SELECTMEN’S MEETING

SEPTEMBER 26, 2005

 

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 PM.

 

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

Chairman Perkins was absent.

 

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

            VOTED:  To nominate Selectman Andrews to be Chairman at tonight’s meeting.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Selectman Wiksten read a statement resigning as of tonight’s meeting.

 

The Board will discuss whether or not to hold a Special Election at their next meeting.

 

SELECTMEN’S MINUTES

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the Minutes of September 19, 2005.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the Executive Minutes of September 19, 2005.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

HEARINGS, MEETINGS & LICENSES

 

Hearing – Request for WRPD Permit – Butler – 97 Summer Street

 

This hearing was postponed as only three (3) members were present.  It has been rescheduled for Monday, October 3, 2005 at 8:00 PM.

 

Hearing – Request to Place New Facilities – Verizon and MG&E Department

 

Chairman Andrews read the following:  “A hearing will be held in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Town Hall, 10 Nickerson Avenue, Middleborough, MA  on Monday, September 26, 2005 at 7:30 PM, for the purpose of discussing the petition filed by Verizon and the Middleborough Gas & Electric Department, to place eight (8) new poles (P51/10, P51/11, P5/12, P51/13, P51/14, P51/15, P51/16, P51/17) on Purchase Street.  This petition is necessary in order to provide service to new residences.  Anyone desiring to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated.”  The hearing was opened.

 

Daryl Crossman, Right of Way Manager for Verizon, was present.  He explained that the poles are needed to provide services to new residences.

 

Wayne Hannula, an abutter, told the Board that he owns property at the corner of Carver and Purchase Streets.  He said he was concerned with the placement of a news pole being placed in front of his property.

 

Discussion ensued on why the pole wasn’t being placed across the street, where the houses are being constructed.

 

Mr. Crossman explained that the pole is being placed near Hannula’s property because the wires need to “cross over and cross back”.

 

Mr. Healey asked why the pole could not be placed on the same side of the street as the other poles.

 

Mr. Crossman said because of the span difference.  He said if it is placed on the same side, it would create an “inside corner” and go on private property in a wetland area.

 

Mr. Healey said the builder should accommodate the pole as he is benefiting from the placement.

 

It was the consensus of the Board to continue the hearing to October 24th, asking to reconfigure the pole to be placed on the opposite side of the street with the others.

 

Selectman Bond also asked that Mr. Crossman communicate with Mr. Hannula prior to the next hearing.

 

Meeting with Jack Lucas – Standish Oil Company – RE:  Home Heating Fuel Costs

 

Mr. Lucas was not present.  Mr. Healey will contact him to reschedule.

 

Meeting with Bruce Swist, Manager, ‘Bottle Shop Liquors’

 

The Board had asked Mr. Swist to meet to discuss recent violations of his Liquor License, and to discuss what measures are being taken to assure these violations will not continue.

 

Bruce Swist was present.  He told the Board that he had a violation on May 25th that was performed by a fairly new employee who didn’t card in an ABCC sting.  He said he has been in the retail liquor business for almost 10 ½ years and never had a previous violation.  He added that he also passed cigarette stings.

 

Mr. Swist said he was surprised by the decision of the State to impose a 5 day suspension, given no previous history.  He told the Board he had paid a fine in lieu of the suspension.

 

Selectman Bond asked if Mr. Swist had been made aware of a sting that was done by MADD.

 

Mr. Swist said he was, noting that he had been distracted by the suspension imposed by the ABCC.

 

Selectman Bond asked if there was anybody who doesn’t get carded.

 

Mr. Swist said employees must card anyone who looks up to 35 – 40 years old.

 

Meeting with Kevin Walker – RE:  Mitigation Plan for 232 Old Centre Street

 

Kevin Walker was present.  He submitted a mitigation plan for the Board’s review.

 

Toni Card, the abutter to the property, was also present.

 

Chairman Andrews noted that, at the Board’s last meeting, Mr. Walker had been instructed to include a retaining wall in the mitigation plan.

 

Mr. Walker told the Board that he had also submitted the drainage calculations which showed a slightly less drainage area after construction.  He contended that the issues are due to the site not yet being stabilized.  He said the retaining wall will cost several thousand dollars.  He said he would like to stabilize the site first, prior to constructing the wall.

