BOS - October 20, 2015

BOS - October 20, 2015

Postby Suzanne Kane » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:38 am

Board of Selectmen
October 20, 2015
Municipal Center Resource Room

7:00 PM

• Call to Order
• Pledge of Allegiance
• Chairman’s Announcements
• Citizen’s Forum

7:05 PM
1. Hearing: Change of License Type – Sokol Gymnastic Club, Inc.

2. Meeting w/Strategic Budget Committee

3. Good Energy – John O’Rourke

4. Senior Work Off Program – Proposed Change

5. Request Sign Waiver – High School Sign

6. Sign Special Town Meeting Warrant

7. PILOT Consultant Contract

8. Octoberfest Discussion

9. Minutes: Sept. 22, 2015, Sept. 22, 2015 Exec. Session

10. Administrators Report

11. Old/New Business

12. Executive Session – Litigation/Collective Bargaining

13. Adjournment
Future Agenda Items:

Nov. 3rd:
Pole Petition – Pine Street

TBD: Joint Meeting w/FinCom & School Committee; Set Tax Rate; Govt Study Discussion; Update Master Plan; Housing Plan/Housing
October 20, 2015
Approved - December 1, 2015

Call to Order
Mr. Hughes called the Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting to order at 7:00 PM in the Resource Room of the Municipal Center.

Board: Mike Hughes (Chairman), Tim Bonin, Hal Davis, David Cortese, Kevin Morse (Vice Chairman), Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Suzanne Kane (Administrative Assistant)
Strategic Budget Committee: Paula Brouillette (Chair), Pamela Holmes, Sherry Zetlan, Norm Yvon (School Superintendent), Cortney Keegan (School Business & Operations Manager)
Sokol Gymnastics Club: Randy Manyak, Roger Manyak, Paul Yacino
Other Staff and Citizens: Jeanne Lovett (Finance Director), Brett Argall, Mitch Cohen, Bob Flinton, John O’Rourke (Good Energy), and other citizens.

• Pledge of Allegiance

• Chairman’s Announcements (00:27)
There were no announcements.

• Citizen’s Forum (00:32)
No citizens came forward.

1. Hearing-Change of License Type, Sokol Gymnastic Club, Inc.
In the packet is an Alcoholic Beverage License application, a Petition for Change of License, a newspaper article and related materials and correspondence.
Mr. Bonin recused himself. Ms. Kane stated that the Sokol Gymnastic Club is requesting to change their license from a club to a general on-premises license. The application is complete, accurate and within all guidelines. Mr. Yacino and Mr. Randy Manyak joined the meeting. Ms. Kane said that she spoke with Renata Thomas, Assistant Director of Operations at ABCC who said that the ABCC has not approved the Sokol Club’s officers and directors. Ms. Thomas suggested that Douglas hold on to this license and once the officers and directors are approved, Ms. Kane can mail the license to ABCC.
Roger Manyak asked if the Sokol Club was required to put in a sprinkler system if this license is approved. Mr. Hughes said that the license itself does not trigger the installation of the sprinkler system. Mr. Guzinski stated that the Fire Chief would make that decision, and it was suggested that the Sokol Club set up a meeting with Fire Chief Vinson. A discussion was held.
Mr. Yacino expressed Mr. Roger Manyak’s question that if this license change is approved, would the club be able to revert back to a club license if they are unable to generate revenue and are unable to afford to install a sprinkler system if one is required? Ms. Kane does not see any reason why they would not be able to change back to a club license, however they would have to go through the same process again with ABCC.
Mr. Morse made a motion to approve the change in liquor license for the Sokol Gymnastic Club, Inc. as presented, contingent upon approval of the officers and directors by ABCC. Mr. Davis seconded the motion. All-Aye.
Mr. Bonin rejoined the meeting. Mr. Randy Manyak and Mr. Yacino left the table.

