Nathan Media Center
Fuller Meadow School
April 24, 2012
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 Warrants – The Board approved a Payroll Warrant in the amount of $374,082 which includes $266,163 for the School Department. They also approved a Payables Warrant in the amount of $276,010 of which $136, 807 was payroll deductions
Town Administrator’s Report
The Ground Breaking for the new Essex Aggie/North Shore Vocational School will be May 9th. The construction fencing has gone up around the site. Middleton will not be able to use their athletic fields for a while. The approvals for the project are not local since it is a State funded project.
Mr. Cresta asked if there would be a change to the layout of Manning Rd. Mr. Singer said that there would be no change. He did add that there are still unresolved traffic issues. The student population will be going from 425 to 1500
A photo of the Regional Emergency Communications Center (RECC) is in the packet. It is moving along nicely.
The Planning Board will meet next week to finalize its recommendations on the Warrant Articles. Mr. Singer hopes to have an overview of the Flood Plain Zoning from the Conservation Agent.
The Warrant is at the printer and will be mailed Monday or Tuesday.
The final design for the Police Station renovation will go before the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. The students from North Shore Vocational School have been working very hard. They built dispatching consoles that would have cost thousands of dollars.
Appointment of the Veteran’s Service Agent by the May 1st, 2012 deadline under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 115, Section 3.
Ms. Jones made a motion to nominate Mr. Ted Butler as Veterans Service Agent for a term ending April 30, 2013. Ms. Lindberg seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Authorization to Approve Memorandum of Agreement between Town of Middleton’s Fire Department and Northeast Ambulance Service Inc. to Provide Emergency Medical Dispatch Services (EMD) effective July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 – Mr. Singer explained that this will cover the interim period until the RECC is open. State law now requires the Town to provide Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD). Middleton is fortunate to have a local business that can help us to comply with the statute.
Mr. Cresta asked when the RECC will be open. Mr. Singer said that the order that municipalities come on has not as yet been decided. He expects that it will be between April and August of 2013. An automatic extension is built into the Memorandum of Understanding. Mr. Prentakis asked how the agreement would be terminated. Mr. Singer said that it could be terminated with 30 days’ notice.
Mr. Prentakis made a motion to approve the Memorandum of Agreement between the Town of Middleton’s Fire Department and Northeast Ambulance Service Inc. to provide Emergency Medical Dispatch services. Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Review and Endorsement of Proposed Legislation Amending Funding of Community Preservation Act – Revisions to the CPA legislation passed the State House of Representatives yesterday. It will now go to the Senate.
Mr. Prentakis made a motion to write a letter to Senator Tarr urging his support for this legislation and to send letters to Representatives Jones and Hill thanking them for their support. Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Final Review of Annual Town Meeting Warrant and Articles and Remaining Schedule of Various Committee Reviews - Mr. Singer asked to take the purchase of 122 East St out of order since the Riddle family is here. The Purchase and Sale agreement includes covenants that are important to the seller. Mr. Singer read them. Essex County Greenbelt has formally offered $10,000. An appraisal that meets the requirements of the State grant has also been obtained.
Mr. Prentakis made a motion to sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement for the property at 122 East. Ms. Jones seconded the motion.
Discussion – Mr. Cresta noted that the covenant requires that the field be kept as open space and be hayed or mowed. The Town would have to find an entity that would do that. He asked what happens if it gets wetter. He asked if any development could be done on the front of the property. Would the vista disappear if the land is not purchased by the Town? Mr. Singer referred to the fields at the Masi Meadow Condominiums which have now become overgrown. Mr. Cresta asked who owns those fields. Mr. Singer replied that the Condo association owns it with certain restrictions held by the Conservation Commission.
Mr. Riddle said that he has hayed the fields for years but Ch. 61A is getting tougher. If he can’t keep the land in Ch. 61A, he will not continue to hay it. Mr. Prentakis explained the general restraints of 61A. To get the tax break the landowner must be producing an agricultural product. He said that he was not familiar with the changes to Ch. 61A, but that if you can’t stay in the program, it is not worth the effort of trying. If it is not in 61A, the land would be taxed at the assessed value of $100,000.
Mr. Cresta asked if the property is taxed as a buildable lot. Mr. Prentakis answered that it doesn’t matter. It is taxed at the assessed value regardless of use. Mr. Cresta said he would have like it if the property was suitable for active recreation. However, only passive recreation is allowed. Mr. Singer noted that three acres are dry and have potential to be developed. Nine or ten acres are open and the rest is overgrown wetland.
The vote was taken and it was 3-2-0.
A two minute break was taken while the sellers endorsed the Purchase & Sale.
Final Review of the Annual Town Meeting Warrant - There are still some unresolved issues with the Warrant. Language is being developed to amend Article 8 (Zoning By-law change) on the floor. The Planning Board will vote on the Flood Plain By-law on May 2nd. They have not voted on the Zoning By-law. Information from FEMA and from the State has been distributed electronically to all members of committees involved in the Flood Plain by-law.
Next week, Mr. Singer will meet with the Town Clerk, the Town Moderator, the Assistant Town Moderator and Town Counsel to do a final review of the warrant.
Mr. Prentakis noted that there had been a $1250increase in the Finance Committee budget. This is for education and training.
Schedule and Open and Close Special Town Meeting Warrant at 7:25 p.m. on May 8th to Include an Article to Abandon and Relocate a Town Owned Drainage Easement off Fuller Road. - Mr. Singer explained that this easement was moved but it was never officially abandoned. Now it is preventing a homeowner from building a garage. The easement that is being used needs to be memorialized. The Town doesn’t need this easement which is in the middle of a property. Ms. Lindberg asked who prepares the documentation. Mr. Singer said that it should be the Town. Mr. Singer noted that the plan has been done and recorded. It just needs the conveyance which references the plan.
Ms. Jones made a motion to open and close the warrant for the Special Town Meeting. Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Mr. Prentakis noted that the Finance Committee has withdrawn the Freedom of Information Request that they had filed to obtain documents from Masconomet. Since the Board of Selectmen had voted to support them, Mr. Prentakis would like the Board to vote to rescind their motion.
Mr. Prentakis made a motion to rescind the Freedom of Information Request filed to obtain documents from Masconomet. Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Mr. Prentakis reminded the Board that they had never finished reviewing the Town Charter. He would like to finish that task during the summer.
Mr. Singer explained the timetable for Charter changes. Procedural changes take 2 to 2 ½ years to be included in the Charter. Substantive changes require the election of a Charter Commission. This process can take 4 to 4 ½ years. Mr. Cresta asked who decides whether a change is procedural or substantive. Mr. Singer replied that Town Counsel decides. If in doubt, he would refer it to the Attorney General.
Executive Session under Mass General Laws, Chapter 39, Section 23B, Paragraph 3 Collective Bargaining and Paragraph 6, Consider Purchase of Real Property - Mr. Houten announced that the Board would be going into Executive Session under Section 23B, Paragraph 3 (Collective Bargaining) and that the Board would not be coming back into open session. The discussion of Real Property is no longer necessary. Mr. Prentakis voted yes. Ms. Jones voted yes. Mr. Cresta voted yes. Ms. Lindberg voted yes. Mr. Houten voted yes. The Board entered Executive Session at 8:55.
Mary Jane Morrin, Recording Secretary
Chris Lindberg, Clerk