BOS - January 23, 2007

BOS - January 23, 2007

Postby Suzanne Kane » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:11 am

Joint Meeting
Board of Selectmen & Finance Committee
January 23, 2007

1. Presentations on Proposed 5 Year Operational Plans

7:00 – Highway Superintendent

7:30 – Fire Chief

8:00 – Police Chief

2. Other Business

3. Adjournment
Board of Selectmen
Joint w/Finance Committee
Meeting Minutes
January 23, 2007
Approved March 6, 2007

• Call to Order:

Madame Chairman Shirley Mosczynski called the Board of Selectmen to order at 7:02 pm. In attendance: Paula Brouillette, Michael Hughes, Executive Administrator Michael Guzinski, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane. Mitchell Cohen and David Furno absent.

Madame Chairman Pamela Holmes called the Finance Committee to order at 7:03 pm. In attendance: Todd Bari, Thomas Rochon, John Bombara, Jerome Kocur, William Krauss, Gene Morin, James Roche, and Scott Medeiros.

Other staff and citizens: Fire Chief Don Gonynor, Police Chief Pat Foley, Highway Superintendent John Furno, Senior Center Director Alyssa Graveson, Outreach Coordinator Patrice Rousseau, and Tribune reporter Tom Mattson.

1. Presentations on Proposed 5 Year Operational Plans:

• Highway Superintendent: In the agenda packet is a letter from Highway Superintendent John Furno, received December 13, 2006, re: Douglas Highway Department 5 Year Operational Plan. Highway Superintendent John Furno went over the Highway Department’s 5 year plan outlining the current staff and his plans to add a General Foreman/Assistant Superintendent in FY10. He stated that they are busy during seasonal times, then they hire subcontractors in the winter for plowing and high school kids in the summer for mowing, etc. As the town grows and accepts more streets they will have more work. Mr. Furno explained that he has gone to the Capital Committee for a new Highway Department building. The building they are currently in was built in 1931; it is inadequate and poses safety risks. They are storing $5,000,000 worth of equipment outside due to space issues and lack of ventilation. Some of the trucks are 30 years old. They are looking to replace the payloader which is 20 years old. William Krauss asked what the time frame was for a new highway garage to which John Furno estimated 4 to 5 years – Capital just received the request. Michael Guzinski reported that the Capital Committee has received several request over the last few weeks – some from years past. Capital is waiting until the Building Use Study is complete. The Building and Facilities Construction Committee is putting an RFQ out now and hope to have a report back this time next year. The report will give Capital some guidelines for setting priorities, the best places to build those structures, and the best way to go about it. Paula Brouillette reported that an additional piece Capital is looking at is the Towns debt schedule – as debt drops off it gives them an opportunity to add projects. The Highway building has had the least done to it, is one constantly used, and is in need of assistance. Shirley Mosczynski reported that the Building and Facilities Construction Committee is currently touring Town buildings. John Bombara asked how long the equipment outside will last. John Furno stated the grader is outside because it is too big – takes the space of 3 trucks. He estimates that it will not last 5 years. He stated the backhoe will not last the year and it will run around $131,000 to replace. Pamela Holmes asked to see what he gave Capital and then asked if he sees any changes in his office that would necessitate an assistant. John Furno stated the person would be trained to take over in his absence – he does not see big changes in his department. Pamela Holmes then asked if he had a 5 year plan for road work and sidewalks. John Furno reported he has an aggressive maintenance plan – 80% is done in house. He has a road paving plan that needs a stamp of approval from the Board of Selectmen once he meets with them, and he has been working with Town Engineer William Cundiff on a side walk plan – they have at least a 5 year plan put together.

