Back to Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes
June 23, 2009 @ 7:00 PM
Ms. Burns, Mr. Rabuffo, Mr. Riley
¬Revised Rules and Specification Governing Street Excavation - Roger Fernandes, Project Engineer, Randy Sylvester, Interim DPW Superintendent, and Harry Sylvester, Highway Supervisor were present. Mr. Fernandes pointed out that the original guidelines were effective April 14, 1986 and subsequently amended April 30, 1991. Mr. Fernandes said these regulations are in accordance with the General By-Laws of the Town, the DTE 98-22 Standards and the Regulations of the Department of Public Works Superintendent entitled “Street Excavations” and may be amended or revised and updated by the Board of Selectmen. He pointed out that the most notable differences are in the technical section which brings the technical specifications up to date with industry standards as well as the actual permit fees and deposit requirements which essentially raise the street opening fee from $50 to $125.00. This raise will cover administrative costs and according to DTE we are in a position to charge administrative fees.
In addition to the minimum $100.00 non-refundable application fee, the following reimbursable deposits will apply:
(1) A $500.00 deposit for each excavation or opening will be required.
(2) Grind and Inlay deposit will be held, minimum charge $139.00, over 50
square feet, $2.39 per square feet, over 1,000 square feet, $2.19 per square feet. (3) Certification of compliance and test results deposit will be held ranging from $1.39 to $.50 per square feet.
(4) When applicable a reimbursable certification of removal of the old (existing) utility a deposit will be held at $10 per linear foot.
Street Restoration regulations will require the permit holder to certify in writing that it has completed the work and that the opening has been back filled, closed and compacted the opening to a soil density value of 95% modified Proctor density as specified in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials standard AASHTO T180. The utility companies are required by DTE to perform their own quality control and provide the town with documentation. Mr. Fernandes pointed out it has been very difficult to obtain this documentation and that by retaining a deposit they will either give the town the documents or forfeit their deposits allowing the town to either solicit or do the testing themselves. The funds that are forfeited would be used to restore the roads. He advised there is an additional charge of $1.83 per linear foot for a Grant of Location. Mr. Sylvester said that the Grant of Location has more latitude to recover inspection fees and require that flowable fill be used, than the street opening permit process.
Mr. Harry Sylvester pointed out that it has been a bone of contention with Nationalgrid as they refuse to use flowable fill and remove old utility lines. There are a lot of new utilities going in and the remaining lines no longer in service have caused problems. In response to Mr. Rabuffo, Mr. Fernandes advised that in general we ask that as part of the work that these processes take place but unfortunately the utilities companies do not comply. Mr. Fernandes felt these new regulations would take rectify these issues, as they would end up doing the work or paying in some fashion. Mr. Rabuffo asked how much money this constitutes actually under the old fee structure. Mr. Fernandes replied that last year we did about 300 permits @ $50 each and that increases by $75, so we are increasing it by approximately another $45,000. This amount is figured on deposits that are forfeited and the applicant lets us keep these fees. Mr. Riley questioned on how this would be viewed by private contractors. Mr. Fernandes advised that the DTE gives more latitude to private contractors.
Voted - to adopt the revised Rules and Specification Governing Street Excavation. dated June 23, 2009
Update on North Street – Mr. Fernandes advised there is an issue of getting the infrastructure under the road for the pole removal. Essentially it is to place the conduit work for the electric, telephone, and cable. The biggest issue was trying to develop an easement location for one of the transformers to be located on North Street. There is one person who is willing to provide this easement and we do have the easement language from the Light Department and hopefully this person will accept it. The only other issue is explaining to Comcast their obligation and responsibility to this project. They have contacted Mr. Fernandes looking for commitment and the initial contact was favorable and it is hoped that they will step up and do their part on their own soon, upgrading the service lines to private parties. The town will install the infrastructure for Verizon and Hingham Light. We can work with Comcast to do the same, but they have to pay for it, otherwise the town will have to piggy back their work and Comcast would have to come in behind us and do their part very quickly. Mr. Harry Sylvester said Nationalgrid is planning to replace the main in the section of North Street and Main Street. Mr. Rabuffo requested that Mr. Fernandes keep the Town Administrator apprised as we do not want to go through another construction season.
