BOS - November 30, 2004

BOS - November 30, 2004

Postby Suzanne Kane » Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:06 pm

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
November 30, 2004
Approved December 21, 2004


1. Call to Order:

Madame Chairman Shirley Mosczynski called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm. In attendance: Paula Brouillette, Rich Preston, David Furno, Executive Administrator Michael Guzinski, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane. Edward Therrien absent.

Other Staff: Town Accountant Rich Mathieu.

Michael Guzinski stated he had a couple of items to go over before they get started.
• School Building Committee: Michael Guzinski reported that it was brought up at the last Finance Committee meeting about sending a letter to the School Building Committee inquiring when the last invoice is expected to come in for the School project. Shirley Mosczynski asked if the letter should go to the School Committee or the School Building Committee. Michael Guzinski suggested sending it to the School Committee and courtesy copy the School Building Committee. Paula Brouillette stated the letter should say, “It’s important to the FY05 budget”. The Board concurred.
• BAN: Michael Guzinski reported that the Town Treasurer Sharon Brotherton is asking the Board to sign the rollover BAN (Bond Anticipation Note) for the Chamberlain property which is due in January – just to make sure the loan is extended. Consensus of the Board to sign the BAN.
• MMA Annual Conference: Michael Guzinski reminded the Board that the MMA’s annual conference is coming up in January. The deadline for early registration is December 8th. Michael Guzinski stated he also needs to know who would like to attend the MIIA luncheon. He will be sending out the notice next week and plans to attend himself.
• Bill from Mirick O’Connell: Michael Guzinski reported that the office received a letter from Mirick O’Connell, Attorneys at Law, dated November 11, 2004, re: Town of Douglas (the “Town”). Michael Guzinski stated Mirick O’Connell is the Schools Counsel, the bill is in regards to the audit the Board is doing. Michael Guzinski spoke with Town Counsel and he stated it is customary for the Town to pay the bill.

2. Tax Classification Hearing with Board of Assessors:
In the agenda is a letter to the Board of Assessors, courtesy copies to the Board of Selectmen, from the Department of Revenue, dated November 18, 2004, re: Notification of Certification; FY05 Classification Hearing; a Department of Revenue Bureau of Accounts Classification Tax Allocation for Douglas; Hearing Announcement from Cable; fax to T&G Legal Ads, from Suzanne Kane, dated November 22, 2004, re: Legal Ad; and copy of the ad. Shirley Mosczynski reported that the classification hearing was rescheduled to December 7th due to a glitch in the newspaper ad – it had the incorrect date.

3. Executive Session – Labor Contract Negotiation:
Rich Preston made a motion to go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing strategy and preparing for negotiations with non-union personnel. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. Paula Brouillette – aye, Rich Preston – aye, Shirley Mosczynski – aye, David Furno –aye.

Rich Preston made a motion to come out of Executive Session at 8:22 pm for the purpose of returning to regular session. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. Paula Brouillette – aye, Rich Preston – aye, Shirley Mosczynski – aye, David Furno –aye.

4. Discuss Town Building Re-use:
In the agenda is a memo to the Board of Selectmen, from Rich Preston, dated March 1, 2004, re: Adaptive Reuse of Town Buildings, Timeline/Status. Rich Preston stated that in 2000 he was elected to the Board of Selectmen. He noticed a problem with Town buildings and started working on them. There have been many meetings to address the issues but he does not feel the Board has worked collectively towards long term planning and adoptive use of the buildings. Rich Preston went over the memo which gave a timeline and status of current, unused town space. Referring to the “Town of Douglas – Facilities Audit and Master Facilities Plan”, prepared by C&R Rizvi, dated March 30, 2001; Rich Preston stated there was supposed to be a second part that was not done due to funding. Last spring the Board had past Administrator Ken Mahony do an in-house survey on space needs where it was determined that additional space is needed. Rich Preston reminded the Board that they then had the School Committee come in to discuss space needs but did not get definitive information from them in terms of long term commitments. Rich Preston stated that now that Michael Guzinski is on Board he has asked to have the issue brought up again. Shirley Mosczynski confirmed the second part of the study was not done due to funding; also the planning of buildings was stymied due to funding.
• Old Elementary School: Shirley Mosczynski stated that money was put into the Old Elementary School and now it sits. She has heard that the Housing Authority is interested but they can’t do any thing because they still don’t have their appointment from the Governor. Rich Preston going over the improvements to the Old Elementary stated it’s time to move on it – there is plenty of need. Rich Preston pointed out that there are two 40B proposals – the Old Elementary could be used as housing. He has also talked about bringing in goods and services to the Town. Rich Preston stated there seems to be no end of potential uses. He stated the Old Elementary School seems like a great place for a Municipal Center – they would have to justify the cost to the Town. Shirley Mosczynski stated the Library said that building could not be used as a Library because it could not hold the books. Rich Preston stated the Rizvi report says it’s the most structurally sound building. Paula Brouillette stated there are two things to nail down – funding and use of older buildings. Paula Brouillette stated that people want new buildings – does Douglas really want to invest in their old buildings? Shirley Mosczynski stated the Town voted $2.5 million to renovate the Old Elementary for a school but the School turned it down. Michael Guzinski stated it would be great for Municipal Offices but then what would you do with this building – turn it into a Senior Center? He agreed they need a plan. Rich Preston stated there is a need for more meeting rooms – each room in the Old Elementary School could be a meeting room. Paula Brouillette stated they now have significant space for for-profit programs (day care) – would it be profitable for these for-profit programs? Michael Guzinski thinking for the long term stated it’s a great building – they could be there for 50 years. Rich Preston stated in relation to the Old Elementary School and the parcel behind the Methodist Church it’s his understanding that the Methodist Church owns some of the land and the Town has the rest. He stated the Town has the part with hazardous waste – there are grants that can be used to help clean it up. He stated it could support anything they do with that building in terms of parking. Shirley Mosczynski stated the police are looking for room. Chief Foley wants to be next to the Fire Station where they would be centrally located. Michael Guzinski stated a new Police Station is on the Capital Plan for 2008. Paula Brouillette asked if it would be worth saying this is what they are going to go over they are going to spend X number of dollars and put a plan together for funding as well as taking everything into account. Shirley Mosczynski stated she feels if they did a plan with funding for the Old Elementary School the Town would go for it. Paula Brouillette stated that even short tem they could use one floor. She asked Michael Guzinski to work with Town Accountant Rich Mathieu to pull together and look at the debt schedule stating there is always going to be some part of the budget that is dedicated to debt. Rich Preston stated they need to recognize that space is needed – a Municipal Center or something is needed at the Old Elementary School and suggested they place a marker for financing and prepare a plan of development for the school. Michael Guzinski asked if they should have a public hearing in the spring and get feed back – use that as a spring board with Rich Preston’s discussion. Shirley Mosczynski stated they need to have feed back with the people in this building.
• Old Fire Station: Concerning the Old Fire Station, Paula Brouillette stated she feels the building it too beautiful a site to be used as storage – it would make a great park. Paula Brouillette stated that in Capital they will be looking at any maintenance issues that need to be addressed. She stated the only major function they haven’t talked about is the Highway Barn – that’s prime real-estate; is that the best place for the Highway Barn? She stated it’s probably in the worst shape. Rich Preston stated it’s a fiduciary responsibility to take care of the buildings – they don’t have the luxury of letting them go. They are assets that need to be taken care of or taken out of the inventory.
• Municipal Center: Michael Guzinski stated he found a memo to the Board of Selectmen from Ken Mahony going over his discussion with the School – they plan to stay up stairs until the new Elementary School is built in 5 to 8 years. There was discussion about having the School take back this building. David Furno stated they need to push the issue with the people – the people will push the School to accept it.
• Back to Old Elementary School: Shirley Mosczynski stated that if the Old Elementary School was used as a Municipal Center and the left over space was used for the School Superintendent, it would make for more continuity.
• Post Office / Senior Center: Paula Brouillette stated that there is another piece – she feels the Post Office should stay where it is. Their contract is about 10 years out – there is a parking problem; they have to solve that in order for the Post Office to stay. Rich Preston stated also the Senior Center was not designed with an adequate kitchen which prohibits them from doing certain programs. Paula Brouillette stated that if they want to keep the down town with activity they need to keep the Post Office downtown.
• Continued Discussion: Shirley Mosczynski asked if they thought it would help to have the School Committee come in again. Rich Preston stated there is new blood so they could try – not sure if they will get any further then before. Rich Preston stated he likes everyone’s ideas and the idea of a public forum but he wants to come armed – he would like to have a resolution that a reuse for the Old Elementary School must be found, placing a marker for financing, find funding, and finding a plan of development for the Old Elementary School. He wants to put a stake in the ground. Rich Preston stated he also thinks they should deal with the Municipal space as a parallel item. Shirley Mosczynski again stated she wants feed back from the employees. Rich Preston stated that Building Commissioner Adelle Reynolds had done an in-house review of space needs – maybe they could get some information from there. Consensus of the Board to adopt the resolution as proposed by Rich Preston. Rich Preston made a motion that the Board of Selectmen resolve the following: • That an adaptive reuse of the Old Elementary School shall be found, • That a financial plan shall be developed to facilitate any future capital expenditure on the Old Elementary School, and • that the Board of Selectmen shall explore all possible future uses of the Old Elementary School through research and the public hearing process, so as to ascertain the building’s “highest-best use” in serving the residents of Douglas. David Furno seconded the motion. All – aye. Rich Preston asked Paula Brouillette to think about how to go about a financial plan. Paula Brouillette stated she would if she can get the information from Michael Guzinski on the debt schedule. Shirley Mosczynski will talk to the Towns Fiscal Advisor Clark Rowell about the additional exempted capital projects. Paula Brouillette asked Shirley Mosczynski to ask Clark Rowell about the way it is now – he had about $10 million set aside – there may already be enough in there. Shirley Mosczynski reminded the Board that there is still open litigation. Rich Preston stated he will start putting something together for a public forum.
• Back to the Old Fire Station: Rich Preston stated the Old Fire Station is relatively inaccessible and asked if the Board was aware of the condition and asked if they want to do something with it. Shirley Mosczynski stated she thinks its use for storage is fine and the Board concurred. Paula Brouillette stated the Rizvi study needed to be done – building use she feels is community developed. Rich Preston agrees. Michael Guzinski showed the Board an aerial map of downtown Douglas. Paula Brouillette seeing the property stated that if the Old Elementary School was the Town Hall they could solve a lot of parking problems. Rich Preston stated that if they hold onto the Old Fire Station will need heat and the stairs need to be put inside the building. He asked if they have money to do that. Michael Guzinski stated he spoke with Building and Grounds Director Rick Colonero who stated the heat could be done in-house and it’s not expensive. He stated he is not sure about the stairs. Rich Preston stated he would like those minimal things done – have Rick Colonero get an estimate then they can put that building to bed. Rich Preston stated the Fire Chief talked about the future – there needs to be a satellite station. Shirley Mosczynski stated they just need to keep in touch with Capital. Paula Brouillette stated she feels the Capital needs to sit down with the Board of Selectmen – there are other projects like Martin Road. The Board needs information to know where their priorities are to make all projects move forward appropriately. Rich Preston stated he would like to set up a meeting for an update on this. He is looking at January 4th and would like to invite the School Committee.

4. Adjournment:
Paula Brouillette made a motion to adjourn at 9:50 pm. David Furno seconded the motion. All – aye.

Respectfully submitted;


Suzanne Kane
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