The Board of Selectmen met Tuesday, Jan. 15, and had a full agenda.
Selectmen expected to meet with developer Robert Borrelli to discuss a lease of town land (Lot 3) on Ice House Road -- on which he would like to build a 120,000 square foot sports facility -- but Borrelli requested the issue be rescheduled to Jan. 29.
Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said other groups are interested in leasing that land, including the town's Parks and Recreation Department and a developer who would like to put in an assistant living facility with 80 to 100 units.
The board also met with Walid Makouk regarding an application for a taxicab license.
Makouk and his business partner, Mohamad Halwani, had met with the board in November regarding their application for a hackney license but continued the matter to consult with the police chief.
On Jan. 3, Chief of Police Robert E. Meaney Jr. sent a memo to the Board of Selectmen opposing the license.
I have completed a background check into the driving record of Mr. Walid M. Makouk [and] Mr. Mohamad Halwani. Both individuals have extensive driving records in Massachusetts and I do not believe that they should be licensed by the Board of Selectmen to operate a taxi in Medfield.
Makouk, who attended the meeting, requested more information about Meaney's decision and the selectmen suggested Makouk meet with Meaney before the board's meeting next week (Jan. 22).
Selectman Osler Peterson told Makouk, "If our Chief of Police says that we shouldn't do it, then we're not going to do it."
Town Counsel Mark Cerel informed the board that the last two court decisions in the state regarding 40B housing projects were ruled in favor of the developer despite the towns (Lunenburg and Sunderland) arguments.
In December, the Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals approved a 92 unit affordable housing complex to be built off West Street. The matter was controversial and led to the resignation of ZBA Chairman Robert Sylvia who had served on the board for 40 years.
"The bottom line is the Supreme Judicial Court supported the Housing Authority Court and put the entire emphasis on affordable housing," Cerel said. "If you're below [state minimum] 10 percent, there are virtually no defenses."
The board also:
- Met with Building Inspector John Neff regarding the Building Department's FY2014 budget which includes a 2.79 increase
- Appointed George Dealy to the Grist Mill Study Committee
- Supported Norfolk County Mosquito Control District's FY14 budget which totals $1.6 million and includes $55,000 to be paid by Medfield
- Appointed Town Planner Sarah Raposa to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council
- Signed amendments to The Kingsbury Club's lease with the town that reflect the Club's refinance with Rockland Trust
- Signed a contract between the town and HKT Architects Inc. of Somerville to conduct a preliminary study for the Police/Fire Station Concept Design and the Dale Street Master Plan Project. The cost is $100,000 of which $75,000 will be paid from an allocation made by town meeting, and $25,000 from the school department.
- Authorized Selectman Peterson as Medfield's representative at the Massachusetts Municipal Association's annual meeting on Jan. 25.
- Issued a one-day liquor license to:
- St. Edward's on Jan. 26 for parish event
- Council on Aging on Feb. 16 for Valentine's Dance and fifth birthday celebration of The Center at Medfield
- Council on Aging on March 16 for annual corned beef and cabbage dinner
- Forever Home Animal Rescue New England on June 14 for silent auction event
- Granted permission for the Memorial and Wheelock School CSA to post signs advertising the annual Winter Carnival on March 16.
During selectmen's reports, board members discussed:
- The closing of Lord's Department Store after 73 years in downtown Medfield
- The date has been chosen for a Lord's celebration
- Woodland Theatre to present "A Chorus Line" on Jan. 25
- Medfield Foundation now accepting nominations for outstanding volunteers
- The success of the town's deer culling program which yielded 26 deer this season
- Ann Thompson has been serving on town boards for nearly 40 years including 30 years as selectman, five on the board of library trustees, and five on the warrant committee; she noted that she was "on 13 committees for several years"
- Long-time employee Norma Cronin retired in December and will be missed
- The Italian-American Club is looking for new members; if interested, contact George Campezzi
- The number of break-ins has decreased since a spike last fall
- Selectmen will meet with the Planning Board regarding zoning for medical marijuana dispensaries