At the board of selectmen meeting last evening there were several important announcements and pieces of information:
- Jim Snyder, director of Medfield Parks and Recreation Commission, has submitted his resignation, effective September 30. Jim has accepted a job as the assistant recreation director for the town of Framingham.I spoke with Jim this morning to thank him for his 16 years of service to the town of Medfield in which he greatly improved and enlarged upon the offerings by the Medfield Park and Rec Commission and I can report that he is looking forward to his new job in Framingham, despite having a slightly longer commute.
- Ken Feeney, Superintendent of Public Works announced his retirement effective next year. The specific date was not stated.
- Members of the Permanent Building Committee presented status updates on both the new Highway Garage and the proposed Public Safety Building.
- The garage is reported to be 95 to 98% completed and about $750,000 under the $11.1 million budget. Mike Quinlan, committee co-chair, has been in charge of the garage project for the committee, and he handled the reporting. He stated that their current goal is to get the DPW in before the snow flies.
- John Nunnari, the other committee co-chair, in charge of the Public Safety Building, handed out budgets and Gantt charts with timelines indicating that the total cost of the 40,900 sq. ft. Public Safety Building will be $20,350,000, about $450/sq. ft. The committee has approved design documents as of June 6, 2014. The value engineering process resulted in the committee accepting about 56% of the $1.3 million of suggestions for value engineering changes. The schedule has the bidding getting started at year-end, approval at a special town meeting on March 23, 2015, an override vote at the annual town election on March 30, 2015, and construction, if the project is approved by the town, starting April 1, 2015 and finishing around December 9, 2016. During construction the Fire Department would be relocated into the new Highway Garage and the Police Department would have temporary quarters in the Comark building on West Street.
- It was announced at the meeting that the Larkin Brothers, real estate developers, who are currently building a 10 unit townhouse condominium on North Street, and have just finished a four unit development on Harding Street at the intersection with West Mill Street, have agreed to donate $15,000 towards the construction of Straw hat Park. Construction figures for the park have so far been estimated at around $80,000.
- Look for the two pianos to be located at Straw Hat Park and the Gazebo starting this weekend and staying for several weeks.
- Mike Sullivan opined that the town will have to build a parking deck on top of the municipal parking lot behind the Ord’s Block due to the high demand for parking in the downtown with the opening of Brothers Marketplace and the other new development in the immediate area. The new development of the Ord’s Block would have required 53 parking spaces for the various proposed building uses (plans showed four retail establishments on the first floor, three offices on the second floor, and three apartments on the top floor) whereas the site actually has very few spaces on-site. A zoning bylaw permits the ZBA to exempt new uses from the parking requirements for businesses located in the downtown business district. I suggest that in the future the town seek contributions from developers towards a parking fund when their developments do not provide sufficient parking, so that the town can accumulate monies to then later provide such needed parking.
- Cities and towns got extra monies from the state this year to cover the cost of road repairs due to the extremely harsh winter. Mike Sullivan reported that Medfield got $59,000 of such extra monies, which are being put towards the repaving of Route 27 that is currently ongoing.