BOS - February 10, 2004 Workshop

BOS - February 10, 2004 Workshop

Postby Suzanne Kane » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:13 pm

Board of Selectmen
Workshop Minutes
February 10, 2004
Approved March 1, 2004


1. Call to Order:
Madame Chairman Shirley Mosczynski called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. In attendance: Paula Brouillette, Rich Preston, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane.

Other staff and citizens: Town Accountant Rich Mathieu, Finance Committee Chair Pamela Holmes, Library Director Ann Carlsson, Library Trustee Chair Elliott Chesebrough, Library Trustee / Library Building Committee members Betty Holden, Barbara Gjeltema, Deborah Froehlich, and Ramona Lachapelle, Library Trustee Timothy Martin and Joseph Biagioni, Library Building Committee Chair Merritt Tetreault, Library Building Committee members Ann Hackett Devlin, Capital Implementation Committee Chair Mitch Cohen, and T&G Reporter Steve Foskett.

• Chamberlain Land:
Shirley Mosczynski informed the Board that Town Counsel wants to know if the Board wants to have the survey done prior to closing. Paula Brouillette made a motion to wait until a perimeter survey is done prior to closing. Rich Preston seconded the motion. Rich Preston stated he would like to qualify that if it comes back and there are legal ramifications; they don’t have to close. Shirley Mosczynski stated that Town Counsel will bring this to the seller’s attorney and she will report back to the Board if there is a problem. On the vote: all –aye.

• Budget:
Town Accountant Rich Mathieu stated that the Finance Committee suggested jointly sending a memo to the School Committee; he would like to talk about setting parameters for the School Committee to set their budget. Rich Mathieu asked the Board to refer to his memo, dated February 3, 2004, re: FY05 Budget – Status Update. There was discussion about putting an additional School line for additional contributions. Finance Committee chair Pamela Holmes stated the local contributions look like required contributions; she cautioned on using wording and then putting a different meaning on it; it gets confusing. Paula Brouillette came up with the following formula:
How Funded
Chapter 70 '04 - $5,780; '05 - $6,152
Req’d Local Cont. '04 - $3,527; '05 - $3,604
Add. Cont. '04 - $445
Total '04 - $9,754; '05 - $9,757
Appropriation
Minus Sch. 19 '04 - $1,700; '05 - $1,600
Total School Appropriation '04 - $8,653; '05 - $8,740
Transportation '04 - $611; '05 - $583
There was discussion on the formula set up by the State and why it doesn’t work. Rich Mathieu explained that they are trying to come up with a formula that will tie the budget back to net school spending. Rich Mathieu asked the Board if they wanted him to do a joint memo with FinCom; if so he will work on it tomorrow with Pam Holmes and Paula Brouillette and have it ready by tomorrow for their approval. Shirley Mosczynski stated she thinks it can wait until their next meeting on February 17th. She stated the numbers have to be worked some more and they have the time. Pam Holmes stated she feels the numbers they came up with are accurate and she can not support the Schools proposed budget. Paula Brouillette stated the numbers they used came from the Department of Educations website. She stated the additional contribution will be the big conversation; where is it coming from, Prop 2 ½ or one time revenues. Paula Brouillette stated that what they are saying is the 8,740 and the 583 is what the Towns revenues can support. Rich Preston agrees with Shirley Mosczynski concerning the joint memo to the School Committee; they need to be careful and he is not willing to vote on a memo that has not been formulated yet. He is willing to wait for the memo from Rich Mathieu. Shirley Mosczynski stated she wants it by Thursday; she does not want to receive it as a handout. Pam Holmes stated that at the Finance Committee meeting the prior night, they had discussed sending a memo. She stated that all businesses look at revenues when planning a budget; the School did not do that last year. The only solution is to say, “This is what Douglas can afford”. Pam Holmes stated that the reality is the Schools budget is not affordable. Rich Preston stated that School budgets typically are not affordable, that’s what Prop 2 ½ is for; but there are communities recently where Prop 2 ½ did not pass and they had to lay teachers off. Paula Brouillette stated that Net School spending is what the State says is needed to educate students; the problem is when the additional appropriation goes from $455,000 to $2,000,000. Using one time revenues last year inflated the budget. Pam Holmes stated that maybe the School needs to look at the programs they are providing; what are we providing our kids that costs so much; maybe we are out of our realm. Rich Preston stated the question is who decides what is the scope of the realm is.

