BOARD OF SELECTMEN
MEETING MINUTES – August 7, 2012
Present: Greg Harder, John Carroll, John Desmond, Nancy J. Talbot,
(Richard Norton, absent)
Also Present: Town Manager Stuart Beckley, DPW Director Thomas Martens, Tighe & Bond representatives, Kanzaki Specialty Paper representatives, Melissa Fales, Stanley Ciukaj
Chairman Harder opened the meeting at 7:00 PM with the reciting of pledge of allegiance.
Motion by Selectman Talbot seconded by Selectman Desmond to approve the meeting minutes of July 24, 2012 as submitted. Voted in Favor: 4-0 Harder, Carroll, Desmond, and Talbot.
Comments & Concerns
The Chairman asked if there were any comments and concerns by anyone,
Mr. Bill Jackson brought up his concerns on the Charter that was adopted in 2007 and the town has gone downhill since the Charter with spending lots of money. Mr. Jackson commented on how a lot of money was spent on supervisors and the town should cut the big salaries out.
Selectman Harder agreed with Mr. Jackson that the Charter did go too far and the Board of Selectmen were out of the control on that, and commented it is the town manager who decides now. Chair Harder commented maybe the Charter should be looked at.
Selectman Desmond brought up concern of the lighting from Main Street to Big Y and suggested people driving and walking be alert in the evening.
Selectman Desmond commented he was concerned why only people in the Town Hall took cuts when it should have been all employees. Selectman Desmond suggested having an adjustment at the next town meeting on the cuts.
Appointments, Council on Aging
After receiving five applications for three council vacancies the Board asked the council to review the applications and make recommendations as to which candidates would be best. Selectman Harder read the letter of recommendations from the council which they recommended Georgia Quackenbush, Craig Simmons, and Paul Benoit.
Selectman Harder commented The Senior Center Director Deborah Rothschild thanked the Board for involving the council members in the selection process.
Motion by Selectman Desmond seconded by Selectman Carroll to appoint Georgia Quackenbush, Craig Simmons, and Paul Benoit to the Council on Aging Board for a term to expire June 30th 2015. Voted in Favor: 4-0 Harder, Talbot, Desmond, and Carroll.
Town Manager Beckley commented he was still collecting information for the selectmen to consider when they make their decision on health insurance for retired teachers including data on claims from the retirees and quotes from other health care vendors.
Selectman Desmond asked if any progress had been made with seeking special legislation that would allow retired teachers to be put on town’s insurance plan but grandfathered at their current rates.
Town Manager Beckley commented he had spoken with legislators on the idea and discussed various approaches to take.
Preliminary Presentation – Town Meeting Article for Wastewater Treatment Plant
Resident Bill Jackson commented Kanzaki was making a token of $24,000 a quarter to treat sewage which is $100,000 a year. Town Manager Beckley commented they had been making payments since January 2012. Mr. Jackson commented Kanzaki should pay the Town of Ware a million dollars for not paying previous years. Chair Harder commented Kanzaki was giving the town $1 million and they were paying to put in their own holding tank.
DPW Director Tom Martens gave update to the Board
Talking Points (story line) for Select Board Meeting
- Town of Ware WWTP was originally designed in 1963 with a major upgrade designed in 1979 and constructed in the early 1980s.
- Most of the process equipment is 30 years old with sporadic repair and replacement over the years of some equipment.
- 20 years is considered the “useful life” of most equipment. WWTP is long overdue for major upgrades.
- Upgrade of plants is generally driven by:
- Need to replace worn out or obsolete equipment and processes
- Need for additional capacity
- Regulatory requirements
- Upgrade of worn out and obsolete equipment is a must at the plant
- Town is currently in a 5-year permit renewal cycle and is facing more stringent regulatory requirements.
- Expect to have to remove approximately 50 percent more phosphorous than current limit. Believe we can meet these requirements in the near term
- Expect that in 2017, next permit will require reduction to approximately 10 percent of current limit. Will not be able to meet that requirement without investing significant amount of money.
- Meanwhile, federal regulation requires permitting of industrial dischargers
- If plant can handle the industrial waste, Town can treat it. If not need to either improve the plant or require pre-treatment by industry to lower the strength of the waste so it can be treated at the WWTP
- Kanzaki waste has been shown to be too “strong” to be treated at the WWTP. High solids and color are difficult to remove. Local limits were approved demonstrating the need for Kanzaki to pretreat.
- Kanzaki has embarked upon a program to build a $2.5M pre-treatment plant on their site. In most cases industry has no motivation to become a wastewater operator. It is not their primary business and it increasing their costs and complexity of their operation. Would prefer to have the town continue to treat but recognize their responsibilities and liabilities.
- Town values Kanzaki as a large employer and good citizen of the community
- In Fall of 2011, Kanzaki and Town agreed to take a final look at what it would take for the town to continue to treat its wastewater. Goal was to find a way to keep Kanzaki out of the wastewater treatment business and invest the money they would have to invest into improving the Town’s WWTP instead. Looking for a win-win situation. Simultaneously solve Kanzaki discharge problem while improving the WWTP and working toward solving future regulatory requirements.
- Independent Consultant determined that a $4.5M to $5.0M was needed to continue to treat Kanzaki waste.
- This process will also provide the proper treatment for the WWTP to be able to meet its anticipated 2017 requirements that would need to be on-line by 2020-2021.
- Basic assumptions of a win-win mutual project
- must cost Kanzaki the same or less than they would have to pay on their own
- Must meet the town’s long term needs and be financially beneficial to the town. Invest some money now to avoid future large investment
- Will result in some aspects of the plant receiving much needed upgrades
- Must result in gaining State MassWorks Grant (job creation incentive) funds that would not be otherwise available.
- Proposed plan meets these assumptions:
- Kanzaki investment of $2.5M plus some operating costs to be determined
- Town will invest $1M to forego having to spend $6M or more in 8 years
- Town will get its solids handling process retrofit to handle combined residuals of current and future processes
- MassWorks application will be for $2.5M with a compelling story about a public/private partnership to:
- Soften the burden on local industry to meet Federal pretreatment requirement
- Retain town’s leading employer and create some new jobs in the process
- Soften the blow on the town of meeting Federal/State water quality mandates
- Improve the WWTP’s capability to handle current industrial loads and potential future loads of new industry
Need Town support to move ahead and fund the Town’s share of the current project in deference to waiting to pay much more in the near future.
DPW Director Martens commented there was a study done that was determined that the town would be able to treat Kanzaki’s waste and meet future phosphorus requirements by upgrading the plant at the cost of $4.5 to $5 million but this would not solve all the plants problems.
Town Manager Beckley explained there is a two-step process to securing the $1 million. First residents need to authorize borrowing the amount. Then on the November 6th they need to vote on a ballot question asking whether or not to exclude the $1 million from the proposition 2.5 limit. If voters approve the exclusion it would be estimated an additional cost of about $40 a year for the average home. There will be a more in depth presentation on the proposal at the public hearing on Tuesday August 14, 2012 at 7pm at Town Hall.
Chair Harder commented he would like to see more information on how the entire community would benefit by upgrading the plant through this partnership.
Tracy Adamski, Senior Planner with Tighe & Bond commented the town will learn if the grant application is successful by the end of October. Ms. Adamski commented if the voters approve the $1 million contribution and the town gets the MassWorks grant construction could begin as early as spring of 2013.
Request for Toll Road, Fire Fighters Local 1851
Chair Harder read the letter of request from Fire Fighters Local 1851 to have a toll road for Muscular Dystrophy September 8, 2012 from 8am to 12pm.
Motion made by Selectman Talbot seconded by Selectman Carroll to approve a Toll Road for Muscular Dystrophy September 8, 2012 from 8am to 12pm with no alternate date from Fire Fighters Local 1851. Insurance is in order but request copy of toll road route. Voted in Favor: 4-0 Talbot, Desmond, Carroll, and Harder
Chair Harder Commented This was held in the past and there was never a problem.
Request for Approval for Wal-mart pertaining to new officer Application
Selectman Talbot read request
Motion made by Selectman Talbot seconded by Selectman Carroll to approve the application for change in officer as submitted. Voted in Favor: 4-0 Talbot, Desmond, Carroll, and Harder.
Knights of Columbus Late Submittal One Day Licenses
Selectman Talbot read request
Motion made by Selectman Talbot seconded by Selectman Desmond to approve the Knights of Columbus One Day Liquor licenses August 11, 2012, August 12, 2012, and August 25, 2012. All paperwork is in order. Voted in Favor: 4-0 Harder, Desmond, Carroll and Talbot.
