BOS - April 12, 2005

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BOS - April 12, 2005

Postby Suzanne Kane » Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:31 pm

Board of Selectmen
Workshop Minutes
April 12, 2005

Approved August 2, 2005


1. Call to order:
Madame Chairman Shirley Mosczynski called the meeting to order at 7:08 pm. In attendance: Paula Brouillette, Rich Preston, Edward Therrien, Executive Administrator Michael Guzinski, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane.

Other staff and citizens: Town Accountant Rich Mathieu, Town Treasurer Sharon Brotherton, Finance Committee Chair Pamela Holmes, Finance Committee members Gary Bolen, Thomas Rochon, Todd Bari, William Krauss, School Committee members Thomas Navaroli, Town Financial Advisor Clark Rowell, Betsy Choate, Kathryn Quinn, Christine Kearney and other residents.

Shirley Mosczynski read the press release for the Yacino Settlement which outlined the eminent domain taking of approximately 34 acres of land from Felix Yacino for the purpose of acquiring a site for constructing the Douglas Junior/Senior High School in September of 2000. The Board of Selectmen reached a settlement to avoid a lengthy jury trial, court costs, added interest, and legal fees. The court approved the settlement and has ordered the Town of Douglas to pay Mr. Yacino an additional $767,200 by April 15, 2005. This payment would bring the total purchase price to $71,157,200. Shirley Mosczynski reported that a check has already been cut. She stated the purpose of the meeting was to discuss various funding issues/options. She turned the meeting over to the Towns Financial Advisor Clark Rowell. Clark Rowell went over the options as outlined in his letter to the Board, dated April 6, 2005. The first option is to pay off the case from available funds and the second option is to borrow it. The logical option and the one he would suggest is to authorize the issuance of debt to pay the judgment. That would allow them to borrow up to 20 years. Rich Preston asked Rich Mathieu what his views were. Rich Mathieu stated there are pros and cons – money has been put into the stabilization and the impact on the Bond Rating weighs heavily. Clark Rowell stated he, Sharon Brotherton, and Rich Mathieu have talked and his recommendation is to issue it as debt – it’s a fair amount of money. He stated the stabilization fund was built up for capital projects and to offset the school project. He stated that at the same time and over time the Town would be looking at other projects and he feels there is a better option available. Rich Preston asked what Clark Rowell’s recommended period of amortization would be. Clark Rowell stated a stand-alone borrowing of $775,000 could be amortized over a period of 10 to 20 years. Over 10 years he believes the annual dept service would be an amount that could be absorbed inside the levy limit. Paula Brouillette stated that she was originally in favor of using stabilization; now she is in favor of going out for debt on this. There are a number of capital projects in the future plus a possible new school. Michael Guzinski stated this has been a difficult decision. It was a lose - lose situation. Typically in these types of cases, the jury does not look favorably on Municipalities. Pam Holmes stated articles are usually written to cover these types of situations – she asked could the additional cost be included under the original article. Clark Rowell stated that land article usually are written that way, it was unanticipated and possibly could be – they would have to ask DOR. Pam Holmes stated she would get the original article from the Town Clerk. Gary Bolen asked how there is a big gap between the two appraisals. Michael Guzinski explained that the Towns appraisal and Mr. Yacino’s appraisal had different figures. Jury’s usually split the difference plus interest, legal and expert fees. Had a jury decided it would have come out over this figure. Shirley Mosczynski explained that originally the Board offered fair market on the advice of the appraiser at the time. Betsy Choate of 7 Belvoir Avenue asked when the eminent domain was first started did Town Counsel properly instruct the Town. Shirley Mosczynski stated that she came in at the end of this – as far as she knows Town Counsel gave advice they should have given. Appraisal wise – its water over the bridge. If they had not settled they would have paid a lot more. Paula Brouillette stated moving forward and by what Town Counsel has advised; eminent domain taking is done at your own risk – it’s better not to go this route again. Sharon Brotherton reminding everyone why they put money into stabilization – to plan for the future. She stated everyone should be aware of capital projects coming down the line – a new Police Station, new Highway Barn, and a new School. Shirley Mosczynski reminded everyone they have not been able to do capital projects for a while. Sharon Brotherton stated the money in stabilization is best used in small increments. Kathryn Quinn of 11 Old Farm Road asked how much is in the stabilization fund. Sharon Brotherton answered 2.1 million. T& G Reporter Steve Foskett asked if there is a time line. Michael Guzinski stated there will be an article at Town Meeting. Shirley Mosczynski stated that she hopes by their first meeting in May they will be able to make a decision. Pam Holmes returned with the article from the Special Town Meeting, Wednesday, January 19, 2000. Clark Rowell looked over the article and stated he is not sure what DOR would say about this. He thinks they should have an additional School article and suggested having bond counsel look at them. Then go to DOR and see if they could amend the article to be excluded from proposition 2 ½ . Christine Kearney of 89 Walnut Street told the Board not to assume the normal tax payer knows that land taking has risks. Shirley Mosczynski stated it’s all a learning experience – everyone that was on the Board thought they were doing the right thing. She stated they needed to get the other article – hopefully for a vote by May 3rd . When asked what the rating by Moody is for Douglas, Clark Rowell stated Douglas is an A2, the highest is AAA.

2. Adjournment:
Paula Brouillette made a motion to adjourn at 7:55 pm. Rich Preston seconded the motion. All – aye.


Respectfully submitted,


Suzanne Kane
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