April 2, 2019
6:00PM Open Meeting
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi
Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
6:30PM Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting.
Carol motioned to approve the minutes of March 26, 2019 and two (2) Executive Session minutes; seconded by Robert. A unanimous vote was taken.
Resident, Gary Trudeau:
- Reported dangerous road conditions in the area of 700-920 Outlook Avenue as the center of the road is gone. Blair is aware of the situation, he understands it needs repair and he has it on the list of roads in similar situations. The department is working as efficiently as possible considering the weather, manpower, and equipment.
Resident of Shadowland Cove:
- Requested the town to be more careful when plowing as yards at Shadowland Cove are being ripped up. (Photographs shown for documentation.) He also discussed the silt problem and the loss of lake frontage. Blair noted that the catch basins are cleaned every spring. This issue was discussed last year with site visits by the BOS and the Highway Superintendent. At that time, owner Harrington did not want to do any changes as septic issues might cause more issues. At that time, Carol noted that planning stopped.
- Reported dogs locked inside of a condemned home. The dog officer was notified and the BoH reported that the dogs had been feed and had water for the night.
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane: Weekly report submitted for: 3/27/19-4/2/19.
- Repairing pot holes.
- Graded trouble spots on Stewart White, Sand Mill Hill, Richmond Hill, Jenks Road, Brough Road, Lakeshore and Horns Beach Road on Monday, April 1.
- Dismantled and rolled up snow fencing on Henry Wood Road.
- Sign ordered for Prospect Street as requested.
- School heating oil is at 3800 gallons and all systems are operational.
- Attached pricing for a grader and backhoe for general information. Carol voiced renting a grader once a month does not satisfy the need and the town needs a grader. “We need a grader. Renting one every month is not going to cut it.” A new grader can cost approximately $288,500. Used equipment is roughly $90K - $100K should the town purchase the rental equipment. Blair noted that times have changed. In the past people would wait until the storm was over, now if there is two inches people want to be able to travel. A grader would be used for emergency snow removal only and primarily for grading roads. Robert felt confident in purchasing used equipment if only used for grading.
- Blair will continue to research the best option and will make a recommendation to the BOS.
- Note: A backhoe could cost approximately $118K.
- Carol asked Blair to read the updated Town of Cheshire Employee Handbook. Specifically the section on Sick Time as employees can accumulate up to thirty sick days.
- Blair will change the tires on the COA when the weather permits.
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Director Thomas Matuszko:
- Updated the BOS on the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership. Cheshire is a part of 21 towns that has been designation by the U.S. Forest Services and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to:
- Increase sustainable economic development related to forestry and natural resource based tourism
- Support forest conservation on private lands and use of sustainable forestry practices
- Improve fiscal stability and sustainability of the municipalities
- A website of the legislation is available at: mohawktrailwoodlandpartnership.org
Carol: Questioned if there was any cost to the town. The answer was, “No.”
- After a question and answer period, Carol made the following motion: “The Town of Cheshire agrees to participate in the activities of the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership as provided for in Section 91 Chapter 209 of the Acts of 2018, an Act Promoting Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental and Natural Resource Protection, and Investment in Recreational Assets and Opportunity (“The Environment Bond Bill). The motion was seconded by Robert. A unanimous vote was taken. The BOS will appoint a resident as a town representative.
- Thought it was a good idea as it would give guidance to residents for their woodlots.
- When leaving, Tom thanked Carol for her many years of dedicated community service to the Town of Cheshire.
Town Administrator, Ed St. John IV: Weekly report submitted for April 2, 2019.
- Met with DOT regarding Route 116. Discussed possible options. Will report back to the BOS.
- Continuing to work on policies such as reporting mileage and cash handling.
- Telephone conference with edm regarding the code review for the section of the building where offices could relocate to.
- Researching road repair/damage laws.
- Attended monthly meeting of the Berkshire Managers group. Discussion: Legislative Priorities and Economic Development Projects.
- Continuing to work on the budget and other tasks.
- Cheshire Selectmen are invited to Career Day on May 29, 2019 at the high school.
- Carol motioned to appoint Town Administrator, Ed St. John IV as the Hearings Officer; seconded by Robert. A unanimous vote was taken.
- Discussed who could sign the warrant should there only be one BOS member in attendance. (Further discussion needed.)
Robert: Requested Ed to continue follow up on large trucks/trailer use of Stewart White Road. Although it is closed now due to mud once the summer comes, Robert would like to see a traffic study completed. Contact needs to be made with BRPC for the equipment.
- Carol met with the COA van drivers and on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 residents will be able to be picked up for the lunch and Senior Club at the Cheshire Community Center. The project will be evaluated after a month and will be offered for six (6) months.
COA, Peter Traub:
- Reported that Kerry Lahey, Outreach Worker, at the Cheshire Community Center is no longer working in that capacity. Unfortunately, due to grant restraints the position is no longer funded by a grant. Peter reported that the vision now is to hire an individual who will oversee data collection and to give ideas to outreach workers. This decision has no benefit to Cheshire and will be discussed further.
Carol: Requested that alternative members be included to the COA Board. Presently, seven (7) members are allowed. Carol motioned: To allow one (1) to three (3) Alternative Members to the Cheshire COA Board; seconded by Robert. A unanimous vote was taken. This increase will allow for members to become familiar with the goals and aspirations of the group. As an Alternative Members there are no voting rights.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- Submitted the Resignation Letter for Maureen Riley Moriarty from the Cheshire for the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire dated April 2, 2019. The BOS accepted the resignation and Carol motioned to appoint Cheshire resident, Barbara Proper to the position; seconded by Robert. A unanimous vote was taken.
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner: Weekly report submitted.
- Announced that an Application for a Petition for Rent Adjustment has been scheduled for Monday, April 22, 2019 @ 6pm at the Cheshire Town Hall-Second Floor. (Kitchen Brook Mobile Home Park.)
Mail and Correspondence:
- Charter Communications Annual Form 500 (Outage Report for 2018.)
- Northern Berkshire Hurricane Youth Lacrosse.
- Animal Control Officer Designation 2019.
- Order of Conditions, Berkshire Registry of Deeds for 0 Sandmill Road, Cheshire, MA 01225.
- Spectrum. Received a Service Notice.
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:00PM; seconded by Robert. A unanimous vote was taken.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk