BOS - January 16, 2001

BOS - January 16, 2001

Postby Suzanne Kane » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:30 pm

BOARD OF SELECTMEN
MEETING MINUTES
Tuesday, January 16, 2001

1. Call to Order


The meeting was called to order at 7:00PM. In attendance: Tom Navaroli, Ron Forget, Edward Therrien, Rich Preston, Shirley Mosczynski, and Norm MacNeill. Also in attendance: Ann Carlsson, Ellie Chesebrough, and Jack Blatchford.

2. Library Renovation/Expansion Grant Application

Ann Carlsson came before the Board to request that the Board sign the library renovation/expansion grant application. This grant would cover a percentage of the cost of construction for the library. The application will be ranked and will be funded in the order they are ranked. Discussion about the timing of the funding and the grant occurred. The Board discussed with Ann Carlsson about when the library would ask to borrow the money for the project. Ms. Carlsson stated that the total project cost would most likely be put before the voters and once the project is funded by the grant the Town would be refunded. One of the reasons to borrow the money early is so that there is less impact on the inflation of costs in the project as well as being able to assure the Town that the library would open in 2003 for its centennial celebration. There was discussion about how this project needs to go before the Capital Improvements Committee so that it is properly considered in the capital plan. Ann Carlsson said the next step will be informational meetings with townspeople and neighbors. Shirley Mosczynski suggested that letter be sent to government officials about this project as well. Ron Forget praised the drawings done by Mr. Farley.

Ron Forget made a motion, seconded by Shirley Mosczynski, to support the library application as submitted. Vote Unanimous.

The Board signed the Library Renovation/Expansion Grant Application.

3. Springmeadow

John Audet and Jack Blatchford on behalf of Ron Audet appeared before the Board for this item as the developers of Springmeadow Estates. The Board asked both gentlemen to come to the Board in reference to the acceptance of the roads at Springmeadow Estates. In the process of trying to accept the roads, the Town discovered that the developer’s attorney was unable to certify title to the road because portions of the road were conveyed to the lot owners. Therefore, the developer is unable to properly convey the road to the Town because of these title issues. Norm MacNeill suggested to the Board that the developers should work to acquire consent of the owners to convey the property to the Town. The Town made a request through our attorney to Attorney Pagnini, attorney for John Audet, to get a plan to show all ownership issues if they exist. John Audet offered to have his engineer do a direct search of the registry of deeds to find out title. The Board made it clear that they would like to accept title, but cannot until this is resolved. Ron Forget made it clear that he does not want this to be at the Town’s expense. John Audet offered that in other towns, our attorney, Kopelman and Paige PC, has requested only a fee or easement for the Town.

It was agreed that Norm MacNeill would talk to Town Counsel about whether the Town should request a fee or easement. John Audet agreed to have his engineer complete title searches on all properties in question. The Board will meet again on February 6, 2001 to discuss this issue.

4. Buxton Driveway

Al Thornton and Martha Buxton came before the Board as property owners.

Norm MacNeill made reference to a memo included in the Selectmen’s packet (attached). Al Thornton told the Board he was at the meeting because he alleges that the Highway Department has violated a court order that prevents them from crossing their property line. He indicated that the Highway Department has damaged his property by driving on it with heavy machinery. He offered pictures to the Board depicting in his opinion evidence that the Highway Department is not staying on the property where they are supposed to be. He states that there are visible tire tracks and saplings have been removed without his permission. He requests that the Town agree to discontinue use of the area where the apron is not located because they are not allowed to cross any place else. Edward Therrien, Highway Superintendent, stated that he has told his employees not to cross the property line and will speak to them again about this in the morning.

There was further discussion about the saplings: Edward Therrien states they were on Town property and Ms. Buxton states that they were on hers. Mr. Thornton stated that he would like an apology for the removal of the saplings, replacement of the trees, and their property graded and leveled where the tire marks are.

There is also a question of possible damage to the driveway. However, the snow cover does not allow for an accurate assessment. Discussion continued about the apron and whether it would be acceptable to widen it or to construct an additional one. Mr. Thornton sees the resolution being that the Town use the existing apron or come up the hill or around the back to avoid the Buxton property.

The final topic was the equipment stored outside of the Highway Barn. Mr. Thornton states that it is an eyesore and a hazard and would like the Town to construct a fence. Since it could be viewed as an attractive nuisance, Rich Preston states that it was reasonable to put up a fence to contain the stored items. The Board decided to look into erecting a fence. This topic was continued until prices for the fence were obtained by Edward Therrien. It will be placed on the February 6, 2001 agenda.

5. Health Insurance

Sharon Brotherton, Treasurer, joined the Board for this discussion.

This topic was brought to the Board to discuss the roles and responsibilities of health insurance. Norm MacNeill stated that Sharon Brotherton took back ownership and cancelled the broker relationship he had initiated. Mr. MacNeill also stated that the Insurance Advisory Committee had started to receive some rates. When the Town joined the Health Insurance Joint Purchase Group the Town had to create an Insurance Advisory Committee. Norm MacNeill expects a recommendation from the Insurance Advisory Committee about the MORE proposal. Norm MacNeill asked the Board to preserve the Town’s opportunity to look at MORE’s proposal and not close out the option that the Board endorsed initially. Norm MacNeill stated that Sharon Brotherton was going against this endorsement by her actions because it is at odds with the Board’s decision to go through the MORE process. He stated that he did not get rates, but just worked with the committee.

Sharon Brotherton stated that she asked for the insurance advisory committee to be formed to look at the different options for providing benefits to employees. Specifically, Mrs. Brotherton was interested in looking into a “points” or “flex plan.” She stated that Norm MacNeill went to the Advisory Committee meetings and involved them in getting rates. She also stated that she had mistakenly taken on a broker for the Town last year and it did not produce good results. Mrs. Brotherton stated that she indeed did fire the broker, she does not want Norm MacNeill to be involved, and she is planning on getting back involved with the Health Advisory Committee. She stated that looking at the rates was not their charge and would like to have them work on the benefits plans.

Norm MacNeill stated that MORE rates will be available this week and will be presented at the next meeting so that a decision on the direction to go in can be made.

6. Fire Station

Before the Board was an unpaid bill from the Fire Station Project. The former Executive Administrator, Michael Balch, was involved in the voucher in question. The Fire Station Building Committee needs $3,996.76 to pay off the bill. Three ways to pay the bill were presented to the Board: reserve fund transfer, Special Town Meeting, or have the Fire Department find it in their budget.

Shirley Mosczynski made a motion, seconded by Edward Therrien, to recommend that the bill for $3,699.76 be transferred from the reserve fund to cover the fire station building expense. Vote Unanimous.

7. High Speed Community Internet Access

The investment into High Speed Internet Access to the Town was meant to be an investment in economic development opportunities. The Town has been experiencing difficulties in getting access to all buildings and receiving confirmation that it will be rolled out to the public soon. Norm MacNeill outlined two options: wait 30 days and wait for a plan from MCN or cancel the contract. Tom Navaroli stated he wanted to research further into this. The Town has been billed for $600.00 which has not been paid; the contract is for $16,000.

8. Town Accountant Services

On March 1, 2001 Louise Redding is leaving as Town Accountant. Norm MacNeill presented a memo to the Board (attached). He engaged the Board in a discussion about where to go next with this position. Norm MacNeill spoke with Tim Harrison about interim services and is recommending to the Board to contract out for warrant preparation (15 hours a week) and oversight (4 hours a week) on an interim basis. Discussion occurred about whether to look into a Finance Director/Accountant and Assistant Accountant. Discussion about purchasing MUNIS software also occurred. This would be advantageous because it would allow all staff to access their financial information.

The Board decided to have Norm MacNeill put together numbers and they would discuss this topic further on the next agenda.

9. Snow Removal Budget

The snow removal account has been depleted due to the snow accumulation.

Ron Forget made a motion, seconded by Rich Preston, to release $20,000 for snow removal. Vote Unanimous; Edward Therrien abstained.

10. Old Elementary School

Capital Improvements is getting a report next Tuesday on all buildings which will give the Town better insight into maintenance or demolition costs. Norm MacNeill asked to defer this until the report is available. Discussion about possibly using the building for School Administration occurred. Discussion about rescinding the original Town Meeting vote at the March 14th STM.


Out of Order: The Board of Selectmen set up a workshop on January 30, 2001 with Mike Yacino and Chief Foley to discuss gun permitting process.

11. Logistics for Mass Rural Development Council Visit

Angela Ernenwein gave an update on what has been happening with the Community Visit and asked the Board to be involved as possible. Rich Preston offered to ask Don Konopacki to perform entertainment for the visit. Tom Navaroli said he would contact Rep. Kujawski and Sen. Moore.

12. New Business

Edward Therrien received a letter from Mass Highway about the Grove Street/West Street/Reidell Rd property with the obstruction of trees. The Board agreed to send this to an arborist to get an estimate. The Town will contact the owner when they have the estimate and invite the owner to a meeting to discuss it.

The Board received the annual financial management letter and discussed it briefly.

13. Adjournment

At 10:50PM Edward Therrien made a motion, seconded by Shirley Mosczynski, to adjourn. Vote Unanimous.


Respectfully Submitted,


Angela L. Ernenwein
Assistant to the Executive Administrator
Suzanne Kane
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