 

Chairman Andrews noted that the problem was due to the builder not constructing the house according to the plans.

 

Selectman Bond said the builder should absorb some of the cost of fixing the problem, not just the owners. 

 

Jeanne Spalding told the Board that she had spoken earlier to Mr. Walker.  She said she wants Ms. Card to understand what the retaining wall would entail.  She said, in her opinion, the trench could be extended down and curbed into their lot into the wetlands area instead of just dispersing on both lots.  She also suggested a retaining wall should be brought to the edge at the front of the property, and not be constructed directly on the property line in case work, or settling, is done.

 

Ms. Card expressed concerns that the plan does not stop water from getting in on the front of her property.

 

Mr. Walker said the majority of the water in the front is from the road, as it was previously.  He said he would agree to put an “elbow” at the end of the trench.

 

Chairman Andrews noted that the Board is dealing with problems that resulted from the misplacement of the house.

 

Mr. Card said more fill was brought in resulting in more water in the front.

 

Ms. Spalding noted an old pathway that served as drainage is gone.

 

Chairman Andrews said he believed the Board had met the intent of the meeting, getting the developer to respond to the issues.  He said it is not incumbent of the Board to remove all water going on to Ms. Card’s property.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the proposed mitigation plan for 232 Old Centre Street as shown on the plan entitled “Site Plan of Land on Old Centre Street – Assessors Map 39, Parcel 2262” prepared by K&J Engineering, Inc., dated September 20, 2005, subject to the following:

1.                  The trench drain will be brought back to the rear of property with an elbow away from the property line;

2.                  The retaining wall will be shifted off of the property line towards the ‘Nunes’ house a reasonable distance;

3.                  The retaining wall will be extended up to the edge of the road.

Unanimous Vote.

 

Meeting with IT Director & Assessor/Appraiser – RE:  Rollover of Tax Information

 

Roger Brunelle and Barbara Erickson were present.

 

Mr. Brunelle told the Board that he had spoke in error on September 19th.  He said no rollover had been done by the Assessors Office.  The Department Head did nothing wrong.  She was running an option that she normally runs.  He said he deeply apologizes to the Department Head and said he supports the department.

 

Mr. Brunelle said it was not the main database that was used, but a sales database.  He said Ms. Erickson deals with this.  He said he felt bad, noting that the Department Head has worked for 10 years with the IT Department, and did nothing wrong.

 

Ms. Erickson told the Board that she appreciated Mr. Brunelle’s apology.  She explained that the sales file allows sales to be extracted for the year.  She said she can “play” with this file without affecting the master database.  She said when she ran the file, 818 sales files were deleted.  She had run the process at 4:45 PM on a Friday.  The problem was noted on Monday, and she called Vision Appraisal, and then called the IT Department to ask if there was a back up from Thursday night.  She was told there wasn’t.  She said Vision worked on the problem for one week to fix the problem so that it doesn’t happen again.  She said the office is about one month behind due to the problem.  Her staff will work on the tax billing process next week.  She said temporary help will not need to be utilized.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if the Classification Hearing would still be held on October 24th.

 

Ms. Erickson said she was confident the work would be done by then.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Request to Approve & Sign Notes – Treasurer/Collector

 

Judy MacDonald was present.  She explained her request to approve the sale of various bonds for projects that had previously been approved at Town Meeting.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the sale of $4,172,000 4.00 percent Bond Anticipation Note, Series A of the town dated September 30, 2005 and payable September 29, 2006 to Eastern Bank at par and accrued interest plus a premium of $43,767.52.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the sale of $3,273,000 4.60 percent Bond Anticipation Note, Series B of the town dated September 30, 2005 and payable September 29, 2006 to Parker/Hunter Inc. at par and accrued interest plus a premium of $4,207.00.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the sale of $6,644,000 3.25 percent Bond Anticipation Note, Series C of the town dated September 30, 2005 and payable September 29, 2006 to Eastern Bank at par and accrued interest plus a premium of $4,092.00.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Town’s Option to Purchase Chapterland – Bartlett – Rte. 495

 

Mr. Healey asked that the Board hold off on this vote.  He said Richard Tinkham is getting information on acquiring the property as part of the well site.

 

Chairman Andrews said he would’ve abstained from tonight’s vote.

