Email on Friday lists paving schedule as follows – schedule not known –
High Street and South Street
Email on Friday lists paving schedule as follows – schedule not known –
High Street and South Street
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Posted in Information
I would like to see the Town of Medfield engage in a planned program to plant more street trees. I am motivated by the old photographs I have seen of the tunnels of the tree canopies formed by the towering elm trees along along Main Street and the full willow trees along Rte. 109 where it crosses the Charles River.
There are hybrid elm trees that are resistant to the Dutch Elm Blight, so we could return to elms. The ornamental pear trees do well as street trees, and might work well in the downtown. Where chestnut trees were once such a common New England hardwood, it might be nice to see if there is a chestnut tree now that can both survive and prosper. The willows could look spectacular along the river crossing.
Given our town budget issues, I would hope to see the trees donated, and perhaps adopted by residents who would take responsibility for watering and fertilizing them. Perhaps we could map the town trees on the town’s GIS, with notations as to which family has adopted and agreed to be responsible for which trees, as a way to spur the individual attention that may be needed. An individual tree is not that expensive, but by comparison the planting and care can cost money. Plan and plant for the long run, by planting inexpensive small trees now, but leaving a gift of majestic large trees to our children and grandchildren.
The Medfield Garden Club is a paradigm of how to beautify public spaces in town with living plant material. Perhaps similar such organizations and local arborists would share their organizational abilities and/or expertise to make such a project happen.
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Posted in Information, Planning
I just suggested to Mike Sullivan that it might behoove the town to invite all our former selectmen to meet so as to advise us on and brainstorm about solutions to town issues. There is a lot of knowledge that one acquires from being a selectman, and if former selectmen were willing, it might well assist the town to have them meet once or twice a year to hash through the most intractable problems the town faces so that the town could tap into their special expertise.
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Posted in Information
Just added two scanners to my Droid phone, CamScanner and ScanToPDF, both free. Document Scanner was not. My results were not good enough to OCR, but still a great tool to have with you when out of reach of the office scanner (a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500).
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Posted in Technology
At the end of the fiscal year, 6/30/11, the Town of Medfield had $31,103,640.09 in cash. About $13m. was School Building Assistance reimbursement monies being held to pay off the debt on the school building borrowing, $9m. was various trust funds the town holds for things like pensions and health insurance, and the rest was mainly the float on the town’s operating monies.
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Posted in Budgets
It was reported to me this morning that Sam White’s is buying the A.H. Harris & Sons site on West Mill Street, and that is the reason that A.H. Harris & Sons is leaving town. Harris is apparently consolidating multiple locations in indoors in one giant 100,000 sq. ft. building, maybe in Middleboro.
Sam White’s still has its original location on Rte. 9 in Newton.
Nice to know both that Sam White’s is doing well enough to expand, and that A. H. Harris is not voluntarily pulling out of Medfield.
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Posted in Business
Town of Medfield Transfer Station E-waste Results – August 6th, 2011
The launch of the new e-waste recycling program at the Town of Medfield Transfer Station on August 6th was an undeniable success. Medfield is a little “greener” this month, thanks to the cooperation of Medfield residents, the Medfield Transfer Station, and Electronix Redux Corp. Over 100 town residents assisted the Electronix Redux team in recycling almost 4 tons of electronic waste without a hitch. Residents flowed efficiently through the e-waste drop-off station as they handed off old televisions, computers, cell phones, and other expired electronics throughout the day, filling the company’s 18 foot box truck to its limit. Electronic waste or “e-waste” as it is sometimes called can contain harmful heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, chromium and mercury. It is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that these items are handled properly and in as safe a manner as possible and the Town of Medfield is certainly doing its part. The team would like to thank everyone that came out to make the first event such a success, and looks forward to next month’s e-waste collection day on September 3rd.
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Posted in Recycling & Solid Waste
I was asked this week to find out whether Electronix ReDux Corp., the new e-waste recycling company that is going to be collecting old electronics at the Transfer Station on the first Saturday of each month from now on, is disposing of the materials it collects in a responsible manner. What follows is the query I made and the Electronix ReDux Corp. response.
From: Osler L. Peterson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Taurin Bellavance <email@example.com>
Sent: Mon, August 15, 2011 5:15:11 PM
Subject: RE: One more request…
I am one of the selectmen in the Town of Medfield, and the question has been raised by a resident as to what you do with the electronic goods that you collect, and whether they are being responsibly disposed of by your company. Can you please share with me how your business deals with the old electronics, and also share how and where the ultimate disposal takes place.
Thank you for your courtesies and assistance with this matter.
Osler L. Peterson, Attorney at Law
PETERSON | Law
580 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02458
66 North St, PO Box 358, Medfield, MA 02052
T 617.969.1501 (direct)
Medfield Information at: FB, https://medfield02052.wordpress.com/ & http://twitter.com/Medfield
This is a question we receive frequently from both commercial and residential customers. The recycling procedure used depends on what the item being recycled is, and what it’s components are comprised of. For the sake of simplicity, I will give the example of a home PC which we recycle on a daily basis. The first step in the process is to shred the hard drive, as it may contain personal data. This is the most important part of the procedure in our eyes, as we feel that it is our responsibility to ensure proper destruction of the data-containing components entrusted to us by our customers. If the computer is deemed usable, it will be fitted with a new hard drive and find a new life with someone less fortunate than the individual who donated it to our company. If the computer is too old or damaged, the various drives, motherboards, RAM, CPUs, etc. are removed and separated into various bins for further processing. These parts all contain extremely minute trace amounts of various precious metals which will be recovered via a refining process. Gold, for example, has reached such historic prices in recent years that it has actually become cheaper to “mine” it from expired consumer electronics than to attempt to mine it from the earth’s crust. The outer shell of the computer is made up of plastic and steel and in some rare cases, aluminum. These metals and plastics are separated and recycled in the same manner that they have been for decades.
Within recent years there has been a growing awareness of the unscrupulous practices of some e-waste recyclers, and I have a sneaking suspicion that your resident’s question was sparked by one of the many television specials reporting on the dirty side of this issue. Images of children in Third World countries tearing apart our end-of-life electronics in dirty and hazardous conditions certainly warrant cause for concern and sometimes invoke feelings of guilt in the consumers responsible for the disposal of these products. I can assure you that this is not the type of business that we run, and that we pride ourselves on our green initiative and ethical values. There has been very little government legislation regulating the disposal of e-waste in the past, but this is all changing and the crackdown has begun. Anything that we do not have the capability of handling in-house is performed by other licensed companies within the United States, regardless of the potentially higher costs. We are in this business for the long haul and feel that it is in our best interest to do things by the book and keep a clean record if we are to continue to operate well into the future. We appreciate both your business and your concern! If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to e-mail or call.
Electronix ReDux Corp.
8 Shire Drive, Suite 5
Norfolk, MA 02056
Direct: (508) 384-1112
Fax: (508) 384-3459
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Posted in Recycling & Solid Waste
Permanent Building Committee Minutes
August 4, 2011 6:30 p.m. Chenery Meeting Room, Medfield Town Hall
Present: Thomas Erb, Timothy Bonfatti, John Nunnari. Also present were Selectmen Peterson and Thompson, DPW Supt Feeney, Council on Aging Chairman Fellini and Town Administrator Sullivan.
Chairman Erb called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m. He took up item A. Do we recommend Yes/No to the Selectman that the public works department proceed with design, bidding and construction of the Salt Shed, stating that he supports proceeding with the salt shed. The type of construction i.e. design-build, modular, etc, was reviewed. It was concluded that a contractor should build the salt shed, and do the electrical work, and the highway department should do the paving. An architect’s stamp on the building plans should be obtained. The salt shed would be made of wood, with a concrete knee wall. Bonfatti acknowledged that a replacement salt shed was needed. Committee members agreed that there was no other site in the Town suitable for locating the salt shed. Bonfatti asked whether the salt shed could be built without interfering with operation of the existing town garage. Feeney said that it could and that depending on the condition of the old salt shed, it might be kept for additional storage. Feeney said that he would proceed with obtaining Planning Board site plan approval and a Zoning Board special permit. It was requested that copies of the RFP be sent to committee members prior to advertizing for bid, so that they could review it and make changes , if necessary. Bonfatti asked whether Town Counsel Cerel approved proceeding with the salt shed. He also asked whether HNTB, the town garage architects/engineers would prepare a performance spec and bid documents for the salt shed. Feeney will review the procedures and documents with Cerel. Bonfatti moved, seconded by Nunnari, and it was voted, unanimously, to proceed with construction of the salt shed, subject to approval of the RFP by the committee.
The next item on discussed was the development of a Capital Plan and process. Bonfatti felt that it was necessary to develop a Master Plan of future capital projects, and present this, along with existing debt schedules, future debt projections and a financing plan, including tax rate and fee impacts. He observed that the Public Works Department had no natural constituency, unlike the schools, police and fire, which could call upon residents to actively support their capital projects. He thought that it was important to point out to residents the necessity of building a new town garage and that it was a priority that needed to be done, before other capital projects could proceed. He also felt that it should be pointed out that the proposed town garage would provide space for school department maintenance vehicles and equipment, which had had been eliminated in the school renovations, to provide additional classroom space.
Bonfatti then proceeded to outline his concept of a new campus, centered on the section of Dale Street, between North Street and Adams Street. He felt that it could become a magnet for the Town, attracting new residents and addressing many of the capital needs of the Town, in a joint development concept. He noted that the Police-Fire expansion/renovation was projected for this location, as well as future renovation and/or expansion of the Dale Street School and the renovation and/or relocation of the Park and Recreation facilities. Sullivan pointed out that the area was already heavily utilized for employee and other parking needs and that the abutting residential neighborhoods would need to be considered, prior to such a proposal. Bonfatti agreed and said that extensive work would need to be done on such a proposal. He felt that the Master Plan was an important part of this and that extensive neighborhood, parental, Selectmen, Warrant Committee, School Committee involvement would be critical to its success. Fellini asked to be recognized and said that this proposal was a rehash of what was done ten years ago with Barry Colt’s Committee He said that the problem at that time was that these projects, town garage, police/fire stations and park and recreation building, came up at the same time as the School renovations and so were never done, except for the senior center. Bonfatti felt that the campus plan could be viewed as a strategic master plan for financing future capital projects. He also felt that it could work as a political problem solver to sell the Town on the need for the capital projects and to build a constituency for the Town Garage project. However, he felt that the questions of the size and type of construction needed to be more fully addressed, if the project is to be sold to the Town. He thought that a peer review wasn’t exactly what was needed, but a feasibility study addressing the issues raised by Peterson. He questioned where we should go with HNTB. Feeney pointed out that the Town owned the plans and specs for the town garage, as Town Counsel Cerel was careful to insert language about the Town’s rights to use them. Bonfatti noted that the new building code would not take effect until 2015, but the energy code would take effect next year. Sullivan felt that the first order of business was to convince the Board of Selectmen of the need for a replacement town garage, as the Selectmen had taken three different positions at the Town Meeting. It was agreed that the Committee should meet with the Selectmen in September to discuss the town garage replacement with them. Sullivan will schedule an appointment with the Selectmen for their September 20th meeting. Peterson felt that some discussion should take place on the quality of construction of public buildings in Medfield, noting that the police and fire station, which was of brick construction was also in need of renovation. He also told the Committee about a Harvard/MIT professor, whom he had heard speak as a recent meeting he attended, about building consensus on political issues and thought such an approach might work with the town garage project. Bonfatti felt that the Town could make better use of social media to inform and build support for capital projects. He said that the School Department had been successful in building support for its overrides, although he recognized that the School Department had a natural consistency to support its efforts, and could rely on private groups to get out information to residents on school issues, while the Public Works Department had no such constituency.
In addition to scheduling a meeting with the Board of Selectmen, it was agreed that the original feasibility study on the town garage should be circulated among Committee members. The Committee also decided to meet with the Police and Fire Chiefs, the Superintendent of School s and the Park and Recreation Commission to explore the idea of developing a master plan for the various departmental plans, focused on the concept of a Dale Street campus. The Committee agreed that a meeting for this purpose should be scheduled for Thursday, September 8th at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.
On a motion by Bonfatti, seconded by Nunnari, it was voted, unanimously, to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.
Indications of a Possible Senate Run for Elizabeth Warren
Speculation grew this week around Elizabeth Warren’s potential candidacy for Senator Scott Brown’s U.S. Senate seat. Warren, a longtime consumer advocate, was named Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury to assist in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) established under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. On Thursday evening, Warren posted an article on the liberal blog Blue Mass Group in which she discussed her family history, her work in Washington D.C. to tackle the problem of “big banks that drained billions of dollars out of families’ pockets,” and her intention to come back home to Massachusetts and start talking to people “about the challenges we face and how we get our economy growing again.” The Boston Globe reported on Friday that Warren had hired Governor Patrick’s former campaign manager as a consultant.
Congressmen Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch have both indicated that they are still considering a run for the Senate seat and that they intend do make a final decision in the coming months.
Legislature on August Recess
With the Legislature on August recess, activity at the State House remained slow this week. Several members of the Massachusetts House and Senate, including Senate President Therese Murray, Sen. Richard Moore, who was recently named NCSL president, and Reps. Jay Kaufman and Michael Moran, traveled to San Antonio to attend the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Legislative Summit.
Senator John Kerry Appointed to Debt Reduction Super Committee
This week US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appointed Senator John Kerry to the 12-member special panel created as part of the debt ceiling agreement. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is tasked with creating a plan to cut an additional $1.2 from the federal deficit over the next 10 years. The committee was given a deadline of Nov. 23, 2011 to produce its recommendations, which will be voted on immediately by both chambers of Congress, with no filibusters or amendments allowed.
Attorney General Reaches Settlement with Mortgage Lender Option One
On Monday Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a settlement with Sand Canyon, formerly known as Option One. Under the agreement, thousands of Massachusetts home loan recipients will receive roughly $115 million in relief. The settlement resolves claims of unfair and discriminatory lending practices and directs American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc., which serves about 5,500 Option One loans in Massachusetts, to make loan modifications that will provide relief to mortgage holders. Coakley said 2,361 home loan recipients are eligible, based on their delinquency status, to have their mortgages restructured under the settlement. The settlement also requires the mortgage originator to pay $9.8 million to the state.
Business Confidence Levels Hold Steady in July
According to a report released by Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) on Tuesday, business confidence levels among Massachusetts employers held at neutral levels in July. The index measures business confidence in the state through a survey it sends out to its members. A score of 50 is considered neutral and any rating below 50 signifies generally negative sentiments about business confidence in the state.
The business confidence reading in July was 50.5 on a scale of 0 to 100 and was up about ten points from two years ago. The index does not reflect the recent instability of the stock market, the decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the nation’s credit rating, and last week’s debt ceiling agreement in Washington. AIM senior vice president Andre Mayer said the economic turmoil this month will be reflected in the August index.
John Nunnari, Assoc AIA
Executive Director, AIA MA
MA Chapter of American Institute of Architects
The Architects Building
52 Broad Street, Boston MA 02109-4301
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Posted in Weekly Mass Political Summaries