Nathan Media Center
Fuller Meadow School
July 31, 2012
Call to Order –Chairman Cresta called the meeting to order at 7:30. Present: Mr. Houten, Ms. Jones, Ms. Lindberg, Ms. Mr. Prentakis, Town Administrator Mr. Singer and Town Accountant Andrew Vanni
Minutes - Mr. Houten made a motion to accept the minutes of the July 10, 2012 meeting as amended. Ms. Lindberg seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Approval of Warrants – Mr. Vanni explained the warrants. A Payroll Warrant was presented in the amount of $103,904 of which $22,683 is for Police, $11,430 is for Fire and $12,943 is for Public Works. The Payables Warrant is for $284,253. $95,651 is for the Electric Light Department for purchase of power. The payables for the DPW are $87,897 including $79,450 for paving
Mr. Houten made a motion to approve the three warrants. Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Town Administrator’s Report
Verizon reports that they have achieved 92% build-out for Middleton. They expect to be at 100% by November as per the contract. All homes and businesses will have a choice of Verizon or Comcast.
The $400,000 sidewalk project on South Main St. did make it into the Highway Bond Bill. This is a first step. Ms. Jones suggested that the sidewalk be run down Old South Main St. for safety reason. Mr. Singer said that that should be looked at. He added that the Chapter 90 funds have been released.
The Legislature did not pass legislation that would have limited the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) payments that a municipality can collect from Renewable Energy projects to 5%. Some projects are currently paying much more. New projects would have been tax-exempt. The bill that came out keeps the municipalities’ ability to levy taxes. Mr. .Singer attended a workshop with MELD Director Mark Kelley which he will report on in the future. Using capped landfills for Solar Energy Farms was discussed. Middleton’s landfill may be appropriate. Solar Energy Farms have been built in Western Massachusetts.
The Town has received a $1500 grant from MIIA for a LED arrow for the back of a Fire Truck.
The Police Station will host an Open House on August 22nd to show off its new facilities. The old entrance will be bricked over and a canopy constructed. The building is now fully functional.
A conference call was held with prospective bidders for the $14 million school bond issue. The call went well. There were many questions. Mr. Singer expects record low bids. The Board will give final approval at the August 14th meeting. Mr. Singer is still working with Moody’s and Southwest Financial to answer all bidder questions.
Preliminary Request to Consider Grant of On-Premises Liquor License, (for establishments without food under MGL Chapter 138, Section 12) to Old Cuban Cigar Factory at 173 South Main Street - Attorney Jill Mann represented the owner Paul Giacolone, who was also present. She explained that Mr. Giacolone is planning to open this new business at a different location than the location of Old Cuban Cigar Factory at 173 South Main. She noted that the Town has the ability to issue 14 liquor licenses and it currently has 11 issued. It is not a requirement that an All Alcohol License have an associated Common Victualer’s License. Mr. Giacalone has operated a business in Middleton for 7 years. He is looking for the ability to be able to serve a drink along with a cigar at this new location. Mr. Houten pointed out that in the past, the Board has denied a license because they did not like the location. Mr. Mann said that she was now able to say that the planned location is the former
location of the Arizzi Chiropractic practice. The 173 South Main St. location will stay open and remain unchanged, closing at 6:00.
Ms. Mann stated that she understood that the Selectmen would not be making a decision tonight. She wants to know what the questions will be. The reason that they will not be serving food is that the regulations for a Cigar Bar require that food and drink not be more than 49% of the revenue. No one will be allowed on the premises unless they are 21. For the cigar store, it is 18.
Ms. Jones asked if the Cigar Bar would be opening at 6:00. Mr. Giacolone said that he has not determined the hours but the intention is that this be an evening operation where patrons can watch sports. He might serve some food like appetizers. He will work with the local Health Department on this issue.
Mr. Cresta asked about renovations to the premises. Mr. Giacolone said that he would be adding ventilation and refrigeration. There will be additional scrutiny by the Building and Health Departments. Mr. Prentakis asked what the occupancy limit will be. Mr. Giacolone said it would be 30 to 40. A representative of the building owner was also present. He said there were currently 20 parking spaces on site but that could be increased to 40. It will also be subject to septic and fire regulations. Mr. Singer asked if the Board of health would allow this operation. Ms. Mann said that they don’t need a permit from the Board of Health. They just need to meet the regulations.
Ms. Lindberg expressed her opinion that 49% is a failsafe to prevent excess drinking. Mr. Giacolone said that this will be an upscale operation with a library type atmosphere. He expects an older crowd.
Mr. Cresta asked how they monitor that they are within the required tobacco/food & drink ratio. Mr. Giacolone said that they can’t be off because the Department of Revenue watches very carefully. Since the cigars are about $25.00 and the drinks are about $7.00, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Mr. Singer suggested that something could be done to improve the approach to the building. The owner’s representative said that he didn’t have a specific plan but that the outside would have to be brought up to the standards of the inside.
Mr. Cresta expressed his opinion that this establishment will be a destination just like Opti-Golf. It will bring people to Middleton.
Request for a Street Name in a 21 Lot East Meadow Subdivision off East Street - Attorney Mann represented the developer, Mr. Ford who was also present. Ms. Mann said that this road will connect to the road in a neighboring sub-division. Ms. Jones asked if the street name would continue on the connecting road. Ms. Mann said she did not know because she did not know what the road in the neighboring sub-division would look like.
Ms. Lindberg, who is also on the Planning Board, thanked Mr. Ford for his co-operation with that Board.
Mr. Houten made a motion to name the road East Meadow Lane. Ms. Lindberg seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Mr. Singer suggested that the Board refresh the list of potential street names. Ms. Jones and Mr. Houten agreed to work on that.
Interviews with Candidates for Appointment to the By-law Study Committee - Section 4 of the Middleton Town Charter provides, “It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Selectmen to insure, through an appointed By-law Committee, that the By-laws of the Town shall be reviewed, codified, and republished at least every five years”. Mr. Singer noted that this has become a standing committee with a number of ex-officio members such as the Town Clerk. The Charter does not specify a number of members of the Committee.
The two candidates are Mr. Salvatore Sachetta and Mr. Jeffrey Garber.
Mr. Sachetta introduced himself. He has lived in Middleton for 2 years. He works as a consultant dealing with zoning and building issues and has experience with special permits. He tries to get approvals for his clients by finding common ground. He is a licensed builder and is familiar with all related State laws. He is hired to represent project owners in front of various commissions. His office is in his home so he would be available for night meetings.
Ms. Jones commented that what he has seen in other Towns would benefit Middleton. Mr. Prentakis asked if he has worked on any projects in Middleton. He said he has been a sub-contractor on some road improvements projects for Richard Beneventure and he has sub-contracted for Hayes Engineering.
Mr. Garber said that he has owned a business in town for 25 years and could bring the perspective of a small business to the Committee. He feels he knows what the townspeople really want. He is available for night and afternoon meetings.
Mr. Cresta said that he likes the idea of appointing both candidates since no number is mentioned in the Charter.
Mr. Prentakis made a motion to appoint Mr. Salvatore Sachetta and Mr. Jeffry Garber to the By-Law Study Committee for terms expiring June 30, 2013. Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Review of General Schedule for Construction of Town Center and Town Common Improvements – Mr. Singer referred to the schedule for the ten items for the Town Center and Town Common that were approved at Town Meeting. This schedule was prepared by, Public Works Superintendent Bob LaBossiere. There are a number of small projects that the DPW will either do or will oversee. The Playground installation will be contracted. The bids for that will be opened in October with the work to commence in November. The parking lot behind Memorial Hall will be extended thirty feet. This work will be done in September and October.
Mr. Cresta asked if the lawn that will be replacing the parking lot next to the Library will be irrigated. Mr. Singer said that it was not in the plan but that it would not be very expensive to do. Mr. Cresta asked if there will be an outside outlet in that area. Mr. Prentakis said that it could easily be added to the proposed electric sign.
Mr. Singer said that the brick sidewalk and the Pleasant St. improvements will be scheduled for the Spring.
Review of Fiscal Year End 2012 Budget Expenditures and Revenues – Mr. Cresta referred to the documents in the package which are quite large. He hopes to go electronic in the future. The documents include local revenues as of May and a budget wrap-up as of July 26th. Mr. Singer said that this is a first run and that he and Mr. Vanni will be refining the format over time. He would like to give the Board an idea of the Town’s non real estate revenues which total about $2.5 million. Collections were $400,000 more than budgeted. Figures on revenues from the hotel room tax have not been received from the Department of Revenue so this may go as high as $500,000. The one-time $175,000 building fee from the Water Treatment Plant was a large part of
Mr. Singer went on to explain that on the expenditure side of the budget, it is expected that there will be about $300,000 in tailings. $700,000 was taken out of Free Cash both to support the Operating Budget and to finance the Capitol Budget. The combination of tailings and revenues in excess of budgeted will allow Free Cash to be restored to the $2.2 to $2.3 million level. In addition the Town added to both its Stabilization and OPEB Funds. This means the Town is in very good financial shape as it enters Fiscal 2013.
Mr. Cresta said that when the budget process begins, it would be helpful to have actuals as well as budgeted and proposed expenditures. Mr. Singer said that the most recent closed out actuals are provided. So for FY 2014, the Board would be looking at FY 2012 actuals, FY 2013 budgeted and FY 2014 proposed.
Ms. Jones asked about the Medicare line item where the actual was much more than the budgeted. Mr. Vanni explained that the difference is the School Department’s share of the item.
Mr. Singer pointed out that this is only the Operational Budget, not the Capital. The plan is to do this review quarterly, so the next review should be in November. Mr. Vanni will try to coordinate this with the information needs of the Finance Committee.
Accept Anonymous Donation of Flag Poles to the Police Department and the Donation by Leahy Landscaping to the Police Department under the Massachusetts Gift Act. – Mr. Singer said that each donation was worth $7500 or more.
Ms. Jones made a motion to accept the anonymous donation of flag poles and the donation of landscaping by Leahy Landscaping both for the Police Department. Mr. Houten seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Mr. Cresta asked that a thank-you letter be prepared for the Board to sign. The Electric Light Department also contributed by building the base for the Flag Pole. The next step will be to try to get Verizon to relocate the ugly poles.
Executive Session under MGL Chapter 30A, Section 21, Subsection 3, “To Discuss Strategy with Respect to Litigation” - Mr. Cresta announced that the Board would be going into Executive Session under Section 21, Subsection 3 (To Discuss Strategy with Respect to Litigation) and that the Board would not be coming back into open session. 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 9:35.
Mary Jane Morrin
Mary Jane Morrin, Recording Secretary
Christine Lindberg, Clerk