Board of Selectmen Minutes
October 1, 2007
Chairman Arcudi convened the meeting at 7:00PM and moved into the agenda. Present: Louis Arcudi III, Chairman, Selectman Alan Ryan, Selectman Michael Collins, Town Coordinator Eugene Phillips, Executive Assistant Patricia Goodwin and Artie Maggiore, videographer.
Coordinator Phillips informed the Board of a Proclamation officially proclaiming October 24, 2007 as United Nations Day requiring the Board of Selectmen signatures. The Proclamation was signed by the board members. No Motion necessary.
Coordinator Phillips informed the Board of a Memorandum of Agreement with the Blackstone Valley Heritage Corridor Committee.
MSDV to approve the regular and executive session minutes of September 4 and September 17, 2007.
Coordinator Phillips informed the Board of the Municipal Coalition for Affordable Housing Seminar, which he will be attending on October 26, 2007.
Coordinator Phillips informed the Board of the receipt of a letter from the Selectmen’s office in the town of Douglas notifying the Board members of an upcoming Blackstone Valley Board of Selectmen’s meeting, to be held on Thursday, October 4, 2007, from 6:30-8:30PM, at the Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School.
Coordinator Phillips informed the Board that he was contacted by Robert Burke who invited the Board of Selectmen to attend and present closing comments at the Field of Flags closing ceremony to be held on Sunday, October 7, 2007 at 3:00PM at the Unitarian Parish.
The Board is in receipt of a mobilization announcement from the Mass. Highway Department informing the Town that the preparation of construction for the Mill Street bridge will begin on October 16th, at which time a trailer will be set up at the bridge site, and commencement of the bridge closing will take place on November 2, 2007.
John Larkin has volunteered to be a member of the Capital Planning Committee.
MSDV to appoint John Larkin to the Capital Planning Committee. RCV: Louis Arcudi Chm. –Aye, Michael Collins –Aye, Alan Ryan –Aye.
Discussion of the Police contract signing will be deferred until the next Board meeting scheduled for October 15, 2007.
Robert DePonte, Highway Superintendent of the Board of Road Commissioners, has submitted a list of equipment to be surplused. Mr. Phillips commented that the town policy is to request the Board of Selectmen to approve the surplusing of equipment for release by means of a sale to the public.
MSDV to approve the surplusing of equipment. RCV: Louis Arcudi Chm. –Aye, Michael Collins –Aye, Alan Ryan –Aye.
Mr. Lou Trevani, a resident of Hopedale, addressed the Board to ask about the quality of water and presented 3 photos for review. Selectman Collins suggested that the matter be discussed with the Water and Sewer department. Chairman Arucdi will request that the matter be entered onto the agenda for the next Water and Sewer meeting scheduled for October 11, 2007.
Chairman Arcudi further discussed the closing of the Mill Street Bridge. Local residents of Laurelwood and the surrounding area, including the Hopedale Country Club, were invited to participate in this meeting. Sixty-eight people actually signed in for the meeting.
Chairman Arcudi asked for a summary review by Coordinator Phillips, and Road Commissioner, Joe Sweet prior to opening the subject for discussion.
o Coordinator Phillips reviewed the past history of the bridge project, which began 6 years ago with the Mass. Highway department working on the re-design of the bridge. The design was completed and bids were received by Mass. Highway for the project this past Spring. The bid award was made this summer to James A. Gross. Meetings were held at the bridge this August with State Senator Richard Moore and Representative John Fernandes, along with local residents and representatives from the Mass. Highway department, at which time the Town was informed that the bridge would be closed for one construction season (March to November). The contractor
would like to begin the drilling this Fall, which should take approximately 3.5 months. The drilling/boring work can continue through the winter months regardless of the cold weather. The bridge work would begin after the drilling is complete, and anticipated as the Spring timeframe.
o Coordinator Phillips has asked for an expedited schedule and the erection of a footbridge, and is awaiting a response from Mass. Highway. The contractor hopes to be able to complete the bridge work 1-2 months earlier than the Mass. Highway estimated timeline. The planned timeline is for the pre-construction work to begin October 16, and the closing of the bridge is to commence November 2, 2007, with a planned re-opening for November 16, 2008.
Chairman Arcudi addressed the Fire and Police department coverage by the Town of Mendon to Laurelwood. Coordinator Phillips discussed the agreement with Mendon for coverage for 24 hours, 7 days per week and that the Mendon Fire department will man the station overnight from the 11PM to 7AM shift with the Town of Hopedale paying the hourly stipend difference. The Mendon fire station is physically closer to Laurelwood than the Hopedale fire station. A Special Town Meeting is scheduled for November 6, 2007, at which time an article will be entered requesting the funding of this $13K expense to Mendon.
o Fire Chief Scott Garland acknowledged that residents would continue to call 911 for emergencies. The calls go through the dispatcher in Mendon. There is a 2 1/10ths difference in mileage from George Street and down Route 16.
o Police Chief Gene Costanza commented that the response time for calls to Laurelwood is not any longer than currently, being approximately the same distance. There is a mutual aid agreement between Hopedale and Mendon in place between the 2 sectors north and south of route 16.
Chairman Arcudi discussed the issue of not going forward with the project at this time. This would result in the project being passed over by the State, with the project be placed back into the queue. Should this happen, the cost would increase and the timeline for the repairs could then increase to 8-10 years before the project would be funded by the State. During that time the possible risk would be that the State would come in and condemn the bridge, resulting in closure.
o Road Commissioner, Joe Sweet, stated that in 1999 Mass. Highway rated the bridge as poor. They currently will not rate the bridge and will not give the bridge a weight limit.
Chairman Arcudi opened the floor for any comments.
Attorney Joseph Antonellis recapped the concerns of the Laurelwood residents. He commented that he was pleased that the Board had requested a footbridge installation; that prioritization of the state contract is critical, and that safety is critical to the Trustees. He suggested that identification of the location units would help alleviate concerns and give an additional level of comfort to the residents. Attorney Antonellis also expressed concern with the length of time given to complete the project, and requested that the Board oversee the work progression of the contractor.
Coordinator Phillips will provide maps and the proposed timeline for construction to Bob Wood of the Laurelwood Board of Managers for posting at their post office.
Other concerns voiced pertained to policing of the area, signs being posted, sanding of the roads by Mendon during inclement winter months, and trash/recycling. All concerns have previously been addressed.
Chairman Arcudi commented that should any of the residents have further safety concerns, they are welcome to address those directly with the Police and Fire Chiefs.
Fire Chief Garland commented that the Council on Aging has developed a program where individuals can “self-report” any special needs should there be a need for assistance. The database is being completed and a call should be place to Carol Mullen, if anyone is interested in being added to that list.
Attorney Antonellis commented that the Hopedale Country Club would like to have the rights to the mills' river deeded over to the golf course to protect their water rights.
Chairman Arcudi thanked Coordinator Phillips for his efforts put forth on the project, and also expressed his thank you to the residents for their interest and attendance at the meeting.
Coordinator Phillips again discussed the 236 Mendon Street tax title lot and offering portions of the lot to each abutter, which would bring the lot back onto the tax roll. Chairman Arcudi expressed his concerns with the selling of the lot and any future building on the lot. Selectman Ryan suggested looking into the matter further, and obtaining a map/plot plan of the area for further discussion at the next Board meeting.
Coordinator Phillips discussed the Town Meeting warrant, which had been scheduled erroneously for November 5th, when in fact the date should have been November 6, 2007.
MSDV to correct the date of the Town Meeting to November 5, 2007. RCV: Louis Arcudi Chm. –Aye, Michael Collins –Aye, Alan Ryan –Aye.
Chairman Arcudi introduced Michael Ruane, Chairman of the Draper Complex Reuse Committee who gave an overview of the committee findings and the recent public meeting and workshop held September 29th. The meeting was attended by over 80 people where presentations were made and break out working sessions were held. A draft of the meeting results will be provided at the next committee meeting schedule for October 22nd. Mr. Ruane suggested that then the Board begin to review the findings. Selectman Ryan personally commended Mr. Ruane and the Committee on their efforts.
Coordinator Phillips notified the Board that the next Capital Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3, 2007, and that he will notify John Larkin, who was most recently appointed to the committee.
Coordinator Phillips presented the Coordinator news:
o Construction is well underway at the Little Red Shop. He visits the site every day and is taking photographs.
o Mr. Phillips has been nominated and elected to the Board of Directors of the ARC of Innovation organization. The organization promotes the welfare of the 32 communities along the southern part of the 495 beltway.
o There will be an auction held for the property located at 232 South Main Street on Thursday, October 4th. Hopefully the property will then be back on the tax rolls.
With no further business before them at 8:45 PM a motion was made by Selectman Collins and made unanimous by Chairman Arcudi and Selectman Ryan to enter into executive session not to reconvene. RCV: Louis Arcudi Chm. –Aye, Michael Collins –Aye, Alan Ryan –Aye.
Louis J. Arcudi III, Chairman Michael E. Collins
Alan J. Ryan
Hopedale Board of Selectmen
Moved, Seconded, Discussed and Voted **Roll Call Vote