SELECTMEN’S MEETING

OCTOBER 23, 2006

 

 

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

 

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

Selectman Bond was absent.

 

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the Minutes of October 16, 2006.

            VOTE 3 – 0 – 1 (Selectwoman Brunelle abstained)

 

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

 

Hearing – Request for WRPD Special Permit – GTA Engineering – Tispaquin Street

 

Chairman Perkins read the following:  “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, October 23, 2006 at 7:05 PM, for the purpose of discussing an application filed by George Ayoub, GTA Engineering, for a Special Permit under the Water Resource Protection District By-law, to allow the construction of a single family home within 25’ of a wetland.  The property is located on Tispaquin Street, and is shown as Assessors Map 066, Lot 6325, zoned “RR”, W.R.P.D. “Z4”.  Anyone wishing to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated.”  The hearing was opened.

 

George Ayoub, GTA Engineering, was present.  He returned the green cards.

 

Mr. Ayoub said the proposal is to construct a single family 3-bedroom home. The original submittal was a bigger house, but the house has been scaled down to 26’x55’ to keep it further away from the wetlands.  Minimum grading will be done, with all work being done in the upland area, including the well.  He said the Conservation Commission has approved the wetland flags and perc tests were done in August.  Minor grading will be done on the back and on the side to “make it work”.  Mr. Ayoub presented the Board with a copy of the amended plans.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if the project would not encroach on the wetlands at all.

 

Mr. Ayoub said the closest would be where some grading would be done at the back of the house with a minimum distance of 6.6’ to the closest point of wetlands.  He said a majority is more than 50’.

 

Chairman Perkins read a letter from the Building Commissioner who expressed concerns regarding the upland area being only 2’ above the high ground water table.  He suggested the house should be scaled down, and if allowed to be built, done with no basement.

 

Chairman Perkins read a letter from the Town Planner who expressed the following concerns:

 

1.                  The proposed alteration for construction of a proposed house and grading does not meet the requirements of the four exceptions for a Special Permit for disturbing activity within 25’ of a wetland.  A zoning variance from the ZBA would be required.

2.                  The house, septic system and grading are all within the 100 year flood plain of Fall Brook. 

3.                  The proposed grading for the septic system extends into the Tispaquin Street layout.

4.                  The 25’ WRPD zoning line is not shown on the plan.

5.                  A WRPD hearing should not be held unless and until the wetland line shown on the plan has been agreed to by the ConCom through an issuance of an Order of Resource Area Delineation. (ORAD)

 

Chairman Perkins read a letter from the Health Officer also had concerns that the proposed project does not meet the criteria for an exemption and is within the floodplain area.  She also noted that the septic system plan has been denied by the Health Department.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that all taxes are up to date on the property.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if those departments who responded had seen the revised plan.

 

The Board’s Secretary noted that the revised plans had only been submitted tonight.

 

Selectman Spataro asked Ruth Geoffroy if she had seen the revised plan.

 

Ms. Geoffroy said no, but said she wasn’t sure her comments could be resolved by shrinking the footprint of the building.  She noted it is still in a flood plain, and the ConCom hadn’t issued the ORAD.  The applicant is still proposing to grade within 6.6’ of a wetland.

 

Chairman Perkins said the revised plans would not remedy the Health Officer’s comments, either.

 

Mr. Ayoub said he had met with the ConCom last week and the wetland lines were approved.  There is no grading within the town layout in the revised plan.  He said he also had a surveyor look at the 100 year flood zone.  The bottom of the house would be about 2’ higher than the roadway.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that the land was “under water” this past spring.

 

Jeanne Spalding told the Board that a perc test had been done in August and the elevations were determined through “modeling”.  She said that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exhibit flood conditions that we’ve recently had.  She agreed that a good portion of the lot had been underwater this Spring, with flooding across the roadway.  She questioned how people would step out of the house without having to step in wetlands.

 

Rose Correia, Agent for the ConCom, said that after last week’s meeting it was left that a flood plan was needed o the map.  She said she didn’t believe all wetlands have been reviewed. 

 

Comments from the departments were given to Mr. Ayoub.

