July 10, 2017
The regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen was called to order by Chairman Soter at 7:00 PM with all members in attendance.
Kimberly Cohen – YMCA Community Garden
(Mrs. McNulty is a YMCA employee and recused herself from this portion of the meeting.)
Kimberly Cohen spoke on the proposed community garden in Bellingham. She stated the YMCA received a $22,000 grant allowing them the opportunity to create a community garden in Town. Ms. Cohen stated she had worked with Mr. Fraine on possible sites and a piece of property at 200 Center Street looked to be adequate and the YMCA is currently considering a 15,000 sq. ft. garden. She stated they are proposing to employ a full-time seasonal grower and families in the community would purchase a share and each week would be able to pick up a bag of vegetables.
Mr. Spencer asked how many shares would be made available. Ms. Cohen stated growers would need to see the cleared land before they could determine the amount.
Board members thanked Ms. Cohen for the update.
Mr. Devine – Planning Board Associate Member Application – Joint Appointment – Selectmen/Planning Board
Planning Board members in attendance: Brian Salisbury, Bruce Lord and Dennis Trebino.
Mr. Devine stated he has recently attended Planning Board meetings on a personal matter and heard about the Associate Member’s vacancy. He felt this was something he would be interested in applying for.
Mr. Spencer asked Mr. Devine how he would deal with the possibility of a project coming before the Planning Board that he personally or morally disagreed with. Mr. Devine stated if the project meets the criteria of the Bylaws, then it should go forward noting he believes in the greater good of the Town.
Mrs. McNulty asked Mr. Devine how long he has been a resident of Bellingham. Mr. Devine stated he has resided in Bellingham for 12 years. He stated he is pro development and growth noting the Town needs a tax base to support schools and roads.
Mr. Martinis asked Mr. Devine how he felt about a marijuana grow facility in the Town. Mr. Devine stated personally, this does not belong near his children (all Bellingham
Minutes of July 10, 2017
children). However, he would work with representatives of the project if it meets zoning bylaw requirements.
Mr. Salisbury asked Mr. Devine how he would handle a project coming before the Board that he felt he was being pulled in two directions as to his decision. Again, Mr. Devine stated he would follow the zoning bylaw requirements.
Both Mr. Lord and Mr. Trebino feel Mr. Devine is capable of understanding the workings of the Planning Board.
Members of the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board were polled with all voting in the affirmative to appoint Mr. Devine as the Planning Board Associate Member.
Mr. Soter announced that Mr. Wright was not available this evening for an interview and will be rescheduled.
Mr. Laviolette presented end-of-year budget transfer requests to the Selectmen for their approval. The following votes were taken:
On a Connor/Martinis motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the transfer of $900 from the CFO Expenses to CFO Sr./Veterans Tax Work Off Program.
On a Connor/Spencer motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the transfer of $0.10 from MIS Expenses to MIS Salaries.
On a Martinis/Spencer motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the transfer of $5200 from Elections Expenses to Elections Salaries & Wages.
On a Martinis/Spencer motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the transfer of $9500 from Physicals/Occupational Health to On-the-Job Injury Deductible.
On a Martinis/McNulty motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the transfer of $16,300 from Contributory Retirement Assessment to Employer Share – Medicare.
On a Spencer/McNulty motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the transfer of $15,000 from the Police Expenses to Police Salaries.
On a McNulty/Spencer motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the transfer of $6500 from Fire Expenses to Fire Salaries.
On a Spencer/McNulty motion, the Board voted to approve the transfer of $0.04 from Tree Warden Salaries to Tree Warden Elected Salaries. Mr. Martinis opposed; all other members voted in the affirmative.
On a Spencer/McNulty motion, the Board unanimously voted to transfer $8500 from Public Buildings Expenses to Street Lighting.
On a Spencer/McNulty motion, the Board unanimously voted to transfer $0.04 from Contributory Retirement Assessment to Veterans Agent Salary.
On a Spencer/Martinis motion, the Board unanimously voted to transfer $7500 from Contributory Retirement Assessment to Veterans Benefits/Assistance.
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DPW Director – Wethersfield Sewer Update
Mr. DiMartino gave the Selectmen an update on the Wethersfield sewer engineering study. He stated interest in expanding sewer into Wethersfield was brought about by scheduled roadwork on Taunton Street.
Mr. DiMartino stated there aren’t any permitting issues that would complicate the project noting the Town would not have to go back through the MEPA process for a
project change. He also stated the Town has sufficient capacity at the Charles River Treatment Plant.
The engineering study also came up with a total cost of $9 million, which includes leveling and overlay.
Selectmen asked about lowering the cost of the project by removing certain, less-dense areas of the neighborhood such as Wethersfield Road, Monique Drive and Kathy Drive from the cost of the project.
Mr. Fraine stated omitting those areas would bring the betterment assessment on neighborhood homeowners down to approximately $11,000.
Mr. Hamwey of Wethersfield Road stated he had gone door-to-door along this road and noted the majority of those he had spoken with are against the project.
Before taking any action on removing certain areas from this project, the Board will schedule a meeting with residents of these areas to get feedback.
On a Spencer/Connor motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the Change of Officer/Director for Pepper Dining, Inc. d/b/a Chili’s Grill & Bar, 257 Hartford Ave.
On a McNulty/Martinis motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the Fire Department Permit & Fee Increases as presented.
On a Connor/Spencer motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the fee schedule as presented by Mr. Aicardi and at the request of Mr. Connor, the Board wants to review the fee structure for the electrical and plumbing fees.
On a McNulty/Spencer motion, the following abatements were approved: residential water, $109.82; residential trash, $240.56 and residential sewer, $223.85.
On a Spencer/McNulty motion, the Board unanimously voted to ratify Mr. Fraine’s appointment of Thomas Degnan, Jr. to the position of DWP General Foreman subject to a background check and his passing a physical.
It was also noted that Mr. Degnan will relocate to within ten miles of Bellingham.
On a Spencer/Connor motion, the Board unanimously voted to approve the June 26th minutes as submitted.
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Mr. Fraine requested an executive session with the DPW Director pertaining to the Sale of Water and the Fire Chief pertaining to staff reorganization. Members of the Board were polled with all voting in the affirmative.
On a McNulty/Connor motion, the Board unanimously voted to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 PM and noted they would not return to open session at the conclusion of the Executive Session.
Jacqueline A. Bokoski