Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

Listing of the Board of Selectmen's Weekly Meeting Minutes.  Click HERE to view list of posted Agendas

June 5, 2018
6:30PM
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski (RC), Carol A. Francesconi (CF), and Ed St. John IV (ESJ)
Absent:       
Press:
 
CF makes a motion to accept the Board's May 29, 2018 meeting minutes. ESJ seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.
- Highway Supt. Blair Crane issues his weekly report. Activities included: grading of gravel roads; removing roadside logs and post winter clean-up; equipment maintenance; mowing of Town properties, including Cheshire Elementary and; truck inspections. Blair notes that Berkshire Gas has been working on correcting a gas leak at the corner of Church and Depot. CF asks about washouts on a section of Windsor Road. Blair responds that the repair work is not yet completed and the area will be seeded and hay mulched at the end. CF asks if wood chipping at the Transfer Station is still taking place. Blair responds that, yes, but only when time permits. CF asks about making the backhoe available to the Board of Health to move items around the Transfer Station. Blair responds that it has been moved to an accessible area and already is accessible to Board of Health. RC asks about the merits of a 6-wheel dump truck versus the proposed 10-wheel truck. Blair provides a cost and functional analysis and feels that the larger truck provides more benefits at a lower cost over the 10-yr expected usefulness of the truck.
- Resident Fred Balawender issues complaints about potholes around town and why they haven't been fixed. Blair responds that he has been working on them steadily and tries to complete one whole area before mobilizing to the next, rather than jumping around. Mr. Balawender says that he's never seen so many potholes and would like them fixed faster. RC notes that Blair is short of employees during the month of June due to vacation scheduling.

- Town Administrator Mark Webber gives his weekly report, including the following items:
- provides a 3-page review with back-up information for next week's Annual Town Meeting warrant and asks the Board to respond by email with any questions prior to  next Monday.
- Received some information from Planning Board member Peter Traub on the State's Abandoned Housing Program. Board will need to review but asks that Mark follow up  and get the process moving.
- Mark notes a few items of clarification after last night's mini town meeting. 1) "dispose to the highest responsible bidder" does not exclude a trade in. 2) the Planning Board  chose to go with the minimum number of allowed licenses in the proposed marijuana  bylaw. Per GL, Cheshire is allowed either 2 or 7 retail alcohol licenses (2 all-alcohol and 5  beer and wine only). So, either way, 20% still comes out to one license per category,  which is in the CCC's regulation.
- Mark communicated with the Highway Union negotiator and she agreed to include the language that was discussed last week. AFSCME union representative Nadine Kennedy  will be here next Tuesday at 9:00AM to meet with Mark and the Highway Department  members to, hopefully, sign an agreement.

- Donna DeFino, Planning Board Chair, discusses the upcoming Annual Town Meeting warrant article to amend the Zoning Bylaws with the addition of a comprehensive marijuana bylaw. Her fear is that the meeting will get bogged down by proponents. ESJ responds that, as Moderator, the discussion will be kept to the subject of land use and not the merits or detriments of marijuana use. Furthermore, only Town residents will be allowed to speak. ESJ adds that the Planning Board should be prepared for possible amendments from the town meeting floor.
- Chief of Police Timothy Garner drops of his weekly activity report and asks the Board to appoint Amilo Justino as a part-time police officer for the normal probationary period. CF, based on the Chief's recommendation, makes a motion to appoint Mr. Justino as a part-time Cheshire police officer. RC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.
- CF notes that Gillette Brothers will be providing amusement rides at the July 7th Cheese Festival and that they carry the required liability insurance.
- Resident Mark Biagini asks why the Cheshire Police don't run more radar in the downtown area instead of Rte 8 and Fred Mason Rd. Board will pass along the concern to the Chief of Police.
- Resident Fred Jayko states that the used clothing depository in the Cheshire School parking lot is overflowing and is a mess. Blair Crane responds he's requested that the shed be removed if it can't be emptied regularly.
- RC states that after the Annual Town Meeting, he'd like to pick up the pace on the Green Communities initiative. Opportunities are available for energy costs savings which the Town should qualify for.
8:05 PM: With no additional business to come before the Board, CF makes a motion  to adjourn the meeting. ESJ seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.
      
