March 10 Select Board Update: special guest Sheriff Patrick McDermott, Capital Improvement Planning Committee recommendations & more
The meeting began with a Covid-19 update. Milton is heading in the right direction, with a 1% positivity rate for the first time since prior to the holidays. The parks are open again, and masks are still mandatory. The vaccination program is ongoing at the Council On Aging and another free Covid-19 testing date has been scheduled to take place on March 21, at the DPW Yard from 10-3. Though things are trending in a better direction, we still cannot let our guards down and we should continue to follow the proper guidelines.
The Select Board motioned to approve and sign the letter written by the Norfolk County-8 to Governor Baker’s office regarding the importance of allowing more vaccination distributions in the communities. To learn more about the Norfolk County-8, click here: NC-8 Coalition – Home (weebly.com)
An application for use of the town’s gazebo was submitted on behalf of Milton Interfaith Clergy Association for a memorial service event to lift up this year due to Covid-19. Milton Access TV will offer virtual opportunities to attend. The event would be held on May 16 from 3pm-4pm, and limited to about 100 attendees. Currently, church services do not fall under restrictions mandated by Governor Baker. The Select Board motioned to approve.
Sheriff Patrick McDermott of the Norfolk County Sheriff’s office joined the meeting to discuss the departments programs and community outreach efforts. He is looking forward to meeting residents of Milton and working together to keep the community safer. To learn more about Sheriff Patrick McDermott, click here: Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office | Sheriff Patrick W. McDermott (norfolksheriff.com).
Marina Fernandes, the new Town Engineer joined the meeting. She brings many years of private sector work experience to her new role in Milton and is looking forward to putting her expertise to work for the town.
Bob Hiss, Town Moderator, joined the meeting to request a virtual town meeting for the Annual Town Meeting to be held on May 3rd. There are many articles to present, which is a concern since there are a lot more moving parts that take place in order to ensure smooth virtual town meetings. The hope is this could be the last virtual town meeting. The Select Board motioned to approve his request.
Allyson Quinn, Assistant Planner, presented on behalf of Tim Czerwienski regarding a plan to reinvigorate the Fair Housing Committee. The Select Board moved to support and approve her request.
Kevin Freytag, Town Council, joined the meeting to discuss the fire station building appropriation ballot question. The town approved the article that authorized the town to borrow funds for 3 fire stations in Milton. Voters would still need to approve the ballot question authorizing Milton to exempt the debt from the provisions of Proposition 2½ at the April 27 Town Election. If the vote fails, we have to go back to the start. The Select Board moved to approve the fires tation building appropriation ballot question.
Reductions and cuts were discussed and amendments to the plan were suggested. The budget is heading in the right direction of where it needs to go and the hope is to avoid lay-offs. The Select Board moved to support the proposal with the amendments discussed.
Capital Improvement Committee recommendations
The proposal presented outlines true priorities to be addressed this year with the goal to not touch free cash. Such examples are: upgrading police and fire infrastructure systems; Public Works critical pieces; replace the snow plow and paving roller, focus on roadway construction, the return to school; windows will need to be replaced, the roof will need to be repaired, auditory and computerization upgrades, lighting for auditorium, paving improvements, field construction, (turf field being the long term goal), the Council On Aging will be getting a new generator, and the outside entrance gateway is in need of repair. The committee plans to prioritize any items not addressed this year for next years budget. The Select Board motioned to approve as presented.
Town Administrator’s report
The Good Energy bids will go out May 21 which will give the town a look at the summer rates as well which can be some of the highest rates that people face in the Northeast.
The intersection of Brush Hill Road and Neponset Valley Parkway is a very dangerous intersection, a proposal has been submitted to design and reengineer that intersection. The proposal is for the project to begin in April or May.
Additional items of discussion
The Select Board Motioned to approve the comment letter on the FAA neighborhood environmental survey.
The 2018-2019 environmental data report comment letter was received. The Select Board motioned to approve the letter.
The Select Board motioned to support the Warrant Committees recommendation to exempt seniors from overrides.
The Select Board motioned in acceptance of grants from Milton’s Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.
Council On Aging has proposed a program for intergenerational tai-chi to take place on the basketball courts, stay tuned for more information and sign ups.
The next meeting will be held on March 24.