Archive for October, 2013

Cash Strapped ?

October 27, 2013

We now have 2 million a year coming in from Market Street when it is complete in a year or so, according to Chairman of the Board Crawford and former Chair Arthur Borque, whcih is one million more than the original estimate and yet in the Globe article we are described as "cash-strapped".

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/north/2013/10/16/lynnfield-considers-cell-towers-plug-gaps-coverage/rYBo9nh4oADthRMpVXQnRM/story.html?event=event12

Thank you,
Wally
McKenzie

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Town Meeting Tweets

October 21, 2013

No surprises at Town Meeting. Fields article passed.

More on Tuesday evening

Here are posts from facebook and twitter

#mapoli #lynnfield bourque and Campbell have words about the quorum

#mapoli #lynnfield people moved to reconsider article 8 but weren’t on prevailing side. Little detail.

#mapoli #lynnfield vote is 271 to 67 the article passes

#mapoli #lynnfield planning board opposes the article. Questions around outstanding debt and liabilities. 52 million in OPEB costs

#mapoli #lynnfield over 1.5 hours discussing the fields article. 250,000 dollars

#mapoli #lynnfield over an hour discussing the fields article.

#mapoli #lynnfield town meeting discussion of retirement costs. 52 million cost. Discussion of liability vs debt

Thank you,
Wally McKenzie

Town Meeting Monday Oct 21st at 7:30 PM

October 20, 2013

#mapoli #lynnfiield The Lynnfield Fall Town meeting will take place tomorrow evening, Monday October 21st at the Lynnfield Middle School starting at 7:30 PM. One article dealing with upgrading the fields is being presented, another deals with starting to fund a 52 million dollar unfunded pension liability that many towns face. There are a couple articles to accept some new streets and a zoning article.

The complete warrant can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/m8ge75s

Thank you,
Wally McKenzie

More thoughts on the fields from another resident

October 19, 2013

Dear Lynnfield Residents,

I would like to thank our Fields Committee for their time and commitment to improving our playing fields. Like many of you, I agree that our children need better playing fields; but I am not convinced that using school property is the only approach.

Some facts:

– Up to $400,000 Massachusetts PARC grants are available to cities and towns that are improving or creating athletic fields for their communities. Therefore, many cities and towns have turf fields that are dedicated and deeded for park and recreation purposes only. To qualify for these grants, land must be dedicated to park and recreation purposes and not under the care and control of the School Committee.

For example, when North Reading upgraded their athletic field on school property to turf, the School Committee turned the land over to the Parks and Recreation Department. This positioned the field to qualify for PARC state grant funding, up to $400,000. (These grants can be obtained for new and renovated fields.)

– The life expectancy of a turf field is estimated to be 10-15 years, after which at the very least, the playing surface should be replaced for an estimated $300,000 per field. Based upon the projected heavy usage from youth, high school and several adult organizations that currently use the fields, we can anticipate an estimated useful life of 10 years for our 4 turf fields (Please keep in mind, the larger more aggressive athletes, combined with weather conditions will adversely impact the best case estimate of a 15 year replacement of turf fields)

The town will take out a 20 year bond at $3.94M to build the proposed turf fields. For budgetary purposes, we will assume the four turf fields will be replaced twice during the life of the loan. During the 20 year bond payment schedule, field replacement costs may be $2.4M. Presently, the taxpayers of Lynnfield will bear that cost of the turf replacement because we cannot qualify for state grants.

As we all know, a Capital Planning Committee is being formed to review the potential of a new police station and library. Based on Lynnfield Finance Committee Meeting minutes dated February 19, 2013, Reedy Meadow will be considered as a possible site for these new buildings. Would it benefit us to have a few grass athletic fields at Reedy Meadow? Would it help to keep our costs down? Should we have the High School and Middle School fields dedicated to park and recreation purposes, to help us qualify for existing state grants? As we move forward, to improve our athletic fields, I hope these questions are considered. Meeting our fields and capital improvement projects will be of great interest to Lynnfield’s taxpayers.

Sincerely,

Katy Shea

More questions from another resident

October 17, 2013

Another resident wrote in to ask that these questions:

1) How can you say we should only vote for the 250K if we are prepared to vote for the 9M ? You said yourself that the 9M is only an estimate and it could be a completely different number. That we needed the 250K so solid numbers could be arrived at.

2) You have proposed a financing plan.How can you have a financing plan if (see above) you don’t have firm numbers ?

3) In the financing plan there is $200,000 coming from Market Street. Is that from the general funds from Market Street or is that number attached to a specific revenue stream from Market Street ?

Thank you,
Joe DeMaina

52 million dollar liablity and article six on Monday

October 16, 2013

At Monday’s Town Meeting there will be a discussion on Article 6.

"ARTICLE 6. To see if the Town will vote to accept the provisions of G.L. c. 32B, § 20 to establish an Other Post Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund and to raise and appropriate a sum of money to be deposited therein; or what action it will take thereon."

This is to have the town start to fund the 52 million dollar liability that Lynnfield owes. Lynnfield is not alone in facing this liability and some communities have already started funding it so future generations won’t be stuck with a larger bill. It is a new item that the Town has to start funding. The Audited Town reports contain more details and are attached for people to read before Monday night.

Thank you,
Wally
McKenzie

Lynnfield MA ML12 Final.pdf

Lynnfield MA FS12 Final.pdf

A view of the field proposal

October 13, 2013

To the Citizens of Lynnfield October 11, 2013

With the advent of new revenue to the town of Lynnfield we can now plan for Real Estate tax reduction—a concept that is important and deserved by homeowners particularly in light of the approximate 40% increase in the tax levy over the last 10 years. Our new Market Street project and golf courses will in the future provide continuous and stable cash flows.

Though the Market Street funds are not available yet, and to some extent are unknown, there is a rush to spend on new playing fields and capital projects such as new police/fire stations, town hall and library buildings with major technology upgrades. A Capital Needs Committee is just now being formed to put together a comprehensive view of our needs. Approving one of the many potential projects in advance of knowing what the other Town needs and costs are does not make good planning, fiscal or budgetary sense. By so doing we are putting “the cart before the horse”.

What is needed is time to plan—a plan which would balance, over say the next 5 years, Real Estate tax reductions, possible town capital/infrastructure investments [buildings, roads,
sidewalks, etc.] against verifiable income, cash flows and total current Town debt and debt capacity. Properly commissioned, the Capital Needs Committee Report will accomplish this.

Informed by the Capital Needs Committee Report we will be able to prioritize and select the investment and tax reduction alternatives which are most important to the Town and which we can afford. Even Town’s have tax and debt capacity limits.

Let us arrest the rush to spend by voting NO on the Fields Article 7 at the upcoming Town Meeting thereby postponing a final decision until after completion of the Capital Needs Committee report. Armed with all the facts the Town Meeting can then make the best decisions for the Town.

David E. Miller, Sr.

Lynnfield, MA 01940

West Nile sample detected in Lynnfield

October 11, 2013

Message from the Board of Health

West Nile Virus was detected in a mosquito sample again in Lynnfield as reported on October 11, 2013.

As we move into the later part of mosquito season, mosquito populations are decreasing but older mosquitoes are also more likely to carry virus. The risk for mosquito borne illness will continue until there is a hard frost.

There is no spraying planned at this time.

People, especially those over 50 and/or immunocompromised, should be strongly encouraged to use repellent and cover up to reduce mosquito bites. WNV infected mosquitoes are present throughout the Commonwealth and are not confined to municipalities where infected mosquitoes have specifically been found.

For more information visit www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito and http://westnile.ashtonweb.com or call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at (617) 983-6800.

School Superintendent Search.

October 10, 2013

During this school year, the Lynnfield School Committee will be conducting a search for a new Superintendent to begin in Lynnfield on July 1, 2014. As part of the process, we will be conducting forums to get feedback from stakeholders in the community. The Committee will be gathering information on what people see as the strengths and challenges in the district over the next several years, as well as the qualifications, background and characteristics that people believe the next leader should possess to be successful in Lynnfield. The information will help inform the School Committee as it goes through the process of selecting a superintendent. It will also be helpful information as a new leader takes the helm in the district.

During the first several weeks in October, parents and community members will have the opportunity to attend forums and/or to complete an on-line survey, which will be available soon at www.lynnfield.k12.ma.us, in order to provide feedback to the School Committee. The schedule for the forums is as follows:

High School PTO: October 8, 7 p.m.

Summer Street School PTO: October 8, 7 p.m.

Huckleberry Hill PTO: October 9, 7 p.m.

Middle School PTO & SEPAC: October 16, 6 p.m.

Preschool PTO, October 17 10:30 AM

Community Forum, October 10 7:00 PM – Middle School Media Center

Thank you,
Wally McKenzie

Didn’t been the license

October 7, 2013

As it turns out, National does not need an entertainment license as the don’ have a liquor license nor a food license. This was shared with me by Rob Curtin before the start of the meeting so the application was not on the agenda.

It was interesting to see a rare unanimous vote by the board to deny a beer and wine license to Putnam Pantry at 793 Main st. Crawford said he was against it, then Nelson said he wasn’t sure, Terranova said he was against it and then Nelson said he also was.

Thank you,
Wally