Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

January 29, 2019

6:00PM Open Meeting

In Attendance: Carol A. Francesconi, Robert S. Ciskowski
Absent:      
Press:

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 read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s January 22, 2019 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:  Weekly report submitted for 11/23/19-1/29/19.

Interim Town Administrator, Ed St. John IV:  Weekly report submitted for January 29, 2019
- Updated the BOS on the first draft of changes to the Cheshire website.
- Completed and successfully passed the Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official training and examination.
- Working with the Adams Cheshire Regional School District on budget and Levy numbers.  Ed will be meeting with department head for budget input.  
- Met with Caroline Massa, BRPC, regarding the Green Community project.  The Cheshire Planning Board met with BRPC to discuss changes to the Zoning By-Laws that would have to take place.    
- Met with Dr. Vosburgh and scheduled to meet with the School District to discuss their budget on February 19, 2019.  The School District will then meet with the Finance Committee from Adams     and Cheshire on February 26, 2019 and ultimately look to approve their FY 2020 budget on     March 11 at the Middle/High School.
- Question regarding Chapter 61A Classification.  Seeking a vote waiving the right of first refusal prior to the February 28, 2019 expiration of the statutory period.
- Request from the Department of Public Utilities looking to use the Community Center on March 28, 2019 at 7pm.  The petition is for a rate change with the Hutchinson Water company.

Dr. Vosburgh, Paul Butler, and Adam Emerson:
- Paul Butler reviewed The Towns of Adams and Cheshire Massachusetts Regional School District Agreement- Section by Section. The document can be viewed on the Adams Cheshire School District website.


Robert:
- Attended the community outreach meeting regarding the establishment of a marijuana growing facility on Stafford Hill at the Community Center on January 23, 2019.  There was a question and answer period and in general the meeting was calm.
- Requested Ed to check into interns for the summer.  Previously, it was thought that interns     could be utilized for traffic studies.
- Will be on vacation from Robert’s day job and he will be checking out Harbor Dam with Ed on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 1pm.
- Robert would like guidance from National Grid and BRPC regarding LED street lights.  He also suggested the need for an inventory to be done by a specialist at night.

Cheshire Water Department, Travis Delratez:
- Travis requested Ed to put out a Bid for Emergency Water Repairs.
- Travis suggested meeting on second Tuesdays for better communication between departments.

Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Weekly report submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  
- No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:    
     
Carol:

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:40pm; seconded by Robert. A unanimous vote was taken.
         
Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk

January 8, 2019

6:00PM Open Meeting

In Attendance: Carol A. Francesconi, Robert S. Ciskowski
Absent:      
Press: iBerkshires, Berkshire Eagle

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 read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s January 2, 2019 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:  Absent

- Stafford Green Inc., presented the BOS a Community Host Agreement for an outdoor marijuana     cultivation facility on Stafford Hill. The BOS will take the week to review.  The plan is to hold an informational meeting on January 23, 2019 at the Cheshire Community Center.  They will be advertising accordingly.

Interim Town Administrator, Ed St. John IV:  Weekly report submitted:
- Working on upcoming budget.  Free cash certification of $339,776.
- Conducted a survey of communities in Berkshire County and fees related to electric permits.  Ed suggested the BOS review the inspection fees.    
- Met with Lynn Melchiori regarding the updating of the Town's website.  Ed will update the BOSas the process advances.
- Met with Pat Mullin and Rebecca Haight from BRPC regarding the administration of the DCBG grant. Cheshire, to date, has seven (7) applicants.  A representative from BRPC will be scheduling time either Tuesdays or Thursdays for additional residents to sign up.
- Reported a second denial of Cheshire for a Complete Streets Grant with BPRC.  Ed will be checking as to why the town was not granted.

7PM NationalGrid Pole Hearing/Jenks Road:
Carol:    Read the notice.
- Lisa Jasinski, Representative from NationalGrid reviewed the changes starting at 800 Jenks going South.  
- Carol approved rescinding the original hearing proposal; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. NationalGrid will be working with the customer regarding the last pole on her side.  (21     poles involved.) Carol motioned to approve the new plan; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

NationalGrid Pole Hearing/Jenks Road continued:
- Nate Girard, developer, updated the BOS regarding an Amos Farm Easement as it has been forward to his legal advisors.

Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Weekly report submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  
- No issues or concerns.

Rick Gurney requested a permit to hold an Ice Derby on Cheshire Lake for the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club on February 17, 2019 from sunrise to sunset.

Mail and Correspondence:    

Carol:
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:15pm; seconded by Robert.  
A unanimous vote was taken.
         
Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk

January 2, 2019

6:00PM Open Meeting

In Attendance: Carol A. Francesconi, Robert S. Ciskowski
Absent:      

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 read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s December 26, 2019 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.

    _____________________________________________________________________________
Resident, Chris DelMolino, 110 Main Street, Cheshire, MA and Aaron from Sun Bug Solar:
- Both parties had met with electrical Inspector, George Sweet, to review the electrical fees charged for solar installations.
- Aaron noted that the fees were not listed on the Cheshire website and he felt the fees were abnormally high considering the amount of time spent on the inspection. He questioned if the town had surveyed other surrounding towns. Carol will be checking surrounding towns for their fee rates.
- As of July 1, 2015 the fees are:
        From $0 to $2,000                    $50.00
        From $2001 to $4,000                    $75.00
        From $4001 to $8,000                    $100.00
        From $8001 to $10,000                    $125.00
        From $10,001 and above   (per thousand)        $25.00
    Additional inspections beyond the initial inspection.  (Included in the fee.)
    * All Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems shall have a flat fee of $100.00 per kW.
The discussion will continue on January 8, 2019 with George Sweet present.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:  
- Presented the Weekly Activity Log for 12/26/18-1/1/2019.
- Salt shed at full capacity.
- Call from MSP Tuesday, January 1, 2019 regarding pothole on Fred Mason Road resulting in two blown tires.  Hole repaired January 2, 2019 with cold patch.
- Met with Mass DOT last week to finalize Chapter 90 paperwork.  All paperwork has been turned in and we are awaiting reimbursement from the State.
- Reported school heating oil tank at 4200 gallons as of 12/31/18.
- Various dead, dying or unsafe trees taken down around town.  Residents are encouraged to take the wood on a first come/first serve basis.
- Winter sand continues to be available to residents at the town garage.


Interim Town Administrator, Ed St. John IV
- Reached out to NationalGrid to secure a street lighting inventory.  Awaiting a response.
- Met with Sherman from NeoNet regarding networking in an effort to be more efficient and secure.
- Carol signed the DLTA grant for submission to BRPC.  Continuing to work on grants for the Police and Highway Department.
- Investigating cameras for roads (equipment grant) road security.

Carol:    Asked Ed to seek historical grants for the Town Hall - specifically repairs.
- Ed will be attending Procurement Training on January 22, 23, and 24, 2019.

Robert:
- Questioned Blair regarding the working status of the generator at the school.  Blair responded that the generator could be parked - up and running.  It is old - 60's or 70's when originally     installed.
    
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Weekly report submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  
- No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:
-  Received MDAR Vegetation Management Plan Schedule and mailed it to Laurie Field.
- Berkshire Medical Center, Inc.  Berkshire occupational Health will be merging with Berkshire Health Urgent Care, 505 East Street, St. Luke's Square, Pittsfield, MA 01201.

Carol:
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:25pm; seconded by Robert.  
A unanimous vote was taken.

     
Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk

December 26, 2018

6:00PM Open Meeting

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:        
Press: The Berkshire Eagle
                   
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 read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s December 18, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:  
- Presented the Weekly Activity Log for 12/19/18-12/25/18.
- 50% of labor was for vacation time, sick time, or other time off.
- Salt is at ¾ capacity.
- Truck #4 transmission issue has reemerged.  Truck at Delurey’s.
- Welder broke beyond repair.  Purchased new Miller welder.
- Rain issues on Friday- 4”.  Roads were kept passable over the weekend and repaired the frozen dirt surfaces on Monday.  Muddy conditions on Stewart White Road.
- Winter sand available to residents at the town garage.
- Flag pole broken at the Cheshire Community Center.  
- Received state notice that they will be taking core samples from existing abutments at Sand Mill Bridge. The bridge was built in 1930.
- Will be reviewing CCC application for 1031 Sand Mill Hill.

Interim Town Administrator, Ed St. John IV
- Presented December 26, 2018 Administrator’s Report.
- Reported to the BOS the following: “Section 3.3(b) of the Cheshire Zoning By law prohibits “commercial piggeries” from all districts within Cheshire.  In Building Inspector of Mansfield v. Curvin, 22 Mass. App. Ct. 401 (1986), the Appeals Court held that a blanket prohibition against     piggeries violated the provisions of Mass. Gen. Laws, ch. 40A, sec. 3 (No zoning ordinance or by-    law shall…prohibit, unreasonably regulate, or require a special permit for the use of land for the     primary purpose of commercial agriculture.  Therefore as long as the primary use of the land is     for agriculture, the town’s zoning bylaw cannot be used to prevent the operation of a piggery.”    
- Met with Blair Crane to discuss the highway budget.  A meeting is scheduled also for Ed to meet with the Finance Committee on Thursday, January 3, 2019.
- PILOT agreement sent to Town Counsel for review. Ed will be researching other comparisons from different communities.
- Submitted to the BOS documents from ACRSD re: Amended District Agreement.
- Researching grant programs for the Police Department to provide a School Resource Officer for the high school.
- Clarified billing addresses with Berkshire Gas for the highway and community center.
- Robert requested Ed to work on diode lights for Cheshire and the potential savings.
- Received a request from ACRSD to Legislators to file special legislation to allow towns to elect school committee members in May.  The BOS noted that the request was not discussed with the Cheshire BOS before requesting legislative action.

Carol:
- Scheduled National Grid/Verizon Pole Hearing for January 8, 2019 at 7pm at the BOS meeting.
        
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Weekly report submitted.
- Agreed on thirty day continued employment (end of January) for Nicholas Sorrell.
- Agreed upon employment for Amalia M. Jusino III until May 2019 appointments.
- Grant received for $13,841 for the purchase of police tasers.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  
- No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:

Carol:
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:05pm; seconded by Robert.  
A unanimous vote was taken.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk

December 18, 2018

6:00PM Open Meeting

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:        
Press: iBerkshires
                   
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 read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s December 11, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:  Absent
- Things to do:  Check trestle on Lanesborough Road.

Interim Town Administrator, Ed St. John IV
- Presented weekly report.
- In conversation with the Board of Health regarding questions about piggeries in Cheshire.  Spoke with Laura Kittross from BRPC and seeking an opinion from Town Counsel.
- Spoke with Dave Waddle from Mass Wildlife regarding the trapping of beavers which can be performed with a permit issued from the Board of Health.  Also spoke to Rebecca Barnes from DCR and better ways to improve the flow of water.  Robert will be sharing his plan for improving the water flow in the center of Cheshire including possible dam removal.
- Met with Blair Crane, Highway Superintendent to discuss plans for future operation of the department.
- Ed is in the process of researching grant opportunities and will be reporting specifics once a plan of action is in place.
- Will be scheduling department meetings to review the best way of offer assistance.
- Attended the Berkshire Municipal Management Association (BMMA) meeting.  The featured speaker was Representative Pignattelli who spoke on initiatives proposed to the re-working of     the Chapter 90 formula.  This formula can be changed to reflect the needs and disadvantages that smaller, rural communities face as it relates to its roads.
- Began research implementation of new Town policies such as purchasing  and should have a working copy by the end of December.
- Spoke with Tom Matuszko, BRPC, regarding the District Local Technical Assistance program (“DLTA”) grant opportunity.  There is a matching requirement to continue to work on zoning with the Cheshire Planning Board. The zoning focus has since changed and could examine zoning adjacent to Route 8 (applicable to Green Community), culvert assessment, and to investigate the merits to create an overlay zone to enhance agriculture use.

Carol:
- Reported that the elementary school will be empty by the end of December.  Blair will adjust the heat accordingly.
- Carol updated the BOS on the status of repairs at the fire house.  The bay area is being sheet rocked and the storage room needs plywood replacement in the spring.  Doors will be fixed next year.

