Monthly Archives: December 2012

Solar PV

This is a post on solar PV activity in town from my email yesterday on the Medfield Green (well worth joining – really active group) listserv –

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Roofs – The schools were told not to put PV on their roofs until they re-roof the schools, as otherwise the PV may have to be taken down when the roof needs replacement and/or repairs, and that is too expensive.  The PV arrays last about 20 years.  I understand that the new  DPW garage is being designed with PV mounted on the roof in mind.
Old land fill – Mike Sullivan says it was not properly closed, so he wants it to remain untouched for 20 years after it was closed before we do anything there.  Many towns are doing PV at old land fills.  The PV are mounted on concrete pads, which “float” on the ground, so nothing penetrates the liner.

Waste Water Treatment Plant – The Medfield Energy Committee is actively looking at putting a PV array behind the Waste Water Treatment Plant.  I believe that they will also look into other sites in town.  Per the Dartmouth town administrator, one needs about 20 acres to site a PV array.  Mike Sullivan suggested that we do not have many such sites available in town, and I asked if we could not do a screen with our GIS system as to how many we have and where they are located.  Medfield’s 20 acre sites may be on residentially zoned land, in which case we may want to consider doing what Dartmouth did, which was to zone to allow a PV array anywhere in town.

Medfield State Hospital – Personally, I would prefer to keep the land around the Medfield State Hospital available for passive recreation.

Parking lots – I have yet to see the array at REI, but I have read about it.  I do not think I would mind something like that at the parking lot at Shaw’s or Medfield High School.

What was so good about the Dartmouth approach was that the town just put out RFP’s, and private parties then built the PV arrays on private property, but sold the electricity to the town.  The town was essential because of the confluence of its creditworthiness and the fact that everyone had confidence that it will be around for the 20+ year life of the contracts.  The town only invested about $40K, but will save $700K I think it was over the years.

MMA on state funding gap for road repairs

This was the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s “alert” sent to me this afternoon –

MMA REPORT: Cities & Towns Face a $362M Funding Gap to Maintain and Repair Local Roads

• MMA Calls for $100M More in Annual Chapter 90 Funding for Local Roads

• Investing in Chapter 90 Strengthens the Economy, Saves Taxpayers Millions 

Earlier this afternoon at a State House press conference, the MMA released a comprehensive report documenting that cities and towns across the state face an annual shortfall of $362 million in the funding needed to maintain municipal roadways in a state of good repair, the industry standard for ensuring well-maintained roads in good condition.  The MMA immediately called for a $100 million-a-year increase Chapter 90 funding, the state-backed program that funds local road repairs.  This is an essential step to invest in the state’s economic future, and necessary to save taxpayers millions of dollars in more costly projects when roads fail.

DOWNLOAD THE MMA REPORT BY CLICKING HERE

For the past several months, the MMA has been collecting data from cities and towns across the state, and that information confirms that communities in Massachusetts need to spend $562 million every year to rebuild and maintain local roads in a state of good repair, but communities spend far less because of inadequate resources.  The result can be seen in potholes and crumbling roads across the state.

Chapter 90 provides just $200 million a year, or only 36% of the actual need, resulting in a massive local funding gap of $362 million a year.

PLEASE SHARE THE MMA’S CHAPTER 90 REPORT WITH YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS, AND REMIND THEM OF THE FOLLOWING:

• Cities and towns are responsible for 30,000 miles of roads in Massachusetts, and Chapter 90 funding must be increased to prevent these roads from deteriorating and crumbling.  Economists and transportation experts all agree – cities and towns must have enough funds to maintain and rebuild local roads so that we can build a stronger economy, create jobs, ensure safe roadways, and enhance our quality of life;

• Funding for local roads across the state is dangerously low, and now is the time to invest – the more we delay, the more this will cost taxpayers in the long run.  The MMA and local officials across the state are calling for a $100 million increase in annual Chapter 90 funding, asking state leaders to commit to $300 million a year over the next 5 years to help close the gap and get local roadways in Massachusetts much closer to the good repair standard;

• Chapter 90 funding is the most reliable, appropriate and effective way to close the local transportation funding gap and invest in improved roadways in all communities across the state;

• The state created the Chapter 90 program in 1973 to share a portion of gas tax revenues with communities to ensure adequate resources for local road construction needs.  But almost 40 years later, funding for the Chapter 90 program is far short of the actual need, because construction costs have escalated sharply, in great part due to significant increases in the cost of fossil fuels, which drives up the price of construction materials such as asphalt and steel;

• Investing more in Chapter 90 funding to improve the quality of local roads will actually save taxpayers millions of dollars a year.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, once a local road is in a state of good repair, every $1 dollar invested to keep it properly maintained will save $6 to $10 dollars in avoided repair costs that become necessary to rebuild the road when it fails;

• Under Proposition 2½, cities and towns are unable to increase the amount of local funds to supplement Chapter 90 unless they cut other important services such as public safety or education, or pass a tax override, increasing local reliance on the already overburdened property tax; and

• The MMA and local officials across the state are also members of the broad coalition of stakeholders calling for a comprehensive state and local transportation finance plan, recognizing that the entire Commonwealth will benefit greatly from increased revenues to invest in local and state roadways and highways, and regional and mass transit systems.

$1 spent on roads saves $6-10 later

CITING “CRUMBLING” ROADS, MUNI GROUP SEEKS BIG HIKE IN STATE AID

By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 18, 2012…..There is a $362 million funding gap between what Massachusetts cities and towns require to maintain roads in a “state of good repair” and the amount of state funding currently available for local roadways, according to Massachusetts Municipal Association survey results released on Tuesday.

“The MMA’s survey results reveal that cities and towns in Massachusetts need to spend $562 million every year to rebuild and maintain local roads in a state of good repair, but communities spend far less because of inadequate resources,” the report states. “The result can be seen in potholes and crumbling roads across the state.”

State funding for local roads, known as Chapter 90, is currently at $200 million per year. The MMA, which represents cities and towns, is asking for a 50 percent funding increase to begin more aggressively addressing the gap and to bring the annual allocation up to $300 million per year for the next five years.

In January, the Patrick administration and the Legislature are planning to discuss a new transportation financing proposal, a discussion that was speeded along by a funding crisis at the MBTA last year that was solved with fare hikes and a state bailout. Chapter 90 strategies will likely figure into the discussion.

With spending on track to outpace revenues, Gov. Deval Patrick this month outlined a $540 million budget-balancing plan featuring across-the-board cuts and drawing heavily from the state’s reserves. Economic experts say slow growth means tax revenue growth will only slightly improve next year.

Every year, the Legislature allocates funding to municipalities for local roads projects, and the $200 million disbursed to cities and towns was a record high last year. This year the state kept the same funding level.

For the past two years, the Legislature has delayed the final approval of Chapter 90 funds, leading to some frustration from local officials who often can’t afford to undertake road projects without the assurance that the state will foot the bill.

“There is today a deep level of frustration with what is happening with Chapter 90, frustration around what should be a good story,” Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivann said in June, months after the April 1 notification date called for in state law.

Providing adequate funding to keep roads in good repair prevents them from turning into more costly projects, according to the MMA, which said each $1 spent to keep roads properly maintained results in savings of $6 to $10 in avoided costs of more extensive repairs.

“If Massachusetts fails to pass a comprehensive transportation finance plan to address the critical funding needs at the local and state levels, taxpayers will face massive bills over the next 20 years to reconstruct a deteriorating system,” the MMA report said.

Cities and towns are tasked with maintaining 30,000 miles of road throughout the state.

Dealing with children about trauma

Good advice in two articles from our local community mental health agency and my former entity, Riverside Community Care, as circulated this morning by Blake Middle School –

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Riverside Trauma Center 255 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 02494 (Tel) 781-433-0672
24 hour trauma response line: 888-851-2451 (this is not a suicide prevention hotline)
http://www.riversidetraumacenter.org
Rev: 3/11
Riverside Trauma Center

CHILDREN AND TRAUMA

Children respond to traumatic violence in a variety of ways; however there are several typical responses. These responses vary, depending on numerous factors, some of which are: the child‟s age, whether the child knew the individuals involved, and how „graphic‟ the violence was.  Some common responses to trauma include:
 Concerns about fearing that the person (people) suffered
 Repeatedly visualizing the crime/incident in their minds
 Constant attempts to tell and retell the story of the crime/incident
 Need to reenact the crime/incident through play
 A desire to seek revenge (for those who knew the victim(s))
 Feelings of guilt for not having intervened or prevented the crime

For some children, particularly those who knew the victim(s), signals of grief after a violent crime/incident include:
 Fear of death
 Fear of being left alone or sleeping alone
 A need to be with people who have been through the same experience
 Difficulty concentrating
 Drop in grades (during the school year)
 Physical complaints (headaches/stomachaches)
 Bed-wetting
 Nightmares
 Fear of sleep
 Clingy behavior (wanting to be with and around parents more often)

What you can do to help children who have witnessed violence:
 Allow your child to talk about what he/she experienced or heard about
 Know that younger children may prefer to “draw” about their experiences
 Ask them what they saw and heard and what they think about the experience. Help them to label feelings, and normalize their reactions (“that must have been pretty scary. It wouldn‟t surprise me if you keep thinking about it.”)
 Spend some extra time with your child: have dinner together, make sure to keep bedtime routines.
 Remind your child of things he/she likes to do to help feel better when upset (playing, reading, etc.).
 Keep routines as much the same as possible in the aftermath of an unpleasant event. Children count on routines and structure.

If you have concerns that your child may be having serious responses to trauma, you should speak to a counselor.

RIVERSIDE TRAUMA CENTER
http://www.riversidetraumacenter.org
24 hour Critical Incident Line: 888-851-2451

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RIVERSIDE TRAUMA CENTER

Talking with your Children About Traumatic Events

Here are some tips for talking with your children when they have witnessed or heard about traumatic events:

Listen to your children: Ask what have they heard about the traumatic event. What do they think happened? Let them tell you in their own words and answer their questions. Don’t assume you know what they are feeling or what their questions will be. The easiest way to have this conversation might be while they are engaged in an activity: drawing, sitting on a swing, or driving with you in the car. Details that may be obvious to adults may not be to children. For example a child may see a school shooting on television and assume it happened in his or her neighborhood not hundreds of miles away. Be truthful but don’t tell them more information than they can handle for their age.

Focus on their safety: Once you understand their perception of the traumatic event, be clear that you will keep them safe and let them know adults (school, police, etc.) are working hard to make sure they will stay safe. School age children may be assured to know the shooter or persons responsible for this tragedy are dead or have been arrested and do not present a danger to your child or his or her school.

Pay attention to your reactions: Your children will be watching you carefully and taking their cues from you. If you can manage your anxiety about the traumatic event your children will be more easily reassured.

Monitor your child’s access to media: It will help if young children do not watch news reports or see the front page of the newspaper. Young children who watch a traumatic event on the TV news may think the event is still ongoing or happening again.

Watch for behavior changes: Your children may show you through their behavior they are still struggling with what they have heard or seen. They may have physical complaints or regressive behaviors often including nightmares, insomnia or bed wetting. They may feel guilty that they are responsible for the event, and need to be reassured that they are not responsible.

Maintain your routines: Sticking to your daily structure of activities: mealtimes, bedtime rituals, etc. reduces anxiety and helps children feel more in control.

Keep the door open: Encourage your children to come to you with any questions or concerns and do not assume the questions will stop after a few days or even a few weeks. Let them know their fears and questions are normal and you will always make time for them.  Remind them all questions are welcome.

Consider this a teachable moment: For older children this traumatic event may lead to a discussion about ways they can help others who have experienced a tragedy. You can also ask them if they know how to keep themselves safe when they are away from home. Traumatic events make us feel like we have lost control so any constructive activities we engage in make us feel less vulnerable.

Lyme Disease study committee

The Lyme Disease Study Committee met last Monday.  At that time I learned that-

  • Our second annual deer hunt is successfully proceeding without issues
  • Dover did a study that found more ticks in shady areas that sunny areas
  • Westboro is planning on starting a deer hunt to lower the number of vehicle collisions with deer, as they feel it is increasing their auto insurance rates.  They have been experiencing 23-33 collisions a year.
  • Medfield experiences about 45 vehicle collisions with deer a year.

Single stream recycling contract

Solid Waste Committee is recommending that the Board of Selectmen award the new three year single stream recycling contract to Harvey, replacing Cassella who has provided the services to the town for the last three years.  Mike reports that Harvey came in with a lower price, and that they operate a good looking facility in Westboro.  Cassella apparently offered to match the lower price, once they became aware that they had been out bid.

I reminded Mike that the DEP constantly tells us that we can only achieve the highest recycling rates if we go to a Pay As You Throw (PAYT) system.  PAYT represents a choice of how much inconvenience and cost residents want to accept in order to have the town recycle more, and as a result therefore save more on its solid waste tipping fees (i.e. – the cost to get rid of recyclables is lower that cost to get rid of solid waste).  I have never seen any numbers generated by the Solid Waste Committee on how much we could save by implementing a PAYT system – hopefully they will put those numbers together for the town to consider, now that we have almost completed three years of single stream recycling.

North Street water main status

Mike tells me that the rains caused a pothole to form in a recently dug up area along North Street where the water main has just been replaced.  Water filling the pothole to the top, such that drivers could not see the hole.  Unfortunately, a number of cars got flats and/or damaged hitting the hole.  Fortunately for the town, the liability rests with the contractor.

The work is mostly finished now, with just a few house connections left and sidewalk clean up remaining..  I asked Mike if the roadway would be smoothed out so the town does not have to live with it in such poor shape for the whole winter, and he reported that yes it would be.  They need to let is settle and compact for a year before they do the final resurfacing.

MHS Jazz Band’s brochure

The Medfield High School Jazz Band, 2012-2013 edition, has a really cool, high quality brochure.

I got my copy from Chris McCue Potts at last night’s Blake Middle School concert, so I could pass it along to Representative Denise Garlick last night.  Chris is trying to get Governor Patrick to name the MHS Jazz Band as the “Honorary Massachusetts High School Jazz Band” for its spring trip to China.  Great idea.

BoS Minutes for 12/6

Meeting Minutes
December 6, 2012
Chenery Meeting Room draft

PRESENT: Selectmen Thompson, Fisher, Peterson; Town Administrator Sullivan; Town Counsel Cerel; Administrative Assistant Clarke

Chairman Thompson called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM

NEW BUILDING INSPECTOR
John Naff started working for the Town on Monday November 26, 2012. According to the
Board of Building Regulations and Standards, a New Employee report Form must be completed
and signed by the Appointing Authority, in this case Board of Selectmen Chairman. On a
motion made and seconded it was

VOTED unanimously to authorize Chairman Ann Thompson execute the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts Building Official Certification Committee New Employee Report Form

WATER RESOURCES
Mr. Sullivan referred to a recent Boston Globe article that outlined proposed new guidelines
from DEP that require communities to use only enough water for residents and ensure there is
ample supply to protect fish and fish habitat in rivers and streams particularly in the summer
months. Environmentalists have more concern for saving the fish than taking care of humans
by regulating the amount of water that we can use. It will result in very high rates. Water
Commissioner Willis Peligian was recognized and commented that we need to pay attention to
these reports as it is a serious issue. The financial impact on Medfield residents will be
dramatic.

7:15 PM ANNUAL TAX CLASSIFICATION HEARING
Tom Sweeney, Board of Assessors Chairman reported to the Selectmen that the Assessors
recommend a single tax rate for the Town. As Medfield has only about five percent in
commercial/industrial properties it would place a huge burden on the commercial end and only
minimal residential gain. A $15.73 tax rate is proposed for FY13, the same rate as FY12. Some
changes reflected in tax bills are due to valuations. On a motion made and seconded it was

VOTED unanimously to adopt a single tax rate for the Town of Medfield and as
recommended by the Board of Assessors

FY2013 BUDGET REVIEW, BOARD OF ASSESSORS
Mr. Sweeney reported that their budget reflects about a one percent increase that is primarily
for software. FY13 is $107,597 and the department is requesting $108,297 for FY2014.

ALCOHOL LICENSES FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2013

VOTED unanimously to approve the renewal licenses for the following establishments:
All alcohol beverage license to Basil, Jing’s Garden II, Kingsbury Club Medfield,
Noon Hill Grill, Takara and Zebra’s Bistro and Wine Bar; Club license to Beckwith Post #110
American Legion; All alcohol package store licenses to Bullard’s Market & Package Store,
Medfield Package Store, dba Larkin’s Liquors, Vet Package Store, dba Palumbo Liquors;
Wine and malt license to Medfield Wine Shoppe
Town Counsel Mark Cerel advised that the Selectmen not take a vote on the wine and malt
license for Gulf Resources, located at 270 Main Street as the ABCC renewal application form
was not completed and filed with the Board of Selectmen by November 30th (M.G.L. Ch. 1138,
section 16A). Gulf Resources will need to go through the process to apply for a new license.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Mr. Sullivan remarked that there some towns at their recent fall town meetings voted to
prohibit marijuana clinics in their areas. In the December issue of The Beacon the MMA is
advocating for a delay for state regulations from April 1 to July 1. Also the Department of Public
Health must weigh in on new regulations. In light of these processes he advises that an article
be placed on the 2013 town meeting warrant. The Selectmen agreed to reserve space on the
warrant to address the issues.

MEETING MINUTES

VOTED unanimously to accept the November 20, 2012 minutes as submitted

EAGLE SCOUTS
The Selectmen received an announcement that John Gorman Powers and Andrew Sullivan have
earned the rank of Eagle Scout. They will be honored at a ceremony to take place on Sunday
January 6,2013.

LICENSES & PERMITS

VOTED unanimously to grant the Zullo Gallery a one-day wine & malt permit for Thursday
December 20, 2012 and also grant one-day permits for First Thursdays in 2013 beginning
January 3, February 7 March 7 and April 4.

PENDING, TAXI LICENSE
At the November 20 meeting, Walid Makouk and Mohamad Halwant requested they be
granted a taxicab license to operate in Medfield. At that time the Selectmen said they will
need input from Police Chief Meaney. As Chief Meaney has not completed the investigation
the Selectmen agreed to hold the item for the next meeting.

MEDFIELD STATE HOSPITAL STATUS UPDATE
There are no new reports.

SELECTMEN REPORT
Mr. Fisher talked about MEMO’s upcoming tree lighting ceremony this Friday December 7 and
the parade scheduled for Saturday December 8, great family events. MEMO has replaced
about 80% of the Christmas lights with LEOs. The Lions are again selling Christmas trees which
are really good quality; they come from a tree farm in Maine. He went on to say that this past
Sunday was the annual Angel Run, sponsored by the Medfield Foundation. Great to see so
many participants.

Mr. Peterson said that the Foundation was very pleased with the Angel Run event as this is the
first year they have been fully involved. The proceeds will help Medfield families in need.
Wednesday December 12 the Massachusetts Cultural Council will conduct a site visit in Town.
It will begin at 9:30 AM in Town Hall and ends at 12:30 at the Library. Mr. Peterson attended
several meetings, the MCAP meeting; Energy Committee is working on a proposal to place solar
photovoltaic panels at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and also attended the Water and
Sewer Board meeting. He commented that Willis Peligian and Jeremey Marsetts are great
assets to that committee. Mr. Peterson added that the new Chief Operator at the Treatment
Plant was at the meeting and thinks that Bob McDonald has had a great start. It was noted that
DEPlet the Town know that we should have four employees attending the plant whereas we
have three presently.

Mrs. Thompson commented that the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on the proposed 40B
project is a long and complicated debate. She has received questions about how the Selectmen
decide to rotate the chairmanship each year that she feels works really well as it is the
Selectman who is in their third term Chairs. Mrs. Thompson mentioned that the high school
girls’ soccer team was recognized by Channel five as the team ofthe week.
Chairman Thompson recognized resident Joe Cavanaugh who had alerted the Town about
marijuana clinics. He asked if the Selectmen made any decision to which Mrs. Thompson
responded that we will reserve space on the Town Meeting Warrant to address the issue.

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS
The Town received notice from the Massachusetts School Building Authority that the Dale Street School building construction project is not invited to participate in their program at this time. Town Accountant Joy Ricciuto submitted copies of Schedule A late this afternoon and are available for review.

Meeting adjourned at 8: 15 P’M

BoS agenda for 12/18 – ATM warrant opens

AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

Announcement: Transfer Station will be open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday December 26, 27, 28, 29

ACTION
Letter of resignation received from Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Robert Sylvia, Esq.

Vote to award contract for single stream recycling

Vote to open 2013 Annual Town Meeting Warrant

LICENSES & PERMITS
A one-day wine & malt beverage permit is requested for the Medfield High School Jazz Band Fundraiser to be held February 2,2013 at the CENTER at Medfield

MEDFIELD STATE HOSPITAL STATUS UPDATE