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Minutes - January 12, 2009
MINUTES
SELECTMEN’S MEETING
GRIFFIN ROOM, TOWN HALL
MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 2009
7:00 P.M.

SELECTMEN PRESENT:  Cole, LaMantia, Marsland, McManus, Wilkins

OTHERS PRESENT:  Town Administrator James Merriam, Assistant Town Administrator Nan Balmer, Chief Flynn, David Ryan, Eric Beebe, Joe Borgesi, David Scannell, Elizabeth Hude, Ray Jefferson, John Mahan, David Sadoski, David Nixon, Dana DeCosta, John Pena,
Gerry Loftus, Linda Cebula, and others.

MEETING CALLED TO ORDER at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Wilkins.  

WEEKLY BRIEFING

Mr. Jefferson reported that the Police Station Building Committee has voted to go forward with the installation of a fiber optic system from the new Joint Dispatch Center to the Town Hall.  He stated that they believe they can absorb the cost through the contingency fund and that the system would be available to the Elementary and Middle School at minimal cost.  Chairman Wilkins commented that it was a judicious decision and sensitive to future telecommunication in the Town.

CONSENT AGENDA

A.      Approve minutes:
1.      November 24, 2008 Regular Meeting
2.      December 8, 2008 Regular Meeting
3.      December 15, 2008 Regular Meeting
4.      December 22, 2008 Regular Meeting
5.      January 5, 2009 Executive Session
B.      Accept resignation of Al Rosenberg from the Channel 18 Advisory Committee
C.      Fill representative vacancy on Barnstable County HOME Consortium’s Advisory Council

Mr. McManus moved approval of the consent calendar and the recommended actions thereon.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

PUBLIC HEARINGS/PRESENTATIONS (Not before 7:15 P.M.)

A.      Public Hearing – Trench Permit Fees

Mr. Cole read the hearing notice into record.  Mr. Borgesi read the following memo to the Board dated December 8, 2008:

Pursuant to MGL Ch 82A and 520 CMR 7.00 (Jacklyn’s Law) the Town will begin issuing trench permits for all excavations on public and private properties beginning January 1, 2009.  The law provides that the Town can collect a reasonable fee for the administrative costs associated with the program.  The Town Engineer has canvassed a representative number of towns throughout the Commonwealth and determined that $25 would be a reasonable fee to cover the administrative costs.  The fee would be collected by the Department presently issuing the excavation permit i.e. the Health Department for test hole and septic systems, the Water Department for water services and water mains, etc.  Copies of the permits will be returned to the Town Engineer for logging on the State Department of Public Safety site as required by the law.  We therefore request that the Board of Selectmen adopt a trench permit fee of $25 to take effect January 1, 2009.

Mr. Borgesi clarified that he does not do trench inspections.  Chairman Wilkins called for public comment and no one appeared to give testimony.  Mr. LaMantia requested that in the future they be presented with what our costs are when fees are being proposed.  Chairman Wilkins assigned this to Ms. Balmer.

Mr. McManus moved to close the public hearing.  Mr. LaMantia seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved to establish a fee of $25 for the filing of a trench permit in the Town of Harwich.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.


Mr. Pena asked what the status is of the Middle Road easement.  Chairman Wilkins noted that it is currently under review and recommended that Mr. Pena make an appointment to discuss it with the Town Administrator.

B.      Presentation of budget to Board of Selectmen by Town Administrator

Mr. Merriam, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Scannell provided a Power Point presentation overview of the FY10 Operating Budget and took questions from the Board.  (See attached.)

OLD BUSINESS

A.      Proposed multi-purpose fields behind Community Center (cont’d from 12-22-08)

Mr. McManus inquired as to the revenue source for covering the maintenance costs for additional fields.  Mr. Beebe responded that their main plan is to have a user fee and that Mr. Ryan has approved using revolving fees for the programs that would be run on the fields.  Mr. McManus asked for data on what we are currently collecting in user fees and what the expenses are being charged against that.  Mr. Beebe responded that they have taken in about $37,000 for the past 12 months for the revolving fund and they feel they will have adequate money.  Mr. Beebe also noted that they will be raising their fees slightly at their next meeting.  Mr. McManus requested a business plan that indicates their expenses and revenues.

Mr. Mahan inquired as to how the Board would like them to proceed and Mr. Merriam noted that the land is under the Board of Selectmen’s control and will stay there until it is an appropriate time to transfer.  He asked that the Recreation and Youth Commission file the application with the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen can sign off as owner of the property.  Mr. Nixon pointed out that the CPC Act requires that construction would have to be complete before there is a transfer of the land so the Board of Selectmen must maintain control of the property.  Mr. McManus further requested a document describing each field and what they can be used for.  The Board took no action on this item.

B.      Vote to adopt Dredging and Beach Nourishment Plan

Mr. McManus moved to adopt the Harwich Channel Dredging and Beach Nourishment Policy draft of December 16, 2008.  Mr. LaMantia seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

NEW BUSINESS

A.      Board meeting schedule for weeks of January 19 and February 16, 2009 (Police Station bonds to be signed after Feb. 11th)

The Board agreed not to meet on January 20, 2009.  Chairman Wilkins noted that the Board will meet on February 17, 2009 and will sign the Police Station bonds at that time.

B.      Vote Town Administrator’s recommendation on Dog Hearing

Mr. Cole moved to accept the Town Administrator’s recommendation pertaining to the dog hearing held on January 8, 2009 for disposition of this matter.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Chairman Wilkins noted his concern that the dog owners in this case were from Chatham and Brewster but because the incident took place at Thompsons Field our Animal Control Officer and Town Administrator had to deal with it.  He questioned whether Thompsons Field is a dog walking park and if so, is there a policy that people can walk unleashed dogs there.  Mr. Merriam responded that it is past practice and we need to look at what the policy ought to be with regard to the leash law enforcement.  Mr. LaMantia noted that they need to take whatever steps necessary to protect those walking through the area.

Chief Mason explained that the by-law requires that dogs must be under the immediate control of the dog owner whether it is by leash, voice command or other means.  He stated that when the owner loses control of the dog it becomes a leash law violation.  He noted that the Board has the right to change the by-law.  Mr. Marsland suggested that the Conservation Commission might be able to act without by-law intervention.

The motion carried by a unanimous vote.

C.      Vote to sign Cable License Ascertainment Report

Mr. Cole moved to accept the recommendation of the Town Administrator and Assistant Town Administrator to approve the Draft Ascertainment Report, sign the final document and submit it to Comcast as the next step toward adoption of a cable franchise agreement to replace the current agreement which expires in December 2009.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

D.      Review and vote of Special Town Meeting articles

Ms. Goldsmith spoke in support of Article 25 – Sell Parcel for Affordable Housing.  After discussion, Mr. McManus moved to take a position of support for Article 25.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a 4-1-0 vote with Mr. LaMantia in opposition.

Mr. Marsland moved to support Article 13 – Accept M.G.L., Ch. 32B Section 18A – Medicare Extension Plans.  Mr. McManus inquired if this matter has been discussed with the labor unions and Mr. Merriam responded that it had not been discussed recently but was brought to the attention of the Insurance Advisory Committee.  The motion carried by a 4-1-0 vote with Mr. McManus in opposition.  Mr. LaMantia stressed that the people need to understand what this is about and suggested that it be addressed in a Channel 18 segment.

The Board agreed to hold Article 1 – Supplement Reserve Fund.

Mr. McManus moved to support Article 2 – Foundation Reserve Award.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved that the Board of Selectmen take a position of support on Article 3 - Approve Water Enterprise Fund Transfer.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved that they take a position of support for Article 4 – Fund New Heating System at Fire Station 2.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Cole moved that the Board of Selectmen support Article 5 – Design/Engineering Fees for Route 137 Corridor.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Cole moved to support Article 6 – Reserve for Future Appropriation Amounts from FY09 Community Preservation Fund Estimated Annual Revenues.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Cole moved that the Board of Selectmen support Article 7 – Community Preservation Act Legislative Amendment.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

With regard to Article 8 – Authorize Use of Texeira Property for Agricultural Purposes, Mr. Marsland noted that the general consensus of the Agricultural Commission is that they do not want to pursue this and he added that they will be meeting this week.  Mr. McManus recommended that they wait to vote on this article until the Agricultural Commission takes their action.

Mr. LaMantia moved to support Article 9 – By-Law – Harbor Dredging Betterment Cost Allocation.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Marsland moved to support Article 10 – Caleb Chase Legislation.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Cole moved that the Board support Article 11 – Accept MGL Ch. 59 Sec. 57C.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved that the Board support Article 12 – Accept MGL Ch.59 Sec. 2A, with the amendment that the effective date be for FY2011. Chairman Wilkins seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved that the Board take a position to support Article 14 – Special Legislation – Room Occupancy Tax.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a 4-1-0 vote with Mr. Marsland in opposition.

Mr. McManus moved that the Board of Selectmen take a position to support Article 15 – Special Legislation – Hotel Tax.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a 4-1-0 vote with Mr. Marsland in opposition.

Mr. McManus moved that the Board of Selectmen take a position in support of Article 16 – Special Legislation – Meals Tax.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a 4-1-0 vote with Mr. Marsland in opposition.

Mr. Cole moved that the Board of Selectmen support Article 17 – Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative Membership.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Cole moved that the Board support Article 18 – Amend Zoning By-Laws – Driveway Width.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved that the Board take a position of support of Article 19 – Lease Payment – Old Rec Building Site on Sisson Road.  Chairman Wilkins seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Marsland moved to support Article 21 – Amend Articles 59 and 60 of the 2006 Annual Town Meeting.  Mr. LaMantia seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Cole moved that the Board support Article 22 – Grant Easement for Service to New Police Station.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Marsland moved to support Article 23 – Grant Easement for Underground Utility System for Gomes Way Housing Project.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Marsland moved to support Article 24 – Saquatucket Harbor Parking Lot Lease.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved that the Board take a position of support for Article 26 – Land for Affordable Housing.  Chairman Wilkins seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Marsland recused himself on Article 27 – Fund Scholarships for Project Contemporary Competitiveness.  Mr. McManus moved that the Board take a position of support for Article 27.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a 4-0-1 vote with Mr. Marsland abstaining from the vote.

E.      Review draft Annual Town Meeting warrant and vote articles

The Board agreed to bring this item back next week.

TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

Mr. Merriam delivered the following report to the Board:

Great Swamp Cranberry Bog
We received one bid from Leo and Andrea Cakounes for a 10 year lease of the Great Swamp Bog which is located on the north side of Robbins Pond and under the care and custody of the Conservation Commission. John Sennott had taken me for a tour of the property which needs and would benefit from better custodial care. I have forwarded a copy of their proposal to ConCom for their review and recommendation.

Highway Sidewalk Plow –from Link Hooper
As you are aware, I was going to purchase a small plow for the front of our skid steer to be able to clear sidewalks around the schools after snow storms (the Holder that has been on backorder for almost a year would have been able to plow sidewalks).~ I had given Boo permission to purchase a power angle plow from Childs for $2500.~ After Boo~viewed the plow at Childs, he decided he could make one from an old decommissioned 8 foot truck plow that was slated to become scrap metal.~ The only part he needs to purchase is a pusher plate for $300 and another $100 worth of steel.~ He estimates it will take him 8 hours of fabrication to complete the project.~ Even if I add his labor ($250) to the cost of the fabrication, the total cost is $650 compared to a purchase price of $2500, or a savings of $1850.~

Little Beach (see attached report)
Dear Mr. Merriam,
Please see the attachment regarding the Little Beach at the end of Beach Road.~ This has been sent to Mr. Chatham to pass along to the members of the Conservation Committee.~ Thank you for your consideration regarding this very disturbing development..
Ann F Marengi
12 Pinewood Lane

Texiera Property
Last night at the Conservation meeting, the Conservation Commission and the Agricultural Committee discussed the Memorandum of Understanding for the use of part of the Texiera property on Queen Anne Rd. for agriculture purposes. After much discussion, the Commission voted against signing the memorandum thus not approving the use of part of the parcel by the Agricultural Committee. The Commission was not satisfied with: the perceived lack of effort in searching for an alternative site by the Committee, the failure of the Town Counsel in allowing the Commission to take part in the drafting of the Memorandum of Understanding, the wording of the MOU and the precedent that would be set in assigning an alternate use other than passive recreation to this property.
John Chatham, Conservation Administrator

Infrastructure Investment
Lt. Governor Murray asked communities to prepare projects that could be shovel ready in 180 days and completed within 2 years. I’m pleased to report that our Department Heads responding promptly with a number of applications including reconstruction of Route 137($4,600,000); Vehicle Maintenance garage($600,000); Water Dept. Treatment plants and water tank painting($20,000,000); New Police facility ($9,250,000) and Public Safety technology ($437,548.85); Old Recreation Cultural Center($1,900,000) and Allen Harbor ($1,070,000 ).

With regard to Little Beach, Mr. McManus stated that we need to take a position of actively developing a Town project of a manually powered boat launching area to establish our right to maintain the right of way and eliminate encroachment.   Chairman Wilkins told Mr. Merriam to follow up on this.

SELECTMEN’S REPORT

Harwich Civic Spirit Day to be held on March 14, 2009

Chairman Wilkins announced that Harwich Civic Spirit Day is scheduled for March 14, 2009.

Mr. McManus stated that he is concerned as the Board has asked that they have a review before any positions are filled and it has come to his attention that there has been a position listed for hire for the Planning Department which should have been brought to them for review.  He stressed that they need to look at this position and the proposal in the context of the entire budget situation.  Mr. Merriam stated that they would give the Board a proposal on this.

ADJOURNMENT

Mr. McManus moved to adjourn at 10:20 p.m.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Steidel
Recording Secretary



 
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