Selectmens Meeting Minutes - 10/26/2010
Selectmen’s Meeting
Nathan Media Center
Fuller Meadow School
October 26, 2010
7:30 p.m.


Chairman Lindberg called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present: Mrs. Jones, Mr. Prentakis, Mr. Cresta, Mr. Houten and Town Administrator.

Chairman Lindberg asked for a moment of silence for Olga Martinuk who was the longest serving member of the Council of Aging.

Chairman Lindberg presented Ms. Lois Gianni with a Town Chair in recognition of her ten years service as a member of the Flint Public Library Trustees. Ms. Mary Ann Erickson, Library Trustee presented Ms. Gianni with flowers from the Trustees and Staff of the Flint Public Library for her many years of service to the Library and the Town.  

Mr. Houten made a motion and was seconded by Mrs. Jones to read and initial the minutes to indicate their acceptance. The motion carried 5-0.

The Board approved Warrant #1117 dated October 26, 2010 in the amount of $1,067,575 and School Building Committee Warrant #11171 in the amount of $70,599.

Administrator’s Report:

  • Free Cash Certification for FY 2011 is $2,287,924 a drop of about $213,684 from last year’s total. Still represents a healthy 12% of our annual $19,200,000 tax levy or about 9.3% of our total municipal budget. Comparable free cash amounts for Topsfield and Boxford are: $1,023,444 and $2,246,984.
  • Good progress to report on three on-going construction projects.
  • The Howe Manning School is now beyond the 50% completion point with the next month and weeks to come we will see the completion of the roof, its insulation, the brick veneer, installation of the walk in cafeteria cooler, all temporary windows are in until the windows arrive the second week in November. Works continues on the interior in the HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, and other sub-trades. The State reimbursed the Town another $651,668 on October 14th, and next week’s warrant should include the October requisition for approximately $1,500,000.
  • In relation to the meeting with the neighbors and abutters held last week, the Town has been asked to strictly enforce the morning starting times to no sooner than 7:00 a.m. and the Town has been asked to take whatever measures are needed for truck traffic driving on Washington and Central Streets to prohibit the use of engine brakes so called Jake or Jack brakes during deliveries to and from the school. The Police Chief will make a recommendation to the Board on the issue shortly.
  • Regarding the step replacement project at the Library, Mr. Singer terminated the previous contractor Strength –In-Concrete out of Franklin MA for non-performance and awarded a new contract to North Hill Construction of Lynnfield, MA the second lowest qualified bidder. As most have seen since it is in the center of Middleton Square the work has finally begun to replace the non-code concrete poured semi-circular steps with the rectangular granite steps which prior to the mid 1980’s served the building. The granite has been ordered and is scheduled to arrive in three weeks or sooner. The project will be completed before winter.
  • Lastly, the majority of the sod for the two new fields next to the former Rubchinuk Landfill a new Babe Ruth baseball and softball field has been installed with most of the sod and will be in place by Friday. Fencing and the backstop is next and the completion of the sidelines and warning track with using clay like compacted soils. We ask those who visit the area for hiking and the existing soccer field to stay off from all of the new sod and infield areas which will be temporarily fenced and posted. While the Town has successfully constructed two new fields for a price of less than $250,000 in funding donated to the Town by the former owner and State Receiver, the Town will have to appropriate a small amount of additional monies to add the usual field finishing touches like bleachers, dug outs, finished landscaping, and other amenities.
  • The bid specifications for the work to demolish the home at 11 South Main Street have been published and advertised. The Town will close on the property tomorrow and become the owner of record. If all goes as planned the home will be demolished before the end of December. The Industrial and Commercial Design Review Committee has begun work on a landscaping plan but has not yet had the chance to meet as requested, with the Flint Library Trustees, the Veteran Services Officer, and the DPW Superintendent. I will hold a pre-bid conference on the site for perspective bidders on November 9th at 9:00 a.m. Bids are due on November 12th.
  • The Board has received two letters of interest for the appointment to fill the vacancy left by Ms. Gianni’s resignation and depending on the availability of the remaining Library Trustees, we will set up a joint meeting in November at which the two boards will interview and fill the vacancy.
  • Update on the Assessor’s schedule for their Triennial Revaluation due this year. Meeting with the DOR’s Bureau of local Assessment representative to receive approval for preliminary final property valuations, which will allow the Assessor’s to schedule a public review period, and then ask for final approval of values, which will clear the way for the Property Classification Hearing now looking like it will be no earlier than November 30th.
Mr. Prentakis explained that the Board of Assessors have completed the new proposed values for Fiscal Year 2011 and have been forwarded to the Department of Revenue for their review. After the Assessors receive the preliminary approval from the DOR, the next step is to publish the values for public disclosure listing the five day period. The taxpayers may review their proposed values and offer input to the Assessors and discuss any issues with the Assessors. At the end of the public disclosure period, the Assessors will re-submit reports to the DOR with any results and comments from taxpayers. Once final approval has been received from the DOR, The Board of Selectmen will schedule a Tax Classification Public Hearing in December.

Mrs. Jones asked if the additional work to be completed for the athletic fields could be done by private sources or fundraising for such things as the dugouts, bleachers, etc. Mr. Singer replied that additional funding will be discussed in March during the FY 2012 Capital Budget process.  

Application for the Recreation Commission - Mr. Dan Sulzinsky

Mr. Sulzinsky informed the Board that he and his family moved to Middleton in 2004 and live on Pleasant Street. Mr. Sulzinsky stated that he has two small children in the school system and would like to get involved with the Town. Mr. Sulzinsky’s neighbor Mr. McHugh who serves as the Treasurer on the Recreation Commission suggested Mr. Sulzinsky to apply for the vacancy on the Commission.

Mr. Cresta made a motion and was seconded by Mrs. Jones to appoint Mr. Sulzinsky as a member of the Recreation Commission until June 30, 2013. The motion carried 5-0.

Local Building Inspector – Mr. Scott Vanderwalle - Recommended Candidate

Mr. Singer informed the Board that the Town has been without a Local Inspector to assist the Building Commissioner since the resignation of Ronald Wetmore in the spring, who accepted a full time position with the Commonwealth. Mr. Singer stated that he and the Building Commissioner are pleased to recommend the Board appoint Scott Vandewalle of Danvers, MA as the next Local Inspector within the Building Department.

The Building Commissioner has solicited applications for a new Local Inspector through the State Association of Building Commissioners, MMA’s Beacon, and other publications. This position is budgeted at 19 hours per week without benefits. The Town received applications from eight individuals, five of whom hold Local Inspector state certifications. State regulations require that Local Inspectors hold a Construction Supervisor’s License and be certified by the State Bureau of Building Regulations and Standards.

Building Commissioner, Richard Bienvenue informed the Board that Mr. Vandewalle is currently a part-time Local Inspector for the City of Beverly. Mr. Vandewalle has 28 years of experience in construction including 24 years as a Construction Project Manager and he was also the construction consultant for Dr. Allara’s new medical office building. Mr. Vandewalle served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for two terms and currently serves on the Danvers School Building Committee.  

Mr. Vanderwalle informed the Board that he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Building Construction Technology. Mr. Vanderwalle has his own construction company and has lived in Danvers for the past 12 years.  Mr. Vanderwalle decided to get into the field as a Local Inspector and is a Certified Local Building Inspector. Mr. Vanderwalle works in both Beverly and Danvers and working in Middleton is a short travel distance for him.

Mr. Houten made a motion and was seconded by Mrs. Jones to appoint Scott Vanderwalle as the Local Building Inspector for the Town of Middleton until June 30, 2012 with a one year Probationary Period through November 1, 2011. The motion carried 5-0.

Street Name Request for Rolling Meadows Estates – 10 lot subdivision off Liberty Street by JOZ
Development LLC (Brent McKenelley) – Attorney Jill Mann         

Attorney Mann came before the Board to request a street name for 128 Liberty Street within Rolling Meadows Estates 10-lot subdivision off Liberty Street. The plan will be signed by the Planning Board at their November 10, 2010 meeting. The developer is JOZ Development LLC (Brent McKenelley) and the Seller is the Woodbury Family Trust.

The Board agreed that in as much as they would like to memorialize Selectman Richard Kassiotis for his 30+ years of service to the Town and name a street in his honor, it would be more appropriate to name a athletic field or park in his honor because Mr. Kassiotis dedicated so much time and was very involved with coaching baseball for Middleton’s youth.  

Mr. Houten made a motion and was seconded by Mr. Prentakis to name the new street in the 10-lot Rolling Meadows Estate subdivision off Liberty Street by JOZ Development LLC as “Woodbury Lane”. The motion carried 5-0.

Application for Transfer of Common Victualler License for The Real McCoy Restaurant from Ira
Sarver, Manager to Joseph Mirasolo, Manager

Mr. Mirasolo informed the Board that he lives in Rowley, MA. Mr. Mirasolo owned and operated a
restaurant in Medford, MA for ten years and sold the business six years ago. Mr. Mirasolo will be
signing a purchase and sales agreement on Friday for the Real McCoy Restaurant.    

Mr. Cresta made a motion and was seconded by Mrs. Jones to transfer the Common Victualler License
from Ira Sarver, Manager to Joseph Mirasolo, Manager of the Real McCoy Restaurant. The motion carried
Review of Application by Ferrell Gas to Modify Propane Gas Storage License at 156 R
South Main Street From 30,000 Gallons of Propane Gas to 88,840 Gallons of Propane
Gas Plus 250 Gallons of Methanol Gas

Mr. Singer introduced David Daniels, owner of 156 South Main Street and Mr. Timothy Sayers, the Regional Manager for Ferrell Gas. Tonight the Board is just looking at the application form proper procedure to call a public hearing and for the applicant to give notice under the law to immediate abutters.  The Fire Department has made various inspections and will be available at the public hearing and will submit a letter of recommendation with conditions for the license. The applicant needs to be licensed for the actual capacity of 88,840 gallons of propane gas.

Mr. Sayers informed the Board that Ferrell Gas purchased Yankee Gas in 2006. Since then they have eliminated the cylinder filling operation that was in place and decreased their footprint of the operation. The property has always been licensed for 30,000gallons of propane gas and at no time it is highly unlikely that every container would be full. All containers are filled off site and brought to this property.

Mr. Prentakis made a motion and was seconded by Mr. Cresta to schedule a Public Hearing under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 148 Section 13 for November 9, 2010 at 7:45 p.m. The motion carried 5-0.

Municipal Tax Amnesty Program Cost Analysis

The Board reviewed the Cost Analysis received from the Treasurer for the Amnesty Program.

Mr. Singer informed the Board that the Town would have to pay the $385,000 in interest and fees and it is
assumed that the $800,000 in taxes would be paid by the taxpayers as of June 30, 2011.  Because there is
no Special Town Meeting scheduled, the limitation to propose an Amnesty Program for the May 2011
Annual Town Meeting shortens the window for both savings and the program.   

Mr. Prentakis stated that all taxes are collectible over time, but the amnesty program would shorten the time
that the Town would receive the outstanding taxes.

Mr. Kosta informed the audience that any taxpayer who is experiencing difficulty paying their taxes may
contact Mr. Robert Murphy, Chairman of the Municipal Property Tax Relief Committee.

Mr. Prentakis made a motion and was seconded by Mr. Houten for the Town not to propose a Municipal
Tax Amnesty Program. The motion carried 5-0.

Other Business  
Mr. Cresta informed the Board that he would like to congratulate Mrs. Leah Moreshi who was
named Mrs. Essex County on the last day of the Topsfield Fair for 2010.

At 9:15 p.m., Mr. Houten made a motion and was seconded by Mr. Prentakis to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried 5-0.

Brian M. Cresta, Clerk
Middleton Board of Selectm