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This post is primarily for residents of the Town of Wales who want to review past business and discussions that took place at Board of Selectmen (BOS) meetings regarding the 5 Main Street property and 5 Main Street Committee. I downloaded minutes from the Town website from August 8, 2014 through December 1, 2015 and extracted the sections pertaining to the property. Most of the boldface and other formatting did not survive the copying process. Any errors or omissions are inadvertent; the complete sets of minutes are available online. I found it interesting to read the minutes about the Old Stafford Road property sale and other BOS business from the last year and more.


Wales Board of Selectmen
Meeting minutes concerning the property at 5 Main Street
and the 5 Main Street Committee


August 8, 2014

Jeff Vannais informed the public that the BOS is exploring the possibility of purchasing the property for sale at 5 Main Street, adjacent to the Old Town Hall. After speaking with Counsel, he was advised that the BOS could make a preliminary offer on the property, and then present this to the public at a Special Town meeting to determine if the Town would be willing to purchase the property. Possible uses for this property, to be determined at a later date, could include parking, additional office space, etc. Mr. Milanese stated that the current asking price for 5 Main Street is $125,000. The BOS has submitted an offer, countered by the owners, and countered again by the BOS. The property would be purchased “as is.” A Special Town Meeting will be scheduled to inform Wales’ residents of the specifics of the proposed purchase, and to take a public vote on the issue. No action will be taken without this vote.


August 26, 2014

Purchase agreement for 5 Main Street: Due to the proposed low purchase price, the property would be purchased “as is,” with no contingencies. Jeff made the motion, seconded by Ed, to move forward with a Special Town Meeting, and to authorize the immediate posting of said meeting, upon the execution of the purchase and sales agreement. The meeting warrant should state that the BOS is asking the people of Wales to purchase in total the property located at 5 Main Street for the designated price, plus an amount equal to the closing costs, and that the use(s) of this property will be determined at a later date. The meeting warrant also should indicate that the funds for the proposed purchase would be drawn equally from the Capital Stabilization Account, the Regular Stabilization Account, and the Norcross Account. The motion passed unanimously. Susan will submit the warrant to Kopelman & Paige for their review.

Town Meetings: Jeff moved to hold a Public Informational Meeting regarding the proposed purchase of 5 Main Street on Wednesday, September 3, at 7:00 pm at the Wales Elementary School, with an alternate date of Thursday September 4, at 7:00 pm. The motion was seconded by Ed, and approved unanimously. The date of the Special Town Meeting regarding the proposed purchase of 5 Main Street will be determined at the next BOS meeting on September 9, 2014.


September 2, 2014

Jeff made the motion, seconded by Ed, to accept the Special Town Meeting Warrant (9/23/14) as presented by the Town Clerk, with the blank spaces filled in. There was a discussion about the purchase amount to be included in the Warrant. It was decided to use the wording, “the sum not to exceed $125,000” (the asking price) for the acquisition price. (The exact purchase price cannot be disclosed because the Town does not yet have a signed contract. The figure will be disclosed at the Special Town Meeting.) The motion passed unanimously. All Selectmen signed the Warrant, which will be emailed to the printer tomorrow. The mailing to the Town will be sent directly from the printer.

September 9, 2014

Ed inquired about the date for the Informational Meeting and Community Discussion regarding the possible purchase of 5 Main Street. It was decided that this meeting would be held on September 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wales Elementary School. All three Selectmen read and signed the proposed Purchase and Sales Agreement for the property at 5 Main Street.

October 21, 2014
5 Main Street Committee
November 4, 2014
5 Main Street Committee

The Board of Selectmen is looking to put together a committee to determine what should be done with the 5 Main Street property.

MOTION: To post that the Board is looking for interested individuals for the 5 Main Street Committee who are to come up with ideas on how to use the property. The posting should be done on the bulletin and cable channel and the submissions should be received by November 18, 2014. Motion made by Vannais, seconded by Boyce.

Discussion: Vannais stated the representatives from the other town’s boards that were discussed at the previous meeting sounded good to him. Boyce stated he would like to see diversity in the group and would like to get some interest before the closing.

VOTE: ALL in favor

November 18, 2014
5 Main Street/Committee


The Board has received three letters of interest from residents about the committee. They would like to have members from Planning Board, Conservation and Finance be a part of the committee as well. Milanese would like to have a plan for the next Annual Town Meeting. Boyce would like the planning to be thorough, and not rushed through.

The Board also needs to determine how to handle the upcoming cold moths for the property; if the heat should be run through the winter or if the building should be winterized. There are pros and cons to both options. Milanese would like to have a full board present before they make a decision on how to proceed.

December 2, 2014
5 Main Street


Milanese submitted a letter of interest to be on the 5 Main Street Committee. Boyce stated he thought it was assumed all the members of the Select Board would be part of that committee.

