Category Archives: Town Services

Storm shut downs

Mike Sullivan just called to update me on town plans in light of the storm and their conference call this morning with MEMA, and reports the following:

  • MEMA counseled that the strong winds are likely to be the major problem, as wind gusts are predicted to get reach 70 MPH, and with light fluffy snow there will be lots of drifting
  • NSTAR counsels that power outages should be reported to them, not the town, as calls to NSTAR are logged by its computer systems and algorithms to make its lists of what to fix first
  • Council on Aging, Medfield Park & Recreation Commission, and the Medfield Memorial Library have already announced that they will be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday
  • the schools will be letting people know their decision soon
  • we agreed to cancel the Board of Selectmen meeting for tomorrow evening

Please hunker down for the storm and keep safe.

Planning Board opening too

Contact Information:

Sarah Raposa, Town Planner

508-906-3027 / sraposa@medield.net

 

Medfield Planning Board Vacancy

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Town of Medfield Planning Board is seeking to fill a vacant Associate Member position. Anyone who may be interested should submit a letter of interest to Evelyn Clarke at eclarke@medfield.net in the Board of Selectmen’s office by March 1, 2015. For questions regarding the Planning Board or this specific position please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner at sraposa@medfield.net.

 

The Planning Board is an elected town board of five members, each with a five year term. The purpose of the Planning Board is to guide the development of the Town in the best interests of all its residents. The Board has very specific responsibilities and authorities as granted by Massachusetts General Laws and the Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

 

Any requests for Zoning By-Law changes or amendments are also reviewed by the Board. Public hearings are held to allow input from any abutters or other interested citizens. The Board is required to provide a recommendation on any Zoning By-Law amendment at Town Meeting, where a two-thirds vote is required to approve the change.

 

The Planning Board is responsible for the review and approval of all subdivisions (the division of a tract of land into two or more lots) through a comprehensive process involving review by relevant regulatory agencies, public hearings, covenants with developers, performance bonding, and ongoing compliance monitoring.

 

Under “Site Plan Approval”, in the Zoning By-Laws, the Board also has the responsibility to assure that prior to any new construction or significant changes to an existing structure, other than single family dwellings, such factors as community needs, abutters’ concerns, visual amenities, safety issues, and environmental and historic features on the site and in adjacent areas are considered.

 

The Planning Board serves as a resource to assist interested individuals with the process of proposing plans or projects under the Zoning By-Laws. Communications are maintained on an ongoing basis with related Town agencies including the Zoning Board of Appeals and other planning groups within the Town such as the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee.

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ZBA position open

This today from town planner, Sarah Raposa.  I spent 10 years on the ZBA before becoming a selectman, and I found it a wonderful and rewarding way to use my legal background to volunteer for our town government.  Other backgrounds can work equally well. –


Contact Information:

Sarah Raposa, Town Planner

508-906-3027

sraposa@medield.net

 

Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals Vacancy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Town of Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is seeking to fill a vacant Associate Member position.  Anyone who may be interested should submit a letter of interest to Evelyn Clarke at eclarke@medfield.net in the Board of Selectmen’s office by March 1, 2015.   For questions regarding the ZBA or this specific position please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner at sraposa@medfield.net.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is an appointed board and acts as a quasi-judicial body deciding whether or not to vary from the Zoning By-Laws. The Zoning Board is empowered to act on appeals, special permits, variances, modifications and comprehensive permits, in accordance with applicable sections of Massachusetts General Laws and the Town of Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

Virtually all matters which come before the Board are initiated by residents or businesses seeking relief from the Zoning By-Law. Each application is processed in accordance with the legal requirements and timetables established under the Massachusetts Zoning Act, the ZBA Rules and Regulations and the Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

The Zoning Board of Appeals holds public hearings on applications for zoning variances, special permits and decides appeals of administrative decisions of the Building Commissioner. Hearings are generally held on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm in the Chenery Room in Town Hall, 459 Main Street.

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Town House phone working

The Town House phones were working again, as of about an hour ago, per an email from Kris.

Power outage damage at Town House

This email from Kristine Trierweiler this morning (we judged debates at the Medfield High School) –


Good morning,

As we found out during the MSH debates today, the power went out this AM due to a blown transformer at South and Oak. NSTAR is on the scene have isolated the power outage to directly around the transformer. Town Hall was without power for about an hour, the emergency generator failed to kick in, the generator is now up and running and we have full power restored at the street.

Unfortunately due to the abrupt power outage it has disabled the phone system, the phone company is on the way out now but I understand the server was “fried” as well as the battery backup so it could be a few days without phones. I will post on the website, twitter etc, direct emails to departments for people who need to reach us at the town hall.

I will keep you posted…via email!

 

Kristine Trierweiler

Assistant Town Administrator

Town of Medfield

459 Main Street

Medfield, MA 02052

508 906 3011 (p)

508 359 6182 (f)

Treasurer/Collector’s status report

At selectmen meeting on Tuesday Georgia Colivas, the Treasurer Collector, reported on the status of the work of her to offices to the town as follows (MVE is for “motor vehicle excise”) –


Selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Update of current items on the to do list for the Treasurer’s office:

*The town will be selling general obligation bonds amounting to $7.2 M on Wednesday, October 1st. This borrowing includes 2 authorized articles: first one is the $5,840,000 MSH Water Tower, and the $1,360,000 Red Gate Farm Land Acquisition.   As you may recall, the Red Gate Farm was previously authorized in June of 2014 with a BAN, a short term borrowing, that matures on October 17th. Once these borrowings are completed, the town will have no authorized and unissued debt…well until the next town meeting. Currently, as of the beginning of this FY, the town’s outstanding debt is approximately $46.1M with $37.8 M in principal and $8.3M in interest. The Town’s current bond rating by Moody’s is an AA1, and town will be subject to another rating call on September 23rd for the current borrowing.

*The month of September in the treasurer’s office will bring back the large biweekly payrolls now that school is back in session, and rather large weekly vendor warrants for all town and school departments. Millions of dollars of funds are disbursed each month- for example, in June of 2014, the last month of the FY, nearly $8.2M was expended. The beginning of each month to a municipal treasurer means a monthly cash reconciliation for all funds, town and school with bank statements including all revenue collected and expenditures paid. With school back in session, school revenues will make their way into the treasurer’s office- in fact, ALL types of revenue from all town and school departments must be deposited and accounted for by the treasurer. Currently, taxpayers may use the town’s online payment option to process RE tax bills, water bills and MVE bills. I am currently working with the new school business manager to implement many of the school user fees to the online payment system as well. We collect athletic fees, tuition, adult education fees, rents, all departmental revenues, including all revenues associated with student activity accounts.

*The management team will also begin preparing for the workers compensation audit, the town’s fy 2014 audit which will continue in Nov/Dec., and we will begin working to set the tax rate for fy 2015.   Our current tax rate is $16.12. In the winter of 2015, we plan on updating the OPEB actuarial valuation, and also begin to assess how to structure the OPEB liability in a protected trust fund as approved at the April town meeting.

*In late October, I plan to advertise any outstanding parcels whose real estate taxes are not current and are not on an approved payment plan with the town. The Treasurer currently has 4 parcels in tax title, and 3 parcels in the foreclosure process, 2 of which should be settled by the end of the calendar year. In addition, the treasurer has 10 parcels in tax deferral status whereby the owners defer their RE taxes until they sell the property or until the passing of the owner.

*October will also bring water/sewer bills to all users’ mailboxes. These bills cover the usage period of April 1, 2014 to October 1, 2014 – or as we have named them, the summer usage bills. But before those bills are processed, water and sewer liens are imposed on past due balances which are added to the 3rd quarter real estate tax bills for prompt and assured collection.

*And on an ongoing basis, I handle all unemployment issues, health insurance for retirees, act as the liaison to the NCRS, keep up to date w/ record retention, balance trust funds on a quarterly basis, update investment policies based upon market conditions and advice from auditors, work closely with DOR and Division of Local Services, monitor appropriation expenditures and revenue, and most importantly work with the public.

 

Now on to the second hat that I wear, the Tax Collector:

*as of 6.30.2014, for the 2014 tax levy, 99.3% of all real estate tax receivables have been collected. This %age is a reflection of the town’s solid tax base and the commitment of it’s’ taxpayers to the town.   In FY2014 the tax collector’s office prepared over 300 MLC’s which gives you an idea of the number of sales/refinances that occurred in town.

*the next MVE commitment will be released in early October by MASSDOT (formerly known as the Registry of MV), and the largest MVE commitment will be released to the town in February. In FY14, MVE revenue was approx. $1.9M

*In a few weeks, 2nd quarter preliminary RE tax bills will be processed and mailed. These bills are due on or before November 3rd. We issue approx. 4600 RE tax bills and around 80 personal property bills each fiscal year.   In addition, water and sewer bills, which are collected by the Tax Collectors’ office, will be issued by the middle of October and due by the end of November

*Most importantly, the lines of communication between the Treasurer /Collectors office and ALL TOWN AND SCHOOL departments are healthy and clear- we work extremely well together, we respect one another, and this is all evident in our year-end financial statement s, bond ratings, and collection rates. It is my pleasure to work with such a dedicated team of professionals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ed Hinkley retired

Edward Hinkley was born, raised, and educated in Medfield, and then Ed worked for the DPW, for almost fifty years when he retired last week from his positions as foreman in the Water Department and tree warden.  The DPW held a retirement party for Ed a week ago, at which he collected numerous citations, and a neat looking lamp made out of a water valve with a hard hat for a shade.

I met Ed when as a new selectman he lead the then Board of Selectmen to perambulate the bounds of the town, which turned out to involve visiting the granite markers that delineate the actual town boundaries.  As we left the Town House, Ed first taught me the short cut from the town hall parking lot out to Rte 109, and then amazed me when he lead us to a myriad of granite markers, most standing the the middle of woods.  My immediate reaction at the time was that those markers were so remotely sited that Ed was probably the only person who knew where all those markers were actually located.  At Ed’s retirement party, Selectman DeSorgher mentioned that while walking the Medfield State Hospital grounds with Ed, Ed had told someone to find the water valve they were seeking behind some brush, and sure enough that is where it was.

Ed has a detailed and encyclopedic knowledge of the infrastructure details of the Town of Medfield, and the town will be poorer for his departure.

Town of Medfield owes Ed Hinkley a huge thank you for fifty years of service.  We wish him well on his visit to Yellowstone.