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Selectmens Meeting Minutes - 01/10/2012
Selectmen’s Meeting
Nathan Media Center
Fuller Meadow School
January 10th, 2012
7:30 PM
Call to Order – Chairperson Houten called the meeting to order at 7:40.  Present: Mr. Cresta, Ms. Jones, Ms. Lindberg, Mr. Prentakis, and Town Administrator Mr. Singer,
Approval of MinutesMs. Lindberg made a motion and was seconded by Ms. Jones to read and initial the minutes to indicate their acceptance. The motion carried 5-0-0.
Approval of Warrants - The Board approved a Payroll Warrant in the amount of $151,593 including the payroll for the Call Fire Fighters. They also approved a Payables Warrant in the amount of $102,952, about ½ of which is payroll deductions. It also includes SPED and SPED transportation expenses and the quarterly assessment for the Tri Town Council.
Town Administrator’s Report
       Mr. Singer reminded the Board that the Massachusetts Municipal Association annual meeting will be next week.  The opening session is starting at 9:30 which is earlier than usual.
       The Building Commissioner’s December Permit Report is in the packet.  Comparing the first six months of FY 2011 and FY 2012, shows an increase in the number of permits from 193 to 262, and of valuation from $10 million to $16 million.  The large increase in fees is partly due to the fees for the Water Treatment Plant.
       The Town has received formal notice from the FEMA that the new flood maps are complete, and will go into effect on July 1, 2012.  The Town has an obligation to insure that its zoning reflects the flood maps so that homeowners can receive insurance.  This may require a zoning by-law for the May Town Meeting.
       Meetings with Department Heads concerning the FY ’13 budget are on-going.  The Finance Committee is also meeting with the Department Heads.  The all day Saturday budget meeting will be February 4th.
Recreation Commission Appointment (alternate) – Mr. Stephen Semenza introduced himself to the Board.  He has lived in Middleton since 1994 and has a thirteen year old son.  He coaches intra mural basketball. He has attended many Recreation Commission events and wants to contribute to the Commission.
        Mr. Prentakis made a motion to appoint Stephen Semenza as an alternate on the Recreation Commission with a term to expire June 30, 2013.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Request from Masconomet School Committee to Declare Vacancy and Appoint New Middleton Representative through May 2012 Town Election (from resignation of Deirdre Donarumo) – Mr. Singer explained the process.  If candidates come forward, the Board along with the Middleton members of the Masconomet School Committee will vote on January 24th.
Mr. Prentakis made a motion to declare a vacancy on the Masconomet School Committee and to schedule a vote for January 24th.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.

Discussion of Expanding Functions of Memorial Day Committee and Changing Committee Name – Mr. Singer explained that the Memorial Day Committee is appointed by the Moderator.  The Town is looking at the expansion of the War Memorial.  This is outside the scope of the Memorial Day Committee. Ted Butler, Committee Chair and Veterans Service Officer, explained that there are two other members of the Committee.  The Committee needs some recharging.  Mr. Singer brought up the proposal put forth by Ben Gary, the Architect for the Town Common and Library & Landscape Design/Planning Services Oversight Sub-Committee.          Mr. Butler said that he would like the Memorial to be the same size but 12’ closer to the Library.  He would also like to replace the flagpole because it sways on windy days.  Some names should be added to the Memorial.  The issue of who will be added needs to be sorted out by the Committee.  Mr. Cresta added that Wakefield just unveiled their new monument and might be able to provide some guidance on the issue of who should be included.
        Ms. Jones asked what would happen to the old bronze plaques.  She would like them incorporated in the Memorial.  Mr. Butler explained that names cannot be added to the bronze.  He would like to see a new type of material.  Mr. Cresta suggested that the old plaques could be displayed at Town Hall.  Mr. Butler added that an “all war” memorial is planned for the Town Common.  It might be possible to use the stones from the current Memorial as part of the entrance. There might also be spaces for the plaques in the new school.
        Mr. Houten asked if the Committee should be renamed.  Mr. Butler said that he likes the current name.  The added responsibilities should be:
        Development of a plan for a new Veteran’s Memorial
        Ensuring the continuing updating and maintenance of the Memorial
        Overseeing the Design and Construction for the Memorial and fundraising for it.
        Developing a policy for whose names are included on the plaques.
Meeting with Verizon External Affairs Director, Stan Usovicz to Review Percentage of FIOS Cable Television Build Out under Contract with Middleton and the Status of Double Pole Inventory and Approximate Schedule for Removal – Mr. Usovicz reported that 65% of the Town is complete.  The entire build-out should be complete in 2012.  All of the Town that is served aerially is complete.  The condominiums and parts of the Town that are served by underground utilities are left.  Mr. Usovicz will let the Town know if the deadline cannot be met.
        Mr. Cresta said that he knows there are some homes that are not served.   Mr. Singer explained that Verizon is only obligated to provide service to homes that are within 150’ of the street.  If the home is further than 150’ from the street, the homeowner must pay the difference.
        Mr. Prentakis asked what percentage of Middleton subscribers has FIOS.  Mr. Usovicz said that that information was privileged.  Mr. Singer said the Town does receive quarterly reports.  Based on royalties, it appears that 25% of subscribers have Verizon and 75% have Comcast.
        Mr. Singer asked if Middleton is one of the last towns to be built out.  Mr. Usovicz answered that it was.  Verizon only has a presence in 116 Massachusetts communities representing 33 to 40 % of the population.   He added that Verizon has stopped expanding so it can meet its current obligations.
        Mr. Singer asked about news reports of a contractual relationship between Comcast and Verizon where they would share video services.  Mr. Usovicz said that would only happen where they do not currently compete as they do in Middleton.
        Ms. Lindberg asked about the revenue and whether that revealed the number of subscribers.  Mr. Singer answered that different subscribers might pay different amounts for different services.  The Town also receives revenue from the Home Shopping Network and from certain advertising.
        The board moved on to the issue of double poles.  Mr. Usovicz reported that there are 24 double poles in the database mostly on River St.  The Middleton Electric Light Department is not a participant in the database and that is how the work is scheduled.  The utilities on a pole have to come down in a certain order.  First electric and then street lights followed by fire alarm and finally communications. Mr. Usovicz has asked his people to contact MELD and work with them to find out where the double poles are and who they belong to.  He thinks that some of the line transfers may simply not have been recorded.
        Mr. Prentakis asked why municipal electric companies don’t participate in the database.   Mr. Usovicz answered that the Department of Public Utilities set up a system 10 to 15 years ago and the major utilities all bought in.  They can use it to electronically communicate to the next person in line that a service has been removed from the pole.  With municipals, this communications is not done electronically.
        Mr. Cresta said that he is sure there are more than 24 double poles in Town.  Ms. Jones asked if some of the doubles are not owned by Verizon.  Mr. Singer said that it was 50/50, but they should still be on the inventory because Verizon is either an owner or a renter on the pole.  
        Ms. Jones asked if the poles were hard to dispose of.  Mr. Usovicz said they weren’t.  It is just a matter of co-ordination.  They are treated with creosote and do need to be properly disposed of
        Mr. Usovicz described a new procedure for notifying customers of outages.  They will notify the Town which will send out a blast e-mail which can be accessed by smart phones.  Mr. Singer said that there is a need to have a more defined protocol for notifying people of lengthy outages.
Other Business – none
Adjournment – Mr. Cresta made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 8:45.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Jane Morrin, Recording Secretary