Selectmen Meeting Minutes 07/23/2013
Selectmen’s Meeting
Nathan Media Center
Fuller Meadow School
July 23, 2013
7:30 PM
Call to Order – Chairman Prentakis called the meeting to order at 7:40.  Also present were Mr. Cresta, Ms. Jones, Mr. Houten, Ms. Lindberg, Town Administrator Mr. Singer, and Assistant Town Administrator Mr. Ferrara.
Minutes –Mr. Houten made a motion to accept the minutes of the June 25th meeting.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Approval of Warrants – Payroll Warrant #1403 was presented totaling $259,802.  Payables Warrant #1403 totaled $579,847 and included $188,173 for the annual premium for the MIIA Worker’s Compensation and Property and Casualty Insurance premiums.  Warrant #1355 which is the last warrant for FY 2013 totaled $42,084.  In addition there was a warrant (#14033) for $21,140 for the School Building Project.  Mr. Houten made a motion to approve the warrants.  Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Town Administrator’s Report
       State Aid – Mr. Singer reported that though the local aid amount in the State budget is not set, it appears that it could be cut by $177 million which would result in a $91,000 reduction in the amount that Middleton conservatively budgeted when it put together the FY ’14 budget.  If this cut is not overridden by the Legislature, the Town will have to make cuts to the budget rather than go back to the voters to ask for more money.  Mr. Singer would review the budget and make proportional cuts.  It seems most likely that the Legislature will override the Governor’s veto.  
The Town has begun its paving with existing contracts rather than waiting for the Chapter 90 funds to be released.  If the Town waited, they would still be paving in December.  The Governor has promised a second round of authorization of release of funds.  The paving of Peabody St. is complete and has come out very nicely. However, no more work will be done until there is more certainly about Chapter 90.
As part of his amendment the Governor also took away certain municipal revenue sources.  The most significant of these actions is the setting of a cap on the ambulance rate that the Town can charge.  The Town depends on that revenue to cover the cost of providing the excellent services it provides. This represents $400,000 in local income.  If the cap is kept in place, Middleton will lose half of that revenue and that will mean additional costs to taxpayers or putting these services in jeopardy.  Middleton provides advanced life support and very quick response.  The Town has expressed its concerns to the legislative delegation and they are working to eliminate this amendment. This would have a larger impact on the Town than the reduction in local aid.
       Water Treatment Plant – Residents are still reporting problems with turbidity in their water.  Middleton has no control over the turbidity. Danvers is continuing to test its new pumps.  Danvers customers are now also being affected.  Middleton is flushing hydrants wherever possible and making sure that Danvers is aware of which areas of Town are having problems.  It will probably be a number of before the issues are resolved.
       Building Commissioners Report – The Building Commissioner’s final report for FY’13 is in the packet.  437 permits were issued representing a valuation of nearly $27 million.  This includes about 40 new homes which have generated over $300,000 in fees.  These numbers are within the budget predictions.  Mr. Cresta commented that these were impressive numbers given the economic uncertainties.  Mr. Singer said that it is a trend that he expects will continue over at least the next two years.
       Town Common Project - Some trees have been removed to accommodate the extension of the parking lot behind Memorial Hall.  The DPW is doing the preliminary foundation work for the playground.  A vendor has been contracted with to install the playground equipment.  Using town employees for preliminary work reduces cost but does delay the start of the project.
       Route 114 Re-paving project – Mr. Ferrara, DPW Superintendent LeBossiere and Police Chief DiGianvittorio attended a pre-construction scheduling meeting with state officials about this project.  National Grid is replacing some gas lines on Route 114 so as to finish the work before the paving begins.  
The contractor wants to use flagmen rather police details for parts of the project because this is requested by the Federal Highway Administration.  Mr. Singer says that most of Route 114 does not qualify because under state laws flagmen are only allowed in less traveled areas with speed limits less than 45 mph.
Mr. Prentakis asked if there had been discussion about notifications regarding where and when the contractor will be working so the Town can notify citizens.  Mr. Ferrara said that the contractor will have an office in the Teresa’s plaza.  They have not set the final schedule.  Middleton has asked to be kept in the loop.  However, Mr. Singer observed that communications is one of last things the State considers.  The Town will get the calls when residents and business have problems.  This is a twelve month contract which is worrisome.  It is a State and Federal highway project.  The Town has no control over it.  Mr. Cresta suggested that affected businesses and residents should knock on the door of the office at the Teresa’s Plaza. Mr. Singer added that it will not be easy to do a $2.5 million project on a road used by 31,000 cars a day.  There will by tie-ups and back-ups.
Mr. Ferrara noted that the majority of the construction would be taking place at night.  Day work will be items such as installing handicapped ramps.  Mr. Cresta asked where their equipment will be stored.  Mr. Singer said that has not been decided.  The contractor has been notified that they will need site plan approval for their staging area and that might take some time.
       Department of Youth Services (DYS) Facility – Mr. Singer is trying to arrange a meeting for abutters here rather than at the Gregory St. site. The Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) would prefer to meet on site.  If it were held on site it would be less of a public forum would be difficult to videotape for the public record.  Mr. Singer is having trouble getting a response from them.  If the remote site is the only option they will agree to, the Town will take advantage of that with hope of scheduling a meeting as part of a Selectmen’s meeting in the future.
       Request for Proposals for Auditing Services – Mr. Cresta reported that the Town has received five responses.  The review committee consists of Mr. Ferrara, George Dow from the Finance Committee and Mr. Cresta.  The committee has had two meetings to rate the proposals based on a scoring grid.  Mr. Cresta added that the responses were excellent.  They will make a recommendation at the next Selectmen’s meeting on August 13th.  They are still checking references.  Services will commence in the Fall.  Mr. Cresta expressed his appreciation to Mr. Ferrara for overseeing the scoring process.
       Congratulations were extended to Ms. Lindberg on completing a Certificate in Municipal Management and Leadership sponsored by Suffolk University and the McCormack School.  She was chosen as graduation speaker by her classmates.  She was presented with flowers and chocolates.
Re-Appointment of Don Carter as Treasurer/Collector – This appointment was inadvertently omitted from last month’s meeting. Mr. Cresta commented that Mr. Carter has done a phenomenal job in catching up in that office and clearing up uncollected debt.  He thinks he has been stellar.
Mr. Houten made a motion to re-appoint Mr. Carter as Treasurer/Tax Collector for a term ending June 30, 2016.  Ms. Jones seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Application of TPG Contract Services LLC d/b/a Doubletree by Hilton Boston North Shore, 51 Village Road, Middleton, MA to Transfer the All Alcohol Innkeepers License from Sage Restaurant Manager, LLC, (with no change in existing approved Liquor License Manager Kate Brill-Daley) and discussion of “No Action” return of Application from ABCC – Attorney Gregg Demakis represented the petitioner.  He explained that the ABCC did not like the management agreement between Doubletree and TPG, so they returned the application with no action.  Mr. Demakis thought the agreement was in compliance with compliance Ch. 138.  William Kelly, who is General Council for the ABCC maintains that the employees must work for the licensee.  He had a problem with managing on behalf of the owner and suggested a sub-lease arrangement.  Mr. Demakis is here tonight with a restructured amendment which is split into a management agreement and a sub-lease that only applies to areas where alcohol is being served.  Mr. Cresta asked if that included room service.  Mr. Demakis said that it applied to anyplace that alcohol is served.   Mr. Cresta pointed out that some of the rooms are in Danvers.  Mr. Demakis replied that they have already gone through this process in Danvers.
The rest of the hotel is subject to the management agreement.  The owner will be paid on a percentage basis.  The sub-lease will be a flat rate every month.  Mr. Demakis feels that it is more complicated than it needs to be but that is what the ABCC wants.  The owners will not get a percentage on alcohol.  They will get a flat rate.
Mr. Demakis pointed out that this is a no action, rather than a denial so a new public hearing is not required.  He would appreciate being able to proceed without a hearing because they are trying to get the contract in place before the old contract with Sage expires in mid-august.  Mr. Cresta feels that the amendment is not a matter that would concern the Board but he would like to know if the ABCC will have the completed license in place by mid-August  Mr. Demakis hopes to have this approved by the first week in August.  If that doesn’t happen, the owner will have to make an arrangement with Sage.  The ABCC has vetted the rest of the application.
Mr. Houten made a motion to approve the amendment to reflect the changes in the application.  Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Application of Bhavesh Patel d/b/a Middleton Subway Inc. to Transfer Common Victualler License at 235 South Main Street from Anna Avtges, Mangia Fresco LLC – Ms. Lindberg recused herself.  Mr. Patel explained that he had applied for this transfer earlier.  He took over the restaurant June 1st.  He has completed the transfer through Subway Headquarters.  He is dependent on Subway headquarters which is why he has to apply a second time.  Mr. Prentakis noted that he also owns a Subway in Brookline.  Mr. Patel says that he has a manager there.  Mr. Patel spends 40 to 50 hours a week at the Middleton Subway and then stops in Brookline.
Mr. Prentakis said that the Town needs a copy of the lease for the premises.  Mr. Patel replied that it is held by Subway Headquarters.  He had enclosed a copy of the sub-lease between himself and Subway.  Mr. Prentakis said he would have to include the full lease but that he could just bring it when he picks up the license.
Mr. Houten made a motion to grant the transfer from Common Victualler License at 235 South Main Street from Anna Avtges, Mangia Fresco LLC to Bhavesh Patel d/b/a Middleton Subway Inc.  Mr. Cresta seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Pier Petronzio Manager of Maggie’s Farm, 119 South Main St. to discuss patrons parking on Meadow Drive – Attorney Jill Mann represented Maggie’s Farm.  She pointed out that the restaurant does comply with the zoning requirements for parking.  There are times when patrons do park on Meadow Drive.  The restaurant neither directs them to park there, nor tells them not to.  It is a public way and people are entitled to park on it.  Management certainly doesn’t want to alienate the neighbors.  She was asked to try to contact the abutter who owns the property to the left of the restaurant in the hope of acquiring additional space for parking.  That individual, who lives in New York City, has not returned her calls.  The restaurant is looking at re-striping the lot to delineate some additional spaces.  She passed around copies of the plan.  It looks like they can get eight additional spaces that way.  The plan was reviewed by an engineer.  
Ms. Lindberg pointed out that there are no parking signs on Meadow Drive next to the restaurant.  She thinks that five cars could fit there.  If the No Parking signs were removed that would be a better place for patrons to park.  Mr. Singer says that was done in the 1980’s to discourage people from parking on Meadow Drive.  The Selectmen would have to amend the parking rules and regulations to remove the No Parking Zone.  
Mr. Prentakis asked if employees could park off-site.  Ms. Mann responded that any off-site parking would either be across Route 114 or too far away.  The owners are unwilling to ask employees to cross the highway or walk any distance at night or during the winter.
        Mr. Cresta said that he has gotten calls from neighbors about cars starting up late at night and turning around in driveways.  He would like to see some kind of agreement between the restaurant and the neighbors.  However, he does recognize that the restaurant is completely in compliance.  He would like to have a sign on the door asking patrons to be a good neighbor.  If the Town puts up no parking signs on Meadow Drive, they will apply to everyone including residents.
        Mr. Houten asked how many employee cars are in the lot.  Ms. Mann said there were eight to ten.  He asked if those cars could go in what is now the no parking zone.
Mr. Cresta says he has gone elsewhere because he could not find a parking even though there was no line inside.
        Abutter Mike Manson of 4 Meadow Dr. observed that there are usually about 12 cars parked on Meadow Drive.  He wonders if employees could park at this school or at Teresa’s.  He likes the idea of opening up the parking next to the restaurant.  Ms. Jones said that there were five cars on Meadow Drive five cars at 7:00 tonight.  She feels that employees could park at the Golf Course.  Jack Revagno of 1 Meadow Drive agrees that the no parking signs should come down.  The noise comes from car doors.  He also has a problem with the trash pick-up in the middle of the night.  Ms. Mann says that they can make sure that doesn’t happen.
Ms. Mann noted that the plan is to utilize six spaces on the road plus eight with the refigured striping.  They will also try stacking employee parking.  They want to be a good neighbor but they will not ask their employees to walk a distance at night.  Mr. Cresta went over the new parking arrangements and asked that the restaurant also put a sign on the door asking patrons to be good neighbors to the restaurant’s neighbors.
Ms. Lindberg made a motion to amend the Middleton Parking Rules & Regulations to remove the no parking zone on Meadow Drive that abuts the commercial building with the understanding that Maggies Farm will:
1) pursue restriping the lot, applying to the Zoning Board of Appeals if necessary,
2) display a sign asking patrons to be good neighbors to the neighborhood and
3) instruct employees to park in the current no parking zone.
Mr. Houten seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Gretchen Holtz of 7 Meadow Drive asked if the business was likely to expand.  Ms. Mann said that the restaurant has a limited capacity.  If they expanded, it would be time wise such as more lunch hours.  They can’t expand the footprint.  Mr. Singer noted that the current configuration allows more seating than the previous restaurants that occupied that location.
Ms. Mann noted that they do not need Board of Appeals approval for re-striping.  Mr. Prentakis asked when the work was likely to be done.  Ms. Mann said it would be four to six weeks.
Mr. Singer said that the Town could put up advisory signs asking people to respect the neighbors.
Adjournment - Mr. Houten made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 8:55.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Jane Morrin                        
Mary Jane Morrin, Recording Secretary

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Timothy Houten, Clerk