Monthly Archives: April 2014

Pavement management plan needed

The Massachusetts Municipal Association’s magazine is called the Municipal Advocate.  They had the recent article (below) on the benefits on having a pavement management plan.  I will be asking that Medfield institute a pavement management plan.

MUNICIPAL ADVOCATE Vol. 27, No. 2 25

Investing in Pavement Management

CAN IMPROVE ROADS, SAVE MONEY

The largest portion of your community’s infrastructure is literally under your feet—or your tires. A community’s pavement network allows residents and commerce to move from place to place, provides for efficient response time during emergencies, and offers safe bus routes to get children to school. Paved roads are, by far, the nation’s primary mode of transportation. For this reason, rebuilding, maintaining and preserving the condition of our pavement should be a top priority.
The aftereffects of serious winter storms can serve to remind us of the generally poor state of local roadway networks throughout Massachusetts. The reoccurring potholes, crumbling roadway edges, and new and deeper cracks that emerge in late winter and early spring are a fact of life, due largely to New England’s freeze/thaw cycles. The American Society of Civil Engineers reports that 41 percent of the major roads in Massachusetts are in poor or mediocre condition. Funding to repair and rebuild municipal roads is woefully inadequate, however. (See related stories, this issue.) A solution to this quandary for cities and towns may be an effective pavement management system.
A pavement management system—most likely the oldest type of asset management known to highway and transportation officials—is a long-term, formalized approach to gathering information about a community’s roadway network. Municipal officials then use the data to make informed roadway repair and maintenance decisions, prioritizing work to ensure the best return on investment. A pavement management system is a cost-effective tool for improving pavement conditions and maximizing the limited roadway repair and reinvestment dollars available to municipalities. A pavement management system can also help to build a case for additional funding for roadway infrastructure.
Some municipalities do an excellent job of pavement management, says John Livsey, the town engineer in Lexington, but most don’t have a strong enough grasp of the concept to benefit from its use. “I find that there is not a good understanding of pavement management among many of my peers,” he says. “For the majority of the towns I’m familiar with, the people who manage the roads don’t follow a pavement management process.”
WHAT IS PAVEMENT MANAGEMENT?
A pavement management system is a geographic information system-based technology used to measure a community’s entire road system, evaluate its road conditions, and log this data in a comprehensive database. The data are then analyzed and used to develop several important tracking metrics, including the average Pavement Condition Index (PCI). The backlog of needs is expressed in
both miles and dollars. Public works staff and other municipal officials respon-
Investing in Pavement Management
CAN IMPROVE ROADS, SAVE MONEY
By William Scarpati and Jerry Guerra
A public works crew does preventive maintenance on a road rated in “good” condition, which will extend its lifespan.
COURTESY PHOTO
William Scarpati is Senior Asset Management Specialist and Jerry Guerra is Manager of Marketing & Strategic Business Development for Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, a transportation engineering, planning and environmental consulting firm based in Burlington.
MUNICIPAL ADVOCATE Vol. 27, No. 2 23
sible for the pavement management
program monitor the metrics, setting and
measuring goals and results relative to
pavement condition and sustainability.
The idea is to take a comprehensive,
long-range view of a community’s roadway
assets. After completion of an initial
pavement management study, communities
usually make an upfront commitment to an
annual investment in maintenance,
including a strategic and balanced program
of resurfacing and base rehabilitation
improvement projects. Major reconstruction
projects are typically scheduled in later
years of the plan.
After conducting the study, communities
will sometimes, though not always, increase
their roadway budget. Rarely is the
additional investment enough to cover all
the work that’s needed, but with a strategic
program of maintenance and repair in
place (i.e., a pavement management system),
the dollars spent go a lot farther.
Livsey has overseen pavement
management programs in two towns, first
in Billerica and now in Lexington. “One
thing I hear from a lot of my peers is that
they can’t have a pavement management
program because they don’t have enough
funding,” he says. “I’d argue that it’s even
more important to follow a pavement
management program if funding is tight.
Once you begin following the early steps
and seeing how it works, you can make a
stronger case to the community to fund
roadway improvements. It builds on itself.”
A pavement management system can
alter the way municipal leaders think about
roadway maintenance. Typically, it will
turn the “worst-first” mentality completely
around. Fixing streets in the worst condition
first may seem like common sense, but it is
actually not the most efficient or costeffective
way to proceed. With a pavement
management system, municipalities can
clearly see the flaw in this thinking. Rather
than exhausting their budget to reconstruct
a one-mile stretch of roadway in poor
condition, with the same dollars a
community may be able to preserve or treat
eight miles of roadway in somewhat less
dire condition.
“The most important thing to understand
is that you need to do basic repairs and
general road maintenance early in the
process or pavement lifecycle,” says Steven
Tyler, superintendent of utilities and
facilities for the town of Spencer. “Those
are the least expensive repairs and, because
of it, they’re the most valued repairs. That’s
Failed
Very Poor
Poor
Fair
Good
Excellent
Pavement Deterioration Curve
40% Drop
in Quality
40% Drop
in Quality
12% of Life
Will Cost $8
to $10 Here
75% of Life $1 for Renovation Here
Time
Condition
DO NOTHING
PCI Band #1 (100–88 PCI)
Excellent Condition — in need of no immediate maintenance.
ROUTINE MAINTENANCE
PCI Band #2 (87–68 PCI)
Good Condition — may be in need of crack sealing or minor localized repair
PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
PCI Band #3 (37–47 PCI)
Fair Condition — pavement surface in need of surface sealing or thin overlay
STRUCTURAL IMPROVEMENT
PCI Band #4 (46–21 PCI)
Poor Condition — pavement structure in need of additional thickness to resist traffic loading
BASE REHABILITATION
PCI Band #5 (20–0 PCI)
Failed Condition — in need of full depth reconstruction/reclamation.
The PCI ranges given in this table are general averages. The actual treatment band threshold numbers depend on pavement surface type and
functional classification
(PCI) Treatment Band Ranges
24 MUNICIPAL ADVOCATE Vol. 27, No. 2
where the gap is. A lot of people in my
position don’t understand how critical it is
to spend money on roads in good condition
before you spend it on roads in bad condition.”
It’s a lot less expensive to maintain
pavement in decent condition—thereby
extending its useful lifecycle before it needs
replacement—than it is to completely
reconstruct a road that’s in poor condition.
At the same time, good maintenance of a
large portion of a community’s roadway
system helps to build public support and a
greater willingness to finance additional
repairs. “When people see the town doing
maintenance, and see that we’re taking care
of fifteen miles of road instead of three,
and it’s not just raw improvements, that
helps to get buy-in from the community,”
says Livsey.
THE PAVEMENT
MANAGEMENT
PROCESS
There are many ways to do pavement
management. Many cities and towns hire
an outside engineering firm or pavement
management consultant that incorporates
advanced software products, while others
choose to perform the duties in-house.
In the latter case, communities may use
technology as simple as spreadsheet software.
One approach to pavement management
includes the following steps:
1. Project Initiation Meeting: Consultants
meet with key community officials (e.g.,
DPW director, town/city manager, town/
city engineer) to establish goals, collect
existing data and prioritize the work areas.
2. Database Construction: The project
team collects and enters existing data
into the software, configuring the program
to prepare it for additional data entry.
3. Pavement Data Collection: An
inventory and evaluation of pavement
conditions is conducted for the agreedupon
roadway miles. Factors considered
include material type, age, geometry,
drainage, substructure conditions and
construction history, as well as basic
geophysical segmentation, average daily
traffic (if available), functional class,
curb reveal, and thickness (if available).
The comparative measure of this
information is the Pavement Condition
Index, which is rated on a scale of 0
(worst) to 100 (best). PCI surveying
practices and calculation methods
have been standardized by ASTM
International and accepted by the
American Association of State Highway
Transportation Officials. Typically,
communities strive for a PCI in the low
80s on their major arterial/collector
streets and high 70s on their local
roadway network.
4. Quality Assurance, Strategy Meeting
and Data Analysis: After ensuring
the integrity of the data, the consultant
and municipal officials meet to review
the findings, discuss the community’s
repair policies and prioritize objectives
to develop a long-term pavement management
strategy. The consultant then
determines what the repair “backlog” is
and establishes priorities, costs and
alternatives for stemming the pavement
network’s deterioration and moving
toward improvement.
5. Report of Findings: Data, costs and
alternatives are condensed into a report,
expressed in layman’s terms and
incorporating graphs, charts, tables and
other illustrations to better explain the
findings and proposed solutions.
6. GIS Integration: If a community has a
geographic information system available,
analysts develop a linear route system to
aid in the development of a new pavement
data layer in the system.
7. Training and Guidance: Consultants
will train community officials to
understand and use the software, while
remaining available to assist with the
implementation of the program. In many
cases, when the consultation is ongoing,
an annual status report is also part of
the process.
Even if a community is not willing or
able to engage an outside expert to
implement a pavement management system,
this should not prevent officials from
benefitting from the concept.
“It can be done at many different levels,”
says Lexington’s Livsey. “We had the
money to hire a consultant, so that’s what
we did. But a town can still go out there and
do an evaluation of their roads using a more
rudimentary scaling system. You need
some knowledge of the process, but you
can put together a system in a spreadsheet.
With in-house staff, you wouldn’t have the
power of [a commercial software] model,
and you don’t have someone whose sole
focus is the pavement management system
like you do with a consultant, but you
would at least get a decent understanding of
the funding you need.”
Realistically, communities with more than
100 miles of roadway may have a difficult
time conducting a comprehensive pavement
management review in-house. But the
bottom line is that any pavement management
system is better than nothing at all.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Even communities that invest the time and
money in a pavement management system
can falter in the process. Turnover in key
positions or a shift in funding priorities can
spell trouble.
There are, however, some prescribed
steps that can improve a community’s
chances of benefitting from an investment
in pavement management.
• Ensure buy-in at the top. If a municipality’s
governing bodies and officials don’t
support the pavement management
system—or worse, don’t understand why
they’re doing it—it will more than likely
run off the rails. Communities with the
best pavement management results tend to
have political leadership with a strong
commitment to changing for the better
their approach to pavement repair and
maintenance.
• Identify project champions. Change is
often met with fear and resistance. The
person in the organization charged with
ensuring implementation of the pavement
management system must also be its
greatest advocate, stopping at nothing
until it is accepted and considered the

guiding force behind the pavement repair and maintenance process. The higher in the organization this person is, the better. It is also critical to identify additional champions to carry on this leadership should the primary person move on to another job.
• Select a software package that is best suited for your organization. Employing technology to solve problems can sometimes complicate a process, especially in the short term. As noted earlier, small and rural communities with a relatively low number of roadway miles can use a simple spreadsheet program. Larger and more urbanized municipalities should consider investing in a comprehensive asset/work order management software program that can address not only pavement, but also water, sewer, sidewalks, ramps, signs, signals and other systems. Whichever approach a community takes, officials should ensure that the program is robust enough to address issues such as short- and long-term prioritization, spending optimization, reporting and querying capabilities, and so on. And don’t skimp on training; the best system in the world is useless if the people who matter don’t know what it can do or how to use it.
• Conduct a quality assurance review of pavement management data. Proper analysis and planning require accurate data. Identify what you’re going to collect, why you need the information, how you will use it and so on. Identify the appropriate data and models required to produce the desired output. Conduct a pilot—select a snow route, district or ward to test data collection and modeling. Perform tests to ensure that the collected data is uniform and consistent, especially when multiple personnel are gathering and entering data.
• Deliver a readable and useful report. The people reading the data are likely to have a range of technical knowledge, so it is imperative to use language that is understandable to a wide audience. Express data and recommendations with terms such as dollars, miles, and months or years. Recommendations should be clear and candid. Tell it like it is.
• Continually update the pavement management database. Pavement/asset management is a living process. It should not be done once and then followed—or worse, forgotten. If pavement management is to be beneficial, the community needs to maintain accurate and up-to-date records of repairs, costs, schedules and so on. One rule of thumb is to inspect between one-quarter and one-third of the roadway network every year.
LONG-TERM BENEFITS
It’s tempting to look at pavement management as a quick fix or a silver bullet for all of a community’s roadway woes. While pavement management does offer some immediate benefits, this is not the primary motivation. A pavement management system is a long-range plan that will stretch a roadway repair budget and will eventually result in a vastly improved system. The plan typically covers a period of three to five years, with a focus on the work that is necessary to bring the roadway system up to more acceptable standards.
Identifying a community’s backlog of work, and the costs associated with addressing these needs, helps the community effectively manage the finances of its roadway infrastructure program. The pavement management system becomes the blueprint for a proactive, cost-effective preservation and maintenance program, as well as the foundation for a strategic capital infrastructure improvement plan.
The benefits don’t end with roads, however. Pavement management systems can be shared and coordinated with utility companies, for example. Before a city or town invests in a resurfacing project, it can ensure that any conflicts with utility infrastructure are addressed.
A pavement management plan overlaid with other condition assessments can help communities make better decisions about all of their assets. One example is sidewalk condition data, which allows a community to address issues related to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by identifying problem areas. This includes costs and a timetable for corrective measures.
So what should a community do first? “I suggest talking to some neighboring communities to see what they’re doing and what’s working for them,” says Tyler. “When taking on a challenge of this nature, I feel more comfortable talking with my peers. If they have a pavement management plan, what do they like and what don’t they like, what works, how do they manage the data?
“Despite the challenges, pavement management has definitely benefitted Spencer. We’ve used it to make the public more aware of these concepts, and it has helped us get additional funding to improve the condition of our roads. When you document the issues and show the level of dollars needed, it makes you feel better about the decisions being made on where to spend money.”

Kids concert at 2PM on 4/26

This from Lowell Mason House Foundation –

Stacey Peasley Kids Concert
The popular Stacey Peasley will be performing this school vacation week in Medfield

Where:

Dale Street School Auditorium
45 Adams Street
Medfield, MA 02052

When:

April 26, 2014 Saturday, 2:00pm

Cost:

$10 Adult, $8 Child
Purchase online at www.lowellmasonhouse.org or at Park Street Books

Bring the kids to a fun concert just for them at Dale Street School this Saturday during school vacation week.

Stacey Peasley has been entertaining families in the Boston area since 2008. In that short time, she has won the Creative Child Magazine 2012 Top CD of the Year Award, the 2011 Parents’ Choice Recommended Award, the 2010 Nickelodeon Parents Connect Parents’ Pick Award for Best Party Entertainer, and her music has been heard on radio programs nationwide, including Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live.

Her talent and love of children has connected with families, and she has gained a loyal following in the Metrowest area! Stacey performs at many events including preschools, fundraisers, and birthday parties, and has been a part of premier local events including Boston Greenfest, Boston Medical Center’s HalloweenTown and Halloween Fest, and the Fenway Park Entertainment room for the children of the uniformed players!

She has played notable venues including The Regent Theater, Coolidge Corner Theater, The Center for the Arts in Natick, the Amazing Things Arts Center, and the Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks and Musikfest in Pennsylvania.

May School Library Journal says, “Peasley’s style is joyful, playful, and inventive. These will become a favorite of the preschool set during rest and play.”

Tickets for this fun concert are $10 for adults and $8 for children.  If you are bringing more than 2 children, there is no charge for the 3rd or more children.   Tickets can be purchased online at www.lowellmasonhouse.org, Park Street Bookstore at 504 Main Street, Medfield or at the door.

About the Lowell Mason Foundation

Lowell Mason (1792-1872) was born in Medfield, Massachusetts and is considered the Father of Music Education in America  He was instrumental to introducing music as part of the regular curriculum to America’s public schools as well as professionalizing the teaching of music.  The Lowell Mason Foundation was formed in 2010 by a group of concerned Medfield citizens and music educators after it was learned that Lowell Mason’s birthplace had been sold and was slated for demolition.  In one year the group successfully moved the house to safety, which occurred on April 19, 2011.  The Foundation continues to raise funds to restore and expand Lowell Mason’s birthplace for use as a historic, cultural and educational site.

This from Medfield Energy Committee –

Medfield Energy Committee Recommends ‘YES” vote on Articles #34 and #35 at Town Meeting.

For Medfield to qualify for an $148,000 grant from the State Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the two articles must pass at Town Meeting April 28.

Medfield is working to become a Green Community within the Green Communities Act administered by the DOER. The Green Community designation acknowledges that a Town has taken steps to encourage energy conservation and facilitate renewable energy. There are 5 criteria that must be met to qualify. Article #34 achieves two of the criteria and Article #35 a third. The final two criteria are policies to be adopted by the Board of Selectmen and the School Board before the Fall 2014 application to the DOER.

Article #34, to “.. .add new Section 19, Large-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Overlay District (PVOD)…” will fulfill the requirement to facilitate renewable energy in the town.   The by-right overlay district will be the Industrial Extensive (IE) district that is North of West Street. Section 19 regulates large-scale solar location, construction and operation to minimize visual and environmental impacts and provide financial assurance for the eventual decommissioning.

Over 50 Massachusetts communities have passed by-right Solar Bylaws, including Sherborn, Medway, Dedham & Ashland. Article #34 was passed unanimously by the Planning Board and is supported by the Board of Selectmen and Warrant Committee.

Article #35 to “…enact…“Stretch Energy Code”, for the purpose of regulating the design and construction of buildings for the effective use of energy…”  The energy code is a component of the building code; it sets a minimum energy efficiency for new buildings and major renovations. The “stretch” energy code of 2009 is a more-efficient option available for towns to voluntarily adopt. Both base and stretch energy codes are updated every few years. This July, the current “stretch” code will be replacing the current base energy code statewide. Passing this Warrant Article will thus accelerate Medfield’s adoption of the current stretch code by only a few months. As new “stretch” energy codes are developed, Medfield will adopt them immediately and not wait for them to become the new base energy code. The benefit of adopting the stretch energy code now is to be able to qualify for the $148,000 DOER grant.

Although 134 towns have adopted the stretch energy code, Medfield has not yet done so. Passage of this Article would keep Medfield one step ahead, meaning more efficient homes and buildings. The added construction cost to meet the stretch energy code is quickly recovered through reduced energy costs. (See attached table)

The Board of Selectmen and the Energy Committee recommend passage of Article #35. The Warrant Committee vote was split 5-2-2

  Added construction costs to meet code Increase in 30 year mortgage Annual Energy savings Annual Net Savings
New Large size Home *

(4,462 sq. ft.)

$6,400 $471 / year $1,455 / year $984 / year
New Average size Home*
(2,672 sq. ft.)
$2,900 $214 / year $507 / year $293 / year
Smaller Home*

(renovation as part of development)

(1,706 sq. ft.)

$4,100 $302 / year $583 / year $281 / year

MFi volunteer awards press coverage

These are the links to the press coverage and photographs/video of the Medfield Foundation volunteer awards reception –

Medfield Patch
http://medfield.patch.com/groups/colleen-m-sullivans-blog/p/medfield-foundation-volunteer-award-event

Hometown Weekly
http://hometownweekly.smugmug.com/Medfield/Events/Medfield-Volunteer-Awards/38046325_bT2vK9#!i=3142108328&k=8kDg6JX

Medfield.TV Youtube link for the Volunteer Awards 2014:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6akZf2EuXY

The Medfield Press has already put its coverage into an archive that requires payment to access.

 

Bill to buy MSH

This is again Gil Rodgers’ emailed copy of the legislation to buy the former MSH, this time with the actual legislation attached.

Here is a copy of H 4050, a bill for transfer of properties at the Medfield State Hospital, that is sponsored by our legislators – Senator Timilty and Representatives Garlick and Dooley.

Congratulations to all.

 

Bill H.4050188th (Current)

An Act authorizing the commissioner of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to convey certain parcels of land in the town of Medfield

By Representative Garlick of Needham and Senator Timilty, a joint petition (subject to Joint Rule 12) of Denise C. Garlick, James E. Timilty and Shawn Dooley (by vote of the town) for legislation to authorize the commissioner of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance to convey certain parcels of land in the town of Medfield. State Administration and Regulatory Oversight. [Local Approval Received.]

Sponsors: Denise C. Garlick  James E. Timilty
Status: Referred to Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
 

 

SECTION 1. Chapter 29 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 2KKKK the following section:-

Section 2LLLL. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund, to be known as the Health and Human Services Capital Projects Trust Fund, hereinafter in this section referred to as the fund, administered by the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance at the direction of the secretary of health and human services. The fund shall be credited: (i) the portion of any net cash proceeds from the conveyance, lease or other disposition of any facilities vacated by any agency within the executive office of health and human services and determined to be surplus by the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance; (ii) any appropriations; (iii) bond proceeds; or (iv) other monies authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited thereto. The comptroller shall disburse amounts in the fund at the direction of the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance, in consultation with the secretary of the executive office of health and human services, without further appropriation, for the purpose of paying costs of, or paying down any portion of any debt incurred to pay costs related to the acquisition, construction or improvements to health and human services facilities. The comptroller shall establish procedures necessary to effectuate this section, including procedures for the proper transfer, accounting and expenditures of funds. The comptroller may make payments in anticipation of receipts and shall establish procedures for reconciling overpayments and underpayments from the trust fund. The commissioner shall report semi-annually to the house and senate committees on ways and means on the revenue and expenditure activity within the fund. The fund shall be an expendable trust fund and shall not be subject to appropriation. Money remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund.

SECTION 2. Notwithstanding sections 32 to 37, inclusive, of chapter 7C of the General Laws, chapter 269 of the acts of 2008 or any other general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, hereinafter referred to as the commissioner, may convey 1 or more parcels of land located at the former state hospital in Medfield to the town of Medfield. The parcels are shown as parcel A and parcel B on a plan entitled “Compiled Plan of Land, Medfield State Hospital, Medfield, Massachusetts, prepared for Division of Capital Asset Management”, dated June 14, 2005, prepared by Judith Nitsch Engineering, Inc., on file with the division of capital asset management and maintenance. The exact location and boundaries of the parcels to be conveyed shall be determined by the commissioner, in consultation with the town of Medfield. The use of the parcels to be conveyed to the town shall not be restricted to use for municipal or other specific uses; provided, however, that the town may so restrict the parcels at a later date, in accordance with applicable general and special law. The parcels shall be conveyed by deed without warranties or representations by the commonwealth.

SECTION 3. As consideration for the conveyance of the parcels described in section 2, the town of Medfield shall pay the commonwealth an amount equal to certain costs related to the closure of the former state hospital in Medfield including, but not limited to, the costs of removing combustible materials, disconnecting certain utilities, and otherwise closing those buildings located on the parcels conveyed, routine security, and other capital expenditures and operating expenses incurred by the commonwealth in preparation for or following the closure of the former state hospital, as determined by the commissioner and agreed to by the town. The town of Medfield may pay the amount so determined by the commissioner and agreed to by the town upon its purchase of the parcels described in section 2 or the town may pay the amount so determined in 10 annual payments pursuant to section 20A of chapter 58 of the General Laws. If the town’s payment of consideration pursuant to this section so requires, the town may seek voter approval pursuant to subsection (k) of section 21Cof chapter 59 of the General Laws.

SECTION 4. Notwithstanding chapter 269 of the acts of 2008, or any other general or special law to the contrary, parcels A-1 and A-2, as shown on the plan referenced in section 2 shall be maintained as open space or used for agricultural and passive recreation purposes, subject to those subsurface utility easements on parcel A-1 serving the town’s water system. Notwithstanding the foregoing, but subject to such subsurface utility easements, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance may transfer the care and custody of parcels A-1, A-2 or C, or portions thereof, to the department of conservation and recreation for open space and passive recreation purposes. Such transfer shall be without consideration and shall not be subject to chapter 7C of the General Laws.

SECTION 5. In the event that the town of Medfield sells or leases any portion of the parcels described in section 2, the net proceeds from such sale or lease as determined by the town and agreed to by the commissioner, shall be allocated between the town of Medfield and the commonwealth in equal shares, ; provided, however, that the commissioner may agree to reduce the share of the commonwealth’s proceeds to not less than 30 per cent of net proceeds in order to provide certain incentives to the town of Medfield to sell or lease some or all of the parcels described in section 2 expeditiously or to facilitate the development of some or all of the parcels in accordance with smart growth principles promulgated from time to time by the governor and the secretary of energy and environmental affairs. In the event that the net proceeds, as so determined, is a negative amount, the commonwealth shall not be required to make any payments to the town of Medfield. Any proceeds received by the commonwealth pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Health and Human Services Capital Projects Trust Fund established pursuant to section 2LLLL of chapter 29 of the General Laws.

SECTION 6. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the town of Medfield shall pay for all costs and expenses of the transactions authorized in this act as determined by the commissioner including, but not limited to, the costs of any recording fees and deed preparation related to the conveyances and for all costs, liabilities and expenses of any nature and kind related to the town’s ownership of the parcels; provided, however, that such costs shall be included for the purposes of determining the net proceeds of the town’s sale or lease of any portion of the parcels described in section 2. Amounts paid by the town of Medfield pursuant to section 3 shall not be included for the purposes of determining the net proceeds from a sale or lease.

SECTION 7. (a) In the event that the town of Medfield does not complete its purchase of the property described in section 2 on or before December 31, 2015, notwithstanding sections 33 to 38, inclusive, of chapter 7C of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner may sell, lease for terms up to 99 years, including all renewals and extensions, or otherwise grant, convey or transfer to purchasers or lessees an interest in the property described in section 2 or portions thereof, subject to this section and on such terms and conditions that the commissioner considers appropriate; provided, however, that the purchase by the town of Medfield shall be considered complete upon the transfer of title to the parcel or parcels described in section 2 to the town. The commissioner shall dispose of the property, or portion thereof, using appropriate competitive bidding processes and procedures. At least 30 days before the date on which bids, proposals or other offers to purchase or lease a property, or any portion thereof, are due, the commissioner shall place a notice in the central register published by the state secretary pursuant to section 20A of chapter 9 of the General Laws stating the availability of the property, the nature of the competitive bidding process and other information that the commissioner considers relevant, including the time, place and manner for the submission of bids and proposals and the opening of the bids or proposals.

(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the grantee or lessee of all or any portion of the property described in section 2 and subject to this section shall be responsible for costs and expenses including, but not limited to, costs associated with deed preparation and recording fees related to the conveyances and transfers authorized in this section as such costs may be determined by the commissioner.

(c) No agreement for the sale, lease, transfer or other disposition of the property described in section 2 and subject to this section, or any portion thereof, and no deed executed by or on behalf of the commonwealth, shall be valid unless the agreement or deed contains the following certification, signed by the commissioner:

“I, the undersigned commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, hereby certify under penalties of perjury that I have fully complied with the relevant provisions of general and special law in connection with the property described in this document.”;

SECTION 8. In any disposition pursuant to section 2 or section 7, the commissioner may retain, accept or acquire by purchase, transfer, lease, eminent domain, pursuant to chapter 79 of the General Laws or otherwise, and may grant by deed, transfer, lease or otherwise any rights-of-way or easements, in, over or beneath any parcel or portions thereof, or any other portions of the former Medfield state hospital, as the commissioner deems necessary and appropriate for the continued access to, egress from and use of portions of the former Medfield state hospital including, without limitation, parcels A-1 and A-2, by the general public or other state agencies or to carry out this act; provided however that in any disposition pursuant to section 2, such retention, acceptance, acquisition, or grant of any rights-of-way or easements in, over or beneath parcels A or B shall be subject to the approval of the town of Medfield.

SECTION 9. Sections 2 to 8, inclusive, shall take effect upon their acceptance by a majority vote of the board of selectmen of the town of Medfield, but not otherwise.

WIT student projects on MSH

Associate Professor Charles Cimino of the Wentworth Institute of Technology orchestrated a display of his architecture students’ projects yesterday focused on the reuse of the Medfield State Hospital.   It turned out to be remarkably interesting to see what fresh eyes did with the Lee chapel and a couple of the surrounding buildings.  Colleen Sullivan took pictures and wrote a great article describing what was shown.    Click here to see her photos and article.

PURCHASE UPDATE  – The special legislation for the Town of Medfield to buy the Medfield State Hospital site has reportedly been through one committee hearing already in the legislature.  Shall we start a pool betting on when the town will actually get to buy the property.  I bet it will be 1/1/2015, getting in just under the wire before Governor Patrick leaves office the following week.

BoS agenda for 4/22/14

Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 7:00 PM

AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

6:30 PM The Medfield Board of Selectmen needs to meet in Executive Session (closed session) for the purpose of discussing discipline or dismissal of employee

Appointments
7: 15PM Public Hearing-All Alcohol License Application from Teodoro Jauregui dba Soziala LLC located at 18 North Meadows Road

7:30PM Evergreen Way, Stonybrook Road, Spring VaileyRoad residents

Discuss proposed telecommunications tower located at Junction Street, Dover

ACTION
Final review Town Meeting Warrant Articles

My input to Reps on their budget deliberations

I just sent our state Representatives the email below to share with them my concerns and those of Massachusetts Municipal Association, as the House considers the state budget –

4/18/2014 12:34PM
Massachusetts Municipal Association’s budget positions
Denise Garlick. Shawn Dooley

Michael Sullivan; Kristine Trierweiler
===========================================================

Denise and Shawn,

I wanted to make sure that you were both aware of the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s positions on the pending budget issues that you are facing in the legislature, so I have inserted below the MMA’s itemization, for your information.    Please know that when I attend the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s meetings, that I almost invariably find that my views align with those of the MMA.

Thanks in advance for looking out for Medfield’s interests.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

HOUSE DEBATE ON FY 2015 STATE BUDGET WILL BEGIN ON MONDAY, APRIL 28

Lawmakers Will Decide the Fate of 1,175 Amendments

Please Call Your Representatives Today on the Budget Amendments that Impact Key Municipal and School Priorities
The House is scheduled to begin debate on the $36 billion fiscal 2015 state budget on Monday, April 28.  The deliberations are expected to take several days, as Representatives have filed 1,175 amendments to make changes to H. 4000, the House Ways & Means Committee’s budget recommendation that was released on April 9.

Many of these amendments would directly impact cities and towns, including a number of welcome amendments that would increase funding for municipal and school aid accounts, and several unwelcome amendments that would have a negative impact on municipalities.  This Legislative Alert describes the most important amendments that will be debated.

Please contact your Representatives today: It is vitally important that you call your Representatives as soon as possible to secure their support for those amendments that would help your community, and ask them to oppose those amendments that would be harmful.  Lawmakers must hear from you on these issues.  Because of the great number of amendments, the summaries here are very brief.  Please contact MMA Legislative Director John Robertson at jrobertson@mma.org or 617-426-7272 x122 at any time if you have questions or need more details.

Read the proposed budget and amendments here: The House budget committee recommendation (H. 4000) and all proposed amendments are posted on the Legislature’s website at: https://malegislature.gov/Budget/FY2015/House/WaysAndMeans

No amendments allowed on UGGA or Chapter 70 funding.  Because of the Budget Order adopted by House members earlier this month, amendments and debate will not be allowed on proposals related to the two main Cherry Sheet accounts, Chapter 70 school aid and Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA).  When the Budget Order was adopted, House leaders said that funding levels for these essential aid programs were determined by the Local Aid Resolution adopted by the House in March.  Thus, H. 4000 would provide a $25 million increase in UGGA funding, and appropriate the same Chapter 70 amount that the Governor filed in January, an overall increase of $99.7 million, with most cities, towns and school districts receiving anemic minimum aid increases of $25 per student.

Amendments related to all other municipal and school aid accounts and to law changes are allowed under the Budget Order, including the following amendments that are highlighted below:

KEY BUDGET AMENDMENTS ON SCHOOL AND EDUCATION FUNDING

Support Funding for Reimbursements for Charter Schools Losses
Under state law, cities and towns that host or send students to charter schools are entitled to be reimbursed for a portion of their lost Chapter 70 aid.  The state fully funded the reimbursement program in fiscal 2013, but is underfunding the reimbursements called for in state law by approximately $28 million this year.  The Governor’s budget would level-fund charter school reimbursements at $75 million, which would guarantee a shortfall of $29 million in fiscal 2015.  The HW&M budget would increase reimbursements by $5 million, to a total of $80 million.  This represents slight progress, but the program would still be underfunded by $24 million.

Shortfalls in the charter school reimbursement program cause major fiscal distress in every community that has a significant charter school presence.  Only a small fraction of the public school students attend charter schools.  Underfunding this program would force cutbacks for the vast majority of students who remain in the traditional school setting.

Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 993 filed by Rep. Malia and 26 others to fully fund charter school reimbursements due to cities, towns and regional school districts by providing the full $104.3 million necessary to meet the state’s obligation.  The MMA also supports Amendment 124 filed by Rep. Moran and others, and Amendment 412 filed by Rep. Peisch, as each of these amendments also intend to fully fund this essential account.

Support Funding for McKinney-Vento Homeless Student Transportation Costs
The HW&M and Governor’s budgets would level-fund reimbursements for the transportation of homeless students at $7.4 million, which is $7.5 million below the full reimbursement called for under the state’s unfunded mandate law.  Two years ago, the State Auditor ruled that the adoption of the federal McKinney-Vento law imposed an unfunded mandate on cities and towns.  The program was funded at $11.3 million in fiscal 2013 and cut to $7.4 million in fiscal 2014.  Level-funding the program would continue to impose a significant burden on those cities and towns that are providing transportation services to homeless children who have been placed in their communities by the state.

Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 999 filed by Rep. Heroux and 38 others, Amendment 772 filed by Rep. Stanley and others, and Amendment 747 filed by Rep. Poirier and others.  All of these amendments would fully fund the $14.9 million in reimbursements due to municipalities and school districts for the cost of transporting homeless students from temporary shelters to school.

Support Net School Spending Equity Under Chapter 70
Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 1166 filed by Rep. Fennell and others to allow all municipal and regional school districts, at local option, to count spending on health insurance for retired school employees toward the “net school spending” requirement under Chapter 70.  Unfortunately, current rules exclude these costs from net school spending in some districts, but allow the costs to count in others.  This year, there are harsh financial penalties facing many cities, towns and school districts unless the law is changed to provide parity for all communities.  This amendment would ensure equity by providing all cities, towns and districts with the ability to count insurance costs for their retired school employees.

Support Funding for Regional School District Student Transportation
Funding for school transportation costs is vital to regional districts and member cities and towns, particular in sparsely populated parts of the state. The HW&M budget would provide $53.5 million for regional school transportation reimbursements, which is $2 million more than this year and an improvement over the Governor’s level-funded budget, but is still nearly $7 million below fiscal 2008 levels and is far below the $78 million required for full funding. Decades ago, the state promised 100 percent reimbursement as an incentive for towns and cities to regionalize, and the underfunding of this account has presented serious budget challenges for these districts, taking valuable dollars from the classroom.

Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 266 filed by Rep. Turner and 38 others, Amendment 493 filed by Rep. Naughton, and Amendment 619 filed by Rep. Kuros.  All of these amendments would increase transportation reimbursements to regional school districts by an additional $4 million to bring fiscal 2015 funding to $57.5 million.

Support Funding for Out-of-District Vocational Education Student Transportation
The fiscal 2014 state budget included a $3 million item to reimburse communities for a portion of the state-mandated cost of transporting students to out-of-district placements in vocational schools.  This account recognizes the significant expense of providing transportation services for out-of-district placements, as these students must travel long distances to participate in vocational programs that are not offered locally, and state law mandates communities to provide the transportation.  The HW&M budget would reduce this funding level by 50%, down to an underfunded level of $1.5 million (the Governor’s budget eliminated all funding).

Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 543 filed by Rep. Lombardo to fully fund the $3.8 million cost of transporting students to out-of-district placements in vocational schools.

Oppose Automatic Approval of Regional School District Stabilization Funds
Please ask your Representatives to oppose Amendment 151 that would establish a system of automatic approval of the establishment of stabilization funds in regional school districts.  Chapter 71 of the General Laws provides a fair and reasonable approval process through which member cities and towns may authorize the establishment of a stabilization fund in the local regional school district.  Amendment 151 would allow a fund to be established if a member city or town did not call a Town Meeting within 60 days to reject the proposal.  Most stabilization funds are capped at a reasonable level, but the stabilization funds in regional school districts are allowed to grow at a huge level up to double the levy ceiling in member communities.  Because of the enormous amount of taxpayer dollars at stake, this automatic and expedited approval mechanism should be rejected, and towns and cities should have a full say in the process.

Support the Formation of a Foundation Budget Review Commission
The foundation budget school spending standard that guides Chapter 70 funding was first enacted as part of the landmark 1993 education reform law and has largely remained unchanged since that time.  In addition to the need to adjust the foundation budget to reflect the many substantial changes that have occurred in public education over the past 20 years, the current foundation budget structure clearly understates many key education expenses, and does not fully reflect the cost of operating modern school systems, as evidenced by the fact that cities and towns spend $2.1 billion more to run their schools than the amount called for in the foundation budget.

Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 243 filed by Rep. Ehrlich and 33 others, and Amendment 771 filed by Rep. O’Connell and others, to re-establish the Foundation Budget Review Commission under Chapter 70 for the purpose of reviewing the way that the foundation budget is calculated.

KEY BUDGET AMENDMENTS ON MUNICIPAL AID ACCOUNTS AND MUNICIPAL MANAGEMENT POLICY

Support and Preserve Municipal Decision-Making Authority on Health Insurance
Outside Section 32 of the HW&M budget would unilaterally extend a 3-year freeze on changing retiree health insurance contribution percentages by an additional two years.  Under existing law, any city or town that used sections 22 or 23 of Chapter 32B (the 2011 municipal health insurance reform law) to implement plan design changes or join the GIC is prohibited from changing retiree health insurance contribution percentages until July 1, 2014.  Section 32 would extend that freeze for two more years, until July 1, 2016, for any municipality that adopted or is planning on adopting provisions of the 2011 municipal health insurance reform law. This proposed change would reverse planned contribution changes that have already been adopted by some cities and towns, and would delay the ability to take action on retiree contribution percentages in many others.

Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 498, which would strike Section 32 from the HW&M budget and preserve the decision-making power of cities and towns to determine health insurance contribution percentages for retirees.  Municipal officials have been operating in good faith under the current law, and it is unfair and unwise to interfere with their authority to act in the best interests of local taxpayers, employees and retirees.

Oppose Attempts to Circumvent and Weaken Municipal Personnel Laws
Please ask your Representatives to oppose Amendment 804, which would significantly weaken the smoking prohibition for public safety employees.

Because of special provisions in state law that established a work-related presumption for heart and lung disease for public safety personnel, state law mandates a no smoking rule for public safety employees.  Under Chapter 32 of the General Laws, any police officer or firefighter with heart disease and any firefighter with lung disease or lung cancer is automatically eligible for a disability pension, but the enactment of these presumptions included an absolute ban on the use of tobacco products because smoking and tobacco use is the primary and overwhelming cause of heart and lung disease and cancer. Under Section 101A of Chapter 41, employees who violate this strict prohibition are subject to dismissal.  This has been the law since 1988.

But Amendment 804 would reverse 26 years of standing law and personnel policy, and instead mandate that cities and towns offer a smoking cessation program to those who violate the policy and keep the presumption in place for these employees in spite of their use of tobacco products, with only a subsequent violation being grounds for removal.  All public safety personnel are aware of the no smoking rule, and violations must be addressed fully because the special treatment and protections that are in place were granted only on the condition that these employees refrain from tobacco use.  Amendment 804 would remove a very important taxpayer protection, and should be rejected.

Support Funding for Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT)
Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 753 filed by Rep. D’Emilia to add $3.5 million to increase funding of payments to cities and towns in lieu of taxes for state-owned land (PILOT).  This is a particularly important Cherry Sheet program for the cities and towns that host and provide municipal services to state facilities that are exempt from the local property tax.  The Governor’s proposed budget would cut $500K from the program, and the HW&M budget would restore the $500K to level-fund the account at this year’s level of $26.9 million.  Amendment 753 would bring the account up to $30.4 million.

Support Funding for the Shannon Anti-Gang Grant Program
Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 383 filed by Rep. Brady and 43 others to increase funding for the Shannon anti-gang grant program that has helped cities and towns respond to and suppress gang-related activities.  This amendment would add $4 million and bring total funding up to $8 million, which is the same level proposed by the Governor.

Support Funding for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative
Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 386, filed by Rep. Brady and others to increase funding of the Safe and Supportive Youth Initiative from $4 million to $9.5 million. The program seeks to reduce youth violence through wraparound services for those most likely to be victims or perpetrators, and is vital to violence prevention efforts in dozens of communities.

Support Funding for Summer Jobs for At-Risk Youth
Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 427 filed by Rep. Fox and others to increase funding for youth summer jobs from $8 million to $12 million. This funding is critical to providing employment opportunities for at-risk teenagers in our cities and towns, especially with youth unemployment rates climbing.

Support Transparency in Water Management Regulations
Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 70 filed by Rep. Peterson to require the Department of Environmental protection to appear before the Legislature’s Committee on the Environment, Natural and Agriculture to explain the terms and implementation of proposed regulations governing water management before the regulations can be finalized.

The state’s Sustainable Water Management Initiative proposes dramatic changes to permitting under the Water Management Act by establishing new biological categorizations and basing water withdrawal thresholds on new and unprecedented stream flow criteria. This regulatory scheme would limit water withdrawals, the main source of water system revenues, and at the same time increase costs for water suppliers by imposing additional mitigation measures.

KEY BUDGET AMENDMENTS ON CAPITAL SPENDING PRIORITIES

Support Funding for Dam and Seawall Repairs
Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 1155 filed by Rep. Cantwell and others to appropriate $10 million for the Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Fund.  There are approximately 3,000 dams in Massachusetts, most of which are in disrepair and causing damage to the environment and posing public safety risks. In 2011, the State Auditor reported that the state’s aging and neglected stock of dams poses a “significant threat to public safety’’ and requires an estimated $60 million in repairs.  Additional funding, along with the law enacted last year limiting the amount of nutrients in fertilizers, would go a long way toward improving the health of our lakes, rivers and streams.

Support Brownfields Redevelopment Funds
Please ask your Representatives to support Amendment 915 filed by Rep. Walsh and others and Amendment 121 filed by Rep. Moran and others to increase available funding for Brownfields redevelopment projects.  This funding is critical to the successful redevelopment of former industrial sites and will enhance local economic development efforts across the state, and improve the environment.  Amendment 915 would allocate up to $45 million from the fiscal 2014 year-end surplus to Brownfield projects, and Amendment 121 would provide a $30 million appropriation in the fiscal 2015 state budget.
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Best,
Pete
Osler L. Peterson, Attorney at Law
PETERSON | Law
580 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02458
66 North St, PO Box 358, Medfield, MA 02052
T – 617.969.1500
T – 617.969.1501 (direct)
M – 508-359-9190
F – 617.663.6008
http://mysite.verizon.net/osler.peterson/
Medfield Information at: Facebook, https://medfield02052.wordpress.com/ & http://twitter.com/Medfield

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MSH visioning report

The Medfield State Hospital visioning report is available, per email today from the Town Planner, Sarah Raposa –

Hi all,

Apologies for the delay in getting the final version of the report to you. It’s a large document so here is the link to download it from Dropbox. Let me know if you have difficulties accessing it.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hmiznbxp6xbqyow/MSH%20VISIONING%20REPORT%20HSH-DF%20Final%2004.15.14.pdf

All the best,

Sarah

MCAP hits social media

Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) has entered the social media world.  Now you can easily follow MCAP on

MCAP Logo_1C_300