 

It was the consensus of the Board to hold off for one (1) week allowing Mr. Healey to get more information.

 

Request to Use Town Hall Lawn – Kiwanis Club of Middleborough, Inc.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of the Kiwanis Club to use the Town Hall lawn on Saturday, October 29, 2005 for a ‘jack-o-lantern festival’.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Rent Town Hall Auditorium – Nemasket River Productions

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of Nemasket River Productions to rent the Auditorium on October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29 for its fall production.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request for One Day Liquor Licenses – Professional Bartending Service, Inc.

 

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

VOTED:  To approve the request of Professional Bartending Service, Inc. for One Day Liquor Licenses for October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29 for the Town Hall.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Refinance – Carbone – 19 Marie Drive

 

Selectwoman Brunelle explained that, because of a sewer betterment, the Town must give permission for a refinance.

 

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

            VOTED:  To approve the refinance of 19 Marie Drive.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Request to Approve & Sign Documents for Sale of Trailer – Conservation Commission

 

Richard Chamberlin, Chairman of the ConCom, was present.  He explained that the request is for the sale of a smaller trailer on the Morgan property.  He said it is in very bad shape, and the bidder is actually doing a favor by getting rid of it.  The trailer is being purchased for $251.

 

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

VOTED:  To instruct Town Counsel to add language that the Town has already received $125.50 representing a down payment, with $125.50 paid upon execution.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

This item will be put on next week’s agenda.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

There was no ‘Old Business’ discussed tonight.

 

TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Trash Fee Sticker Option

 

Chairman Andrews said he had received an email from Kevin Solomon asking if stickered trash could be put in barrels.

 

Mr. Healey suggested it could if it was visible.

 

Jeanne Spalding said that she has requested all trash be put in barrels because of the potential problem of rabid wildlife.

 

Mr. Healey noted that the Highway Superintendent prefers bags only.

 

Mr. Healey suggested that a “void” sticker be given to all customers who purchase stickers, to be placed on the outside of a barrel, signaling the barrel contains stickered bags.

 

It was the consensus of the Board to do this.  Mr. Healey will contact Don Boucher.

 

Mr. Healey noted that approximately 15 – 20% of households have opted for stickers.

 

Lakeville I.M.A. and National Development Agreements

 

Mr. Healey said he has spoken to Chawner Hurd and Town Counsel.

 

Exit Meeting with Auditors

 

Mr. Healey suggested that members of the Board be present for the exit meeting with the Auditors for the FY 2005 Audit.  He said comments made by the Auditors will be discussed with Department Heads.  He noted that, frequently, Auditor’s comments are answered in an acceptable fashion and the item disappears from the final form of the Management Letter.

 

Town Meeting Warrant Articles and the Town’s Financial Position

 

Mr. Healey read the following:

 

“We do no yet know if we will reach our Local Receipts Revenue Projections and must, therefore, resist as much spending of Free Cash as possible at this Town Meeting.  It would be very imprudent to replace employees who have been laid off only to lay them off again later this year, if our revenues do no develop as we had hoped and planned.  For example:

 

1.                  We have projected, and budgeted, to use revenue of $1,000,000 as Local Receipts from Trash Fees this year.  We haven’t yet sent out a bill or collected a penny.  I believe we will reach the projection, but we will not know, or have a better projection, until sometime after the New Year.

2.                  We have projected, and budgeted, to use revenue of $200,000 from Administrative Fees related to private police details.  For the first two months, we are running well behind.  In fact, projecting out the first 2 months, we will be hard pressed to reach $100,000.

3.                  We have projected, and budgeted, and additional $200,000 in “New Growth”.  But the Assessors have not yet calculated “New Growth” and may not have that figure until November.

4.                  We projected, and budgeted, to have at least $200,000 in revenue from the operation of the Landfill by the Town.  Recent rain events have delayed readiness to use the new cell.  Until we can open there will be no revenue.  However, Selectmen have voted to contract out the Landfill operation to Waste Management of Massachusetts.  This Agreement is nearing completion and will generate significant revenues, enabling the Town to begin to restore budgets and bring back laid off employees in next years budget.  But, the Agreement is not yet signed; the money is not in the bank.

 

For all these reasons, and more, the Selectmen should consider removing most of the Articles on the proposed Town Meeting Warrant at your meeting on Monday night.

