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Board of Selectmen Minutes 05/31/2011
MONDAY, MAY 31, 2011
7:00 P.M.

SELECTMEN PRESENT:   Ballantine, Cebula, Hughes, LaMantia, McManus

OTHERS PRESENT:  Town Administrator James Merriam, Assistant Town Administrator Nan Balmer, David Ryan, Gerry Loftus, Sheila House, and others.

MEETING CALLED TO ORDER at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman LaMantia.

Chairman LaMantia explained that the Board had just come out of Executive Session for the purpose of discussing real estate matters, collective bargaining and contract negotiations.


Mr. Loftus reported that Valerie Foster, Director of the Harwich Housing Authority, was selected as our Local Housing Hero by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and will receive her award at a luncheon on June 21.  He noted that her award is under the category “Municipal or Housing Authority Staff Person.”


  • Approve Minutes:
  • May 16, 2011 Regular Meeting
  • May 23, 2011 Executive Session
B.      Vote to award bid for Town Hall boiler replacement to Healthy Air Solutions for $74,000
C.      Vote to continue membership in Barnstable County HOME Consortium
  • Vote to confirm Conservation Commission’s appointment of Lara Slifka as associate member
  • Vote to sign Dredge Agreement with Barnstable County for Allen and Saquatucket Harbors
  • Authorize Youth Counselor to sign contract with The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod for Summer Concert Series
  • Vote to approve application for Weekday Entertainment License for June 24 & 25, 2011 for Cape Cod Lavender Farm for wedding
  • Vote to approve appointments to Youth Services Committee:
  • Robin Titus for a term to expire June 30, 2012
  • Nadia Schuessler for a term to expire June 30, 2013
Mr. Ballantine moved approval of the Consent Agenda.  Mr. Hughes seconded the motion and recused himself on Item A1.  The motion carried by a unanimous vote.


  • Vote to appoint Registrar from list submitted by Republican Town Committee
Mr. Hughes moved to appoint Donald F. Howell as a Registrar.  Mr. Ballantine seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.  Mr. Hughes asked that a letter of thanks be sent to Dorothy Hemmings for her service as a Registrar.

  • Vote to award contract for Police and Fire Injured on Duty Medical Insurance to VFIS
Mr. McManus moved to vote to award a contract to VFIS for insurance to partially cover the Town’s obligation to pay medical costs incurred by Police and Fire personnel and EMT’s injured in the line of duty and approve a service agreement with Cook and Co. for the management of those claims.  Mr. Hughes seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

  • Vote to approve and sign mortgage for 28 Cedardale Road
Mr. McManus moved to approve the mortgage and sign the documents.  Mr. Ballantine seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

  • Selectmen’s Liquor License Regulations – Second Reading
The Board took no action on this item.

  • Facilities management – discussion
Chairman LaMantia suggested using the job description for the Facilities Maintenance position as the basis for an RFP or RFI to gather information on facilities management service.  He noted that Mr. Hughes has suggested that our Highways and Maintenance Director and Town Engineer talk to their counterparts in other Cape towns to see how they handle facilities management.  The Board agreed to move forward with this.

  • Elected officials compensation study – discussion
Chairman LaMantia reported that he had spoken to the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Mr. Patterson, who indicated that the Finance Committee is willing and able to examine both compensation and benefits for elected officials.  Chairman LaMantia referred to a charge he had drafted which he noted included the names of people who volunteered to participate in this study.  Mr. Hughes stressed the need to relate to the Finance Committee and put in the charge that we don’t want to add any cost to the Town and Chairman LaMantia agreed.  Chairman LaMantia further noted that Mr. Patterson expects to have the study completed by September.


Mr. Merriam delivered the following report to the Board:

Senate approves Municipal Health Insurance Reform
See attached MMA bulletin
Senate provides unions with voice, but not veto over changes to co-pays and deductibles. Up to 33% of first year savings are to be shared with employees, compared to the House’s version of 20% savings.

Community Center
The Community Center group met on May 23rd to discuss The Friends Letter of Intent, my draft response (see attached) and a Lower Level Business Plan (see attached). The Business Plan lacks specific information that would be developed through the conceptual design.  The Group wishes to proceed with a $15,000 Conceptual RFP for architectural services, using the Barbara Anne Foley’s mother bequest, which is specifically earmarked for a pool related expense.

Mark Zielinski explanation of solar power payments.

In the NStar cash out model (where NStar cashes out Net Metering credits) the first thing to do is forget about your normal electric bill. Put it aside. The Town has to pay that just as they normally would.

Let’s ignore time lags for the moment and use annual numbers. ACE will invoice CVEC for Harwich EAO, or $337,353. CVEC will immediately invoice Harwich for this same amount (the PPA Invoice amount). CVEC will also receive a Net Metering credit check from NStar in the amount of $670,941. CVEC will immediately send this amount to Harwich. Ignoring the cash flow lags, Harwich will have revenues of $670,941 and expenditures of $337,353, for a net benefit of $333,588. That’s why it makes sense to set up a Special Fund for this activity.

The normal NStar electric bill has to be appropriated and paid as if none of this PV stuff ever happened.


Allen Harbor Dredging update
Angelo, staff and I met with Roy Okoroski to discuss project status.
We are sending revised abutter notices for betterment assessment. We will give abutters until June 15th to return signed petition forms. We will submit to your Board a Coastal award of contract for testing on June 6th and an award of contract to Burnham Associates for June 20th.

Heating Oil
Barnstable County accepted fixed oil bids on May 25th and Peterson Oil was low bid at $3.2890. and OEP bid from Noonan at .05. We had until 1:30pm that date to accept, which I did. Most of our buildings are heated by natural gas.  

Shirin Everett and Bob Murray met at the Barnstable Registry of Deeds on Wednesday and Shirin recorded the deeds. Bob indicated that they would start clearing the lots on Thursday in order to meet the requirements of the current building code. Received check for $3750.
From Shirin

In preparation for the closing tomorrow, please note the following:

  • 109 Sisson Street: At the same time we close tomorrow, HECH needs to close with McShane to obtain title to the Sisson Road property.~ Please make sure that you have a deed from McShane;
  • Checks: We need payment of $3,750 plus taxes due for the balance of this FY and entire FY 2012.~ The tax amounts to $40.~ Please have a check ready in the amount of $3,790, made payable to the Town of Harwich;
  • Exhibit A: We need 2 copies of the approved plans and specs that are to be attached to the LDA as Exhibit A;
  • Signatories: The documents for HECH need to be signed by you, as President, and Tom Peterson, as Treasurer.~ I assume both of you will be at the Registry tomorrow to sign the documents; and
  • Recording Fees: Since the properties are recorded and registered land, I recommend you bring 2 checks to the Registry to pay the recording fees, should the Registry require separate checks.

Section 2.1:    Financing

        The Developer shall obtain a loan of funds sufficient to construct and complete the Project from The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank (the “Mortgagee”), secured by a mortgage on the Property to be recorded hereafter (the “Construction Loan Mortgage”), which Construction Loan Mortgage shall be expressly subject to this Agreement and the Regulatory Agreement.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Developer agrees that it shall not execute and deliver the Construction Loan Mortgage for recording until the Town has reviewed the terms of the loan agreement and Construction Loan Mortgage and approved of the same, such consent not to be withheld unreasonably if the terms of the loan are commercially reasonable and in an amount sufficient to construct and complete the Project.  The Developer shall provide the Town with the proposed loan agreement, mortgage and other financing documents at least fourteen (14) days prior to the loan closing, together with any other information that the Town may reasonably require to determine whether the loan is commercially reasonable and in an amount sufficient in the reasonable judgment of the Town to construct and complete the Project.

Permitting for Solar Farm provided to vendor
In response to your inquiry as to what local permitting may be required or anticipated regarding a proposed solar farm to be hosted at the Town’s Landfill I would submit:
  • Building Permit for work, expected to be under design professional’s control, see 780 CMR 116, note 110 mph Wind Zone.
  • Electrical Permit for work, Electrical Inspector indicated multiple inspections are to be expected.
Regarding the possibility of some form of a required Use permit and/or Site Plan Special Permit, following a review of the parcel history and as the building official I would offer the following good faith determination prior to an actual review of the building permit application.
  • The parcel in question in the IL zoning district is determined to have an existing municipal Use with a proposed solar farm or “accessory” municipal Use (see definitions, Accessory Use). I am of the opinion that a reasonable accessory municipal Use could be permitted by right.
  • Referencing MGL 40 A Section 3. Exemptions and Chapter 325-55 as amended; it does appear that a formal site plan review is not required for a proposed municipal accessory use to an existing municipal use at the landfill.
  • Following a review of the definition of site coverage it is possible to determine that the solar farm’s components do not constitute site coverage.
Finally I would reserve the right to review the specific proposal including all proposed appurtenant equipment prior to a definitive zoning determination.

Status of East Harwich cell tower repair
Currently the canister cover is being fabricated – it is a custom part.~ The expected completion date of the fabrication is 6/6/11 however we are asking them to complete as quickly as possible.~ Our contractor is scheduled to mobilize as soon as the part is ready so on the outside the 2nd week of June would be the installation date since the part should be ready 6/6 and then must ship to the contractor.~ With that, the repair is scheduled and at that time the flag will be installed.~ As well, I will have the flag lights checked and set appropriately.~ Unfortunately given the necessary part fabrication, the cover and flag will not be installed by Memorial Day but soon thereafter.

National Asset Manager
Tower Co.


  • Nomination and election of the Board members to the following positions:   

Mr. McManus nominated Mr. Ballantine to serve as Chair for the coming year.  Mr. Hughes seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Vice Chair

Mr. McManus nominated Ms. Cebula to serve as Vice Chair for the coming year.  Mr. Hughes seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Clerk of the Board

Mr. McManus nominated Peter Hughes to serve as Clerk of the Board.  Mr. Ballantine seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Interview and Appointments Committee (2 members)

Mr. Ballantine nominated Mr. LaMantia and Mr. McManus for the Interview and Appointments Committee.  Mr. Hughes seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.


Mr. Ballantine moved to adjourn at 7:56 p.m.  Mr. Hughes seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Steidel
Administrative Secretary

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