SELECTMEN’S MEETING

OCTOBER 17, 2005

 

 

 

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle and Selectman Bond were present.

Selectman Andrews was absent.

 

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the Minutes of October 3, 2005.

Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the Executive Minutes of October 3, 2005.

Unanimous Vote.

 

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

 

Public Hearing – Special Town Meeting Articles

 

Chairman Perkins read the following:  “A public hearing will be held in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room in the Town Hall, 10 Nickerson Avenue, Middleborough, MA, on Monday, October 17, 2005 at 7:05 PM for the purpose of discussing the Warrant Articles for the Special Town Meeting which will be held on Thursday, October 27, 2005. Anyone wishing to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated.”  The hearing was opened.

 

Chairman Perkins said the protocol for tonight’s hearing would be to review five (5) articles at a time, asking for comments first from the Board and then the public.  He noted that the articles had been discussed by the Board at previous meetings.

 

Articles 1 – 5

 

Article 2

 

Harry Pickering asked about $200,000 being put into Stabilization Fund.

 

Mr. Healey said that $1,173,000 was certified in Free Cash, but money needs to be spent for contractual obligations and other costs.  He said most articles could not be ignored.  He said if Town Meeting votes against spending, then the balance would stay in Free Cash.

 

Mr. Pickering noted that, at the last Town Meeting, a budget was voted as to what the residents want to spend.  He said now more spending is being proposed.  He noted that Department Heads were asked to make cuts that “they could live with for 1 year”.  He said that is not running true, and the public needs to be aware.

 

Article 3

 

Mr. Healey explained that the hope is to get into the Landfill shortly after the beginning of the calendar year.  Any balance in this article would flow back to Free Cash.

 

Article 4

 

Mr. Pickering asked where the excess money would go.

 

Mr. Healey explained that this article is necessary to provide for expenses related to the billing process for the trash/recycling fee program.

 

Articles 5 – 10

 

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that all of the “water items” would use money from the retained earnings of the Water Enterprise System.

 

Mr. Healey said he is still waiting for a final figure for articles 10 & 11.

 

Selectman Bond asked if Article 7 was based on contractor’s figures.

 

Mr. Healey said it was.

 

Articles 11 – 15

 

Articles 13 & 14

 

Mr. Healey explained that this is a ledger transfer for monies associated with the Ocean Spray TIF Agreement.

 

Articles 16 – 20

 

Articles 15 and 17 are “housekeeping articles”.

 

Articles 21 – 25

 

Article 23

 

Selectman Bond suggested the owner of the St. Luke’s Hospital property provide a plan as to what will be done with the property if the zoning is changed to business.

 

Chairman Perkins said he has spoken to the owner who said the 40B project wouldn’t “fly” economically.  Alternative uses are being considered, including educational usage.

 

Article 24

 

Mr. Healey said the projected cost may be less than what is being proposed.

 

Article 25

 

Selectwoman Brunelle explained this will cover the cost of “1½  cruisers".  The balance will come from the Insurance Recovery Account.  She noted that the Police Chief’s original request was three (3).

 

Neil Rosenthal noted that the Capital Planning Committee’s recommendation had been to replace vehicles with over 125,000 or over 5 years old.

 

Articles 26 – 30

 

Article 26

 

Mr. Healey explained that this article will transfer $275,000 from a previous appropriation to be used for the cleaning and lining project around Jackson Street, freeing up money to be used for additional street projects.

 

Mr. Healey explained the requests for supplements from Department Heads.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that there will be no guarantee that cuts won’t have to be made again next year.

 

Article 30

 

Tom White asked what income was brought in from the Clerks at the Police Department.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle checked the Local Receipts, noting well over $100,000.

 

Mr. Pickering noted that, last year, the Police Chief was able to come up with enough money to pay retroactive salaries.  He said no other budget has monies like that.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that two (2) officers had been sent overseas, and several others retired.  All had been budgeted for the full year.

 

Articles 31 – 35

 

Articles 36 – 40

 

Article 40

 

Mr. Healey said the supplement to the Law Department’s Budget should be increased by $20,000 to engage the services of Kopelman & Paige, and a construction attorney, concerning landfill issues.

 

Selectman Bond asked Mr. Healey to check with Town Counsel to see if he agreed with the figure.

 

Articles 41 – 45

 

Article 47

 

Selectman Bond asked if this article would be subject to an RFP.

 

Mr. Healey said it would depend on the circumstances.  He said Mr. Brunelle would be able to answer.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said there normally would be an RFP.

 

Article 48

 

This is a petitioned article to rehire 10 firefighters.  Mr. Healey said it would be impossible to sustain this level going forward.  He said level services, with no restoration, would cost an additional estimated $274,104 next year.  If this article passed, it would be nearly $800,000.

 

Selectman Bond said the passage of this article would destroy the Town’s budget.

