BOS - February 15, 2000

BOS - February 15, 2000

Postby Suzanne Kane » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:58 am

Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes
February 15, 2000

1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:30PM. In attendance, Betty Therrien, Ron Forget, Mark Bloomfield, Tom Navaroli, Rob Guiou, and Norm MacNeill. Also in attendance: Carol Gogolinksi, Hal Davis, Paul Peterson, Karl Kildahl, MMA Consulting Group, DSS – Chris Gardella, Paula Brouillette, Mitch Cohen, Derek Brown, Tom Mattson, Tony Gressak, Bob Josey, Buff Therrien, and Water/Sewer Commissioners.

2. Economic Development Commission: 6:30PM-7PM
• Digital Systems Services, Inc. – Tax Increment Financing Proposal
DSS is looking to move from Hopedale to Douglas and would like to take advantage of a possible TIF agreement. Karl Kildahl from the Massachusetts office of business development spoke with the EDC and Norm MacNeill last week. In order for the project to be certified, DSS would need to increase income to the locality and increase employment, preferably from Douglas, but hired from the ETA. The Town would need to commit to a 5-10 year TIF and once the project is in the final stages of certification, the board would need to sponsor a TIF at the Annual Town Meeting.

The property is located on Rte 16 near Kingdom Hall. DSS intends to increase employees by one a year. It will be a clean business, no heavy traffic, and would consist of an office and warehouse without any real “storefront”.

The Board discussed its interest in working on a TIF and sponsoring it at the Annual Town Meeting. It also authorized the EDC to negotiate a TIF agreement with DSS. Once the EDC comes to agreement with DSS, they will need to present it to the Board. Traditionally, the company makes a first offer and the front end is usually loaded with the TIF being the highest at the beginning. The EDC should get back to the Board by Mid-March.

• Charge to the Commission
The Board directed the EDC to put something together and bring to the Board. Ron Forget voiced his support of the EDC. Discussion ensued about how to bring more business into the Town. Carol Gogolinski brought up the need to streamline the permit process. Ron Forget brought up the need to look at zoning districts. The EDC needs to educate the community about the benefits of businesses.

3. MMA Consulting Group – Management Study: 7:00PM – 8:00PM

Bill Melia and Mark Morris of the MMA Consulting Group were one of three consulting groups to respond to the request for a management study. The purpose of meeting tonight is to make sure everyone understands the expectations.

Betty Therrien said the motivation, as she understood it, was that while going through the budget process last year several employees wanted pay increases. In response to that, the Town did comparisons with comparable towns. The other motivation was to see whether or not we are overlapping: are there too many employees? Also because of the schools, the Town needs a stronger financial team.

Ron Forget said it should help to determine whether or not a full-time planner is needed and define deficiency/efficiency. The Town needs to answer: Are there any deficiencies in service? Currently, there is no professional support for planning or conservation.

MMACG has agreed to also look at the Fire Department by talking to Chief Gonyor and Linda Nadeau, etc. Then, they will give their recommendations to the Board. It will be their view looking from the outside.

The management study will consist of individual interviews with the Municipal employees; MMACG will look at annual reports, budgets, building permits, new construction, etc. Then, they will come back to the Board with a draft and then a final report.



4. Water & Sewer Commissioners – 8:00PM

With the ballot coming up, there is a need to educate the people. The Ballot is for design work. The treatment plant needs to be upgraded because state regulations are becoming stricter. The Commissioners feel that it is important to make people understand that one way or another they will need to spend money on the treatment facility. It is not intended to extend to residents; it is really for an extension to the commercial property on Rte 146 and a forecast for flows. The treatment plant needs to renew its permit this year and chances are it will be required to lower its levels and discharge. Therefore, there is an eminent need for increasing the size of the plant. Tom Mattson will meet with the Commissioners to put something in the paper about the ballot with an emphasis on why the plant needs an upgrade.

5. Capital Planning Committee – Policy Discussion

Paula Brouillette discussed where the Town was in the capital plan process. The Committee is focusing on a few projects this year. For FY01, the committee is looking at a 2-5% of the budget for the funding level. The Committee will work to prioritize very carefully up to $200,000+. The Committee will meet with department heads during their next few meetings to go over capital improvements. Then, they will meet with Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen to finalize before the Public Hearing. The Committee will also look at major projects like the schools. The Committee plans to work with the School Committee to develop a plan and open discussion up. The Committee needs to come to some agreement on how to handle projects from now on. There is hope to adopt a Capital Plan at a May 1st Special Town Meeting. The Committee plans to prioritize requests, have a plan, and ensure 50% of membership of committee are department heads. The Committee will be responsible for looking at an overall picture. The committee does not want to slow down process.

6. First Refusal Right – Manchaug

If the Board indicates a wish to acquire the 25-acre parcel on Manchaug Norm MacNeill said he could get a verbal appraisal by the 22nd, followed by a written report.

Town Counsel says that the Town doesn’t need to have funding or an independent appraisal. The Town just needs to indicate the purchase will be made for the full market value, appropriate the funds at the Town Meeting, and pass debt exclusion. The expiration date is the 23rd and on or by that date the Town needs to send notice to all parties and record the deed. The appraisal will cost about $2700 for the 25 acres and will be appraised at highest and best use for the zoning of the land. The Board decided to hold off any further until the next meeting.

7. Snow Removal Petition – Preservation Park – Discussion on whether to place on 2/22 Agenda

The petition submitted is deficient. However, it was plowed once and then sanded by authorization of Town Counsel. The Highway Department should suspend plowing until the petition is accepted.

Rob Guiou made a motion, seconded by Ron Forget, to approve the petition pending the four signatures that would complete the petition. Vote Unanimous.

8. FY01 Budget

Norm MacNeill asked the Board if there was anything else they want included in the budget. Norm increased Town Counsel due to the increased activity. He also increased the annual report and money for mailings.

• New Positions
A new position of Assistant to the Executive Administrator was presented to the Board. If the Board has interest, Norm MacNeill will bring financial information to them. The Board agreed Norm should move ahead and gather the financial information. Ron Forget asked that Norm’s responsibilities be outlined in relation to this new proposed position. Two other positions were presented: Engineer and Planning/Conservation Agent. Financial information is also needed for these positions.

• Selectmen’s Budget
To be further reviewed later.

9. Review of 1999 Goals

The Board discussed granting the incentive bonus for the first year of contract. The Board agreed about the need to restructure the goals for next year.

10. New Business

Channel 4 News contacted Betty Therrien about interviewed at the school tomorrow. Someone contacted them and led them to believe the Selectmen were not in favor of the school.

A letter went out regarding Cellco which increased the request.

Both Vecchione and Niedjalik are appealing in court for their individual issues.

11. Adjournment

At 10:48PM, Rob Guiou made a motion, seconded by Tom Navaroli, to adjourn, Vote Unanimous.
Suzanne Kane
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