BOS - May 14, 2008

BOS - May 14, 2008

Postby Suzanne Kane » Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:18 pm

May 14, 2008

Call to Order

Mr. Guzinski called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM in the Resource Room of the Municipal Center.

Board: Mitch Cohen, Paula Brouillette, Michael Hughes, John Bombara, Scott Medeiros (Absent), Michael Guzinski (Town Administrator), Suzanne Kane (Administrative Assistant-absent)
DCR: James Comeau (Land Protection Program-Div. of Planning & Engineering), Robert O’Connor (Dir. of Land & Forest Policy), Bill Minor (Dept. of Fish & Game)
Other Staff and Citizens: William Cundiff (Town Engineer), Paul Cusson (Delphic Associates, LLC), Cathryn Welch (43D Permit Coordinator), Hal Davis (Economic Development), Rep. Paul Kujawski, Iqbal Ali (Afra Realty Trust), James Sullivan, Anthony Caner (Grubb & Ellis)

Reorganization (00:14)
Mr. Bombara nominated Michael Hughes for Chairman of the Board of Selectmen. Ms. Brouillette seconded the motion. All-Aye.
Mr. Hughes presided over the meeting as chairman from this point forward.
Mr. Hughes nominated John Bombara as Vice Chairman of the Board of Selectmen. No second needed. All-Aye.
Mr. Cohen made a motion to recess the Board of Selectmen meeting
until 6:30 PM. Mr. Bombara seconded the motion. All-Aye.

1. 6:30 PM Meeting with the Dept. of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) regarding Economic Development (02:57)
Mr. Hughes reconvened the meeting at 6:30 PM. Mr. Comeau, Mr. O’Connor, Mr. Ali, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Cundiff, Mr. Davis, Rep. Kujawski, Mr. Cusson and Ms. Welch joined the meeting. Mr. Guzinski explained that DCR is interested in purchasing a parcel of land along Rte. 16, which is within a larger parcel of land that the Town is interested in developing. Rep. Kujawski supports DCR’s proposal. He feels it is wise and the BOS should consider it. His role is to offer assistance to bring other agencies forward that would be helpful towards economic development and infrastructure additions.
Mr. Comeau gave the background on his involvement in Douglas and how DCR came to purchase 95 acres along Rte. 16 from Afra Realty Trust. He presented a map of the area with areas identified that DCR would like to protect. Mr. O’Connor spoke about the high quality of woods that is Douglas State Forest.
Mr. Cohen asked that DCR involve towns earlier in the process of taking land so that time is not wasted by the towns when looking at property to use to grow the tax base. Mr. Cohen stated that Douglas is growing in a way that does not bode well for the future finances of the Town. The tax base needs to be shifted in the direction of economic development. Mr. O’Connor replied that the Afra property would enhance the industrial park concept. Mr. Comeau has not done any studies to see where the water and sewer infrastructure are on the four sites for industrial development.
Rep. Kujawski stated that when the 146 Connector was being built, there was tremendous emphasis on creating economic development along Rte. 146. Mr. Davis stated the history of Douglas’ development of the tax base and the history of the Economic Development Commission.
Mr. Davis spoke about how the Town has been working very hard over the years to make both sides of 146 expedited permitting sites. Sites have been ranked, and the area being talked about today ranked first on the west end of Town as one of the two primary spots where the Town could broaden its tax base. He would like to work with the environmental constraints and still deliver tax revenue to the Town, such as allowing access through the property to get to the backland. A letter from Steve Pritchard and the differences between the current and past administrations was discussed. Mr. Comeau stated that they cannot grant an easement without a two-thirds vote of the legislature.
Mr. O’Connor would like to work with the Town to look at ways to economically develop the southern parcel of land within the environmental constraints. Rep. Kujawski suggested hosting a meeting between the Economic Development Commission and Secretary Dan O’Connell to discuss how the State can help Douglas with economic development on the east side of Town. Ms. Brouillette stated that Douglas needs to know concretely, what assistance the State can provide. Rep. Kujawski will contact Sec. O’Connell tomorrow. He asked the Board to send the Town Administrator into Boston so he can host the heads of agencies. He will invite Senator Moore to that meeting and have him come back to the Board with a presentation.
Tony Caner of Grubb &Ellis asked about the status of discussions with landowners. Mr. Comeau could not comment on discussions with specific landowners. Mr. O’Connor stated that “the overlays are what they are.”
Mr. Caner stated his opinion that removing the frontage on 146 significantly limits the options for economic development for the whole 400+ acres. Mr. O’Connor suggested creating an access. Sight line issues were discussed.
Mr. Sullivan stated that he is willing to give to the state park a strip of land on the back end of the land that connects to Webster.
Ms. Brouillette stated that an infrastructure analysis needs to be done to see if these sites could be economically developed. Mr. Comeau feels that DCR would also benefit from infrastructure improvements. Rep. Kujawski left the meeting at 7:30 PM due to a prior commitment.
Mr. Comeau stated that road access would have to be done post acquisition. Mr. Davis asked Mr. Comeau to work out the access situation. Mr. Comeau feels, in the weeks remaining in the fiscal year, he might be able to figure out if an access road would work, but he would not be able to figure out the economics of the road.
Mr. Caner asked Mr. Comeau if the DCR would grant temporary access to cross the property to do testing. Mr. Comeau feels there may be temporary permits available. Mr. Comeau asked for a reciprocal agreement to share information about plans for this land.
Mr. Comeau, Mr. O’Connor, Ms. Welch, Mr. Davis, Mr. Ali, Mr. Cusson, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Caner and Mr. Cundiff left the meeting at 7:43 PM.
Mr. Guzinski stated that he has worked with Cathryn Welch to draft a letter to the Governor asking him to assist the community in this issue and economic development. It was the consensus of the Board of Selectmen to see what the DCR and Rep. Kujawski come back with before the letter is sent.
Ms. Brouillette stated that they have never received a projection of what the development costs and the projected revenue are. She feels this information is necessary in order to make informed decisions.
Ms. Brouillette stated that the State has contracted with an individual who is looking at all the expedited permitting sites in the State. The number two site was the Pyne Gravel site.
Ms. Brouillette thinks the Board of Selectmen should discuss pursuing an option of having a resident only beach on Wallum Lake.

2. Adjournment (2:05:17)
Mr. Cohen made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:31 PM. Mr. Bombara seconded the motion. All – Aye.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Suzanne Kane
Posts: 613
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 2:01 pm

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