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September 2016 Council Meeting

Old Colony Planning Council

The five hundred and thirtieth meeting of the Old Colony Planning Council was held on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at the Council offices located at 70 School Street, Brockton, MA.

OCPC Delegates/Alternates Present 
Frank StaffierAvon
Robert Moran, Jr.Brockton
Preston HuckabeeBrockton Alternate
Richard O'FlahertyEast Bridgewater
Jeanmarie JoyceEaston
Robert OverholtzerHanson
Christine JoyPlympton
Forrest LindwallStoughton Alternate
Eldon F. MoreiraWest Bridgewater
Fred GilmettiWhitman
Others Present
Mr. James EngMassDOT
Ms. Jean FoxMassDOT
Pasquale CiaramellaOCPC
Eric ArbeeneOCPC
Bruce HughesOCPC
Communities Not Represented 
  1. Call to Order, 7:00 PM
    Council President Frank Staffier called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
  2. Roll Call of Members
    Council Secretary Christine Joy read the roll call.
  3. Minutes of August 31, 2016 Meeting
    Council President Staffier asked if there were any additions or corrections to the meeting minutes as prepared. Mr. Robert Moran Jr. moved to accept the minutes as prepared, seconded by Mr. Eldon Moreira. So voted.
  4. Financial Report for July and August 2016
    Council Executive Director Mr. Pasquale Ciaramella presented the July 2016 Financial Report. After discussion, Mr. Eldon Moreira moved to accept the July 2016 financial report as prepared, seconded by Mr. Richard O’Flaherty. So voted. Mr. Ciaramella presented the August Financial Report. After discussion, Mr. Eldon Moreira moved to accept the August financial report as prepared, seconded by Mr. Forrest Lindwall. So voted.
  5. Staff Report
    Economic Development: Mr. Ciaramella said that staff has been working on the Economic Development work program. Staff is working with the Town of Plymouth on a possible US EDA grant application to deal with the closure of the Pilgrim Entergy nuclear power plant. OCPC had been awarded Economic Development District Funding for 2017-18. The OCPC CEDS Committee met on September 19, 2016. They will next meet on November 7, 2016 at noontime. Area Agency on Aging (AAA): Staff is continuing working on the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and the Ombudsman Programs for FFY 16. Transportation:We are working on the Route 28 Traffic Study; Route 3A Corridor Study in Duxbury; Route 123 Traffic Study in Brockton and Abington; Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Study; Avon Pavement Management Study; refinement of the BAT Regional Plan, Traffic Counting Program and the South Coast Rail Technical Assistance Projects in Bridgewater and Stoughton. Staff continues to provide Technical Assistance to our member communities and are working on numerous projects. Staff hosted a September 2016 JTC meeting. Comprehensive Planning: Staff continues to work on Local District Technical Assistance (DLTA) projects and Community Compacts. Community Septic Management: Staff is continuing with the septic loan program. Communities included in this program are Avon, Cohasset, Hanson, Kingston and Stoughton. A list of Upcoming Meetings/Events for September/October/November 2016 was included in the meeting packet.
  6. Regional Clearinghouse Reviews
    Industrial Revenue Bonds: None
    Environmental Notifications (information only)
    i. Plymouth - EEA # 15560- Vernon Street Bedrock Wells-Bridgewater – The Vernon Street Bedrock Wells project involves the development of a new municipal water source to provide the Town of Bridgewater operational flexibility and redundancy so that safe, reliable drinking water continues to be provided to the residences and businesses in Bridgewater. The results of a town-wide test well investigation in 2008 identified two bedrock wells off of Vernon Street as the only sites that appeared feasible for the development of municipal wells. A ten-day pumping test in the Winter of 2016 found that the water from these wells meets applicable primary quality standards, but secondary water quality standards for iron and manganese were exceeded, which will require treatment for the removal of these materials. The pumping test also showed a withdrawal rate of 0.56 million gallons per day (MGD) is sustainable and that MassDEP approval is pending. The site will remain largely unchanged and will be limited to the improvement of an existing single-lane access road with connecting water main and 3-phase power to reach the wells where a single-story 60x90 pumping station and treatment facility will be constructed.
    ii. EEA #15561-Baron Estates-Easton – Baron Estates is a proposed 27 – unit subdivision located off of Mill Street in Easton. The project will be located on approximately 15.49 acres, of which 4.40 acres will be impervious. The project is expected to generate 270 new daily trips, consume 16,800 gallons of water per day and generate 12,320 gallons of waste water per day.
  7. Old Business
    1. UPDATE ON 2016 DISTRICT LOCAL TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: Mr. Ciaramella said the staff is continuing work on the following 2016 DLTA projects. Abington: Help create a business organization in town. City of Brockton: Prepare GIS shape files for existing zoning districts and data files for properties within those districts. East Bridgewater: Conduct market analysis for East Bridgewater Center. Halifax: Update Housing Production Plan. Plymouth: Provide assistance to Entergy Taskforce. Plympton: Assistance in working with Towns of Carver, Halifax and Kingston to explore regionalization, share services, and collective purchasing opportunities. Stoughton: Create a list of available commercial and industrial properties and land for sale or lease and create a business property site finder to be linked to the town’s website. Whitman: 40 R Zoning District. Regional: Municipal Aggregation. Regional Office Supplies Purchasing, Community Compact/City of Brockton, Campello Neighborhood Visioning Project.
  8. New Business
    1. PRESENTATION – SOUTH COAST RAIL PROJECT OVERVIEW: Ms. Jean C. Fox, Project Manager, South Coast Rail Project, MassDOT and Mr. James Eng, Deputy Rail Administrator, MassDOT presented on South Coast Rail. The South Coast Rail project will restore commuter rail service between Boston and the Massachusetts South Coast. Since service to this region ended in 1959, Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford are the only major cities within 50 miles of Boston lacking transit access to the City and other communities. South Coast Rail will reconnect this long underserved region to jobs while spurring economic vitality and attracting new business and investments. MassDOT has asked for comments on this project. Comments are due by September 30. Mr. Eng discussed the Middleboro route option. It will run diesel trains and will be an extension of the existing Middleboro route. Approximately seven and one half miles of current freight only track connecting Middleboro to a line going to Fall River and New Bedford needs to be upgraded from Class 1 (15 miles per hour speed limit) to Class 4 (60 to 75 mile per hour speed limit). Mr. Forrest Lindwall, Stoughton Alternate expressed concerns the Town of Stoughton has for the Stoughton route option including dealing with the many grade crossings in Stoughton. Mr. Richard O’Flaherty, East Bridgewater Delegate and member of the MBTA Commuter Rail Taskforce also expressed concerns about the impact of this project on our region. After discussion, Mr. Frank Staffier moved that OCPC write a comment letter to MassDOT/ South Coast Rail expressing the Council’s support of the South Coast Rail Project including looking at the Middleborough Alternative Option, seconded by Mr. Eldon Moreira. So voted.
    2. UPDATE ON THE EAST BRIDGEWATER CENTER RETAIL MARKET ANALYSIS: Mr. Eric Arbeene, OCPC Community Planner, presented on this market analysis which identifies a set of strategies to enhance the East Bridgewater Center Business District, the most significant concentration of commercial activity in East Bridgewater. This project was required to be done as part of an application by the Town of East Bridgewater for funding to MassDevelopment for brownfields assessment funding for the Precise Engineering/Grant Steel/former MBTA right of way brownfields site in East Bridgewater center. East Bridgewater Delegate Mr. Richard O’Flaherty commended Mr. Arbeene for his work and expressed concern about increased traffic in the study area due to new development in the area including a relocated drugstore.
    3. LEGISTLATIVE HIGHLIGHTS (An Act providing for financing certain improvements to municipal roads and bridges (H.4424), and An Act relative to job creation and workforce development (H.4569). Mr. Ciaramella discussed this. The Small Bridge Program was signed into law on August 10, 2016 by Governor Charlie Baker. This 5 year, $50 Million program will provide reimbursable assistance to cities and towns of up to $500K per year to aid in the replacement and preservation of municipally owned bridges with spans between 10’ and 20’. These bridges are not eligible for federal aid under existing bridge replacements or rehabilitation programs. This is a need and merit program that will seek to fund those applications that demonstrate a critical need (i.e. emergency closure, detrimental detour routes for first responders) or will substantially extend the life of an existing bridge. All applications will be submitted by the city or town to their local district highway office. From there, projects will be forwarded to MassDOT’s Bridge Section in Boston with a recommendation. Projects will again be evaluated and scored, with final recommendations being made to the Chief Engineer, who will issue to each municipality a final decision. Applications will be accepted three times per year – October 31st, February 28th, and June 30th. Therefore, the first round of applications will need to be submitted to their respective Highway District on or before October 31, 2016.
      The bill also broadens the authorization of the Complete Streets Funding Program. Launched with $12.5 million in funding by the Baker, Polito Administration earlier this year, Complete Streets provides up to $50,000 for technical assistance and up to $400,000 in construction costs for communities to plan and incorporate best practices into the design and build of safe modes of travel for the public, including pedestrians, cyclers, drivers and users of mass transit. Nearly 80 communities have adopted Complete Streets policies that make them eligible to receive funding through the program.
      Also discussed by Mr. Ciaramella was An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development (H.4569). Governor Baker signed a comprehensive economic development legislation into law, providing up to $1 billion in new investments in community development, workforce development, innovation across Massachusetts, and economic competiveness. OCPC communities benefitting from funding in this program include: Avon: $250,000 shall be invested for the redevelopment of infrastructure in the Avon Industrial Park, Brockton: $300,000 shall be expended for the design and construction of the expansion of the Brockton Council on Aging Senior Center and $200,000 shall be expended for infrastructure improvements in the City of Brockton, Halifax: $200,000 shall be expended for the design and construction of the Halifax Council on Aging Building, Plymouth: $300,000 shall be expended for the 116 sampling and permitting of the dredging of Plymouth Harbor, Stoughton: $250,000 shall be expended for the redevelopment of Stoughton Center. Some other initiatives being funded though this legislation include a $500 million capital authorization for MassWorks, a $45 million capital authorization for the Transformative Development Initiative, and a $45 Million capital authorization for the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund.
  9. Community Concerns:
    • FY 2017 Community Compact Cabinet Programs: Mr. Ciaramella said the state is advertising an Efficiency and Regionalization Grant Program. The purpose of this grant program is to provide financial support for governmental entities interest in implementing regionalization and other efficiency initiatives that allow for long term sustainability. These grants will provide funds for one-time or transition costs for municipalities, regional school districts considering forming a regional school district or regionalizing services, regional planning agencies and councils of governments interested in such projects. There will be two competitive application rounds for this new grant program. The first round grant applications will be accepted starting October 15, 2016. All applications must be received by November 15. On January 1, 2017 a second round will open and close on February 1, 2017. Under Best Practices – Year 2, any new applicant or any eligible entity that was not awarded a Community Compact Grant in Round 1 can apply for a grant in Round 2. An IT grant program for communities will open on March 1, 2017 and close on April 1, 2017. A flyer for these programs was included in the meeting packet.
    • Sharing Council Meeting Packet Materials with Town/City Administrators: Mr. Frank Staffier said he shares OCPC Council meetings materials with the Avon Town Administrator Mr. Frank Crimmins, Jr. He recommends all Council Delegates/Alternates do the same.
  10. Other Business:
    • TIP Projects Advertised: Mr. Ciaramella said two TIP projects were recently advertised, Brockton: Roadway Reconstruction and Related Work (including Signals & ADA Improvements) along a section of Route 123 (Belmont Street, From Linwood Street to Angus Way) and Weymouth/Abington: Roadway Reconstruction, widening and Bridge Replacement (including Signals) along a section of Route 18 (Main and Bedford Streets).
    • Extension of comment period on changes to the MPO process: Mr. Ciaramella said the comment period for comments on the Notice of proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Coordination and Planning Area Reform has been extended until October 24, 2016.
  11. Visitors Comments/Questions: There were none.
  12. Adjournment: There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 9:01 PM.
    Respectfully submitted,
    Fred Gilmetti, Secretary
Meeting Date Agenda Minutes
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