The week in government: Planning on Chestnut Meadow; Reports to selectmen on Water Tank and Parkerville & Deerfoot studies (Updated)

Here is a selection of the committee and board meetings for the week along with my selected highlights from the agendas. All these meetings are open to the public, so you’re welcome to stop on by.

Worth noting, this week, the Board of Selectmen is meeting on Wednesday night (not Tuesday).

Be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.

Monday, July 17, 2017

  • Planning Board, 7:00 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: hearings on Eversource Energy parking deck and Chestnut Meadow subdivision; Discussions on Brewer Estates, 4 Hidden Meadow Lane ANR, vote to appoint Public Works Planning Board member – Broadcast live and replayed by SAM*

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

  • Public Safety Building Committee, 6:30 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Discuss project manager interviews and vote on recommendation – Broadcast live and replayed by SAM*

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

  • Board of Selectmen, 6:30 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda with packet) Agenda Highlights: Public Safety Building Committee business (new candidate, possible revised charge, recommended project manager), Public Works Planning Board on Water Tank and Parkerville and Deerfoot road traffic studies and truck exclusion – Broadcast live and replayed by SAM*
  • Housing Authority, 6:30 pm @ Colonial Gardens, 49 Boston Rd (agenda)

*Southborough Access Media will broadcast the Planning Board, Public Safety Building and Board of Selectmen meetings live on Verizon-37 and Charter-192. Click here to see this week’s schedule with rebroadcast times. (Videos are also usually made available through their YouTube channel by the following morning.)

Updated (7/18/17 10:28 am): Just learned that the Public Safety meeting would be covered live by SAM. Plus, selectmen posted their materials packet for Wednesday’s meeting since I wrote my original post.

(Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

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Ravi Mynampaty
5 years ago

Hello everyone,

This comment is with reference to the water tank report.

There were many concerns raised by residents about the report. One of the residents (not me) also prepared a comprehensive re-analysis which showed the flaws in the report. This comprehensive and detailed re-analysis by the resident is available in the appendices but I’d like to surface a few of those concerns here.

(1) The initial evaluation was conducted using arbitrary ratings for the various tank options (see for example Table 4 on page 14 of the report.) The least desirable option for various criteria was assigned a rating value of 1 and the most desirable a value of 5. The reason this scale is arbitrary is that very different (and also arbitrary) scaling could have been used for evaluation. For example, a ratings scale of 1-1000 or even a scale of 0-5 would compute completely different “best” options for the tank site. Subsequent iterations of the analysis by the consultant used partially corrected (therefore still partially arbitrary) ratings.

(2) Fortunately there is a very simple way of making these ratings non-arbitrary. Rational and reasonable ratings can be calculated using simple math (division). It is a matter of setting the baseline, i.e., the least desirable option based on the data in Table 3 (p.13) should be given a rating of 1 and others scaled from there. Using “Unusable Storage” in Table 3 as an example and assigning to it the least desirable option rating of 1, the rating of the most desirable option can be calculated as 1.95/0.07=27. Using the rational rating of 27 instead of the arbitrary rating of 5 the calculated “best option” comes out to be totally different.

(3) Another glaring example of the ratings being arbitrary is the one criterion which has a yes/no value (see Table 3 on page 13). In this case the ratings used were Yes=5 and No=1. This makes little sense given this is a binary yes/no question. The rational ratings should be Yes=1 and No=0, and this would change the determination of the “best” option.

(4) As for the property values, this is a multi-variate question with a lot of factors potentially affecting home prices. However, the most likely outcome of an above-ground tank, whatever its height, is a reduction in property values. A 30-second Google search found the following opinions of real estate professionals. (This information was shared with the PWPB to be included in meeting minutes.)

“Regrettably, I have to say that most likely the water storage tank is negatively impacting the value of your home. At the very least it will eliminating [sic] some buyers from considering your home for purchase, me included, unless of course I could buy your property for a low enough price. In general, buyers (even if they are not conscious of it) are looking for uniformity in the area. Any unusual or non-uniform land use that does not add value to the surrounding area (such as parks) generally hurts your property values.”

“If it bothers you now, it will probably bother a buyer in the future.”

I am happy to walk through the above calculations for those who would like additional explanation.

With best wishes,
-Ravi Mynampaty
6 Sarsen Stone Way

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