SELECTMEN’S MEETING

SEPTEMBER 30, 2002

 

Chairman Perkins was absent from tonight’s meeting. Vice-Chairman Wiksten served as Chairman.

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

Selectman Rogers, Selectman Eayrs and Selectwoman Brunelle were present.

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

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

VOTED: To approve the Minutes of September 23, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To approve the Minutes of September 12, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

Public Hearing – Antenna Attachment to Town Hall – AT&T

Mr. Healey told the Board that AT&T is looking for a suitable location for a cell tower array. The cupola of the Town Hall has been identified as a potential site. The hearing is being held to notify the public that this is being considered. An RFP process will be required, subject to the Board’s positive indication.

Attorney Douglas Wilkins, of Anderson & Kroeger, was present to represent AT&T. Attorney Wilkins told the Board that the proposal would provided needed coverage, and also revenue for the Town.

Attorney Wilkins explained that there are two (2) options. One would be to place an antenna all the way to the top, painting it to match the building. The other would be to place the antenna where the porthole windows and shingles are. Some tiles would be replaced with fiberglass singles, painted to match the building. The visual impact would not be noticed from the street.

Mustaque Mohamed showed the Board a visual of where the proposed antenna would be placed. Three (3) antennas would be installed, each 5.12" in length, with 120 degrees of separation between them. There would also be interior space required for the installation of an equipment cabinet (the size of a large refrigerator), which weights between 700 and 800 pounds. There is adequate space in the Town Hall for this. There would also be 7 – 8 cables, which are bottom-fed to the antennas.

Mr. Mohamed explained that placement of the antennas would depend on the type of coverage needed.

Selectman Eayrs noted that the building has been recently renovated, and was concerned with what the antennas would look like, and if they would be visible from the ground. He asked why the water tower could not be used.

Mr. Mohamed explained that the Town Hall is the ideal location because of topography and elevation.

Robert Foley, who does the construction for AT&T, told the Board that the antennas would be put inside the cupola and painted to match the existing building. This could also be enclosed with louvers.

Selectman Eayrs asked if the Town would be compromising its protection against lightning. Mr. Foley said they would tap into the existing system.

Selectman Eayrs asked if the electronic output would potentially interfere with the computer systems. He was told it would not.

Chairman Wiksten noted that the water tower RFP was very specific and stated that the Town had the right to "pull the plug" if the equipment caused any interference.

Mr. Foley explained that the antennas are made from plastic, and mounted on 2" galvanized pipe which would be grounded to the existing grounding system of the Town Hall.

Chairman Wiksten asked what would be required for wiring. Mr. Foley said, if the meters are in the basement, 200 amp service would be required. They would tap off of this with a separate meter. If an upgrade were necessary, AT&T would coordinate with the Middleborough Gas & Electric Department.

Mr. Healey noted that the conduit used for the telephone connection would also be leased from the Town, and would be included in the RFP.

Chairman Wiksten asked for a range of what income the tower could generate for the Town. Attorney Wilkins said $15,000 - $20,000 per year, but noted that their response to the RFP could be more or less than this figure.

Chairman Wiksten asked if additional cooling would be necessary for the cabinet. Mr. Foley said the unit contains an air exchanger unit, but noted that a stand-alone air conditioner unit might have to be installed to relieve the heat in the room.

Selectwoman Brunelle expressed concern with the possible humidity that would be generated by the air conditioner. Mr. Foley said the unit would only run when needed. He said he was not as familiar with the indoor cabinet units, but noted that they do not give off as much heat.

Mr. Foley also told the Board that the cabinet unit would be maintenance free. A cell tech would come to the location once a month to be sure everything was working properly.

Jane Lopes asked what the alternative was if the Town Hall was not used. Paul DaCoste, AT&T, said they had looked at the Church across the street, but it would be too expensive.

Resident Willy Duphily asked if the antenna would be strictly for AT&T. The Board explained that an RFP would be issued, and any company could respond.

Mr. Healey asked if there would be room for more than one (1) array. Mr. Foley said there has to be a 10’ separation. It could not be done at the top, but could happen at the lower section.

Ms. Lopes asked why the matter had not be referred to the Historical Commission. Mr. Healey explained that this is a public hearing which had been advertised on cable, and posted on the agenda.

Ms. Lopes said this presentation did not satisfy her as a member of the Historical Commission.

Chairman Wiksten noted that the Board would seek input from the Historical Commission when the RFP is issued. He noted that the Board did not want to do anything that would compromise the integrity of the building.

Ms. Lopes said that $3.5 million had been spent on the renovations of the building, and did not feel that $20,000 was a huge amount of money to receive to desecrate the building.

Chairman Wiksten said he was open to anything that may provide funding to help maintain the building.

Discussion ensued on whether or not a separate presentation should be made to the Historical Commission.

Chairman Wiksten asked if the company had installed antennas at any other similar buildings.

Mr. Foley said that they had installed antennas at Churches, and had worked with the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

Selectman Eayrs said he did not feel this was at the point of being put out to an RFP.

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

VOTED: To send a letter to the Historical Commission asking for their input on this request, and further ask that the Historical Commission contact the Massachusetts Historical Commission for their experiences with such requests, including the pros and cons of such an antenna attachment, and to submit comments within 30 days.

Unanimous Vote.

Chairman Wiksten noted that an array may be put on the new Fire Station. He suggested AT&T could check to see if that would be a suitable location.

Public Hearing – Tax Classification

A hearing will be held in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room in the Town Hall, 10 Nickerson Avenue, Middleborough, MA, on Monday, September 30, 2002, at 8:00 PM, on the allocation of the fiscal year 2003 tax levy among the various classes of property in the Town of Middleborough. This hearing will give interested citizens an opportunity to comment on local property tax policy as it will be applied during fiscal year 2003. Chairman Wiksten opened the hearing.

The Board of Assessors was present. Jack Kulian, Chairman, read a statement to the Board recommending that the shift between residential and businesses be moved from 10% to 7.5%. He noted that next year will be a reval year for properties, and had concerns with any adjustment being made then.

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the suggested shift would cost the residents $.58 more per $1,000 than the current rate. Mr. Healey noted that keeping it at 10% would still cost the residents $.48.

Chairman Wiksten said he had a problem adjusting the shift and hitting residents with an increase of $100/year. Barbara Erickson noted that the average household will pay $83.00 more if the shift remains at 10%. The additional amount would be $17.00 per year.

Willy Duphily commended the Assessors for recommending the shift adjustment. It was noted that there hasn’t been an adjustment made in four (4) years.

Chairman Wiksten read a letter from the Cranberry Country Chamber of Commerce urging the Board to set an equal tax rate for residential and business taxpayers.

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Wiksten closed the hearing.

Motion was made by Selectman Eayrs and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle to endorse a 7.5% split between residential and commercial properties. The vote was 2 – 2 (Selectman Rogers and Chairman Wiksten opposed.)

The Board’s Secretary noted that Town Counsel had said the vote could be continued for one (1) week until the full Board was present. Selectwoman Brunelle said she did not want to put this off for another week.

Selectman Eayrs made a motion, seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, to move the split to 8%. Selectman Rogers suggested amending the motion to a compromise of 8.75%. There was no second to the amendment. The vote ended in a tie.

Selectman Eayrs said he has spoken in the past in favor of a flat tax rate to help the small businessman.

Chairman Wiksten agreed the Town needs small business, but was basing his opinion on what he has heard from people. He expressed disappointment that residents were not present at the hearing.

Selectman Rogers said he did not disagree with Selectman Eayrs, but noted that businesses are also offered TIFs. Selectman Eayrs said that TIFs only apply to a handful of businesses. The value of land has increased the taxes.

Mr. Healey said there is no justification for a split tax rate. The Boards have recognized this and have moved toward a single rate. He noted the Assessors were recommending a shift this year, as next year will not be a good year.

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

VOTED: To approve an 8.75% shift between residential and business tax rates.

VOTE 3 – 1 (Selectman Eayrs opposed)

Barbara Erickson noted this would cause a one day delay to adjust the figures.

NEW BUSINESS

Set Order of Conditions for Earth Removal Permit – Hannula – (off) Wood Street

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

VOTED: To postpone this item until October 21, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

It was noted that the Board’s Secretary had received the ConCom’s Order of Conditions for this property today.

 

Request to Appoint Warden – Herring Fishery Commission

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

VOTED: To appoint James Coffin as Warden to fill the unexpired term of Dona Marcham, who has resigned.

Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED: To reappoint Francis Pereira as Warden for a three-year term beginning September 30, 2002.

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Appoint Volunteer Observers – Herring Fishery Commission

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

VOTED: To appoint the following individuals as Volunteer Observers for the Herring Fishery Commission:

Luke Leonard, Jr. Tim Watts

Dave Cavanaugh Dave Lemmo

Michael Kenney Thomas Dexter

Harold Atkins Cliff Chausse

Ron Depaolis Mark Brochu

Unanimous Vote.

Request to Hold Tag Day – Brewins Youth Hockey

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

VOTED: To authorize the Brewins Youth Hockey to hold a Tag Day on Thursday, October 17th, Friday, October 18th, Saturday, October 19th and Sunday, October 20th.

Unanimous Vote.

Request for Direction – RE: 93 Oak Street – Water Superintendent

Chairman Wiksten read a letter that was sent from Richard Tinkham regarding the Habitat for Humanity house at 93 Oak Street. Mr. Tinkham is asking whether or not the Water Department’s standard charges and fees for new construction should be charged for the project, as the Building Permit fees were waived.

