Monthly Archives: September 2011

Medfield Energy Committee

Learned at the meeting of the Medfield Energy Committee (MEC) last night –

  • The schools have already cut about $180,000 out of their former  $1 m.  per year energy budget by implementing energy saving measures.  Charlie Kellner. Business Manager for the schools, pointed out the savings are equivalent to saving the jobs of four teachers.
  • MEC will look into the possibility of the town installing a ground mounted solar panel array to generate electricity, perhaps on a tract of land near the Holmquist property, that is in eastern Medfield
    north of 27 and according to Mr. DeSorgher some people call the land “The Sand Pit”.   Just to the north is a gravel area and train track, and to the east is a powerline right of way, it is accessed by a narrow paved lane, to the west of this lane is a large hayed field Conservation Land.
  • MEC is looking to make sure any new town garage is energy efficient.
  • MEC is looking to complete its Energy Reduction Plan for the town (about 20% already saved on town energy use to date), including future purchase of fuel efficient town vehicles.
  • Making Tilden Village more energy efficient – it has electric heat – even though Tilden Village is run and paid for by the state.
  • Medfield Memorial Library will probably be the town building for which an energy audit will be sought this year.  MEC already solved the lack of sufficient lighting at the library – the bulbs deteriorate over time and needed replacement.
  • MEC will investigate use of LED lights in town.  LED lights have reportedly made tremendous advances in the past few years.
  • MEC will explore using Sagewell mass-thermal-imaging service to pinpoint the Medfield homes in greatest need of energy upgrades.  Sagewell can take thermal photos of all homes in town within two nights of driving the streets, and then will alert people to their home’s problem areas.

CVS Expanding

CVS has filed plans with the Conservation Commission to expand at its current location.  CVS will take over the whole building, including the part now occupied by the D’Angelo sandwich shop, and it will have a drive through pharmacy at the rear.

Paramedic Services

I discussed the possibility of upgrading the town’s EMT services to a paramedic service with my colleagues last night, and neither Ann, Mark, nor Mike had any interest in looking at doing so.  Paramedics have the additional ability to administer medications and to stabilize a patient before transport in the ambulance.  Currently, if paramedics services are needed, a call goes out to paramedics who then intercept the Medfield ambulance, and the patient is transferred to the paramedics’ ambulance.

Having a paramedic service would cost the town more money, and if the proposal were to have been investigated it would ultimately have been up to residents at the Annual Town Meeting to decide whether they wanted to spend those extra monies for the higher level of ambulance services.

BoS met with Army Corps. of Engineers

On 9/19/11 the Board of Selectmen met with Army Corps, of Engineers (ACE) about the pending DCAM permit to perform work in the Charles River.  The permit is being sought to do the clean up work in a way with which the town does not agree.  While DCAM is seeking to cap in place the hazardous waste dumped by the state over decades, the BoS is principally asking to have as much of the hazardous waste as possible removed and stored on site in a securely constructed containment.  All the waste cannot be removed because there is a natural gas pipeline that transects the waste, so the town suggests removing the waste up to the pipeline.  DCAM additionally proposed to cap in place diesel fuel spilled in the river when the delivery person fell asleep while filling the power plant tanks, but DEP has ordered that the oil be removed next year.  The BoS suggests it is a waste of money to cap the oil this year where it is only going to be removed next year, and the risk is low as the oil has been in the river without incident for decades.

The ACE said that for them the DCAM work is a minor project, that once they get more information about the oil removal and the bio-engineered river bank as a possible alternative to the rip rap that they only learned of last Friday that they will likely  permit the work, that the alternatives analysis of the sort the BoS hoped to see regarding the waste dump are not required, and that they thought the town’s issues should more properly be directed to the Massachusetts DEP.

The meeting materials can be seen via this link –

Click to access 20110919-meeting-with-army-core-of-engineers.pdf

You Can Put Medfield on the MMA’s 2012 Calendar

The Massachusetts Municipal Association is running a contest for photos of significant spots in towns for its 2012.  Winning photos get you ten calendars   –

Thanks to the Town Employees

I want to thank the town employees who did such an excellent job to put the town back together after the wide spread damage from Tropical Storm Irene.  To do so, I sent the following email today to the department heads of the Police Department, the Fire Department, and the DPW to personally thank each of their employees.


9/20/2011  8:30AM
Bob, Bill, and Ken,

Your departments have come in for lots of well deserved praise and appreciation for how you and your employees handled the town’s response to Hurricane Irene.  Just as NSTAR has come in for some apparently well deserved frustration.  Follow the link below to see some of both that came in to me today.

Please know that I was truly impressed by and thankful for the work that your employees did during Hurricane Irene – I did drive around on that Sunday afternoon and was impressed by all the activity I saw.  As I said at the last Board of Selectmen meeting, what your employees did, to respond to the multitude of problems that were created and to do the tasks to get the town back to being operational, was a sterling example of government really working for its citizens in just the way that the citizens want it to.  I think their efforts made all Medfield residents really happy to share our town’s government.  At that last selectman meeting I actually questioned whether the town should consider asking you to do even more, where you did what you did so well and have the tools to do things that many homeowners just cannot.  I proposed that perhaps the residents might want the DPW to pick up branches hauled to the curb up to a certain size.  It was a thought I had after struggling to deal with my two downed trees, but recognizing that I managed only because I do have a chainsaw and a trailer.  However, have no fear, as Mike, Ann, and Mark uniformly and roundly nixed my idea.

I look forward to learning how your proposed meetings with NSTAR will make the town’s experience with NSTAR better when we have the next storm.

Please share with your employees my sincere appreciation for their Herculean and effective work for the Town of Medfield in responding to the storm.

Osler L. Peterson, Attorney at Law
580 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02458
66 North St, PO Box 358, Medfield, MA 02052
T 617.969.1500
T 617.969.1501 (direct)
M 508-359-9190
F 617.663.6008
Medfield Information at: FB, &

NSTAR’s response to Irene

When I was called about the double pole issue,I took the opportunity to get information about the NSTAR response to tropical storm Irene. The representative told me that it was the worst storm he has seen in his career, and he is at retirement age.  He said they had 193,000 calls that Sunday, and that they just could not keep up with them all. He did say that they wanted residents to call 800-592-2000, instead of calling the police and fire, and asking the public safety people to relay the message. He also said that NSTAR does give special dedicated telephone numbers to the police and fire departments, that they do not give out to the public at large.  He said that they will work off of a priority list provided by the town, but said it does not help them if the priority list is too long, such as 60 items. There is also a critical medical care list, which is generated by doctors providing information to them. Finally, he said that they did have crews coming in from Kentucky, Canada, Minnesota and municipal companies, and that those crews got there in the middle of the storm on Sunday.

Medfield will be meeting with NSTAR in the near future to make sure that the communication problems we had during Irene do not happen in the next storm.

NSTAR actually does control all Medfield poles

NSTAR’s representative called me yesterday to apologize, as it turns out he was working off an incorrect list, and NSTARdoes actually control all polls in Medfield, not Verizon. However, the answer was still the same for the double pole on James Avenue, namely the Medfield fire department needs to get its wires off of it first, then Comcast it’s wires, then Verizon’s wires.

Zoning Change to Make Opening New Businesses Easier

Needham recently enacted a zoning change to make it easier for new businesses to get approval under Needham zoning to open the doors.  To me it sounds like a good idea to make the process both easier and faster for businesses looking to locate in Medfield.  A similar zoning change in Medfield could create the discretion to allow the new business uses that do not fit on all fours with what the zoning says.  Another thing we could do at the town meeting the last Monday in April.

Vine Lake Preservation Trust

The cemetery has its own advocacy group, the Vine Lake Preservation Trust, and their newletter each month is always interesting.  Sign up at  Rob Gregg is doing a great job.