• Library Trustees and Library Building Committee:
Shirley Mosczynski stated the Library Trustees and the Select Board both wanted to get together after receiving notice of the Grant Award from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, from a press release dated January 15, 2004. Library Trustee Chair Ellie Chesebrough stated the grant award is for $1,778,970, the cost of the large plan (plan A) is 4.3 million. The Town would have to come up with 2.5 million; keeping in mind those were the costs a couple of years ago and could be higher. She stated the Library Trustees wanted to look at a smaller library (Plan B) that the State will not fund, one that will still cost the Town 2+ million. Ann Carlsson drew up operational costs and passed them out. Library Building Committee Chair Merritt “Pete” Tetreault read from a letter he received from architect Bob Farley, June 11, 2000 which he felt supported the building of a large library. Pete Tetreault stated Town Engineer Bill Cundiff had given him a population increase of 11,000 by the year 2010. He said the State gave a 20 year window for the library, once the library is finished, the Town can not seek funding for 20 years. Pete Tetreault stated that plan B will cost the Town 2 million dollars and plan A will cost the Town 2 million; it’s going to cost the same no matter which library they build. They just need to get land from Robert Josey if they build the big library. As far as the parking, Pete Tetreault stated he spoke with Webster Credit Union and they agreed to let the library use their parking spaces after hours, he also spoke with John Petraglia and got him to go along with the parking proposal. Peter Tetreault stated the lot is limited and the Trustees did not want to go move the site where there is ample parking. He stated he spoke with Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Associate Library Building Consultant Ann Larson; she would consider reducing the library size by 10%, but the Town must have a very good reason for the reduction. Peter Tetreault stated Ann Larson is willing to come out and talk; reducing the size by 10% will bring it down to the size of the original grant. Shirley Mosczynski asked if Ann Larson would reduce the size of the building with the same funding. Pete Tetreault stated that was his understanding. Library Trustee Ellie Chesebrough stated plan B has the addition behind the library and would not require acquiring land; that is one of the advantages; it would not interfere with the boundaries. One of the disadvantages it that there would be only one access to the parking area, patrons would go in and out the same driveway. Ann Carlsson stated exiting would be limited to a right turn only. She also stated they do not have the right-of-ways for plan A. She stated that Bill Cundiff said there are aquifer issues with plan A. She stated the library must be handicapped accessible and she feels responsible for plan B. She had gone to the Library Trustees and asked if plan A was reasonable and sustainable. Ann Carlsson stated Pete Tetreault is correct about getting a size reduction, but they will still have to fit it to a standard set by the State. With plan B, they are not tied to the standard. Ann Hackett stated they need to be careful; the State will not let you come back for 20 years after you build a facility. Pete Tetreault stated his recommendation has always been, ‘do not downsize’. Ellie Chesebrough stated they came to the Board to find out what the Town can afford. Deborah Froehlich stated it is hard to know what the Town needs; what is the best and cost effective plan for the Town, for growth that is realistic. Pete Tetreault stated that when the new High School was built it was built for future growth; today it is too big for the current enrollment. He stated he does not want to build a big library for the sake of building a big library; he is looking toward the future; it’s good business practice. He stated he wants a library that will serve the community for 20 years from now. Joseph Biagioni stated plan B is aesthetically pleasing. Ann Hackett stated she feels it would not look good if they rejected the 1.8 million. Betty Holden warned that the 10% reduction idea is not set in stone and you need a really good reason; it’s not a certainty. Pete Tetreault stated he has spoken to Ann Larson many time as early as last week; he feels its fact not a myth. He stated he does not feel the Library Trustees should make the ultimate decision. Pete Tetreault read the original Article passed at the March 14, 2001 Special Town Meeting which read the Towns People voted that the Library Building Committee and Library Trustees secure a grant. Paula Brouillette thanked everyone for coming. She stated she had concerns about using a site that is inadequate; there are traffic and expansion problems. She wondered if their choice to stay where they are causes problems. She stated she would have a hard time turning down 1.8 million. She suggested they look at the needs of the Town and figure out how to make it happen. The one driveway will become a problem as the Town grows. She would love to see the building saved however. Ann Carlsson stated there has been a lot of discussion on this. There was talk about using the old Elementary School but they could not get grant money. There was talk about putting a library in with the Schools, but they felt it would no longer be a ‘public’ library. Paula Brouillette stated she would rather have more than less. She stated she would like to know the circulation numbers. She would rather not say the Town can’t afford it, but would rather look at ways to make it work rather then assume it won’t. She stated she does not give a clear direction. Rich Preston stated that Towns are judged by their Schools and Libraries. Douglas has been the poor child. Rich Preston asked how the criteria was developed. Ann Carlsson stated the criteria came from Wisconsin; it was developed by a grant student who developed specific formulas. This many people you need this many tables, etc. Ellie Chesebrough stated they did not consider that ‘hot’ items do not need to be shelved. Rich Preston stated that it is not necessarily a bad thing that the library budget is growing and then asked what criteria was used for plan B. Ann Carlsson stated they just doubled it. Rich Preston asked what the consensus of the Trustee’s was. Ellie Chesebrough stated they felt plan B was manageable but they will do what everyone wants. Joseph Biagioni again stated they do not have the land for plan A; that’s a big deal. Pete Tetreault stated the single driveway in plan B is an issue with Police and Fire; there is concern how they would access the back of the building in an emergency. Joseph Biagioni agreed they need a second access. Capital Improvement Committee Chair Mitch Cohen stated given the limitations of the site; the fact that he is interested in seeing built the best building possible; should they change the site, or look at taking over the site next to them by using eminent domain. He stated that it is expensive, but maybe it’s the right way to go. He stated they need to think, what do you need to do to build the best library possible for the Town; it’s financially ‘stupid’ to turn down grant money. Mitch Cohen stated that if they can’t take the land next to the library they should probably build it some where else. Rich Preston asked where the Building Committee stands. Pete Tetreault stated he had four people resign; most of his members now are also Trustees. He stated if you took a vote now, it would be the smaller design, but if you walk down the street and ask the public they want the larger design. Rich Preston asked if they were ready to put together a proposal to present plan A. Ellie Chesebrough asked if they should give people a choice. Rich Preston stated he feels they should, they have until May 2005. Ellie Chesebrough stated she would rather come with a consensus on one plan. Pete Tetreault warned there is a time issue, matching funding must be met before getting the grant. Paula Brouillette asked if anyone has put together a phase I plan. Pete Tetreault stated Ann Larson will come out and help put a plan together. They asked Timothy Martin what his take on fund raising is since that is his line of work. Timothy Martin described the difference between fund raising for the private sector and a municipality. He stated he is used to the Trustees appointing a chair to the Building Committee. His major concern is that they are all together. Paula Brouillette stated that if plan A is the 20 year solution and it’s turned down; she doesn’t have a problem with it, but she would hate to go with the small one and in 5 years it’s too small. Ann Carlsson stated that Ann Larson told her that if they go with plan A – the goal should be the money. Ann Carlsson suggested they decide what they are doing, get the money, and resolve the issues. Paula Brouillette stated they need to use this time to put together a solid project plan, possibly by the Building Committee. Ellie Chesebrough stated Ann Larson told her that at some point the Building Committee dissolves; she asked Mitch Cohen (past School Committee member) how the School Committee did it. Mitch Cohen stated that the School Building Committee was reformed under the School Committee; which was not the right way, it should be under the Board of Selectmen. Paula Brouillette stated the Board of Selectmen has spoken about a Standing Building Committee; they hope to bring it forward in the next 6 months. She stated the Library would probably be the first project. Shirley Mosczynski stated there is no guarantee that they will get either plan; but they have to try because there is a need. She stated the possible 10% reduction fascinates her; she suggests having Ann Larson come out and look at the possibility. Pete Tetreault stated he intends on having her come out and meet with the Library Trustees and the Building Committee. Ann Carlsson stated she feels that should come after; they still need to get the Towns share first. Shirley Mosczynski stated she feels the Building Committee was charged with bringing a plan back to the Towns people, they have an obligation to bring it back to the Town for a vote. Betty Holden stated the Library Board of Trustees made them put that in Town Meeting in order to get a grant. Shirley Mosczynski again stated the Building Committee was charged with securing a grant and bringing a plan to the Town’s people. She stated that if she did not know what she does, and she was a tax payer, she would wonder what the Building Committee did with the money. Betty Holden agreed with Shirley Mosczynski. Ellie Chesebrough asked what time would be good to present a plan. Rich Preston asked if they planned to come to Town Meeting to give a report or were they looking for a decision also. Consensus was to look for a decision. Shirley Mosczynski stated that if the Town votes it down they at least have a back up plan and they should look at the 10% reduction. Ellie Chesebrough stated they are looking for direction; they only see the library were the Selectmen see everything else. Rich Preston made a motion to go forward with pursuing the larger library project, referred to as plan A as presented. Paula Brouillette cautioned the time line is very important. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye.

2. Adjournment:
Paula Brouillette made a motion at 9:15 pm to adjourn. Rich Preston seconded the motion. All – aye.


Respectfully submitted;


Suzanne Kane
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