Boyce stated the closing for the 5 Main Street property is still tentatively scheduled for December 9, 2014. Milanese stated they should get an oil delivery to ensure they pipes do not freeze. Boyce stated he is still in favor of winterizing the property. Milanese would like to have that discussion with all three board members, but believes until that time they need to get 200 gallons delivered. Boyce would like to only get 50 gallons. Milanese stated they should find out what the minimum is and get that amount delivered.

MOTION: To contact oil companies for the lowest price and order the minimum amount of oil for 5 Main Street. Motion made by Milanese, seconded by Boyce.

Discussion: None

VOTE: TWO in favor, Vannais absent

December 16, 2014
5 Main Street


Milanese submitted a letter of interest to be on the 5 Main Street Committee. Boyce stated he thought it was assumed all the members of the Select Board would be part of that committee.

Boyce stated the closing for the 5 Main Street property is still tentatively scheduled for December 9, 2014. Milanese stated they should get an oil delivery to ensure they pipes do not freeze. Boyce stated he is still in favor of winterizing the property. Milanese would like to have that discussion with all three board members, but believes until that time they need to get 200 gallons delivered. Boyce would like to only get 50 gallons. Milanese stated they should find out what the minimum is and get that amount delivered.

MOTION: To contact oil companies for the lowest price and order the minimum amount of oil for 5 Main Street. Motion made by Milanese, seconded by Boyce.

Discussion: None

VOTE: TWO in favor, Vannais absent

December 30, 2014
5 Main Street


The closing for the property is finalized; all appropriate paperwork has been completed and the town now owns the property the Board needs to decide if they are going to winterize the building.
Milanese would like to winterize the building because there are too many variables. Although the pipes will be drained, there is no guarantee that all the water will be drained out and the pipes may burst. The building may develop moisture which could lead to mold. He would like to see the building kept around 45[degrees].

MOTION: To minimally heat the building at 5 Main Street through the winter. Motion made by Milanese, seconded by Boyce.

Discussion: Boyce asked if 45[degrees] would be enough to keep the building warm. Milanese stated currently the building was 48[degrees]. He would like to keep the heat set as low as possible. He will monitor the building and take extra steps like pouring antifreeze in the toilets.

VOTE: ALL in favor

Since the property is now owned by the town, the Select Board decided to set the first meeting for the 5 Main Street Committee for Wednesday January 7, 2015 at7:00 PM


January 13, 2015
5 Main Street


The Board would like to schedule the 5 Main Street Committee meeting for next Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 7PM after the School Committee meeting at the Elementary School.

The building at 5 Main Street needs to be cleaned out. Milanese is proposing that the town has an open house to get rid of some of the contents, instead of throwing everything away. He would like to clean out the Old Town Hall as well at the same time.


January 25, 2105
5 Main Street


MOTION: To appoint Keith Hood, Leon Givner, JoAnne Higgins, Bruce Cadieux, Geri Sullivan, Andrew Bouraus, Michael Whalen, David Foote, David Bull, Richard Learned, Jay Hastings, Susan Hubbell, Cheri Fisher, Roy Lianson,. Carolyn Bochne, Nancy Baer, Mike Milanese, Gary Burdick, Jeff Vannais and Ed Boyce to the 5 Main Street Committee. Motion made by Boyce, seconded by Vannais.

Discussion: If other people are interested in serving on the committee, they are still welcome to be part of the committee.

VOTE: ALL in favor

MOTION: To authorize Milanese to contact an auctioneer for the contents of the 5 Main Street building contents. Motion made by Vannias, seconded by Milanese

Discussion: This will allow Mike to have the auctioneer look at the contents and determine if he is interested, not to entertain any type of contract

VOTE: ALL in favor

MOTION: To set aside the box of clock faces in the 5 Main Street building for resident Pat Wheeler. Motion made by Boyce, seconded by Milanese.

Discussion: Vannias feels as though setting something aside for one person is not right. He does not agree with it. Milanese stated he would like to withdraw the second on the motion. He agrees with Vannais’ statement.


February 10, 2015
5 Main Street Committee


Gary Burdick, Chair of the 5 Main Street Committee was at the meeting to present the town suggestions the committee has decided to bring forward to the Select Board. They are recommending to the Board that a licensed engineer /architect be hired to evaluate the building for a change of use from residence use to business use. Secondly they are recommending soliciting bids for the contents of the building. Burdick offered to prepare the outline of the bid and submit it to the Select Board for approval.

MOTION: To allocate up to $3,000 for the engineering study for the 5 Main Street building. Motion made by Boyce. No second

Milanese stated he would rather get estimates for the evaluation, rather than set an amount.


Police Cruiser Storage

Milanese stated it has been brought up about storing the police cruisers at the 5 Main Street property. Milanese believes that should be decided by the town. Vannais stated storing the cruisers there may lower the insurance so it is something he feels should be looked into. Milanese would like to get some additional information from the insurance company before making any type of decision.

February 24, 2015
5 Main Street


The 5 Main Street Committee submitted a bid specification to the Board of Selectmen to be printed in the Legal Ads of the newspaper for the entire contents of the building.

MOTION: To accept the bid specification the 5 Main Street Committee submitted to print in the legal ad section of the newspaper.

Discussion: None

VOTE: TWO in favor, Vannais absent

March 10, 2015
5 Main Street


Milanese stated he received a call from the previous owner that he would like to take a few mementos from the property and he is okay with that. Boyce stated that the contents had been put out to bid and someone has viewed the contents.

MOTION: To allow the previous owners into 5 Main Street under someone from the town’s supervision. Motion made by Milanese, seconded by Boyce.

Discussion: None

VOTE: ALL in favor

March 24, 2015
Bid Opening - 5 Main Street


An advertisement was placed in the newspaper for bids for the contents of the 5 Main Street property. One bid was received from the Wasiluk Brothers to remove all contents and leave the property free of contents and broom clean for $5,678.00. Milanese stated it wasn’t quite the type of quote they were looking to get; they were looking for someone to pay for the contents, but will keep the Wasiluk’s in mind.

MOTION: To allow Ron Poulin into the building to remove the items he would like. Motion by Milanese, seconded with a friendly amendment that anything he takes is not affixed to the building by Vannais.

Discussion: Boyce added he would like it to occur within a reasonable timeframe and would like him to enter the building with supervision, whether it is Gary Burdick or one of the Select Board members.

VOTE: ALL in favor

April 7, 2015
5 Main Street


MOTION: To sell the building on 5 Main Street plus one acre of land. Motion made by Milanese. No second

Milanese WITHDREW the MOTION

May 15, 2015
5 Main Street Engineer


Two proposals/quotes were received from engineers to evaluate the building on 5 Main Street for a change of use to the building. The 5 Main Street Committee submitted the two proposals to the Select Board to select one for approval. Milanese stated he would like to wait until Vannais is present also to make a decision.


May 27, 2015
5 Main Street Committee

JoAnne Higgins of the 5 Main Street Committee was at the meeting to discuss the progress of the 5 Main Street Committee. The committee had a presentation at the Annual Town Meeting which was very well received. Higgins stated the committee has made two recommendations to the board about the property so far, one in regards to the removing the contents which the timeframe of getting it done for the cost of a dumpster has now passed and one in regards of hiring an engineer to evaluate the building. The committee has received two quotes from licensed engineers, and is recommending McClure Engineers from Charlton.

MOTION: To hire McClure Engineering to conduct the evaluation of 5 Main Street and pay for the work out of the Norcross Fund. Motion made by Boyce, seconded by Vannais.

Discussion: Milanese stated he does not believe it is a wise idea to spend town money of another old house that is in the same shape as the town hall. He wants to resell the house. He does not believe the town should occupy the building. Peter Higgins a member of the audience stated it seems as though Milanese has tried to delay this from moving forward. The committee has worked hard on exploring the options for the property. He believes it time to move forward with it. Vannais stated although he too does not support the use of the building, the committee was formed to explore all options and determining if the building could be used by the town. If they decide not to do the evaluation, then the Select Board would be cutting off that option. It would not be right for the Board to only entertain ideas that they supported. Boyce stated spending the money is worth it to get the answers. Several different members of the 5 Main Street Committee stated they believed getting the answers from a qualified engineer was necessary to move forward.
Milanese stated he would like to see a proposal to do something with the property for the next Annual Town Meeting.

VOTE: TWO in favor, Milanese opposed.

June 16, 2015
5 Main Street


5 Main Street and the upstairs of the Old Town Hall need to be cleaned out. Milanese stated he would like to take the contents out and leave it on the street for free. Vannais asked about the people who had offered their services earlier. Gary Burdick, Chair of the 5 Main Street Committee knew of someone whowas willing to clean out the building for the cost of the dumpster.

MOTION: To authorize Vannais to contact the person who had offered to clean 5 Main Street for the cost of the dumpster. Motion made by Milanese, seconded by Vannais.

Discussion: None

VOTE: ALL in favor


August 11, 2015
5 Main Street


Gary Burdick, Chair of the 5 Main Street Committee was present to discuss the next steps for the property. He believes the engineers report on the building left out some important necessary information to move forward. There have been various discussions on what can happen with the property while deciding what will happen, including use the property for the Police and rent the property and have the renter pay the utilities. He also suggested getting an outside Board of Trustees to assist in making decisions for the best use of the property.

MOTION: To have the 5 Main Street Committee becomes the Trustees to take over the project. Motion made by Boyce, no second. MOTION failed.

Vannais stated what he felt the purpose of the 5 Main Street Committee was to find the best use for the building/property and get a feel for what the town thought was the best use of the property.

Boyce stated his motion was intended to allow the Committee to move forward with things like making decisions on cleaning out the property, not giving the signing authority to them.

Burdick stated they did the surveys and attended the town meeting and most surveys indicated using the property for some type of new building or municipal complex. He does encourage the Board to use the building for something though.

Milanese stated renting is a liability. And he wants to let the voters decide at town meeting if we should develop or sell the property before any decisions are made.
Burdick stated the surveys indicated the citizens would like to see the town keep the entire parcel.

Milanese stated everyone has a different opinion and he would like the voters to decide. He did speak with the building inspector and it would cost approximately 40,000 to demo the building. And we also need to ask if we even want a new building on Main Street.

Gerry Sullivan added it would be nice to have correct information on the land as well. There all sorts of rumors about what is and isn’t on the land. Perhaps that is another study to do.

JoAnne Higgins added one of the reasons the property was purchased was for 3 Main Street. If the property is sold, and the town no longer has the frontage, a driveway for the Old Town Hall will not be possible.


October 6, 2015
5 Main Street Committee


Various members of the 5 Main Street Committee were in attendance to discuss the results of the surveys they have been doing and attempting to get input from the residents what they feel would be the best use for the property. Various ideas were to use the garage to house the police cruisers, upgrade the building for town use, Raze the building and build a new town complex, raze the building and not build anything, place the house and an acre of land back on the market or create a memorial area. The most favorable uses of the property according to the surveys were create a memorial, house the police cruisers and raze the building to build a new town complex. The most unfavorable idea was to sell the house with one acre of land. The Committee had various recommendations for the Board for the property, which included possibly renting the building, winterizing the building so the town would not be spending money on heating the building, or razing the building to save money on insurance and heating. One suggestion if they decide to raze the building is to allow the Fire Department to use the building for training.

Other things the committee strongly suggests is have a property survey done, since it would be necessary to have to do various things on the property, like build, sell, etc. and to have a geotechnical survey to determine if the ground would be suitable to build anything on the property. It was added when this type of work is completed, it makes they town that much closer to being “shovel ready” and when grants come up, the Town of Wales would be looked at more favorably.

MOTION: To obtain quotes/proposals for both a geotechnical survey and a property survey for the 5 Main Street property. Motion made by Boyce, seconded by Vannais.

Discussion: Milanese stated he felt the Committee was only supportive of certain ideas. They are concerned about spending the money on heating the buildings but doing these surveys is going to cost the town over $10,000. Vannais stated he agreed that it is important to have all the information you can before applying for grants. And he clarified that the motion is just to obtain quotes, not to hire anyone to do the work.
VOTE: ALL in favor


November 4, 2015
5 Main Street Committee


Geri Sullivan and Nancy Baer were present to ask the Select Board about the status of obtaining quotes for the property survey and geotechnical survey for the 5 Main Street property.

Bishop explained various firms were contacted but not one proposal or quote has been submitted to date. The Board agreed they would like to extend the date until the next meeting, November 18 for the quotes.


December 1, 2015
5 Main Street Committee


The 5 Main Street Committee had suggested the Board gets quotes for a property survey and a geotechnical survey. Vannais stated to the committee that the bids are all over the place. What he thought they were trying to accomplish was to determine if the house was functional and is the land useable Milanese stated if you are trying to determine if the land is useable you could walk around and dig some holes. Boyce added they need to determine what constitutes a geotechnical survey. Gary Burdick, Chair of the 5 Main Street Committee stated the property needs to be surveyed. No matter what happens with the property, a survey is necessary.

MOTION: To select Sherman Frydryk to perform a survey on the 5 Main Street property, over the winter develop a plan for the geotechnical survey and use the town backhoe to do a preliminary investigation. Motion made by Boyce, seconded by Vannais.

Discussion:
Milanese believes moving forward with this is jumping the gun. They should wait for the voters to decide what to do with the property. He was in favor of purchasing the 5 Main Street property to improve the Old Town Hall, not to build a new municipal building Vannais stated no matter what they decide to do with the property; they will need to have a survey done. Milanese MOTIONED a friendly amendment to have a proposed subdivision to the property done along with the survey. No second. Amendment FAILED. Vannais stated he would like to have Bruce dig the test pits prior the closing the warrant. Justin Mathiu stated he thinks the Board shouldn’t do a geotechnical survey and not do the subdivision. The Board is picking what they want to do and not having options for the town. He thinks they should do the subdivision now and not waste another $4,000 down the road. JoAnne Higgins she works quite a bit with MA DOT and the requirements for a commercial driveway off a state road is 24’. If the town sells the house, they will lose the frontage required for a driveway for the Old Town Hall.

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