Date: October 1, 2014
Location: St. Edith Stein Church
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
6:00PM | St. Edith Stein Church
Present: Scott Dwyer, President (Dwyer’s Glass); Greg Belcher, Treasurer (Waitt Funeral Home); David Lynch, Vice President (Lynch’s Towing); Nelson Fernandes, Board (JJ’s Caffe); Rich Gowell, Board (Gowell’s Candy); Jeff Chrzanowski, Board (Spark Street Auto Body); Allen Davis, Board (BAR Automotive)
Quorum present: Yes
Present: Shelley Clough (Crescent Credit Union), Bill Healy (Brockton Police), Vincent Colarusso (Al’s Motor Sales), Nick Giaquinto (Office of the Mayor), John Morrissey (ECO Recycling); Fred Fontaine (Office of the Mayor); James Bibby (American Medical Response); Stanley David (Brockton Police); John Studley (Canton Development Corp); Shirley Asack (City Councilor Ward 7)
Guests Speaker: Mayor Bill Carpenter (City of Brockton); Tamarah Bacon (SEED Corp); Lisa Holmes (SEED Corp)
Meeting called to order at 6:10pm by President, Scott Dwyer
Board Member Nelson Fernandes reviewed minutes from September meeting.
Financial Report provided by Greg Belcher, Treasurer:
– The current balance is $3,547.77. Board paid $150 to renew the Association’s PO Box. The Association has 33 paid members. Association will also host a 50/50 raffle at the conclusion of the meeting.
President’ Report provided by Scott Dwyer, President:
President Dwyer is waiting to hear what Father Bill’s next steps will be, if they will continue with litigation or hold off on the project (former Catholic Charities building). Police Chief has been patrolling the North End of the City lately. With that said, Mayor Carpenter elected to speak in more detail about happenings in the City.
Mayor Carpenter mentioned that before he became mayor, Father Bill’s had all the board approvals needed to proceed with their project. He admits he had reservations about the project but the City needs to stay within the confines of the law. Mayor reiterated the parking lot issue and mentioned one area where they could pursue. He had three different architects look at the Catholic Charities building and concluded that it would not be economically feasible to renovate the building, so the building may need to be demolished. If the building is demolished then that means another building would need to go up in its place which would make the parking lot issue (across the street) null and void. Mayor reiterated that there is room for negotiation still with Father Bill’s.
Mayor notes a new initiative that would have non-profit organizations in the city to voluntarily pay some portion of real estate taxes to help offset the decrease in the City’s commercial tax base. Recently, an organization (High Point) purchased a building that previously was providing the city with $75,000 in real estate taxes, but because of High Point’s tax status they are not required to pay taxes. That’s revenue the city lost.
Brockton Hospital also purchased 17 buildings around their campus over the past few years that used to be tax-paying properties, so the Mayor will be meeting with the Hospital as well about voluntary tax payments.
In regards to the recent police “sweep”, Mayor reiterated the City’s need to aggressively and relentlessly pursue criminals: street level crimes, quality of life crimes, prostitution, drug dealing. With the Police’s help the Mayor is looking to drive criminals out of Brockton.
Mayor took questions from the Association:
Can the City take over the parking lot at the corner of Ames and North Main Street (parking lot in question with the Father Bill’s project) through eminent domain? Mayor said he would look through it and is considering using eminent domain with a few buildings in the City, but admits the process is timely and very costly. Usually the threat of eminent domain is enough to get property owners to make moves on their buildings.
What is the status on the anti-panhandling ordinance? The City’s law department is working on the wording for the ordinance. The language needs to be precise to prevent any potential legal issues going forward. The Mayor will recommend the Council draft up the ordinance and put it to a vote.
What is the status of the Aquaria water plant? Mayor is considering purchasing the plant in order to save money. City has been able to negotiate an $88 million purchase price, which amounts to payments of $5-$5.5 million a year. Brockton pays $6.5 million a year just for the right to purchase water. This payment will increase to $10 million towards the end of the deal. The current payment does not include the purchase of water.
Mayor also spoke on a sign-off form for developments and redevelopments that need water turned on. This form requires seven different departmental approvals. The Mayor and DPW have agreed to do away with the form as it hampers development in the city. Part of the Mayor’s plan to streamline licensing and permitting.
Councilor Shirley Asack updated us on some lighting concerns in the area. She is working to get street lights turned on at the end of Porter St., however, the light is technically on the property of Battles Farm and will require a letter from Battles Farm to the City agreeing with the lighting turn-on. Councilor is also working with DPW to cut down brush in the area also needs approval from the abutting property owners. Work in progress.
Greg Belcher suggested we consider buying Crime Watch signs to place up and down North Main Street in an effort to deter prostitution in the area. The signs will need Traffic Commission approval and the City will put them up at no cost.
Guest Speakers: Tamarah Bacon, AVP of Business Development, SEED; Lisa Holmes, Sr. VP, SEED.
SEED is an intermediary lender for the SBA (Small Business Administration). SEED originates and services the loans for the SBA with a focus on Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. SEED has a microloan program through the City of Brockton: up to $50,000, 6% fixed interested rate and no prepayment penalty. Funds can be used for working capital, FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment), building facade. Application process takes about 4-6 weeks the requirements are not as strict as banks or other lenders. SEED can also finance up to $200,000 for construction and redevelopment. More information can be viewed at www.seedcorp.com.
Motion to vote: Scott Dwyer motioned to vote on purchasing ten (10) Crime Watch signs. Richard Gowell seconded the motion. Unanimous vote.
Meeting adjourned at 7:32pm.