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Selectmens Meeting Minutes - 9/7/2010
Selectmen’s Meeting
Fuller Meadow School
Nathan Media Center
September 7, 2010
7:30 p.m.

Call to Order:

Chair Christine Lindberg called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Present:  Mr. Prentakis, Ms. Lindberg, Mr. Houten, Mrs. Jones, Mr. Cresta and Ira S. Singer, Town Administrator.

Meeting Minutes:  Ms. Lindberg entertained a motion for the approval of the meeting minutes of the last Board of Selectmen’s meeting.

Motion by Mr. Houten to accept the meeting minutes as presented. Seconded by Mrs. Jones. All were in favor and the vote unanimously passed 5-0.

Town Administrator Report

  • Update on Howe Manning School Project, now approaching the 30% completion point with the next monthly requisition for August work coming in at $1,600,000. The contractor has earned $5,629,686 of his $18,217,101 base contract. Today there were up to 70 workers on site in six or seven different trades including steel, masonry, HVAC and, general contracting, internal concrete masonry, concrete flooring, and plumbing. This week the erection of all the structural steel will be finished, with work continuing on the installation of the floor decking, vapor barriers, external wall sheathing, and the beginning of the masonry and brick work.
On a cash flow basis we will need to renew the Bond Anticipation Note for the $10,000,000 borrowed last December at which time the Town will add another $4,000,000 to cover the remaining local share of the project. We will then seek to permanently bond some time in 2011 or early 2012. The State has reimbursed the Town a total of $1,305,576 as of July 27th. We will begin receiving larger reimbursement checks closer to 50 plus percent of each month’s construction bills paid to CTA in the fall months.

  • DPW Superintendent is appearing before the Finance Committee to obtain Reserve Fund transfer for the town’s share of replacing a portion of an aging cast iron water line on Lake Street contributing to the rusty water problem for three or four homes there since last winter’s change by Danvers in their Chloramines process. With funding we should be able to start and complete the work in a few weeks to alleviate the water quality issue there. Danvers is contributing to the cost through the purchase of the water pipe and associated hardware.
  • Tufts Inc. continues their work on the two new fields on town land off East Street next to the former Rubchinuk landfill. The contractor is almost finished removing almost 10,000 yards of existing soil, regarding and screening and hauling 8,000 yards of loam and sand back onto the site, and leveling the grades to be ready for seeding and or sod the two fields with the next phase of the field construction.
Middleton Cultural Council Appointment – Christine Newhall:

Chair Lindberg informed Ms. Newhall that the Board received her letter of interest in serving on the Middleton Cultural Council and asked her if she would like to add anything more to her letter.

Ms. Newhall stated that she has discussed the work of the Council with the current chairperson
and reviewed the information for both the local Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council that is available on the website.  

Motion by Mr. Cresta to appoint Ms. Newhall to the Middleton Cultural Council until June 30, 2012. Seconded by Mr. Prentakis. All were in favor and the vote unanimously passed 5-0.

Continued from (8-10-10) – Review of and Vote to Accept Memorandum of Agreement between Town of Middleton and RECC for Public Safety Dispatch Service – Police Chief James DiGianvitorrio and Fire Chief Frank Twiss    

Fire Chief  Twiss and Police Chief DiGianvittorio informed the Board that they visited the
Lackawanna County Emergency Communications Center in Pennsylvania. The chiefs were
given an in-depth tour of the facility by Mr. Tom Dubas and other members of his staff. During
the tour of the impressive facility, the chiefs viewed the dispatch area as well as the
mechanical, technological and training areas of the center. The center serves 43 communities in
465 square miles with a population of approximately 215,000. The chiefs witnessed first-hand
the incoming calls processed from call takers to dispatchers who are trained in using the latest
technology to efficiently handle the approximately 450,000 annual calls. The chiefs met with
chiefs from the communities of Carbondale, Taylor & Dickson City to get their opinions of the
center and they were all very satisfied with the performance of the facility.

The chiefs were very impressed with the operation and ability of the center to serve the needs
of a wide array of dispatch services throughout the county. In addition to answering E-911
calls, the center provides dispatching for 28 police departments, 68 fire departments, and 21
EMS agencies. The communities range in size from the City of Scranton, with a population of
approximately 80,000 to the smallest rural community like the Town of Jermyn with a part-
time police department and volunteer fire department. The technology provided in the center
coupled with the dispatcher’s training allows for customized dispatch policies and procedures
for every community.

Although the proposed Essex County Regional Emergency Communications Center (RECC)
will not equal the Lackawanna County facility in size, the chiefs believe their dispatch centers
can meet the call-taking and dispatch needs and requirements of the Town of Middleton
utilizing the state-of-the-art technology and their current trained full-time dispatch personnel. It
was the opinion of both chiefs that the proposed RECC will be beneficial to the Town of
Middleton and their Police and Fire Departments for the future by providing the best in
computer-aided dispatch, records management and efficient dispatch services. The governance
structure of the RECC will allow the Town to have an equal voice in the operation and
oversight of the center and ensure that their department’s dispatch needs are satisfied. The
RECC will also allow for trained fire personnel that were previously committed to the role as
dispatcher to now be on-duty and available for fire and EMS responses.  

Motion by Mr. Houten to accept and sign the Memorandum of Agreement between the Town
of Middleton and the Regional Emergency Communication Center and the Inter-municipal
Agreement for Public Safety Dispatch Services. Seconded by Mr. Cresta. All were in favor
and the vote unanimously passed 5-0.   

Police Staffing Recommendations – Chief James DiGianvitorrio

Chief DiGianvitorrio informed the Board that within the next year, the department will be
losing two of its most senior and valued officers from retirement. As of September 23, 2010
Sergeant James DeCosta will be officially retired from the department and as of August 27,
2011 Sergeant John Jones will have reached the mandatory retirement requirement.

Historically through past policies, when vacancies occur in the full-time positions, new officers
are selected from within the reserve officer ranks through an open competitive process. This
year, the department will lose two veteran officers, but two senior supervisors, leaving a
management gap in the organizational structure of the department.

The Chief recommended that the Board fill these vacancies and replenish the existing staffing
within the department. The Chief has solicited letters of interest from the Reserve force for the
full-time vacancy and has received two applications for the full-time position created by the
retirement of James DeCosta. One application is from Reserve Officer Matthew Armitage, an
Eight year veteran and one from Reserve Officer David Bettencourt with two years of service.

The Chief recommended the appointment of Officer Matthew Armitage to the first full-time
vacancy to with a start date of September 23, 2010. During his eight-year tenure, Officer
Armitage has proven to be a valuable asset to the department. This will allow the Town to
secure a seat in the full-time police academy in October. We have been back filling Sergeant
DeCosta’s open day shifts with reserve officers and will continue to do so while the full-time
appointee is enrolled in the academy.

In anticipation of the mandatory retirement of Sergeant Jones, the Chief recommends that the
Board sponsor Officer Bettencourt to the Massachusetts Police Training Council’s next
scheduled Police Academy in February 2011. This includes paying Reserve Officer Bettencourt
reserve wages during the Academy, which represents a significant cost savings to the town.

When an officer attends the Academy, he may not work for the department for up to six
months, and the position is typically back filled through overtime and Reserve Officer shifts.
The proposed plan saves the department in excess of $25,000 from six months of full-time
officer’s salary and costs of back filling that position.

When Officer Bettencourt graduates from the 40-week Academy in July, he would be legally
qualified for appointment to replace the full time vacancy left when Sergeant Jones retires. The
Board could then appoint Officer Bettencourt to full time in August 2011 subject to completion
of the Academy.

To maintain the current management structure of the department, the Chief would like to start  the promotion process to fill the existing and anticipated Sergeant vacancies. Both Sergeant
vacancies will be posted internally in December, and in keeping with the Town’s process for
promotions within the department, the Town Administrator will conduct a written examination
of qualified candidates using a nationally established testing company and their recommended
Sergeant’s exam, which includes a three month preparation and reading period. Candidates are
ranked against all other individuals who take the examination nationally as well as among
themselves. The final step in the process involves an interview with the Board of Selectmen,
Town Administrator and Police Chief. The final candidates who successfully complete the
examination will then be brought before the Board for interviews and appointments.

There will be a Sergeant on the day, evening, midnight shifts and a Sergeant on the split shift
for the weekends.  

Acceptance of Property Deeds for Pollock Drive, Shipley Court and Mill Street Extension
Street names in the New Subdivisions – Attorney Jill Mann:

Attorney Mann is representing Mr. Brent McKennelley who is the Manager for Howe’s
Crossing Realty, LLC, Woodbrook Realty, LLC and Wildwood Farms, LLC Subdivisions and
is requesting the Town to accept the property deeds for the new streets in these subdivisions.  

The property deeds for Pollock Drive and Mill Street Extension will also require an Open
Space Conservation Restriction and will be signed at the next Conservation Commission

The Board signed the property deeds as presented by Attorney Jill Mann.

Review of Recommendation for Restructuring Animal Control Officer Position:  

Motion by Mr. Prentakis to approve the reorganizational plan as presented by the Town Administrator to place the Animal Control Officer position under the direction of the Public Health Director, except for the statutory procedures for conducting dangerous dog hearings, which would still be held by the Board of Selectmen. Seconded by Mr. Cresta. All were in favor and the vote unanimously passed 5-0.  

Danvers Water Treatment Plant Upgrade Overview  – Mr. David Peeling, SEA
Consultants Inc., Mr. Richard Rogers, Danvers Town Engineer and Mr. Robert
LaBossiere, DPW Superintendent and Mr. Donald Bancroft, Manager of the Water
Treatment Plant:  (see attached copy of Power Point Presentation)       

Phase I involved the completion of a five-year Capital Improvement Plan to make improvements critical systems and the inclusion of cholramines to the water system. Phase I has been completed at a cost of $4.5 million dollars. The treatment plant must be upgraded to be in compliance with the new federal drinking water new regulations that will take effect in 2015. The project should begin in May 2011 and finish in June 2013 and will include the addition of new treatment processes and the construction of new structures at the plant.

Mr. Houten and Mr. Singer requested the consultant to address the noise coming from the “aerator” process at the plant which is a great concern for the residents who live in the area.  

Mr. Peeling explained to the Board that the noise issues associated with the plant will be reduced the frequency of noises greatly with the installation of the new carbon filter system to the plant and will be more cost effective and energy efficient.

The major project components include the construction of an ozone building with a new ozone
disinfection system, additional sand and carbon filter systems, residuals handling system, and
upgrades to the existing plant, which provides drinking water to Danvers and Middleton

The project is estimated at $20.65 million dollars and will include improvements to make the
plant more energy efficient and cost effective, and will make the plant, which was built in 1976
compliant with the American Disabilities Act. Upgrades to the main building include a new
data and control system, a chemical storage area, energy efficient pumps, motors and
equipment, a stand-by-power supply and interior floor plan changes, including handicapped
accessible bathrooms.

The Town of Danvers will submit a low interest loan application for $6 million through the  
State Drinking Water State Revolving fund (SRF) which is due October 15, 2010. Danvers and
Middleton water customers will pay the construction costs through an increase in their water
rates. Until funding assistance is identified, Danvers does not know how much of an impact this
project will have on both Danvers and Middleton water rates to customers.   

Mr. Rogers explained that a temporary access road will be constructed for the
anticipated truck traffic during construction of the new plant from Pleasant Street to the rear of
the plant. Employees, delivery trucks and service trucks will use the main road into the plant.     

Mr. James Malone, resident of Lake Street stated that he was concerned about truck traffic and
dust during the construction of  the access road.

Ms. Julie Sulzinski, 15 Pleasant Street asked exactly how much they would be using the
temporary access road during construction. Ms. Sulzinski stated that there are many children
who play on Pleasant Street and is concerned if truck traffic on the temporary road would be
significant and asked if a fence could be placed at the entrance to the access road on Pleasant

Mr. Rogers responded that the access road would only be used when absolutely necessary and
Mr. Malone’s concerns dust from the trucks will be addressed.

Mr. Cresta asked Mr. Rogers to explain exactly how much they anticipate the road being used, asking “10 percent of the time or 80 percent or the time?

Mr. Rogers replied that it is still too early to say but said they would let the town officials know.

Mr. Singer informed Mr. Rogers that the Town of Danvers shall submit a Traffic Use Plan with a Site Plan to be submitted to the Building Commissioner for his review and during the permitting process with the Board of Appeals and Planning Board.

Other Business:

Mr. Prentakis asked Mr. Singer if there would be any additional budget funding required and requested by the School Committee now that the school has restructured.

Mr. Singer replied that it is too early within the FY 2011 Fiscal Year to determine if additional funding will be required.

Executive Session – Chapter 39, Section 23B Paragraph (3) Collective Bargaining and (6)   
Purchase, exchange, taking, lease, or value of real property

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 39, Section 23 B, Paragraph (3) Collective Bargaining and (6) Purchase, exchange, taking, lease, or value of real property, Chair C. Lindberg called to adjourn the regular meeting of the board for the purpose s of entering into Executive Session and the regular meeting will not resume into open session.
Clerk B. Cresta called for a roll call vote:  Houten – yes;  Lindberg – yes; Jones – yes: Prentakis – yes and Cresta – yes.

At 9:40p.m., Mr. Prentakis made a motion and was seconded by Mr. Houten to adjourn the regular session of the meeting.  The motion carried 5-0.

Brian M. Cresta, Clerk
Middleton Board of Selectmen