 

Our Treasurer went to the Bond Market this past week.  She was successful in maintaining the Town’s Bond Rating.  However, if we do not work on restoring our Fund Balance to a healthier level, the next time she goes to the Bond Market, our rating could drop and our interest rate go up.  This would further reduce funds available to meet Departmental needs.  In short, Moody’s wants to see some money in our “Savings Accounts”.

 

Which brings me to my final point.  Free Cash.  This year, we knew our Free Cash would be less than we have seen in recent years.  Last year, for example, we had 2.5 million – and we spent 2.4 million of it.  The Town has gotten into the very bad habit of spending most of our Free Cash for operating budgets rather than putting it in the Bank.  Still, knowing this, we went ahead last June and budgeted to use $200,000 of the Free Cash, which would be ‘certified’ in the Fall, to balance the budget.  Whatever our ‘Free Cash’ turns out to be, we have already used $200,000 of it.

 

So, for example, if we were to have a Certified Free Cash of one million dollars, we would have $800,000 “available”.  However, we need to hedge against not making our Local Receipts number as I explained earlier, and, we need to increase our Fund Balance or face losing our Bond Rating.  At the June Town Meeting, we used $163,777.75 of the Stabilization Fund.  The Stabilization Fund now stands at only $329,547.  Most of the Free Cash that is certified, above the $200,000 already budgeted, needs to remain in the undesignated fund balance (Free Cash) or be placed in the Stabilization Fund.

 

At the Department Heads Meeting on September 7th, I urged everyone to limit their requests to contractual matters that have not yet been addressed, unforeseen expenses such as fuel and heat, light and power costs or other essential spending, and to provide a separate list of items they would like to see restored or addressed, but which would, in all likelihood, not be able to be addressed at this Fall.

 

Monday, the Selectmen will discuss the Articles and consider deleting articles that cannot be considered at this time.  I will not be recommending rehiring or refilling positions that were the subject of layoffs or positions that were vacant and left vacant.  I will be recommending restoring hours in some cases where we have added workload or it would save money in other ways.

 

Some Department Heads may want to attend to argue their case.”

 

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 $24.45 and $24.43, totaling $48.88.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To send a letter to Melanson Health & Company, PC, thanking them for submitting a more detailed bill, but asking that all future invoices include the hours for each item.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To pay the bill submitted by Melanson Heath & Company, P.C. in the amount of $3,000.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

OTHER

 

Review Town Meeting Articles

 

The Board went through proposed articles to determine whether or not they should appear on the Warrant for the Fall Special Town Meeting.

 

Gary Russell asked how the Board could decide what articles to fund without knowing how much Free Cash there is.

 

Mr. Healey said the Board knows what’s being considered.

 

Chairman Andrews read the following letter written by the Treasurer/Collector:

 

“Dear Honorable Board,

 

Monday, September 19th, I had a telephone interview with Moody’s Investor Service regarding the note sale of September 21st.  The notes total in excess of $14,000,000.  The Town received a Mig 1 rating (the highest rating for notes) for the sale of the notes and maintained the A2 rating on the Town’s $33,500,000. in long term debt.  However, Moody’s is questioning “the Town’s inability to significantly replenish reserves from their modest fiscal 2004 levels which could result in a downward rating pressure.” (See the attached rating review.)

 

The free cash certification of fiscal 2004 was $2,444,301.  The majority of free cash was subsequently spent at the fall special town meeting to balance the fiscal 2005 budget.  In past years we would under-estimate local receipts there-by restoring the undesignated fund balance (free cash) by fiscal year end.  It was strongly recommended by those who do not have an understanding of municipal finances, that in fiscal 2005 the Town should estimate local receipts closer to the actual anticipated revenues than had been in the past.  As a consequence of this action we eliminated the mechanism we used to restore the fund balance by year end.  If we continue to spend all the certified free cash at the Special Fall Town Meeting our fund balance will continue to decrease until we are in a deficit situation.

 

The Town Accountant had not yet finished closing the books at the time of the conference with Moody’s.  As I stated previously, Moody’s wants to see that we have increased our fund balance from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2005.    However, the undesignated fund balance for fiscal 2005, estimated to be 1.4 million dollars, has dropped by approximately 1.1 million dollars in fiscal 2005.  Our fund balance is back to where it was in fiscal 2003. At that time Moody’s had strongly urged that we increase our fund balance to maintain our rating.  Although the fund balance moderately increased during fiscal 2004, we have been unable to stabilize the increase in the fund balance.  If we do not start to rebuild our reserve funds (fund balance and stabilization fund) Moody’s has told us that our bond rating will decrease there-by increasing our borrowing costs and risking our financial stability.

 

I am recommending that we refrain from spending any free cash that will be certified within the next few weeks accept for the $200,000. that was already used to balance the fiscal 2006 annual budget, for contractual obligations and for increases due to fuel costs.

 

I am also recommending that $200,000. of the free cash certification be put into the Stabilization Fund there-by restoring the $163,000., we used to supplement the fiscal 2005 budget at the Special Town Meeting.  I would also like to recommend that we put an article on the warrant to establish a by-law that would require a percentage (to be determined) of free cash, each year, be placed into the Stabilization Fund.  By taking this action we will show Moody’s and investors that we are taking steps to rebuild our reserves. 

 

In addition once the landfill agreement goes through we must refrain from spending the FAM monies (Financial Assurance Mechanism), that are currently held in reserve, and place them into the Stabilization Fund to help build the general fund reserves.

 

Very truly yours,

 

Judy M. MacDonald

Treasurer/Collector”

 

Ms. MacDonald told the Board that the Town’s reserves have been depleted.  She said if it continues, Moody’s will look at the Town as not having good management practices.  She recommended a formal policy, in writing, with a mechanism to build reserves.

 

Mr. Healey said he and Ms. MacDonald recommend limiting articles to contractual obligations and unforeseen expenditures, adding personnel only where it would actually save money to increase the hours.

 

 

Article 1

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate from taxation or by transfer of available funds in the Treasury, through inter-departmental transfer or from Stabilization Fund, a sum of money for unpaid bills from prior years, or act anything thereon.

 

Thevenin, Lynch, Bienvenue, LLP               $4,500.00

Clark, Balboni & Gildea, LLP                     $   500.00

Kopelman and Paige, P.C.                            $2,385.62

Ruth M. Geoffroy                                           $     28.88

Nextel Communications                                $1,428.14

VHIS                                                               $   414.29

Library                                                            $   540.00

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 2

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate from available funds in the treasury a sum of money to be placed into the Stabilization Fund, or act anything thereon.

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 3

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Veterans’ Services Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($50,000)

 

Account 577000         Medical & Cash Aid                          $50,000

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 4

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Conservation Commission’s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($950)

 

Postage                                   $350.00

Office & Stationery                $100.00

Printing                                  $100.00

Travel                                     $400.00

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked why the department chose not to fund these items when their budget was prepared.

 

Mr. Chamberlin explained that, the department knew they needed the funding, but had no other places to cut.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested, in the future, employee hours would have to be cut if necessary.

 

Motion was made by Selectman Bond to retain.  There was no second.

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article for Postage and Office & Stationery.

            VOTE 2 – 1 (Selectman Bond opposed)

 

Article 5

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Middleborough Public Library Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($36,000)

 

Account 521500         Building Heat                                                            $  3,500

Account 524100         Building & Grounds Maintenance               $  8,500

Account 542500         Computer Services                                         $21,232

Account545000          Custodial & Housekeeping Increase                        $     200

Account 558100         Books & Printed Material Increase              $  2,568

 

Danielle Bowker told the Board that this funding is needed or a $30,000 Grant could be lost.  She said the Town could apply for a waiver, but they are limited and there is no guarantee the Town would be given one.

 

Discussion ensued on the receipt of the grant money.  It was noted that the $30,000 would be at the Library’s discretion to spend.

 

Ms. Bowker said the money will used for overages, and custodial and housekeeping expenses.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle noted that the request includes $21,232 for computer services which are normally paid from the grant money. 

 

Ms. Bowker said the money will be used to pay some additional hours to “make up what was lost in the budget”.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the extra money should be used for the building, not personnel.

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            VOTE 2 – 1 (Chairman Andrews opposed)

 

Article 6

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Police Department Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($177,024.81)

 

5 Police Officers – from 24 – 40 hours per week – 1/1/06 to 6/30/06          $105,044.00

E911 Database Coordinator – 1/1/06 to 6/30/06                                          $  10,926.50

Clerk                                       1/1/06 to 6/30/06                                             $  15,578.68

Clerk                                       1/1/06 to 6/30/06                                             $  16,531.45

Senior Clerk                           10/24/05 to 6/30/06                                         $  28,944.18

 

Chief Russell explained that two (2) officers who are overseas will be returning earlier than expected.  He explained that the money budgeted for those officers has been used to fund five (5) new officers at reduced hours.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked how many officers were laid off this year.

 

Chief Russell said none.

 

Discussion ensued on the need for the E911 Database Coordinator.

 

Chief Russell explained that new subdivisions must be given names and numbers by the E911 Coordinator prior to receiving Building Permits. 

 

Bob Whalen was asked if his department, with additional help, could take over this task.

 

Chief Russell noted that it also involves contacting Verizon, and putting the information into the database for the Police and Fire.

 

Chief Russell also explained that the Senior Clerk, who had planned to retire, has decided not to.  Her position had not been funded for the full year.  He said if the article is not entirely funded, the result will be the lay off of 5 police officers, the E911 Coordinator, 2 clerks and a senior clerk.  He suggested, if the Board was not willing to pass the entire supplement, to fund it at what it is currently for the remainder of the year.  He said there will be no money to fund the positions as of January 1st.

 

Chief Russell also suggested, if the Senior Clerk is laid off, it would have to be negotiated with the Union.  He also noted that laying the police officers off would be a violation of the federal grant, and could result in the repayment of $750,000 in grant money.

 

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

VOTED:  To retain the article for the 5 police officers at 24 hours per week, and the E911 Database Coordinator at 15 hours per week, totaling $69,579.90.

            VOTE 1 – 2 (Chairman Andrews and Selectwoman Brunelle opposed)

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the Chief was making legitimate arguments, but the Town just can’t afford it.

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain the article for the E911 Database Coordinator for $6,555.90.

            VOTE 2 – 1 (Selectman Bond opposed)

 

Chief Russell told the Board he was “disgusted” by the fact that money would be approved for the Library, but not for public safety.

 

Article 7

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Zoning Board of Appeals’ Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($2,400)

 

Account 511104         Reg. Pay Clerical PT             $2,400

 

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

            VOTED:  To exclude this article.

            VOTE 2 – 1 (Selectman Bond opposed)

 

Article 8

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Town Clerk’s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($11,063)

 

Account 511101         Reg. Pay Clerical FT             $11,063

 

Eileen Gates said she needed to reinstate hours to cover the added task of selling trash stickers.

 

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

            VOTED:  To exclude this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 9

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Building Department ‘s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($18,306)

 

Account 511104         Reg. Pay Clerical PT             $14,242

Account 511137         Building Commissioner        $  4,064

 

Bob Whalen told the Board that the new Plumbing/Gas Inspector would be starting at a lower rate than what was budgeted.  His supplement could probably be made up.

 

He is requesting to rehire a PT Clerk at 30 hours.  He said this was the original hours for the position, which were then cut to 25.

 

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

VOTED:  To retain this article for a PT Clerk at $12.83/hour for 25 hours/week beginning November 1st, totaling $11,637.00.

            VOTE 2 – 1 (Chairman Andrews opposed)

 

 

 

 

 

Article 10

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from the retained earnings of the Water Enterprise System, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Water Department’s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($8,500)

 

Account 530500         Enterprise Consultant                                   $    500

Account 524100         Building and Grounds Maintenance                        $8,000

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 11

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Selectmen’s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($1,215)

 

Account 511101         Reg. Pay Clerical                               $1,215

 

(This is the supplement for contractual obligation - $1,435.20 minus the Longevity that had already been budgeted, but is no longer needed - $225.00)

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 12

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Town Manager’s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($32,340)

 

Account 511102         Reg. Pay Town Manager       $   7,170

Account 512700         Temporary Personnel                        $11,376

Account 519700         Sick Leave Buyback               $13,794

 

Mr. Healey said the supplement for his pay is contractual.  He said he would be willing to fund this at a later Special Town Meeting within this year. 

 

Mr. Healey explained that the request for Temporary Personnel is to hire someone to work a few weeks with Susan McCusker prior to her retirement.  He said should would be leaving the first of May.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the Sick Leave Buyback should be a separate article.

 

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

VOTED:  To retain this article for the supplement to the Town Manager’s salary, and approve the Buyback for a separate article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Administrative Office Building’s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($25,800)

 

Account 521300         Building Electricity               $10,000

Account 521500         Bldg. Heat Gas                       $15,800

 

Mr. Healey noted that this article was added because of the increase in fuel costs as suggested by the Middleborough Gas & Electric Department.

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 13

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Purchasing (Dept. 950) Ambulance Contract Budget 01.950.55350 for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($13,323.56)

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 14

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Town Accountant’s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($16,000)

 

01.135.5111104.0.0.               Reg Pay Part-Time    $14,000

01.135.585200.0.0.                 New Equipment         $  2,000

 

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

            VOTED:  To exclude this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 15

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Treasurer/Collector (Dept. 145) Postage Budget 01.145.534300 Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($2,525.25)

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 16

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfer, or by transfer from the stabilization and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/ or adjust the Treasurer/Collector Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($1,800 – inter-departmental transfer from 531100)

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 17

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfer, or by transfer from the stabilization and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/ or adjust the Planning Board’s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($2,170 – inter-departmental transfer from 531600 to 511104)

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 18

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a  sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Law Department Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon. ($28,500)

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            VOTE 2 – 1 (Selectman Bond opposed)

 

Article 19

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a  sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Information Technology Department Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon. ($3,000 - This article is to supplement for the temporary help that was hired to help with the trash database).

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 20

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Fire Department ‘s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($10,200)

 

Account 519500         Career Incentive                    $3,200

Account 521100         Building Electricity               $3,500

Account 521300         Bldg. Heat Gas                       $3,500

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 21

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Fire Department ‘s Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon. 

 

511110            Administrative Assistant                  

511122            Reg. Pay Chief

511132            Reg. Pay Deputy Chief

 

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

            VOTED:  To exclude this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 22

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $206,830.00 by taxation or transfer from available funds in the treasury to supplement and/or adjust the Fire Department’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2006 for the re-hiring of 4 firefighters, or act anything thereon.

 

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

            VOTED:  To exclude this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 23

 

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $403,120.00 by taxation or transfer from available funds in the treasury to supplement and/or adjust the Fire Department’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2006 for the re-hiring of 8 firefighters, or act anything thereon.

 

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

            VOTED:  To exclude this article.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Article 24

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer from available funds in the treasury, or through inter-departmental transfers, or by transfer from the stabilization fund and/or free cash, a sum of money to supplement and/or adjust the Assessors Budget for the fiscal year 2006, or act anything thereon.  ($12,724)

 

Account 511104         Reg. Pay Clerical PT             $12,724

 

Barbara Erickson explained that, without this funding, it will cost the Town over $100,000 to complete the residential revaluation.

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            VOTE 2 – 1 (Chairman Andrews opposed)

 

Article 25

 

To see if the Town will vote to transfer $5,000 from the Assessors Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Line Item Contracted Services -account #531500 – to Regular Pay Clerical PT – account #511104, or act anything thereon.

 

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

            VOTED:  To retain this article.

            VOTE 2 – 1 (Chairman Andrews opposed)

 

The Board took a 2 minute break at this time.

 

---RECONVENE—

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said she was frustrated with being put in the position to make decisions on what will and won’t be supported.  She said the Waste Management Agreement is in process, but it is not known if funds will be available.  She said this would impact decisions.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said Unpaid Bills must be taken care of.  She said there are also other issues that need to be addressed.  She suggested postponing Town Meeting to a later time to “see where we’re at”.

 

Selectman Bond asked if Mr. Healey and Ms. MacDonald could recommend those articles that are “essential things”.

 

Mr. Healey said this could be done.  He suggested going forward with an abbreviated Town Meeting, and then having another one at a later date.

 

Selectman Bond asked if there was a way to “break down, in dollars, what an article is anticipated to generate”.  He said these are the articles that need to be focused on.

 

Mr. Healey said he didn’t know.

 

Ms. MacDonald said a lot of work has been done to this point.  She suggested postponing it for a couple of weeks.  Otherwise, the Warrant has to go to print tomorrow.

 

Selectman Bond suggested also getting more information regarding the impact of laying off the police officers.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle said the Classification Hearing could be held on October 24th, with Town Meeting the following week.  Ms. MacDonald said the Board would also know the ‘New Growth’ figure at that time.

 

It was noted that this would be Halloween.

 

It was suggested to postpone the meeting until November 3rd.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if this would hold up issuing tax bills.

 

Ms. MacDonald said it wouldn’t.

 

Ginny Landis telephoned the Town Manager to say that the Article regarding the MJHS must be acted upon before October 31st.

 

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

VOTED:  To most Town Meeting to Thursday, October 27th at 7:00 PM at the High School.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

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

VOTED:  To ask Town Counsel to comment about the impact of not funding Article 6 to include the information in the Board’s next packet.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

Chairman Andrews said the Board would reserve the right to rescind any votes that were made, or to make changes.

 

Selectman Bond thanked Ms. MacDonald for being at the meeting and providing her knowledge.

 

Chairman Andrews suggested the October 17th meeting only be for a public hearing to review the Articles.

 

Water Ban

 

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

            VOTED:  To lift the Water Ban, asking customers to continue to conserve water.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

It was noted that this issue will be revisited soon when discussing the Water Management Act requirement.

 

Waiver of Trash Fee for 100% Disabled Vets

 

Mr. Healey said this issue had come to his attention, and he asked the Board to entertain waiving the trash fee for 100% disabled vets.  He noted that the Board had previously granted an exemption to the elderly related to income.

 

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

VOTED:  100% disabled vets as certified by the VA will be permitted exclusion from the trash fee, if they are in a single family home, or if in a unit within a multiple family unit, not be charged for the unit they occupy.

            VOTE1 – 2 (Selectwoman Brunelle and Chairman Andrews opposed.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle explained that she supports the idea, but had many questions.

 

Chairman Andrews agreed, saying further research should be done.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked if the exemption would be for veterans who own single family, owner-occupied residences.

 

Mr. Healey said yes.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle asked how many parcels would fall into this category.

 

Chairman Andrews asked if it wouldn’t apply to someone who was renting an apartment.  It was noted that the elderly exemption is only for home owners, not tenants.

 

Paul Provencher suggested the wording should be for a “100% service connected disability”.

 

Selectman Bond said that was his intent in his motion.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle questioned what would happen if the tenant receiving the exemption moved out.

 

Selectman Bond suggested the landlord would have to show documentation for the 100% disable vet, annually, or be charged the fee.

 

It was suggested that form currently being used for the elderly exemption be modified for the Veterans.

 

Roger Brunelle asked when the exemption would be effective.

 

Selectwoman Brunelle suggested it be effective with the 2nd billing cycle.

 

Mr. Healey said he would try to get the information for next week.

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

ü      Correspondence from Town Counsel was noted regarding enforcement of Stable Licenses.

 

Selectman Bond said he had spoken to Bart Harrison who informed him that the ‘White’s’ had paid for their license, including all arrears.

 

ü      Correspondence from Town Counsel regarding the Treasurer/Collector’s entitlement to vacation pay will be forwarded to the Town Accountant.

 

Mr. Healey noted there will be an article on the Town Meeting Warrant to accept the provision to allow advanced vacation pay.

 

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

VOTED:  To notify the COA Board of Directors that appointment to fill a vacancy will be made next week if it coincides with the deadline that was given.

      Unanimous Vote.

 

ü      Mr. Healey will follow up on the vacancies on the Disability Commission next week.

 

ü      upon motion by Selectwoman Brunelle and seconded by Selectman Bond, the Board

VOTED:  To ask the Town Manager to follow up with a complaint from Hillcrest Mobile Home Park.

Unanimous Vote.

 

ü      Correspondence was received from the Water Superintendent regarding outstanding water fees for roads that will be on the Warrant for acceptance.

 

It was noted that the roads do not become the Town’s until the Order of Taking is recorded after the Town Meeting vote.

 

ü      The Board was informed that Jay Catalano, 47 Hill Street, Lakeville, has been selected as Plumbing and Gas Inspector.  Mr. Catalano will begin on September 28, 2005, subject to completing the necessary requirements.

 

 

 

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

            VOTED:  To adjourn at 11:38 PM.

            Unanimous Vote.

 

 

 

 

                                                           

Diane Henault, Secretary

BOARD OF SELECTMEN