Monthly Archives: August 2012

BoS agenda for 9/4/12

Just arrived –

Town Hall, Chenery Meeting Room, 2nd floor Tuesday September 4,2012 @ 7:00 PM

  • 7:00 PM Richard DeSorgher, Committee to Study Memorials – Discuss plan to replace markers; update on Robert E. Naughton Civic Square


  • Jean Mineo, Medfield Cultural Council Chair requests the Selectmen vote to appoint new members to the Council
  • Letter of resignation from Board of Health member Ann Fryer


  • Medfield Lions Club requests permission to post signs promoting the annual Chowder Fest on November 10,2012 at the CENTER. Signs in place October 27 to November 10


  • Norfolk County Registry of Deeds will hold office hours in Town Hall on Wednesday September 12, 2012, 10 AM to Noon
  • Copy of Historical Commission letter regarding the demolition at 56-60 Harding Street

Joe Kennedy in town Sunday morning

Joe Kennedy, the Democratic candidate for Congress, will be canvassing in Medfield this coming Sunday morning.  Anyone interested in meeting Joe is invited to do so at 10:00 AM at the home of Cheryl  Dunlea, 52 Orchard Street in Medfield.  After that initial meeting, Joe Kennedy will then be canvassing door to door in town until around noon.

Beavers reportedly defeated, for now

Emails from Mike Sullivan and Caroline Haviland of Norfolk County Mosquito Control about the latter’s battle against the beavers, which appears to have been won –


8/28/2012  2:39PM
RE: About Beaver Solutions – beaver mitigation, northeast, massachusetts, new england
Sullivan, Michael J.
Caroline, Many thanks to you and your crew for all you’ve accomplished. It’s made a huge difference and the residents of that area really appreciate your efforts. I now know more about beavers than I ever thought possible. I’ll pass your email on to Leslee and to the DPW guys. Hope your mosquito season is short, even though I’m not looking forward to an early frost. Take care. Mike Sullivan


From: “Caroline E. Haviland” <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:24 PM
To: Mike Sullivan

Subject: RE: About Beaver Solutions – beaver mitigation, northeast, massachusetts, new england

Hi Mike,

I hope this finds you well.  I just wanted to update you.  As of yesterday we did not observe any new beaver activity.  The crew canoed from South Street to Noon Hill and noted a few blockages/blown downs trees between Pilgrim and the Noon Hill culvert.  I am assigning that clearing to take place tomorrow morning and perhaps into Thursday, as they are not beaver related blockages (13 Pilgrim is a blown down pine tree).  We will then wrap up our activities for the time being.  It’s unbelievable how effective beavers are in ponding a serious amount of water!  I did not have Leslee’s email address for some reason.  If possible, could you forward this to her as well?


Caroline E. Haviland
Field Operations Manager
Norfolk County Mosquito Control District

phone: (781) 762-3681
fax: (781) 769-6436

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From: Mike Sullivan
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 3:27 PM
Subject: re: About Beaver Solutions – beaver mitigation, northeast, massachusetts, new england

Caroline, Thanks for the info on Beaver Solutions. Would be glad to work with you in the fall and see if any of these devices work. When you can get to it, let me know. Also, I spoke to Bobby Kennedy from DPW and he will make sure the crew at the transfer station know you will be bringing brush there tomorrow and will have the gate open earler so you crew can access the brush pile. he will also drop by South St tomorrow morning and see if you need any help. He may have some summer help, who can give your folks a hand loading. Mike Sullivan

From: “Caroline E. Haviland” <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 2:27 PM
To: Mike Sullivan
Subject: About Beaver Solutions – beaver mitigation, northeast, massachusetts, new england

Hi Mike,

I hadn’t been on the Beaver Solutions website in quite some time. I see
they are now offering a self help DVD that I’m going to purchase. Perhaps we could conduct some trials cooperatively with Medfield DPW this fall?  Just a thought. I’m unsure about materials and cost and procurement, but am always willing to try.

Beaver SolutionsT is proud to offer a widely acclaimed,  roundbreaking DVD designed to teach anyone how to build and install successful flow devices to control beaver related flooding. Learn these proven, innovative technologies from Mike Callahan, founder and President of Beaver SolutionsT who has personally installed more successful flow devices than anyone else in North America.

As an added bonus, the DVD includes downloadable documents with extensive technical and general interest information, as well as sources of additional information and support.


Caroline E. Haviland
Field Operations Manager
Norfolk County Mosquito Control District

phone: (781) 762-3681
fax: (781) 769-6436

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BCRT meeting last night

The Bay Colony Rail Trail committee met last night, and I attended most of the meeting, until I excused myself to attend the continued ZBA hearing on the Gatehouse 40B on West Street.  These were the highlights that I heard =

  • The state budget has $250,000 for the Bay Colony Rail Trail included, presumably inserted by Rep. Garlick. There was discussion on how that money would be accessed.
  • A substantial anonymous donation has also been made to the BCRT.
  • The cost to build the BCRT will run between $600,000 to $1.5 m., depending on the surface used.
  • The iron available for salvage has a value of about $400,000.
  • The committee plans a warrant article for the ATM in 2013.
  • It was reported that the BCRT discussions were contentious at the Dover ATM, with some not wanting to even rebuild the bridge over the Charles River to Needham, so people could not get into Dover from Needham.  However, Dover’s strategic planning questionnaire demonstrated strong overwhelming town support for the BCRT if it does not cost the town any money.

Architectural review of Gatehouse 40B

The town”s architectural consultant reported on his review of the Gatehouse 40B tonight.  Major points =

Residential use makes sense, versus industrial zoning.

Setbacks of industrial uses to the west are good.  Deep lawns in front.

Walking facilities would be good.

Parking lots at street makes it difficult to screen the buildings with landscaping.

Skinny buildable area makes site difficult.

Generally parking should not be between buildings and street.

Opportunity exists to turn this stretch of West Street into a beautiful area.

Plantings every five spaces.

Rotate buildings 90 degrees so short sides face street.

Place smallest buildings at the street.

Improve landscaping plans, to make better use of site and its possibilities.

Flat roofs would make buildings appear smaller.

Traffic calming within development and on West Street.

Make the wetlands an amenity.

Generally likes the architectural detail and design of the buildings.

Suggests use of more than one design of windows, to make facades more interesting.

Use cement board siding instead of vinyl.

Make buildings greener by building to the Stretch Building Code.

Buildings are “shoehorned” into the site.  9+ acre site, but due to wetlands, only 5+ are usable.

ZBA chair questions whether there are too many buildings on too small a site to be able to make the site work sell and whether the one stairway is sufficient for the three story buildings.

Next continued hearings on September 24 and October 1.

9/24/12 will be the opportunity for public comments.  If possible, there will also be the financial review by the town’s consultant.

Gatehouse spokesperson suggests that they disagree with the vast majority of the consultant’s comments.

Size of development not dissimilar to industrial buildings to the north and west.

Keep mature tree last line along West Street to provide the best buffer.

There was a disagreement over the 5+ acres of uplands noted by the ZBA chair as available versus Gatehouse’s engineer saying 7+ acres were available.  Heated comments were made about the disagreement.

Gatehouse attorney makes point that their project is not supposed to be subjected to greater review than other projects, and suggest that Medfield does not subject regular projects to similar peer review.

Guide to municipal management in MA

The Pioneer Institute has published and distributed to us a Guide to Sound Fiscal Management for Municipalities, on how to operate a town in Massachusetts.  Always good to get help in doing the things that we do to run Medfield.

This guide comes with a downloadable Excel worksheet that allow one to compare us to 14 other towns, which then compares Medfield’s metrics to those of the other 14 towns.  The spreadsheet actually suggested most of the towns to use for the comparison, based on the major similarities.   Interesting to use to compare Medfield to other towns.

BTW, it says we are now down from 1st to 3rd in the state on the percentage of our population in school.  24% of Medfield attends school, versus 15.1% statewide and 19.4% of the 14 towns I selected for comparison.

Medfield’s debt, debt service,  debt and debt service as a % of budget, debt as a % of EQV, and debt at a % of budget were all a lot higher than both the towns the program selected and the ones I added.

In broad general terms, based on the towns in my comparisons, our school and DPW costs were generally higher, while our police and fire costs were generally lower than in the comparison towns.

I highly recommend this tool for anyone who wants to know how what we are doing in Medfield compares to other towns.  It gives you the figures and graphs them out for easy comparisons.



Income Per Capita (2009)
MEDFIELD $64,433
State Median $28,058
Peer Median $51,034

Green energy

Governor Patrick offers remarks to members of ...

Governor Patrick offers remarks to members of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. (Photo credit: Office of Governor Patrick)

My email this afternoon to members of the Medfield Energy Committee –


The Massachusetts Municipal Association’s magazine, Municipal Advocate,  this month is all devoted to green energy.  I looked for links at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s website to send to you, but they do not seem to put this material on-line.   I am still reading it, but several things I have already noticed –

  • 340 out of 351 Massachusetts cities and towns already have municipal PV solar arrays – we are in a distinct minority to not yet have one
  • Lancaster opted to own its PV array, to save even more $, and is saving $85,000/year
  • I thought I read that Dartmouth is saving $90,000/year from its three solar arrays
  • some have been built with federal stimulus monies and/or state grants
Enhanced by ZemantaI am now using Zemanta to analyze what I write and to suggest graphics to insert, and I noticed this one.  It is from a meeting at the Hynes Convention Center, probably January 2011, because the Governor was not able to attend this year, and I am probably standing on the right hand side of the room.  It has little to do with green energy, but I liked it.

Beaver update

Emails received from Stagecoach Road residents yesterday –


Wonderful fast flowing water at the Stop River!!!!!   It looks like the old days.
The Beaver Dam at South Street is gone (at least for now) and the water has drained out of our yards.  Norfolk County Mosquito Control finished this am and actually found another dam between South Street Bridge and Noon Hill Bridge which they also took away.  Let’s hope that the Beavers move away, (don’t plan on it)  I’m sure they are swiming to the sites as we email to start the rebuild.  How dare those humans cause such problems.
A big thank you to everyone who cared about this problem, the Selectman, Town Manager, DPW, Broad of Health & Norfolk Mosquito Control who headed up the removal.  Our next step is to gather our facts again and contact the Board of Health regarding possible trapping before the November hunting season.  We’ll keep you all posted
Video from lunchtime yesterday —

40B architect’s review

The town’s architecture consultant submitted its review of the Gatehouse 40B proposal.  This will be review by the architect consultants at the continued Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Medfield hearing next  Monday evening.

Suggestions –

  • turn buildings 90 degrees to have short side face West Street
  • flat roofs to reduce scale
  • bike path to downtown
  • traffic calming on West Street
  • landscaping breaks in parking lots
  • enclose breezeways
  • cement clapboards
  • met Massachusetts Stretch Code
  • use water saving fixtures
  • use something other than rugs
  • air exchange system
  • solar DHW system

Beaver update

Emailed report from neighbor of the beavers –


Well our backyard water is down about seven or eight inches, no nice to see.  The beaver dam at South St. was flowing fast on Thursday and Friday.  Sunday, today, a different story,  our little eager beavers have worked overtime this weekend and they have patched up the breech to a trickle and all is back to beaver normal!!!!