The Board of Selectmen met Tuesday night to discuss the following agenda items.
Met with Veterans Service Officer Ron Griffin to discuss the Servicemen’s Valor Act. The Act was passed in on May 31 and aims to help military men and women transition from their military careers into civilian lives. There is grant money to start or expand businesses, and training and re-educating veterans. The surviving spouse of a serviceman “killed as a result of action” is entitled to a tax exemption. The town can accept a provision for a tax work-off program (similar to that offered to senior citizens) where servicemen can volunteer in the town in exchange for $750 off their property tax bill. That would have to be accepted by town meeting. Medfield has 507 veterans currently living in town.
Met with Cemetery Commissioners regarding the Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund. Tom Sweeney said the fees recently increased at the cemetery and are now: $750 for a single lot and $1,500 for a double lot; $500 for a grave opening; and $300 for a Saturday internment. Town officials say the costs are in line with other public cemeteries in the area. Learned the town brought in $23,000 from grave openings last year. Learned the money brought in does not cover the costs to operate the cemetery right now but that should turn around when the interest rates increase. Town officials said Medfield does not have as many burials as you might think because people move out of town after their children finish school, and some people return to the town where they grew up to be buried.
Met with Town Counsel Mark Cerel to discuss the order of layout for Kettle Pond Way and Cole Drive. Selectmen voted to confirm the road layout approved in April to include mortgagees. This is land courted land.
Met with Bayberry Road and Stagecoach Road residents regarding a standing water problem. Residents of Bayberry Road, Stagecoach Road, and Nauset Street expressed frustration that they cannot get an answer as to why the Stop River has stopped and is backing up onto their properties. Neighbors say the standing water is a health hazard with fears of EEE and sewerage failures, and is also a safety concern for children playing in the area (residents likened the deep, standing water to that of a swimming pool). Residents think the damage is due to beaver which they would like trapped and removed. Department of Public Works Superintendent Ken Feeney said the town is limited in what he can do because beaver are a protected wildlife species. He suggested their best course of action would be to talk to Norfolk County Mosquito Control and also consult a private trapper. The selectmen said they would do everything they could to address the problem.
- Voted to sign the September 6, 2012 state primary warrant.
- Voted to sign acknowledgement letter regarding Comcast Cable, Inc. which has notified the town they have commenced the formal renewal licensing process.
- Received an invitation from Boy Scout Troop 89 to attend a Court of Honor for Eagle Scout candidates Connor Gaffney, Christian Honan, and Aaron Thole on September 9.
- Received an invitation from Boy Scout Troop 10 to attend the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Nicholas James Derian on September 23.
- Accepted meeting minutes from July 3, 17, and 18.
- Discussed the selectmen’s annual calendar and inviting in department heads to discuss FY14 budget.
- Re-established the Kingsbury Pond Committee.
- Granted permission to Medfield Youth Basketball to post signs announcing fall registration.
- Granted permission to the Cypress Street neighborhood to hold a block party on September 29.
Medfield State Hospital
- Learned that all parties have signed a confidentiality agreement and not much can be said in public but it was noted that mediation is progressing. Assistant Town Administrator Kristine Trierweiller said that any decisions made during mediation will be discussed in public before being implemented.
- Heard from John Harney that the State Hospital Redevelopment Committee is progressing well and hopes to tour similar hospital conversion sites in Danvers and Lexington.
- Learned that all bricks have been removed from the former Clark Building.
- Learned the town is seeing a 30 percent savings in energy costs.
- Learned the town sent 150 fewer tons of trash to the incinerator last year, and 50 fewer tons in single stream recycling.
- Learned there are some overbearing residents hanging out at the transfer station’s Swap Area. There was discussion of getting a permanent structure for the Swap Area so reusable items don’t have to be thrown away at the end of the day.
- Heard Rep. Denise Garlick will be meeting with Town Administrator Michael Sullivan on Monday to discuss Chapter 90 money.
- Received a letter from a Philip Street resident who wants to straighten out the curve on Philip Street and install a sidewalk. Town officials say that would cost a lot of money.
- Heard the town is still at “low risk” for EEE and West Nile Virus but they continue to monitor it because it has been found in nearby Canton and Framingham.
- Learned there will be a “Help for Homeowners Community Event” on Tuesday, August 28 at Gillette Stadium to help homeowners with mortgages and other issues related to owning a home.
- Heard Comcast has announced additional program changes.
Other Items of Interest
Selectmen have asked for an update from Energy Committee regarding pros and cons of becoming a “green community.”