 

Chairman Perkins said, in addition, there would be serious repercussions on the number of people working next year. 

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said cuts would not be limited to public safety personnel.

 

Mr. Healey said if the article passes, the Town will be forced to hold another Town Meeting in November to balance the budget.  Tax bills cannot be sent out until the budget is balanced.

 

It was noted that Article 42 would reinstate 4 firefighters from January through the end of the fiscal year.

 

Neil Rosenthal asked if Article 42 passes, would it allow the North and South Fire Stations to remain open on a regular basis.

 

Chairman Perkins said it would allow them to be open much more than currently.

 

Mr. Rosenthal asked the Board to consider putting the petitioned article at the beginning of the warrant, saying article 42 would then be moot.

 

Mr. Healey said there is a rumor than a motion will be made to move the article up.

 

Louise Carberry told the Board that she was the primary sponsor of the petitioned article.  She said there would still be the possibility of the stations remaining closed with article 42 because of concessions that were made by the Firefighters.  She said they have agreed to comp time instead of overtime.

 

Ms. Carberry expressed concerns for the current number of firefighters, saying the response time could be up to 25 minutes at certain locations.

 

Chairman Perkins said he did not disagree with anything Ms. Carberry had said.  He asked how she suggested paying for the additional firefighters.

 

Ms. Carberry said to use the Stabilization Fund.

 

Chairman Perkins said there is no money there to do this.

 

Mr. Healey agreed.  He said if the article is passed, then corresponding cuts will have to be made elsewhere.  He suggested the Park, Library, and COA departments would be shut down and “mothballed”.  He also noted that the Town has mutual aid, and call firefighters who respond to working fires.

 

Mr. Healey said there are lots of things the Town would like to do, but collective decisions have to be made.  He said money needs to be spent to maintain the revenue stream.

 

Selectman Bond also said he had no argument for Ms. Carberry.  He noted, however, that other departments could be considered necessary for “public safety” including the Building and Health Departments.

 

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

 

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

VOTED:  To support the following articles:

1 through 6, 8 through 22, 24 through 29, 41 through 47, and 49 through 51.

Unanimous Vote.

 

Discussion ensued on those articles not included in the motion to support.

 

Article 7

 

Mr. Tinkham explained that this money will come from the Retained Earnings of the Water Department.  He said it is the only storage available and needs renovations.

 

Selectman Bond noted the building is in a residential area. 

 

Mr. Tinkham said improvements would be made to the building.

 

Mr. Healey said the prior appropriation for this project was not done, and went back to the Retained Earnings Account.  He said the restoration would definitely be done this year.

 

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

            VOTED:  To support Article 7.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 23

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested holding this article until more information was presented by the owner.

 

Chairman Perkins said the property is in the center of the town, and rezoning would give an opportunity for reuse instead of being the current “eyesore”.

 

Selectman Bond asked what the possible noxious uses would be if the zoning was changed.

 

Mr. Healey said he did not know of any.

 

Selectman Bond said this is a key property to connecting uptown to downtown.

 

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

            VOTED:  To support article 23.

            VOTE 2 – 1 (Selectman Bond opposed)

 

Article 40

 

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

            VOTED:  To support a $52,000 supplement for the Law Department.

            VOTE 2 – 1 (Selectman Bond opposed)

 

Article 48

 

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

            VOTED:  Not to support article 48.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

The Board took a 5 minutes recess.

 

-----RECONVENE-----

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Request to Approve & Sign Contracts – Office of Economic & Community Development

 

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

VOTED:  To approve and sign contracts for the Office of Economic & Community Development.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Approve & Sign Contracts – Water Superintendent

 

Discussion ensued on the request to sign contracts with Wes Gardner, Consultants to Management, for the purpose of updating the records at the Water/Sewer Departments for GASB.

 

Chairman Perkins said there had been previous discussions to install software so that Mr. Gardner’s services would no longer be needed.

 

Mr. Healey said there are 2 separate issues:  updating records at the Water/Sewer Departments, and updating the inventory for the Town as a whole.

 

 

Mr. Healey said the Town Accountant’s Office is responsible for the inventory for the Town, but said the software system needed to do this does not exist.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle questioned the appropriation of $7,500 at the last Special Town Meeting.  She understood this money would be used to do the update inhouse.

 

Chairman Perkins suggested sending a letter to the Town Accountant.  He said he didn’t want to hire Mr. Gardner if there were other alternatives.

 

Mr. Healey said the update needs to be done in the meantime.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked Mr. Healey to check to see if the appropriation was voted at Town Meeting.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that Mr. Gardner was supposed to supply electronic information.

 

Mr. Healey said the Town doesn’t have the system to utilize this.

 

Selectman Bond suggested writing a letter to the Town Accountant, IT Director, and Town Treasurer/Collector to explain to the Board where things are at and what is in place.

