LIVE BLOG: Framingham Town Meeting Night 4

Framingham Town Meeting members approved a $2.4 million dollar plan to begin automated trash collection and approved a total $14.8 million capital improvement municipal and school budget.

Tonight, May 6 is night 4 of the Framingham Town Meeting.

Framingham Patch will be live blogging.

Editor's Note: Please excuse typos as I am typing during the event. Tonight is also game 3 of the Bruins vs Canadians playoffs and I'll update the score within the blog too.

When  a quorum is reached Town Meeting members will pick up on Article 16 - the capital budget requests.

7:35 p.m. Quorum has been reached.
Moderator is asking for Town Meeting members to take their seats.

Town Meeting members are being asked to check in. Told it is a requirement to wear your name tags and to pick up your electronic voting device and make sure it is turned on.

Moderator reminding everyone Town Meeting meets every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until the warrant is complete.

Wednesday night - Precinct organization. Choose a chair and vice chair and clerk for each precinct.

Next Wednesday - standing committee organization.

7:40 p.m. 

Editor's Note: 1-0 Montreal

*** Moderator explaining she tries to pick Town Meeting members from different section to speak.

Moderator complaining about a Town Meeting member texting other Town Meeting members and telling them hold to vote. She said that type of lobbying should not do that.

Test question of electronic voting -- 
Are the Bruins going to win tonight?

75-11-28  VOTE YES

7:44 p.m.
Moderator complaining about a low hum in the hall.

Town Meeting now taking up Article 16...

A16aa -  curbside carts - $1 million

Kathie McCarthy - Precinct 10 - question about the program? Would like some explaining about the program ..

Motion to discuss 16AA and 16BB -- discuss together.

Dan Nau speaking - DPW -- 2011 automated recycling collection
This program has been successful

Tonight ask for TM support to transition to automated curbside collection - Springfield, Newton, Marlboro and Fall river.

Grant --helped provide guidance & direction

At this point, ready to move Framingham towards automated curbside trash collection.

Less labor intensive
carts more durable

safety -- automated with reduce injuries and workmen's compensation

The current 5-year contract expires June 30 2016.

New automated - with weekly recycling and weekly automated trash collection the town would save money - 

Innovative ways to reduce budget but maintain core services. - Nau.

Increase level of service, provide safer work environment, decrease overall operating costs - NAU.


7:54 p.m. Gloria Gellar - TMM2 - asked for committee reports

Not everyone lives on a street that is accessible to a curb?
We as a town have to get our act together - first we are outsourcing and then we are insourcing? Are we hiring more sanitation people? Always flip-floping what we do.

Nau speaking -- trash collection -- we continue the same way
Not sure we have been flipfloping on this - recycling has grown over the years - it is worth money - before didn't have manpower -- automated frees up employees - looking for two additional positions in 2016 - positions reinstated from layoffs in 2009.

Town Meeting member George Lewis - TMM18 - questions
cost per container?
what size it will be?
performance of the recycling automated bins?

Editor's Note - Montreal 2-0 after 1st period.

Nau -- return value to the town that has yet to be recalculated success of the program it has worked very well - every other week program - can't miss a week and not go over the barrel.

TMM Michael Cannon - why $1 million number - numbers never even. 

NAU -- number rounded up.

TMM Susan Massad question -- 

NAU - current program not take effect until July 1 2015.

8:03 p.m. 

TMM11 - Robert Snyder -- if go to the carts? What do you do with the current trash barrels?

NAU speaking -- containers would be suitable to be recycled at the recycling center.

Richard Barritz - TMM17 - speaking -- never been against saving money - in the winter and a lot of snow - to get the 96 gallon recycling bin to curbside is very cumbersome and now we will have to do it for the trash - and do 2 every week. 
For the seniors - how are they going to bring it to the curb?

Peter Sellers - DPW director speaking -- your participation and cooperation is key to its success.
I live in Town and I will have to do it too.

Herb Chasan - TMM4 -- looking at numbers here ... this is unbelievable.
I think this is a wonderful idea.
Save $8 million - if we can save money like this - that is wonderful.
the safety issue - guys hanging off the back - that is crazy. The danger. I think we should support this article.

Richard Paul - TMM7 - speaking - I live on a private way. currently we have to take our trash out to Pleasant Street and Aspen Circle. Concern about what will happen in the future?
Recycle containers come down on Aspen circle and do what they do and put them back down on the street. Concern when we have trash and recycling bins.

Will the trucks go down the same streets the fire trucks will do? Policy on public vs private roads?

8:10 p.m.
Paul -- obvious this is an issue.
NAU -- we have considered it in the past -- not sure when we will know about - but we will examine. It will depend on if we can get the truck in and out of the roads.

Kathie McCarthy - TMM10 -- speaking - question this will not attract animals. The bins go in the street on a windy day. Concern if there will be an extra lock on the trash bin compared to the recycling.

NAU speaking -- containers are not animal proof. But it is more challenging for them to get into these than plastic bags.

Audrey Hall - TMM3 speaking -- rise to support this.
All these issues came up during the recycling program, - happy to see they were not issues then. They should not be issues with the trash

Gerry Bloomfield - TMM1 -- speaking  - how much of the dollar amount - will be spent during the next 6 months?

CFO speaking -- that is almost impossible to predict.

We will not borrow until we pay for the trucks - which is 9 or 12 months away.

Allocated $360,000  or 12 cents per taxpayer.

Bloomfield -- like to offer an amendment -- Move to amend --allow town spending up to 25% of the approved dollar amount  in article 16 -- 

CFO -- estimated what are plan and goal is for the operating budget  - increase tax bill by $100 or less. Increase the levy by 1.25 percent.

Numbers provided to you in the background material.

8:20 p.m. Bloomfield - want to avoid what taxpayers faced 3 years ago.

Have not seen the assessments - so the $100 or less is just a guess says Bloomfield.

Cooper - TMM - proposes to move the question.
6 Town Meeting members still wanted to speak
Hand vote -- question moved.

Discussing 16AA & 16BB together.

8:22 p.m. Take the motion later ... Moderator decides.

Peter Pleshaw - TMM11 -- on this amendment -- how do we do that -- already voted previous on the projects? Are we going to go back?

VOTE 2/3rd -- 16AA -- hand vote -- PASSED -- moderator says 3 in opposition -- there were about 6 hands up.

16BB -- hand vote -- PASSED -- moderator says 10 opposed.

8:23 p.m. Bloomfield motion -- 

Point of information - Ted Anthony - TMM1 -- does the dollar amount apply to the $14 million or to the CFO number?

25% of the $14/15 million figure only 25 could be spent prior to the tax rate being set??

8:25 p.m. VOTE
Hand vote -- 3 in favor 
opposed - FAILS

Back to 16 AC -- technology upgrades in Schools - $950,000
Bill McCarthy - speaking 

Editor's Note: Apologies was publishing an updated report on a $100 million settlement reached with New England Compounding Center in Framingham and victims of the deadly meningitis outbreak.

Editor's Note: 3-0 Canadians in the 2nd period.

Bob Berman - why no report from the technology committee in the last 3 years?

Moderator -- committee has a hard time getting information

TMM Jeffrey Cox - wants to know why $950,000 instead of $500,000 like last three years. Wants the superintendent to explain the increase.

Superintendent speaking -- we are responding to the overall demand for technology in the district - testing online and providing buildings with reasonable upgrades. With the $2 million you have given to us -- built an infrastructure in our district. Enviable of other towns. Need to continue to upgrade our resources.

Teacher experience system shutting down due to bandwidth issues.

Cox -- wants Finance committee to address issue.

Betty Fund speaking on behalf of the finance committee -- voted 7-0-0- in favor.

Bob Snyder - TMM11 - speaking -- in favor. Member of the education committee.

Editor's Note: Missed two speakers (bathroom break).

Bob Bolles - rose to support the article. When his son was in the schools - no technology and had to go to Keefe Tech. Need this.

Tara Alves -- I rise to support this. - TMM3 - I also have a child in the system

Editor's Note: 3-1 Canadians - Bergeron scored.

Baritz - TMM17 - question - why is in the capital and not in the oeprating budget?

Mary Ellen Kelley - CFO - speaking -- You are increasing what would be bonded - from $500,000 to $950,000 - $3,000 difference.

Renee Faubert -- Move the question motion - 2/3rd required.
8:54 p.m.

Editor's Note: End of 2nd period - 3-1 Montreal.

VOTE -- motion to reduce to $500,000 -
Electronic vote -- majority vote required.
33-96-9 motion FAILS

Motion - 2/3rd vote to pass - $950,000
Electronic vote
118-17-5 PASSES

8:58 p.m.

16AE --Energy Conservation Program -- Jake Bajekian speaking

$235,000 -- question about the rebate...
ask SC how the computation was made - $300,000 per room per year?
If they can show that computation to Town Meeting?

Lastly -- question SC -- what are the rough estimates? Not in document and not on the handout table.

CFO speaking -- rebates -- 

Matt Torti for the Framingham school speaking -- 45% rebate or return on investment on the project ...  The computation does not relate to this project - this was taken out of looking forward - has nothing to do with the A16AE project.

9:11 p.m. Hand vote -- Passed - unanimous

vote on 16AL -- heating & Ac -- passed - hand vote - unanimous

16AM -- hand vote -- passed - hand vote unanimous

16AO -- utility body truck replacement - passed - hand vote - unanimous

9:13 p.m.

16AU  -- computer upgrade....
Jake Bajakeian -- speaking
VOTE -- hand vote -- passed.

A16AuV -- danforth and annex study 
Gloria Gellar -- TMM2 - speaking -- know there have been many studies
$12 million heard for repairs.
What does the $52,000 will do to the other studies.

Halpin speaking -- space needs utilization for memorial building - completed the  first step of the process. Need 14,000 additional square feet in the memorial building. 

Future - danforth in poor condition - needs a lot of money - do feel need to evaluate and compare cost per square foot

like to document the per foot construction costs... Halpin

Karl Rookey - TMM14 -- speaking -- town owned building -- 3 years ago when I came to Town Meeting -- turned down exterior maintenance on this building - last year it was a deferred item - where is that project now??

CFO speaking -- $300,000 project -- 
Halpin - in the evaluation of space needs -- complete list of building enevlope improvements that need to be made to this building. It is a long list.

Rookey - when will that work happen?

Halpin -- finishing a long range municipal building plan and will prioritize across 19 building - coordinated with long range plan of school department.

Editor's Note Bruins are down 3-1 as the 3rd period will start. The Bruins have scored 7 out of their 9 goals in the third period during the first two games.

Jeff Cox - Tmm14 - speaking -- would like to see the presentation

Halpin speaking -- Memorial Building will celebrate 100th anniversary in 2026.

Halpin giving a report -- $7 million worth of investments needed in this building, not counting office space. Mobility and bathroom issues.

Technology and record keeping is compromised.

Parking issues

program area of 63,000 square feet - have 49,310 available space, once properly allocated said Halpin.

School department is vacated King -- beginning a 5-year lease at an office location in Framingham.

9:25 p.m.

Halpin - how Danforth could be school, municipal and DPW -- look at costs per square feet.

Look at parking issues in this area.

Need to come before Town Meeting on what to do with the Danforth Musuem -- one issue is to abolish it and another to reuse as offices.


Town Meeting member discussion

Richard Paul - TMM7 - speaking -- 30 years ago - entered into lease with former lincoln school - leased for 40 years -- property will be up for whatever very soon - Lincoln School?

Halpin -- lease has been one of the most successful leases in town... medical office space. We will continue to lease that building as medical building. Have not considered lincoln building as an annex.

Phil Ottiviani - move the question - VOTE - Hand vote - PASSED

9:31 p.m. VOTE -- phase 2 space study - 2/3rd vote -- hand vote -- 4 opposed - PASSED

CFO -- Article 17 -- 

Capital Budget Committee chair speaking -- Bill McCarthy speaking
Three major category for water enterprise fund
$18 million is a lot of money
Main Street and Union Avenue jobs count for 85 %
Some of the pipes are 75 and 100 years old.

Much of the construction -- is ongoing for years - and unfortunately - will continue in the future - for decades no work done.
7-0-0 in favor of  all items.

Betty Fund speaking on behalf of the finance committee - 6-0-0 in favor.

Standing committee ways & means - Audrey Hall speaking - TMM3 - 9-2-0- in favor except for the one item.

Dennis Paulsen - TMM standing committee for Public Works -- speaking
Point out -- construction project on Speen Street - huge impact on traffic - most of the work will be done at night ... DPW aware of the impact.

CFO will read the list and Town Meeting members may pass on them.

Passes -- A17E, A17F and A17G

2/3rd required on non passed items -- hand vote -- no hands in opposition
Passed unanimously.

A17E -- main Street water main --$3.325 million
Gerry Bloomfield -- Tmm1 -- long how take? minimize on commerce and resident on Main Street and to union street.

9;40 p.m.

Herb Johnson - DPW - speaking -- construction impacts for Main Street and Union Ave projects.

Main Street & union Ave is a major corridor -- it will be phasing the project.
Will limit the contractors
implimenting night time construction
resident relocation
alternate traffic routes too
detour routes.

Bloomfield -- followup -- time start to finish -- 

Main Street -- answer -- start this year -- will go into next year
union Ave -- late 2015 and into 2017

Audrey Hall -- three items in sewer budget too -- can we discuss water & sewer items at the same time.

9:44 p.m.
Bill - TMM10 - speaking -- 17E&F -- question -- period of time bonded over - a large amount of money -- 20 or 40 years

CFO speaking -- last round of bonding - extended bonding term tow 25 years for a majority of the capital projects in water & sewer. Town prefers 25 years not 30 or 40 years.

all of the water project 7 cents on water rate and 5 cents on the swer rate - says CFO.

Vote a17E -- Vote - hand vote -- passed - unanimous

Editor's Note: Bruins scored 3-2 Montreal -- about a minute left in the game.

Maureen Dunne -- TMM - question on emergency access during construction

a17f - passed - hand vote - unanimous

a17G -- Audrey Hall speaking on passing.
Represents a project down the road of much greater costs.
Open DPW booklet to page 26 -- 

3 statements -- summarize the $260,00 -between the sewer and water

Money - to design - new space - added on to DPW building on Western Avenue. Additional cost would be $1-2 million in 2016 budget.

Design costs is about 10 % of the construction costs.
No bid at this time.

Hall still speaking -- we already have the software to do this but we are not using it.

asked about equipment -- 5 additional garage bays needed

Editor's Note: Montreal scores an empty nets goal with 3 seconds left and leads 4-2.

9:55 p.m. Bruins lose - Montreal goes up 2-1 in the series.

Hall still speaking ... Hall suggesting other options for DPW instead of new construction including the soon-to-be vacated mcauliffe library.

Hall asked the value of inventory of what to protect -- couple $100,000 told for a building $1 to $2 million for a new building addition.

9:59 p.m. - Moderator told Hall she has 30 seconds still.

Standing committee reduce water $130,000 - eliminate A17G - 9-2-0

10 p.m.  Moderator asking for town counsel advice.

Discussion by Town Meeting members

Ed Kross -- TMM12 -- this is a very important item to have. keep inventory indoors. very good project to have. Urge support.

Harold Gellar - TMM2 - speaking -- location options need to be addressed.
Storage facility warehouse -- many options for that kind -- pre-fab building - or call it all kinds of things. What is the concept considering? What are you thinking heated? air-conditioned? Does it have to be if storing vehicles?
Why think cost a couple of million?

Peter Sellers - DPW director speaking -- have a power point presentation.

it will not be air conditioned.
it will be a garage complex it will house 6 additional vehicles outdoors, determental to the vehicles.

small powerpoint -- wants to show.
Moderator tells DPW director has 2 minutes.

Paul Barden - DPW speaking -- making presentation via powerpoint

several containers at Western Avenue 
Water & sewer programs each have their own shops.
about $500,000 in inventory - does not include the vehicles
every truck has different inventory
Off site pumping station have an inventory too.
Watson Place and A Street - both have inventory
Edgell Road & Winter Street and Elm Street - have electrical supplies & water meters.

Point of Order --- presentation longer than 2 minutes

Moderator -- gave you some leeway but can you wrap up.

10:11 p.m.

Barden -- summarizing the project - in both the water & sewer funds

Judy Grove - TMM15 -- reading about the city of NYC -- doing inventory control for the entire city - saved $455 million by combining everything.
I think we should look at doing this - come more efficient.
Lets look at the entire system

10:13 p.m. Sean Donovan -- TMM2 -- seems optomistic considering other municipal and school needs at this time - urge TM to vote no.

Chair of PW committee - Paulsen speaking - this addition is two stories.
proposed other building -- mCAuliffe library could not store vehicles.
Pointed out - they are storing a lot of pipe and other things outdoors.
Tough to find it outdoors. Incredible waste of time to find in the snow.
have 100s of miles of pipe in this town ...

I understand a lot of money --- spent a lot of money on the Danforth building and now one of the options is to tear it down. I dont think this is not reasonable. Consider this seriously.

Jim Pillsbury - TMM6 -- heard a shocking statement - from a DPW employee - he does not control and does not keep control of the inventory - the fact that they do not want to keep track of their inventory is criminal.
Reject until they keep track of their inventory.

Peter Sellers --DPW speaking -- we keep track of all of the automobiles - all at one location -- all tracked on computer. You see where are all these parts are all over town.

The inventory is all over this town and it is not all secured and not all inventory.

10:18 p.m. Move the question - 2/3rd vote needed
3 people still wish to speak
Motion to move - hand vote -- PASSED

a17G vote -- motion on Ways & Means -- not accepted by moderator
Joel Winett wants electronic voting -- 2/3rd voting - moderator says yes.

Vote electronic on A17G -- no amendment as voting no would be the same as the amendment.

Electronic vote - 10:20 p.m.
2/3rd vote needed

VOTE -- 57-37-6

10:22 p.m.

Brain LeFort -- motion to adjourn -- PASSED
Town Meeting to resume Wednesday night

Editor's Note: Updated at 5 a.m. to fix typos in Town Meeting members names. Originally posted on Tuesday, May 6 at 7;22 p.m.

Scott Wadland May 07, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Is weekly recycling pickup really necessary, since we've had bi-weekly pickup for the last several years? I would think that by now, people have adjusted to the bi-weekly pickup by getting a larger or second container if they need it.
Moira LaPointe May 07, 2014 at 04:48 PM
I was told I couldn't have a second container. "One per household" regardless of how large the household is.
Julie Ann Slocum May 08, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Yes, weekly recycling would be very helpful. Over the years we have gotten better about recycling everything we can. We actually now have less trash. The town does not allow a second container, I have asked a couple of years ago.


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