2. Meeting with Strategic Budget Committee (10:23)
In the packet are “Strategic Budget Committee Findings and Recommendations”, FY12-FY16 Revenue Histories and other related materials.
Members of the Strategic Budget Committee joined the meeting. Mr. Cortese and Mr. Guzinski are also members of this committee. Ms. Brouillette called the meeting of the Strategic Budget Committee to order at 7:12 PM.
Ms. Brouillette gave an overview of the work the committee has done. They worked on developing a five-year budget. They looked at the budget history over the past five years. They made some assumptions going forward. They found a $2 million deficit going into next year with the potential for a $5 million budget gap going five years forward, just keeping services level. It is primarily a revenue problem. Fifty percent of their revenues have grown less than 1% per year since 2009. Based on conversations with Rep. McKenna and Sen. Fattman’s Chief of Staff, State revenues will continue to increase less than 1% for the next five years.
At a local level, the cuts have been incremental and there is little left to cut. There have not yet been major departmental shutdowns. There is no provision for funds for the Capital Plan in this $5 million deficit.
One short-term goal is to continue puting pressure at the State level to understand their lessening of support for local education.
A long-term goal is to leverage the loss in State revenues to get some assistance with infrastructure funding for economic development. Ms. Brouillette also suggested that the charge of the Strategic Budget Committee be continued in order to plan for the following five years. She feels membership on the committee should be expanded.
Ms. Brouillette urged the BOS and the Town to get serious about economic development and develop a plan with deliverable goals. Infrastructure is the biggest obstacle. Developers do not want raw land.
Other short-term goals would be to increase local fees and increase the tax levy (Proposition 2.5 override). The next step in looking at this plan would be how to implement the recommendations.
Mr. Morse has reservations regarding a Proposition 2.5 override, i.e. putting additional funds into broken budgets. Raising the tax rate and losing services would decrease some of Douglas’ appeal. Mr. Morse feels that economic development has been met with much resistance from the public. Worcester Business Development Corp. (WBDC) has not come back with a plan, and he does not feel they are a good fit for Douglas. Mr. Morse suggested spending money for a professional grant writer. He agrees the Strategic Budget Committee needs to stay in place. He feels all committees should work together as a group and bring in citizens at large.
Ms. Brouillette feels going forward, the Town needs a short-term plan with deliverables. Expenses have been primarily due to increases in health insurance costs and unfunded State mandates at the school level. She feels an override would define what type of town Douglas chooses to be, and the public would need to decide whether or not to fund themselves. A discussion was held including business vs. municipal budgets, taxes, services, and a history of Douglas.
Brett Argall, 3 Royal Crest Drive and a member of the Finance Committee, urged a multi-pronged approach to the budget solution.
Jim Saviano, 124 Wallis Street feels a different type of resident is attracted to a Town with outstanding services vs. low taxes. Mr. Saviano would like to see a comparison of Douglas’ tax rate vs. other towns in the Blackstone Valley. Mr. Guzinski stated that Douglas is in the middle of that range for towns in this vicinity.
Mr. Saviano said that back in the 70’s, a study was done by the Planning Board that showed that every family that moved into Douglas cost the Town more in services than they paid to the Town. He suggested performing a survey of the community. He said that the Town needs to communicate to the community more effectively about the problem and the possible solutions.
Mitch Cohen, 25 Marilyn Drive is in favor of economic development, but does not feel it is realistic that it will solve the $5 million deficit on its own. He stated that businesses will not want to establish themselves in towns that decimate their services. It would be beneficial for the BOS to ask the Town Administrator and Finance Director to begin the process of figuring out what the budget and services will look like next year with no override and no increases in revenues and disseminate that information now. Mr. Morse is open to suggestions as to how to do that. He stated that multiple attempts are made to inform the public. A discussion was held.
Ms. Brouillette suggested forming a committee to create and present meaningful data for the public in a State of the Town address.
Kelli Grady, 55 Southeast Main feels there is a big difference between hearing about a Proposition 2.5 override and hearing that the library is going to close and/or parents need to pay for school transportation. She likes the idea of State of the Town.
Jillian Carneiro, 72 Riedell Road, feels every meeting goes in circles. A Proposition 2.5 override would need everyone on board, and it has been very difficult to get people involved in fundraising for extracurricular activities. The community needs to work together. Mr. Guzinski stated that, from his standpoint, the school and Town have worked well together for years to work on the budget problem.
The Strategic Budget Committee was adjourned at 8:25 PM and the BOS called a recess and reconvened at 8:35 PM.

3. Good Energy (1:25:08)
In the packet is a Petition for Approval from the DPU and related materials.
Mr. O’Rourke joined the meeting. He stated that the Douglas plan passed the Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) approval process in 2.5 months along with 23 other aggregation plans. The next step is to go out to bid, hopefully this Friday. Those bids should come back November 10, 2015. Representatives from each town will accept or reject those bids. Once the contracts are accepted, letters will go out to the residents on basic services and they can either accept or reject the aggregation. They do not need to take any action to be part of the program.
Mr. O’Rourke described the positive aspects of energy aggregation, which result in a reduced rate from National Grid, which will result in savings for individuals in the Town, unless they have already contracted with a competitive supplier.
Mr. Guzinski recommended that the BOS appoint him as the representative for Douglas at the bid opening. Mr. Cortese will serve as alternate.
Mr. Davis made a motion to authorize Michael Guzinski as the primary representative and David Cortese as alternate to go to the bid opening on bid day to accept or reject the contract. Mr. Bonin seconded the motion. All-Aye.
Eric Foley, 68 Pond Street asked how this program differs from him going online and getting a different rate. Mr. O’Rourke replied that Mr. Foley would be dealing on a 1:1 basis. Good Energy is going out with 215,000 households.
Mr. Saviano asked if people with solar panels could be part of the program. Mr. O’Rourke replied that the portion of energy obtained from National Grid could be part of the program.

4. Senior Work Off Program-Proposed Change (1:40:48)
In the packet is an outline of Chapter 59, Section 5K, a letter from Mr. Flinton dated 8/10/15, and related materials.
Mr. Guzinski stated that he was approached in August by Mr. Flinton regarding a change through local acceptance of the Senior Tax Work Off Program. The Town has accepted the provision for the program, however currently it is a credit maximum and Mr. Flinton has requested that the Town accept an hourly maximum provision (125 hours). This item is an article on the draft Special Town Meeting warrant. Mr. Flinton spoke in favor of the change.

5. Request to Sign Waiver-High School Sign (1:45:17)
In the packet are the relevant sections of the Sign Bylaw, a memo from Michael Guzinski dated October 15, 2015, a sign design, photos and related materials.
Mr. Guzinski stated Mr. Saviano and the athletic boosters are attempting to get a 33 sq. ft. sign attached to the scoreboard at the high school to advertise a major supporter of the sports programs. The sign bylaw limits the square footage to 32 sq. feet. The bylaw does allow the BOS to approve a waiver to the size limitations. The School Committee has approved the placement of the sign. Neil Mitchell has approved the safety of the sign.
Mr. Morse made a motion to approve the waiver and placement of the sign on Town property as presented. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. All-Aye.

6. Sign Special Town Meeting Warrant (1:50:05)
In the packet is the Special Town Meeting warrant.
Mr. Guzinski reviewed the draft and asked the BOS to have a special meeting next Tuesday night for one topic in order to finalize the warrant. There are 13 articles on the draft warrant. The first is the report of the Strategic Budget Committee. Article 2 is for two prior year bills. Article 3 is for FY2016 Budget Transfer and Amendments, including increasing BOS expenses by $15,000 for the brokerage fee for the post office lease agreement ($10,000) and PILOT consultant fee ($5,000), bringing the Ambulance Wages budget back up to anticipated levels, unanticipated Special Education costs, and decrease in school transportation costs. Article 4 is an insurance funds transfer related to the water infiltration claim at the intermediate elementary school. Article 5 is to close out an old capital project for which the scope has been fulfilled. Article 6 is a transfer to the OPEB account. Article 7 has to do with a transfer for an insurance claim to the School Dept. to replace items that were damaged in the claim. Article 8 is a transfer from Free Cash to Stabilization for the ambulance payment. Article 9 is the article for the Senior Tax Work Off Program. Article 10 amends Article 8 of the Annual Town Meeting for unanticipated environmental costs relating to the work at the Municipal Center. There is no longer a working boiler for the building due to the recent fire. Insurance will be covering the cost of the temporary boiler. Article 11 is to establish the PEG Access and Cable Related Fund. Article 12 is to see if the Town will pay for a consultant for grant writing and to assist in economic development for the Town. Funds remaining from the sale of Town-owned property could be used to hire a consultant. Discussion of this article will be on the agenda for the October 27, 2015 meeting. Article 13 is to accept a gift of 5.49 acres on Martin Road bordering the school property.

7. PILOT Consultant Contract (2:12:30)
In the packet is a memo from Michael Guzinski dated 10/15/15, a proposal from Michael Daley dated 10/9/15 and related materials.
Mr. Guzinski reviewed the credentials of Michael Daley of Financial Advisory Associates (F.A.A.) to advocate for Douglas with the State. Mr. Daley acted as Interim Town Accountant prior to Ms. Lovett. The proposal has a cap of $4,650 for his contract.
Mr. Cortese made a motion to approve and authorize Mr. Guzinski to authorize the PILOT Consultant Contract. Mr. Davis seconded the motion. All-Aye.

8. Octoberfest Discussion (2:15:20)
Mr. Morse would like the BOS to meet with the Octoberfest Committee and Police Chief Patrick Foley regarding two concerns: relocating Octoberfest off of Main Street, potentially into Gleason Court near the schools due to traffic concerns, and the manager of the Xtra Mart is concerned with people tampering with the fuel tank vent covers and foot traffic in the lot detracts from her business. Another complaint from a downtown business arrived today. It was decided to place this discussion on the agenda for a future meeting.

9. Approval of the Minutes (2:18:56)
September 22, 2015: Mr. Bonin made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 22, 2015 Board of Selectmen meeting as presented. Seconded by Mr. Davis. All-Aye.
September 22, 2015-Executive Session: Mr. Davis made a motion to approve and retain in their entirety the minutes of the September 22, 2015 Board of Selectmen Executive Session meeting as presented. Seconded by Mr. Cortese. Aye-4, Mr. Bonin abstained.

10. Administrator’s Report (2:19:40)
Mr. Guzinski stated that there is a judge’s decision that the Cedar Street Bridge is to remain open to the public as a public way until the conclusion of litigation.
Mr. Guzinski stated that a routine State inspection of the Manchaug Street Bridge found extensive corrosion under the bridge and the load capacity has been reduced. This bridge is owned and maintained by the Commonwealth. MassDOT has indicated that the superstructure needs to be fully replaced. With funding availability, the State does not see that happening for another six years. Mr. Guzinski has told them that that is not acceptable. Mr. Guzinski has a meeting scheduled with MassDOT later this week to discuss the situation. Mass Highway is in the process of putting together a detour map and putting up detour signs. Mr. Guzinski has informed the State senator and representative.
Mr. Guzinski stated that there was a fire incident in the boiler Monday in the municipal center which caused the building to close. Frank Rounds Company is installing the temporary boiler and it should be up and running by Thursday.
Mr. Guzinski stated that the Denis Leary Foundation will be purchasing a $15,000 CPR machine for the Fire Department. Mr. Guzinski thanked Chief Vinson and Joe Avellino for their efforts.

11. Old/New Business (2:25:52)
Old Business: There was no old business.
New Business: Ms. Lovett thanked all the departments. The Dept. of Revenue has certified the Free Cash at $1,123,522. She cautioned everyone to look at the story behind the numbers. She spoke about how that number came about. She feels FY15 will close out well.
Mr. Guzinski and Ms. Lovett explained how the School Dept. budget works.

12. Executive Session – Collective Bargaining (2:35:53)
Mr. Cortese made a motion at 9:46 PM to go into Executive Session for the purpose of litigation and collective bargaining and to return to regular session for the purpose of adjournment. Mr. Bonin seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote: Tim Bonin – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Mike Hughes – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.
Mr. Morse made a motion at 10:00 PM to return to regular session for the purpose of adjournment. Mr. Cortese seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote: Tim Bonin – Aye, Dave Cortese – Aye, Hal Davis – Aye, Mike Hughes – Aye, Kevin Morse – Aye.

13. Adjournment (2:38:08)
Mr. Morse made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:00 PM. Mr. Bonin seconded the motion. All – Aye.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Suzanne Kane
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 2:01 pm

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