Chairman Wiksten noted that there has never been a waiver of water development fees. Selectwoman Brunelle also noted that the Town had donated the land.

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

VOTED: To inform Mr. Tinkham to charge the normal development charge and application fee, tapping charge and meter and installation costs.

Unanimous Vote.

Approve & Sign Warrant for Dog Officer

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

VOTED: To sign the Warrant authorizing the Dog Officer to catch and confine all dogs within Middleborough not duly licensed, harnessed or collared and tagged.

Unanimous Vote.

Request Permission for Annual Christmas Parade

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

VOTED: To authorize the following:

    1. A parade permit for the Christmas Parade to be held on Saturday, November 30, 2002 at 1:00 PM (Rain date December 1, 2002);
    2. Approval of a parking ban to be issued on the date of the parade on both sides of Centre Street, from the four corners to Pearl Street from noon to 3:00 PM; and
    3. Permission to use a fire engine to escort Santa Claus throughout the parade.

Unanimous Vote.

OLD BUSINESS

Personnel Board Recommendation – Non-Union Personnel Wage & Classification Plan

Selectman Eayrs said that negotiations with the Non-Union should begin immediately. He said the Personnel Board’s points are well taken, but they have had one month to review the Plan.

A meeting is scheduled for next week.

Discuss Early Retirement Incentive

Mr. Healey gave the Board updated material. The sick-leave buyback has been calculated based on current sick days. Mr. Healey suggested the Board decide next week when Chairman Perkins is present.

Mr. Healey also told the Board to factor in vacation time. If it is not used up by the end of the year, the Board might be in a position to buy in back.

Jane Lopes asked why the information that Mr. Healey provided was remaining confidential. Mr. Healey explained that previous information had been given using estimates. The information being provided has come from meetings with employees. Because of various factors, it is not known who the actual five (5) top employees might be.

Ms. Lopes asked what the actual cost would be. Mr. Healey said the Board would review the final costs next week.

Ms. Lopes asked that if there is a cost to the Town, what the benefit would be in allowing the early retirement.

Mr. Healey said there are some benefits to having some of the employees retire.

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

Selectwoman Brunelle agreed. She also noted that the FinCom only makes recommendations, and suggested the Board needs to be more proactive.

Mr. Healey noted, in fairness to the FinCom, that there are five (5) new members.

Mr. Healey explained that there has been discussion regarding moving the Veterans’ Agent to the 3rd floor to occupy the space formerly used by Barbara Erickson. The rest of the office could be used as a "waiting area".

Selectwoman Brunelle said that the Town Manager and Selectmen’s old offices would be more appropriate. Mr. Healey noted that the Treasurer’s Office is using the Selectmen’s space for storage. Selectwoman Brunelle said that anything to be stored should be moved downstairs.

Mr. Healey noted that the Veterans’ Agent position is being advertised in the Middleboro Gazette for two (2) weeks. The deadline for applying is October 8th.

SELECTMEN’S BILLS

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

VOTED: To pay three (3) bills submitted by the Middleboro Gas & Electric Department in the amounts of $5.35, $5.35 and $11.94, totaling $22.64.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay three (3) bills submitted by Verizon in the amounts of $20.93, $4.87 and $20.94, totaling $46.74.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay the bill submitted by Christine Weston, Secretary for the Middle School Building Committee, in the amount of $92.82.

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To pay the bill submitted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, for the Early Retirement Actuary Study, in the amount of $4,000.00.

Unanimous Vote.

The Board will forward a bill from Daley & Witten, LLC to Town Counsel for payment.

OTHER

The Community Preservation Committee will hold a meeting on Wednesday, October 2nd, at 7:00 PM at the Nichols Middle School. The Trustee for Public Land will be the speaker.

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

VOTED: To appoint the following individuals to staff Precinct 3:

Deborah Ginn, Warden

Patricia McManus, Deputy Warden

Louise Wright, Clerk

Judith Clark, Deputy Clerk

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To appoint the following inspectors to staff Precinct 3:

Christine Parks

James Cheney

Carol Gendron

Unanimous Vote.

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

VOTED: To send a letter of thanks to Theresa Maxim for her years of service to the Town as Warden of Precinct 3.

Unanimous Vote.

CORRESPONDENCE

A members of the Board was invited to the North Attleborough Semi-Annual Town Meeting on October 21 to discuss the benefits brought to the community by the Soule Homestead Community Farm and Education Center. The Board’s Secretary will contact Ellen Farmer to let her know that the Board has a scheduled meeting for that night, and suggest she contact Karen Dusek, or members of the Board of Trustees, to speak.

 

 

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

VOTED: To adjourn at 8:52 PM.

Unanimous Vote.

 

 

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN