BOARD OF SELECTMEN
MEETING MINUTES – JULY 24, 2012
Present: John Carroll, (Acting Chairman till Greg Harder arrives at meeting) John Desmond, Nancy J. Talbot,
(Richard Norton, absent), Greg Harder attending later
Also Present: Town Manager Stuart Beckley, Police Chief Dennis Healey, DPW Director Thomas Martens, Allison Genetilli
Acting Chairman Carroll opened the meeting at 7:00 PM with the reciting of pledge of allegiance.
Acting Chairman John Carroll commented there were not any open remarks.
Motion by John Desmond seconded by Nancy Talbot to approve the meeting minutes of July 10, 2012 as submitted. Voted 3-0 John Carroll, John Desmond, Nancy Talbot. (Norton, Harder not in attendance).
Comments & Concerns
The Chairman asked if there were any comments and concerns by anyone, there were none.
Public Hearing 7:05pm – Retired Municipal Teacher Health Insurance Acting Chairman Carroll commented there was a Public Hearing scheduled for 7:05pm on the Retired Municipal Teacher Health Insurance and planned on opening the hearing but suspending it until Selectman Harder arrived.
Acting Chairman Carroll questioned Selectman Talbot if there needed to be a vote on that and Selectman Talbot commented there did not.
Acting Chairman Carroll felt it would be better having 1 more selectman in attendance for the hearing.
On the Insurance Discussion item on the agenda, Acting Chairman Carroll commented that went hand in hand with the public hearing and that would be discussed at that time.
Disposal of Church Street Property
There was discussion on the disposal of Church St. property and what would be the next steps.
Town Manager explained there was an RFP issued but there were no responses other than interest. TM Beckley wanted to know if the Board had interest to change the conditions and reissue the RFP for the property.
Selectman Desmond suggested removing a provision that established a minimum price of $44,000 for the property and seeing what type of responses the town would receive.
Short discussion ensued
Selectman Desmond motioned seconded by Selectman Talbot to rebid the Church Street property and the Selectman would have the right to reject any and all submitted bids. Voted: 3-0 (Norton, Harder not in attendance)
Request of Appointment
Police Chief Dennis Healey asked the Board to appoint Shawn Crevier as acting police sergeant.
Chief Healey explained in the role of acting sergeant Officer Crevier would provide supervision during the midnight shift for the department’s six new police officers.
Selectman Carroll motioned seconded by Selectman Desmond to approve the appointment of Officer Shawn Crevier to acting sergeant effective July 29, 2012. Voted 2-0 Selectman Carroll, Selectman Desmond (1-0 abstained selectman Talbot) ( Norton, Harder not in attendance)
Order of Taking Grout Boundary Agreement
(Norton, Harder absent)
Town Manager Beckley explained at the Special Town Meeting Dec 1, 2011 it was voted to authorize the BOS to enter into a Boundary Agreement with John Grout to set the Boundary between the properties owned by the two parties (Grout and the Town). The property in question is at the end of Monroe Street.
Acting Chairman Carroll commented there were five documents that were prepared and signed by Mr. Grout and these needed to be voted on by the selectmen.
Acting Chairman Carroll commented all 5 documents could be voted on as one.
Selectman Talbot motioned seconded by Selectman Desmond to approve the Boundary agreement for Grout - Monroe St.- & Town of Ware outlined in memo July 17, 2012, and further sign before notary and insure document is recorded at registry of Deeds. Voted: 3-0 Carroll, Desmond, Talbot
Acting Chairman Carroll commented there were several appointments and read vacancies (Norton, Harder not in attendance)
Selectman Desmond motioned seconded by Selectman Talbot to re-appoint Janice Hills to the Finance Committee for a 3 year term to expire June 30, 2015. Voted: 3-0 Carroll, Desmond, Talbot
Selectman Desmond motioned seconded by Selectman Talbot to re-appoint Mark J. Swett and David P. Kopacz to the Conservation Commission for a 3 year term to expire June 30, 2012. Voted: 3-0 Desmond, Carroll, Talbot.
It was commented there are 2 more vacancies left a 1 year term, and a 2 year term.
Selectman Desmond motioned seconded by Selectman Talbot to re-appoint Cynthia D. LaBombard to the Historical Commission for a 3 year term to expire June 30, 2012. Voted: 3-0 Desmond, Carroll, Talbot
Council On Aging
Acting Chairman Carroll commented there were 5 applicants of interest and only 2 vacancies and suggested the Council on Aging review the applicants and submit their choice they recommend
Acting Chairman Carroll motioned seconded by Selectman Desmond to request the Council on Aging review the applicants and submit to selectmen who they recommend. Voted: 3-0 Carroll, Desmond, Talbot
Water/Sewer Commission Items
Ware DPW Director Thomas Martens went through his report and gave update on the items.
- Sewer Extension Study Evaluated four neighborhood areas that intersect the interceptor sewer: Area A - Mountain View Dr, Oakridge Circle
- Area B - Malboeuf Rd, Sunny Hill Dr, Skyview Dr., Palmer Rd.
- Area C - Longview Ave, Woodland Heights, Palmer Rd, Kingsberry Lane
- Area D - Dugan Rd, Meadow Heights, Zoller Ave, Klug St Opinion of Probably Costs Area A – Mountain View - $517,000; Oakridge - $571,000; Total $1,090,000
- Area B – Malboeuf $486,000; Skyview/Sunny Hill $396,000; Palmer Rd $363,000; Total $1,250,000
- Area C – Longview/Woodland $450,000;Palmer $879,000; Woodland $124,000; Kingsberry $267,000; Total $1,720,000
- Area D – Meadow Heights/Zoller, Klug $511,000; Dugan/Palmer $469,000; Total $980,000
- Total: Areas A-D $5,040,000 Estimated Better Cost (per linear foot_ Area A: $73.86/l.f.
- Area B: $58.78/l.f.
- Area C: $80.04/l.f.
- Area D: $75.86/l.f. Frontage issues and their effect on betterment Corner lots where the proposed sewer is in both streets. For the Tables provided, the direction was to include the frontage on both streets.
- Lots with minimal frontage (50’ +/-) which provides access to a much larger lot in the rear. For the tables provided, the direction was to include only the minimal lot frontage.
- Lots that is not suitable for development due to the presents of wetlands or other restricting factors. Are they assessed? How are these assessed?
- There are a minimal number of strangely configured lots that would require individual frontage determination. Cost Issues and packaging of projects Construction in Palmer Road is relatively more costly due to the need for controlled density fill for backfill and police details.
- Oak Ridge Circle, as a stand-alone project, is relatively more costly due to the need for a pump station.
- The packaging of projects can have an effect on betterment assessments. For example, if the more costly sections are included with less costly sections, betterment costs are distributed among more and are less.
- Area development must begin at the interceptor sewer and continue up stream. Water/Sewer Easements We have a number of areas in town where development was not well coordinated and water and sewer lines run through individual lots to serve other customers; such as Millyard, Chestnut St, Doane Rd
- Lines are failing or in bad shape and there is no responsible party who can be assessed for repairs and maintenance.
- Causing conflicts between owners.
- Downstream users are at risk, especially at the Millyard. Need to consider how to address current problems and make sure future developments are well conceived
- If there is no way to make private owners responsible, need to consider Town taking ownership. Regulations Water and Sewer regulations are sorely out of date
- Past practices and customs are no way to run a utility
- Have prepared draft water regulations for review
- Sewer regulation updates were discussed in 2010 with no resolution.
- The lack of updating is putting us at risk with the State and causing confusion in operation and enforcement
- Have no regulation to address the current water use restrictions and cross connection control.
- Need to get these updated so we have enforceable provisions and clear direction for moving forward. Wastewater Influent Pumping Upgrades Have installed the new influent pump “wet ends”
- Desperately need improvements as one of the drives has already failed.
- Ready to bid installation of motors, drives, controls, and appurtenances.
- Project as grown as more and more systems are determined to be out of date and require replacement
- Need to now upgrade the air handling system as the building is not up to code.
- Hopefully will be able to find enough money in the budget and through encumbrances and last year’s allocation to fund the project.
Other Work Proceeding Replacing emergency generator day tank and storage tank at Barnes St
- Preparing to raise well heads at Wells 1, 2, 3 per MADEP directive. Also redeveloping well 3.
- Updating all well and chemical system controls and alarms to ensure safety and quick response to problems
- Installed chlorine analyzer at outfall of WWTP to verify compliance with disinfection
- Replaced Webb’s court pump station. Working great.
- Working to determine treatment plant needs for MassWorks Grant application
- Disinfection chemical system upgrade to be designed and installed this winter
7:35pm Chairman Harder arrived
Board and residents had questions which DPW Director Thomas Martens addressed.
7:40pm continuation of Public Hearing on Retired Municipal Teacher Health Insurance
Board of Selectmen commented the purpose of the hearing was to let everyone voice their opinions and ask questions about the town’s options.
Selectman Carroll commented the retired teachers weren’t being singled out, but the town’s dire financial situation requires review of all expenses.
Selectmen Carroll commented there was a discovery that the town mistakenly included health insurance costs for retired teachers in its net school spending figures since the early 1990’s now the costs have to be factored into the town’s budget. Retired teachers currently pay 10 to 15 percent of their insurance and the town pays the remaining 85 or 90 percent.
Town Manager Beckley said the costs of providing this insurance in FY 2013 would be approximately $468,844 and would rise.
There was a public hearing on this June 12, 2012 which 100 people attended and it was continued so that the selectmen could gather more information before making a decision.
There were couple of options and one was to move the retired teachers to the same plan the retired town employees had. TM Beckley commented this plan would save the town $187,000 this year.
Many retired teachers voiced their opposition to this plan stating it’s unfair to change terms of retirement now.
Peter Thamel commented to the Board when it was voted to offer GIC to the teachers, high health insurance percentages were given in exchange for higher salaries.
Teacher Nancy Slater commented the teachers retired from the town on a promise from the town for this level of health insurance coverage and commented the town should keep its promises.
Selectmen fielded questions about the possibility of moving the retired teachers to Blue Cross Blue Shield and grandfathering them at the higher percentages. Board members also discussed the fact that the state insurance law (MGL 32B) doesn’t allow retired teachers to remain with GIC if the current teachers were to be moved to Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The selectmen briefly spoke about other options such as joining the Hampshire County Group Insurance Trust, noting that the GIC had not finished the necessary claim information the trust had requested in order to consider including the town in its program.
Selectman Desmond was applauded when he stated he believed the town made a contract with the teachers who had already retired and the town should stay honoring that. Selectman Desmond suggested contacting legislators on this.
Selectman Carroll commented his research showed if teachers remained with GIC but moved from Unicare to Health New England or Fallon Select Care there would be significant savings.
Insurance consultant Allison Genetilli commented that different GIC plans would save money but said the window for enrollment changes is to soon to properly educate retirees on their choices.
There was a lengthy discussion
Selectman Talbot motioned seconded by Selectman Harder for the Board of Selectman to Continue the Public Hearing with regard to the retired Municipal Teacher Health Insurance until obtaining further information as noted this evening. Voted: 4-0 Harder, Talbot, Carroll, Desmond.
Insurance Discussion – Hampshire County Group Insurance Trust
Chairman Harder commented to table this as Selectman Talbot or Chairman Harder could not participate.
Selectman Carroll motioned seconded by Selectman Desmond to Table the discussion on Hampshire County Group Insurance Trust till a future meeting
Till it is determined on which Selectmen can participate in the discussion. Voted: 4-0
Town Manager Report
Town Manager Stuart Beckley went through his report and gave updates
He spoke on current Projects Kanzaki Wastewater, Grove Street, Memorial Field and Bandstand
Town Manager also gave updates on department reviews and snow’s License.
Select board had discussion on town manager report which town manager answered
Town Manager Stuart Beckley commented to the board he would be on vacation from July 5 to August 5.
9:22pm There being no other business to come before the board a motion was made by Selectman Talbot to enter into Executive Session under MGL Chapter 30 (a), Section 21 (a), Qualification # 3-Negociations Litigation not to return to open session and seconded by Selectman Desmond
Roll Call vote: 4-0 Selectman Harder-Aye, Selectman Desmond-Aye, Selectman Carroll-Aye, Selectman Talbot-Aye (Selectman Norton Absent)
Town Manager’s office
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