Stafford Green, Inc., 80 Stafford Hill Road, Cheshire, MA. Francis Gonsalves Maguire, President and Director of Stafford Green, Inc. Tier 5 Cannabis request.
- Presented an overview of his plans to grow cannabis.  There will be a non permanent building 42’ x 60’ greenhouse acting as staging/assembly area.  There will be an eight (8) foot chain link fence barbed wire around four (4) acres. Secondary fence with gated access; employment opportunities for first season 8-12 employees; 2-4 fir trees planted on southeastern line to obstruct direct line of sight from abutting neighbor.
- Seeking ways to benefit the town with the tax revenue generated from his operation.
- Mr. Maguire will return to the BOS once he has a Host Agreement secured.
- Noted:  Owns 34.2 acres of land, no wetlands, organic outdoor growing, a security plan is designed.
        
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Weekly report submitted.

Christine Emerson:  
- No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:

All employees attended a Christmas gathering and farewell to Town Administrator, Mark Webber after the BOS meeting closed.

Carol:
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:09pm; seconded by Robert.  
A unanimous vote was taken.


Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk

December 11, 2018

6:00PM Open Meeting

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:        
Press: iBerkshires
                   
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 read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s December 4, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Checking roads for drainage and working on maintenance issues.
- Salt shed is filled to capacity.
- Truck #4 is repaired with the transmission software working as designed.
- Meeting with Nation Grid regarding safety measures for the area as the cost to either raise or move the lines is prohibitive.
- Attended boiler inspections at the school and the fire house.  Both inspections are good for two (2) years.
- Enclosed water main at the school to resist freezing.
- 5800 gallons of fuel in school tank as of 8am this morning.
- Continuing to work the Department of Labor Standards and the consultant for coming into safety compliance with past inspection.  The deadline is December 21, 2018.
- Winter sand is available to residents at the Cheshire Town Garage.
- Discussed the best approach for purchasing a grader.  Robert appreciated Blair's ability to stay flexible in searching for possibly a used grader.  All wheel drive would be Blair's recommendation. The rented equipment was 12 feet and the Town's old one was 12 feet. Robert would want, "The best bank for our buck!"  This size would be no problem for the camp roads.
- Plowing contractors are working out well.
- The leak in the garage roof has subsided.

Residents, Paul Astorino and Aaron Singer of Meadowview Drive;
- Reported to the BOS issues with the high levels of water by the river and backyards due to beavers.
- It is affecting wells, sewer systems and the Cheshire and Adams well systems.
- Mark will contact the DCR and noted that the BoH have Beaver relocation permits.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  
- Working with BRPC regarding signage and applications for the Massachusetts Community Development Block Grant Program (Mass. CDBG) grant- Housing Rehabilitation. (CDBG CDF-G-2018-Cheshire 00823.)     
- Will be checking with Bay State Elevator regarding a statement received is for the school building.
- Majority of the day was spent accumulating the new Town Administrator, Ed St. John IV.

Cheshire Planning Board, Donna Defino, Chairman:
- Updated the BOS on the status of two court cases.  Both have been dismissed.
- Carol updated Donna regarding the Cheshire Conservation and the Ayotte solar project.  She reported a decrease in the footprint going from twenty acres to seventeen acres.  Therefore, the original plans the CPB approved are now not the original plans.  Donna plans on sitting in on the hearing for this project on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at the Town Hall at 5pm.

Resident, Fred Jayko:
- Questioned what could be done to the empty building on the corner of West Mountain Road     and Route 8.  Carol responded that taxes were being paid.  Only the BoH can condemn a building and that means you get to secure it with plywood.

7:20PM
Carol motioned to go into Executive Session; 2nd by Robert.  A unanimous vote was 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."

Roll Call: Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes.

8:35PM    The 6pm Open Meeting continued.

Roll Call:Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes.
    
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Weekly report submitted.

Christine Emerson:  
- No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Employee holiday get together.  After the 6PM Open Meeting on 12/18/18.

Selectmen signed licenses for 2019 liquor, automobile, and Common Vitualler businesses.

Carol:
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:40pm; seconded by Robert.  
A unanimous vote was taken.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk