Board of Selectman
April 10, 2018
Medfield Public Library
Board of Selectmen: Michael Marcucci, Osler Peterson, Gus Murby, Mike Sullivan, Mark Cerel Kristine Trierweiler
Warrant Committee: Tom Marie, Sharon Tatro, Barbara Gips, Tom Mulvoy, Abby Marble, Michael Pastore, Jack Wolfe
School Committee: Anna Mae O’Shea, Chris Morrison, Jessica Riley, Leo Braum, Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden
Joint Meeting with the Warrant Committee and the School Committee
Selectman Marcucci called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm and disclosed the meeting is being video recorded.
Selectmen observed a moment of appreciation for our Troops serving around the world.
School Committee and Warrant Committee Chairman called their meetings to order.
Marcucci stated there are three primary objectives of the joint meeting:
- Get on the same pages procedurally with Articles 11 and Articles 45, which are the operating budget and the override. Copies of Warrant Committee tracking sheet with three scenarios and documentations of what the Articles will look like at Town Meeting.
- Discussions and issues with budget issues
- Discussions of Draft Capital with the School Committee
Procedural Issues with Articles –
Board and Panel reviewed tracking sheet and three scenarios. Mr. Chris Morrison, School Committee is advocating for a budget that will not affect other town services. What is the increase in the average tax bill? Baseline is $10,800 average tax bill will increase $290. School Committee realizes the large amount being asked for. The School Committee is trying to avoid “serial overrides” which would be the school committee asking for money yearly. The School Committee is trying to level set the budget and will not be asking again for a long length of time.
Selectmen Murby and Selectmen Peterson agree with School Committee presentation. The Warrant Committee had no comment.
Discussions and issues with Budget and Draft Capital
Selectmen Murby is concerned with the number of items piling up for voters consider with overrides. The town is trying to help seniors to drive taxes down. There is a bigger issue of the impact on the taxpayers, not just schools. Murby said he is very troubled about the budget issues and does not want the town to be so focused on schools that once you become a senior, you will have to move.
Mr. Morrison said the School Committee doesn’t like asking for an override and they don’t want residents to have to leave the town because they can’t afford the tax bill. Mr. Morrison said further that the schools are the heartbeat of the town; they keep the property values up and allow the town to grow. Morrison said that education is not static…it is forever changing, needs to change, the way children live their lives change and in turn the budget need will change.
Selectmen Murby said he would like the town to figure out how to make the school sustainable as pretty soon we will have a town with only a school budget. Mr. Morrison restated the school is proud of the fact that it has only had on override in the past seven years. A 2 ½ % increase will not allow the School’s to maintain the level of education it is currently functioning at. Murby stated he is not staking a position on this decision; he is simply trying to be the voice of the tax payer who’s income in not increasing annually.
Selectmen Peterson suggested a joint meeting at the beginning of the budget season to set some expectations early in the process.
Selectmen Marcucci noted the people at the ends of each spectrum are the ones that get hurt on either side. For the most part, most kids and taxpayers will be fine…but it is the kids and taxpayers within the margins that won’t be fine. It is unfortunate that we are limited to only raising the taxes in town, but unfortunately, that is where we are at this time. These decisions are wrenching for the people that have been here a long time or people that are trying to stay here.
Mr. Sullivan mentioned issues coming up at Town Meeting: revenues are up 2.3%, budget up 9.1%, Dale Street Feasibility Study (1 million), Park and Recreation ($100,000), Council on Aging would like to expand, Water and Sewer looking for special water treatment, painting of the Mt. Nebo water tower (1.1 million), hiring Drug and Alcohol Prevention coordinator, Medfield State Hospital planning, Senior Housing concerns (5 Articles at Town meeting just on Senior Housing), and 40B Housing concerns. All of these problems need to be addressed…all will bring future costs. Mr. Sullivan said we need to establish wants vs needs. We need to keep up with the maintenance of the buildings. We have to continue to be cautious in our spending patterns.
Mr. Morrison noted the School Committee is in support of the Draft Capital Stabilization. Marcucci said the Selectmen are still talking about it and are not in position to vote on it yet.
Vote: Selectmen Murby made a motion made adjourn the joint meeting. Seconded by Selectmen Peterson, vote was unanimous.
Chairman Bill Harvey, Water and Sewer Board
About 93% of the homes in Medfield receive water and sewer services. The enterprise funds are managed within the cost of the services given. The Articles for Town Meeting include treatment to reduce iron and manganese, Mt. Nebo Tank refurbishing, and Rules and Regulations of the operation itself.
Article 35: Refurbish Mr. Nebo Tank –refurbishing this tank was delayedin the past because of the State Hospital Water Tank construction. State Hospital Tank was replaced and that needed to be done first before Mt Nebo. Mt. Nebo tank needs to be drained, inspection needs to be completed and then refurbishing/repainting. Outside of tank has been cost estimated, inside will not be estimated until the tank is drained. The inspection should be completed in the Fall and that is when the finale cost will be determined. The outside of the tank will be approximately $600,000. May 2019 is the estimated timeframe when refurbishing will be completed.
Article 35: Iron Manganese deposits in two wells in the system. Well #6 is the largest well and is backed up by Well #3. Well #6, is the largest and doesn’t require advanced treatments. The quality levels in Well #3 and Well #4 have been on the Boards mine for a while. The Board has exhausted all other options. Article is about two issues – designing and permitting – preparing the site and the second step is the overall design of the building, pipes etc. The project is the development of Well # 3 in an adjacent location to have the water quantity/quality equal to Well#6. The strategy of Well#4 will be to keep it in an emergency position for water back up. The Water and Sewer Board is struggling over the cost of the iron manganese water treatment plant. The Board is hoping the cost can come down from the estimated $8,000,000.
Tom Sweeney voiced his concerns that the water quality was not what it was when he was a kid.
There is $250,000 from the State Hospital Tank that can be transferred to Mt. Nebo Tank.
Board is looking for alternatives and trying to offset costs. Overall construction could be pushed out to 2021.
Chairman Fire Chief Search Committee, Scott McDermott
Started search 10 months ago, acknowledged Chief Kingsbury extraordinary 28 year career, and acknowledged entire capability, professionalism of Medfield Fire Services, acknowledged benefit that the hiring of Interim Fire Chief Robert Hollingshead has brought to the Town.
Originally 36 candidates applied for Fire Chief Position. The candidates were then narrowed to 13, from there it was narrowed down to 8 interviews, and from there narrowed down to 4 finalists.
Recommended candidate will be introduced to BOS this week. His name is William Carrico, currently the Fire Chief in Sandwich, MA.
Tom Sweeney voiced his concerns about the committee’s selection process.
The Board of Selectmen will make the decision based on their interview if we should move with candidate William Carrico.
Vote: Selectmen Murby made a motion to approve the items on the consent agenda as stated. Seconded by Selectmen Peterson and the vote was unanimous.
Town Administrator Update
Mr. Sullivan stated that currently $115,000 of snow budget has been used. In the budget, there is a $120,000 allotment so we are still okay. Transfer Station is open on Sundays through April to help with brush removal. BOS needs to take positions on Articles so they will be ready for the town meeting.
Volunteer name plates were missing from the Town House and people were concerned. They were taken to an event, the Medfield Foundation, to recognize our volunteers. The name plates will be returning after the event.
ALS public information study will most likely be during April vacation. Dale Street Public walk through is on April 25th
Selectmen Marcucci –
Seconded all of Selectmen Murby and Selectmen Peterson’s comments about the Medfield Foundation event.
Selectmen Murby made motion for adjournment, Seconded by Selectmen Peterson. The Vote: 3-0.