From the Town Clerk
Greetings from the Town Clerk’s office
Summer is officially here. The Town Clerk’s office hopes everyone had a fun and safe Fourth of July. I’m sure it was different this year with everything that had been going on with the Covid-19 pandemic, but we hope you were able to spend some time with loved ones.
Annual Spring Town Meeting News
On June 22, 2020 Seekonk was finally able to hold its Spring Town Meeting, ironically one day after the official start of summer. There was a lot of planning between many different departments to assure the residents of Seekonk a safe environment to be able meet and vote at this important town budget meeting. A special thanks to all the Town Hall employees who helped check -in and seat folks attending the meeting in the high school auditorium. It was nice to see that not only do we have a great team work ethic in town hall, but great team working outside town hall as well. Below is an outlined report of the meeting and votes.
Town Clerk called the meeting to order with a quorum of 75 registered voters at 7:10PM.
A motion was made to allow non-residents to speak at the meeting. Passed unanimously
A motion was made to allow the Town Moderator to proceed with articles that might affect him personally. Passed unanimously.
A motion was made to allow Town Moderator to declare a 2/3 vote on articles requiring that vote. Passed unanimously.
Article 1 -To receive Town Officers or Committees reports. Passed unanimously.
Article 2- Fiscal Year Budget 2021. Town Administrator presented the budget. Town moderator went line by line asking for questions, comments or discussion.
A motion was made to vote on the Proposed Operating Budget Board of Selectmen recommended budget column, not the Finance Committee’s recommended budget column. Motion passed.
Part I - A motion was made that the Town Appropriate the sum of $59,882,071 to defray charges and expenses of the Town for Fiscal Year 2021 for the purposes and amounts set forth in budget Schedules
A through J in column m titled Board of Selectmen Budget 2021: The sum of $46,101,151 to be raised by taxation within the levy limit under proposition 2 ½; The sum of $800,000 to be transferred the Overlay Surplus; The sum of $900,000 to be transferred from Ambulance Fees; The sum of $52,457 to be transferred from sanitation Enterprise Fund; The sum of $300,000 to be transferred from Dedicated Receipts; The sum of $9,417 to be transferred from Septic Payback. Motion passed.
Part II – A motion was made that the Town appropriate the sum of $1,242,586 to defray charges and
expenses of operating the Sanitation Enterprise Fund for the Fiscal Year 2021 for the purpose and amount set forth in Schedule K in the column titled Board of Selectmen Recommended budget 2021;
The Sum of $1,242,586 to be provided from revenues of the Sanitation Enterprise Fund. Motion passed.
Article 3- Salary and compensation for elected officials. Action on the motion: Motion passed.
Article 4- Authorize transfer of money from Dog license receipts to Animal Control Dept. Motion passed.
Article 5- Town appropriate the sum of $85,506.96 from the Ambulance Receipts account for year two (2) of the four (4) year lease purchase agreement for an ambulance/EMS vehicle for the Fire Department. Motion passed.
Article 6- Town will raise and appropriate, transfer from free cash or available funds in the treasury, or transfer from designated funds that have been reserved for appropriation the following sums to be expended for departmental equipment including new or continuing leases for such equipment, and including all incidental and related expenses; and, further, to authorize appropriate town officials to enter into contracts for more than three (3) years for such purposes, as applicable, or take any other action relative thereto.
- From the Municipal Capital Stabilization Fund the following sums to be expended as follows:
- Year seven (7) of a seven (7) year lease/purchase of an aerial fire apparatus for the Fire Department to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $106,852.80
- Year five (5) of seven (7) year lease/purchase of a Fire Engine to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $80,713.47
- Year three (3) of a seven (7) year lease/purchase for a Fire Engine to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $87,745.10
- Purchase of Chameleon Animal Shelter software to be used by Animal Control to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $25,000.00
- Purchase and equipping of a cargo van to be used by Animal Control Department, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $55,000.00
- Purchase and installation of an emergency generator for the Animal Shelter, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $45,000.00
- Purchase and installation of upgraded security camera system for the Public Safety Building, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $35,000.00
- Year one (1) of a three (3) year lease/purchase for purchase and equipping of a backhoe for use by the Department of Public Works to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $50,000.00
- Purchase and installation of Public Safety camera server for the Communications Department to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $15,000.00
- Design and construct trail improvements to the Runnins River Trail, supervised by the Conservation Agent and expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $30,000.00
- Purchase and equipping of one (1) heavy duty pickup truck with plow for the Public Works Department, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $45,000.00
- Purchase and equipping of one (1) medium duty dump truck with plow for the Public Works Department, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $70,000.00
- Design and construct sports field renovations to Cole Street (softball field #3), supervised by the Parks & Recreation Department, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $30,000.00
- Purchase and installation of a backup and data recovery server for use by the Police Department, expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $20,000.00
- Purchase and installation of replacement carpet at the Police Department, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $20,000.00
- Purchase and installation of replacement roof top HVAC AACON Unit at Hurley Middle School, to be expended under the direction of the School Committee. $85,000.00
- Purchase and equipping of one (1) utility truck with plow for use by the School Department, to be expended under the direction of the School Committee. $65,000.00
- Purchase and equipping of one (1) utility vehicle for use by the Building Inspection Department, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $30,000.00
- Purchase and installation of replacement Public Safety IMC Server, for use by Police, Fire and Communications Departments, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. $30,000.00
Motion passed with a 2/3 required vote.
Article 7- Moved that the Town vote to appropriate from the Community Preservation Fund FY 2021
Eestimated annual revenues the sum of $22,100 for administrative expenses of the Community Preservation Committee for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021; and further to reserve from such revenues for future appropriation the following sums recommended by the Community Preservation Committee, with each item to be considered a separate reservation
Historic Resources Reserve $44,200
Community Housing Reserve $44,200
Open Space Reserve $44,200
FY 2021 Budgeted Reserve $432,016
Article 8- Moved that the Town vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to dispose of surplus property or material, exclusive of buildings and land, but including compost, no longer needed by the Town.
Article 9- Moved that the Town vote to transfer the sum of $8,477.00 from Free Cash to FY 2020 Town Meeting Line Item #68 (Snow & ice Payroll), and $87,097.00 from Free Cash to FY 2020 Town Meeting line #39 (Snow and Ice Expense). Motion passed
Article 10- Moved that the Town appropriate from the Ambulance receipts Reserved account the sum of $15,000.00 for the purchase of the necessary equipment and medications to outfit both in service fire engines allowing them to be licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to operate at the Paramedic level, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. Motion passed
Article 11- Moved that the Town appropriate from Fee Cash, the sum of $140,000.00 to mill and overlay Donald Lewis Drive, Massasoit Drive and Colfall Street, to be expended under the direction of the Board of Selectmen. Motion passed
Article 12- Moved that the Town amend Section 3.2 of the Town of Seekonk Zoning By-laws and Zoning Map by changing the designation of the property located at 0 Taunton Avenue and Elden Street, and identified as Seekonk Assessor’s Plat 12, Lots 489, 490, 491, 492, 493, 494, and 495, containing approximately .45 acres of land from Highway Business Zone to Local Business Zone. Passed with a 2/3 majority.
Article 13- Moved that the Town amend Section 3.2 of the Town of Seekonk Zoning By-laws and the Zoning Map by changing the zoning designation of the property located 0 Lake Street, identified as Seekonk’s Assessor’s Pat 16, Lots 30 and 32, containing approximately 25.45 acres of land from R-4 Zone to R-2 Zone. Motion not pass.
Article 14- To see if the Town will vote to amend Category 8, Section 6 of the General By-laws of the Town of Seekonk. Passed with a 2/3 majority.
Article 15- Moved that the Town appropriate from Free Cash the sum of $13,000.00 the purchase of a stump grinder for use by the Public Works Department, under the direction of the Board of Selectmen.
Article 16- Moved that the Town vote to appropriate the sum of $425,000.00, to pay for the costs of designing, planning, and engineering for construction of a South End Fire Station on land owned by the Town of Seekonk at 36 School Street, including the payment of all architectural and engineering services, and any other costs incidental or related thereto, and that to meet this appropriation, the Treasurer, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, is authorized to borrow said amount under and pursuant to M.G.L. c. 44, § 7(1) or any other enabling authority, and to issue bonds or notes of the Town therefor, and that any premium received upon the sale of bonds or notes approved by this vote, less any such premium applied by this vote in accordance with M.G.L. c. 44, § 20, thereby reducing the amount authorized to be borrowed to pay such costs by like amount; and, further, that the Town Moderator is to establish a five (5) member building committee to facilitate the project.
Motion passed with the 2/3 majority.
Article 17-Moved that the Town authorize the Board of Selectmen and Conservation Commission to grant a perpetual conservation restriction to the Seekonk Land Conservation Trust or other qualified conservation organization on a parcel of land off Read street, identified as Assessor Map 26, Lot 13, consisting of approximately 9.93 acres, in order to meet the requirements of M.G.L. Chapter 44B, § 12 and M.G.L. Chapter 184, §§ 31-33, and to further authorize said board and commission to enter into all agreements and execute any and all instruments as may be necessary in connection with said conservation restriction. Motion passed.
A motion was made to dissolve the Town Meeting at 10:05PM.
Motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Annual Town Election June 30, 2020 Results
I would like to thank all the voters of Seekonk who came out and showed their support in re-electing me as their Town Clerk. Thank you for your support. I will always do my best to serve the citizens of this town and maintain your trust. I would also like to take this time to thank all the people who make an election happen. Starting with the Assistant Town Clerk, Lorraine Sorel, she did an excellent job running the election, as I was on the ballot an unable to be at the polls. It wasn’t easy this year we had to take extra precautions due to the covid-19. We are lucky to have so many dedicated workers behind the scenes, Poll workers, DPW, Police Dept., School staff. Many thanks to each and every one of you your dedication doesn’t go un-noticed.
Congratulations to the other candidates who won:
Jan Parker- Board of Assessors
David Andrade- Board of Selectmen
Adam Petronio- Board of Selectmen
Catherine Capello-Library Board of Trustees
Fred Slemon- Jr. Library Board of Trustees
Michael Bourque- Planning Board
Sandra Foulkes- Planning Board
Erin Brouillette- School Committee
Peter Hoogerzeil- Town Moderator
Douglas Brown- Water Commission
Lydia Cordeiro -Water Commission
The Elections coming up this fall
State Primary Tuesday, September 1, 2020
General Election Tuesday November 3, 2020
More information about early voting dates for these elections will be forthcoming in the following weeks.
We encourage everyone to vote early by mail. Spread the word, encourage your family and friends to vote early. Applications for absentee and early voting can be found on our town website www.seekonk-ma.gov or you can call the Town Clerk’s office at: (508) 336-2920 and we will mail one out to you.
As of June 16, 2020, the population for the Town of Seekonk was: 13,619
(Please note this figure is continually changing due to people being added and deleted off the voter rolls and people moving in or out of town).
The Town Clerk’s office maintains the records for both Seekonk Cemeteries: Newman Avenue Cemetery and Dexter Street Cemetery. The first deeds sold for the Newman Avenue Cemetery date back as far as 1899. There are very few lots left in this cemetery, most are lots that people have been selling on their own as they find they do not need them. As of July 1, 2017, we have a new cemetery. It is off of Dexter Avenue which is located off of West River Street. It is in a beautiful quiet area. Lots for this cemetery are available to purchase.
Seekonk residents Single lot: $600.00 Perpetual care: $200.00 Total: $800.00
Non-resident Single lot: $800.00 Perpetual care: $400.00 Total $1,200.00
Yard Sale Information
Remember you need a yard sale permit for yard sales. You can get them online, on the town web site www.seekonk-ma.gov under the Town Clerk page. It is $5.00 a day with a total of 4 per year. There is a sign by-law in town concerning yard sale signage. Please be advised that it is not permitted to use telephone poles to post any type of sign. If you are going to have a yard sale please abide by the rules of the town. Thank you.
Enjoy the summer weather and remember the Town Clerk’s office welcomes inquiries from all residents seeking assistance, or information in relation to services provided by the Town of Seekonk.
Florice Craig, Town Clerk & Lorraine Sorel, Assistant Town Clerk