Osler ”Pete” Peterson
I started this blog to share the interesting and useful information that I saw while doing my job as a Medfield selectman. I thought that my fellow Medfield residents would also find that information interesting and useful as well. This blog is my effort to assist in creating a system to push the information out from the Town House to residents. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how it can be done better.
For information on my other job as an attorney (personal injury, civil litigation, estate planning and administration, and real estate), please feel free to contact me at 617-969-1501 or Osler.Peterson@OslerPeterson.com.
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Category Archives: Town Services
Interface, the mental health referral service brought to town by the combined efforts of the schools and police is now operational, and residents can get services.
The following is from the Superintendent’s blog –
Medfield Public Schools and Town of Medfield Collaborate to Fund Interface
We are pleased to announce a new referral service for all students and residents of Medfield. The Medfield Public Schools and the Town of Medfield have teamed up with William James College to provide a referral service that provides a wide range of valuable resources related to mental health and wellness for the benefit of children, adults and families, as well as educators and mental health professionals.
In addition to the resources on their website, the William James Interface Referral Service maintains a mental health and wellness referral helpline Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843 (toll free). This is a free, confidential referral service for individuals across the lifespan living in Medfield. Callers are matched with licensed mental health providers from their extensive database. Each referral meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller. More information about the service and terms of confidentiality can be found here on the new Interface- Medfield page.
None of prefer the chip seal treatment of our side streets, but given the cost differential, I have come to accept it as a cost effective solution. Please understand that residents are free to opt at the annual town meeting (ATM) to vote to pave streets with asphalt instead of using chip seal. All spending decision ultimately belong to us, the residents, at our ATM. –
Since I recently had a resident question me about the use of chip seal on his street and since I have historically heard the same questions, I asked our DPW Director, Maurice Goulet, if he could quantify the cost savings to share with residents.
Below is a comparison of Chip Sealing roadways vs. Pavement Overlay and/or Mill and Overlay as requested.
Consider a scenario of 1 mile of roadway that is 20 feet wide at current contractor prices:
5,280 feet long X 20 feet wide / 9 = 11,733 square yards
$24,639 – chip seal
$69,922 – pavement overlay
(pavement overlay does not include raising structures such as catch basins, manholes and gates, and reconstructing driveway aprons affected by raising pavement elevation, pavement elevation changes also creates new drainage issues)
Overlaying on a distressed roadway develops reflective cracking through the new surface within a few years affecting longevity of the surface. Milling (grinding) and overlay would then be considered as the preferred method.
$24,639 – chip seal
$91,628 – mill and overlay
Please let me know if you have any questions. Hope this is helpful.
Maurice G. Goulet
Director of Public Works
Department of Public Works
55 North Meadows Road
Medfield, MA 02052
(508) 359-8597 office
(508) 359-4050 fax
The Medfield Energy Committee was tenacious, working hard over many years to position Medfield to become a Green Community, by satisfying the five required criteria, most recently by crafting a five year plan for a further 20% reduction by the town government’s energy use – that was filed and accepted by DOER over the winter. The DOER invitation to the Green Community designation event appears below. The five year plan was a “further” reduction, because the Medfield Energy Committee already had affected over a 30% energy use reduction since MEC first started its work.
It turns out that saving the planet also helps to save the town money.
And, don’t forget that qualifying as a Green Community also gets the town a $148,000 DOER grant, as well as access to future ongoing competitive DOER grants. So doing the right thing also earns the town money.
Westwood used one of the DOER competitive grants ($250,000) to buy and convert all its streetlights to LED fixtures.
Our own streetlight purchase ($1) and LED conversion (in round numbers, about $100,000) is a warrant article at our upcoming town meeting. In general terms the town would spend about $100,000 to buy and convert to LED’s, get a now available, time limited $30,000 DOER grant to do so, and save about $30,000/year in future reduced electricity charges, for a pay back of the cost to convert in less than three years.
Today I got a new automatic notice from the town, listing changes made at the town’s website (a copy of the notice appears below) –
Great and easy way to stay abreast of updates. And the individual changes are hyperlinks that connect to the website, although he one I tried never opened.
Mike Sullivan penned his goals for the next year at the selectmen’s request a couple of weeks ago –
Medfield Town Administrator Goals 2015-2016
1. Schedule Town Boards and Committees to meet with Board of Selectmen on a regular basis to discuss opportunities, plans and obstacles in providing services to Town residents.
2. Investigating new website companies, working with Community Compact for transparent budgeting options
3. Creating opt in email communication system through the website
4. Maintain a running three month calendar of Town events and post it to the Town’s website.
1. Include funding in fy17 budget to prepare town-wide master plan and work with Planning Board and Town Planner to prepare.
2. Continue to work with Selectmen, Personnel Board and Town boards and commissions to plan, recruit and hire management staff. For fy16 plan for a transition in the Public Works Department.
3. Department heads, boards and committees will be asked to prepare a five-year operating and capital plan, as well as an estimate of budgetary requirements.
4. A draft Housing Production Plan was submitted to the Selectmen at the beginning of 2015. For fyl6, ask the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board and the Housing Authority to refine and adopt an Affordable Housing Plan based on this draft. Also, ask the State Hospital Re-use Committee to include provisions in its re-use plan for an affordable housing component addressing the Town’s
40B requirements and a plan to provide moderate income 55 and older housing and/or assisted living housing.
5. The Town has adopted four of the five components necessary to qualify for Green Community Act status. An article will be placed on the 2016 Annual Town Meeting Warrant to adopt the fifth component, the “stretch code”.
6. Ground has broken on the town’s first public solar project at the wastewater treatment plant. It is expected to be completed and on line by the spring of 2016. Following up on that project, begin the plan for installation of a solar array on the roof of the town garage and the public safety building.
7. Medfield is a progressive Tree City. In addition to the 350 trees the Public Works Department planted and maintained during the Town’s 3501 Anniversary celebration, the Town has been active planting trees along Main and North Streets. This year the DPW and the Tree Warden have planted 12 trees on
Green Street and seven trees in Vine Lake Cemetery and has been replacing existing trees as needed. Certain restrictions established by the Americans with Disabilities Act for accessibility and the Department of Transportation requirements for bike paths, have created problems in planting street
trees on older roads, with narrow widths, but whenever possible the tree department replaces, plants new trees and does whatever it can to encourage Tree City standards. In addition, the Planning Board requires tree planting in new subdivisions. This year the new public safety building will include substantial tree plantings along Dale Street and the Tree Department will
continue to evaluate trees at the Medfield State Hospital site.
8. The Town has worked cooperatively with the School Department to fund, facilitate and support quality education. The combined Information Technology Departments, the coordination of energy and facilities improvements, coordination of snow removal operations to keep school closings to a minimum, conversion of the accounting system to provide for better financial reporting are
testament to this. For this year we are working with the school department to achieve compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act reporting requirements and to avoid high fines for not achieving compliance. The facilities manager will be working with the Library, the Council on Aging and the Public Works Departments to improve the efficiency of operations and develop reliable maintenance procedures to reduce the need for costly capital expenditures and to reduce the costs of energy usage. Among items to be looked at are roof and portico repairs at the library, solar power at The CENTER at Medfield and the DPW garage.
Ill. Capital Projects
1. Continue to work with the State Hospital Redevelopment Committee and the MSH Building and Grounds committee
2. In addition to the weekly on-site construction meetings, monthly meetings are held at the Town Hall to update the full Permanent Planning and Building Committee on the progress of the new Public Safety Building. To date the project is on time and within budget. Financing was completed during the summer to take advantage of the low interest rates. Town departments will provide assistance as requested.
1. I held my annual financial program for the Warrant Committee in October and focused on fund accounting in order to give the Warrant Committee members an understanding of the Town’s broad financial picture. Also, scheduled an early budget meeting with the Selectmen and the Warrant Committee to get a head start on the fy17 budget process.
2. I will prepare a three year budget forecast. While cities and towns are very limited by state control of taxation, I will explore new opportunities to seek new revenues and will work to cut expenditures.
3. Police contracts are up for renewal next year and we expect they will be completed on time. Fire contracts are several years past due for renewals. We thought we had reached agreement with the negotiating team, but the membership rejected the proposed settlement. We will try to get the fire union back to the bargaining table and finish negotiations, but the fire union has shown little interest in doing so.
4. We will prepare an analysis of overtime expenditures, if requested by the Board of Selectmen.
5. Will submit an article for funding of a 20-year Capital Budget for the 2016 Annual Town Meeting Warrant.
1. Replace the Main Street/Route 109 railroad crossing. Construct the Ed Doherty Memorial at Meeting House Pond. Complete construction of Straw Hat Park. Work with developers of downtown projects (Macready, Borrelli, Larkin family and the owners of the North Meadows Road strip mall) to complete their projects, along with landscaping improvements, parking and other amenities. Assist MedfieldTV with their move to the downtown and renovation of its new quarters.
2. Work with Police Chief and Town Planner on a MAPC sponsored 109 traffic study. Work with developer of old Ord’s Block to add 12 public parking spaces on Town owned land off Janes Avenue. Get the North Street reconstruction project moving.
3. Work with Town Planner and Economic Development Committee on the Downtown Summit and work to implement its recommendations.
4. Complete Straw Hat Park during the summer of 2016.
5. Set up meeting with Planning Board, Board of Selectmen, Historical Commission and Town Counsel to explore development of a Design Review bylaw. Review past Selectmen’s votes on sidewalk types/locations and work with DPW, Police Department and School Department and residents to develop a priority list for new sidewalk construction
Ways towns save money
Natick has apparently saved almost $200,000 a year on its trash over the last 12 years – $3.4m in 12 years – using the one system that the state DEP says is the best way to save money on our trash and to also recycle the most. There are ways for towns to save some money, it is just that no one likes them – especially this one. See article here
The Community Preservation Act is another way to save money, because the state pays you matching money on what you pay in – we voted the CPA down several years ago, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in state money as a result in the intervening time.