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Minutes - April 21, 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, Tammy Taylor, David LeBlanc, Phil Gaudet, Scott Tyldsley, Dana DeCosta, Geoffrey Wiegman, Brian Widegren, Skip Patterson, Jack Brown, and others.

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

Chairman Wilkins read a letter from Tara Russell, owner of Talk of the Town restaurant, in which she stated that she is withdrawing her application for a liquor license.


A.      Approve minutes –
1.      March 30, 2009 - Regular Meeting
2.      April 6, 2009 - Executive Session
B.      Approve 2009 Junk Dealer license renewals
C.      Approve 2009 Seasonal Weekday and Sunday Entertainment License renewals for Halls Karts, Inc.
D.      Caleb Chase request
E.      Approve Chapter 90 Requests
F.      Vote to authorize the Town Administrator to sign the MIIA Insurance Renewal Proposal
G.      Request by Recreation and Youth Commission to use funds from the Whitehouse Field Trust Fund Account for the purchase and installation of a keypad system to monitor light use at Whitehouse Field.
H.      Request by the Council on Aging to accept the gift of Dell Computers, monitors, speakers and MS XP operating system software from the Friends of the Council on Aging

Mr. Cole pulled Items A1, C, E and G from the Consent Agenda.  Mr. McManus moved approval of the Consent Agenda consisting of Items A2, B, D, F, and H.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Cole asked for clarification on the events described in the first paragraph of the minutes of March 30, 2009.  The Board agreed to bring this item back.

Mr. Merriam responded to questions from Mr. Cole on the balance of the Consent Agenda after which the following motions were made:

Mr. Cole moved to approve Item C.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Cole moved to approve Item E.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.  

Mr. Cole moved to approve Item G.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.


A.      Public Hearing on the application for an Annual Common Victualler, All Alcoholic Beverages License for TAM & Co., d/b/a Talk of the Town Café

The Public Hearing was not heard as the applicant had withdrawn her application.

B.      Public Hearing on the application for an Annual Common Victualler, All Alcoholic Beverages License for Harwich Port Pizza

Mr. Cole read the hearing notice into record.  Mrs. Anet Sotiri, representing Harwich Port Pizza, appeared before the Board.  Mr. McManus asked Mrs. Sotiri if they are moving ahead with their plans to move to a new site and Mrs. Sotiri responded that they will be signing the papers at the end of this month after which they plan to proceed with demolition and rebuild.  Mr. Marsland pointed out to Mrs. Sotiri that they will need to come before the Board again for another hearing when they change their location.   Mr. Cole noted that the response to question #12 in the application is incorrect and should reflect the property owner’s information.  Mrs. Sotiri agreed to make the correction.  Chairman Wilkins advised Mrs. Sotiri to follow up with the Health Department with regard to paperwork that needs to be filed with them.  Mr. McManus moved to close the Public Hearing.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.  Mr. McManus moved to grant an Annual, Common Victualler, All Alcoholic Beverages License for Harwich Port Pizza located at 731 Route 28, Harwich Port, Aleks Sotiri, Manager, and that it be contingent on providing the proper information for the owner of the current location.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.


A.      Presentation on Article 9 on the Special Town Meeting Warrant to fund two fire fighter/paramedic or EMT-B day positions and Ballot Question #4.  Jack Brown and Chief Flynn to discuss emergency response times.

Chief Flynn presented a Power Point presentation which provided statistical data as well as real stories emphasizing the importance of response times in relation to both medical and fire emergencies.

He provided a breakdown of the 3,744 runs for 2008 noting that this is a significant number of runs for a small town.  He explained that the MMA Public Safety Study performed in 2002 indicated that we require a two station response capability and four additional firefighters.  He noted that this study was reviewed by the Public Safety Committee which concurred with the findings and also recommended hiring an EMS Officer.

Chief Flynn described the efficiency and cost saving measures already taken including reducing coverage for Station 2, reducing mutual aid, and closing Station 2 during periods of reduced shift strength.  He outlined the costs to fund 2 additional firefighters/paramedics and stressed that the citizens need to decide what level of service they want.

Mr. Brown outlined his report entitled “Statistical Analysis of Fire/EMS Response Times for 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 (through 6-19).”  (See attached.)

Chief Flynn and Mr. Brown took questions and comments from both the Board and Finance Committee.  Chairman Wilkins thanked Chief Flynn and Mr. Brown for their efforts.
        B.   Vote to sign Purchase and Sales Agreement for Sutphin property – Article 31

The Board agreed to postpone this item.

