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A publication of the Utility Contractors’ Association of New England, Inc.

AUGUST, 2013

• Homestead Today: Even Better • Environmental Impact Statements and Agency Actions


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Years of Excellence 1954-2013

AUGUST, 2013

IN THIS ISSUE

OFFICERS President AL MORTEO FED. CORP. President Elect TONY BORRELLI Celco Construction Corp. Treasurer JOHN OUR Robert B. Our Co., Inc. Secretary PAUL SCENNA Albanese D&S, Inc.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MARCELLA ALBANESE Albanese Bros., Inc. JEFF BARDELL Daniel O’Connell’s Sons, Inc. VINCENT BARLETTA Barletta Heavy Division MICHAEL BISZKO, III Biszko Contracting Corp. STEVEN COMOLETTI P. Caliacco Corp. MAUREEN DAGLE Dagle Electrical Const., Corp. ADAM DeSANCTIS DeSanctis Ins. Agency, Inc. THOMAS DESCOTEAUX R. H. White Const. Co., Inc. JERRY GAGLIARDUCCI Gagliarducci Construction, Inc. MARCO GIOIOSO P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. BILL IRWIN C.J.P. & Sons Const. Co., Inc. PHIL JASSET Honorary Board Member BILL KEAVENEY A. R. Belli, Inc. ROBERT LEE J. F. White Contracting Co. RYAN McCOURT McCourt Construction Co. RICHARD PACELLA, JR. R. M. Pacella, Inc. LOUIS SCHOOLCRAFT Ti-SALES, Inc. ANNE KLAYMAN Executive Director

5 President’s Message:

Great News! ASCE Report Card Gives U.S. Infrastructure a Passing Grade

9 Legislative Update:

• Governor Patrick Returns Price Adjustment Language with Amendment • MWRA Testifies Before House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures, and State Assets • City of Melrose to Overhaul Water and Sewer Services • Study Finds Commonwealth’s SouthCoast Conserving More Water, But Paying More • Boston Globe and Boston.com Highlight Weeklong Study of Water and Sewer Facts • Federal Bill Would Likely Raise Massachusetts Water Rates

17 Important Change to Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Poster 19 Legal Corner:

Homestead Today: Even Better

21 Environmental Viewpoint:

Environmental Impact Statements and Agency Actions

24 Associate Member of the Month:

Ti-SALES, Inc. Celebrates 50th Anniversary

29 The Importance of Business Succession Planning: Bonds: Know When to Hold, Know When to Fold

33 UCANE Welcomes the Following New Members 35 Save the Date...UCANE’s 59th Gala Banquet 36 UCANE’s 34th Annual Golf Classic: Always a “Hit” 47 UCANE’s 2013-2014 Employee Safety Manuals Now Available 49 Financial Management:

• Make Student Loans Less Taxing • Cashing In on Foreign Stocks • Employers’ Health Insurance Penalties are Delayed

Editor: Anne Klayman, Associate Editor: Suzanne Savage, Graphic Designer: Sherri Klayman Construction Outlook Chairman: Al Morteo Editorial Board: Al Morteo, Tony Borrelli, John Our and Paul Scenna CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK published monthly by the Utility Contractors’ Association of New England, Inc., 300 Congress Street, Suite 101, Quincy, MA 02169; Tel: 617.471.9955; Fax: 617.471.8939; E-mail: aklayman@ucane.com; Website: www.ucane.com. Statements of fact and opinion are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of UCANE and the Construction Outlook editorial board and staff. Subscriptions are included in dues payments for UCANE members. Presorted Standard postage paid at Abington, MA. POSTMASTER, please send form #3579 to Construction Outlook, Crown Colony Office Park, 300 Congress Street, Suite 101, Quincy, MA 02169.

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Great News! ASCE Report Card Gives U.S. Infrastructure a Passing Grade Yes, it sounds like great news doesn’t it, that a highly respected group like the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has issued their Annual Report on the condition of our country’s infrastructure and has given it a passing grade…however that grade is a D+! I, for one, really don’t see this as great news unless, of course, one was expecting a grade of a D- or an F. Let’s be serious. Everyone knows and can see from the almost daily news reports that our nation’s infrastructure is literally crumbling. Bridges are collapsing, dams are bursting, there have been rail accidents due to faulty lines and equipment, and of course there are contaminated drinking water supplies and waterways which are everyday occurrences. Let’s face facts, our elected officials aren’t doing nearly enough to improve our nation’s infrastructure. On the contrary, local, state, and federal governments are spending just enough to keep the “infrastructure lid” from blowing off. We are allowing our infrastructure, much of which is near its projected end of life, to further decay and with it, our standard of living and our economic standing in the world. Without a viable infrastructure, businesses cannot expand; jobs become scarce; and our economy falters. With a lagging economy comes less revenue for governments to collect and disburse among many competing high priority programs. The ASCE estimates our country’s infrastructure needs over the next seven years could be as high as $3.6 trillion. This is a huge amount of money, and so the question becomes, are these funds going to be available and are our leaders going to give infrastructure revitalization the priority required to get the job done? Our country’s infrastructure has been on a down-

AUGUST, 2013

ward spiral of deterioration for well over 20 years. In general, the initial public enthusiasm and government support that was in place when these systems were built 50, 80, and even 100 years ago has long since waned. The priority of revitalizing a nation and putting people to work is now just a vague memory in American history. Our willingness back then to undertake vast mega projects was based on a sense of national pride knowing that we were literally building a stronger nation. The history of clean water programs is a good example of how priorities and funding have changed over the years. In the early 70s, the public became more aware of environmental issues, and clean drinking water and the elimination of water contamination sources became a priority of governments culminating with the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972. As a result, Congress created a funding program which allocated as much as 75% of the projects costs in the form of grants to individual states. But after about 25 years, Congress reviewed the program, the funding and its priorities, and ended the grants program in favor of a new clean water financing method which required both state and federal contributions, called the State Revolving Loan Fund Program or SRF. For many years the SRF was substantially funded continued on page 7

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President’s Message continued from page 5 and the clean water and wastewater projects performed were able to keep pace with systems that were at their end of life and needed replacement. But as time passed things began to change. First and foremost, the public became complacent about clean water and started to take its availability for granted, almost thinking about clean drinking water as a “right”, rather than a precious, and scarce natural resource that needed our protection. Congress also looked at the program as a success, and started to turn their attention to other social, economic, homeland, and overseas priorities. With this change in Congress’ attitude toward clean drinking water programs came a decrease in financial support, along with delays in annual funding. What has this meant to the State of Massachusetts? I can report that locally the Boston Society of Civil Engineers (BSCES) supported the findings of the Massachusetts Water Infrastructure Finance Commission’s (WIFC) 2012 report which conservatively estimated a $10.2 billion funding gap for drinking water projects; and an $11.2 billion gap in wastewater pollution control projects over the next 20 years. In addition, the WIFC estimated an $18 billion gap to address storm water issues based on proposed federal regulations.

There is an old saying that seems very appropriate for our nation as it addresses its infrastructure needs. I believe in this saying because there is truth in its simplicity. “Pay now or pay later”, or should I say, “Pay now or pay more later!” There is no question that our country’s infrastructure must be upgraded and/or replaced because it is vital to our national security and our citizen’s well being. If we have a well thought out, long term plan, we will all be better off and our country will prosper. I don’t want to think of the consequences to our way of life and our standard of living if we continue on the path we are now following.

The American Society of Civil Engineers is committed to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and as such, is equally committed to improving our nation’s public infrastructure. To achieve this goal, their report depicts the condition and performance of our nation’s infrastructure in the familiar form of a report card—assigning letter grades that are based on physical condition and needed fiscal investments for improvement. n

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Governor Patrick Returns Price Adjustment Language with Amendment

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s mentioned in previous legislative updates, UCANE was able to secure language in the fiscal year 2014 budget proposal that went before Governor Patrick for his approval. In returning the language with an amendment, Governor Patrick stated, “I am amenable to requiring price adjustment clauses for road, bridge, water and sewer projects by awarding authorities in addition to the Department of Transportation.” Governor Patrick’s amendment message noted, however, his interest in ensur-

ing that price adjustment clauses are used in the most efficient manner possible. As a result, UCANE is now working with legislative leadership and its legislative sponsors to develop a price adjustment solution that is narrowly tailored to best suit the needs of awarding authorities, contractors and, most importantly, residents and businesses of the Commonwealth. As UCANE and others note, price adjustment clauses lead to lower bid prices, more competition for awarding authorities, and contractor stability.

