November 18 Select Board Meeting: COVID-19, tax reclassification and broadband update
The meeting opened up with Public Comments and two callers called in. One expressed support for the Milton Art Center and concerns regarding the potential site for the new Fire Department building. Another caller expressed concerns regarding the 40b development proposals.
Mr. Dennehy spoke during this time, about an uptick in Covid19 cases in Milton. In addition to mandatory mask zones, signs are up around Town as well as the enforcement of social distancing.
Governor Baker is encouraging people to be careful and to minimize gatherings for Thanksgiving. A flyer will be posted on the Town’s website regarding the latest guidance from the CDC (Milton MA | (townofmilton.org))
Tax Reclassification FY2021
The Chairman of the Board of Assessors and The Chief Appraiser presented and discussed the Facts and Figures Fiscal Year 2021 Executive Summary. They mentioned that the real estate market does not seem to be affected by Covid19.
Finance Committee Update
The FY2022 budget is in development and also in a transition process.
Police Chief King joined the meeting to discuss the police budget. He mentioned that there are some vacancies at the patrol officer level that they are not filling at this time due to police academy changes and Covid19. There is no additional staff or budget appropriation at this time. The department is also looking into the police accreditation process.
Broadband Committee Update
Discussion with the Broadband Committee focused on the Comcast contract. The main goal is to seek to obtain a next generation I-net for the Town. The committee proposed adding a few additional members to the committee. The school system being fully remote opens up the possibility of a strain on the capacity of daily usage. It was mentioned that FIOS is coming soon to Milton, which will provide more options and opportunities to residents ultimately lowering monthly costs. The Select Board is happy to work with the committee to find more appointees. The Select Board is requesting an updated scope. The I-net issue is a critical issue for the Town.
Request to purchase a Town owned parcel abutting 145 and 167 Lyman Rd
This discussion focused on future use of the land leased to the golf course for 50 years. The terms of this lease state allowing access to pedestrians and horseback riders. The Select Board agrees that any sale needs to take into consideration the placement of a 10 foot wide easement for people to still be able to access the public recreation areas.
2021 Senior Tax Work Off Program
Those interested in the 2021 Senior Tax Work Off Program should contact Christine Stanton at the Council On Aging if interested in signing up. They are in need of people to sign up (25 slots total) (Milton Council On Aging)
Additional Items of Discussion
- The Select Board does not motion to approve the timeline for the Warrant at this time as they feel this issue deserves more time.
- Motion to open the Warrant for Feb 1, 2021 Special Town Meeting.
- The Town Accountant position is an open position that needs to be filled, it is going to become a Town Accountant/Finance Director role.
- Approval of a nomination for the Town Administrator to join the MBTA Advisory Board. The Select Board motions in favor of this nomination.
- Reappointments to the Shade Tree Advisory Committee-1 year terms, the Select Board motions in favor of
- Reappointment of the Affordable Housing Trust-The Select Board motions in favor of
- Reappointment to the Youth Task Force-The Select Board motions in favor of
- The Select Board has approved the comment letter regarding the FAA 4L assessment.
- 40b project eligibility letters for the two previously discussed locations are due Dec 9. The Select Board wants to add more detail to some of the more general comments. Hearings will start to be scheduled in December.
- Approval of a Town policy regarding groups that want to raise money for the Town-The State Ethics Commission states that it is fine for the Town to post the links. The Select Board motions in favor of this policy.
- The Select Board motions to accept a $10,000 payment in lieu of taxes from the Mary M.B. Wakefield Estates, which is an unsolicited pilot payment.
Happy Thanksgiving, best wishes to you are your families!
The next Select Board Meeting will be held on December 2, 2020.