July 4th Button Contest – The Selectmen congratulated Kevin Shoyer, the winner and Matt Townsend and Katy Steeves, the runners up. The Board was disappointed that they couldn’t be here tonight to be recognized. Ms. Burns took this opportunity to mention that the July 4th Parade and fireworks are in danger of not having enough funds, so it is crucial that everyone purchases a button.
Request for Preservation Restriction – Joseph Cornish, Senior Stewardship Manager of Historic New England seeking the Board’s approval for a Preservation Restriction for the General Benjamin Lincoln House, 181 North Street. He explained that under this restriction the significant architectural features of this house will be protected against alteration, neglect and demolition. Historic New England has been in negotiations with two generations of the Lincoln Family since 1977 to protect the interior and exterior features of this house. These restrictions would go into full effect when the property’s ownership passes out of the current generation off the Lincoln family. This building was constructed in 1715 and 1790 and is designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1972. Mr. Cornish said these restrictions will ensure that this building will be preserved for future generations at no cost to the town or residents. He explained that the Massachusetts Historical Commission is prepared to formally approve these restrictions, pending approval of the Board of Selectmen. Andrea Young, Hingham Historical Commission Administrator informed the Board that her Commission favors this request as it would protect a homeowner from gutting the interior of this significant building.
Voted - to approve the proposed preservation restriction for the General Benjamin Lincoln House, 181 North Street in Hingham, MA as provided for under MGL Chapter 184, Section 32.
Town Insurance Bids - Kevin Paicos, Town Administrator advised that the following four bids were received:
MIIA Insurance $456,336 all inclusive
Gaudette Ins. Agency $68,340 just Police and Fire/$73,557 Aux, Membership
Richardson Ins. Agency $291,510 + Police and Fire $65,541.57 – total $357,051.57
Berry Insurance Agency $438,232 – all inclusive
Mr. Paicos pointed out that the town had not gone out to bid for a number of years and he thought it would be in the town’s best interest to go out bid every two years. He thought that the limits of coverage and the amounts covered were generally close or identical. Richardson Ins, our current broker for the Massamount Insurance program appears to be the low bidder. However, he felt that the successful quotation was submitted by MIIA. This company is a collaboration of Mass. cities and towns for the purpose of purchasing property/liability insurance. He pointed out that several other factors must be considered to reveal the complete cost of the program. MIIA is the only company to quote a multi year rate guarantee, contingent upon not exceeding a 60% margin. Mr. Paicos noted that MIIA and Richardson quotes carried a separate amount for the umbrella of $46,500 which is factored into their total for $5 million of coverage. Mr. Paicos would like to reduce that to $2 million, the legal limit for municipalities, to save money. When the total quotes for each line of insurance are added together, the amounts shown for each quotation, under the heading” Total Quotes” on Mr. Paicos spreadsheet, shows that Richardson is the apparent low bidder. When the credits and Adds for EAP and claim deductibles are factored into the quotes and are applied against each of the quotes, MIIA becomes the low bidder by a narrow margin. The original quotes provided coverage for the Police/Fire special accident coverage that was identical for MIIA and MEGA, but the premium for each was made a part of the whole quote and not shown separately. Richardson quoted different coverage and showed its quote separately from their package quote. Initially, Mr. Paicos tried to have just Richardson quote the higher limits, but some misunderstanding occurred and they quoted higher limits than MIIA or MEGA. Mr. Paicos then decided to have MIIA and MEGA provide their quotes separate from their package quote and then remove all three special accident policy quotes from each company’s quotation. By doing so, Mr. Paicos reported that some substantial savings were realized and the final results then reveals MIIA to be the best quote by a margin of $59,548.
Mr. Rabuffo thanked Mr. Paicos for preparing the comparison spread sheet but advised he needs more time to digest all of this information and felt this matter was worthy of further review. Mr. Riley wants to check on the numbers relating to contractor’s vehicles and the umbrella policy with the different carriers. Ms. Burns plans to discuss this issue further with Mr. Paicos to get a better understanding of all the costs and items. She concurred that this matter should be taken under advisement until the Board has a chance to review and evaluate these proposals.
