Cohasset Elder Affairs articles expected to be VERY Expensive

Cohasset Elder Affairs has proposed four articles for Special Town Meeting. They will all be very expensive.

Advisory Chair Peter Pescatore says the Nov. 17th Special Town Meeting warrant will consist of 16 articles. It is expected that more citizen petition articles will be filed with the selectmen’s office before the Sept. 17th deadline at 4 p.m. Advisors will address all citizen petition articles at its Sept. 25 meeting and will ask first signers to attend.

Cohasset Elder Affairs has proposed four articles for Special Town Meeting. According to Advisory Chair Peter Pescatore it has asked Selectmen to put the articles on the warrant, but is also covering itself by getting signatures for a citizens’ petition article. A citizens’ petition article gets automatic placement on the warrant.

The town’s Elder Affairs budget runs around $240,000 a year. For several years now the Cohasset Social Service League has been fundraising to build a 8,000 square foot building at 91 Sohier Street. It has been built. Early on in the building process selectmen were told that the Social Service League would at some point in time turn over the building and its furnishings to the town for a nominal fee. It appears that the League’s fundraising fell short and because the Social Service League now holds a mortgage, (an unknown amount), it cannot turn over the building to the town.

Elder Affairs is now asking the Town through a series of four articles to:

Lease the Senior Center for a period of 6 months in FY15 and for a 36-month term beginning in FY16. The money amount will be revealed at Special Town Meeting. 

The League says this article would pay for one-time time expenditures to support the operational needs of the Cohasset Elder affairs facility. The money amount will be revealed at Special Town Meeting.

Supplemental appropriations for Fiscal 2015 article. This article is unclear. It is unclear who gets the money and how it has apparently overspent its budget. The money amount will be revealed at Special Town Meeting.

Cohasset Elder Affairs would like the town to vote to establish a revolving Fund Account for FY15, in which the town is already operating.

Tinytown has already written about the citizens’ petition article asking the Town to reimburse Selectman Martha Gjesteby for the out-of-pocket money she spent ($9,226.52) in defending herself against former acting town manager Mike Milansoki, who is currently the Carver Town Administrator, and her own board. She was found to be innocent of all accusations. Link:

The Water Department, which found itself with a $300,000 deficit in FY15, is asking for the Town to create a new line item called Access Fee in order that it may access all 375 properties, business and apartment rentals, that currently receive water under one meter. Leonora Jenkins, Chairman of the Water Commission, said this article would realize anywhere from $54,000 to $66,000 in revenue for FY15.

The Water Department is also looking for hydrant fee money. It is thought there are 268 hydrants in Cohasset, but Pescatore wants the Water Commission to ascertain the exact number of hydrants. Advisory Committee member Leland Jenkins interjected that the number of the hydrants has nothing to do with the billing. Nevertheless, Pescatore wants the water commissioners to produce the actual cost of the maintaining the hydrants. Leonora Jenkins said it might take some time to provide that information to advisors.

In summary, with the passage of the two article and a third article asking for a hydrant transfer of money from free cash, the Water Department may be made whole. Town Accountant Mary Gallagher said she will intercede with the Department of Revenue on the Town’s behalf, showing that the Water Department did in fact sell more water in FY14 than FY13.

It appears this problem has been solved, thanks to Town Manager Chris Senior, Town Accountant Mary Gallagher, and Water Dept. Chair Leonora Jenkins.

Pescatore said the planning board will have two articles.

The Town Manager will submit an article asking that the town eliminate the Personnel committee, which became defunct when the town manager’s act passed in 1997.

Other articles will include budget adjustments by the Cohasset Preservation Commission and others.

© Copyright 2014 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed