FARMINGTON BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S
MARCH 3, 2003
Attendance: Chairman John Fitch, David Hall & Gerald McCarthy
Staff: Ernest M. Creveling, Town Administrator, Kerry Mucher, Director of Parks & Recreation & Clark
Hackett, Highway Supervisor
Downtown Merchants: Susan Daly of Mros Variety, Patience Taylor of Featherfew, Jeannette Colpitt of
Palmer Hardware, Paula Proulx of Marketplace Deli & Director of the Community
Preservation Guild, Brad Anderson
Gerald McCarthy made a motion to approve the minutes from February 24, 2003. David Hall seconded the motion and the vote was: John-yes, David-yes & Gerry-yes. The motion to approve the minutes passed.
Nute Ridge Half Marathon
Chairman Fitch asked the Director of Parks & Recreation, Kerry Mucher to address those present this evening. Kerry said she’d like the merchants to give her their opinions concerning the marathon race. She said she has continued the race out of tradition, but if it is causing problems for the downtown merchants, then it needs to be addressed. Jeannette Colpitt of Palmer Hardware said she likes the idea of Farmington sponsoring the race too
, but on that day, the race is detrimental to downtown business owners, noting she herself lost $1,000 in business that day. Sue Daly of Mros Variety asked why the no parking signs are set up so early, prior to the race. Kerry explained that two years ago, they began placing the signs on the curb early in the day and then 1-½ hours before the race, parking is physically not permitted. She said the no parking is for safety reasons, because parking must be prevented in preparation for the race. Sue then wondered if Kerry could specify that race participants not be allowed to park in the downtown. Kerry said then the problem would be the same as it is on Hay Day and vehicles would have to be towed. Paula Proulx of the Deli Marketplace said she believes the race is a good tradition in
Town, but it is getting increasingly more difficult to bring patrons into the downtown, aside from the hassle of not being allowed to park on that particular day. She said Saturdays and Sundays are difficult for Palmer Hardware, because that’s when they service the most customers. Paula said Hay Day is a Town wide event, unlike the race. Kerry said she appreciates the feedback from the merchants, but she said the racecourse couldn’t be changed. Kerry said the Farmington does not make money on the race. Patience Taylor asked why the race isn’t started at the High School, since there’s more available parking and it’s a larger facility than the Town Hall. Kerry said if the racecourse had to be changed it would have to be performed by a US Track & Field sanctioned official and would cost $400-$500.00 to re-certify the course. She said if the race is causing problems for the merchants, she needs to consider that
perhaps the race should be discontinued. Kerry said unfortunately runner safety has to be her number one concern, due to the sanctions the race falls under. Discussion then ensued regarding the cost of the race, the fact the race “breaks even every year” and that it is not a fund raising event. Paula said she wondered if there could be a way to raise the funds needed to change the racecourse. Kerry said the race doesn’t really benefit the community and in looking further into the issue, she feels it should perhaps be discontinued. Discussion then ensued regarding the actual area covered for the racecourse. She said she has spent a lot of time looking at all the issues. Brad Anderson asked if he’s understanding Kerry correctly and that it’s pretty much impossible to change the racecourse. Kerry said the idea of the marathon is to have it within the core of the community. Brad then wondered if the
race could start on Winter Street. He said race participants are actually potential customers and it would be unfortunate to have it discontinued. David Hall asked about the re-certification of the course, wondering if this is something that could occur this year or next. Kerry said when the West Milton Road Bridge collapsed, it took several months to get the racecourse changed and certified. John asked if the police are hired to assist during the race and Kerry said they are budgeted into the cost of the race. She said it’s a tough course and only draws a certain type of
Selectmen’s Minutes 03/03/03-Pg. #2
very serious runner. John asked Kerry how much it costs to have the race and she said between $4,000 & $5,000 and the Town breaks even between the small amount the Town actually funds the race ($800.00), and then collects in race registration fees, etc. Ernie asked how much is brought in for fees and Kerry said between $600.00 & $1,000. She said they probably take in $3,500 and spend $3,500, but it does vary from year to year. John asked about ambulance protection for the day of the race and Kerry said the ambulance
volunteers provide their services for free. She said she’d like to take the feedback from the merchants this evening, talk it over further at a later time with the Board of Selectmen and then decide what to do. She thanked the merchants for their petition, which caused her to look at this situation in more depth. Brad said he thinks it could be a “win-win” situation for everyone. Kerry said perhaps the time of year the race is held could be changed to maybe in the spring, instead of the fall. Gerry wondered if the race participants could be fed at the Fire Station banquet hall instead of the Town Hall. She said the race would have to be re-sanctioned, since that would involve changing the course too. Gerry said if the race is continued, then the course would
definitely have to be re-sanctioned.
John asked to see a show of hands from the downtown business owners for those that feel the course should be changed and diverted off of Main Street. They all raised their hands in favor of changing the course. Paula said the Town should build on what they have and make it good. John asked the merchants present this evening to discuss the race with other downtown businesses. Kerry said she knows their sentiments. Paula reiterated that she would hate to see the race discontinued and would only prefer to see the racecourse re-routed. Patience wondered if the merchants could assist Kerry through the process. Kerry said she needs time to look into this further. The meeting adjourned for the informational meeting regarding the proposal for SB-2.
The meeting reconvened after the informational meeting.
Spring Road Posting
Clark Hackett came before the Board and those present at the meeting to discuss the need to post the roads for weight limits soon. He said past practice has been a weight limit of 8 ton has been posted for asphalt and gravel roads, posting them between now and the end of the month. He then asked the Boards’ permission to allow him to watch the roads, decide upon a date to post and to advise area contractors of the upcoming posting limits. He said the weight limit would begin approximately March 15th and would be in effect until the roads dry out or until the frost is out of the ground. He said he’s not sure how long that will be this year, due to the tremendously long cold weather. John asked if the notice of road posting is published in the local newspaper and Clark
said it could be done, if the Selectmen so desire. Clark said letters could be sent out on March 11th or 12th to the area contractors warning them, in advance, of the road posting. Gerry asked Clark if the Town of Farmington should have a specific date to begin and Clark said area towns feel the same as he does. Ernie suggested the Selectmen give Clark the flexibility to make the decision when to first post the roads. Gerald McCarthy made a motion to permit Highway Supervisor, Clark Hackett the authority to post the Town roads with a spring weight limit of 8-ton, but only for as long as is necessary. David Hall seconded the motion and the vote was: John-yes, David-yes & Gerry-yes. The motioned passed to allow Clark Hackett to post the roads with a spring weight limit.
Clark said he had another issue to bring before the Board this evening. He said the highway department overtime budget line is $20,000 and due to the heavy winter, this budget line is now over-expended as of last week’s payroll. He asked the Selectmen if they would approve a $5,000 increase to the overtime budget line to cover his department from this month through the month of April. John said he would like to discuss this further with the Town Administrator. Ernie said as Town Meeting approaches, the Board of Selectmen could better decide.
David Hall made a motion to make a conditional offer of employment with pay to be discussed with the Selectmen prior to actual hire, to applicant #1, Mr. Aaron Brovitz. Gerald McCarthy seconded the motion and the vote was: David-yes, Jerry-yes & John-yes. The vote was unanimous to make a conditional offer of employment to Aaron Brovitz.
Gerald McCarthy motioned to deny a conditional offer of employment to candidate #2, Mr. Bruce Ricker. David Hall seconded the motion and the vote was: John-yes, David-yes & Jerry-yes. The vote was unanimous to deny a conditional offer of employment to Bruce Ricker.
Kevin Willey was called back into session with the Board. John told him the Selectmen voted to grant the COE to Aaron Brovitz and of their desire to deny a COE to Bruce Ricker. Kevin thanked the Board.
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It was at this time Selectman David Hall recused himself from the Selectmen’s meeting and Ernie read a letter from Selectman Hall requesting an internal investigation of the Farmington Police Dept. and requesting that his personnel file be kept at the municipal offices versus the Police Dept. where it is now kept. John asked Ernie how the Board should proceed with this and Ernie said the Selectmen should permit Ernie to proceed with this matter through Town Counsel. Gerald McCarthy motioned to allow Town Administrator, Ernest Creveling to proceed with Selectman Hall’s request for an internal investigation
of the Farmington Police Dept. and with his request to have his personnel file moved from the Police Dept. to the municipal offices, as a civil complaint to be forwarded to Town Counsel for review and advise. John Fitch seconded the motion and the vote was: Jerry-yes & John-yes. The vote was two in favor and one recused. The motion passed to allow Town Administrator Creveling to proceed with Town Counsel in this matter.
Discussion then ensued regarding the need of the Selectmen to be supplied with dispatch sign on/off of all department officers. The meeting adjourned.
Lynn C. Seaboyer
Chairman John Fitch Gerald McCarthy