C.      Presentation by Planning Board Chairman of Article 35 of the Annual Town Meeting   Warrant, Amend Section VII – Sign Regulations

Mr. McCaffery discussed the highlights of the proposed By-Law as voted by the Planning Board at their meeting of April 15, 2009 (see attached).  Mr. Merriam pointed out that what is being proposed is different from what is in the Town Meeting warrant and noted that a handout would be provided at Town Meeting.  Mr. Wiegman stated that they are not going to make a positive motion with regard to Article 44, Repeal Section VII of the Harwich By-Laws.  Mr. McCaffery and Mr. Wiegman took questions from the Board.  Mr. McManus stressed the need to develop an enforceable right-of-way policy.  Mr. McManus moved to take a position of support on Article 35 as amended.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

D.      Review of Warrant Articles

Mr. Cole moved to take a position to indefinitely postpone Article 44.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Cole moved that they take a position to indefinitely postpone Article 10 of the Special Town Meeting, Lease Saquatucket Parking Lot for Winter Boat Storage.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.  Mr. LaMantia moved that the Waterways Committee come back to us by September 1st with their proposal on how to handle it, and until that time, that there be no boats stored on the Town waterways property of either Saquatucket Harbor, Wychmere Harbor, or Bank Street, other than Town-owned or School-owned boats and that there certainly be no painting of any boats and washing of any hulls in any of the parking lots attached to the harbors and, in addition, that any boats that are there currently, be removed within 10 days.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion.  Chairman Wilkins requested that Mr. LaMantia work on a recommendation with Mr. Merriam to bring before the Board next week.  He also recommended that Mr. Leach be notified.  Mr. McManus withdrew his second.  No action was taken.

Mr. Cole moved to approve Budget Amendment #2 (attached).  Mr. McManus agreed to second the motion if it includes insurance, telecommunications, Community Center wages and operating budget for Town Hall.  Mr. Merriam confirmed that these items are included.  The motion carried by a unanimous vote.


Mr. Merriam delivered the following report to the Board:

House Ways and Means Budget
The House Ways and Means Budget was released on April 15th. Attached is Section 3 which lists three numbers for each community: Chapter 70 Education Aid, Unrestricted Aid (combination of Lottery and Additional Assistance) and Federal Stimulus Aid to meet the State’s Foundation. In sum, Harwich will receive $89,584 less under the House Budget than the Governor’s Budget. Chapter 70 is the same as the Governor’s, Unrestricted/Lottery Aid is $20,157 less, there’s no additional $60,912 for Meals and Hotel/Motel as proposed by the Governor and Payment in lieu of taxes is level funded or $8,515 less than the Governor’s budget. The House Ways and Means Budget did not provide amounts for other accounts, so we’ve assumed no change from the Governor’s budget.

Budget Amendment #2
Budget Amendment #2 has been adjusted to reflect the House Ways and Means reduction of Local Aid. After adjustments, we have a current deficit of $11,332.

ATM / STM Warrants
The Warrant booklets with recommendations have been printed and delivered to our office. Copies are available on the Town’s website and printed in the newspaper.

Resignation inquiry
After calling the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office, I wrote the attached letter to Michelle Tassinari, Legal Counsel. I then spoke to Attorney Tassinari on April 16, 2009. She indicated that their authority to investigate is found in MGL Ch 56, sec. 60.  She will wait to receive the letter and then respond.  

Wind Study
Weston and Sampson has completed its feasibility study and forwarded a copy for our files and to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative by the April 30th deadline in order for Harwich to receive the $40,000 grant reimbursement. The report finds the best site in Harwich to be the Transfer Station and a 600kw turbine could be economically feasible.

Property taxes
Attached are two memos from our Auditors, Malloy, Lynch and Bienvenue which explains various steps in assessing and collecting taxes.

Ray Jefferson confirmed that the Harwich Home Rule Charter is included in the codification, which then will require a ballot question for final approval.

Youth Counselor
I met with Sheila who provided her monthly update of activities. She indicated that the eight week Concert series will start June 29th.  

Affordable Housing RFP
Town Engineer Joe Borgesi has provided our office with a draft RFP for the Old Rec and West Harwich Schools. Please indicate whether you find the document acceptable for release.

FY 10 Disposal Fees
Attached is a report by Lincoln Hooper in which he recommends no changes in fees for FY10.

Rt. 137 at Pleasant Bay Road
Personnel from the District Traffic Operations Unit~will review the pavement markings at the Route 6 and Route 137 overpass.  If warnings signs are warranted MassHighway will have the appropriate signs installed. Edward Feeney, MHD

Request for two deadline extensions
The Golf Committee and I had agreed to the Selectmen’s 6 month trial governance from November 1st to May 1st.  I have met with Chairman DeSantis, Committee member Johnson and Director Hoye and we will prepare a status report with recommendations. We’d like until mid May to submit these findings to you.  Secondly, I am scheduled to submit a set of TA goals to you by April 27th. I respectfully request an extension until May 11th. I am currently preparing for Town Meeting and believe it’s our top priority at this moment.

Mr. Cole moved to extend their meeting time until 10:40 p.m.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

The Board discussed the Town Administrator’s Report and agreed to extend Mr. Merriam’s deadline to submit his goals until May 11, 2009.


Mr. McManus moved to adjourn at 10:39 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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