Jan. 27 Select Board Update: Milton moves out of high-risk covid category, vaccination begins

Select Board Update
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Jan. 27 Select Board Update: Milton moves out of high-risk covid category, vaccination begins

Covid-19 update

Milton has moved out of the high-risk category for the first time in a month. Two more free Covid-19 testing sites will be available Feb. 7 and Feb. 21, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the DPW Yard. Health Director, Caroline Kinsella, joined the meeting for this discussion. She noted that positive cases are declining, which is positive news.

To date, 110 doses of the vaccination have been administered to first responders and as of Feb. 1 Milton residents who are 75 years of age and older are in the next phase, phase 2, but with a very limited supply available. There is a waitlist for residents 75 years of age and older, in which 600 people have signed up for. Due to this high volume of residents, she is pausing the waitlist at 600 for now. She is hoping to have the next round of vaccines for distribution within the next 4-6 weeks. To find out more information, please visit mass.gov and/or Health Department | Milton MA (townofmilton.org).

Budget committee update

The Budget Committee is hoping to be able to present their report next week.

Senator Timilty, Representative Fluker Oakley, and Representative Driscoll joined the meeting at this time. Each spoke briefly about what they are working on and the current state of affairs of Massachusetts. They each reiterated their commitment to assisting Milton and its’ residents with their issues, concerns and budgetary needs.

Finance committee FY2022 budget

The Finance Committee is working on getting to a balanced budget. They were excited to announce the approval for an Assistant Health Director position, as with the increase in vaccination needs, the Health Department could use some more assistance. Cook and Company Insurance has identified some savings that will fall to free cash, with more details to come on that. In terms of revenue, growth is not where it was last year, but government aid helps.

Stormwater fee advisory committee update

The committee recommends the credit system, as previously presented for approval. The system is designed to be simplistic, easy to understand and to implement. The committee believes that the credit system will have a positive impact on the efforts of a community to mitigate stormwater issues. The Select Board suggests seeking public input and to raise resident engagement.

Fire station building committee update

The committee provided a presentation regarding the budget update for the 3 proposed projects. They have secured the CPA funding and have the cash flow they need for the spring 2022-fall 2026 timeline.

Winter plaza update

Tim Czerwienski, the Director of Planning and Community Development, is withdrawing the request to apply for this grant. After careful consideration and listening to residents and hearing how they feel about the proposal, he felt that it is best to devote time to addressing some of the long standing issues that were brought up during the discussion of the proposed plans. The Select Board thanked Tim for his efforts on this project, and the plan is to move forward and address the loading zone issues, which many residents had strong feelings about.

40B applications

There have been some substantial changes to some of the 40B applications. The ‘Working with 40B’ discussion is to be held on Feb. 2. The letter is scheduled to be reviewed on Feb. 10. The Select Board wants to give people a chance to look at the letter and to submit emails for public comment. It will be due on Feb. 25.

Contracts

The Select Board motioned to approve the agreement between the Town of Milton and Tetra Tech for 3 40B project peer reviews and to authorize the Town Administrator to sign the agreement.

The Select Board motioned to approve the agreement between the Town of Milton and Van Ness for 40B project peer review and to authorize the Town Administrator to sign the agreement, per each property being reviewed.

Health insurance for town retirees

A potential transition to a new health insurance coverage plan for town retirees was discussed. The plan is an effort to reduce BCBS costs, and is a very popular program with municipalities. It will offer cost savings to the retirees as well as their spouses and to the town while helping to reduce OPEB liability over time. Retirees will save on average $500 for the first year in reduced premiums, and those on the Medex 3 plan will save on average $2,000 for the first year.

The medical portion of the plan will not change, no interruptions to service, no change to the networks of providers, no copay changes, the only thing that changes is how to go about obtaining prescription drug medications. The new plan would go into effect July 1, BCBS requires 75-90 days to do the background work with the vendors. This could be a potential win/win for the town and retirees. Educational sessions, which can be held virtually, will take place so that retirees will know exactly what is happening. BCBS will have a dedicated phone line for any questions or concerns. The Select Board motioned in favor of this plan.

Additional items of discussion

The Select Board motioned to approve the modifications/edits to the Icehouse letter, which will go to the ZBA on the proposed development at 485-487 Blue Hills Pkwy, subject to edits made by special counsel, Johanna Schneider.

The Select Board motioned to approve a grant from Karen Cahill in the amount of $200.

The Select Board motioned to approve a grant to the Milton’s Residence Fund for $80,000. The Governor of Stoughton Trust is requesting the funds to disperse to those in need of, for example, educational assistance, emergency food, or heating bills. 84% of recipients came from more than one request, while 80% of requests were for housing needs and or Covid related expenses.

Future meeting dates Feb. 2, Feb. 10, and Feb. 24.

 

 

 

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