Bond, Donuts and Public Comments Highlight Monday Meeting
Monday night's Board of Selectmen meeting ended with a heated Public Comments exchange.
After discussing several items including a new Dunkin’ Donuts and the town’s bond rating for construction on the new high school, Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting ended with a heated exchange with an audience member.
The meeting began as members approved a new flammable license for Charles River Laboratories, and continued with the issuance of a Common Victualer Licnese for Dunkin’ Donuts on Concord Street.
Next on the agenda was discussion about Wilmington’s bond rating, which was issued as AA+ by Standard & Poor’s.
Town Manager Michael Caira said seven bids came in for companies willing to finance the project, and Guggenheim Securities was selected as the lowest bidder with an interest rate of 3.28 percent.
“We’re generally pleased with the rate,” said Caira. “Sometimes you hit it just right, and sometimes you don’t. I think we hit it pretty lose. We were estimating at 3.20 percent about seven months ago, so the numbers will square out where we projected.”
If the town had received a AAA rating, the interest would have come in at about 3.0 or 3.1 percent. On the contrary, if the town had received a AA rating, taxpayers would have footed the bill for an addition $282,000. With a AA- rating, the town would have been on the hook for an additional $670,000.
“It’s a bond rating that many towns would envy,” said Board of Selectmen chairman Michael Newhouse. “This project will become a reality. We hope and expect that the pending appeals will be resolved. So for now, we are continuing the business of the town and following the mandate the voters gave us.”
Newhouse also announced that the intention of the board is to begin contract negotiations during a July meeting for Jeff Hull, who was recently named as Wilmington's next Town Manager.
The final agenda item on Monday was to approve the Town Counsel’s contract for Fiscal Year 2013. There will be no change in the financial terms of the contract, just in the dates.
During the Public Comments section, resident George Lingenfelter asked if board members received his letter to them in which he asked a Board of Appeals member to step down from his position because of comments he made about the high school project using his personal Facebook account.
Lingenfelter said he believed the comments were threatening, and should not have been made by a member of a town board.
Selectman Lou Cimaglia offered a pointed response to Lingenfelter and said he did not believe a resident should lose his right to free speech because he is serving in a volunteer position.
Judy O’Connell also spoke up to Lingenfelter, and took exception to a recent statement the resident made in which O’Connell said he called every member of the Board of Selectmen “ignorant.”
The heated exchange ended as Cimaglia said he read the comments made on social media, and that he and Lingenfelter would have to “agree to disagree” on whether or not they could be viewed as threatening.
With Public Comments closed, selectman Michael Champoux used his closing remarks to wish residents a happy Fourth of July, as Wilmington’s festivities begin on Friday.
“Represent us well as you do every year,” said Champoux. “Fourth of July exemplifies what this community is all about.”