BOARD OF SELECTMEN MINUTES MAY 5, 2003
1. Chm. Mike Collins convened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. and immediately moved into the agenda. Present: M. Collins, M. Milanoski, A. Ryan, Selectmen; L. Binkowski, Town Coordinator's Secretary; E. Costanza, Police Chief; S. Garland, Fire Chief; E. Phillips, Assessor; T. Ogilvie; D. Ogilvie; J. Bossolt; J. Bossolt; A. Bossolt; J. Gardner; R. Goodwin; J. Antonellis; J. McGrath; R. Ohannesian, Town Clerk; A. Maggiore, Videographer.
2. MSDV* to accept minutes of 4/8/03 regular session as revised.
3. MSDV to accept minutes of 4/22/03 regular session.
4. The Selectmen signed the authorization form submitted by the Hopedale Country Club requesting a change of manager. The Selectmen approved the request at their previous meeting; however, the form was not signed at that time.
5. The Selectmen signed a revised Class I License held by D. C. Bates Equipment Co., Inc. The licenseholder requested removal of certain limiting wording on the original license. The change was made at the recommendation of the RMV.
6. Thompson Ogilvie presented to the Selectmen with a request to make a community sign to announce events as his Eagle Scout project. The question of Zoning regulations was mentioned and Gene Phillips, former Eagle Scout, volunteered to work with Mr. Ogilvie on contacting the ZBA. The Selectmen commended Mr. Ogilvie on his idea and wished him success in his efforts.
7. Gene Costanza, Police Chief, reported on the progress of the renovations at the Police station. To date, ? of the building is sided, the front steps were poured and, weather permitting, the ramp will be poured this week. The water damaged sill has been repaired and the project is within budget with the additional changes. Work is expected to be completed by July 15 if not sooner.
8. Chief Costanza introduced John Bossolt to the Board as a prospective new officer for the Police Department. Mr. Bossolt explained that he was an officer in Worcester for two years before being laid off along with 19 of his colleagues. He had interviewed for a position in Hopedale before the lay-off. He knows the area, having worked for DYS in the past. He feels he has been well trained and that he is a good fit for the community. Chief Costanza and Lt. Gardner conducted the interview with Officer Bossolt and agreed that he would be a perfect fit. He currently resides in Holden and will be relocating in the future. Chief Costanza verified that all necessary paperwork for the transfer was completed and that it was approved by Civil Service. With Officer
Bossolt's wife, Jessica, and his mother, Anne, in attendance, MSDV to hire John Bossolt as an officer of the Hopedale Police Department. Chief Costanza also mentioned that a second officer will be cleared for hiring in 8 days.
9. Roy Goodwin of Tri-County Contractors appeared before the Board to discuss road development in the proposed Plain Street industrial park. He and his partner are scheduled to go before the Planning Board on Wednesday for possible final approval. Chairman Collins explained that in a meeting he had with Jack Farrar, Bob DePonte and Dan Keyes, it was suggested that Mr. Goodwin and Mr. Marcoux meet with the Road Commission. Mr. Goodwin was advised to attend the Road Commission meeting on Tuesday. He expressed concern about having only one day to make any suggested changes on the final proposal to the Planning Board. Discussion followed in which it was agreed that Tri-County Contractors has met all demands of the Town, received approval from the Police and Fire Chiefs, and that
the project would be revenue generating. Mr. Goodwin plans to attend the Road Commission meeting on Tuesday. He asked if the Board would speak favorably for the project at Town Meeting and was told that they would.
10. Chief Garland gave a detailed report on the status of the Fire Station renovation project. (His written report is attached.) In reference to item #7 in his report, Chief Garland explained that one-third of the cost to replace the 4" main on Social Street could be covered by the revenue account for emergency services. Regarding a Clerk of Works, Dave Carcchio has offered his services; the Fire Chief has also approached someone from Upton who has experience in the position.
11. Chief Garland reported on the house fire that occurred on 4/30/03 at 10 Hope Street. It has been determined that the fire was electrical in nature, possibly caused by a bad switch for an exterior light fixture or a short of some kind. Ten departments responded to the fire which went to five alarms. The situation was hampered by water problems. In an effort to protect the surrounding houses in the neighborhood, Chief Garland informed the owner that the roof must burn. Gene Phillips, Assessor, has established a fund for the family that was displaced as a result of the fire. There was also considerable equipment loss, including a ladder on Mendon's new truck. There is a possibility that the homeowner's insurance may cover some of those losses. Chief Garland also
mentioned that he is going to local businesses to recruit Call Firefighters who could be available during daytime hours.
12. Atty. Joseph Antonellis and his client, James McGrath, appeared before the Selectmen to discuss Mr. McGrath's interest in 228 S. Main Street, also known as the Farrar-Carty property and the old Hopedale landfill. Although Mr. McGrath is not in a position to pay the taxes owed (approximately $300,000), he is definitely interested in purchasing the property at fair market value to be used for his construction business. Sel. Ryan reminded the Board that the property in question was being considered as a possible playfield site. Sel. Milanoski suggested that Town Counsel be consulted as to the Town's liability concerning the property and Christine Goodwin, Town Treasurer, mentioned that Pat Costello, the Town's tax title counsel, also be involved in discussions with Kopelman & Paige.
13. Chairman Collins reported for the Town Coordinator on the Town Hall renovations. The project is on target for a June 15 completion date. It also came in enough under budget to allow necessary brick pointing to be done.
14. Chairman Collins asked the other Selectmen if they have had a chance to review the five-year strategic plan submitted by the Town Coordinator. It was decided to put it on the agenda for their next meeting.
15. Sel. Milanoski brought up the Auditor's Management Letter and requested that Mr. Keyes give a monthly progress report on completion of the recommendations.
16. Chairman Collins read a letter dated 4/23/03 from the School Committee to the Finance Committee in which the School Committee explained their rationale for their proposed FY04 budget (copy attached). Chairman Collins then read his comments from his own written report (copy attached). His major concern is that the School Committee letter indicates that the Board of Selectmen are in favor of the new School contract when, in fact, all departments were instructed to reduce their budgets and freeze salaries. The Chairman stated that he will request a retraction from the School Committee. Sel. Milanoski explained that the teachers will be increasing their class hours by 15% next year in order to eleiminate the need for 4-5 additional teachers; this would mean an estimated savings to the Town
of $160,000. Discussion followed in which it was emphasized that teachers are not being criticized; rather, the School Committee was admonished for not cutting their numbers as other departments did in light of the uncertainty of state aid cuts. The Selectmen also agreed that multi-year contracts with guaranteed built-in raises can be dangerous to the Town's fiscal situation. Sel. Ryan suggested that the Personnel Committee should be involved in contract negotiations.
17. MSDV* to enter executive session per GLc. 39, §23B, at 8:25 PM to discuss Lt. Gardner's suit against the Town. RCV**: M. Collins, Chm. - Aye, A. Ryan - Aye, M. Milanoski - Aye. It was noted that upon completion of their business the Board would close the session and adjourn the meeting.
Michael E. Collins, Chm.
Michael A. Milanoski
Alan J. Ryan
HOPEDALE BOARD OF SELECTMEN
*Moved, Seconded, Discussed and Voted. ** Roll Call Vote