Respectfully Submitted,
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Groundsv

May 29, 2018
6:30PM
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires
Carol motioned to have the minutes for May 22, 2018 approved; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Town Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Log for 5/23/18-5/29/18.
- Grade roads/haul gravel to upper Windsor Road and Richmond Hill Road.
- Graded camp roads.
- Blair will be meeting with various contractors next week regarding  Shadowland Cove drainage issue.
- Repaired system for spraying dust control - calcium/magnesium chloride.
- Hydraulic pump has been pulled on the roadside boom mower.  New Hampshire Hydraulics will pick it up to test this week.  This is the second worn out pump over the life of this machine.  Replacement cost unknown at this time.
- 301 Backhoe hydraulics failure has been investigated further and it is a probable valve bank malfunction.  Not an easy, simple or inexpensive repair.  310 will have to be trucked to Springfield due to the complexity and expense to repair in house. (7K miles on backhoe.)
- Robert visited the site of Shadowland Cove and noted it was a culvert 4' in diameter; 10' deep with 8 ' of water.  Blair reported it had been cleaned out last August. He expressed concern regarding the layout of the septic system.
- Robert noted the loss of quality lake frontage and the inability to have a 24' boat any longer due to the present conditions.  Robert questioned if it would be possible to consult with contractors to see if an area could be cleaned out to retain some water frontage.
- Blair explained that it is not simple to rectify and discussed different options.  However, a swale structure at the end of the catch basin might collect more silt.  He felt it is contingent on the area landowners to work on the issues also as it may create a bigger issue.  Morally, Robert felt the owners need guidance; he feels bad for the landowners. 
- Carol will be contacting Mark Stimpson of the DEP.
- Robert will be working the compactor on Saturday, June 2, 2018.  He reminded Blair to consider working on a list of replacement people for the winter.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Mark updated the BOS on a concern regarding the appointment of two Cheshire individuals for the position on the Mount Greylock Advisory Board.  It was resolved when Christy Butler declined the appointment. 
- Received a revised sketch from NationalGrid for the Jenks Road utility pole public hearing.  Carol motioned to amend the original decision of placement which now shows two poles eliminated from the front yard of the Hitter home; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
- Sent the ATM warrant to Town Counsel for review and to the Town Clerk for the BOS to sign. 
- Updated the Budget.  Copies submitted to Town Clerk.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  continued
- Mark explained the reasons for funding an OPEB account.  The key ones are that doing so will improve our bond rating, which lowers our borrowing costs and pre-funding this account may lessen the burden of future employees and taxpayers.
- Becky Herzog is on the Board of Directors of the Berkshire County Insurance Group.  While transitioning to the Berkshire Health Group her knowledge has been most helpful.  The change will go into effect on July 1, 2018.  She will be hosting a workshop for north country town health/dental insurance administrators on June 19th at 10:30am.  We have signed on with a vendor for a seamless transition for our life insurance policies.  There will be no rate or policy coverage changes; there will be a 1% decrease in premiums because we have cut our support position.  Town employees will see no changes whatsoever.
- Sent a note to Dancecapade thanking them for their interest but that the Town was taking a pause and will not be leasing any additional space at the Cheshire School for the time being.
- Request received from Berkshire Boys to be placed on the June 12, 2018 BOS Agenda.  The board asked Carole H. to contact the individual to schedule a time for the July 19, 2018 Agenda at 7pm.
- Mark explained how the on-line permitting software package will work. Building Commissioner,  Gerry Garner, will be the gatekeeper and will distribute forms to different departments.
Resident, Jan Kuniholm:
- Reported difficulty walking on the sidewalks of East Main Street.  Walking to the trail is a public safety issue.  He realizes that the sweeper won't be coming for another two (2) weeks but even the sidewalks need sweeping.  He noted that his front yard looks like a sandpit as there is unfriendly gravel on his lawn.
- Blair responded that the sweeper goes from town to town and it will be taken care of as soon as the Town can.
Resident, Robert Balawender:
- Voiced concern about potholes and the fact that road sides were cleared but not reseeded and now the dirt is washing onto the roads.  He felt the maintenance was not well thought out and most likely costing additional money.
Resident's Maureen Reiley-Moriarty and William Moriarty:
- Explained the danger happening with a ledge that is falling onto Dugway/Windsor Road.  Suggested using fencing to hold back the ledge from continuing to fall as it is a major safety hazard to drivers. The BOS will advise Blair of the situation.
Resident, Terry Miller:
- Ms. Miller wanted to follow up on any progress for two unsafe houses that she reported that needed to be boarded up.  Carol will check with Jeff in the Board of Health to see if any progress has been made.  Carol noted that the Board of Health can issue a warning with an ultimatum.
Resident, Peter Traub:
- Thanked the Selectmen for a wonderful Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony. Carol reported that the fly over was cancelled at 18 different sites in Berkshire County due to the weather.
Ed:
- Reported that he will be holding a Baby Town Meeting on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 7pm at the Cheshire Community Center.
Police Chief, Tim Garner:  Submitted weekly report.
- Chief Garner introduced to the BOS, Mario Jusino.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- The Warrant was signed by the BOS.
- Will provide a larger map of where the business areas on Route 8 are located.
- Clean copies of the Budget will also be provided.  This information is also available on the Town’s website.
7:25PM
Carol motioned to go into Executive Session; “To conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with non-union personnel.” Seconded by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Roll Call:
Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; and Ed. St. John IV, Yes.
The Open Meeting will reconvene after the Executive Session.
7:50PM
Roll Call:
Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; and Ed St. John IV, Yes.
The Open Meeting with reconvene.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Received a Letter of Resignation from Fence Viewer, Ken Egnaczak.  The BOS regretfully accepts the resignation as Mr. Egnaczak has been a major asset to the committee over many years.
Resident, Joe Prinz:
- Voiced discontent with the road conditions where he walks every day.  He explained what's happening with the sides of the roads washing onto the roads due to not spending money on reseeding the areas that were cut back.  He feels the roads are a disgrace and the roads will be washed out if a good rain storm comes as presently the catch basin is already half full on Notch Road and Windsor Road.  The BOS will speak with the Highway Superintendent.
Carol questioned Mark Warner as to Carol and Ed seeing a large hole on his property at 612 West Mountain Road, with cows walking down into it.  There seems to be a discrepancy as to if there is one there or not.  Mr. Warner disagrees.
Appalachian Trail Committee, Eileen Quinn:
- Ms. Quinn updated the BOS on upcoming events for the Appalachian Trail Committee and Cheshire Block Parties.  Carol advised Eileen to seek out usage of portable bathrooms rather than using the Town Hall septic system.
The Cheshire Conservation Commission will have a site visit on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 10am at the Karen Scholz property at East Harbor Road. (Solar Array Project)
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn at 8:15PM; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
                 
