FALMOUTH EDIC OPEN MEETING: May 10, 2016
Town Hall, Selectmen’s Meeting Room
Mike Galasso(C), Jay Zavala (Clerk), Jim Fox, Sue Moran, Brooks Bartlett
CALL TO ORDER
The chairman called the meeting to order.
At the request of the chairman, Fox reviewed that the EDIC is having a Landfill Solar PV ribbon cutting ceremony at the Falmouth Yacht Club Wednesday May 11th from 5-7pm. Zavala and the chairman agreed that there will be no deliberations at the function.
WORKING GROUP UPDATES: BOS 5-YR STRAT PLAN
EDIC Element (Potential Properties/Land Swap)
Bartlett reported the he will have a meeting with the Town Planner by the next EDIC meeting and report back to the committee.
HOUSING ISSUES UPDATE
Galasso announced that the CPC is holding a symposium to discuss affordable housing in our community. It will be held on Thursday evening at 6pm at the library. The chairman also reported that at last week’s Affordable Housing Committee meeting the discussion was centered on how to fund a position in the Town’s Community Development Office. The person hired for this position would coordinate housing in the community and in the future work on economic development. He went on to say that the position is currently not funded. The money was going to be funded by the CPC but they could not meet the requirements to be on the warrant for the fall town meeting. It’s now being requested that the $80,000 come from the Affordable Housing Fund that the CPC has funded and created. The chairman suggested that the EDIC write a letter to the selectmen to support the funding of this position (Community Development Officer) from the CPC’s Trust Fund. Moran said that is a great idea and that we should include in the letter responsibilities that would be beneficial to the EDIC in the future. Galasso said this would be a great opportunity to help shape the position instead of waiting for the description to be presented to us. Zavala added that the CCC, since its inception, has had a housing specialist as a member of its staff. The KSA’s (knowledge, skills, and abilities) that would be included in a job description can easily be found by going to the CCC. After reviewing their model the EDIC could develop one their own. Zavala asked if we could include in the letter whether the town would fund this position with the help of the EDIC and share this person with the EDIC. Discussion followed about whether the EDIC could have a shared person that the town is looking at hiring as well as sharing the cost. Galasso thought that we want to support what the town is doing and to give the EDIC some consideration in developing the position. The chairman summarized by saying that we have discussed many good ideas and he would incorporate them in the letter after he does a little more research on the matter. The letter will basically let the Town Manager know that the EDIC supports the creation of this new position and/or department and wants it to evolve into not only housing but economic development. Fox added that the “Accessory Apartment Ordinance” is still working its way through the total process. Comments are still coming in. Hearings are still being held. It’s still on the planning board’s agenda. It will then go to a joint meeting of the selectmen and the planning board which has not been scheduled yet. It will then be hashed out and be ready to go to town meeting. Fox added that they have not started drafting the “Higher Density Ordinance” until after the town elections and the boards have been restructured.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: FALMOUTH STATION
Dave Eldredge as former FSAC committee chairman and EDIC board member, updated the board since the last meeting. He said they had received the construction estimate from our estimator. After recovering from the initial shock of the estimate there were a series of meetings between our building consultants and the estimator to bring the estimate closer to the budget. Yesterday afternoon the chairman and Eldredge went to Boston to meet with the architects, the Clerk of the works, and two consultants from Jacobs engineering (representing Mass DOT). At the meeting a thorough look into each line item was reviewed to try and reduce the estimated cost of construction. Eldredge reported that much progress was made and they were able to identify several areas to modify the architectural specifications to reduce costs. Moran asked about the “shock” part of the estimate and how it changed the specs. The chairman replied that the architect had included with the original plans everything that we added from the FS Advisory Committee to include additional site work and landscaping. The items that were eliminated or altered were some of the items after the original budget was approved. Now we will be on budget as originally approved. Moran asked what are we giving up to get the costs within budget because many of the items came from public input and they have the right to know. Eldredge answered saying that because there were so many components and suggestions that were brought up that it would be easier to summarize what the basic charge is going forward and anything beyond that falls outside of the budget. Eldredge went on to say many of the ideas and components that came from the public and the FS Advisory Committee were very good ones but that they fell outside of the original agreement that Mass DOT agreed to. The main focus was to bring the building into the 21st century making it safe and weather proof and to last for the next 99 years. Eldredge said, the EDIC should have the updated estimate costs back this week so that we can put the work out for bid quickly. He said that our schedule will be delayed by a couple of weeks. Eldredge stated that at the last FS Advisory Committee meeting on May 3rd he handed the chairmanship over to Jay Zavala. Zavala then reported the following. The meeting was a joint meeting of the Advisory committee and the FS committee along with the architect and the landscaping architect. Zavala will forward the meeting notes directly to the chairman. He also reported after talking to the Attorney General’s Office it was recognized these meetings would be open to the pubic.
LANDFILL REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT
The chairman stated that as of the 15th of this month we will have $175,000.00 coming in from Citizen Energy for reimbursements of upfront costs on the project. He said that the checks would be mailed to our mailbox here at the town hall. He asked the recording secretary to be on the lookout for them. He also said the quarterly Land Lease payments start after the completion of the first phase of the project which is anticipated to be later this summer. We will then be receiving $16,665.00 per quarter from Citizen’s Energy for the first three years. Fox added that the purchase orders for the panels have been signed and ordered and that all the documents for the Land Lease have been signed. The chairman reviewed that this is the first phase and it is for 4 megawatts and there is still land out there to increase it for two more megawatts. He also said we should look at the town land that abuts the landfill but is landlocked. Galasso went on to say that each municipality in the state is allocated a maximum of 10 megawatts of power that they can put through their “Net Metering Credit.” He said that Zavala, Fox and Audrey Eidelman worked to allow us to receive an additional 10 megawatts by getting the Department of Utilities to recognize us as a Municipal Agency. This means that the EDIC can develop up to 20 megawatts. One of the additional commitments Citizen’s Energy made to us was to develop an additional 2 megawatt system for low to moderate income home owners in our town that could reduce their electric bill down to zero. We need to find ten acres for this to happen. Fox added that we cannot put ground mounted solar arrays anywhere that is not classified Light Industrial “C”.” We need to look at local land owners and large parcels of land and identify areas that can be rezoned. Fox said our Real Estate Committee should be put in charge of this initiative. Zavala said he was in favor of this initiative and that he would volunteer to assist them. A discussion followed on how we go about finding land parcels and notifying the owners to see if there is any interest.
Moran reviewed that Langlais has added the five lots that the EDIC owns to the balance sheet. The chairman had asked at the last meeting that they be added. She reported that the 5 lots together are valued at $1,165,500 and are now listed as assets. They are the current assessed value. Fox said he would like to look at the five lots as a group and discuss the values.
The chairman read the warrant that Langlais had drawn up totaling $18,672.04. A motion was made to approve seconded. It was approved unanimously.
Zavala reviewed with Eldredge before resigning the situation at the Tech Park. Zavala understood that we have no legal standing with the association. Eldredge said that there was no real leadership with the owners. Zavala said he would talk to the association members once he reviewed completely the background of the situation.
Moran reported that at the most recent assembly of delegates meeting of the CCC the new county administrator, Jack Units, stated that it is a priority of his to pursue Municipal Broadband. As a result we should see additional opportunities coming through the CCC in the future.
EDIC ADMINISTRATIVE BUSINESS
REPORT TO TOWN MANAGER
Zavala reported that he emailed the town manager that David Eldredge has resigned and Bartlett was undecided.
A motion to approve the April 12, 2016 Public Session minutes was seconded and approved unanimously.
The chairman asked that if we have any pictures of the landfill or any EDIC project to send them to Zavala or Moran. Zavala said there is progress in moving the website forward. We will have two draft reviews before the final update.
The chairman asked Moran if the Selectmen have reacted to the news that NOAA may be moving out of town. Moran said there have been many meetings with them and that they voted to send a letter of appreciation to them and how important they are to the town of Falmouth. The chairman stated that we should be looking at the many ways that the EDIC could assist the town or the Senior Center Committee in finding a location and or assisting the financing of the new center. A brief discussion followed. Bartlett reported that Mass DOT has sent out the letters to the abutters of FS.
NEW BUSINESS - PITCH CONTEST
Bartlett will follow-up with Peter Karlson from EforAll to look at the possibilities of sponsoring a “Pitch Contest.”
SOLAR PROJECTS WITH OTHER MUNICIPALITIES
Allan Jacobs (Chairman of the Falmouth School Committee) spoke to the committee about possibly looking into reducing their utility bills. He said he had a conversation with the chairman previously and would like to see if we can work together in the future. The School Committee has eight buildings. (7 schools and one administration building) They have a tight budget and would like to look into solar. They have no real expertise about solar and would like to reach out to the EDIC to see if we can help each other. The school system uses approximately ½ of all the electricity that the town consumes. In summary, Galasso said we are looking for direction from the board as to whether or not this is something worth our effort in pursuing and helping the school district look at some potential for solar renewable energy at the properties. Maybe that reduction goes to providing more teachers in the system and also reduces our “carbon footprint.”
STAFFING NEEDS – RFP FOR PROJECT MANAGER
After discussion, Chairman will move the discussion forward and possibly bring a job description and/or RFP forward at next meeting.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting and passed unanimously
NEXT MEETING DATE
June 14, 2016, 8:30AM
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