Town Manager Report
Town Manager questioned the board if they would like to meet before town meeting August 21, 2012 because it would have been a regular scheduled selectmen’s meeting night.
Motioned made by Selectman Desmond seconded by Selectman Talbot for selectmen to meet at 6:00pm before town meeting August 21, 2012 for anything that may be on the agenda. Voted in Favor: 4-0 Desmond, Harder, Talbot, Carroll.
Town Manager Beckley gave his TM Report:
Doane Road Bridge
Town Manager Beckley said Lenard Engineering, who drafted the design plans for a new bridge received comments back from Mass Department of Transportation Bridge Division. TM Beckley let the board know that the project might go out to bid soon enough to have construction underway by the end of the calendar year.
Church Street RFP
TM Beckley commented a revised RFP for the former Senior Center on Church Street had been issued. TM Beckley commented the only change was the removal of the minimum price which was previously set at $44,000.
The deadline for submittals was September 10, 2012.
Selectman Carroll questioned if there was any plans for the soon-to be vacant fire station. TM Beckley commented he wanted to discuss potential uses for the building with the department heads before declaring it surplus property.
TM Beckley commented there was a scheduled performance by a Trio of women on August 5, 2012 which was being held at the Ware Center Meeting House that had to be cancelled due to inclement weather and was rescheduled to September 15, 2012 at noon.
TM Beckley reminded everyone the final performance by the group Jazzbones would be held Sunday August 12, 2012 at 6:30pm.
TM Beckley informed everyone that the Franklin/Hampshire Youth Council was holding their 9th annual Youthspeak event at the Town Hall Thursday August 16, 2012 from 2pm to 4pm. TM Beckley commented the event gave young people the opportunity to voice their opinion on a variety of topics including school, working, and life in Ware. TM Beckley commented refreshments would also be provided.
TM Beckley commented he met with Attorney August, Nancy Talbot and David Grace, the Director of Information Service in regards to the renewal of Comcast Contract. TM Beckley commented a public hearing needed to be set by board for September 25, 2012 to get public input on how the contract could be modified.
Civil Service & Review of Department Heads
TM Beckley and Selectman Carroll met with a representative from Cullen Institute to discuss civil service changes as well as review of departments. TM Beckley commented proposals would be coming.
Chair Harder commented the roads that were in repair were still in rough shape and questioned what the outcome on that was. TM commented there maybe be a legal dispute with this and it was an ongoing process.
Surplus Auction/RFP Request for South Street School
Selectman Desmond commented there used to be a surplus auction on a regular basis at the South Street School and asked if this could be brought up at a department Head meeting to perhaps set one up again.
Selectman Desmond suggested getting requests for proposals for the South Street School.
TM Beckley agreed and looked to the board as a whole to have discussion on a RFP to be issued.
Motion made by Selectman Desmond seconded by Selectman John Carroll that an RFP be made for the South Street School and that the present building be retained by town as town offices. Voted in Favor: Desmond, Carroll, Talbot, Harder
Selectman Carroll commented there needed to be something done with the South Street School and supported Selectman Desmond’s motion.
Chair Harder commented South Street School would have been a nice place to have as town offices but the town offices should stay at the town hall.
Mr. Jackson brought up concern of the rubbish by the Hess station.
TM Beckley commented it was well noticed and Board of Health had issued notices and commented this property was owned by a bank.
Chair Harder suggested going to the Finance Committee for emergency funding and put a lien on property. TM Beckley commented that could be done.
Selectman Talbot commented there were other property’s in town in the same state.
Vacant Fire Building
Selectman Carroll commented there would soon be a vacant building when the fire department moved into their new facility and suggested selling it.
TM Beckley commented the new fire station was on schedule and said on the soon to be vacant building he would like to discuss with department heads on the use of that.
Chair Harder commented he received the letter of goals from TM Beckley, John Carroll, and John Desmond and commented when he received all of them they would be looked at for discussion.
7:55pm Motion was made by Selectman Desmond seconded by Selectman Carroll to adjourn Regular Selectmen’s Meeting of August 7, 2012. Voted in Favor: Desmond, Carroll, Talbot, and Harder.
Karen Brearley, Executive Assistant