October 11, 2011
Meeting Minutes | 2011
Community Preservation Committee
WPA Building, Scituate, MA
Chairman John Bulman, Mrs. Lisa Fenton, Mr. Harvey Gates, Mr. George Trafton, Mr. Bill Limbacher, Mr. Paul Scott, Mr. Frank Snow, Mr. Rich Lane
Mr. John Hallin, Ms. Cynde Robbins, Mr. Paul Sharry, Mr. Chris Roberts, Mr. Dave Smith, Ms. Jennifer McCormack-Vitelli
I. CALL TO ORDER - 7:05 p.m.
MOTION to Accept the Agenda by Mrs. Fenton, SECONDED by Mr. Limbacher, and UNANIMOUSLY VOTED 5-0 (Bulman, Fenton, Limbacher, Trafton, and Gates) to accept the agenda as submitted.
Mr. Snow, Mr. Lane, and Mr. Scott arrived after acceptance of agenda.
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
1. May 16, 2011 Meeting
2. June 13, 2011 Meeting
3. September 12, 2011 Meeting
4. September 16, 2011 Meeting
MOTION to accept the Minutes of all four meetings listed above by Mr. Limbacher, SECONDED by Mr. Scott, DISCUSSION followed.
On the Motion for the May 16, 2011 Minutes. There being no discussion it was VOTED 6 - 0, 2 abstained as not being present at meeting to accept the MINUTES for May 16, 2011, as submitted. Mrs. Fenton and Mr. Scott abstaining.
On the motion for the June 13, 2011 Minutes. There being no discussion it was VOTED 6-0 to accept the MINUTES for June 13, 2011, as submitted. Mrs. Fenton and Mr. Trafton abstaining.
On the Motion for the September 12, 2011 Minutes. Discussion: Mr. Scott asked about thank you letters to Scott Roberts, Joe Wood and Karen Crowell. Mr. Bulman stated that he would follow up with the Selectmen and send his own to Karen. Mr. Bulman asked Lisa Potts to follow up. Mr. Scott also asked about David Ball putting out bids for the Lighthouse work. There being no further discussion, it was VOTED 7-0 to accept the MINUTES for September 12, 2011, as submitted. Mr. Lane abstaining as he was not present at the original meeting.
On the Motion for the September 16, 2011 Minutes. Discussion: Mr. Scott discussed his name being associated with Hatherly Field project. Mr. Scott stated that Mr. Bulman brought up the Hatherly project and his name should be listed in place of Mr. Scott in the minutes. Mr. Bulman also reminded the Board that they need to have corrections to the minutes to Lisa Potts prior to the meeting. VOTED 7-0 to accept the MINUTES for September 16, 2011, as submitted. Mr. Lane abstaining as he was not present at the original meeting.
Mr. Scott gave Lisa Potts dates for minutes that remain to be approved.
IV. NEW BUSINESS
Applications for Eligibility: Mr. Bulman stated that there were no applications on the agenda, but that an Application for Eligibility for a sidewalk on Mordecai Lincoln was received at Town Hall but not received by CPC in time to be posted on agenda, so no vote could take place tonight. The Board will not be voting on the application tonight, and will have to wait until next meeting. There was discussion that as described the Mordecai Lincoln Road Sidewalk Restoration would not be eligible for CPA Funding as a sidewalk is normal town infrastructure and does not fit within any CPA category. The Board will vote next month.
V. OLD BUSINESS
Recreation Update on Softball Field: Mr. Paul Sharry, Mrs. Jennifer Vitelli, Mr. Dave Smith, and Mr. Chris Roberts were in attendance. Mr. Roberts spoke to the Board about an update on the Softball Field project, which is coming up on a three-year deadline since project approval. Mr. Roberts discussed how the Softball Field project and Playground project are potentially becoming one project. Part of the discussion with the Town Administrator was presented to the CPC Board and Mr. Roberts asked if it was acceptable to the Board to combine both projects. Mr. Roberts stated that they may need more funds for engineering. Mr. Bulman stated that they remained 2 separate projects, whether or not they were actually constructed in proximity and shared some common elements and reminded Mr. Roberts that if the playground moved to another piece of property previously in recreational use, that it would not qualify for CPA funding. Mr. Bulman is concerned about applicants requesting more CPC funds for engineering costs due to the DPW not being able to manage additional projects and mentioned that CPC may require applicants to get commitments from DPW to assist in projects as a part of initial application. The Recreation Commission wanted to know if they moved the roads to / from the playground and softball field if that would also qualify for use of CPC funds. Mr. Scott stated that the project was approved already. Mr. Bulman stated that there may be an issue with using CPA funding to replace a road, and that CPC would need to see more formal submittal to make any such determination. Mr. Scott gave mention to a meeting where closing the road in question where the buses now park by the Fire Station would cause major traffic concerns. Mrs. Fenton asked who was discussing the traffic concerns and Mr. Roberts assured her they were working with the Traffic Officer in Town. Jennifer Vitelli stated that the original budget did not include engineering because they assumed DPW would assist in the project. Mr. Sharry spoke about the two different projects and the engineering costs. He spoke of making the projects more of a “complex” area. Mr. Sharry stated that if we discuss and talk about the project as a “complex” than the engineering costs are completely different. Mr. Scott stated that this is part of design and permitting. Mr. Bulman stated that the Recreation Commission, needs to show that there is enough money in the budget to complete the project as stated in the approval for the softball field, before CPA dollars are expended. Mr. Lane stated that this is being predicated on relocating the originally presented package with the playground behind Town Hall, the softball field where the existing playground is. Mr. Lane asked why that needed to change? Mr. Roberts said that through conversations with the DPW and the Town Administrator, the idea of closing the road and making the area a complex, was brought up by the Town. Traffic Rules and Regulations also came up. Mr. Roberts just wanted to be sure that CPC understood where the thought process was going. Mr. Bulman asked that the Recreation Commission come to the CPC with a request to extend the time for expiration of funding on the Softball Field project as it approaches the three-year mark, which will otherwise automatically expire. Eric Richmond from the Recreation Commission stated that Al Bangert made a few good points on engineering. Mr. Richmond is going to put together an engineering design of the complex and proposal as best as he can so that the recreation Commission can then just approach a project engineer for a stamp of approval. This approach and using his engineering’s services free of charge will save the Commission money for doing this process externally. Mr. Bulman stated he understood how this contribution of his time would help so that any issues that would bring to Town Meeting would just be additional funding for project costs. Mr. Roberts asked when the process needed to be done for the extension. Mr. Bulman stated that no one has ever requested such an extension before, and requested that the Recreation Commission send in a request to extend the funding approval for the softball field project to be placed on the agenda at the next meeting and the Board will vote on the request. Mr. Sharry asked if they get to the point where they needed more funds when do they submit, since they may not know the exact amount until after the application deadline. Mr. Bulman suggested that the recreation commission might want to submit an application for funding prior to the application deadline with an estimated budget that could be revised prior to the hearing date on the request, which could occur as late as late December 2011. Mr. Bulman suggested to Mr. Sharry that the recreation commission should consider submitting by the deadline which is November 1, 2011. Mrs. Fenton asked that they put the beginning budget, what has been spent and what is needed at this point.
Crosbie Property Status: Mr. Bulman sent an RFP to Town Hall for approval on both Crosbie and Hubble for boundary survey. Mr. Bulman asked that the respondents submit a price for Crosbie, a price for Hubble, and a price for both. The idea being that there may be a surveyor with information that may make them cheaper on one property, but not both, or that the pricing for both projects would be discounted, either way providing alternates for the CPC to get the cheapest price on each property. Mr. Snow stated he has been trying to get an agent out to the property to flag the area for wetlands on Crosbie. Mr. Snow asked if it made sense to be sure that we also file an NOI with the conservation commission for an access crossing for the Crosbie property. Mr. Scott stated that he heard that the owner did not want to be the permit applicant. Ms. Robbins stated that she had not heard that and did not believe it to be the case. Mr. Bulman parented the form of RFP that he had previously sent to the Town Administrator and Mr. Bangert for approval. Mr. Scott asked if he could review it and add anything that was needed. Mr. Bulman provided Mr. Scott with a copy of the RFP. Mr. Bulman stated that he is looking to issue the RFP this week so he asked that Mr. Scott get it back to him by Thursday, October 13, 2011. Ms. Robbins asked about whether or not the RFP included delineating wetlands on the Crosbie property. Mr. Bulman stated that Mr. Snow will flag the property and the surveyor will be asked to pick up the flags on the survey plans. Ms. Robbins asked about actual drawings. Mr. Bulman asked that Mr. Scott get the proposal to Lisa so that he can have it back quickly. Mr. Bulman stated that the Crosbie P&S has a December 1, 2011 closing date. Ms Robbins asked how long of a process it would be to close on the property.
CPC Signage: Mr. Bulman wanted to know where we stood on all of the CPC signage for the non-historical projects, since the Historical Society had taken care of CPA signage on historical projects. Mr. Limbacher agrees to follow up and get the status of the signs with Paul Kukstis. Mr. Bulman stated that it needed to be a composite material as previously presented for low maintenance and longevity. Mr. Scott asked who had the original design for the signs. Mr. Limbacher will verify the sign with Mr. Bulman and review the cost.
Mr. Scott presented the group with a list of properties acquired by the Town with CPC funds and CPC historical projects and inquired about the status of conservation restrictions and historical restrictions. Mr. Bulman stated that the list is already done in a spreadsheet. Mr. Bulman stated that he had repeatedly requested that Town Counsel complete both the property and Historical CR’s and restrictions and that he would have to go to the Selectmen if the CR’s are not completed as requested.
VI. GENERAL BUSINESS
Assign Members for Review of on-going projects: Mrs. Fenton took notes as to which board member would take care of which project. Lisa Potts will type up a listing for all members to reference.
Affordable Housing Trust: John Hallin from the Affordable Housing Trust came to the meeting to update the CPC on the current AHT status and properties. Mr. Hallin informed the CPC that the AHT owns two single-family homes; 18 Carrie Litchfield and 11 Nelson Road, which are currently vacant. Members commented that the homes had been purchased some time ago and still have not been converted to affordable units. Hallin stated that the AHT is has hired an independent consultant as a lottery agent and is planning on putting them into the lottery for the affordable housing program with a deed restriction on them. The lottery plan for the state helps to advertise the properties and regulates the state requirements. Mr. Hallin informed the group that the State of Massachusetts will do basic inspections prior to the lottery to be sure that they qualify for the program. Mr. Bulman asked why the local Town Building Inspector does not take care of this. Mr. Hallin stated it was a basic inspection to make sure that the property qualifies.
Mr. Hallin also discussed plans that were drawn up for an additional affordable single-family unit on Stockbridge Road as well as a duplex also on Stockbridge Road. The single family would hopefully go out to bid as a Habitat for Humanity Home, with the reexamining duplex being an AHT affordable housing project. Mr. Hallin stated that all permits have been obtained; and that engineering and plans have been done. The AHT hopes that he lottery will also include these two homes. The lottery results and list of qualified buyers chosen is valid for six months after the lottery. Mr. Hallin is hoping that the 2 Stockbridge Road units that AHT will build will fall under this 6-month time frame so that an additional lottery will not be necessary. Mrs. Fenton questioned whether or not Habitat for Humanity has adequate funds for the single unit of housing proposed for their program. Mrs. Fenton asked what happens if HH “opts out” of purchase if the funds are not available to them for the purchase of the one family on Stockbridge. Mr. Hallin said that they tend to try and keep the costs down as low as possible so that it falls within the parameters of the program. Mr. Bulman asked what Mr. Hallin expects the AHT to net out as a cost per unit based on what AHT purchased the properties for and what AHT expects to sell them for. Mr. Hallin did not have a definitive answer and stated that it depends on who purchases the properties. Different size families have different needs and receive different funding. Mr. Hallin said that it is too soon to tell. Mr. Hallin discussed unknown factors to AHT, such as utility connections and the cost for installing and connecting sewer lines. Mr. Bulman asked how much AHT paid for the two properties that are currently owned at 18 Carrie Litchfield and at 11 Nelson Road. Mr. Hallin responded with a purchase price between $267,000.00 - $270,000.00 each. Mr. Bulman also asked if they need to have renovations done and said he was concerned with large renovation and not minor restoration. Mr. Hallin stated a few hundred dollars for nominal repairs such as a slider panel. For both properties repairs may total just under $3,000.00. Mr. Trafton stated that the application for the lottery was mailed in over 3 weeks ago. Mr. Bulman asked for the consultant’s name that is working with the Lottery. Mr. Hallin was unsure of the company name.
Mr. Scott asked if the AHT was looking for money this year from the CPC. Mr. Bulman stated that the $125,000.000 that was voted at the 2011 ATM was originally voted and transferred to AHT specifically to allow the AHT to deal with a Wheeler Park issue, which CPC subsequently found that the renovation was not allowed by a DOR letter ruling regarding a similar boiler issue. Mr. Hallin discussed the question of additional funding being requested by AHT and indicated he expected the AHT would apply for or request additional funding from CPC in FY 2012.
Mr. Bulman asked about what was happening with Kent Street. Mr. Hallin deferred to the units at hand and put the Kent Street project off in the future. AHT was not actively working on the Kent Street property. Mr. Trafton discussed the housing authority’s plan to do a project consisting of 3 units with eight separate bedrooms, four for men, four for women, for disabled people that would qualify as 24 units of affordable housing. The members discussed the need for this type of housing versus the need for affordable senior housing, given that the Housing Authority informed the CPC of a significant demand for senior affordable housing in the past. Mr. Trafton stated that there was no such demand and demand and further stated that the housing for the disabled was preferable because there was federal funding available to develop this kind of housing. Mr. Bulman stated he didn’t understand what the federal assistance is for when half of the funds can come from CPC. Mr. Lane spoke to Mr. Hallin. Mr. Bulman addressed Mr. Trafton and asked about the demand for elderly affordable units like Wheeler Park and Lincoln Park by residents of Scituate waiting for housing. Mr. Trafton stated that now, the AHT is looking out of town for residents due to lack of demand from current Scituate residents. Mr. Trafton said that there are 6 units coming available at Wheeler Park and it is becoming difficult to fill them. Mr. Trafton stated that it might make sense that AHT enter into some sort of “partnership” with the Housing Authority.
Mr. Scott mentioned that there was still no representative from the Housing Authority on CPC and there had not been one since Mr. Trafton resigned over a year ago. Mr. Bulman agreed and stated that there was no member this year and that last year’s member, appointed by the Town Selectmen, never came to the CPC meetings.
Mr. Lane apologized to the Board for the recent outcome of a meeting where he lost a bid on a piece of town owned property for habitat for humanity. Mr. Scott stated that there was no reason for an apology. Mr. Lane asked Mr. Hallin how long AHT had been receiving funds. Mr. Bulman stated it was three years’ worth of CPC funding transferred to the AHT to date. Mr. Lane asked Mr. Hallin if the members of the AHT understand what the charge of the board actually is. Mr. Lane wanted Mr. Hallin to assure the CPC Board that the AHT and their members are moving in the right direction. Mr. Hallin stated that he is confident that the AHT is moving forward and using funds appropriately. Mr. Bulman stated that he didn’t understand, nor did he approve of the AHT purchasing two properties without having the lottery already set up. He stated that it seems to be time and resources wasted with these houses sitting empty and unused due to a lack of planning. He also stated that he would vote against any more CPC funds being allocated to AHT based on the current status and lack of progress. Mr. Hallin was in agreement that the process should operate differently. Mr. Trafton mentioned again that there is not a demand for the elderly housing among our own residents so people from out of state are coming here to live in Scituate. Mr. Scott stated again that we need to have a Housing Authority representative on the CPC board. Mr. Bulman said that there the Housing Author direct told CPC just a few years before that there was a demand for 160 affordable elderly housing units. Mr. Scott wants to hear from the Housing Authority. Mr. Trafton said that the person elected to the Housing Authority for the CPC has not been sworn in. As far as Mr. Bulman, knows, he has not been informed that anyone one from the Housing Authority is approved by the Board of Selectmen as the appointee to the CPC.
Mr. Hallin stated that the Driftway property (Kent Street), being a bigger project, needs to be done when all else is completed and cleaned up. Mr. Snow asked who the consultant is for AHT. Mr. Hallin stated that the consultant works as a third party for the lottery process. Mr. Bulman explained the requirement that the consultant conducting the lottery process for affordable units being a third party, in order to insure that there is no actual or even appearance of impropriety in providing access to the affordable units.
With respect to the development of a project ion the Kent Street site, Mr. Snow stated that the AHT funds are there and he believes available to hire an outside consultant to provide major assistance to the AHT to deal with the development process. He can understand that it may be too much to handle on a volunteer basis, and Snow said that Conservation Commission pays an agent for similar assistance in its projects. Mr. Bulman stated that this type of development was why he believed we created the Housing Authority. Mr. Trafton stated that there is a salaried person that works for Marshfield’s Housing Trust that does all the leg work and comes back to the Town with suggestions. Mr. Snow agreed that the day-to-day work couldn’t be done by a volunteer. Mr. Bulman thought hiring someone for Kent Street would be a valid expense. Mr. Hallin said that the discussion did come up. He asked that he come back in December or January to update the CPC Board on where the Affordable Housing Trust stands at that point. The Board thanked Mr. Hallin and said they would look forward to his return with an update, and that he could expect questions about the Kent Street property to arise again.
Ms. Robbins discussed the records that CPC wanted to restore. Mr. Bulman and Ms. Robbins discussed what needed to be done to preserve the records. Mr. Bulman asked Ms. Robbins to send him an email to set up a time to discuss.
At 8:42 pm there was a MOTION by Mr. Limbacher to adjourn, SECONDED my Mr. Trafton. There being no further discussion, it was UNANIMOUSLY VOTED 7-0 (Mr. Gates had left earlier) to adjourn.
Respectfully submitted by Lisa J. Potts