Respectfully Submitted,
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Groundsv

May 22, 2018
6:30PM
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Absent:       
Press: The Berkshire Eagle
                  
Carol motioned to have the minutes for May 15, 2018 approved; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
 
Town Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Log for 5/16/18-5/22/18.
- Potholes filled on Outlook Avenue, Fred Mason Road and Outlook Avenue.
- Road grading to continue on Stafford, Sand Mill Hill, Windsor and Richmond Hill.
- Mowed at the elementary school.
- Road Report completed.
- Two burials completed.
 
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- A negotiating session was held with two (2) highway employees and Nadine Kennedy, the Union representative.  Copies were presented to the BOS and Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane.  Mark requested an Executive Session for Tuesday, May 29, 2018. The next meeting with Nadine will take place on June 12, 2018 at 9am.
- Cheshire Lake weed treatment is scheduled for: Wednesday, May 23, 2018.
- A resident approached Becky and ask if the Town would be interested in accepting a donation of approximately one (1) acre of land along Windsor Road.  This donation would require a town meeting article and a two-thirds approval.
- Becky recommended that we have a town meeting article to establish and begin funding the Town’s OPEB liability. A nominal appropriation is @2,000 to get started.
- Two walk-ins requesting information about the procedure for securing a permit/license for marijuana retail or cultivation.
- IT person has addressed the Town email accounts and has made the changes necessary to increase capacity ad get rid of overage charges in the future.
- Spoke with Travis and Blair following a conversation with the Water Commissioners last week about apparent water loss at the Cheshire School.  Travis and Jason will be conducting a comprehensive survey of fixtures and water use at the school tomorrow.
- Spoke with Gary Trudeau who was seeking to resolve an apparent issue with two (2) people being appointed on the Greylock Advisory Board.  Mark will follow up with Becky Barnes tomorrow.
- A form was completed for Mark to represent the Town of Cheshire on the BRTA Advisory Board.
Carol motioned to hold an Executive Session on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 after the Open Meeting closes;
2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.  “To conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with non-union personnel.” 
Carol:
Visited the Lakeview site of homeowner, Tara Harrington.  The cost for reclamation would be prohibitive and Carol stated there wasn’t much the town could do.  To place a swale in the back would cost a few thousand dollars but the problem would continue.  The pipe above the water level is clean and a delta has been created.  It is shallow and in twenty years it won’t be a harbor.  It has to be cleaned every year.
Resident, Peter Traub:
- Voiced that several landowners are willing to put some money into the project.
Carol: The Town could place a swale and clean the pipe.  However, Blair said it is a tight spot and where do you go with sediment?
Ed: Ed will stop by and take a look at it this week.
Carol:
- Reported that the Cheshire Historical Commission would like to obtain a cost estimate to repair the horse trough.  They asked Greg Farmer for a cost estimate to repair the Stafford Hill Monument.  Unfortunately, he reported back that it is beyond his scope of expertise. The CHC will get back to the BOS when additional information is secured.
Carol:
- Happily reported that arrangements have been made to have a fly-over during the Memorial Day Parade.  All arrangements have been secured.
Robert:
- Expressed confidence in the Advisory Board budget proceedings this evening.
 
