BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
JUNE 9, 2009
The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. with the pledge of allegiance to our flag. Selectmen Vincent Russo, Joseph Story, Michael Bulgaris, Audrey Kelley and Geoffrey Walker along with Town Administrator Chuck Kostro were in attendance.
The first order of business was to reorganize the board. Selectman Russo noted that being Chairman for the past five years had been a gratifying experience and he felt all members should have a chance at being chairman. He asked for nominations for the position. Selectman Bulgaris nominated Joseph Story for the position of Chair of the Board of Selectmen, seconded by Selectman Keller. There being no further nominations, it was voted unanimously.
A summer meeting schedule was discussed. As the summer months are generally slow, one meeting rather than two was proposed for the months of July and August. If a second meeting is warranted it can easily be scheduled with 48 hours notice or can be added at the next regularly scheduled meeting on June 23rd. July 28th and August 25th were scheduled as summer meeting dates.
Town Administrator Chuck Kostro advised that Pam Wool was looking for a schedule of information needed by the Selectmen regarding the school budget. The Selectmen can forward their list to him and he will coordinate with Pam. Kostro gave a FY09 budget update noting that cuts from State Aid were still the largest item of concern. Collection of the ’09 real estate taxes is also a major item. The issue of state aid cuts and the Senate budget are also a grave concern for our FY10 budget. There is currently a $65K gap pending. Several line item transfers for FY09 were presented for a vote of the Selectmen as allowed by Chapter 44 of the MGL. Selectman Russo moved that the BOS approve the transfer of $1,261.48 from the
Town Clerk Expense line-item to the Election line-item in the FY09 budget, seconded by Selectman Keller and voted unanimously. Selectmen Russo moved that the BOS approve the transfer of $2,500 from the Library Wages line-item to the Public Building Maintenance line-item in the FY09 budget, seconded by Selectman Bulgaris and voted unanimously. The Selectmen signed a conservation restriction placed on the deed for surplus land on Hutchins Way. This conservation restriction has been approved by the State and reviewed by Counsel. Selectman Russo moved that the BOS approve the inclusion of a fundraising flyer submitted by the Friends of the Newbury Council on Aging in the mailing with the first quarter FY10 property tax bills pursuant to MGL Chapter 60, section 3A, seconded by Selectman Bulgaris. A discussion ensued regarding the possibility of also including a mailing concerning the new proposed FEMA maps. Kostro will investigate the possibility of printing a notice on
the second side of the flyer or other options. The motion was voted unanimously. Kostro noted that Chief Reilly will begin a survey of street lights that may be shut off. This list will be reviewed by him and the Selectmen. Sale of the Woodbridge School building is still on the radar and the Selectmen will soon be asked to declare it surplus property. The Elm Street resurfacing project has been advertised and a vote of the Selectmen will be required to award the contract next month. The Finance Committee has approved reinstatement of the lock box for tax payments. The Finance Department will try to institute this program in January. Kostro advised that his transition group has recommended scheduling a workshop for the BOS and Town Administrator to discuss the functions of both departments. A Friday morning workshop will be arranged as
soon as possible. The transition group has also explored space options in Town Hall. Their recommendation is to move the Board of Health and Harbormaster into the vacant trailer out back, the Accountant to their office and to set up the Accountant’s office for the use of the Selectmen. This will allow the public easy access to all the Administrative Departments. Martha Taylor will be coordinating the moves.
A request for a one-day liquor license for a wedding at the Spencer-Peirce Little Farm on Saturday, September 12th from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. was briefly discussed. Selectman Russo questioned the time frame between closing the bar and putting people on the road. The matter was tabled to the June 23rd meeting to get input from Chief Reilly.
At 7:30 p.m. the legal notice was read for a public hearing on the alteration of the description of the licensed premises at Ould Newbury Golf Club. Tony Penski spoke for the Club. He noted that a new law, Chapter 300 of the Acts of 2009 allows beverages to be served on the course and the club was applying for this extension of their license. It was moved by Selectman Russo, seconded by Selectman Keller and voted unanimously to grant the application as presented. It will be forwarded to ABCC for final approval.
A one-day liquor license for the second annual benefit concert at the P.I. Airfield on Saturday, August 22nd from 4-9 p.m., promoted by the Evening of Rock Foundation of Newburyport was granted on a motion by Selectman Russo, seconded by Selectman Keller. Todd Conley of the Foundation advised that this year’s proceeds were to benefit the Pettingill House. Public transportation, police details, TIPS certified bartenders and insurance are all in place for this event. The motion was voted unanimously to grant the license.
Two one-day liquor licenses were approved for Protection Fire Co. #2 for functions on Saturday, June 13th and Sunday, June 14th, both from 12 noon to 9 p.m., on a motion by Selectman Russo, seconded by Selectman Walker and voted unanimously.
John Salter and John Aston of Byfield addressed the Board regarding traffic flow in the Byfield Village area. Salter presented three proposals. The first at the corner of Downfall Road and Church Street where he proposed a four-way stop sign to prevent speeders from both Rte. 95 and Moody Street who use this as a short cut. Stop ahead warning signs were also proposed for this change. The second is the intersection of Central Street and Main street which is extremely wide and has no designated entry or exit for the Post Office which is situated on the corner. He suggested a circular barrier or planter in the middle of Central Street with keep right signs to direct traffic into a more orderly traffic pattern. Both of these can be
accomplished at minimal cost. The third was Lunt Street from Main to Central. This road carries a heavy volume of traffic and speeders. This street is home to the Library and the Little League field and many small children. It is also difficult for two cars to pass in most sections due to the width of the road. His suggestion was to make Lunt Street a dead end at the intersection of Main Street, much like the intersection of Green and Parker Streets was closed several years ago. Salter and Ashton were thanked by the board. Chairman Story advised they would look at the area and get input from Police, Fire and DPW. David Powell of the Planning Board noted that during their work on the Downfall Road subdivision proposal, an impact study was done and he would provide the study to the Selectmen to help with this project. Selectman Story asked Selectman Bulgaris
to head up a group to include police, fire, highway and the MHD district engineer to study this area.
Doug Packer, Conservation Agent gave an update and outline of the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) just forwarded to Newbury by FEMA and the possible impact on our town. He noted three CCO (Community Coordination) meetings had been scheduled for community representatives to meet and ask questions of FEMA and DCR. Don Beaulieu and Jerry Klima of Salisbury were in attendance and advised they had just been through this process and now there are more changes being proposed which will be drastic for some sections of Salisbury. While these CCO meetings are not for the general public, they are advising the public to attend. FEMA will only accept scientific information to appeal these maps and the towns may need to combine
forces. Selectman Walker suggested forming a work group of knowledgeable people to formulate responsive questions and report to Packer and the Selectmen. Beaulieu advised the communities should request FEMA engineers be made available to us to aid in our understanding of this study and the maps. The time frames for appeals are very tight. Packer noted that FEMA has taken a partner in this study, using Coastal Zone Management and much of their data was used to compile these new maps. He stated he is also concerned that these maps are tied to growth control on Plum Island. Selectman Story noted we need to keep informed, attend these meetings, and request FEMA come to Newbury. Scientific methodology and technical questions should be formulated through Packer so we are all on the same page. We’ve heard a lot tonight and need to keep this ball
John Moulton, owner of Riverfront Marine addressed the board regarding mooring fee increases, FY10 Harbormaster budget and the commercial ramp permit fee. Howie Fernald of Fernald’s Marine questioned the fees for canoes and kayaks. Joanne Johnson of Pert Lowell Co. brought concerns about the need for better communication between the town and the boating community. Fred Thurlow, member of the Oldtown Country Club suggested the formation of a harbor commission to formulate policy and rules which will be enforced by the Harbormaster. The question of rental moorings was put to rest by Counsel Penski who stated the cases cited are irrelevant to Newbury and the proposal should be dropped. Harbormaster Brendan Stokes addressed some of the questions raised. After a lengthy discussion the board decided to consider establishing a harbor commission, would explore the boating issues and would make recommendations at their August 25th meeting.
A letter from the Yankee Homecoming 2009 Committee was read inviting the Selectmen to participate in their coronation ceremony for the senior king and queen. Chairman Story will plan to attend.
It was moved by Selectman Russo, seconded by Selectman Keller and voted unanimously to accept Geof Walker’s resignation from the Planning Board and Conservation Commission. It was moved by Selectman Russo, seconded by Selectman Walker and voted unanimously to accept Michael Bulgaris’s resignation from the Conservation Commission.
On the recommendation of the Planning Board, Edward A. Deardon was appointed to the Planning Board to fill the vacated seat of Geof Walker for one year until the election in May 2010. This was moved by Selectman Russo, seconded by Selectman Walker and voted unanimously.
A request from Brendan Doherty, 12-56th Street, Newburyport to operate a mobile cart on the beach to sell bottled water, Gatorade and popsicles was reviewed and the proposal denied on a motion by Selectman Keller, seconded by Selectman Walker and voted unanimously. Denial was due to the limitation of beach area and the hawkers and peddlers vendor law in place in Newbury to protect permanent businesses. It was suggested Mr. Doherty might investigate permission to set up at the P.I. Airfield.
A request for use of the Upper Green as a rest stop by the North Shore Cyclists for their Blazing Saddles Century Ride on Saturday, August 22nd was approved on a motion by Selectman Russo, seconded by Selectman Keller and voted unanimously.
The utility easement for Alan J. White voted at the ATM on May 26, 2009 was signed by the Selectmen.
The minutes of the May 11th meeting were accepted as presented on a motion by Chairman Story, seconded by Selectman Russo and voted.
Selectman Russo nominated Selectman Keller as Clerk to the BOS, seconded by Selectman Bulgaris and voted unanimously.
Complaints have been received from neighbors of Plum Crazy regarding their on street parking. The matter will be reviewed and discussed at the next meeting on June 23rd.
Surfland Bait Shop has a problem with the “resident only” parking signs at the center. Tim will investigate to see if wording might be added to the signs to allow the fishermen to park during late night – early morning hours.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m. on a motion by Selectman Walker, seconded by Selectman Bulgaris and voted unanimously.