FALMOUTH EDIC OPEN MEETING: Mar 20, 2018
Town Hall, Selectmen’s Meeting Room
Christopher Simmler (C), Jim Fox, Brooks Bartlett
Christopher Land (C), Susan Moran (VC), Christopher Langlais (T), Michael Galasso
CALL TO ORDER
Did not establish a quorum, the Clerk called the meeting to order.
Troy Clarkson, Liaison, Office of Senator Vinny deMacedo, www.dmacedo.org, Federal Opportunity Program
- The Federal Government created a grant bill for opportunities for low income census tracks in the US.
- They designated 130 in the Commonwealth for investment communities by census.
- An opportunity fund is created.
- The EDIC is a quality agency to oversee the fund.
- Seek and receive private investment from developers and businesses that have income are subject to capital gains. Instead that money is invested into the fund and entity can defer the capital gains for up to 8 years, and an exemption for any news gains as a result of inventing in the fund – a tax shelter. The funds are expended for economic development in the community.
- The area in Falmouth that qualifies is East Falmouth – Waquoit Village up thru / into Ashumet Valley.
- The commercial area, in this area may be a focus for investment and development.
- It does not have to be a business zoned area; a mixed used area is also acceptable.
- Investments must be in places that Investors want to invest in; that can be profitable.
- Communities throughout the Commonwealth will be competing for designation selection. There are more low-income tracts in the Commonwealth than availability for designation.
- There is no guarantee that if Falmouth submits an application for a census tract, that they will be selected. Falmouth will be competing against similarly situated communities throughout the State.
- 20% of the tracts will be for urban areas.
- Application is online and is easily completed with basic information.
- The role the EDIC would play in actual development ideas/process is undefined by the State at this time.
- There are no limitations on type of projects for development in the tracts. Still need to adhere to the tract land zoning requirements.
- Fox believes zoning and lack of sewerage system will be the greatest challenge.
- This is new program and not all his responses are definitive, more information is being shared and determined by the program creators.
- There is a short window to apply – due March 22nd, 2018. Next week.
Barbara Weyand, Falmouth Preservation Alliance
- Stated it was hard to get Commuter input when the meeting takes place within commuter working hours. It is not a good turnout nor a good representation of Users because of the meeting day/time.
- Barbara hopes the EDIC gives attention to Users who are not daily work commuters; and will include those who use semi-regularly to go the Airport, etc. as they are part of the User constituency.
- When there was an advisory board previously, they created a survey that was taken by the Users while waiting for the bus. Barbara recommends that the EDIC again creates a survey for Station services.
- Said the complaint they hear the most are about the restrictive hours of operation - determined by Peter Pan Bus Lines. The consequence of these limited hours is that many travelers are left outside in bad weather. She urges the EDIC to address hours of operation with Peter Pan to make sure travelers are properly sheltered.
- Chris Simmler thanked all those who emailed their comments. He cited he has read them all and they will be referred to and considered in the broader conversations regarding the Falmouth Station and parking development.
Ed Haddad, Chairman of Historical Commission
- Advised of a meeting recently with Alan Robinson, affiliated with Falmouth Water Stewards (www.FalmouthWaters.org) proposing Water Refill Stations in Falmouth – suggesting one along the Bikeway. Haddad suggested something near or at the Falmouth Station.
- It is basically a water fountain which would need a source of water. Used 9 months a year and capped for the winter.
- Fox advised we had a spot on the rear side of the Station that could be used.
- Weyand said she thought there was a grant to cover any plumbing required for the Fountain installation.
- Simmler said this would be added as a topic for the Falmouth Station Sub-Committee to consider.
Laura Moynihan, Esq., Law Office of Laura M. Moynihan, firstname.lastname@example.org
- CC Commission has scheduled a meeting March 22nd to hear the request of the EDIC to extend the Development Agreement for 3 years.
- The Chief Regulatory Officer for the CC Commission determined 3 years was an appropriate time period to give property owners notice of the agreement expiring. It was enough time for owners in the Tech Park planning to develop property there, to make use of the permitting process currently noted in the development agreement.
- Moynihan said she thought it was unlikely that an extension would be granted by the CC Commission for longer than 3 years.
- CC Commission thinks that this 1993 agreement is outdated. There are several technical issues within the original agreement that are of concern to the CC Commission, which is the primary reason why they do not want to extend the agreement for a significant amount of time.
- The draft agreement was issued by the Chief Regulatory Officer and has been submitted to the EDIC Chairman. It will need to be voted on by the EDIC Board at the next board meeting.
- The CC Commission agreed to the EDIC requested document change - that the extension agreement would officially begin on February 19, 2018. They would not agree to the request that further modifications of the agreement could be done in the future.
- Any parties interested in this subject should attend the meeting to make public comment or send a letter via an email to the CC Commission, so it will be entered into the official record.
- There is no guarantee that the CC Commission will approve the extension. Laura will be in attendance to make the argument of the benefits to extend it.
- The 3 years will give the EDIC the time to study the Tech Park and permitting options that are available for future development and/or change of use for development. And, if it is in the best interest of the EDIC, the Town and Tech Park to try to negotiate a new development agreement.
- She suggested looking into developing a Tech Park Owners Association, a non-profit corporation registered with State to self-manage the Tech Park.
- Laura advised that if the Commission does not approve the development agreement extension, there are other permitting options for the Tech Park to consider.
Chris Simmler, Lynne Broderick
- Termites were found on a few of the window sills on the Depot Ave. A spot treatment was done. A more in-depth treatment is required in the spring. It was recommended the EDIC over-seal the grout on the windows.
- The Peter Pan Site Mgr. is concerned about a tree that appears to be at risk of falling in the area where the buses temporarily park. Fox said there are 10 trees that are dangerous – within the entire treed lot. Broderick received an inspection and quotes from Clipper and Bartlett Tree to remove 2 trees that are at risk of falling. It was decided to wait on tree removal until it is decided if more trees will need to be removed for the additional parking space project.
- The heating system was not regulating properly at the Station. The temperature was much warmer than the set temperature. A plumber inspected and found the boiler water temperature was set too high. He lowered it, and said he thought this would resolve the issue. A service for the boiler and heating system will be done in the spring.
- Experienced another clog in men’s room. It was resolved by the plumber.
- Rise Engineering will perform an energy audit this Friday, March 23rd at the Falmouth Station.
- Adding a lock to the Station trash receptacle as the public is still dumping trash in it.
- Frank Duffy advised that prevailing wage rates do apply at the Falmouth Station.
- Steve Rafferty, Water Dept. Superintendent, advised we should consider replacing the water meter at the Station as it is too large based on the historical water usage. Saving would be about $150 a year. The EDIC will hire a local plumber to investigate State permitting and expense to do this.
- Broderick is postponing further research for the camera security system, until it has been decided that there is a budget to fund it.
- Wayne Electric & Alarm will be providing a quote on upgrading the security system to wireless, and the fire alarm to a cellular system, once EDIC provides them with prevailing wage rates.
- Snow removal to date as cost $5,420.
- Total operating expense to date is $52K, removing non-repeat expense it is $47K.
- Simmler in in contact with Frank Doherty from Peter Pan to discuss the lease. Simmler provided him with the current operating budget, to be discussed at an upcoming meeting.
- Fox said current operating expense is an important point. Everyone has a lot of ideas on what do to improve the Station but do not realize how expensive it can become.
- Fox reminded the board that current operating expense is working out to be approximately $25 a square foot. This is a high number. Market rent was originally estimated to be $12-13.
- Simmler thanked everyone for the emails and comments about the parking fee issue. He presented an overview of the Station renovation and the items the EDIC added and funded.
- Parking fees and added parking spaces are being considered as a revenue generating option. The EDC is considering special event parking, or non-commuter rates for local businesses, or parking fees for people parking at the Station who use the Bikeway path.
- The Station is estimated to cost $45 - $55K per year in operating expense. MassDOT is not providing any more funds to develop or maintain the Station. The Town of Falmouth has no responsibility to provide funding. Therefore, the Station must become self-sustaining.
- Simmler advised the rental agreement with Peter Pan does not cover all operating expense. Other thoughts on revenue generating sources are: another tenant at the Station, a café or food truck, fees for functions held there, donations, and parking fees.
- Simmler said the EDIC will continue to collect feedback from the Station Users via a survey / comment card to assist with thoughts and ideas to improve the Falmouth Station.
- Fox cautioned that the EDIC needs to be sensitive to the revenue shortfall at the Station so that it will not become necessary for the Solar Landfill revenue to fund the Station. Fox thinks the EDIC should stop any unnecessary spending at the Station until finances are stabilized.
- Simmler advised the Events subcommittee will be meeting to discuss upcoming potential events.
LANDFILL SOLAR REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT
- The EDIC application is On Hold as the Party ahead of the EDIC in the application process is experiencing issues. Eversource will address the EDIC application once the other Party’s issues are resolved.
- The good news is that the Solar Field is producing at very high rate; exceeding the guaranteed rate by 19%. Unfortunately, the EDIC does not gain any rental benefit from this over production; the Town benefits from any overproduction in energy savings.
- Fox said there are also some zoning issues. It all relates to network connections – they will need to re-engineer their grid to resolve the issues.
- Brooks advised this program is to bring to Main Street businesses their fiber optic internet.
- The local businesses are very interested in this product but the issue is financing of the project.
- Galasso wants to investigate a financing program through either Mass Development and/or local banks, for the EDIC to borrow funds to get this project’s start up expense. The EDIC would finance with an extra fee to the businesses owners to repay the loan.
- Steve Johnston, Executive Director, Open Cape, www.opencape.org presented an update. Steve showed exactly where the lines would be installed as well as a financial outline.
- Business Hook Up Fee is proposed to be $1,200 each - includes all equipment and connection.
- The business will obtain immediate internet access. No more long wait times.
- Fox inquired if the Town should be adding conduit to all water lines for potential future use. Johnston strongly advised to do so saves time and much expense for the Town in the future.
- EDIC would need to borrow $230,900. – approximately to fund the startup of the service.
- It would work with 40 Users and higher, but it becomes more cost effective for everyone, the more businesses that participate.
- Johnston said that they could complete this project this year – June/July.
- Open Cape will obtain business commitments once the EDIC approves the proposal / financing.
- Fox asked if the fiber optic could be expanded further into East Falmouth; Johnston said yes.
EDIC ADMINISTRATIVE BUSINESS
APPROVE LAST MEETING MINUTES –
Not a quorum, not done.
Dan Webb, Land Owner in Tech Park & Tech Park Assoc. Treasurer
- Asked for an update of earlier discussion and Laura Moynihan’s presentation of information.
- Stated a disappointment in lack of communication from the EDIC to Tech Park Owners regarding the Development Agreement extension; citing the only communication came 1 week before the expiration of the agreement along with an urgent request for $5,000. Hopes for a more proactive dialog going forward.
- Webb stated the Development Agreement is thought to be of much value and importance to those who purchased property in the Tech Park, and did not think it was outdated.
- Fox suggested that a member of the Tech Park to join the EDIC Board.
- Broderick suggested that Mr. Webb attend the CC Commission hearing to represent the Tech Park viewpoint. Broderick requested a Membership Directory from Mr. Webb to allow ease of communication with Tech Park Owners. Broderick also inquired if the EDIC Board could be notified of future Tech Park Assoc. meetings so that someone from the EDIC could attend, to promote better communication and cooperation. Webb agreed it was a good idea.
FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
April 10, 2018, 8:30am
Falmouth Station Restoration
Rehabilitation of the Historic Falmouth Station located at 59 Depot Avenue in Falmouth.
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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
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