Meeting Minutes


Falmouth Town Hall
Selectmens Meeting Room, 59 Town Hall Sq. Falmouth, MA 02540

Christopher Simmler (Ck), Paul Burke (T), Patti Haney, Brooks Bartlett,
Michael Galasso

Christopher Land (C), Susan Moran (VC)

8:31 am
Having established a quorum, the Clerk called the meeting to order. 

Courtney Bird, Sippewissett. Conducted a public meeting a week ago for a community-based fiber optic internet. The turnout was greater than expected. The next step is a feasibility study. Courtney is requesting the EDIC to develop and fund the study. Bird introduced the committee working on this project.

Ed Curley, East Falmouth, Chairman of the Affordable Housing Committee. A new local hotel room tax will be instituted soon in the State. It is estimated that Falmouth could earn an additional $400K a year in revenue. Curley asked the EDIC to make a motion to bring to the Board of Selectmen a supporting vote that this revenue be used to set up a new municipal fund – for long term expenses, including but not limited to affordable housing in Falmouth.

Simmler requested that this item be added to the July Agenda for further discussion when the Chair and Vice Chair are present.

Simmler welcomed Michael DiGiano as the new EDIC Executive Director. DiGiano thanked the Board for his selection. He advised he has focused on meeting one on one with Board Members and jumping in on the current initiatives – particularly the Open Cape project.


No update.

Michael Galasso
Galasso advised the RFP is final. Proposals are due July 31st. There are 3-4 consultants the bid sheets will be sent to. The selection criteria are detailed.

Chris Simmler, Lynne Broderick
Simmler advised that the quotes received for the Crosswalk were well over estimated budget. Simmler is in conversation with the DPW to see if there is something less expensive, as a temporary measure, can be done with a dirt berm with an asphalt on top – similar to the bike path. A meeting will take place with the DPW within the next couple of weeks.

The stone wall in front of the Station on Depot Avenue, as well as the corner near the Attorney’s driveway. Photos were being shown. Simmler stated this is an expensive repair – at least $15-20K. Simmler suggested seeking a professional opinion. Haney recommended we seek the advice of the Town Tree Warden for guidance. She also recommended that the Historical committee be contacted regarding the wall – to see if this is on historical land. Simmler to contact MassDOT to see if they will consider assisting with repair.

Saturday - July 6th was the date chosen for the Ice Cream Social – the board agreed to try to attend. Haney advised this will need to be posted as quasi-meeting as the majority of board members will be there.

Broderick asked the Board to consider and discuss a policy for political fundraising events at the Falmouth Station. Simmler thinks that the fundraising should be allowed if not soliciting the public. Burke disagrees. Galasso stated they’re may be some laws regarding fundraising on public property. Broderick to investigate the Town’s and MassDOT’s policies on same subject.

AC is being installed in July.

Simmler advised the Peter Pan Lease is close to being finalized with attorneys. To resolve this prior to the July Board Meeting, Simmler requested a motion to allow Chairman to sign upon completion.

MOTION: Galasso made a motion to authorize the Chairman to sign/execute the new Peter Pan Lease and for said Lease to be brought to the Board at the July Board Meeting. Haney 2nd. All in favor. Approved.

Michael Galasso
Galasso advised Emma is still working with Eversource. Will have more information at the next meeting.

Paul Burke
Burke presented the June 11th, 2019 warrant in the amount of $13, 949.41 and requested the Board to approve it for payment.

Simmler questioned the coding for the invoices – Broderick advised she advises Accountants where to apply expense.

MOTION: Haney made a motion to approve the June 11th warrant in the amount of $13,949.41. Bartlett 2nd. All in favor. Approved.

Burke advised that the documents to move some assets into a higher 2.2% 10-month CD. Land is not present to sign, so Burke will mail the documents to Land.

Simmler requested that the full financial reports be brought to future meetings, and/or sent in advance to the Board Members.

Brooks Bartlett, Michael Galasso

Bartlett summarized the public outreach efforts by the Open Cape committee to obtain Fiber Optic service on Main St. in Falmouth. Its limitation is that it is just on Main St. Bartlett advised of the Committee who is trying to obtain fiber optic throughout the Town of Falmouth.

Bartlett wants the Board to discuss supporting and funding a Feasibility Study to determine if a town wide fiber optic service would be viable in Falmouth. It is estimated to cost $50K.

Haney questioned if this project is something that the Town should be involved with.

Art Gaylord spoke about the details of the feasibility study outcomes. He urged that the study to be done quickly, so the results could be presented and considered at the May 2020 Town Meeting.

Simmler asked if this technology will become obsolete quickly – citing 5G availability. Gaylord said he did not think so and cited why.

Simmler inquired if there are any grants available for this type of study. None where known of by meeting attendees. It was suggested that waiting for grant research and application would take an extended period of time.

Galasso stated he strongly supports the concept and suggested that a motion be made contingent on receiving some funding support from the Town of Falmouth via increased land lease payments from the landfill solar project. Much discussion ensured.

Galasso advised that the total benefit to the Town of Falmouth from the Solar Landfill is $14M over a 20-year period. The Town did not invest any money into the Solar Landfill project; therefore, the Town should be able to provide the original and full land lease payment and assist the EDIC with funding the feasibility study.

David Eisenberg, Woods Hole. Spoke of a story regarding a small town – LaFayette, LA funding their own electrical plant in the 1890’s. It was a tremendous success story.

Haney, Simmler, Galasso and Burke voiced concerns that the Chair and Vice-Chair were not present. Bartlett advised that both Land and Moran verbalized support of the project, however, is not representing their votes on this matter.

MOTION: Haney made a motion to approve the allocation up to $50K for a Fiber Optic Network Feasibility Study, and as well that the EDIC approach the Town Selectmen for an increase in the Solar Landfill land lease payments – with this Study as an example of how the increased revenue will be used. Burke 2nd. All in favor. Approved.

DiGiano was appointed the point person to develop and administer the RFP.

Galasso requested that DiGiano work to obtain the EDIC as an agenda item at the next Town Meeting to address the increased solar land lease payments.

Galasso advised that the paperwork is still being worked on with the lawyers regarding the $200K loan that Mass Development is providing to the EDIC who in will in turn loan it to Open Cape. The EDIC is lending the money to Open Cape at the same rate that Mass Development is providing to the EDIC. Open Cape will pay back the loan by connecting customers - approximately $1,100 a month. There will be a participation fee provided to the EDIC of $10 per customer per month. The EDIC will use this revenue to replenish the “Hook Up” Fund for new customers. At the end of 5 years, anything left in the fund will return to the EDIC. Additionally, there will be a 50/50 split for all marketing costs between Open Cape and the EDIC.

Susan Moran
No Update

Michael Galasso

Galasso stated that though much discussion has been had by this Board about the need for affordable workforce housing in Falmouth, little has been done to move this item forward. He requested that the EDIC make a contribution to Falmouth Affordable Housing Fund and the Board have a seat on the Working Group that helps allocate those funds.

Moran stated that there may be a conflict of interest for Galasso as his independent professional work is within this business type. Moran also questions if this is the best use of the EDIC efforts toward achieving the EDIC’s goals. She thinks the EDIC should be exploring this issue, partnering with local businesses and becoming a leader in putting ideas together – a grass roots economic development effort for business solutions.

It was agreed this subject would be continued once the new ED was hired.

9:46 am
MOTION: Haney made a motion to approve the May 14th, 2019 Meeting minutes. Bartlett 2nd. All in favor. Approved.

Broderick advised of Town Counsel Frank Duffy’s memorandum and directive that Broderick and DiGiano can no longer remain as “independent contractors” due to new State legislation – the positions do not meet the criteria of contractors under State Law. The Board asked DiGiano advised to obtain greater clarification on this issue, due to our association with the Town of Falmouth.

Simmler reported he reapplied for board membership as his Term was nearing expiration. Bartlett is still considering his membership renewal and will update at the next meeting.

Mike Faloon, Neighborly – July or August
Affordable Housing Committee - July

10:00 am

MOTON: Haney made a motion to adjourn the meeting session. Galasso 2nd. All in favor. Approved.

July 9, 2019,  8:30 am, Selectmen’s Meeting Room, Falmouth Town Hall


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