Back to Advisory Committee Minutes
Present: Committee Members Lauter, Seelen, Asher, Cavoores, Dwyer, Eldredge, Ellison, Farrell, Friedman, Innis, Johnson, Manning, Marwill, O’Meara
1. Call to order
Chair Irma Lauter called the Advisory Committee meeting to order at 7:37 PM.
2. Approval of minutes for October 14, 2008
The Committee reviewed and approved the minutes from the October 14th meeting after incorporating a wording modification regarding a projected decrease in State aid.
3. Planning Board
Town Planner Katy Lacy made a brief presentation of the Planning Board’s various responsibilities authorized under Mass. General Law and in accordance with the Hingham Zoning By-Law.
Katy noted that—although not required by Mass. Law—Hingham has a layered hearing process, which adds both Board of Selectmen and Advisory Committee hearings following Planning Board action on Zoning By-Law amendments. A suggestion was made to consider, where schedules permit, joint Board of Selectmen/Advisory Committee hearings in order to reduce unnecessary redundancy.
Katy signaled that discussion of the Shared Parking Analysis for Downtown was indefinitely deferred, since it is still a ‘work in progress.’
4. Project Updates – School Building Project
Dennis Friedman of the Education Subcommittee provided an update on construction status at the new elementary school as well as Plymouth River and Foster refurbishment. Net: the new elementary school is on schedule and on budget with no pending Change Orders greater than $5K.
The annual School Tour conducted by the School Department is scheduled for Saturday, November 22nd and will focus on the new elementary school, Plymouth River, Foster, and the Middle School modular classrooms.
Irma briefed the Committee on the DPW Building Project indicating that the Sand & Salt Shed is complete, the fields mostly seeded, and that agreement regarding privacy fencing has been reached with abutters.
5. Lincoln School Apartments Discussion and Vote
Town Counsel Jim Toomey updated the Committee regarding his further research into the requirement for Committee member physical presence to vote. Net: the final determination rests with the local District Attorney’s office.
Jim O’Brien, Chairman of the Hingham Affordable Housing Trust, recapped HAHT’s position regarding a possible agreement between the Town and Corcoran as a fallback were Special Town Meeting not to approve Town acquisition of LSA.
Jim also summarized the findings of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment study (21E study) for the LSA, noting that no environmental concerns were identified. The only noted item was three fill/vent pipes encased in a concrete pad adjacent to the former coal hatch and coal storage room. There is no indication of an underground storage tank.
A brief discussion of the likelihood of all old-section kitchens having a layer of asbestos tile contained under a non-asbestos-tile layer resulted in the suggestion that the existing Capital Replacement Reserve be augmented to include asbestos-removal costs associated with any future kitchen renovations.
The Committee then voted to enter Executive Session in order to discuss the real-estate transaction with Town Counsel Jim Toomey, members of the HAHT, the Board of Selectmen, and Susan Murphy.
Upon returning to Public Session, the Chair invited comments from the public regarding the proposed LSA acquisition.
The Committee reviewed the motion to Purchase and voted to approve:
a. Elimination of clause (4)(b) limiting the term of the lease between the Town and the limited liability company
b. Modification of the bond term from 20 to 30 years
The Committee then voted to approve the motion to Purchase, with 7 in favor and 6 against. Each of the six votes against asked to be recorded: Seelen, Cavoores, Ellison, Innis, Manning, and Marwill.
The Committee will gather at Hingham High School at 6:00 PM on Monday, October 27th for the Special Town Meeting.
The Chair indicated that there will be no Committee meeting on either October 28th or November 4th and reminded members to adhere to Open Meeting Law requirements when communicating by email.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:35 PM.
Jonathan Asher, Secretary