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News/Events - Meeting Minutes
Board of Selectmen, December 1, 2009
TOWN OF SCITUATE MASSACHUSETTS
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
DECEMBER 1, 2009
Present: Joseph P. Norton, Chairman; John F. Danehey, Shawn Harris, Anthony Vegnani
Patricia A. Vinchesi, Town Administrator
1. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM.
2. ACCEPTANCE OF AGENDA/ WALK-IN PERIOD
Mr. Danehey made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to ACCEPT the Agenda for December 1, 2009. SECONDED by Mr. Harris. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
There were no walk-ins this evening.
3. PRESENTATION/ Eagle Scout Project/ Shane Merritt - postponed
6. DISCUSSION/ VOTE/ JULY 4, 2010 EVENT/ American Legion Post #144
Mr. Ed Covell, 25 Gilson Road and Commander of Scituate Post #144 of the American Legion, and Mr. Gary Carlo, Veterans Agent and Service Officer of the American Legion, spoke about a “revival” of a July 4th celebration in Scituate. Mr. Covell explained that Mr. Jack Conway,
Mr. Norton thanked Mr. Covell and the entire Committee for bringing this wonderful celebration back to Scituate. The Board members concurred that the July 4th Event is a great idea.
Mr. Brian Sullivan, Chairman of the Board of Assessors, and Mr. Steve Jarzembowski, Director of Assessing, were present at tonight’s meeting. Mr. Sullivan stated that it is the Board of Assessors recommendation that the Residential Factor be set at “1". Mr. Norton asked for an explanation. Mr. Sullivan stated that 95% of Scituate is residential and 5% is commercial. Commercial properties would be adversely affected if a higher rate were to be imposed. “There is little to be gained and a lot would be lost if two rates were imposed.”
Mr. Danehey made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to CLASSIFY all the property in Town of Scituate at “one”. SECONDED by Mr. Harris. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
5. VOTE/ TAX BILLING ADDENDUM/ Board of Assessors
The Selectmen must vote on any documents forwarded to the residents with the real estate tax bill. Mr. Sullivan explained that the “Tax Billing Addendum” explains how the 2008 tax rate was set. Mr. Jarzembowski added that an addendum that was mailed out with last year’s tax bills gave the residents some very helpful information. “It helps people understand the process.”
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to APPROVE that non-political, municipal, information materials may be included with the property tax bills, according to MGL Chapter 60, Section 3A. SECONDED by Mr. Danehey. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
7. DISCUSSION/ Snow Plow Policy/ A. Bangert
Mr. Bangert, Director of the Department of Public Works, and Mr. Kevin Cafferty, Engineering Division, presented a revised snow plow policy reflecting an adjustment in prioritization due to budgetary constraints. Last year’s snow plowing efforts created a monetary deficit in the Department. Mr. Bangert noted that Massachusetts General Law outlines specific restrictions regarding snow removal. This year a plan which sits “in the middle”, will be instituted with further changes in store for the spring. The bulk of the money spent involves night time plowing when employees receive overtime pay and contractors and equipment are called out. From now on, first and secondary roads will be plowed at night, which will allow emergency vehicles access. During the daylight hours, residential streets will be opened up for school buses, etc. “Some not publicly accepted streets will be done a little later.” Mr. Bangert summarized plowing priorities as follows: (1) emergency equipment access (primary and secondary roads),
Mr. Harris noted the difficulty in plowing the streets when cars are parked along the sides. In the past, it worked well to plow at night when there were no parked cars. Mr. Bangert noted that private contractors would no longer be hauling away the snow - the Town will do it. The Town purchased a sidewalk snow blower last year primarily to clear school properties.
Discussion continued on the best way to inform the residents of the new Snow Removal Policy. Mr. Anthony Antoniello, Marion Way Extension, stated that he resides on a private way, pays the same taxes as other residents and thinks that the plowing of private ways last is a “horrible idea”. As the former Director of Public Works, he knows there is a file on snow plowing in the department’s files that has an opinion from Town Counsel stating that private ways will have the same services as public ways. “They are not allowed to be paved, but must be maintained for emergency access. I plan to oppose this policy and will ask all people on private ways to come together to oppose this.” Mr. Bangert reminded that according to the “letter of the law” the Town can appropriate monies for snow removal and sanding operations only on publicly accepted ways. The Department of Public Works will endeavor to make certain there is service to every street in Scituate. He noted that subdivisions are plowed by private plows.
Ms. Vinchesi complimented Mr. Banger and Mr. Cafferty for their thorough research and work on the Snow Removal Policy. “No one should think their street will not be plowed. It will take us longer to get there and most probably there will be fewer ‘sweeps’ of private ways. Private Ways will get the same service depending on the level of the storm. The Town is divided into multiple routes and the DPW will be in close proximity to any emergency vehicle that is in Town.” The goal is to make all streets Town owned.
Mr. Bangert spoke about the fact that residents cannot directly pump “sump-pump” water onto a street. This will cause icing problems and the Town may impose a $50 per day fine. He also noted that private contractors may not create snow obstructions in the public ways. The Town plows do their best not to hit mailboxes, but many of these mailboxes are located within the public way. “The Town is not liable for mailboxes, cars, hockey nets, etc. that are left in the public way. Residents are asked to clear around fire hydrants and storm drains.” Mr. Norton thanked Mr. Bangert for an informative presentation.
Mr. Bangert stated that resident Mr. James Bailey, Collier Road, has encouraged the Town to create a sea wall committee. Mr. Bangert supports this idea and suggests that such a committee be an advisory group, comprised of five people (one member from the DPW) and have a “charge” which would include: (1) working with the federal and state governments regarding Scituate’s seawall needs, (2) contacting local legislators regarding sea wall restoration projects and (3) seek creative and stable funding for sea wall construction and maintenance (including grant applications).
Mr. Cafferty gave an update on the condition of the sea wall at Lighthouse Point and the fact it was last analyzed by consultants in July 2007. The plan is to do this type of “inventory” every three years for all the sea walls. It will be done again after July 2010. Discussion continued on the best manner in which to fund sea walls - debt exclusion override, capital budget or betterments. Mr. Vegnani stated that he looked at the Lighthouse Point sea wall and it appeared that one section was in worse repair than another. He noted that the fiscal year budgets do not have a specific amount to be spent on sea walls. Mr. Cafferty noted that FEMA money relates only to a specific storm. Mr. Bangert noted that the Lighthouse Point sea wall is listed on the sea wall inventory as in “fair” condition. Mr. Harris noted that if that sea wall fails, the Point would become and island. Mr. Paley asked about distinguishing between public and private sea walls. Mr. Bangert stated that there are very few private sea walls, but they should probably appear on the sea wall “inventory” as well.
8a. DISCUSSION/ VOTE/ ROSA’S LANE ADDITIONAL AUTHORIZATION
Mr. Bangert stated that it has become apparent that three water mains servicing the Rosa’s Lane area must be replaced. He would like to replace the pipes, an existing fire hydrant and add another fire hydrant. The money will come from the Water Enterprise Fund retained earnings. The Selectmen must vote this prior to Town Meeting’s vote on this matter. Ms. Vinchesi explained that this is highly unusual because we cannot expend in excess of an appropriation unless it is an emergency or can cause personal damage. The Selectmen’s vote will actually be contained within a letter to the Department of Revenue (DOR). If DOR says “no”, then the existing water mains will stay and only the sewer work will go forward. If DOR says “yes, we will make this right at Town Meeting and if Town Meeting does not approve it, then the money will have to be raised from the re-cap”. Mr. Danehey believes this work makes sense since the road will already be open. Mr. Vegnani stated that it is not an unusual use of Reserve money, the timing is unusual. “This will not affect anyone’s tax rate.” Mr. Norton noted that the water mains that service Woodland and Hillside Roads are probably in similar shape. Mr. Bangert concurred and said those mains would be replaced in the future. Mr. Harris noted that this subdivision was built in the 1960's and the water mains had not been replaced since then.
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen APPROVE the incurrence of a
Mr. Norton asked about the new section of guard rail installed where Elm Street meets First Parish Road near O’Brien’s Car Care. Could it be painted? Mr. Bangert explained that this is Core 10 guard rail which is often installed in historic communities because it weathers and looks very good within six months time. He noted the installation of this same type of guard rail on Country Way near the pump station.
9. VOTE/ ANNUAL LICENSE RENEWALS
Mr. Harris made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the following Liquor Licenses for 2010: Barker Tavern, Riva’s, Satuit Tavern, Harborside Wine & Spirits, Front Street Gourmet Wine & Spirits, Mill Wharf Restaurant, The Village Market, P.J.’s Country House, Phin’s, Reynold’s Package Store, V.F.W., Scituate Harbor Yacht Club, Sands End Café, A Hummar Corp., Scituate Package Store, Tedeschi’s Food Shop, Widow’s Walk Golf Course and the Weinery. SECONDED by Mr. Danehey. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
Mr. Harris made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the liquor license for the Inn At Scituate Harbor. SECONDED by Mr. Vegnani. No discussion. Harris, Vegnani and Norton voted “yes”. Mr. Danehey did not vote. The vote carries.
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the following Common Victualler’s Licenses for 2010: Barker Tavern, Riva’s, Satuit Tavern, Front Street Gourmet Wine & Spirits, Harbor House of Pizza, Mill Wharf Restaurant, The Village Market, P.J.’s Country House, Phin’s, Reynold’s Package Store, V.F.W., Scituate Harbor Yacht Club, Sands End Café, Tedeschi Food Shop, Widow’s Walk Golf Course, The Weinery, Borrowed Butler, Circe’s Grotto, Dribbles, Driftway Donuts, Egypt Country Store, Scotty’s Market, Harbor Donuts, Hennessy News, Java Junction, Maria’s Sub & Pizza, Marylou’s News, Morning Glories Bakery and Silent Chef.
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the following Entertainment Licenses for 2010: Barker Tavern, Mill Wharf Restaurant, P.J.’s Country House, V.F.W., Phin’s, Scituate Harbor Yacht Club and Sands End Café. SECONDED by Mr. Harris. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the following Septage Disposal Licenses for 2010: All Town, Inc., K. R. Anderson Pumping Company, Joseph Bonomi, Rosano Davis Sanitary Pumping, P.F. Spencer, Jr. and
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the following Class II Licenses for 2010: McBrien’s Diagnostic Repair and Alfred C. Coyle. SECONDED by Mr. Danehey. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the following Class III Licenses for 2010: Ryan Alan, LLC and Ray’s Repair Shop. SECONDED by Mr. Danehey. No discussion. Vegnani, Norton and Danehey voted “yes”.
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the following Hawker/Peddler’s Licenses for 2010: Paul Crowley, Joseph Hughes, Hingham Yogurt, Inc., Gannett Grill, Matthew and Dana Duggan, Debra & William Steverman and Ahmad Alkhatabih. SECONDED by Mr. Harris. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the following Hawker/ Peddler’s License for Shirley Musto for 2010. SECONDED by
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the Bowling and Electronic Games Licenses for Satuit Bowlaway for 2010. SECONDED by Mr. Danehey. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
Mr. Vegnani made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to RENEW the Movie Theater License for Patriot Cinemas, Inc. For 2010. SECONDED by Mr. Danehey. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
Mr. Danehey made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen APPOINT Betty Tufankjian to the Scituate Cultural Council. SECONDED by Mr. Harris. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
11. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR REPORT
Ms. Vinchesi has begun work on updating Town employees’ job descriptions. This will be a long process, but she will start with Town Hall positions. Mr. Vegnani asked if this would be helpful in terms of future evaluations? Ms. Vinchesi stated that the evaluation process is currently under negotiation with the unions. “Job classification is really a science.” She has been working with the Animal Shelter Board of Directors in terms of the Town’s responsibilities for specific Shelter items. The Shelter will contract out for plowing and some other items and the Town will be billed. Town Hall now has smoke detectors thanks to Deputy Fire Chief John Murphy. A fire drill will be planned for next spring. She commended Mr. Bangert and
12. OTHER BUSINESS
Mr. Vegnani stated that the “After School Commission” has been meeting and is in the process of creating a booklet. The annual Santa Stroll will take place this Saturday at 10:00 AM in the Harbor. Mr. Danehey attended the Citizen of the Year event at the Barker Tavern last Thursday evening where Tracy Johnston and Marynell Henry were recognized for their work on the CORSE foundation, which benefits so many Scituate children and their families. He also encouraged residents to shop in Scituate this Friday night and also to purchase holiday trees in Town, as well.
Mr. Vegnani read two letters. One letter was from Tom and Ellen Carr, 13 Whortleberry Lane thanking the Town for “investing” in the sidewalk on Henry Turner Bailey Road. Another letter was a request from Ellen Evensen, North Scituate merchant, for permission to hold a tree lighting ceremony and North Scituate Village holiday celebration on Friday, December 11, 2009. The Selectmen concurred that this was a wonderful idea.
Mr. Vegnani and Mr. Norton spoke about a Library fundraiser that would be held this Sunday on the train. It is fashioned after the book The Polar Express and Santa will be on the train.
Mr. Harris made a MOTION that the Board of Selectmen VOTE to ACCEPT the Minutes of October 21, 2008, November 14, 2009 and November 17, 2009. SECONDED by Mr. Vegnani. No discussion. Unanimous vote. (4-0)
15. LABOR NEGOTIATIONS (Executive Session)
The Board of Selectmen entered into Executive Session via roll call at 8:36 PM. The Board did not return to Regular Session this evening.
Regular Session was adjourned at 8:36 PM.
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
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