 

 

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

VOTED:  To approve and sign the Contract for appraisal services with Miller Property Appraisals.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Hold Homecoming Parade – MHS Student Council

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of the MHS Student Council to hold a Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 29, 2005.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Approve Activities for Veterans’ Day – Veterans’ Services Officer

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of the Veterans’ Services Officer to hold the annual Veteran’s Day Parade on Friday, November 11, 2005, beginning at the Town Hall parking lot at 10:00 AM, use of the Town Hall Auditorium if the parade should be cancelled due to inclement weather, and approval to hold the annual Poppy Drive.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Mr. Provencher will contact the Police and Fire Departments.

 

Request to Approve Walk/Run – “Friends of Coleen” Committee

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of the “Friends of Coleen” Committee to hold the annual walk/run on Sunday, October 23, 2005.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Whitman –Hanson Regional High School

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of the Whitman-Hanson Regional High School to rent the Town Hall Ballroom for a Semi-Formal Dance to be held on Thursday, November 10, 2005 from 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

A police detail will be required.

 

Request for One Year Extension – ER Permit #02-5 – W.L. Byrne, Inc.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of W.L. Byrne, Inc. for a one year extension n Earth Removal Permit #02-5.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request for Certificate of Completion – Robert S. Backlund

 

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

VOTED:  To issue a Certificate of Completion for Earth Removal Permit #01-2.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Town’s Option to Purchase – Short Street/Sonia Drive – Backlund

 

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

VOTED:  To decline the Town’s option to purchase Chapterland property on Short Street/Sonia Drive owned by Robert Backlund.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Correspondence was received from the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, and Assessors, recommending the Town not purchase the property.

 

Town’s Option to Purchase – Sonia Drive – Backlund

 

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

VOTED:  To decline the Town’s option to purchase Chapterland property on Sonia Drive owned by Robert Backlund.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Correspondence was received from the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, and Assessors, recommending the Town not purchase the property.

 

Town’s Option to Purchase – Purchase Street – Rocky Meadow Development Corp.

 

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

VOTED:  To decline the Town’s option to purchase Chapterland property on Purchase Street owned by Rocky Meadow Development Corp.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Correspondence was received from the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, and Assessors, recommending the Town not purchase the property.

 

Request to Approve & Sign Septic Betterment Agreement – Bedard – 51 Smith Street

 

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

VOTED:  To approve and sign a Septic Betterment Agreement for property located at 51 Smith Street in the amount of $36,704.50.

            Unanimous Vote.

Request to Approve & Sign Septic Betterment Agreement – Costa – 3 Erica Avenue

 

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

VOTED:  To approve and sign a Septic Betterment Agreement for property located at 3 Erica Avenue in the amount of $11,000.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Ratify Appointment of Members to Commission on Disability – Town Manager

 

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

            VOTED:  To appoint the following individuals to the Commission on Disability:

1.                  Carolyn Gravelin (2008)

2.                  Judith Bigelow-Costa (2006)

3.                  Laura O’Connor (2007)

4.                  Perry Little (2007)

5.                  Eileen Gates (Town’s Delegate) (2008)

6.                  Alan Edwards (fill unexpired term of Dorothy Thomas) (2006)

Unanimous Vote.

 

Reporters were asked to mention that there is still a vacancy on the committee.  Applications will be submitted to the Town Manager’s Office.

 

Request to Appoint Special Police Officers – Police Chief

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

VOTED:  To appoint the following individuals as Special Officers for the 2005 appointment year:

1.      Timothy E. Andrews

2.      David A. Brier

3.      Lionel J. LaCasse-Healey

Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Appoint Volunteer Observers – Middleborough/Lakeville Herring Fisheries Commission

 

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

VOTED:  To appoint the following individuals as Volunteer Observers for a one-year term running from October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2006.

1.                  Tom DeBrum

2.                  Cliff Chausse

3.                  Dave Lemmo

4.                  Mark Brochu

5.                  Ron DaPaolis

6.                  Robert Deane

7.                  Harold Atkins

Unanimous Vote.

 

It was clarified that the Board, under the Town Charter, has the jurisdiction to make the appointments.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

 

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Special Town Meeting Procedural Motion

 

ü      Mr. Healey told the Board that, in the past, a procedural motion has been made prior to Article One to require people that make motions which increase spending to identify where the funds will come from.  He suggested, because money is tight, this motion should be made.

 

Mr. Healey also suggested, as a precautionary measure, to set another Special Town Meeting for November to deal with adjustments to budgets that may need to be made if Town Meeting overspends.  He suggested November 10th or 17th.

 

Chairman Perkins suggested that could be done, if necessary, immediately after Town Meeting.

 

ü      Mr. Healey informed the Board that he had met earlier tonight with the Finance Committee who voted to support all articles except the following:

 

Article 29 (reduced to $12,000), 30, 31, 36, 41 (reduced to $7,000), 42, and 47.