 

Marilyn Greeley, 18 Gibbs Road, said she owns the property that abuts the proposed project.  She said she was told that the property was conservation land and couldn’t be built on.  She noted that her own house sits high on a hill, and she had water in her basement this year for the first time. 

 

Robert Grant, 32 Black Brook Path, lives directly across from the property.  He said the property is underwater in the Spring, and sheet icing forms in the Winter.  He had concerns with the building displacing water.

 

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

 

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

            VOTED:  To deny the applicant for a WRPD Special Permit without prejudice.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Chairman Perkins said this would “leave the door open” for the applicant to reapply should he be able to address all concerns.

 

Hearing – Dog Complaint – Westgate – 89 Vernon Street

 

Chairman Perkins read a letter that had been sent to Ed and Lynn Westgate, 89 Vernon Street, requesting that they meet with the Board to discuss a complaint of barking dogs.

 

Jayson Tracy was present.  He told the Board that the Westgate’s have multiple dogs on the property.  The issue goes back to when Bill Wyatt was the ACO.  He said he became involved in May.  He has received about 6 complaints.  He said it is evident that there is a problem.  The barking is usually early morning, or overnight.  He said he had a “cursory” conversation with both parties.  Ms. Westgate has started to take steps to remedy the issue.  He is here at the request of Charles and Linda Dean, who filed a complaint.

 

Chairman Perkins asked if there is an issue with the number of dogs on the property.

 

Mr. Tracy said there is, but the Board is being asked to address the barking dog issue.

 

Chairman Perkins asked for a recommendation.

 

Mr. Tracy said that Ms. Westgate has mentioned that she has purchased some type of a device to curb the barking.  However, some dogs are still barking over it.  He suggested that the dogs be brought in each night, and while out, wear an anti-bark collar appropriate to the size of the dog.

 

Chairman Perkins asked if there had been problems with the Westgate’s contacting him.

 

Mr. Tracy said there has.  He said he has told them that they need to contact him when a notice is left.

 

Selectman Spataro asked if there are enough dogs on the property to warrant a kennel permit.

 

Mr. Tracy said yes.  He said Ms. Westgate is going through the process of getting a license through the ZBA.

 

Selectman Andrews asked if the complainants would have to put up with the barking until the ZBA made a decision.

 

Mr. Tracy said all dogs, in the meantime, should be supplied with an anti-bark collar at all times.

 

Selectman Spataro said it sounded like the Board would be supporting a non-conforming use.

 

Mr. Tracy said the situation has to be dealt with.  He said there is no logistical way to remove the dogs immediately.

 

Selectman Spataro asked why it was a “new revelation” that a kennel license is needed. 

 

Mr. Tracey said this is an overlap of how things were and how they need to be.  He said there is no way to know if Ms. Westgate will be granted the kennel permit.

 

Selectman Andrews agreed, commending Mr. Tracy for trying to help people come into compliance.

 

Charles Dean told the Board that this has been an ongoing problem for several years.  He said he doesn’t like call the Police Department at 3 or 4AM, or having Mr. Tracy come up.  He said there are several other dogs in the neighborhood with no issues.  He said the issue here is multiple dogs barking at all hours of the night.

 

Linda Dean provided a letter from another neighbor also complaining of the barking.  She said the issue has been ongoing since 2003.  She said she is awoken at all hours of the night.

 

Chairman Perkins asked if there had been any improvement since notice was sent regarding the hearing.

 

Ms. Dean said there hasn’t been as much barking in the last 2 weeks, but also noted that her windows have been shut because of the weather.

 

Lynn Westgate addressed the Board.  She said that she has purchased anti-bark collars for the “bigger dogs” because they are louder.  She said the barking should diminish greatly.  She said she has brought the dogs in at 7PM since September 9th.  She said the dogs bark if someone drives up.  She said she has 5 dogs of her own, having recently adopted 2 from Rescue, and has 2 “foster dogs” from Rescue that are up for adoption.  She said most dogs are there for only 4 weeks, some less.  She noted that the Deans are not her immediate neighbors.  She said her immediate neighbors haven’t complained.  She questioned if the barking dogs were hers or someone else’s in the neighborhood.

 

Chairman Perkins noted that there were numerous police reports, and Mr. Tracy has supported the complaint.

 

Selectman Spataro noted that Ms. Westgate has obtained more dogs since being notified, in May, of the need for a kennel license.

 

Ms. Westgate said they are foster dogs.

 

Selectman Andrews asked Mr. Tracy if he had any past experience with a “bark box” that Ms. Westgate had purchased.

 

Mr. Tracy said he hadn’t.

 

Ms. Westgate said it is installed on a post and emits a high pitch sound when dogs bark.  She said they are “good for a short time”.  She hoped the anti-bark collars would work.

 

Selectman Spataro asked if the kennel permit was a ZBA issue.

 

Mr. Tracy said if a permit is denied, it would come back before the Board.

 

Ms. Westgate said 4 of the dogs are up for adoption now.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked what would happen if they were not adopted.

 

Ms. Westgate said they would have to go to a shelter if she were denied a kennel permit.

 

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

 

Motion was made by Selectman Andrews and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, to require, within 2 weeks, all dogs at the residence shall wear appropriately sized bark control collars, indoor and outdoors, at all times, keeping appropriate sizes available at all times for different sizes and breeds.

 

Motion was amended by Selectman Spataro and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, to request the ACO to give updates every 2 weeks.

 

Vote on amendment.  Unanimous Vote.

 

Vote on motion. Unanimous Vote.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Request to Approve Warrant for State Election – Town Clerk

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve and sign the Warrant for the State Election.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Approve Restriction on Parking Spaces – Town Manager

 

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

            VOTED:  To accept the recommendation of the Town Manager and Police Chief          to restrict parking in three (3) spaces in front of Savas’ Liquor and two (2) spaces             across the street from Savas’, in front of the gas station/convenience store, to a 15          minute time limit.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Spataro asked if there were 15 minute parking limits anywhere else in town.

 

Mr. Healey said he wasn’t aware of any.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested consideration should be made to making all parking 15 minutes along Center Street.

 

Mr. Healey said that would not work with some businesses, such as hair salons.

 

Request for Permission to hold First Annual Patriot Half Triathlon – Sun Multisport Events

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the request of Sun Multisport Events to hold the First      Annual Patriot Half Triathlon on July 1, 2007, subject to notice to the Police Chief.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Approve & Sign Septic Betterment – Thimas – 531 Wareham Street

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve and sign a Septic Betterment Agreement with Benjamin   and Michelle Thimas, 531 Wareham Street, for $18,530.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

 

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Michael Carver for Habitat for Humanity

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the request of Michael Carver to rent the Town Hall        Ballroom for a fund raiser to benefit Habitat for Humanity, to be held on       Saturday, March 10, 2007.  The time requested was 3:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

12 Highland Street (waiting for decision)

 

Bob Whalen informed the Board that DEP had issued an order to clean up the property.  This should address the concerns of the abutter, Mr. Fitzgerald.  A copy of the Order will be provided to the Board.

 

Downtown Parking

 

There was no further discussion on this item tonight.

 

Lakeville IMA

 

There was no discussion on this item tonight.

 

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

            VOTED:  To enter into Executive Session at 8:05 PM, to return to Open Session,         for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.

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

            VOTE 4 – 0

 

-----RECONVENE-----

 

Landfill – Authorization to Waste Management to Proceed

 

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

            VOTED:  To authorize Waste Management of Massachusetts Inc. to (1) commence      the preparation of design plans and specifications for corrective work to the      Middleborough landfill, (2) obtain any and all permits from the Department of             Environmental Protection, and any other permitting authorities, required for the   completion of the corrective work and, (3) upon receipt of all required permits, to proceed with the construction of the corrective work, all pursuant to paragraph 3.2   of the February 15, 2006 Landfill Operations Agreement between Waste          Management and the Town, and in accordance with the documents entitled “Phase   II Expansion Area Reconstruction Estimate,” dated October 19, 2006, and the   “Middleborough Sanitary Landfill Phase II Issues and Proposed Remediation,” dated August 14, 2006.  The corrective work will consist of the completion of the      closure of Phase I and construction of Phase II of the project known as the   Middleborough Landfill Phase II Expansion and Initial Phase I Closure.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Andrews noted that the motion had been prepared by Counsel.

 

Jane Lopes asked how long the remedial work would take.

 

Mr. Healey said he expected permitting to go through the Winter with construction work to begin as soon as the weather permits in the Spring.

 

Ms. Lopes asked if Waste Management would get the Permit.

 

Mr. Healey said yes, noting they would be the designated operator.

 

Ms. Lopes asked for the status of legal action against the previous contractor.

 

Chairman Perkins said it is ongoing.

 

Ms. Lopes asked if a court date had been set.

 

Chairman Perkins said it is in the Discovery process.

 

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Mr. Healey reviewed the latest numbers for the upcoming Special Town Meeting.

 

Mr. Healey said that Judy MacDonald had called this week to say that the Workers’ Compensation Insurance line item was short $204,000.  Also, the Health Insurance and Life Insurance lines are also under-funded by $243,000.

 

He said, assuming a New Growth figure of $500,000, we would start with $602,416.58 as the beginning “Revenue over Expenditure Figure”.  The 5 articles that absolutely must be funded total $290,000.  With the additional supplement budget requests that must be funded, and unpaid bills, a deficit of $263,635.37 is left.

 

Mr. Healey said some good news is that the Assessor’s have identified $256,789.17 left in the Overlay Account that may be transferred to Overlay Reserve to cover some of the shortfall. 

 

Mr. Healey noted that supplemental requests from the Police, Fire, Highway, Town Manager, Treasurer/Collector, Veterans’ and Town Accountant are not included in the figure.

 

Mr. Healey said there is $511,422.82 in the Stabilization Fund.  However, Ms. MacDonald is anxious about using any of this money because it will have a negative effect on the Town’s bond rating.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked why the Health and Life Insurance figure had increased by $250,000.

 

Ms. MacDonald said, going to Town Meeting last year, it was noted that it would have to be adjusted in the Fall.  However, layoffs that were talked about didn’t occur, and there were new hires.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if any of the Worker’s Compensation could be reimbursed by the G&E, Water, or Wastewater Departments.

 

Ms. MacDonald said she could relook, but noted it would not be much money.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked how it was that the figure was double what was given by our Insurance Advisor.

 

Mr. Healey said that, in early July, the new figure was given, but did not get translating into the numbers.

 

Chairman Perkins said the figure is based on payroll, and experience rating which is not favorable in this town.

 

Mr. Healey said the highest supplemental request numbers are from GMEG, the Police Department, Fire Department, and Veterans’ Department.

 

Mr. Healey noted correspondence sent to Department Heads to look at mid-year cuts in January to save money to deal with problems next year.  He noted that the Town of Wareham is calling for 10% cuts across the board, this year.  He said that would not work here anymore.  He said this leaves us back to talking about shutting departments down if an override doesn’t pass.

 

Chairman Perkins asked if he was recommending postponing Town Meeting until the figures were known.

 

Mr. Healey said the meeting could still open on the 30th to deal with non-money articles.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked about using money from the FAM account to deal with the Landfill lawsuit.

 

Mr. Healey said he hasn’t heard back from DEP on a new number.  He said they had agreed to release $680,000.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked Barbara Erickson if she had an anticipated New Growth Certification.

 

Ms. Erickson said that her staff is working on getting values proofed out.  She had not received preliminary certification from the State.  It has been in Boston for 8 weeks.  Once that is done, the values can be finalized.  She said this would probably be done next week, and she would “know if we hit $500,000.  She said she wouldn’t have a definitive answer on a figure until after that.

 

Selectman Spataro asked if it would be more appropriate for the Board or the CLG to discuss pending layoffs.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said it would not be something for the CLG to discuss.

 

Chairman Perkins suggested Mr. Healey work on revenue suggestions and come back with recommendations.  He noted the potential of mid-year layoffs.  He said he wanted to see the “ramifications” of the numbers and where the layoffs would occur before putting an override question on for the April ballot.  He said that needs to start moving after Town Meeting is completed.

 

Mr. Healey noted that Department Heads will submit 5-year projections by November 1st.

 

Discussion ensued on the suggestion of holding Town Meeting on the 30th to deal with non-money items only.

 

Gary Russell suggested it might be difficult to get a quorum where money articles aren’t involved.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said it might be beneficial to put everything off for one week.

 

Mr. Healey said it could not be postponed for more than one week.

 

Chairman Perkins said the Meeting could continue with “what we have” and if a figure comes out on the plus side, another Special Town Meeting could be called.

 

Ms. MacDonald said it Town Meeting was postponed and money was found later, there wouldn’t be the added expense of advertising again.  She said tax bills cannot go out until the New Growth figure is certified.

 

Ms. Erickson explained that the State reviews the Town’s sales and number to “make sure they’re fair”.  Once the certification advisor finishes, it goes to Boston.  One questions are answered it goes to the next level, and then the third for approval.  She said right now it is between the first and second levels.  One preliminary certification is given, a public disclosure is done to let taxpayers know the new values.  Once that closes, the New Growth number and Classification Report go to Boston for final certification.  A hearing is then held.

 

Selectman Andrews asked what would be the earliest date to get tax bills out.

 

Ms. Erickson said the Classification Hearing would be November 20th, and tax bills would go out the beginning of December.

 

Mr. Healey asked what the impact would be on getting tax bills out in a timely way.

 

Ms. Erickson said there would be no difference on the end result. 

 

Roger Brunelle noted that bills have to go out before January for residents to have a tax write off.

 

Ms. Erickson noted that residents have the option to come to the Assessor’s to prepay their taxes.

 

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

            VOTED:  To postpone the Special Town Meeting until November 13th.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

 

There were no bills to be paid tonight.

 

OTHER

 

Class II Licenses

 

Selectman Spataro said he had voted against a Class II License application last week “because it was radically different than the last time he was on the Board”.  He said he had reviewed the State statute, but didn’t know if there was a standard by which the Board has to abide.

 

Selectman Spataro noted that when he was previously on the Board, areas have to be paved and berms had to be constructed.

 

Chairman Perkins suggested this could be discussed in a workshop on another night.  He said the Board tries to look at the applications on an individual basis to see how it fits the character of the neighborhood.  He said some are on impervious surfaces and some are on gravel lots.

 

Sharing of Positions

 

Selectman Spataro asked if the Board would like to take action on his previous request to check with other towns in regards to sharing positions. 

 

Chairman Perkins said this is already being worked on through the Plymouth County Selectmen’s Association.

 

Selectman Spataro asked if the Board would object to his contacting some towns to find out what departments they’re looking to cut. 

 

The Board had no objection.

 

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

v     The Board was updated by the Animal Control Officer on Orders that were given in regards to previous animal complaints.

 

Mr. Tracy said that Laura Cheromcha, 18 Cherry Street, has not fulfilled the obligations that were given by the Board.

 

Mr. Tracy noted that extra time had been given for compliance.  The initial suggestion was to remove the dog or euthanize it.  He said nothing has been addressed to secure the dog.  He said the dog continues to be brought back and forth to the house by leash.

 

The order was for a pen to be constructed to the satisfaction of the ACO.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if something would have to be filed with the Court.

 

Chairman Perkins said the Board could order the dog removed, and if not complied with, it would then go to Court.

 

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

            VOTED:  “To order that Laura Cheromcha either remove “Luke” from the Town          of Middleborough, or euthanize him, within 6 weeks (December 4, 2006), and            provide proof of compliance to the Board of Selectmen.”

            Unanimous Vote.

 

v     Notice of Funding Availability will be forwarded to the OECD Director.

 

v     Selectman Andrews noted that Tara Pirraglia had promptly supplied the Board with documentation that had been requested.

 

 

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

VOTED:  To enter into Executive Session, not to return to Open Session, at 10:38 PM for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining and litigation.

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

            VOTE 4 – 0

 

 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN