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Selectmens Meeting Minutes 05-21-2013
Selectmen’s Meeting
Nathan Media Center
Fuller Meadow School
May 21, 2013
7:30 PM
Call to Order – Chairman Cresta called the meeting to order at 7:45.  Also present were Ms. Jones, Mr. Houten (at 8:35), Ms. Lindberg, Mr. Prentakis, Town Administrator Mr. Singer and Assistant Town Administrator Mr. Ferrara.
Annual Board Re-Organization
Ms. Lindberg nominated Mr. Prentakis as Chair.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Ms. Lindberg nominated Mr. Houten as Clerk.  Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Minutes –Ms. Lindberg made a motion to accept the minutes of the April 23rd meeting.  Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Approval of Warrants – Payroll Warrant #1346 was presented totaling $105,231.  Payables Warrant #1346 totals $505,276 of which $336,000 was for purchase of power.  Ms. Lindberg made a motion to approve the warrants.  Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Town Administrator’s Report
       The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has notified the Town of its intent to pave Route 114.  It has not been done for 20 years.  The contract has been awarded to Brock Industries.  There has been no pre construction conference as yet.  The Town would like to be included in that.  The project is more than just paving.  It also involves curbs and sidewalks.  The Town will be the gateway for communications between the project and the residents and businesses of Middleton.  Mr. Prentakis suggested that the construction schedule be put on the Town’s website each week.  Mr. Singer added that this information could also be put on the proposed electronic community sign at the Library.  Mr. Cresta noted that it will be important to businesses to know when their entrances and exits might be blocked.  Mr. Cresta asked if the Notice to Proceed has been issued.  Mr. Singer did not know.  Mr. Prentakis asked if the company would be stock piling material in Town.  Mr. Singer said he wasn’t sure but if they were, they might need site plan approval.
       The Public Auction of properties taken for taxes was held on May 17th. Two properties were sold, including one of the buildable lots.  It sold for $160,000 while the other sold for $5600.  Another auction will be held on June 16th.  The two contiguous lots on Woodland Rd. will be perc tested.  The minimum bid on the Oak St. lot will be lowered.  The $91,000 in improvements that were required was too intimidating.
       The Building Commissioners report is in the packet.  Building Permits with a valuation of $20,740,000 were issued for the first ten months of the fiscal year.  This includes 33 homes and 5 foundations.  $255,000 in fees was collected.
       The State Senate has added over 700 amendments to the budget.  They have added $15 million to Chapter 70.  This would not add a significant amount to Middleton’s Ch. 70 aid.
       The North Shore Vocational Technical School was counting on something in the Governor’s budget that may or may not happen.  If they do not get it, they may have to raise the per student assessment.  Mr. Singer has reminded them that Towns set their budget at Town Meeting and they cannot go back and raise their appropriation. Mr. Singer added that he is not sure if all participating communities have to accept an increase if the majority accepts.  Mr. Cresta feels that since tax revenues are up, the legislature may appropriate funds to backfill 9C cuts.  If that happens, NSVT should not need to increase their assessment.
       Mr. Singer noted that the President has proposed removing the tax exempt status of municipal bond by capping the amount that an individual can claim.  This could raise municipal borrowing cost by 30% to 50%, which would be paid for by local taxpayers.
Application of Still River Winery, 104 Bolton Rd, Harvard MA by Wade Holtzman to Renew the Farmer Winery License to Sample and Sell Wine at the Middleton Farmer’s Market from June through October 2013 – This Winery was at the Farmers market last year.
Ms. Jones made a motion to approve the Application of Still River Winery, 104 Bolton Rd, Harvard MA by Wade Holtzman to Renew the Farmer Winery License to Sample and Sell Wine at the Middleton Farmer’s Market from June through October 2013.  Ms. Lindberg seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Approval of South Essex Sewer District 2013 O&M Billing Rate for Village Road Sewer Users – This is the annual request for the Town, acting in its capacity as Billing Agent for the several hundred customers tied into the South Essex Sewer District, to set this rate.  The Town receives two bills, one for Operations and Maintenance and another for Capital Costs.  The Operation and Maintenance bill is for the sewage treatment and is based on flow.  The Town is allowed to add a small amount to cover its administrative costs.  This year the rate has been calculated to be $1.52 per hundred cubic feet (CCF).  The bills total about $90,000.  The capital portion is recovered in the Fall.
Mr. Cresta made a motion to set the 2013 billing rate for Village Rd. area sewer users at $1.52 per CCF.  Ms. Lindberg seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Report of Memorial Day Committee on Future Plans for War Memorials, Mr. Ted Butler, Chairperson – The Committee’s report is in the packet.  The Committee developed a plan for new memorials.  The big question is what to do with the existing memorials.  The Committee did not get any feedback from the townspeople.  One option was to hang the brass plaques from the monuments somewhere in Town Hall.  However they are very heavy so this did not seem feasible.  Another option was move the monuments to the Merriam Cemetery next to Town Hall.  Mr. Prentakis asked Mr. Butler what the next step would be.  Mr. Butler answered that with no input from the Town, there was no next step pertaining to the monuments.
        The Committee did recommend the creation of  an Honor Roll of Heroes listing those who have served since the Viet Nam War and who met the criteria listed in the report.  Mr. Cresta asked how many had served in the Persian Gulf and other actions.  Mr. Butler said that he is not sure because he can’t find them to verify that they meet the criteria.  He doesn’t know what criteria were used for inclusion on the original monuments.  Mr. Cresta said that he would like to have something for those who are missing from the monuments.  Mr. Butler said that there are 15 who served in the Persian Gulf but he only has discharge information for 2 of them.  He added that the intent was to recognize those who were living in Middleton when they went into the service.  Mr. Singer suggested that the task of developing a proposal be assigned to the new planning coordinator.  This project could entail considerable fundraising.  Mr. Prentakis agreed and thanked Mr. Butler for his work.
Final Approval of Transfer of Funds in Public Works Department FY 2013 Operating Budget for Snow and Ice Expenditure Expenses in Excess of Appropriation under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, Section 31D from General Fund 01, Department 420, Personal Services (5100) in the amount of $32,515.81 to Department 420, Purchase of Services/Supplies (5200).[On May 14, 2013, the Middleton Finance Committee voted to approve to transfer an additional sum of $4,838.12 from the Reserve Fund to cover the remaining deficit] - Mr. Singer explained that the Town Accountant determined that  the Department of Revenue does not allow the Finance Committee to move more than $5,000 from one line item to another via the year-end procedure.  Therefore the remaining money ($38,458.65) will have to come from the Finance Committee reserve.
Mr. Cresta made a motion to authorize the transfer of $5000 from General Fund 01, Department 420, Personal Services (5100 to Department 420, Purchase of Services/Supplies (5200) and to refer the matter to the Finance Committee for final action.  Ms. Lindberg seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Approval of Lease to Friends of Middleton Scouting for Boys, Inc. of Middleton, MA – Two years ago, Town Meeting gave the Board of Selectmen authority to negotiate a lease for the use of the Boy Scout Cabin in back of the Howe-Manning School. Terms finally worked. Out. Date needs to be changed to June 1, 2013.  The lease covers the footprint of the cabin but not the surrounding land which is used by the school and the public.  If it were necessary to replace the current septic system at the Howe- Manning, a corner of this lot might be needed The Town will provide landscaping for the lot that will be a barrier of sorts which the Scouts will maintain the landscaping.  The lot is primarily but no exclusively for the use of the Boy Scouts.  The public will be able to walk through to the wetlands
Ms. Lindberg made a motion to approve the lease to the Friends of Middleton Scouting for Boys, Inc. of Middleton MA, with changes to the start and end dates.  Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
        They will now be able to start their fundraising program.
New Business
Planning Coordinator Position – Mr. Prentakis asked what the time frame for filling the position is.  Mr. Singer said he would come back to the Board at the next meeting to set up a screening committee.  He has the job description and will advertise in The Beacon
Mr. Houten joined the meeting.
Executive Session under MGL Chapter 30A, Section 21, Paragraph 3 Strategy with respect to Collective Bargaining, Paragraph 4, Deployment of Security Personnel, and Paragraph 6, to Consider the Value of Real and Personal Property.
Mr. Prentakis announced that the Board would be going into Executive Session and that the Board would not be coming back into open session..  Mr. Cresta made a motion to go into Executive Session under Section 21, Subsections (3) (4) and (6).  Mr. Houten seconded the motion.  Mr. Houten called the role.  Mr. Cresta voted yes. Mr. Prentakis voted yes.  Ms. Jones voted yes.  Ms. Lindberg voted yes.  Mr. Houten voted yes. The Board entered Executive Session at 8:40.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Jane Morrin                        
Mary Jane Morrin, Recording Secretary
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Timothy Houten, Clerk