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Selectmen minutes Februray 24, 2003
The weekly meeting of the Board of Selectmen was held on Monday evening, February 24, 2003 at 7:30 p.m.

Present: James F. Morey, Chairman; James M. Hardy, Clerk; Eric W. Greene
        Michael Botelho, Executive Secretary
        Karen Grabau, Adm. Assistant

It was noted that Mr. Morey was enroute to the meeting.

M/Greene, s/Hardy, a unanimous vote, move to appoint James Hardy, chairman pro-tem for the evening.

M/Hardy, s/Greene, a unanimous vote, move to appoint Eric W. Greene, Clerk pro-tem for the evening.

M/Greene, s/Hardy, a unanimous vote, move to approve the minutes of the February 10, 2003 meeting.

M/Greene, s/hardy, a unanimous vote, move to approve the schedule for the Special and Annual Town Meetings as follows:

SPECIAL TOWN MEETING

               February 25             Notification to all departments
                March 31                Deadline to submit articles to Selectmen
        April 1 - 18            Articles review by Finance Committee, Treasurer,
Town Counsel, Accountant and Selectmen
April 21                Warrant closed and approved by Selectmen
               April 23                Deadline to submit Warrant to Town Clerk
        April 28                Last date to post warrant
        April 28                Copy of articles available for distribution
               May 5                   Meet with Town Clerk, Moderator, etc. to go over Warrant
                May 12, 7:00 p.m.       Special Town Meeting, Middle School Auditorium


                               ANNUAL TOWN MEETING

        February 25             Notification to all departments
                March 31                Deadline to submit articles to Selectmen
        April 1 – 18            Article review by Finance Committee, Treasurer,
Town Counsel, Accountant and Selectmen
April 16        Joint Meeting with Selectmen, Moderator, Finance Committee, Accountant, Treasurer, Town Clerk, Town
        Counsel, Executive Secretary to finalize articles
April 21                Warrant closed and approved by Selectmen
                April 23                Deadline to submit Warrant to Town Clerk
        May 5                   Last date to post Warrant
               May 5                   Meet with Town Clerk, Moderator, etc. to go over Warrant
                May 12, 7:30 p.m.       Annual Town Meeting, Middle School Auditorium

M/Greene, s/Hardy, move to award the contract for a 4 ton Reclaim Hotpatcher to Howard P. Fairfield, Inc., 15 Katrina Road, Chelmsford, MA in the amount of $29,863.00.

Mr. Botelho noted that Temporary Highway Surveyor, John Haines had sent a recommendation which includes accepting Option #4.

M/Greene, s/Hardy, move to amend motion to exercise Option #4 for a total bid of $26,355.00.
VOTE: Yes – Greene, Hardy; a unanimous vote in favor of amendment.
VOTE: Yes – Greene, Hardy; a unanimous vote in favor of motion as amended.
Board of Selectmen                              -2-                             February 24, 2003

Frank Savino met with the Board relative to approving payments of two scholarships from the Alden Scholarship Fund to Sara Moukalled and Angela Noon. Mr. Greene noted that Sara Moukalled is attending Bentley College and Angela Noon is attending Eastern Nazarene College.

M/Greene, s/Hardy, a unanimous vote, move to award $245.00 from the Lucius Alden Scholarship Fund to Sara Moukalled and Angela Noon.

Appointment
Water Commissioners, Robert Reardon, Howard Wilbur and David Coots met with the Board for a Department Update.

Commissioners noted various projects done this year including water main connections to improve water flow, corrosion control; meter replacement program continued, rate study in progress by outside firm, department has not increased fees for five years.

A discussion was held regarding winter freezes; new tool which can thaw mains and underground pipes. Have borrowed tool from Brockton; looking into possible joint purchase with W. Bridgewater.

Discussed retirement of Lucille Smith, hiring freeze and whether part-time position should be filled.

Discussed additional projects, i.e. need to replace main on Spring Street; clean mains on Bedford Street and East Streets to well; West Union Street, Ellis Lane main; Pond Street well replacement of pump and motor to more efficient equipment; water tank inside finished, no plans to repaint outside.

Mr. Morey arrived at meeting at 8:30 p.m.

Mr. Morey questioned whether the Water Commissioners have looked into selling water to other towns; discussion was held regarding prior requests. Also discussed Enterprise Fund within Water Department's budget and how these funds are used.

Board thanked Commissioners for their presentation.

Correspondence
Mr. Hardy stated that the Board received two letters from the School Committee on Friday afternoon as follows:

1.      Request Selectmen consider placing a Proposition 2 ½ referenda question on town election ballot
2.      Request article be placed on the Annual Town Meeting warrant to take $1,184,624 out of Stabilization Fund to fund the 2003-2004 school budget.

A discussion was held regarding these requests. Mr. Hardy suggested that the Board deny request for override until we have better idea of state aid cuts; has spoken to Marcia Weidenfeller, Town Clerk and May 3 would be the target date for a special election for override question.

Mr. Greene felt that this date was too early and suggested either June or September.

After further discussion, it was agreed to limit next week’s meeting to budget discussion only and invite all department heads to attend meeting.

M/Hardy,s/Greene, a unanimous vote, move to deny request of School Committee to place override question on April 12 Town Election Ballot.


Board of Selectmen                              -3-                             February 24, 2003

John Keefe, Board of Health member questioned why the Board has waited to hold discussion on budgets submitted by town departments. Felt that the Board should have discussed either last week or this week. Felt that townspeople should be aware of impacts of cuts on departments.

Mr. Greene felt the Board needs time look at whole picture. Mr. Hardy noted that he had originally pushed the early time line for submission of budget, because he had mistakenly believed that the Governor’s budget would be out in January. Noted that that budget would be the worse case scenario for the town. Mr. Hardy also explained that we have received most of the budgets with exception of S.E. Regional and funding for Health Insurance and Debt Service.

Mr. Greene noted that the Regional School Committee was also waiting for the Governor’s budget to come out due to need to see figures for transportation costs.

Discussion was held regarding budgets, health insurance costs, reduction in state aid, and possibility of placing a freeze on $200,000 of Free Cash funds.

Mr. Morey informed the Board that he had received a request from a citizen to place nine non-binding referendum questions on the April 12 town election ballot; these questions were the nine recommendations made by the Government Study Committee; this would give the Board an idea of which recommendations were favored by the voters. Has spoken to town Clerk, Marcia Weidenfeller and she needs the questions by tomorrow, as she will be sending the ballots to printer.

M/Hardy, s/Morey, a unanimous vote, move to approve placing nine non-binding referendum questions on the April 12 Town Election Ballot.

Mr. Botelho was requested to forward the questions to Town Counsel to approve as to form prior to giving to Town Clerk.

Mr. Greene stated that in light of the recent nightclub fire in Rhode Island, that he felt the Fire Chief, Police Chief and Building Inspector should put together a team to inspect all establishments in town that have entertainment.

Mr. Botelho noted that he had spoke to Chief Pratt today and he has already started working with the Building Inspector to inspect all public gathering places.

Mr. Hardy noted that he had spoken to Chief Pratt and inspections will begin on Wednesday.

Mr. Greene requested that the Board be given a final report when the inspections are completed.

M/Hardy, s/Greene, move to close Open Session and go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation and non-union contracts and will not be returning to Open Session.
VOTE: Yes – Greene, Hardy, Morey; a unanimous vote in favor.

Meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.





_________________________________Clerk
        Board of Selectmen





 
Town of East Bridgewater, 175 Central Street, East Bridgewater, MA 02333-0386
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