• Fire Chief: In the agenda packet is a letter to Michael Guzinski, from Fire Chief Don Gonynor, dated November 9, 2006, re: Manpower Requirements. Fire Chief Don Gonynor went over the Fire Department’s manpower requirements starting with a rundown of personnel which consists of full-time personnel, part-time call firefighters and on-call EMT’s. The 3 full-time personnel have Firefighter (FF) I & II certifications as well as EMT-Intermediates at the Advanced Life Support (ALS) level they are just under the Paramedic level. They cover Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm with one staff member working Saturday and Sunday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Currently they are having problems getting coverage. This means the ambulance is not properly covered – does not respond in a timely manner or does not respond at all. Chief Gonynor stated he is requesting a plan to bring more full time personnel into the department. Knowing the financial constraints on the Town and in order to achieve this goal he proposes to increase his staff from 3 to 7 personnel – adding 2 this year and 1 each the next two years. This will bring the Department to being fully covered 24/7. The number one reason for this is safety and the ability to supply the public. Chief Gonynor stated that the cost associated with this would be around $46,000 for the Fire Personnel Budget and around $46,000 for the EMS Budget. There will also be additional expenses for turnout gear, uniforms, and overtime which he estimates to be around $6,000.00. Chief Gonynor then went over some statistics to explain how he came up with this plan. He explained that Fire Services are run under the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). They set standards which Fire Departments achieve to meet – a paid On-Call Full-time department falls under Standard 1070. The standards set under 1070 are: • 1 Minute from initial dispatch of alarm (someone calls 911 and the call is dispatched within 1 minute). Douglas achieves this 90% of the time. • 4 Minutes for arrival of 1st respondents (a company of 4 men and 1 officer). • 8 Minutes for full fire suppression activity to start. Douglas achieves this 75% of the time. This is due to the fact that during the day with 3 on duty personnel and the call FF’s on the Highway Department they can come close to meeting these goals. During evenings and weekends they reach this goal 25% of the time because the call FF’s are not always available. The Standards for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) are: • 4 Minutes of arrival if EMS is supplied and 8 Minutes for ALS services. Douglas reaches this goal +90% of the time with the full time staff. Evenings they are under 30% people have to come from their homes. Also the week night shift is constantly swapping shifts and on occasion they have forgotten who was supposed to cover. Chief Gonynor and Deputy Chief John Furno end up covering then. Chief Gonynor went on to report that the number under the Standards for coverage of a Town for a full time Fire Department is 1 FF / 1,000 (population). On Call is 4 FF’s / 1,000. Douglas has a population of +8,000 which would call for 8 full-time FF and 32 on-calls. Douglas currently has 3 full-time and 12 on-call – they are not meeting that Standards. Chief Gonynor then went over the ’06 incident calls that made up 608 ambulance calls and 260 fire calls – a total of 868 calls. Of the 206 Fire calls; 30 times they advanced hose, engaged a pump and did fire compression. 48 times they advanced hose, engaged a pump, and did auto extraction or rescue. 20 times they had a hazmat situation. All other calls were good intent, false alarms, or nuisance calls. Of the 608 ambulance calls: 448 were ALS calls (73%) and 160 were Basic Life Support (BLS) (28%). 233 were during the hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (33%), 176 were during weekend days (28%), and 199 were from 5:00 pm to 8:00 am, (33%). Chief Gonynor reported that in his FY08 budget request he has asked for an additional $62,000 under the Part-time help for EMS, to try to cover the shifts. Last year he asked for $45,000 and it’s going to be tight. In the FY08 budget request he as also asked for an additional $62,000 for Part-time FF’s. That will give him a total of $107,000 for part-time and $100,000 for full-time. He stated he is not saying that if he has 2 full time FF’s that he will be ok – he is paying a lot for part-time staff and it’s not working. What this information tells him is that he needs to go into that full-time direction – this is what he is backing his figures on. Volunteers are not working anymore – other communities are having the same problem. In 2010 Chief Gonynor hopes to have enough staff to be independent and run 24/7 with on-call people. The Department will also be at the paramedic level – he is currently sending two people to paramedic school. He stated that when they do 73% of their calls at ALS level, they need to do it; adding the intercept service is also not working. Chief Gonynor reported they can bill $900.00 per ALS call and $550.00 per BLS call. He stated that he does not think the Ambulance Reserve Receipts will run the ambulance or fire totally – eventually tax dollars are going to have to help. He stated there are several options they could do, example: take the reserve receipts and put them into the General Fund. He cautions that if they do that, he would hope they continue to fund the ALS and Fire – it would be a shame if they used that money to fund something else and they lose the ALS/Fire Service. They can’t depend on Mutual Aid – it takes a long time to get here. He stated that what happened in Lancaster has cost cities and towns at an additional cost in insurance to carry riders for call and volunteer FF’s. It doesn’t seem financially responsible for the Town to carry $650,000 in premiums for call and volunteers when the State doesn’t carry that much for the Chief’s. They need to start thinking about paid professionals – it is no longer a volunteer service. Michael Huges asked how many time the ambulance doesn’t respond. Chief Gonynor stated he does not have the statistics for that but over the course of a year he estimates around a half dozen times another town will have to cover – usually he or John Furno will go out. He stated that a lot of times that will happen because the call came when the second ambulance is already out on a call. That does not happen now because the other ambulance is out of commission. The statistics for both ambulances being out at the same time was 32 times last year. Chief Gonynor stated that is a tough one to cover – coming up with 4 EMT’s. It’s not a good idea to have your Chief and Deputy Chief sitting in the back of an ambulance for a few hours in Worcester, leaving the Town unprotected. Chief Gonynor then went over the statistics for ambulance calls. Along with 32 calls both ambulances went out, 14 calls were Mutual Aid – another Town transported for Douglas; 16 calls Douglas responded for Mutual Aid; 12 calls were codes; 69 calls were chest pain; 48 calls were respiratory distress; 59 calls were falls; 39 calls were lift assists; 92 calls were motor vehicle; and 289 were miscellaneous calls. They also do Code Enforcement; adding another 500 inspection calls. William Krauss asked how many locations in town were impossible to get to in 4 minutes to which Chief Gonynor stated the area beyond the 600 block of North West Main Street and Joe Jenny Road. He stated the area around the reservoir is a problem because of the roads – they slow them down. Paula Brouillette asked how they get to ALS level. Chief Gonynor explained that the existing staff goes to the paramedic level. He reported that all new hires will be required to be at the paramedic level. Once all staff is assembled he will petition the state to change the license from what they currently have –Intermediate BLS. Their current level is ok for 5 years – the state would like to see them advance to intermediate level. Commenting on the information provided by Chief Gonynor, Paula Brouillette stated that if there is a change in the services currently being provided by any department, she would like to see information provided in their proposals. Chief Gonynor reminded the Board that the original proposal was signed off by the Board. He stated that the biggest expense for the Town to go to the ALS level is a $25,000 monitoring system plus drugs. However the increase to revenues could be $200,000 to $250,000. Pamela Holmes adding to Paula Brouillette’s comment stated they have always heard that once the Town gets to a population of 10,000, “X” will happen. This is important and the information needs to be part of the plan for the person signing off. William Krauss asked if the increase in the salary line includes 2 personnel and benefits. Chief Gonynor reported that it only includes the personnel – he does not know what the benefits are covered on the town side. He also reminded the Boards that his department decided to go Union – they are still in negotiations. Paula Brouillette stated that there is a strain to municipalities to provide services. This is an area they should look at regional services. She asked Chief Gonynor and John Furno what would benefit their departments as far as regionalization. Chief Gonynor stated he is one of the few Chief’s calling for regionalization – he feels it is where they should be going. 911 taught them that and they haven’t learned their lesson. They do the Mutual Aid if they need help with a fire or ALS calls. Chief Gonynor then told Paula Brouillette that she has a great platform with the 4 Town Group – they should bring in local Chiefs to sit down and talk. He stated everyone is in the same boat – they have to get away from call/volunteers. Paula Brouillette reported that is something the 4 Town Group is having conversations on. Replying to Paula Brouillette’s question on regionalization, John Furno reported that he has been working with Sutton Highway Superintendent Mark Brigham. There are grants for a salt shed that they are going forward with. They also have agreed to share equipment if needed – he is all for regionalization. Pamela Holmes asked Chief Gonynor what the revenue estimates were to which he estimated an average of $200,000 per year.

• Police Chief: In the agenda packet is a packet entitled “Douglas Police Department – Strategic Plan for a Safer Future”, received January 23, 2007. Handed out at the meeting were Record Analysis Reports. Police Chief Patrick Foley went over the Police Department’s 5 year plan sighting their goals to increase staff; decentralize law enforcement and investigative functions; provide education, professional and career development; planning, research and technology; apply for grant programs; partnership with neighboring police departments and agencies; and fiscal management. He stated that the big crimes in Douglas are vehicle accidents and domestic violence. Manpower has been an issue every year. Based on FBI Standards, Douglas should have 1.4 – 7.9 Officers / 1,000 population. His 5 year plan is to add personnel. He started this discussion 4 years ago – between FY08 and FY12 he plans to add 6 more full-time officers; 2 in 2007, 2 in 2010, and 2 in 2012. His goal is to have 18 full-time officers and himself. Chief Foley stated that some of his part-time dispatchers work for other communities, so he is limited with his coverage here – their full time job takes priority. Chief Foley reported that they have not reorganized the department in over 10 years. They may be the only department in the area without a Detective Unit – officers do their own investigations. He would like to create a Detective/Sergeant and establish a Traffic Officer position. Currently he has a quarterly resource officer at the school funded by a grant. He would like to create a full time officer for that position. He would also like to continue maintaining the DARE officer he has had for 12 years. In 1998 the state grant was eliminated – since then it has been funded through his office. Douglas’ DARE program is only in the 5th grade – there is a study that recommends it be in Kindergarten through the 12th grade. He might need a second DARE officer. Chief Foley stated that he would also like to continue the department’s involvement with the Regional Drug Task Force. Currently he has 3 officers assigned to it. Chief Foley also reported that since he has been in Douglas they have received over $500,000 in grants – they went back and found all the money they have not expended and upgraded their computer system and put lap tops back in the cruisers. The computers give them the ability to map statistics – see what areas of town are being targeted for particular crimes. Concerning training, Chief Foley feels that failure to train is a negative and he wants the best trained staff in the valley. On the topic of regionalization, Chief Foley reported it started with the Dog Officer they share with Uxbridge and Northbridge. He reported that there is a regional Accident Reconstruction Team out of the Rhode Island PD, a regional Crowd Control Unit out of Mendon PD, a regional Swat Team out of Charlton, and a regional Burglary Task Force out of the Connecticut State Police and Shrewsbury PD. They are moving towards regionalization. Concerning fiscal management, Chief Foley has a Capital Plan for a new building in 2011. The town has the land by the Fire Station. He hopes to have a proposal soon. They were supposed to go out in 2001 for designs but it keeps getting pushed back due to financial strains. Paula Brouillette asked why the Central Mass stats for officers / 1,000 population is 1.5 to 1.9. Chief Foley stated it could be financial reasons, the type of crime, etc. It averages out to 1.6 but he’s not really sure why. Speaking of manpower, Chief Foley reported that there were 121,000 visitors to the State Park last year – he is not sure if that represents vehicles or people. If it’s vehicles they should multiply that number by 3 or 5. Shirley Mosczynski stated that unfortunately, the state has cut personnel for the parks which hurts Douglas. Pamela Holmes asked how Chief Foley would use the additional officers. Chief Foley stated he would add full-timers and cut down on part-timers. In addition it would free up time for him to do more administrative work. Right now they are short staffed – one officer has been out almost a year due to an injury. He stated that the officers spend about 2 to 4 hours/arrest in the office.

On the subject of regionalization, Pamela Holmes reported that there was an article in the publication “City & Towns” on budget workshops. The Division of Local Services stopped having them for awhile but they are starting them up again. She stated that Northbridge is interested and Uxbridge has a need. If the Board of Selectmen are interested in hosting one the invitation has to come from the Board. She stated having a workshop may be a way to regionalization. Consensus of the Board to have Michael Guzinski set something up.

The Finance Committee continued their meeting in the Resource Room. The Board of Selectmen moved their meeting to the Selectmen’s office at 8:30 pm.

Michael Guzinski went over the following items:
• Vacation: Mr. Guzinski will be on vacation from January 26th to February 5th. He recommended the Board vote to appoint Shirley M. Mosczynski as acting Administrator in his absence to sign warrants. Paula Brouillette made a motion to appoint Shirley Mosczynski as acting Administrator from January 26th to February 5th. Michael Hughes seconded the motion. All – aye.

• Letter from Conservation: Mr. Guzinski received a letter from Planning/Conservation Agent Steve Zisk on behalf of the Conservation Commission requesting Conservation projects be submitted to the Sheriffs Office for next years work program. Mr. Guzinski reminded the Board that they already approved work submission for the Cemetery Commission, who were very pleased with the work done this year. Paula Brouillette made a motion to send a letter to the Sheriffs Office requesting work for the Conservation Commission along with the Cemetery Commission as presented. Michael Hughes seconded the motion. All – aye.

• Business in the Blackstone: Mr. Guzinski stated he is still reviewing the packet for the Business in the Blackstone. They have been anxious to meet with the Selectmen. He stated they are asking the Town to set general policies for drainage and storm water runoff. He feels it would be good PR for the Town. He will follow up after his vacation but he sees no problem.

• North Village – 40B: Mr. Guzinski reported that Attorney Jay Talerman is in the process of re-working the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to make it better for the Town. He stated the main issue is the crossing over wetland. They will have to go before Conservation. They are looking to set that the developer can not appeal to DEP on local decision from Douglas Boards. They will meet one more time then bring a draft MOU to the Board. Mr. Guzinski expects there will be nothing until after February 12, when Town Engineer William Cundiff comes back from vacation.

• Personnel Board: Mr. Guzinski reported that the Personnel Board voted to “Red Circle” all employees affected by the error in the compensation schedule. The Personnel Board would like to meet with the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee. Mr. Guzinski stated he is very supportive of the Personnel Boards action – he has heard no feedback since their meeting. He stated that most people feel it was the fairest thing to do. Mr. Guzinski stated he is looking at February 13th or 27th to meet.

• Skate Park Committee: Mr. Guzinski reported that he will be meeting tomorrow with the School, Highway, Town Engineer, and the Skate Park Building Committee to look at the lower parking lot of the Intermediate Elementary School for a proposed location of the skate park. They would eventually need the approval from the School Committee.

• ADA Report: Mr. Guzinski reported that he will be meeting with Building Commissioner Adelle Reynolds and Attorney Moreno tomorrow to go over the ADA information. The report should be done by the end of February.

• Town Counsel: Mr. Guzinski reported that Town Counsel Rich Bowen was scheduled to meet with the Board of Selectmen January 30th but had to cancel. He can come February 20th or the 27th. Consensus of the Board to look at February 27th at 6:00 pm.

• Letter from Secretary of State – Elections Division: In the agenda is a letter to the Board of Selectmen, from Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, dated January 18, 2007. Mr. Guzinski reported that the Board received a letter from the Election Division of the State concerning the 2010 Federal Census. With the number of people leaving the Commonwealth they are concerned that they may lose a Congressional Representative which could result in losing federal dollars. He recommended the Board designate Town Clerk Christine Furno as the Local Census Liaison to work with the representative from the Secretary’s Office. Michael Hughes made a motion to designate Town Clerk Christine Furno as the Local Census Liaison for the Town of Douglas. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye.

• Ambulance Bid Opening: Mr. Guzinski reported that the bid openings for the Ambulance will be this Thursday, January 25th at 2:00 pm. Chief Gonynor will look over the bids while Michael Guzinski is on vacation. After his vacation he and Chief Gonynor will bring a recommendation to the Board.

• Daylor: Mr. Guzinski stated he wanted Paula Brouillette to know that he is setting up a meeting with the Planners of the 4 towns. Daylor is supposed to give him a 1st draft of their report by Friday.

• Reserve Fund Transfer: Mr. Guzinski reported that the Finance Committee will be looking at a Reserve Fund Transfer of $10,000 for the Unemployment Account to cover personnel let go from the school.

• Eminent Domain and Lake Associations: Paula Brouillette stated she has concerns with eminent domain and the lake associations – giving them municipal power for eminent domain. She stated the Board of Selectmen looks out for the best interest of the Town where water shed groups have a narrow interest. Michael Guzinski stated those are good questions that were not explored. The other issue Sutton had is the lake association’s power to tax. He stated that Sutton does not want to utilize Town Counsel until after their meeting on February 6th. Shirley Mosczynski suggested they talk to Town Counsel Rich Bowen. She also asked if the Association was waiting for them to act. Michael Guzinski stated they have to wait for Sutton. Manchaug Pond Association is ahead of Whitinsville Lake Association. He explained that they are waiting for support from the Board before they file for legislation. Shirley Mosczynski asked if they had to have a town meeting article before it goes to legislation. Michael Guzinski stated he will look into it – most legislation wants town approval. Michael Hughes stated it would be interesting to see if there is a history of abuse with the eminent domain and asked if there was a way to dilute their power; do they have a way to veto? He feels their main purpose is for the dams. Michael Guzinski stated he will call Town Counsel Thomas McEnaney about use of eminent domain and abuse of it. Paula Brouillette stated she feels the other important thing to have included in the Act is the Town’s Treatment Plant and water flows – setting a minimum water flow for the treatment plant. Is it something they should put in a deed as ownership or in the Act? Michael Guzinski agrees it’s better in the deed – he will talk to Town Counsel. Shirley Mosczynski would also like Town Counsel to review the Act. Michael Guzinski stated the Manchaug Pond and Whitinsville Lake Associations are the same so he will send the Whitinsville Lake one for review. Consensus of the Board to have Michael Guzinski contact Town Counsel with the Boards questions and to review the Act.

• Budget Books: Michael Guzinski reported that the Budget Books handed out, had most of the information – some departments are missing. They should have all by February 6th. Paula Brouillette stated she wants the Summary pages to which Michael Guzinski explained they would have once all budgets are in.

• Adjournment: Paula Brouillette made a motion to adjourn at 9:32 pm. Michael Hughes seconded the motion. All – aye.

Respectfully submitted;

Suzanne Kane
Administrative Assistant
Suzanne Kane
Posts: 613
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 2:01 pm

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