November 21, 2016
The regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen was called to order by Chairman Soter with all members in attendance.
Hixon Street/Chip Seal update
Daryle Dwan of 83 Hixon St. stated the area of the street he resides on is a cul-de-sac and was in good condition. He went on to state his children were able to ride their bikes and play street hockey, but can’t now because the street surface is too irregular. The Town corrected one portion of the street and ruined the rest of it without notifying residents before this process was done. Mr. Dwan stated he and other residents of the street want a full repaving of the street.
David Lacivita of Toni Drive is concerned the condition of the streets after the chip seal process will negatively affect their property values.
Douglas MacLachlan, 8 Barrett Lane asked how plowing this winter will affect the chip seal process. Road Committee member Roland Lavallee stated plowing will not adversely affect the streets and will actually help to smooth the rough edges of the stone used in the process. Mr. Lavallee went on to state the chip seal process is a preventive measure for roads that are in fairly good condition. Using this process will extend the life of the roads.
Tax Rate Classification Hearing/Debt Exclusion-Water Debt Service
Mr. Soter read the public hearing notice.
On a Mayhew/Spencer motion, the Board unanimously voted to postpone this hearing until the conclusion of the present discussion.
Mr. Martinis stated that although he sympathizes with the residents, the Town has to take larger concerns into consideration. Chip sealing the roads will extend the life of the roads. He also noted there are many playgrounds in Town for children to ride their bikes or play street hockey. Mr. Martinis did state the Town takes responsibility for not notifying residents of the process before it took place, however, that would not have changed the outcome.
Kevin Tagliafari of Valley View Road asked if residents will be notified in the future.
Mr. Soter stated the Town will work on letting residents know when road construction will take place. Such items will be placed on the town website and messages sent out through the Reverse-911 phone system.
Minutes of November 21, 2016
Tax Classification Hearing (continued)
Assessor Betsy Cournoyer and Chief Financial Officer Chris Laviolette appeared before the Board to present information for the Board’s review relative to the Tax Classification Hearing (attached). Mrs. Cournoyer explained residential values have increased approximately 3% over the past year while commercial and industrial values have remained relatively stable. Mrs. Cournoyer stated the average single family home in Bellingham is assessed at $287,000. She went on to say the average residential tax increase for the coming year would be $167 if the Board left the classification split at .89. Mr. Laviolette stated this increase includes approximately $600,000 in water debt associated with the construction of the new filtration plant.
Mr. John Murray asked the Board to keep in mind the importance of the small business community when considering expanding the gap between residential and industrial properties. Mr. Soter agreed; however, he noted residential properties are increasing in value at a faster rate than commercial or industrial properties. Mr. Spencer expressed his desire to see the factor reduced from .89 to .86; however, he was willing to wait until next year to consider this shift giving us more of an opportunity to observe shifting values. Mr. Martinis agreed with Mr. Spencer and expressed his desire to have more time to review the information in the future.
On a Spencer/Martinis motion, the Board voted three in favor with Mr. Soter opposing to establish a .89 classification split to be ratified after values are certified.
On a Martinis/Spencer motion, the Board unanimously voted to continue this hearing to November 28th at 6:30 PM.
On a Spencer/Mayhew motion, the Board unanimously voted to adopt a debt exclusion under Proposition 2 ½ , General Laws Chapter 59, Section 21C (n), which allows the Town to transfer the recovery of water debt service costs from user charges to the property tax levy in the amount of $601,250.
On a Martinis/Mayhew motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the license renewals as outlined on the attached list.
On a Mayhew/Spencer motion, the Board unanimously voted to accept the deed for Julia Drive.
On a Spencer/Mayhew motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the change of manager for Cumberland Farms Store No. 6755 from Steven Cordeiro to Lucinda Parella.
On a Spencer/Mayhew motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the following abatements: residential water, $784.83; residential sewer, $499.45; residential trash, $904.42; municipal water, $4017.71 and municipal sewer, $743.13.
Minutes of November 21, 2016
On a Spencer/Mayhew motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve, but not release the executive session minutes as listed with the exception of May 23, 2016, January 26, 2016 and March 2, 2015.
On a Mayhew/Spencer motion, the Board voted to approve, but not release executive session minutes dated 5/23/16, 1/26/16 and 3/2/15 with Mr. Martinis abstaining as he was not in attendance.
On a Mayhew/Spencer motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve and release the executive session minutes dated 4/25/16, 5/4/15 and 12/1/14.
On a Mayhew/Spencer motion, the Board voted to accept the November 4th minutes as submitted with Mr. Martinis abstaining.
On a Spencer/Martinis motion, the Board voted to accept the October 17th minutes as submitted with Mr. Mayhew abstaining.
On a Mayhew/Martinis motion, the Board voted to accept the October 3rd minutes as submitted with the Mr. Spencer abstaining.
On a Mayhew/Martinis motion, the Board unanimously voted to appoint Mr. Spencer as their representative on the Livestock Regulation Committee.
Mr. Soter requested an executive session regarding contract negotiations. Members of the Board were polled with all voting in the affirmative. No further statements for the public will follow the executive session.
On a Mayhew/Spencer motion, the Board unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 PM.
Jacqueline A. Bokoski