Cheshire Board of Health, Rick Salvi and Mike Biagini:
- Notified the BOS that they need coverage at the transfer station on Saturday, May 26, 2018.  Robert offered to be in charge starting at 8am.
Business Owner, Michael Deep:
- Discussed an emergency situation at Kitchen Brook Dam.  Carol will discuss the issue with the other members of the Cheshire Conservation Commission on Friday, May 25, 2018 at which time an Emergency Order may be issued.
 
Police Chief, Tim Garner:  Submitted weekly report.
 
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.
 
Mail and Correspondence:
- Card received from Thomas and Barbara Bessette regarding the addressing of road conditions on Stewart White Road.
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn at 8:20PM; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Respectfully Submitted,
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds
 

May 15, 2018
6:30PM
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires
 
Carol motioned to have the minutes for May 8, 2018 approved; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Resident Tara Harrington of 102 Shadowland Cove voiced concern over drainage ruining her beachfront property and suggested the BOS make a sight visit in an effort to seek a remedy.
Resident, Ralph Cerretta, notified the BOS that appliances and construction types of materials are illegally being dumped on the Buskika property on Route 8.  The BOS will investigate.
 
Town Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Log for 5/9/18-5/15/18.
- Work was completed for burials.
- Continuing to fill potholes on West Mountain Road and Outlook Avenue.
- Road grading continues on Stafford, Sand Mill Hill, Windsor and Richmond Hill.
- Continuing to mow.  Elementary school field is getting lots of use.
- Finalizing Chapter 90 paperwork.
- Applying for MASSWORKS/STRAP grant to reconstruct Rt. 116.
- Maintaining equipment.
- Asked to demolish a small shed on school grounds by the batting cases.  Carol will check with the different leagues before giving permission.
 
Resident, Gary Trudeau:
- Thanked the BOS for appointing him to the Greylock Advisory Council.
 
6:40PM
Carol motioned to go into Executive Session: "To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares"2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Roll Call:
Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; and Ed St. John IV, Yes.
At 7:10PM Carol reopened the Open Meeting.
Roll Call:
Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; and Ed St. John IV, Yes.
 
7:20PM
The meeting was held on the second floor to accommodate an audience for the NationGrid Continuation Hearing from April 24, 2018.
National Grid representative, Bonnie Brown, explained the reason for having the poles 150' span.  This is the maximum span allowed due to the wires heavy weight. Resident, Diane Hitter, questioned if the poles could be located on the same side of the houses.  It was noted that poles 44, 45, 46, and 47 by the Hitter property are actually on town right of way property.  Ms. Hitter questioned why are the poles in front of her front yard. In response, the rep said the span is stronger with the plan and it is structurally sounder.  "It was the most economical way." It is the best way to engineer it with the least amount of trimming. "It is the safest way-the best way-the most economical way.” Ms. Hitter questioned if more consideration could be put into less poles and less intrusive placements.
Carol:
- There were no wetlands.  Once the Cheshire Conservation Commission received paperwork on the lots then determinations can be made.  Perhaps if the lots have wetlands issues some of lots will not be needing poles.
A letter was read by Elizabeth Kulas.  The letter was written by Major Edward J. Kulas, USAF Retired. "Further development in the Jenks Road area should not be allowed.  Since the development on Stafford Hill our water table has been depleted to the point where we and others have to ship water into our homes during the summer months.  Additional development will further deplete the already low water table that we all rely on for fresh clean drinking water for our homes and families".  The letter continues to address concerns about the condition of Jenks Road and the impact more cars will make. (Letter on file.)
Robert:
- Suggested hiring a hydraulic engineer.
Carol:
- Reported that the project in question was viewed.  The BOS has no authority to refuse electricity to a development before it perks etc. 
Robert:
- Voiced that there is nothing to deter the owner from putting in houses. The plan was presented to the Cheshire Planning Board with a licensed surveyor who is registered.  All parcels have the required frontage.  A Form A was submitted.  The Cheshire Planning Board signed it. There is no road or cul du sac.
Resident, Dr. Goldfarb:
- Noted that the road repair costs to Cheshire will be prohibitive.
Carol:
- "That is not in our vision".
Blair:
- Houses will cause more traffic.  The road will continue to be maintained and no money is available to make it a super highway.  "It is what it is".
Owner, Nate Girard:
- Reported that he will be developing eight high end homes and not eleven. The property has been in land court for two and a half years.  A lot of the lots have been perked and have been deemed buildable.  The plans may change as he has been approached by individuals that want larger lots to build really beautiful homes.  He wants to work with all to have a harmonious environment.  When asked about underground electricity he said it would cost an unreasonable amount and would rip up the road.
Resident, Dr. Goldfarb:
- "What if only two homes goes in, why are all these poles needed. When will the poles go in?"  Mr. Girard did not know.
Nate Girard:
- He has spoken to engineers regarding the 150' span and what is safest.  He prefers no home be close to the front.  "The homes will be beautiful homes with views.”
Ed questioned if plowing would be an issue for Blair if it is not wide enough. Blair responded, "The plowing would be all the way through.  He can push it off to the side and he will be viewing the road once stake are put in".
Robert:
- "Could the electricity from both ends?"
Mr. Girard:
1.  Wanted to give to the State 100 acres to preserve.
2.  The logging road on Jenks/Wells Road will not be developed. Mr. Girard said he would be willing to grade if that would assist the town.
"No prices for the land are available" was the response given by Mr. Girard when asked by Ms. Hitter.
Robert motioned to accept the Order For Joint or Identical Pole Locations presentation for Jenks Road-National Grid to install 18 new poles in order to extend overhead utilities for 8 new house lots.  Proposed poles will be north off existing pole #43 Jenks Road approximately 2600 feet total at 150' pole spans.  The location begins at a point approximately 4000 feet north of the centerline of the intersection of Windsor Road and continues approximately 2600 feet in a northerly direction; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Police Chief, Tim Garner:  Submitted weekly report.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Advisory Board meeting rescheduled for May 22, 2018 at 6:00PM.
- ATM warrant should be signed on May 29th. 
- Spoke with Highway Union negotiator Nadine Kennedy today.  MEMO submitted.
- Solicited and received a draft PILOT agreement for proposed and potential future private solar arrays in Town with defined terms, conditions and annual payments.  It will be approximately $7,500 per Mw with a 2.5% accelerator for a 20 year period.  The proposed site is 4.8 Mw.  The PILOT agreement takes the place of annual personal property billing which has to be revisited and re-calculated each year and can be subject to abatement requests each year.
- Discussion took place regarding the purchasing of a new highway pickup truck and the need for a plow truck.  The pickup costs could come from free cash ($40K).  Both items could cost approximately $270,000 using best practices for borrowing.  A debt exclusion vote would be needed for the $230K.
Ed:
- Requested the addition of $1,500 from free cash to fund a pilot program with Adams Council on Aging to evaluate if the Town of Cheshire would utilize their vehicle for trips out of county for medical appointments. 
- iBerkshires Staff, Jack Guerino, questioned the BOS if they would be appealing the court's decision to allow the installation of a solar array on East Harbor Road.  Carol stated that, "No action by the Cheshire Board of Selectmen will be taken and the BOS would continue negotiations with the Planning Board." The judge had asked the Planning Board to review the issues and return by September with answers.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Letter received for the usage of the kitchen facilities at the Cheshire Senior Center.  A determination to not allow the facility was voted on unanimously.
Carol motioned to appoint, for a one (1) year term:  Peter LeFebvre and Julie Ciskowski to the Cemetery Commission.  Robert abstained for voting for Julie Ciskowski.  Ed seconded the motion and a unanimous vote was taken.  The appointments will be for the unexpired terms until election time next year.  Carol voiced that the Cemetery Budget remain as is.
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn at 8:50PM; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
              
Respectfully Submitted,
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Groundsv

May 1, 2018
6:30PM
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires and The Berkshire Eagle
Carol motioned to have the minutes for April 24, 2018 approved; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
(Meadowview Lane was changed to Meadowview Drive.)
Fence Viewer, Mark Warner:
- Reported to the BOS that Dr. Beisiegel needs to be released from an on-going fence issue with a neighbor.  Mark will be contacting Town Counsel on this case, Attorney Jeff Grandchamp.
Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Weekly Activity Log submitted 4/25/18-5/1/18.
- 55% of time was due to filling potholes.  40% of time was for maintenance on equipment.
- Grave digging on Wednesday and Friday.
- Blair will attend the Pole Continuation Hearing (Jenks Road) on May 15th.
- Spoke with Eric Whitney regarding front store drainage issues.  A permit will be needed.  Blair approved Eric taking down some trees.
- Researching the cost of a new mower.
- Grader arrived. 
Marshall Maxwell requested information on submitting a ZBA Application. 
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Carol will be throwing the first ball for the Tee Ball League.
- Received an email on Friday, April 27, 2018 from Ben Girard/Royal Property Group rescinding their plans to have an informational meeting on May 9th at the Cheshire Community Center.  They are now pursuing a separate location outside of the town borders that will be more cost-effective for their plans to have a Marijuana Retail Store in Cheshire on Route 8.
- Mark thanked Blair for his assistance on the Complete Streets application.  The application has been accepted by the State and is now at Tier 3 status.  This is the last step prior to funding approval.
- Would like to officially respond to repeated requests from Berkshire Boys to be placed on a upcoming Selectmen’s meeting agenda.  Carol answered by saying she had emailed the group and explained that no action would be taken until after the annual town meeting and the passage of the marijuana bylaw.
- Prepared an updated budget along with past several year’s budget history, free cash use, special articles under consideration and level limit position to the Advisory Board.  A joint meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 15th.
- Recommended meeting with the Water Commissioners for an official position on the Hutchinson Water Company.
- Received a classification study from ISO on the Town’s fire hydrants.  Suggested referring the report to  Fire Chief Tom Francesconi for his review and analysis.
- Submitted a letter to be sent to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bessette regarding road condition of Steward White Road.
- Updated budget submitted and discussed each line item of the preliminary budget.
Resident, Fred Jayko:
- Reported a tree fallen on the Swistak property (Wells Road).  Additionally, it appears that construction materials are being dumped on the property.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.
Police Chief, Tim Garner:
Mail and Correspondence:
- Division of Fisheries & Wildlife.  RE:  West Mountain Road/Farnams Goodlife Corporation.  Received a Forrest Cutting Plan Approval.
- ACRSD Physics teacher requested use of Cheshire Lake on June 14th from 9am to 11AM for a Recycle Regatta.  Mark will follow up on the event and insurance coverage by the school.
8:00PM
Carol motioned to go into Executive Session; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
“To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual.  (See Rights of Individuals on reverse.)
Roll Call:  Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John III, Yes.
Carol motioned to adjourn the 6:30PM Open Meeting at 8:50PM; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
                 
Respectfully Submitted,
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Groundsv

April 24, 2018
6:30PM
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Absent:       
Press:
Carol motioned to have the minutes for April 17, 2018 approved; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Weekly Activity Log submitted 4/18/18-4/24/18.
- Majority of time this week was spent filling potholes.  (Ingalles/Hutchinson Development).
- Received complaints regarding asphalt conditions on Ingalles and West Mountain Roads.  Guardrail damage on Windsor Road.  Meadowview Drive has a catch basin failure.  Mallard Cove has a hole in the road due to faulty drainage.  (Repaired)  Wells Road potholes and debris on grass in right of way.
- Will be scheduling a time to meet with the BOS to discuss and tour town infrastructure.
- After checking the Town’s grader, it would cost a couple of thousand dollars.  Blair prefers renting one for a month at an approximate cost of $4k.  This would be short term solution.  (Grader is 32 years old and needs to have a radiator repair.  Robert asked Blair to check into the matter further.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Reported receiving several emails from the Berkshire Boys group regarding the scheduling of a community outreach meeting. Additionally, another applicant for a Retail Marijuana Store will be holding an informational meeting on May 9, 2018. Mark reminded the BOS that a Letter of Non-Opposition would need to be issued prior to executing a Host Agreement.  The BOS had decided not to issue any letter prior to the outcome of the Zoning bylaw amendment vote at the June town meeting.
- This evening’s Advisory meeting was cancelled due to not being able to attract a quorum.
- Processed FY 19 insurance renewals: Volunteer Fire and Police Accident policy; registration rewal for antique fire truck and; Town’s property/casualty/liability/officers coverage.  The last item, which is the bulk of our coverage, reflects an 11% rate decrease over the current year (MIIA).
- Responded to Senator Hinds office regarding the Board’s position on seeking funding for repairs/improvements to the off of Route 8 “Keystone Bridge.”
- Per the request of the Water Commissioners and at the insistence of the Department of Revenue, that next year’s operating budget closely reflect current year receipts.  Mark reduced the FY 19 Water Department total budget request by $45K.  The anticipated reduction in FY 18 receipts was predicted by the Commissioners because of the delay in the implementation of the new metered billing system.  Mark added a warrant article for the FY 2019 Annual Town meeting warrant to supplement FY 2019 Water Department operating costs by transferring $45K from available certified Water Enterprise Retained Earnings.  Accordingly, the Commissioners FY 2019 total budget request effectively remains at their requested amount of $279,162.
- Requested time on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 to review the Water Department change.
- Requested time for a final review of warrant articles for the June annual town meeting.
- Reported no update on the Highway Union negotiations.  Mark expects a session in early May after reviewing Mark’s comments on their most recent proposal.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  continued
- The Complete Streets application received Tier 2 approval. 
- May 1st is the due date for the Cheshire School RFP submissions.
- Will review with Blair a response letter to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bessette’s letter regarding poor road conditions on Stewart White Road.
- Mark will speak to Mr. E. Clairmont regarding Right of Way issues.
Robert:
- Read the following letter from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bessette. 
“Dear Selectmen:
I am hopeful that you will present our concerns at the next Board Meeting.  A long term solution needs to be addressed instead of temporary fixes, which costs time and money. 
We live on the black top portion of the road where 13 of the 15 houses and mobile homes are located.  Our residence here has been for over 33 years.  The only thing we and the others get for our taxes is the road, as well we all have a septic tank, well and leach field.
The dirt portion of the road is usually graded with dirt and rocks.  Basically due to the fact that it ruts and washes out frequently.  Over the years the drainage ditches have been filled in because of this practice which is not helping the road conditions.  Unfortunately rarely is the black top portion repaired.  We no longer have potholes but craters.
Last year 2017, I emailed Blair Crane about the road conditions.  It had not been touched all summer.  I issued a complaint that someone is the spring of that year dumped dirt on the black top creating a dust bowl.  Then questioned why someone would do that?  Blair did respond stating that he was aware of the road conditions but there was no funding to do it properly. “I emphasize properly”…  He also stated that they would be here shortly to fix the holes.  A few weeks later they filled in the holes by using paving material then tampering in the holes by running over them with the truck.  Needless to say that lasted until the first rain as the road is undermined with water.  All holes and craters were back.
Now comes March of 2018 just before the first Nor’easter of the season.  Road conditions were beyond belief.  The road crew appears with a leaf blower to get the water out of the potholes and craters then dumps truck loads of dirt once again on the black toped road to fill in the holes.  As previously stated, “What a waste of time and money”.  I once again contacted Blair Crane but did not get a response this time.
The dust bowl this is going to create this spring summer is very distressing.  Last year we could not open our windows, keep our house clean or sit on our front deck.  Needless to say how unhealthy it is to breathe this dust and dirt.  Why in God’s name would anyone destroy the road by dumping dirt on it when it does absolutely no good?  Another example of wasted time and money but no funds to do it property.
I think it would be advantageous for the Board of Selectmen to take a road trip down Stewart White Road and assess the road conditions.  Then take one more trip when the road dies and see the dust bowl we are all dealing with.  I truly do not think anyone would want to live under these conditions.
Last but not least is the speed that is traveled on this road.  We do not have speed limits or signs that say thickly settled. Our neighbor even put up a sign for people to SLOW DOWN.  Someone is going to get seriously hurt.  If we could get it monitored especially in the morning when people are going to work and then returning later in the day they would see for themselves that speeds between 50 and 60 miles an hour is a regular event.  Maybe then speed limits could be posted.  Now to add salt to an opened wound, we have tractor trailers using the road as a shortcut, really?
Consideration to our letter would be more than appreciated.  We all need your help in resolving these matters.
Blair’s answer: Blair reported that he has looked into the cost of taking care of the road correctly and that would be approximately $100K.  Water is the enemy.  The road is a tough road to deal with and we have been hit with four (4) Nor’easters.  He felt some of the statements to be contradictive as if the roads are in such bad condition yet there is a speeding issue.
Ed: How long would it take to come up with a solution taking into consideration money as an issue.  Ed asked Blair to put a plan together and includ the financial costs.
Robert: Questioned Blair as to what he would do first. 
Blair: Taking care of the water/drainage.  Cut some trees.  The town could do it by digging and hauling and adding culverts.  Money is the issue and he does not know if it is gravel or ledge.  Testing would have to be done.
7:15 PM
National Grid Hearing-Jenks Road-18 poles:
Robert read the Petition For Joint or Identical Pole Locations submission. Jenks Road-National Grid to install 18 new poles in order to extend overhead utilities for 8 new house lots.  Proposed poles will be north off existing pole #43 Jenks Road approximately 2600 feet total.  Pole spans are approximately 150 feet.  The location begins at a point approximately 4000 feet north of the centerline of the intersection of Windsor Road and continues approximately 2600 feet in a northerly direction.
Representative, Bonnie Brown from National Grid was prepared to answer any questions from the board or the audience.
- Fourteen individuals signed the sign-in sheet.
- Seventeen poles will be installed on the west side with one pole on the existing road.
- Resident, Bob Hitter, opposed the poles as he feels it is not a good thing.  Jenks Road is a rural, dirt historic road.  His home was built in 1758; Dr. Goldfarb just renovated her home. He said that the Fish and Game Commission had not received notification of the development.  The change is going to affect animals and hunting in the area.  Ten years ago Stafford Road had a similar situation and the water table decreased causing problems for gravity fed well. We no longer have a school and there are no jobs in the area. It will cause additional burdens to the town for additional plowing, electrical outages and lines coming down. With 8 houses going to be built people will want Jenks Road to be paved and that will cost the town more money. Now in the winter there is no place to put the snow.  It’s a one (1) lane road. 
Mr. Bob Hitter:
Not that long ago someone did forest cutting and did a poor job and clear cut Mount Amos. Mr. and Mrs. Hitter again stated that they object to the installation of the 18 pole project.
Robert: Reminded the group that the BOS has no authority if the lots sell or don’t sell – that’s up the economy or a realtor. It meets local subdivision laws; has been done on a local level correctly; we can’t stop progress.
Resident, Joseph D. Massaconi:
- Wanted the BOS to understand his sentiments regarding Jenks Road and the State property that abuts it.  He has been a hunter his whole life.  With this size of a development, there will be no place to hunt.  He understands that the taxes received from the homes will help the town, but there will be more plowing needed.
Robert:
- Explained that Carol A. Francesconi is a member of the Cheshire Conservation Commission and the owner will have to go before the Conservation Commission and complete their processes for approval.
Ted Jayko:
- Would like the town to be proactive rather than reactive. The road is deplorable as it is.  It needs major construction before buildings can go up.  He noted that culverts overflow on the road.
Resident, Diane Hitter:
- The area is agricultural and the road is used by small slow farm trucks.  Sometimes cows get out.  Building all of these houses takes the character of the area away.  Agriculture is being snuffed out.
Robert:
- Asked what would happen if we took all the poles away?  Is it ok for you to have a pole and not new families? The parcels will be sold eventually and electricity is needed.
Ed:
- Believes the BOS has to review all information received.
Mr. Bob Hitter:
- There would only be a narrow strip going to State up to Stafford Hill.  No animals would be there.  He does not post his land.
Ed:
- Appears to be a viable plan.  Poles are needed and the plans clearly demonstrate the need.  Although he would not vote for it right now, he believes in growth for Cheshire and it would improve and expand the tax base.
Resident, Diana Thurston:
- Discussed the large amount of traffic when the bridge was being repaired. She is terrified about the building of new homes and her water table.  She has had experiences in the past with her well going dry with new construction.
Carol:
- Motioned to continue the meeting for two (2) weeks until Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 7:15PM in the Selectmen’s office; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.  Robert suggested walking the site.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.
Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Submitted weekly report.
- Discussed the continuous tradition of walking to the cemetery on Memorial Day Parade.  The essay contest will not happen this year.
- Carol motioned to post no parking signs on the east side of School Street; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Cheshire Planning Board, Donna Defino, Chairman
- Reviewed with the BOS what the procedure would be for possibly going forward regarding the licenses for Marijuana Retail and Cultural licenses.
1.  The BOS would have to sign a Letter of Non-Opposition.
2.  A Host Agreement would have to be signed. Mark advised both Boards to wait until the June Annual Town Meeting when the voting of a Marijuana Bylaw will take place.
- Donna presented a letter to the BOS regarding the attitude of a department member at the meeting.
- Donna was disheartened by the accusations against the Cheshire Planning Board as she is very very proud of its accomplishments without serious lapses as in the past.  All members are doing a fine job for the job.
Carol motioned to schedule an Executive Session at 7:45PM on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.  “To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual”.  (See attached Rights of Individuals); 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
 
Mail and Correspondence:
Resident, Fred Balawender:
- Wanted to advise the BOS about the Notch Road Bride and the need for grading, repairing sharp edges and blacktopping. The situation could start damaging the bridge.  Robert told Fred that Blair plans to take care of it this week.

Carol motioned to adjourn the 6:30PM Open Meeting at 9:00PM; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
                 
Respectfully Submitted,
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Groundsv