Four Day Work Week Proposal – Ms. Burns announced that the Selectmen are looking for cost savings ideas. Several employees had suggested a four day week at Town Hall. Employees would work the same amount of hours, but the work would be consolidated into four days, resulting in utilities savings. Mr. Paicos said this has been implemented very successfully in other towns and the increased number of evening hours has proved popular with residents. Mr. Paicos explained that we should focus on whether or not we will be able to serve the public better, realize a saving on energy costs, and that is not just about employees having a three day weekend. Ms. Burns advised she was just exploring the idea and is not ready to make any decisions at this time. If and when this happens, feedback from the citizens and employees would be taken into account. Mr. Rabuffo said there could be a lot of advantages if you could improve the delivery side, as there would be cost savings to the town as well as the employees. He wanted to make sure that we would sustain or improve service levels. Ms. Katy Lacy, Planning Administrator, has written a letter informing the Board that she was not in favor of this proposal. She said many employees work 1-2 nights per week already and an extension of hours would leave virtually no time to go home to do what needs to be done. She also thought there could be perception that town employees are reaping full time benefits for part time work. Sue Eddy, Board of Appeals employee was present and in favor of a 4 day work week and suggested different hours for the Board to consider.
Mr. Riley said he would like to have some kind of an idea on the energy savings cost, especially where the Police, Recreation and Elder Services share this building, and are open much longer hours. Mr. Paicos said that we could have our heating carrier compute the degree days and come up with an approximate estimate. He also said that the only way you really would know would be to go through a season and he suggested that it be done on a 3 month trial basis. The same would apply for air conditioning costs. Mr. Paicos thought a significant amount of money would be saved, but the key issue here is, does the community really want it. Rockland just did this and acheived a 5 to 6 per- cent saving. Another town had a savings of 10 to 12 percent. Flexible hours could be an option, Ms. Burns suggested, for mothers with young children. Ms. Burns will prepare a press release requesting the citizens to send in their comments and opinions. This discussion will be revisited at a future meeting.
Voted- to grant a temporary liquor license to Hingham Shipyard Marina, 24 Shipyard Drive, for 4 Author’s Nights on 6/30, 7/9, 7/29, and 8/19, from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
Voted - to sign a contract with New England Recycling Co., Inc. for Disposal of the Construction/Demolition Debris and Bulky Waste for the Hingham Transfer Station in the amount of $64.00 per ton.
Voted - to reappoint the following as Special Police Officers for the ensuing year:
Mark Brennan Michael Murray
Kenneth Corson Michael Parker
Russell Erickson Aaron Smith
Daniel Galvin Thomas Steen
Jonathan Gordon Joan Sullivan
Ronald Lincoln James Wells
Joseph Meyer Brian Willard
Voted - to appoint the following as Special Police Officers for the ensuing year:
Michael Dunlea, Jr. Holly Krukonis
Holly Krukonis Mitchell Powers
Voted - to sign a proclamation designating June 27, 2009 as Tower Day in Hingham.
Voted - to sign a proclamation designating July 5, 2009 as Loring Day in Hingham.
Voted - to appoint Darren M. McAdams a Provisional Police Lieutenant
Voted - to appoint Officer David A. Petitti a Temporary Police Sergeant.
Selectmen’s Reports – Ms. Burns reported that she and Mr. Rabuffo attended a South Shore Chamber of Commerce meeting at Linden Ponds. Ms. Burns said it was a great opportunity to discuss development in South Hingham. Judith Sneath, Planning Board member and Katy Lacy, Planning Administrator helped to frame the questions and get the discussion started. A number of citizens were involved and had lots of questions and interest as to what kind of development they would like to see.
Mr. Riley reported that he attended the first meeting with Harbor Task Force. It was well attended by representatives of the Planning Board, Harbor Development Committee, Development & Industrial Committee and Bathing Beach Trustees. Beginning stage concerns of zoning and business ventures were discussed. Minutes will be forthcoming.
Mr. Rabuffo reported he talked to the President of WGBH who advised they offer a local program and services, provide training and technical support. Mr. Rabuffo thought this could be useful to Hingham when setting up our Cable TV access studio.
Voted, by roll call vote to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss pending litigation and not return to Open Session.
yes, Ms. Burns
yes, Mr. Riley
Marilyn A. Harrington
Regular Session Adjourned: 9:20 PM Clerk pro tem