamberlin said the wetlands have been delineated with a 25’ no touch zone.  He said the permit for the house was originally requested for 4 bedrooms, but was reduced to 3 because of limited septic problems.  He said the well is located in a corner of the lot opposite of the barn.  He said the lot is almost level.  The chance of nitrate loading is very high with 5 – 6 animals in a small area.

 

Chairman Perkins asked if there were any ConCom rules in reference to animals and wetlands.

 

Mr. Chamberlin said no, but the ConCom has control of the first 100’ from the wetlands.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if Ms. Savino would have to go through the ConCom for approval for the barn.

 

Mr. Chamberlin said she would have to re-file with the ConCom if the barn is to be constructed.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said if the barn is not allowed, there would be no need for a stable permit.

 

Selectman Bond noted that the ConCom can step in if the proposed use would be detrimental.  He asked how the “order” of hearings is determined.

 

Chairman Perkins said the problem is that the issue needs to be addressed, but the Board had been put into a “precarious position” because there is nothing to base a denial on.  He agreed it makes no sense to put animals on ¾ acre, but didn’t know how the Board could say no.  He suggested remanding it back to the ConCom to see if the permit was issued for the barn.  If it is, then he would be in favor of issuing the stable permit.  He said rules and regulations need to be established prior to another hearing.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle agreed.

 

Mr. Chamberlin was asked how long it would take for the applicant to appear before the ConCom.  He said a hearing could be held in 21 days.

 

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

VOTED:  To continue the Hearing for 30 days, allowing time for the ConCom process.

            VOTE 3 – 1 (Selectman Bond abstained, saying he would grant the permit)

 

Ms. Spalding said she has town regulations from surrounding communities.  She also said she has spoken to “horse groups” and contacted the Agricultural Commission.  She suggested that the Board review the draft regulations and set a workshop night to discuss them, followed by a public hearing.

 

Selectman Bond asked to be the Board’s liaison to get this done.

 

Jane Lopes asked how many stable permits there are in Middleboro.

 

Mr. Harrison said about 105.

 

 

 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Request to Accept Donation – George C. Decas

 

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

VOTED:  Pursuant to General Laws, Chapter 44, Section 53A ½, to accept the donation from George C. Decas of four rare books formerly used by the Fire Department.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

 

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

VOTED:  To pay two (2) bills submitted by Verizon in the amounts of $24.52 and $24.54, totaling $49.06.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Ø      Mr. Healey provided the Board with information regarding an Assistant Town Manager Position.

 

Information regarding a timeline was given to the Board by Selectman Andrews.  The Board will discuss this at next week’s meeting.

 

Ø      A proposal for a “Protocol for Water System Shut-Down/Service Interruptions” was given to the Board for review.  This was prompted by Oak Point’s shutdown of water.  Mr. Healey said the protocol would be used for all “private systems”, such as “The Groves”.

 

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

VOTE:  To accept the proposed “Protocol for Water System Shut-Down/Service Interruptions”, subject to review by the Police and Fire Chiefs.

      Unanimous Vote.

OLD BUSINESS

 

Request to Modify WRPD Permit – ADH Contracting, Inc.

 

The Board had previously received correspondence from Robert Rego, Prime Engineering, in regards to a WRPD Special Permit for ADH Contracting, Inc. on East Grove Street.

 

Mr. Rego said that two (2) conditions are contradictory to each other:

 

6.                  Floors will be bermed, leading to a permanent tight tank; and

11.              No floor drains

 

Mr. Rego questioned, if there are no floor drains, why would there be a need for a tight tank.

 

The Board received correspondence from the Plumbing/Gas Inspector.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that the Board now asks that floor drains not be installed as part of these permits.  He said Mr. Rego’s request goes along with what was said at the hearing.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the only remaining question is discussion of washing vehicles, and assuring no harm to the environment.

 

Chairman Perkins said those issues had been discussed at the previous hearings, and had been dealt with as part of the conditions.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of ADH Contracting, Inc. for a modification to the conditions of the WRPD Permit.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

There was no discussion regarding “Correspondence” tonight.

 

 

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

VOTED:  To enter into Executive Session at 9:09 PM, not to return to Open Session, to discuss Contract Negotiations and Open Litigation.

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

            VOTE 4 – 0

 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN