Selectmen Notes: Town's Average Tax Increase is 2.6 Percent; Officials Support Timilty's MSH Amendment
The Medfield Board of Selectmen met Tuesday to discuss the following town business.
Town Administrator Michael Sullivan reported that the average tax increase, from fiscal year 2006 to present, is about 2.6 percent.
“It shows that we are not spending excessively,” said Sullivan. “Our problem right now is a decline in revenues, particularly from local receipts other than property tax and state aid.”
Sullivan said that many people, if asked, would estimate the tax increase to be between five and six percent when it is actually less than half that amount.
He said the town will save an additional $150,000 in interest when, this week, it refinances $13.8 million in bonds, including $12 million for three school projects, $1.4 million for water main replacement on North and Green Streets, and $400,000 for additional work on the sewer system and sewer treatment plant.
This savings is in addition to $190,000 saved when bonds were re-issued in March, he said.
Sullivan did note a $1.73 per ton increase in cost for taking trash to the Millbury incinerator effective July 1, and urged residents to take advantage of single-stream recycling for which the town pays $35 a ton, less than half the cost.
Also on Tuesday night, the Board of Selectmen, at the request of John Thompson and SHERC (the State Hospital Environmental Review Committee), agreed to send to the six-member state conference committee e-mails in support of Senator James Timilty’s “Section 156A” amendment to the state budget regarding Medfield State Hospital which says:
“Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the division of capital asset management and maintenance, in consultation with the executive office of energy and environmental affairs, shall review its cleanup plan for the site of the former Medfield State Hospital and report on whether it: (i) is based on a standard of unrestricted use for the site; (ii) fully complies with all state and federal environmental regulations and standards; (iii) fully complies with the recommendations regarding flood plain restoration and management as described in the September 2011 Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report; and (iv) addresses the concerns of the town of Medfield and of surrounding communities in the Charles River watershed. The division shall report its findings and any reasons for non-compliance or failure to address the concerns of the town of Medfield and of surrounding communities in the Charles River watershed to the clerks of the Senate and the House of Representatives not later than October 1, 2012.”
Thompson also noted that DCAM has filed for a Chapter 91 license to fill in the area along the Charles River. He noted there is a 15-day comment period on the license and he urged selectmen to notify DCAM of the town’s concerns, and said that SHERC will need time to review the information and make a recommendation to the selectmen.
“We need to review this Chapter 91 application and critique it,” Thompson said.
Also on Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen:
- Met with the town's recently established State Hospital Redevelopment Committee to discuss its mission statement.
- Met with Jean Mineo of the Medfield Cultural Council to discuss the temporary outdoor sculpture exhibit set to be installed along Route 109 Main Street this month.
- Appointed John Harney to the State Hospital Redevelopment Committee.
- Heard from Scott McDermott regarding the codification of the town’s charter, by-laws and regulations and publication in paper and electronic formats. Learned the process could take nine to 15 months to complete, depending on when the materials are provided to the company. Selectman Osler Peterson asked that all Medfield State Hospital issues be moved to the forefront. McDermott’s committee will prioritize issues and return in two weeks.
- Approved MEMO’s request to hold the annual summer concert series at Gazebo Park on Thursdays from June 14 through Aug. 16.
- Learned the town gazebo is in need of repairs that will be done toward the end of the summer.
- Approved Medfield Firefighters Mutual Relief Association’s request to place signs around town to promote its annual chicken BBQ on June 16.
- Approved and signed re-adoption of the Flood Plain Regulation as is done every 10 years. Town officials said there are no “substantive changes” in the regulation.
- Approved one-day wine and malt beverage permit for Zullo Gallery on June 8 from 7 to 11:30 p.m. for a jazz concert featuring Doug Olsen, director of music for Medfield Public Schools.
- Approved one-day wine and malt beverage permits for Zullo Gallery for Wednesday and Thursday nights in July and August from 5 to 11:30 p.m.
- Approved auctioneer license for Steven Tedesco of Tedesco Auctions for the sale of garage equipment on June 30 at the former Auto Dynamics at 100 North Meadows Rd.
- Approved Medfield High School Science Olympiad’s request to hold a car wash at town hall on Saturday, June 9.
- Approved request by a Medfield resident to hold a car wash and bake sale to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research.
- Approved a wine and malt beverage permit for New N Towne for June 14 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at The Center.
- Voted to create an Advisory Committee of former Medfield selectmen who would serve in an advisory role when needed.
- Learned The Center will be re-starting a low-vision group.
- Reminded that the gas company will be replacing the mains on Spring Street from Route 109 to almost South Street
- Declared June 15 to be Girl Scout Day in the Town of Medfield in recognition of Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary.
- Asked town counsel Mark Cerel to research how other towns have handled donation boxes for clothing, books, etc. to see if standards need to be created through a by-law, etc.
- Entered executive session to discuss state hospital environmental lawyer’s report which selectmen said could prove detrimental if discussed in open session.