 

Rte. 44

 

Mr. Healey told the Board that he had received a letter from Alexander Almedia, Assistant Division Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, saying that the proposed shoulder width design exceptions are acceptable.

 

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

 

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

VOTED:  To pay the bill submitted by SEMASS Partnership in the amount of $12,103.07.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To pay the bill submitted by Collins, Loughran & Peloquin, P.C. in the amount of $4,166.25.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To pay the bill submitted by Southcoast Media Group in the amount of $55.01.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To pay two (2) bills submitted by the Middleborough G&E Department in the amounts of $10.18, $36.99 and $33.03, totaling $80.20.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

OTHER

 

ü      An item will be put on next week’s agenda to address the vacancy on the Committee working on the Stable Regulations because of the resignation of Jim Wiksten.  It was suggested to ask Selectman Andrews.

 

ü      The Board received correspondence from the Town Accountant that was sent to the IT Director concerning ‘Encumbrance and Payment Requests’.

 

Upon motion by Selectman Bond and seconded by Chairman Perkins, the Board

VOTED:  To send a letter to the IT Director, asking that he respond to the Town Accountant’s letter, in writing to the Board of Selectmen, by Friday of this week, and to ask the IT Director with the Town Accountant to meet with the Board on Monday to further discuss it.

      VOTE 2 – 0 – 1 (Selectwoman Brunelle abstained)

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

v     The Board received correspondence from Congressman Barney Frank in regards to disaster preparedness and response plans.

 

v     The Board received correspondence from Congressman Barney Frank in regards to Rte. 44.

 

v     An invitation was extended for Veterans and spouse/guest for the annual Veterans’ Day Breakfast at the COA.

 

v     Correspondence from the Herring Fisheries Commission was discussed. 

 

The Board was informed that there is a problem with the waterfront retaining wall at the Thomas Memorial Park.  The Commission would like to know who’s in charge of the property.

 

Chairman Perkins said it is up to the Commission.

 

Mr. Healey said the Commission is the only one who has money to deal with the problem.

 

Selectman Bond asked who owns the herring run.

 

Mr. Healey said the Town does.

 

Selectman Bond said that is different that responsibility. 

 

Mr. Healey said the Commission acts as the Town’s agent, noting authority had been delegated to it.  He explained that the work at the herring run was done in 1996 by the State and the Highway Department.

 

Selectman Bond said the problem is where the Highway Department built.

 

Jim Coffin, Chairman of the Commission, was present.  Selectman Bond asked if he agreed with what Mr. Healey had said.

 

Mr. Coffin said the Commission is willing to work with the Town, or responsible party, to do the project working out of a Grant, or using some commission money if it is voted.  He said he didn’t know whose responsibility it is to make the repairs.

 

Mr. Coffin said the authority delegated to the Commission was to manage and oversee what the fisheries do. He said the “wall” is part of the Thomas Memorial Park. 

 

Mr. Coffin also told the Board that Mr. Healey had provided the name of a contractor, Danny Warren, who might do the work.

 

Mr. Healey said it is not a “park”, but a memorial to the tragic deaths of a father and son, which is located on the herring run property.

 

Mr. Healey said he would work with the Commission to do what the Town can.  He said the Highway Department could put “sweat equity” into it, but there is no money to expend. 

 

Selectman Bond noted the Bylaw allows money to be administered and expended, as approved by the Selectmen, for purposes related to management of the fisheries.

 

Chairman Perkins said the repairs could be considered under this.

 

Selectman Bond said an agreement needs to be made as to how to get the work done.  The alternative is to shut it down.

 

Mr. Healey said if the repairs aren’t made, the State may shut it down.

 

Mr. Coffin said that the Commission contacted Mr. Warren, who had an onsite meeting.  He said he has not heard anything from Mr. Warren, despite sending a letter.

 

Mr. Healey said Mr. Warren is “not the only contractor” but said he has a unique system that could make the repair.

 

Selectman Bond asked Mr. Healey to assist in getting a response from Mr. Warren.

 

Mr. Coffin said the Commission would like to apply for grant money, but needed a “dollar price tag” to do so.  He said they have also attempted to contact other contractors, but no one is interested.

 

Mr. Healey said there is also a procurement act that needs to be followed.

 

It was suggested that the Division of Marine Fisheries might be able to assist.

 

v     Selectman Bond noted that Bruce Arons has been incredibly helpful to MOM, and a lot has been accomplished.

 

v     Mr. Healey will respond to the opinion of Town Counsel to post a public notice rescinding the water ban.

 

 

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

VOTED:  To enter into Executive Session at 10:15 PM, not to return to Open Session, for discussion of ongoing Litigation.

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

            VOTE 3 – 0

 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN