HARVARD -- After a period of argument at Tuesday's meeting, selectmen advised Bare Hill Rowing Association to report back with the finalized changes to their current contract that all parties agree to.

The BHRA, whose new contract was finalized three months ago after scuffles with the Parks and Recreation Commission, is calling for a number of changes to its contract.

One change includes allowing the team to use the beach on 85-degree days in June and September if there are less than 30 people on the beach. The current contract does not allow the team on the beach when temperature reaches 85 degrees during those months.

The new contract also requires 51 percent of novice and varsity participants to be Bromfield students during the school year, excluding the Learn to Row program for sixth- and seventh-graders.

"That ratio negatively impacts our ability to have sufficient rowers on the novice team and it really impacts the future financial viability of the program," said Jim Ware, a member of the BHRA Board of Directors. "In the past, we've been able to include the Learn to Row, which we look at as part of the program in that ratio, and the schools have accepted it."

For its summer program, BHRA is requesting that programs be extended from 10 a.m. to noon. They also asked for the required ratio to be dropped in the summer, offering instead to give Harvard residents two weeks to sign up for any summer program.

It's difficult to administer the program, Ware said, when BHRA tells someone they are on a wait list until somebody from Harvard signs up.


Nearly all the parties of the contract -- Parks and Recreation, the harbormaster and Superintendent Linda Dwight -- came before selectmen to discuss the requested new requests.

But discussion was halted when Selectman Ron Ricci argued that months were already spent renegotiating the contract, which all five selectmen and the BHRA signed.

"I'm not really interested, Mr. Chairman, in sitting here renegotiating nine months of details," he said.

Instead, Ricci suggested having all parties bring the selectmen a plan they have already worked out so that the board can decide to approve it from there.

"If you'd like to continue renegotiating the contract, go ahead, but I'm not really interested in doing that tonight," he said.

But Selectman Lucy Wallace persisted, going through the changes with the various stakeholders.

Parks and Recreation member Wyona Lynch-McWhite confirmed that the commission agreed to practices on 85-degree days in June and September when there is less than 30 people on the beach.

Chair Stu Sklar rounded up the conversation by asking for BHRA to bring the new agreement, that all parties agree to, to the next July 31 meeting.

Town Hall Construction

Selectmen expressed some frustration with LLB Architects over the projected timeframe for continued work on the Town Hall project.

In a letter to selectmen, Drayton Fair of LLB answered questions about next steps with the project now that the selectmen have chosen a design plan.

Fair explained that it would take a minimum of four to five months to prepare bid documents for the full scope or exterior of the building. It would take two to three months to prepare bidding documents for interior work.

Ricci argued that a five-month period to do bid documents for the roof and exterior signaled that the architect "doesn't want to do this anytime soon."

"I think honestly we're wasting our time sticking with this guy," Ricci said. "I think we're just throwing good money after bad."

Sklar said he was also "flabbergasted" that the work would take that long. But Wallace argued that the town has been a frustrating client.

Selectmen ultimately agreed to talk to the architect and see if there could be a faster turnaround.

The board also finalized the make-up of the Town Hall Construction Task Force, which will oversee the construction of the project and recommend decisions to the selectmen.

The task force will consist of three people, appointed by the town administrator, with experience in construction management and other qualifications. 

Meanwhile, the board accepted the resignations of Town Hall Building Committee members Eric Broadbent, Chris Cutler and Pete Jackson.

Vacant selectman seat

Following Marie Sobalvarro's resignation from the board, selectmen agreed to hold a special election to fill her seat during the November 4 elections.

Sklar reasoned that at that time, the town will already have the expense of the November elections.

Follow Amelia on Twitter and Tout @AmeliaPakHarvey.