MWRA Testifies Before House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures, and State Assets

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he Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) recently made a presentation to the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures, and State Assets to brief the Legislature on its capital improvement plan, budget history, and forecasts. As reported by the State House News Service, the MWRA, after spending $7.6 billion since 1986 to upgrade the drinking water and sewer systems in metropolitan Boston, is about to see its debt burden begin to decline. The past three decades of public works projects have cleaned up Boston Harbor and improved the water infrastructure extending from the Quabbin Reservoir, halfway across the state from AUGUST, 2013

many of the authority's customers. In testifying before the Committee, Fred Laskey, MWRA Executive Director, detailed the history and role of the MWRA and briefed the Committee on some of the major successes the MWRA has had in the Commonwealth, including the Boston Harbor clean up and storage capacity of various Massachusetts reservoirs. In addition, Mr. Laskey described some of the projects and state of the art systems that have been implemented in Massachusetts and are operating effectively today (i.e. covered storage tanks). The MWRA indicated that its current master plan anticipates which critical continued on page 11

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Legislative Update continued from page 9 water and wastewater projects will be needed over the next 40 years requiring $3.2 billion in funding ($2.1 billion for wastewater projects and $1.1 billion for water infrastructure projects). Finally, Mr. Laskey gave an overview of their budget for the next fiscal year, which includes a proposed $791 million five year spending cap for FY’14-FY’18. The MWRA stated that the $791 million cap proposed for fiscal years 2014-2018 is the lowest cap in recent history and, regardless, that the MWRA plans to spend more on principal than interest during this period in an effort to reduce overall indebtedness. Rachel Madden, the MWRA’s Director of Administration and Finance, stressed how critical debt service assistance has been to the MWRA. Ms. Madden highlighted that under the current plan, part of which involves increasing the rates by 3.49%, the MWRA does not foresee the need to go back to the Legislature to ask for increased debt authorization. MWRA’s debt peaked at $5.8 billion and makes up 60% of its current budget. The authority has a credit rating of AA+, only one rating below the highest possible rating of AAA. continued on page 13

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Legislative Update continued from page 11

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City of Melrose to Overhaul Water and Sewer Services

ccording to the Melrose Free Press, the City of Melrose continues to overhaul its approach to water and sewer services. The Department of Public Works (DPW) recently asked the Board of Aldermen to approve $3 million worth of infrastructure enhancements to occur over a three year period. As a result, the Aldermen’s Appropriations Committee unanimously voted to support a $2 million bond for water pipeline improvements and a $1 million bond for sewer upgrades. The issue will be reviewed by the entire Board of Alderman during their next full board meeting on August 19. In order to affordably address these water infrastructure needs, the projects would be paid for through the MWRA local assistance program, which allows cities to take out interest-free loans to complete needed repairs. Melrose, which will be accessing the MWRA’s innovative program, is eligible to collect the $2 million for water and $1

million for sewer in one application. The city would then bond out half of the water allocation this fall, with the other half the following year. Money for sewer would be bonded out all at once, likely beginning in the winter. One area that the City of Melrose looks to address is infiltration/inflow which causes sewers to weaken. Groundwater enters sewers through broken pipes or pipe joints, known as infiltration, while inflow refers to water entering sewers from inappropriate connections. Another area that the City looks to attack is the creation of a hydraulic improvements plan to tackle critical mains in the city — like the hospital and schools. As part of the asset management plan, water mains will be rated from excellent to poor to determine those most in need of upgrades. It is anticipated that the City will begin work on its water and sewer infrastructure this fall. continued on page 15

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Study Finds Commonwealth’s SouthCoast Conserving More Water, But Paying More

ccording to a recent Tighe & Bond study, residents and businesses in the SouthCoast region using well water have been spared increased water costs, but those dependent on public water service are paying rate increases for water and sewer service. Even as the amount they pay for it goes up, SouthCoast residents generally are using less water. In all communities except Mattapoisett, usage has steadily declined since 2007. With respect to costs, the amounts vary wildly from community to community. New Bedford is at the bottom of the list of SouthCoast water providers, with residents paying an average of $291 a year for water, well below the statewide average of $498. On top of the list, in the Town of Marion the average price for residential water users is $868 a year. As outlined in the report, many of the factors driv-

ing water rates higher are the same ones driving other governmental increases. The general state of the Commonwealth’s water infrastructure and the need to fix a variety of problems is a leading cause as well as regulations that continue to evolve and require certain communities to make improvements. At the same time, energy and labor costs necessary to maintain these same systems continue to increase. All SouthCoast communities except New Bedford rely on wells, as opposed to reservoirs, which means they have to repair and ultimately replace aging storage tanks. In terms of maintenance and improvements, those water systems that aren't getting ahead are quickly falling behind. The complete Tighe & Bond report may be viewed at: http://rates.tighebond.com/%28S%28lq dobt45edpyem45gqpfpozp%29%29/index.aspx continued on page 17

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Legislative Update continued from page 15

Boston Globe and Boston.com Highlight Weeklong Study of Water and Sewer Facts

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or one week, the Boston Globe and its web affiliate, Boston.com, highlighted the Commonwealth’s water use, quality, and cost. From July 20 to July 27, the online and print resources highlighted the fact that “the amount of water used by people across the state daily is dropping, driven by an increasing concern about the environment and nudges from the government — even as the price of water keeps climbing rapidly.” According to the Boston Globe, “residents are using 10 gallons less per

day on average, according to state numbers between 2006-2011, the most recent available—enough to fill two standard office water dispensers.” The net result? As the Commonwealth looks to address its water infrastructure needs, the use of water and the cost to provide it remain intrinsically linked, but in a way that makes it critical today to look at different ways to fund our water infrastructure needs for tomorrow. For more information about this analysis, please visit: www.boston.com/yourtown/specials/water/

Federal Bill Would Likely Raise Massachusetts Water Rates

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reasurer Steven Grossman is sounding the alarm on legislation in Congress, saying it threatens funding for water projects in Massachusetts by reducing grants, creating a new program that favors new water systems rather than repairs, and disallowing the use of tax-exempt bonds to fund projects. Grossman on Wednesday, August 7 called on the Massachusetts Congressional delegation in the U.S. House to reject the bill, which has bipartisan backing. According to Grossman’s office, the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust is currently able to leverage three times the amount of grants by collateralizing tax-exempt bonds it issues to fund low-interest project loans to communities. The loans provide an estimated 30% subsidy on interest due compared to rates in the regular market. Grossman’s office warned that disallowing tax-exempt bonds to fund water projects would require municipal officials to find private sources for investment, predicting the pro-

posal would “almost certainly” raise residential water rates. The trust makes about $350 million in loans to municipalities each year and helps create about 2,100 jobs. Sue Perez, executive director of the trust, said in a statement, “The MWPAT has a Triple A bond rating, allowing us to sell in the tax-exempt bond market at very favorable rates. This proposed legislation would disrupt a funding system with a proven track record, and it would penalize Massachusetts for forward-looking water infrastructure investments that it has been making for decades.” House and Senate leaders are poring over ideas to ramp up the state’s investments in water infrastructure, with lawmakers anticipating a proposal to emerge this fall to address unfunded needs. According to Grossman aides, the federal bill’s sponsors are Congressmen Tim Bishop (D-NY), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Don Young (R-AR) and Peter King (RNY). A comparable version of the bill passed the Senate earlier this year. (State House News Service) n

Important Change to Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Poster The Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance poster has recently been updated. This change informs employees that they may now file for unemployment insurance benefits online or by calling the TeleClaim Center. This mandatory change impacts all employers in Massachusetts. It is recommend that employers display the new poster by August 23, 2013. Employers can access the form at: www.mass.gov/lwd/docs/dua/2553a-508.pdf. n

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Charles E. Schaub, Jr. Esq., Hinckley Allen Snyder LLP

Homestead Today: Even Better Over 20 years ago, the first article detailing the benefits to be gained by a homeowner in Massachusetts who filed for the “Homestead Exemption”, appeared in Construction Outlook. In 1993 the maximum amount of equity, which was protected by the filing of a homestead, was $100,000. In 2004, the Massachusetts Legislature passed legislation, which increased the Homestead to $500,000, which made it a smart idea for all homeowners. There have now been further revisions that merit another article. As before, the property must be your principal residence and you can only claim a Homestead on one property.

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Homestead filed pursuant to the Massachusetts Homestead Act (M.G.L. c. 188, §1 et seq) will shelter up to $500,000 in equity in a residence from creditors in the event of bankruptcy or financial “hard time”. Even if you don’t file, you still get an automatic exemption for a Homestead of $125,000. To achieve the benefit of the full $500,000, one only has to file a Declaration of Homestead with the applicable Registry of Deeds or Land Court office, which is relatively AUGUST, 2013

simple. The Homestead can now be filed even if the property is held in a trust. The Trustee must identify each of the beneficiaries of the Trust that occupy the property as their principal residence and the spouse, if any, of any resident beneficiary. There are special provisions for those over 62 years of age and the disabled. However, you need to be aware that there are also several exceptions to the statute, primarily for taxes and mortgages incurred or contracted prior to the acquisition or filing of the Homestead. The recommendation is to file the Homestead before you incur the debts to maximize your ability to protect the equity. This is still good advice 20 years later. The relatively low cost of filing such a declaration makes it a smart choice for most homeowners in Massachusetts to protect the equity in their primary residence. There are few things that are as inexpensive, which can achieve such protection as is now afforded by the Homestead Act. Review with your legal advisor to assure that this will work for you. n

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Environmental Viewpoint Robin L. Main, Esq.

Rhiannon Campbell, Esq.

Hinckley Allen, LLP

Environmental Impact Statements and Agency Actions Note: Robin L. Main is a Partner in Hinckley Allen LLP’s litigation group and co-chair of the firm���s environmental practice group. Rhiannon A. Campbell is an Associate in Hinckley Allen LLP’s litigation and environmental practice groups. Matthew D. LaBrie is a Summer Associate at Hinckley Allen LLP and a J.D. Candidate at Georgetown University Law Center.

In 2011, the federal government and its agencies spent approximately $515 billion on contracts for everything from construction of bridges to destruction of documents. Every major federal project significantly affecting the quality of the human environment must be accompanied by an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”). In 2011, 442 EISs were filed.

T

he EIS requirement is the “action-forcing procedure” of the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). Enacted in 1970, the goal of NEPA was to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and to fulfill the social and economic needs of present and future generations. The EIS requirement specifically forces an agency to take a “hard look” at the potential adverse environmental impacts of any proposed project and guarantees the public is provided the information it needs to have an informed role in deciding whether and how to execute the proposed project. The EIS must be a detailed statement discussing (i) the environmental impact of the

Enacted in 1970, the goal of NEPA was to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and to fulfill the social and economic needs of present and future generations.

AUGUST, 2013

proposed action, (ii) any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented, (iii) alternatives to the proposed action, (iv) the relationship between local short-term uses of man’s environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and (v) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposed action. The EIS must provide a discussion of the significant aspects of the probable environmental consequences, discuss reasonable alternatives, and balance the costs and benefits to allow for reasoned evaluation and decicontinued on page 23

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169-B Memorial Drive Shrewsbury, MA 01545 508-842-3790


Environmental Viewpoint continued from page 21

cedure at any of these points to forestall the project.

sion on whether to implement the project. The discussion of the alternatives to the proposed course of action should be the heart of the EIS. Three scenarios must be examined: (i) no possible alternative, (ii) other reasonable (and likely less environmentally burdensome, but typically more expensive) courses of action, and (iii) mitigation measures (and alternatives) to reduce the adverse environmental impact of the proposed course of action. The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) is required by law to review and approve the substance and procedure of every agency’s EIS. However, the public can also challenge in court an agency’s substantive and procedural compliance with the EIS requirements. For those opposed to the proposed federal action, challenging the procedure of the EIS is a routine way to postpone implementation. An EIS is promulgated under the federal “Notice & Comment Rulemaking” statute, a process that essentially allows federal agencies to develop binding law as long as they follow strict procedural requirements. When an agency decides to prepare an EIS, it must: 1. provide notice of intent in the Federal Register; 2. invite public comment on the proposed action; 3. draft the EIS, addressing received comments; 4. make the draft publically available for additional comments, including review by the EPA; 5. draft a final EIS, again addressing received comments; 6. make the final draft available for comments; and, finally, 7. file a Record of Decision documenting not only the action to be implemented, but the agency’s reasons for rejecting alternative proposals and public comments. This entire procedure takes months, if not years, to complete. A party opposed to a proposed action can try to claim incorrect pro-

The statute containing the EIS requirement has generated hundreds of court battles over both substance and procedure. Given the many points at which an opponent can indefinitely delay a decision on an EIS, and given that any major federal project first requires a substantively and procedurally compliant EIS, any contractor should be wary of relying on a federal project with an unknown environmental impact or an incomplete EIS. n

AUGUST, 2013

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Ti-SALES yard Sudbury, MA

24

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Ti-SALES, Inc. Celebrates 50th Anniversary Known as “The Supply House That Knows How to Help”, Ti-SALES, Inc. reached a milestone on June 25, 2013 by celebrating its 50th anniversary as one of this region’s leading water works suppliers.

Ti-SALES yard April 5, 1964

Moving in day March 27, 1965

AUGUST, 2013

In 1963 Bert Tighe formed Ti-SALES, Inc., and today holds the title of Chairman Emeritus. Starting out from an office in his home, Bert and two employees worked long hours to assist water works and utility contractors. Eventually, the business outgrew Bert’s home office and garage, and the company moved to larger quarters. Today, Ti-SALES has two large office/ warehouse buildings conveniently located on Route 27 in Sudbury, MA, and employs 30 full-time knowledgeable and trained staff, who are eager to serve local utility contractors and DPW personnel. According to Bert’s son Kevin, who is President and CEO, the company’s philosophy was always to provide the best service in the industry and this meant being one of the first companies to schedule daily shipments, as well as establishing a toll-free line for customers. Today, this attention to providing innovative services means fast order response times and next day delivery to 95% of their customers. continued on page 26

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Ti-SALES continued from page 25 Ti-SALES’ product line includes a very large inventory of Neptune Meters (from 5/8” to 10” water meters), as well as a great variety of Ford Meter Box items. Kevin is proud of Ti-SALES long-term association with Neptune, an industry leader who has sold over 19 million water meters. According to Kevin, Neptune has maintained their leadership position by offering their metering line with ARB and Pro Read/Auto detect encoders. Other product lines include those of AVK valves and hydrants and LMI chemical metering pumps. Ti-SALES wastewater line includes Fernco products and PVC sewer pipe. Their extensive inventory of over 4000 items is tracked by a hi-tech computer system managed by Seth Betlyon. Both Bert and Kevin have always valued the contributions made to the company by their employees. Key personnel include Vice President Donald Ladd; Director of Sales Louis Schoolcraft; General Manager Bob Lash; Contractor Connector Bob Soar; IT Manager Dave Toffling; and Shipping Department Manager Jessie Hirons. Ti-SALES has a long history of supporting water works and utility contractors. Last year, TiSALES received the 2012 “Sponsor of the Year Award” from the New England Water Works Association. Raymond J. Raposa, NEWWA’s executive director said, “This award recognizes Ti-SALES’ significant, long term support of NEWWA through the volunteer service of several employees taking leadership positions; involvement in key committees; participation in and sponsorship of monthly meetings, conferences, professional development, and training programs; various member events; and major donations to fundraisers.” According to Vice President Don Ladd, TiSALES is the only company where both father and son have won the MASS Water Works Association’s “McGinness Man of the Year Award”. Bert was awarded this honor in 1996 and Kevin in 2011.

26

Ti-SALES expanding their yard in 1970

Customer pickup in the yard

Ti-SALES offers daily UPS pickup at at 5 p.m.

“BUY FROM THE ADVERTISERS IN CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK”

AUGUST, 2013


Photos from Ti-SALES, Inc. 50th Anniversary Party in June

Bert cuts the first slice

Bert and Edna Tighe

Kevin and Bert Tighe

(L-R) Bert receives recognition of 50 years in the industry from Jennifer Pederson, Executive Director of Mass Water Works Association; Dave Harris, President of the New England Water Works Association and; John Fresh, Secretary of the Plymouth County Water Works Association.

Ti-SALES, Inc. has many satisfied customers throughout New England.

UCANE is proud to count Ti-SALES, Inc. as a valued member of our Association since 1976. Our officers, board, and staff would like to congratulate them on celebrating 50 years in business and wish them continued growth and success. n

AUGUST, 2013

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The Importance of Business Succession Planning

Kevin Ellman, CFP

Paul D. Miller

Wealth Preservation Solutions, LLC

Bonds: Know When to Hold, Know When to Fold A recent widow sent the following note looking for some financial advice: My husband passed away two years ago. I am now ready to invest the insurance money for income. I was going to buy bonds, but my friends say this is a bad time to buy bonds. - - “Worried”

W

orried’s friends have a legitimate concern. It is important to understand what a bond is along with some basic bond behavior rules. Essentially, a bond is a loan. Typically, the US government, a state, city, or corporation will borrow money from the general public so that they have money to pay for their various activities and projects. Here is a simple example to demonstrate bond behavior: In 2008, XYZ Corp wanted to borrow $1,000,000. It issued 100 bonds for $10,000 each. It agreed to pay 5% interest or $500 each year. In addition, it promised to pay back all the money borrowed in ten years. It is now 2013 and XYZ Corp has more projects to complete and needs to raise another $1,000,000. However, given the fact that interest rates have gone down since 2008, it issues 100 bonds for $10,000 each, but only offers 2% interest or $200 each year. Now, which would be preferable to an investor, spending $10,000 to buy the old 5% XYZ bond from 2008 or the new 2013 XYZ bond at 2%? Most investors would, of course, choose the old bond. And, here is where the concept of “Supply and Demand” comes into play. Not only are the old bonds more desirable, but the price of the old, more desirable 5% bonds goes up because of greater demand and less supply. The price of the new 2% bonds will inevitably go down due to lack of demand. Again, this is a simplified example to emphasize the challenges of understanding bond behavior and investing strategies.

AUGUST, 2013

Here are some very general guidelines about bond behavior: Rule #1: When interest rates go down, the values of older, existing bonds generally go up. Rule #2: When interest rates go up, older, existing bond values generally go down. Rule #3: Today’s guiding principle, given the current investment climate, is that when interest rates are low, investors should consider buying short-term bonds. As the bonds come due, investors will then generally have the opportunity to reinvest at higher interest rates. It can get very complicated when making decisions about bond sales and purchases, because in addition to these general guidelines, there are many other variables and options that should be considered continued on page 31

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Bonds continued from page 29 as part of a bond investment strategy. Some of the options are listed below: • Hold existing bonds to maturity or sell prior to maturity. • Consider higher risk Floating Rate bonds. • Consider a “bond barbell” strategy that combines short and longer-term bonds. • Consider diversifying among all bond types including government, municipal, corporate, international and emerging market debt.

Help Wanted Experienced Sales Person

The bottom line: It is a precarious time for bond investors. Consider taking the time to meet with a professional investment advisor who understands your various options for dealing with these risks. Then take the appropriate action. n

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*The value of debt securities may fall when interest rates rise. Debt securities with longer maturities tend to be more sensitive to changes in interest rates, usually making them more volatile than debt securities with shorter maturities. For all bonds there is a risk that the issuer will default. High-yield bonds generally are more susceptible to the risk of default than higher rated bonds.*Diversification strategies do not assure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), member FINRA/SIPC. Wealth Preservation Solutions is a member of PartnersFinancial, an affiliate of NFPSI. Wealth Preservation Solutions and NFPSI are not affiliated.

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Learn more at ejco.com or 800 626 4653 East Jordan Iron Works is now EJ

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Years of Excellence 1954-2013

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AUGUST, 2013

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New England’s Premier Precaster!

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Other Products Include: Median Barriers, Tanks, Pump Stations, Leach Chambers, Fire Cisterns, Utility Structures, Curbing, Precast Footings, Bollards, Stairs, etc… 773 Salem Street 87 Haverhill Road 153 Cranberry Hwy Wilmington, MA Amesbury, MA Rochester, MA Mail: PO Box 520 ● Wilmington, MA 01887

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present

Join Us as We Honor UCANE’s Contractor & Associate Member of the Year Recipients and Recognize the Heroes of the Boston Marathon

Saturday Evening October 26, 2013 Marriott Newton Hotel Newton, MA 6:30 p.m. - Midnight


U

CANE’s 34th Annual Golf Tournament held on July 15 at Brookmeadow Country Club in Canton, MA, proved to be a “hit” even though over 140 members and guests fought both a challenging course and one of the hottest days of the year. But true to the golfer’s unwritten code-of-conduct and in spite of the weather, they played on! The extremely hot temperature of almost 100 degrees could not put a damper on this long awaited day. Everyone was in great spirits for the event, which was sold out almost immediately after being announced on our website in early April. As our members know, this tournament is special and it would not be possible to provide so many extras without the incredible outpouring of support from our member companies, especially Corporate Sponsor Dagle Electrical Const., Corp. and our Lobster Clambake Sponsor E. J. Prescott, Inc. Upon registering golfers received their “Goody Bags” sponsored by P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. which were filled to the brim with promotional items provided by UCANE members and friends. After checking in, each participant enjoyed a Continental Breakfast sponsored by ATS Equipment, Inc. They were then invited out to

the driving range to sharpen their skills at a pregame Golf Clinic sponsored by United Rentals Trench Safety. Everyone taking part in the Golf Clinic entered their name in a drawing to win a TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 Driver. By the 9 a.m. shotgun start the golfers were assigned their carts and ready to get out on the course. The excitement and sense of competition could be felt in the air. Thanks to our Cold Drink Cart sponsors Kirkland, Albrecht & Fredrickson, P.C. and Vellano Bros., Inc. the golfers were kept well hydrated with the constant circling of the carts. While out on the course golfers got to take a break at the snack shack and were treated to a Barbeque Lunch sponsored by Schmidt Equipment, Inc. It was evident our golfers were in it to win it, as everyone gave it their best shot against former New England Patriot Running Back and three time Super Bowl Champion Patrick Pass, in the Closer to the Pin competition sponsored by HD Supply Waterworks, while vying for the “50/50” raffle prize. As if that wasn’t enough excitement, players also had a chance to win the $25,000 Hole-in-One contest, once again made possible by McCourt Construction Co. We did not have a winner this year, so that only heightens the competition for next year. In addition, the


$10,000 Putting Contest sponsored by Taylor Oil Company created friendly competition amongst the golfers. UCANE golfers later returned to the clubhouse to cool down, compare scores, and enjoy the Social Hour sponsored by T-Quip Sales & Rentals, Inc. Players then feasted on a Lobster Clambake sponsored by E.J. Prescott, Inc., while our tournament winners were announced, and the winners of our amazing raffle prizes were drawn. The day ended with an Ice Cream Sundae Bar sponsored by USI Insurance Services, LLC where everyone enjoyed satisfying their “sweet tooth.” Everyone who attends knows there is something very special about a UCANE Golf Tournament. It is one of

the most highly anticipated events of the year, and once again no one was disappointed. UCANE members and their guests made this year’s tournament fun and exciting from beginning to end…from the golfers who played, to the companies that supported every aspect of our tournament including members who sponsored the Tee and Green Signs, all of which were supplied by RoadSafe Traffic Systems, Inc.

UCANE’s Golf Tournament was such a huge hit that some members have already inquired about signing up for next year. n


A special thank you to our sponsors for their continued support of UCANE’s Annual Golf Tournament Corporate Sponsor

DAGLE ELECTRICAL CONSTRUCTION, CORP. Lobster Clambake Sponsor

E. J. Prescott, Inc. $25,000 “Hole-in-One”

Social Hour

McCOURT CONSTRUCTION CO.

T-QUIP SALES & RENTALS, INC.

$10,000 Putting Contest

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

TAYLOR OIL COMPANY

USI INSURANCE SERVICES, LLC

Complimentary Golf Clinic

Cold Drink Cart

“Closer to the Pin” against Former N.E. Patriot Patrick Pass

KIRKLAND, ALBRECHT & FREDRICKSON, P. C. VELLANO BROS., INC.

UNITED RENTALS TRENCH SAFETY HD Supply Waterworks

Golf Prizes

SCHMIDT EQUIPMENT, INC.

BARLETTA HEAVY DIVISION DeFELICE CORPORATION LIDDELL BROS., INC. SUPPORT OF EXCAVATION (SOE)

All signage provided by

Guest Sponsors

Continental Breakfast

ATS EQUIPMENT, INC. Barbecue Lunch

ROADSAFE TRAFFIC SYSTEMS, INC.

Jay Cashman, Inc. (4) Taylor Oil Company (2)


RAFFLE SPONSORS: American Shoring Inc.

42” Flat Screen TV & Box of Golf Balls

A. F. Amorello & Sons, Inc.

2 Pair of Red Sox Tickets (Box Seats)

BAKERCORP

Stainless Steel Weber Gas Grill

BROOKMEADOW Country Club Golf for Four w/Carts

Pinnacle Financial Group TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 Driver

PUTNAM PIPE

Box of Golf Balls

SB General COntracting, Inc. Coleman RoadTrip XLE Portable Grill

Support of Excavation (SOE)

FED. CORP.

Pair of Anti-Gravity Lounge Chairs

Set of Wilson Deep Red Golf Clubs w/Bag

Ford Meter Box Co.

TAYLOR OIL COMPANY

Collapsible Wheeled Cooler

Pair of Red Sox Tickets

A. H. HARRIS & SONS, INC.

UNITED CONCRETE PRODUCTS, INC.

Lorusso Corporation

D. W. White Construction, INC.

Pair of Red Sox Tickets

2 Pair of Red Sox Tickets (State Street Pavilion Club)

2 Pair of Red Sox Tickets

Golf for Four w/Carts Back 9 Golf Club, Lakeville, MA

PUTTING GREEN SPONSORS: Barletta Heavy Division E.J. Prescott, Inc. GVC Const. & Engineering, Inc. HD Supply White Cap Biszko Contracting Corp. Rain For Rent – New England Hinckley Allen Jay Cashman, Inc. SPS New England, Inc. JESCO/Ditchwitch Dagle Electrical Const., Corp. Scrap-It/Minichiello Bros., Inc. Liddell Brothers, Inc. (2) DeFelice Corporation R. H. White Const. Co., Inc. Mabey, Inc. DeSanctis Ins. Agency, Inc. C. N. Wood Company, Inc. Northeast Traffic Control Svcs., Inc. The Driscoll Agency Zurich Surety Palmer Paving Corporation


40

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AUGUST, 2013


GOODY BAG SPONSORS: P. Gioioso & Sons, Inc. A. H. Harris & Sons, Inc. Shea Concrete Products Goody Bags Pocket Note Pads Golf Tees Aqua-Line Utility, Inc. Milton CAT Stiles Company, Inc. Golf Balls Golf Balls Decks of Cards & Frisbees Dagle Electrical Const., Corp. Ocean State Oil Taylor Oil Company Tees Pens & Key Chain w/Flashlight & Koozie Cups Screwdriver Dig Safe Systems, Inc. Albert J. Tonry & Co., Inc. Hats, Pens, & Key Chains Robert B. Our Co., Inc./ Ball Markers Shorey Manufacturing Co., Inc. EJ United Concrete Products, Inc. Travel Mugs Tumblers & Hats Bottle Openers Rain For Rent - New England Griffin Dewatering New England United Rentals Trench Safety Golf Ball, Tee, & Glove Bag Golf Balls Key Rings, Pens, & Tees Hanson Pipe & Precast, Inc. Message Pads with Pens

TEE SPONSORS: ABC (2) Adler Tank Rentals Aggregate Industries-N.E. Region(2) Albanese Brothers, Inc. A. R. Belli, Inc. Dennis K. Burke, Inc. C.J.P. & Sons Const. Co., Inc. P. Caliacco Corp. Celco Construction Corp. Concrete Systems, Inc. Cullen, Murphy & Co., P.C. Dagle Electrical Const., Corp. J. D’Amico, Inc. (2) Darmody, Merlino & Co., LLP (2) DeFelice Corporation (3) Diesel Direct, Inc. EJ (4) Eastern States Ins. Agency, Inc. (2) Equipment4Rent (2) FED. CORP. (2) Feeney Bros. Excavation Corp. (2) Ferguson Waterworks (2) GTA Co., Inc. (2) Gagliarducci Const., Inc. (2)

Gencorp Insurance Group (2) Guerini Material Placing (2) Haluch Water Contracting, Inc. I. W. Harding Const. Co., Inc. A. H. Harris & Sons, Inc. Heafitz & Sullivan (2) Hub Int’l New England, LLC (2) K & K Excavation Co., Inc. (2) P. T. Kelley, Inc. L & L Concrete Products, Inc. (2) Lawrence-Lynch Corp. McGladrey (2) Milton CAT (2) Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C. (2) Minuteman Trucks, Inc. Norfolk Power Equipment, Inc. (2) Northland JCB (2) Ocean State Oil Daniel O’Connell’s Sons, Inc. (2) Robert B. Our Co., Inc. R. M. Pacella, Inc. Podgurski Corp. J. A. Polito & Sons Co., Inc. (2)

Power Line Contractors, Inc. E. J. Prescott, Inc. H. R. Prescott & Sons, Inc. (2) Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers (2) Scituate Concrete Pipe Corp. Scituate Precast Corp. Scrap-It/Minichiello Bros., Inc. Shea Concrete Products (2) Shorey Manufacturing Co., Inc. Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage, Inc. (2) Stiles Company, Inc. Ti-SALES Inc. Albert J. Tonry & Co., Inc. Travelers (2) Triumph Modular (2) USI Insurance Services, LLC (2) Umbro & Sons Const. Corp. (2) United Concrete Products, Inc. (2) United Rentals Trench Safety (2) Vianini Pipe, Inc. (2) WES Construction Corp. Water Works Supply Corp. (2) Woodco Machinery, Inc. (2)


2013

T-Quip Sales & Rentals, Inc.

AUGUST, 2013

E. J. Prescott, Inc.

Travelers

Kirkland, Albrecht & Fredrickson, P. C.

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On Tuesday, September 10 Sojourner House will hold its 12th Annual Golf Tournament at Brookmeadow Country Club, Canton, MA. UCANE supports the Sojourner House mission to house Boston area homeless families. It’s filling up fast and on the way to another sold-out event. To register call the UCANE office at 617.471.9955.


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AUGUST, 2013


Your Company Must Have A Comprehensive Safety Program! This year’s Safety Manual includes information on: • OSHA’s New Cranes & Derricks Standard (1926.47) • State and Federal Posting Requirements • OSHA’s Updated Trenching & Excavation Safety • New Cell Phone/Distracted Driver Federal Ruling • OSHA’s Changes to the Penalty Calculation Limit • Field Responsibility — Competent Person • Recordkeeping Requirements — Employee Reporting on Fatalities & Hospitalizations • OSHA 10-Hour Training Requirements

Promote A Safe Working Environment It should be your company’s policy to provide a safe place to work, with the prevention of accidents being your ultimate goal. Your Insurance/Bonding carrier requires a Safety Program. State and Federal Agencies require a Safety Program.

OSHA Inspectors Will Be Enforcing: • Overall Construction Safety (29 CFR 1926) • Excavating Standards • Written Safety and Health Plans

• Hazard Communications Programs • Drug Free Workplace • OSHA 10-Hour Training Requirements

Examine The UCANE Pocket Directory When ordering Company Safety Manuals, the Safety Manual section only, in the back of UCANE’s Pocket Directory, will be made up into an individual Employee Pocket Safety Manual with Your Company Name & Logo printed on the cover. Employee signature cards verifying compliance with safety manual procedures are included. When signed, these cards should be placed in each employee’s file.

Employee Pocket Safety Manual Order Form Company Name:_________________________________ Authorized By:______________________ Pocket Manuals w/ Signature Cards: Qty.__________________ x $3.25 Ea. = $________________ 55.00 Printing and Set Up Charge for Personalized Covers: $________________ 10.00 $________________ Total: $________________

Postage and Handling: Date:____________ ❏ Company Logo Enclosed

❏ Company Logo to be mailed

❏ My check is enclosed

Employee Pocket Safety Manuals are available to UCANE members only. PAYMENT MUST ACCOMPANY ORDER. Utility Contractors’ Association of New England, Inc. • 300 Congress Street, Suite 101 • Quincy, MA 02169


SP_UCANE AD_042013_Layout 1 4/10/13 8:24 AM Page 1

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48 “BUY FROM THE ADVERTISERS IN CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK” 56 “BUY FROM THE ADVERTISERS IN CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK”

AUGUST, 2013 NOVEMBER, 2009


John E. Merchant, CPA

Cullen, Murphy & Co., P.C.

IN THIS ISSUE • Make Student Loans Less Taxing • Cashing In on Foreign Stocks • Employers’ Health Insurance Penalties are Delayed Smart Tax, Business & Planning Ideas from your Trusted Business Advisor

sm

Make Student Taxing MakeLoans Student LoansLess Less Taxing

August 2013

W

contributions to retirement plans (41%

deduction. to income also ith the 2013–2014 academofthe respondents), delaying Adjustments car purchases What’s Inside (40%), putting off buying a house (29%), lower your adjusted gross income (AGI), ic year about to begin, parand even deferring marriage (15%). Of andsurveyed, a lower AGI can help you claim other those 60% have at least some ents of college students 1 Make Student regret over their choice of education and credits. income tax deductions Loans Less financing. and youngsters preparing for colIn order to deduct interestTaxing on student lege must confront the costs of Deductive reasoning loans, you must meet several criteria. Some of the hardships faced by student 2 Cashing InFor on higher education. As those costs loan debtors may you be reduced by deducting instance, must be legally obligated to Foreign Stocks the interest paid on a student loan. If you soar, you or your children (or both) pay interest on a qualified student loan. qualify for the deduction, you take it as an 3 Employers' “adjustment to income” on page if 1 of yourborrowed solely to may have to use student loans to Your loan qualifies you Health Insurance tax return, so you don’t need to itemize pay certain education for yourPenalties Are deductions on Schedule A to get the expenses pay the bills. Repaying such loans deduction. Adjustments to income also Delayed self, your spouse, or a dependent. Those can create painful choices. lower your adjusted gross income (AGI), expenses include tuition, room and and a lower AGI can help you claim other fees, 4 Tax Calendar In a recent AICPA survey of income tax deductions credits. board, books,and supplies, equipment, and In order to deduct interest on student student loan borrowers, 75% of With the 2013–2014 academic year other such asConcerns transCare loans, you necessary must meet severalexpenses, criteria. For instance, must be legally to room and board in to begin, parents of college portation. There are you some limits respondents said that they or theirabout family In a 2012 survey obligated to pay interest on a qualified students and youngsters preparing for this but you canloanborrow enough tobycover the the Employee student loan. Your qualifies if you college must confront the costs context, of higher members have made personal or financial borrowed solely tohousing pay certain education education. As those costs soar, you or Benefit Research cost of school-operated and meal plans. sacrifices because of student loanyourrepayexpenses for yourself, your spouse, or children (or both) may have to use Institute, 45% of a dependent. student loans to pay the bills. Repaying Even if you passThose all expenses of theinclude tests mentioned here, individuals said ments. Those sacrifices included postpontuition, fees, room and board, books, such loans can create painful choices. medical expenses are you interest on a loan from a relative. supplies,the equipment, and other necessary In a recent AICPA survey ofcan’t student deduct ing contributions to retirement plans (41% extremely important expenses, such asfrom transportation. There loan borrowers, 75% of Similarly, respondents if you borrow an employer plan, for such as a retirement are some limits to room and board in said that they or their family members of respondents), delaying car purchases 401(k), the interest you will notenough be deductible student planning, up from a this context, butpay you can borrow have made personal or financial sacrifices (40%), putting off buying a housebecause (29%), cover the cost of school-operated of student loan repayments. 27% response loan interest. to Among other restrictions, you can’t take thisto that housing and meal plans. Those sacrifices included postponing question in 2003. and even deferring marriage (15%). Of those deduction if your filing statuscontinued is married filing separately on page 2 surveyed, 60% have at least some regret or if you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. However, you can take the deduction if you over their choice of education financing. 1

Deductive Reasoning Some of the hardships faced by student loan debtors may be reduced by deducting the interest paid on a student loan. If you qualify for the deduction, you take it as an “adjustment to income” on page 1 of your tax return, so you don’t need to itemize deductions on Schedule A to get

AUGUST, 2013

borrowed to pay for the education of someone—such as your child—who is married and files a joint return.

Income Limits You can deduct up to $2,500 of qualified student loan interest you pay each year. (Your lender probably continued on page 51

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Dedicated to exceeding your expectations. Palmer Paving is an industry leading heavy highway civil engineering construction firm, serving both public and private sector clients. With our own HMA and aggregate processing plants, we are fully integrated as a materials producer and roadway contractor for projects of any size. We welcome your inquiries and look forward to helping you solve your next site, road construction or infrastructure challenge.

Palmer Paving Corporation, Inc 25 Blanchard Street, Palmer, MA 01069 413-283-8354

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Financial Management continued from page 49 will send you IRS Form 1098-E, showing the amount of interest you paid on your student loans for the year in Box 1.) However, your deduction might be capped or eliminated because of your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). Typically, your MAGI for this deduction is the same as your AGI, before subtracting any deduction for student loan interest. You can take a full $2,500 tax deduction for qualified student loan interest with MAGI up to $60,000, if you are a single taxpayer, a head of household, or a qualifying widow(er). You’re allowed smaller deductions with MAGI up to $75,000, but no deduction for student loan interest is allowed if your MAGI is higher than $75,000. For couples filing joint returns, this deduction phaseout is between $125,000 and $155,000 of MAGI. As you can see, a lower MAGI can boost your deduction, if you are near the phaseout range. You can reduce your MAGI with 401(k) contributions and by taking capital losses. In addition, graduates who are beginning their careers might have lower MAGI than their parents and, thus, be more likely to qualify for the student loan deduction. This can be a consideration for families trying to decide whether parents or students should be the borrowers on student loans. continued on page 53

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Offering a full range of products: Manholes, Catch Basins, Septic Tanks, Leaching Chambers, Dry Wells, Distribution Boxes, Pump Chambers, Grease Traps, PreTreatment Tanks, Utility Vaults, Meter Pits, Yard Drains, Box Culverts, End-Walls, Wing Walls, Curbs, Water Quality Structures, Prefab. Pump Stations, Storage Buildings, Dugouts, Concrete Barriers, Cable Concrete, Retaining Walls, Restroom Buildings, Telecommunication Shelters, Prestress Bridges, National Grid, Traffic Control Structures and many more.

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Financial Management continued from page 51

M

Cashing In on Foreign Stocks

any investors who seek income are turning to dividend paying stocks. While bank accounts and money market funds pay meager amounts, the dividend yield on the S&P 500 is around 2%. That’s the average yield, so many established companies are paying 3%, 4%, or even more to shareholders. Moreover, stock market investors have the potential for future growth and, as explained later in this article, typically receive favorable tax treatment on dividend income. If the idea of investing in dividend paying stocks appeals to you, consider allocating a portion of your portfolio to foreign stocks that make such payouts to shareholders. The benchmark Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI)

Water Works Specialists

EAFE Index, which tracks the performance of large companies based in Europe, Australasia, and the Far East, has a dividend yield over 3%, as of this writing. Thus, foreign stocks not only can diversify your portfolio, they may offer dividends higher than the yields on U.S. issues. U.S. investors who want to invest in foreign stocks have several options. You can invest in American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), for example. ADRs, which represent ownership of equity shares in a foreign company, trade on U.S. exchanges or over-the-counter, so you can buy or sell them as you would with domestic stocks. Rather than buying individual foreign issues, you can invest in a fund holding foreign stocks. Choices include familiar mutual funds; closed-end funds, which trade on a stock exchange between investors; and exchangetraded funds (ETFs), which track a specific stock index.

Water - Sewer - Drain Supplies at a Competitive Price “Our Products Are Some of the Most Trusted Waterworks Supplies Names in the Industry” Sanitary Sewer Supplies 24 Hour Storm Sewer Supplies Sales & Service Safety Equipment & Tools Serving Mechanical Piping all of Tapping Sleeves & Gate Installed/Cut New England Line Stops Cutting Chilled Water Lines & Steam Lines Pressure Testing & Disinfection of New Mains Installation & Testing of Back Flow Preventors Large Diameter Hydraulic Pipe Cutting Hydrant Installation & Repair

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Tax Traps Selected carefully, dividend paying foreign stocks and funds that hold such issues may play a valuable role in a diversified portfolio. However, you should be aware of two tax issues these investments may raise. Dividends may not qualify for low tax rates. As explained in the April 2013 Financial Management article, qualified dividends enjoy favorable tax rates. Most investors pay 15% tax on such dividends, whereas high and low bracket investors pay 20% and 0%, respectively. On dividends that are not qualified, though, investors pay tax at higher rates, ranging from 10% to 39.6%. continued on page 55

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53


L. GUERINI GROUP, INC. SINCE 1917

Material Placement Specialists

SAND & STONE CORP. 192 Plain St. North Attleboro, MA 02760 (508) 699-2911 www.borocorp.com

CONCRETE PUMPING EQUIPMENT “TELEBELT” MOBILE CONVEYORS STONE SLINGER SERVICE Pumps Up To 200 yds/hr • Booms Up To 142’ Reach Line Pumps • Grout Pumps Material Placement To 106’

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LLC.

2 Thibeault Drive • Bow, NH 03304 Tel: 800.595.7907 • 603.424.4600

www.easternpipeservice.com 54

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AUGUST, 2013


Financial Management continued from page 53 Typically, dividends from ADRs qualify for the low tax rates. Similarly, dividends from companies based in countries that have specific types of tax treaties with the U.S. also can qualify. Not all foreign stock dividends are from such countries, though. If you invest in a fund that receives nonqualified dividends from the stocks it owns, some of your dividend income may be taxed at high, ordinary tax rates, rather than the lower rate on qualified dividends. Foreign tax withholding can reduce your yield. When foreign companies pay dividends to investors from other countries, some money may be withheld to cover the income tax obligation to the host country. The amount of withholding varies from country to country, depending on factors such as local law, tax treaties with the United States, and whether the stock is held in an IRA. Example: Luke Miller invests in ADR shares that pay a dividend equivalent to $1,000 in U.S. dollars in 2013. The company represented by the ADR is based in a country that requires 15% withholding on dividends paid to U.S. investors. Thus, Luke receives $850 in dividend income in 2013 from that ADR, after $150 of withholding. If the posted yield on that stock is 5%, Luke actually receives the equivalent of a 4.25% dividend. Foreign stock funds also withhold dividends in this manner. If your foreign stock or fund dividend income is subject to withholding, you may be able to get some IRS relief. One approach is to deduct the amount withheld (and thus paid to a foreign govern-

Trusted Advice Credit Check • A tax credit reduces your tax obligation, dollar for dollar, while a tax deduction reduces your income subject to tax. Thus, a tax credit is more valuable. • You can claim the foreign tax credit even if you do not itemize deductions on Schedule A of your tax return. You are allowed to take the standard deduction in addition to this tax credit, if this tactic provides more tax savings. • If you take the foreign tax credit and the foreign taxes you pay exceed the credit you’re allowed, you may be able to carry forward or carry back the excess amount to another tax year.

AUGUST, 2013

ment) as an itemized deduction on Schedule A of your tax return. You can include such foreign taxes along with other deductible tax payments. However, you’ll receive only partial tax relief from an itemized deduction. If Luke is in a 28% tax bracket, for instance, a $150 deduction for foreign taxes paid saves him only $42 in tax: 28% of $150. Also, high-income taxpayers might lose some tax benefits under a new law that devalues some itemized deductions.

Taking Credit Instead of deducting the foreign tax you’ve paid, you may prefer to claim a credit for those taxes. (See the “Credit Check” Trusted Advice column for more information.) Generally, for foreign tax paid up to $300 ($600 for married couples filing a joint tax return), you can claim the credit on your Form 1040 tax return. Luke Miller, for example, could use the tactic to reduce his tax bill by the $150 of foreign dividends withheld from his investment income. If you have a larger amount of foreign dividends withheld in a given year, you generally must file IRS Form 1116 to claim a tax credit. This form can be complex, but your accountant can help you provide the information necessary to get the credit. Unfortunately, neither the tax credit nor the itemized deduction for foreign taxes paid will help if you hold your dividend-paying foreign stocks in a tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA. Luke, in our example, would wind up with a 4.25% dividend yield, not a 5% yield, if he holds his ADR in an IRA. If the dividends you receive are qualified dividends, you may prefer to hold foreign dividend paying stocks in a taxable account. You’ll be able to use the low tax rates on qualified dividends, and you can take a deduction or a tax credit to address the impact of any foreign tax withholding. continued on page 57

Crushed Stone & State Specified Dense Graded Base Manufacturer & Installer of Bituminous Concrete Products:

M.B.S. Construction Services/Paving Holden Trap Rock Co. 2077 N. Main Street (Route 122 A) Holden, MA 01520 Tel: 508-829-5353 Fax: 508-829-9346

Berlin Stone Co. 332 Sawyer Hill Rd. (off Rt. 62 & 495) Berlin, MA 01503 Tel: 978-838-9999 Fax: 978-838-9916

“BUY FROM THE ADVERTISERS IN CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK”

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P.A. Landers, Inc. The Smart Choice For All Your Site Development Needs

“WE DELIVER QUALITY BY THE TRUCKLOAD” 351 Winter Street • Hanover, MA 02339 800.660.6404 • 781.826.8818 Fax: 781.829.6377

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Route 130 • Sandwich, MA 02563 800.834.4333 • 508.477.8818 Fax: 508.477.8818

DI Pipe & Fittings • PVC Pipe & Fittings Valves & Hydrants • HDPE Pipe & Fittings • Geotextiles • Brass Castings • Stormwater Chambers • Safety & Tools Water Main Taps • Hydrostatic Testing • Hydrant Repair Canton: 781-828-1350 • No. Harwich: 508-430-1696 • Worcester: 508-754-2027

ferguson.com

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“BUY FROM THE ADVERTISERS IN CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK”

AUGUST, 2013


Financial Management continued from page 55

U

Employers' Health Insurance Penalties are Delayed

nder federal health insurance leg- full-time employees. In addition, ABC has 24 part timers who all work 65 hours a month. Thus, the part islation, some employers will owe timers work a total of 1,560 hour a month (24 multipenalties for not offering health plied by 65). Dividing 1,560 by 120 equals 13, which plans or for offering unacceptable plans is the number of full-time equivalent employees. With to employees. This portion of the law 40 full timers plus 13 full-time equivalent employees, continued on page 59 was scheduled to take effect in 2014, but the Obama Administration has delayed any penalties until 2015. Thus, business THE DRISCOLL DIFFERENCE: owners have an extra year to become familiar with Your key to the coming rules and their obtaining the possible effects. Who Will Be Covered

The relevant legislation, passed in 2010, is commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA will impose penalties on large employers that fail to meet health plan requirements. To be a large employer, a company must have employed at least 50 full-time employees in the previous calendar year. Full time, for this purpose, is 30 hours a week. Thus, companies with 50 or more employees working at least 30 hours a week are considered large and subject to possible penalties. Companies with fewer full timers may still qualify as large, if they use part-time employees. (Seasonal employees in some cases will be excluded.) Employers must convert hours worked by part timers into the equivalent of full-time employees to see if their inclusion brings them up to 50 full timers. In the calculation, overall hours worked by part-time employees during a month are added up, and the total is divided by 120. Example 1: ABC Corp. has 40

AUGUST, 2013

expertise needed to meet your bonding needs.

A

fter serving major contractors for more than 50 years, the Driscoll Agency truly understands the unique risks, insurance requirements and surety demands of the construction industry. Managing risk can be very difficult. Which is why it’s critical to obtain adequate and proper insurance coverages. Our underwriting specialists will work with your best interests in mind when proposing solutions to your insurance needs. When it’s time to navigate through the complexities of surety bonding, you can rely on our expertise and connections to get you aggressive representation and unbeatable access to industry decision-makers.

“The entire surety bonding team at Driscoll has the experience, expertise and industry contacts to give us the best possible representation and service. In an industry as specialized as ours, we wouldn’t consider letting any other agency handle this important need of our company.” – Satisfied Client To discover the Driscoll difference, contact Tim Lyons, Bond Department Manager at 781-421-2560 or tlyons@driscollagency.com.

The Driscoll Agency, Inc. • 93 Longwater Circle, Norwell, MA 02061 • Phone (781) 681-6656 • Fax (781) 681-6686 • www.driscollagency.com

half 1.12 color.indd 1 “BUYUCANE FROM THE ADVERTISERS IN CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK”

1/6/12 2:56 PM

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General Contractor Manufacturer and Installer of Bituminous Concrete Products 100 Wales Avenue-Rear Avon, MA 02322 Office: 508-583-2029 Plant: 508-587-6953

226 Nicks Rock Road Plymouth, MA 02360 Scale House: 508-732-9148 Asphalt Plant: 508-732-9140

Darmody, Merlino & Co., LLP Certified Public Accountants and Consultants

Serving The Construction Industry Since 1938 75 Federal Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02110-1997 Office 617.426.7300 • Fax 617.426.2245 www.darmodymerlino.com

LORUSSO CORPORATION 3 Belcher Street, Plainville, MA 02762 Tel: 508-695-3252 Fax: 508-699-2387 Email: sales@lorussocorp.com QUARRY & RECYCLYNG 40 Cross Street • Plainville, MA 125 Tiffany Street • Attleboro, MA ASPHALT PLANT 635 Pleasant Street Norwood, MA

PRODUCTS • Bituminous Concrete • Sand & Gravel • Crushed Stone • Screened Loam & Compost • Recycled Aggregate Products • Rip Rap & Armor Stone SERVICES • Paving & Roadway Construction • Utility Trench Preparation • Utility Trench Paving • Organic Material Recycling • Construction Material Recycling • Roll Off Containers

www.lorussocorp.com

58

“BUY FROM THE ADVERTISERS IN CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK”

AUGUST, 2013


Financial Management continued from page 57 ABC has a total of 53 full timers, which makes the company subject to possible health plan penalties.

Acceptable Coverage Companies that are defined as large, by the standard just described, must provide employees with health insurance that is affordable and provides minimum value. Such coverage must be offered to employees and their children under age 26. (The insurance does not have to cover spouses.) The IRS has indicated that health insurance will be considered affordable if an employee’s required share of the premiums does not exceed 9.5% of the employee’s income. A worker earning $40,000 in 2015, for example, must not be required to pay more than $3,800 (9.5% of $40,000) in premiums, in order for the company to avoid a penalty. Employer provided health insurance will be considered to provide minimum value if the plan is structured to pay at least 60% of the actuarial value of the cost of the benefits.

Paying the Penalty Calculating the health plan penalty a large company may owe can be complex. Companies that offer

no coverage will owe different amounts than companies that offer expensive or inadequate plans. Generally, the total penalty for an employer in 2015 will be as much as $2,000 for each full-time employee (those working at least 30 hours a week) in excess of 30. Example 2: ABC Corp. has the equivalent of 53 full-time employees, as noted, including 40 who work full time. In 2015, the company does not offer a health plan to its employees. ABC may owe $20,000 in penalties in 2015: 40 full-time employees minus 30 is 10; multiply by $2,000 to get $20,000. More details on this complicated topic probably will emerge in 2013 and 2014. Reprinted from CPA Client Bulletin. n

Did You Know?

O

f the nearly 20 million Americans who attend college each year, close to 12 million—or 60%—borrow annually to help cover costs.

Source: American Student Assistance

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Louie Schoolcraft has joined Kevin Tighe and Don Ladd to head our sales team leadership.

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AUGUST, 2013

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E.H. Perkins Construction, Inc. & Subsidiaries P.O. Box 301, Wayland, MA 01778 (508) 358-6161 • (781) 890-6505

-PLANT LOCATIONSQuinn-Perkins S & G Co. Burlington (781) 272-0200 Pandolf-Perkins Co. Sterling (978) 422-8812 • (800) 339-3389 Kane-Perkins Co. Hudson (978) 562-3436 • (800) 287-3436 GRAVEL • SAND • STONE FILL AND LOAM BITUMINOUS CONCRETE (PAVING) READY-MIX CONCRETE PRECAST CONCRETE PRODUCTS

E

H

P

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

60

Advertisers’ Index ATS Equipment, Inc. ...........................................................12 Adler Tank Rentals ............................................................. 46 Aon Construction Services Group........................................23 Boro Sand & Stone Corp......................................................54 Dennis K. Burke, Inc............................................................33 Concrete Systems, Inc..........................................................14 Dagle Electrical Construction, Corp....................................10 Darmody, Merlino & Co., LLP............................................58 DeSanctis Insurance Agency, Inc. .......................................11 Dig Safe System, Inc............................................................51 The Driscoll Agency ............................................................57 EJ..........................................................................................32 Eastern Insurance Group, LLC............................................20 Eastern Pipe Service, LLC...................................................54 Eastern States Insurance Agency, Inc....................................7 T. L. Edwards, Inc................................................................58 Ferguson Waterworks...........................................................56 Geod Consulting, Inc............................................................52 L. Guerini Group, Inc...........................................................54 HD Supply Waterworks..........................................................4 HD Supply White Cap..........................................................28 A. H. Harris & Sons, Inc. ....................................................31 Hinckley Allen, LLP..............................................................6 John Hoadley & Sons, Inc....................................................53 P. A. Landers, Inc.................................................................56 Lawrence-Lynch Corp..........................................................48 Liddell Brothers Inc............................................................. 40 Lorusso Corp........................................................................58 Lorusso Heavy Equipment, LLC...........................................8 Mabey, Inc............................................................................13 Mass Broken Stone Company...............................................55 Milton CAT..................................................................... 2 & 3 Norfolk Power Equipment, Inc.............................................51 Our Outhouses, Inc...............................................................15 Palmer Paving Corporation..................................................50 E. H. Perkins Construction Co., Inc.................................... 60 Podgurski Corp.....................................................................11 E. J. Prescott, Inc..............................................Ins. Front Cvr. Rain For Rent-New England.................................................16 Read Custom Soils ...............................................................48 Rogers & Gray Insurance Agency, Inc.................................30 Schmidt Equipment, Inc.......................................... Back Cvr. The Scituate Companies.......................................................42 Shea Concrete Products........................................................34 Smith Print............................................................................48 Social Mavens.......................................................................56 Ti-SALES, Inc. ....................................................................59 Albert J. Tonry & Co., Inc....................................................15 Travelers................................................................................52 United Concrete Products, Inc. ............................................52 United Rentals Trench Safety...............................................22 Wealth Preservation Solutions, LLC....................................50 C. N. Wood Co., Inc. ........................................ Ins. Back Cvr. Woodco Machinery, Inc.......................................................18

“BUY FROM THE ADVERTISERS IN CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK”

AUGUST, 2013


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TThhiinnkkiinngg bbiigg?? TThhiinnkk KK--SSeerriieess

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Construction Outlook August 2013