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Medfield's State Hospital Redevelopment Committee Finalized; Mediation Team Meets with Mediator

Medfield’s Board of Selectmen formally appointed 10 members to the State Hospital Redevelopment Committee, reviewed the board’s mission statement for the committee and was updated on other news related to the state hospital.

The Medfield Board of Selectmen discussed what it plans to task the 10 members appointed to the newly reestablished with while studying suitable reuses for the property.

The selectmen reviewed the proposed mission statement at Tuesday's meeting for the Redevelopment Committee after appointing the volunteer group's 10th member.

Marc R. Verreault was appointed to the committee Tuesday in addition to the nine members that agreed to serve last week. Town Administrator Michael Sullivan said candidates Joseph Fallon, managing partner of Cassidy Turley Commercial Real Estate Services and Brian McKenzie, partner of Richards Barry Joyce & Partners, LLC declined to serve on the committee.

Verreault, Jim Rohnstock, Ken Richard, Scott Colwell, Kerry McCormack, Roberta Lynch, Timothy Bonfatti, Stephen Nolan, William Mann and Robert Ingram will serve on the committee and be tasked with a final version of the following draft mission statement, which was prepared by Sullivan with input from each member of the Board of Selectmen. The statement was presented and discussed at Tuesday’s meeting.

Draft Mission Statement for State Hospital Redevelopment Committee:

“The Board of Selectmen would like the State Hospital Redevelopment Study Committee to evaluate potential economic uses of the former hospital site, review Chapter 269 of the Acts of 2008, and examine the recommendations of Jones, Lange, LaSalle from the point of view of the residents of the Town of Medfield and the residents of the immediate neighborhoods, considering positive and/or negative impacts on the quality of life, the cost of servicing potential reuses, traffic, the availability of water sewer and other town services, the impact on the school, library and park and recreation departments, the potential revenue stream, the impact of redevelopment on the Town’s requirement to provide a 10 percent share of affordable housing units, and any other factors that should be considered. Based on these findings, the Committee should make its own recommendations to the Board of Selectmen as to how the property might be redeveloped. The Committee should also address the issue of a purchase of the property by the Town of Medfield, including the costs and benefits of such a purchase and the additional capabilities of the town government that would be required to oversee the purchase, clean-up and redevelopment and/or reuse of a property of this size and scope.”

The mission statement was part of a nine-page packet that included a brief background on the Medfield State Hospital property, the aforementioned mission statement, a thank you to the committee members for showing a willingness to serve and Session Laws: Chapter 269 of the Acts of 2008 – an act providing for the disposition of certain property at Medfield State Hospital.

“I tried to take from each of your statements and craft a mission statement,” Sullivan told the selectmen at Tuesday’s meeting.

The selectmen did not vote to finalize the mission statement Tuesday at the request of selectman Osler “Pete” Peterson, who suggested the board take time to sit down and review the documents.

“I think we want to get this group going and I think it makes sense to provide them with something … [but] I suggest we approve it as sort of a draft,” Peterson said. … “It would probably be good to sit down and read it.”

Peterson also requested the mission statement be made available on the town website for residents to view.

As for when the Redevelopment Committee will meet, Sullivan suggested the newly appointed members be invited to attend the next selectmen’s meeting to discuss the mission and serve as an introduction. Sullivan’s suggestion was met with the selectmen’s approval.

“I think it would be good as sort of a kick-off meeting,” said selectman Mark Fisher in response to Sullivan's request.

After reviewing the members of the committee, Medfield resident and state hospital abutter Bill Massaro suggested an environmental expert be added to the committee “since the environmental issues at the site will play such a big issue” in determining the site’s reuse.

Sullivan said the appointed members chosen from the candidate list “either volunteered to be on the committee or were recommended by a member of the Board of Selectmen,” but if additional volunteers want to join, they should contact the for more information.

Massaro added he would offer any support the committee needed in terms of understanding the background of the prior redevelopment issues – something the longtime town resident has studied extensively.

“I would suggest to [State Hospital Environmental Review Committee chair] John Thompson that he at least make the same offer,” Massaro said. “The environment plays a big issue on whatever you’re going to decide to do up there. What’s left of the land and what’s in the buildings; the committee is going to need some input on that.”

Medfield resident John Harney, who along with Massaro has been very active in the state hospital issue, said he plans to attend all the committee’s meetings.

Mediation Team Meets with Mediator

Assistant Town Administrator Kristine Trierweiler informed the selectmen that the town’s met with the mediator Monday night for about two hours to “go over ground rules” of its mediation process with DCAM regarding the extent of cleanup to be done at the Medfield State Hospital property.

Phase IV Comments to be Submitted to DCAM this Week

Trierweiler said the Phase IV public comments are due to DCAM this Thursday and will be submitted following the selectmen’s review.

Harney Suggests Selectmen Contact Gov. Patrick

In the wake of Tuesday’s Boston Globe article highlighting the issues between the town and the state in regards to the cleanup of the state hospital property, Harney suggested the Board of Selectmen write a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick, similar to that of .

 “It would be a good idea for the Board of Selectmen to follow [Senator Timilty’s] letter immediately with a letter of support for Senator Timilty,” Harney said. “Send that letter to the governor and let him know the urgency of the matter. … “This is the most opportune moment for this board to weigh in on the subject and do so strongly. If we are going to get it cleaned up, we should do so now.”

Fisher saw no issues with Harney’s suggestion.

“It can’t hurt,” Fisher said.

Fisher’s colleagues agreed.

“We can resend a letter,” said Board of Selectmen chair Ann Thompson.

Massaro suggested the selectmen review their policy letter on the state hospital property and see what can be used in a letter to the governor.

“See if there’s anything there that fits the bill to what John [Harney] suggested,” Massaro said. “It’s fairly straightforward.”

andrew stretton January 19, 2013 at 10:17 PM
such a shame that a site like this will be ruined by housing

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