Back to Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes
February 25, 2010
Regular Session 6:35 pm
Ms. Burns, Mr. Rabuffo
Capital Outlay Recommendations
Mr. Eisenbees said the capital requests received from departments totaled $3,677,385 this year which is typical. Certain expenses were deferred in the face of difficult economic times. The Committee employed a policy that an expense qualified if it put citizen safety at risk or if repairs would cost more than 25% of replacement cost and several other criteria. The Committee’s recommendation for capital expenditures in FY11 is $1,316,325 of which $236,000 will be funded from user rates or charges. There is also a recommendation for an additional $200,000 in a capital reserve fund for emergencies. Mr. Rabuffo mentioned that the server virtualization would allow the Town to avail itself of technologies going forward. There is new technology whereby a lot of the processing could be centralized. Ms. Burns expressed concern about the heating system at the library. Mr. Eisenbees indicated that there was some thought it might be possible to install some sort of cogeneration unit. Mr. Alexiades is working with a number of experts on cogeneration.
Rep. Bradley said that although he has been telling communities to prepare for a 5-10% cut in local aid things may be somewhat better than that. The legislature is likely to come to resolution on a 3% cut to local aid. There are some federal stimulus funds and the governor is using the $965,000 ARRA funds to get to foundation.
Ted Langill reported that a couple of days ago the Committee on Municipalities put out a package on municipal relief that and asked that the Board let them know which topics are important to the town. Rep Bradley said the House budget would be done the 25th of April and the Senate by Memorial Day. It is hoped that there will be a local aid resolution soon. Ms. Burns pointed out that having the ability to control plan design for health insurance is key. Rep Bradley encouraged the Board to send a letter advocating for the Town’s having the ability to change plan design. Mr. Langill said one option would be to make plan design a local option – which passes the tough decision back to the communities. Sen. Hedlund offered an amendment last year specific to plan design in Plymouth County. The Board mentioned the need for special legislation for the dispatch center. Rep. Bradley said he is trying to get this done in the next couple of months.
Community Preservation Committee Articles
Mr. Reardon presented an overview of the financial status of the Community Preservation Committee funds and the Committee’s priorities. There is a bill currently in front of the Legislature that would cure the “Newton” issue on recreational fields. The expected surtax this year will be about $765,000 and a match of $214,000 is likely. Mr. Reardon said there was a return of $175,000 to the Fund that had been allocated to Community Housing but was found to be too small to be of use. The Committee had approximately $1,266,500 to spend this year.
Time Capsule Project: There was a time capsule buried at the 350th celebration. These funds were allocated to permit the purchase of a time capsule for this year’s anniversary observance.
Voted - to recommend an appropriation of $1,216 from Community Preservation Funds for the purchase of an underground time capsule.
Community Preservation Fund Administrative Fund: This is only the third time any money has been added to the fund. Mr. Reardon noted that this has been a pretty lean organization. The annual money required appears to be about $26,000. Principal items covered salary, appraisals, dues, advertising funds, etc. The recommended appropriation added to what is currently in the fund will allow for about three years of operating expenses.
Voted - to recommend an appropriation to the Community Preservation administrative reserve in the amount of $50,000.
Affordable Housing Project: 80 Beal Street. This project is to be accomplished by the coordination of the project with the Affordable Housing Trust. This plan is to construct three to four condo units on the three acre parcel - three one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit. The Trust used $100,000 for a down payment and has a mortgage of $299,000 with Rockland Trust. Three units would be sold at $171,000 each and the two bedroom unit at $189,000. The original house could be resold as is after the condos are developed. Mr. Seelen suggested that the allocation of funds be contingent upon approval of permits. The Board agreed to revisit this article at a later meeting.
Bare Cove Fire Museum: Mr. Tondorf-Dick explained that this money would allow for the restoration of the exterior envelope of the existing Building 112 in Bare Cove Park. The corrugated roof is deteriorating, and one exterior wall is compromised. There is also asbestos which is in need of remediation.
Voted - to recommend that the Town appropriate $252,000 from the Community Preservation Historic Resource Reserve for the rehabilitation of Building 112 located at Bare Cove Park.
Thaxter Park Boilers: A year ago five boilers needed to be replaced, three have been taken care of the remaining boilers are also in need of emergency replacement. If there is a level of commitment from the state prior to town meeting and the article will be withdrawn. Mr. Rabuffo noted that this is a state obligation but we do not want Hingham citizens endangered
Voted - That the Town appropriate $54,700 from the Community Preservation Community Housing reserve, such amount to be expended under the direction of the Hingham Housing Authority for replacement of two boilers at the Thaxter Park Housing Development.
Foundry Pond project: This has been an ongoing issue for many years. When first dammed it was 6 acres in area – now it is three acres. The sediment prevents regulation of the flow of water through the dam. The Town has had a number of lawsuits over the years due to flooding from the Pond. There is public liability if the Town cannot spill enough water through the dam. This project takes care of a flood issue and enhances the fish habitat. If the dam were breached, it would have a very deleterious effect on the shellfish beds. The project is estimated to be of three to six months duration and, if dredged, it would likely last for 25 to 30 years. The Department of Revenue has given approval to another community to restore a pond with Community Preservation Funds.
Voted - That the Town appropriate up to $162,500 from the Community Preservation Open Space Reserve for partial funding of the dredging of Foundry Pond, such appropriation to be contingent upon receipt of the remainder of the necessary funds for the project from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or other funds available to the Town provided that such contingency is resolved by the end of fiscal year 2011.
Memorial Bell Tower project: The tower was a gift to the Town from Old Ship. The land was donated and the tower was built and completed in 1912. There are two aspects to the project - the instrument and the case. The Instrument is the bells, pulleys, bearings, etc. and this is all significantly corroded; the case is the building itself which also needs attention.
Voted - That the Town appropriate $38,000 from the Community Preservation Historic Resources Reserve to be used by the Hingham Historical Commission to prepare a historic structures report and design documents to better define the scope of work and detailed cost estimate for the preservation and restoration of the Hingham Memorial Bell Tower, bells, “hand ringing” and chime apparatus.
Community Preservation Act Surcharge Reduction act: Mr. Reardon spoke in opposition to the proposed article. Ms. Marwill said that because the surcharge is outside the tax levy it is exempt from the cuts that other budgets have had to endure. While she realizes that these are worthy projects, there are many worthy budgets such as police, fire and schools. Mr. Rabuffo suggested that this matter be continued until Mr. Riley’s return. The Board tabled the matter.
Voted - to extend the contract to Gallant Grader Service for Equipment Rental and Labor Services, Bid #6, for the period ending December 31, 2010.
Voted - to send a letter of support for legislation allowing towns to control health plan design outside of collective bargaining.
Voted - to sign the application to transfer the Restaurant All Alcoholic Beverages License of the Country Club Management Committee d/b/a South Shore Country Club, Elio Ricci, Manager, 274 South Street to the Town of Hingham d/b/a South Shore Country Club, Elio Ricci, Manager.
Voted - to sign the Management Services Agreement collectively between the Board of Selectmen, the Country Club Management Committee and Elio Ricci, Manager.
Voted - to approve the application of 99 Restaurants of Boston, LLC, d/b/a 99 Restaurant & Pubs, 428 Lincoln Street, for a change of officers/new director. (The ABCC has allowed this request to be filed as a “Master Application”).
Voted - to grant a temporary liquor license to Jane Fisher for a Hingham Girl’s Basketball Association Fundraiser to be held March 5th at Old Derby.
Voted - to grant a temporary liquor license to The Chef’s Table, c/o Julie Ellis, for a South School PTO Fundraiser to be held March 6th at 15 Shipyard Drive.
Voted - to grant a temporary liquor license to Wellspring Multi Service Center, c/o Monica McKenney, for a fundraiser to be held on April 10th at 15 Shipyard Drive.
Meeting adjourned 11:05 pm.
Betty Foley, Clerk