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February 1, 2005
Regular Session 7:05 PM
Ms. Tully, Mr. Edmundson, Mr. MacIver
District Increment Financing
Patricia Singer, Economic Coordinating Council Project Director, explained that the District Increment Financing Program is a municipal financing alternative that is available to all cities and towns in Massachusetts. This is a true tax increment-financing program unlike TIF. It does not increase taxes or redirect taxes but it does capture and allocate future incremental taxes and is a flexible self-funding financing program. The community can partner with the developer to do the clean up, etc. The financing is paid from increased taxes and the money above the financing goes directly to the general fund.
DIF Districts can vary widely in size and there can be more than one DIF District in the municipality but the total area cannot exceed 25% of the municipality. District Increment Financing does not extend eminent domain powers but it does allow municipalities to acquire property for resale.
The Massachusetts Office of Business Development manages the DIF Program. A municipality must follow the application process and secure local approval; a pre-review team will provide technical review; and then EACC will review each application within 65 days. The application must include a clear goal, definition of the DIF District and the designation of a responsible public or private entity for the program. You must document the boundaries of the district, processes such as public hearings and notices, project objective, property and zoning changes, finances and any impact on EDIPs or TIFs must be disclosed. EACC then provides written approval, or outlines deficiencies found and gives a specified timeframe for review of the application.
Ms. Tully noted that the Shipyard reconstruction could provide funds to help the downtown under this program. Mr. MacIver noted that administrative issues and costs could play a major role in whether to move ahead or not. Mr. Edmundson noted that the bond could not be tax exempt if there is a private developer involved. The advantage of this program is that it allows money to be channeled towards a particular project. The revenue stream can be pledged and that could not be done before. This program does not convey any authority to the town. The burden of this program is that the town has to meet the administrative strictures of the program. This is a much broader financing possibility. The ability to segregate revenues is another benefit.
The Board convened in joint session with the Advisory Committee to hear the School Department budget presentation at 7:55 PM.
Joint session adjourned at 9:05 PM.
Police Patrolmen Candidates
Based upon qualifications and the result of intensive background checks, Chief Carlson recommended the following candidates: Robert Stockbridge, Michael Bizzozero, Bradford Mills, and Jeffrey P. Kilroy. The Board commented that they were impressed with the quality of the applicants and noted that they would be recruiting more officers in the future and therefore encouraged those not invited this time to continue to pursue their interest in policing. Ms. Tully, Mr. Edmundson and Mr. MacIver each supported the chief’s recommendations.
Voted - that the Board of Selectmen, while acting in the capacity of Appointing Authority for the Town of Hingham extends to Robert Stockbridge, Michael Bizzozero, Bradford Mills and Jeffrey Kilroy a conditional offer of employment as a permanent police officer for the Town of Hingham. This offer is contingent upon the successful passing of all required medical and psychological screening examinations and all other requirements related to, but not necessarily limited to the following:
A. Successful passing of the required medical examination;
B. Successful passing of the required physical abilities test (PAT);
C. Successful passing of the required psychological screening process;
D. Successful passing of all other requirements for entrance into the police academy;
E. Entering into a satisfactory agreement with the Town of Hingham relative to payment of the $2,300 recruit training fee;
F. Any and all other requirements as mandated by law or regulation.
The first day of employment will coincide with the next available police academy as determined by the Police Chief
Voted - to continue the hearing on whether or not to alter a grant of location to Verizon New England, Inc. to February 8, 2005
Peeping Tom By-Law
The petition article regarding changes to the Peeping Tom By-Law was discussed. The Police Chief said he and Town Counsel question whether the town has the authority to include the right of arrest. There have been only 16 peeping tom calls since 1994. Chief Carlson stated that the by-law as currently written works. It provides for a maximum fine of $20. The chief said he would want to delay any changes in the by-law until there was a better sense of cyber-spying, etc. Ms. Tully asked the police chief to investigate the fines being charged by other towns.
Voted - to recommend no action on the proposed Hingham Peeping Tom By-law
Chief Carlson advised the Board that the Police Department stopped enforcing certain parts of the current by-law since it was not up to snuff. The revised article contains the same definitions, Sections 2 and 3 have been rewritten, and Sections 4,5 and 6 are new. The previous by-law had some requirements regarding charitable and religious organizations that were not legal. The information that the Police Department was requiring was a violation of religious organizations’ rights. Under the proposed by-law the police chief can require an application and after review issue or deny a solicitation license. All solicitors must have a license in their possession when soliciting. Each member of a solicitation team should have a license. The Board suggested that the words “or designee” by added to Section 4 where the reference is to the police chief’s review. It was also suggested that there be a requirement that the solicitor display the permit. Mr. Edmundson also recommended that language be included that states an applicant can meet with the Chief to review the reasons for refusal of a license. The changes will be incorporated and forwarded to the Selectmen.
Voted - to support the Shipyard Improvement Article
Voted - to grant request for counsel as submitted by the School Department.
Voted - to appoint Gregory Synnott a member of the Harbor Development Committee to fill an unexpired term ending in 2005.
Mr. Synnott was formerly an associate member of the Harbor Development Committee and he is moving up to full membership due to a resignation.
Voted - to grant Mike Sokolowski of Newton Oriental Rugs a one-day auctioneer’s license for an auction to be at the South Shore Country Club on March 20, 2005. This is granted with the stipulation that signs are not posted within the Town.
Selectmen/Town Administrator’s Reports
Mr. MacIver noted that there would be a No Place for Hate event on February 12 from 5-7 at the Old Ship Church. This coming Saturday is Lincoln Day. Ceremonies will begin at 10:15 AM at the cemetery to be followed by an eleven o’clock program at Old Ship Church. Bill Salisbury has written a proclamation for the Board of Selectmen. The program honors Benjamin Lincoln who put down Shea’s Rebellion. Mr. MacIver noted that there is a Trumbell painting of General Lincoln in the rotunda at the Capital.
Voted – to approve the minutes of November 9 and 23, 2004
Meeting adjourned 9:50 PM.