Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

October 10, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires

  
Robert motioned to accept the minutes of October 3, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly activity Log for 10/4/17-10/10/17.
- Working on ditch cleaning and sweeping on Stewart White Road.
- Roadside mowing and patching potholes.
- Repairing culvert on Curran Road. Discovered the 18”pipe was crushed and replacement is needed.
- Serious transmission issue for the F550.
- The need for a portable bathroom was discussed and ended as there was no issue to begin with.

Residents, Joe and Sandra Sloane and Rick Salvi:
- Wanted to request early evening usage of the school for playing Pickle Ball.
- Robert, at this moment, requested time for the BOS to review any repercussions in this request as there would be someone needed to open and close the building securely and since the school usage is still being worked on, it may not be a good idea to lock into one request for usage. The BOS will get back to the Sloane’s and Rick Salvi with a decision.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Received budget estimates from ACRSD business manager on the cost of funding a K-5 school.  Based on the current K-5 costs at Hoosac Valley Elementary, she estimates $3.5M annually based on the entire District’s current obligation.  There is the ongoing debt service obligation of $240K annually.  These estimates do not include Chapter 71 (transportation costs/reimbursements).  Mark estimates the range to operate a K-5 school district to be $6M.  There are numerous variables, including: the current District agreement; reimbursement amounts for both Chapter 70 and 71 with many other unknowns.
- Town Counsel forwarded a response letter from Kraus and Hummel, Pine Valley attorneys, which states they ran into many delays.  They are planning for a local construction company to fill potholes and re-grinding work should be completed by this evening.
Robert read a letter dated October 4, 2017 from Kraus & Hummel LLP in regard to the Pine Valley Mobile Home Park and the rent increase and the plans for paving the roads in the Park.
"As you are aware, this office represents Pine Valley MHC, LLC and Morgan Management, LLC in connection with the Pine Valley Mobile Home Park (the "Park").

I am in receipt of your letter of September 19, 2017.  I appreciate the additional time you have given me due to my schedule as the letter was forwarded to my attention last week.  This letter is an attempt to respond to the inquire of the Town of Cheshire Rent Control Board ("Board").


Robert:
As you are aware, the rent increase was granted last year due to issues with the decisions based upon the fact that they were represented by a firm.  We had delays in implementing the new rent.  Correspondence was sent to the Board to clarify the decision so that the notices could be forwarded to the residents in compliance with G.L.c. 186, and 12.  That was done last fall and the new rent increase did not go into effect until October 2016.

Paving could not be completed obviously due to the time of year and the winter.  During the winter of 2016, it was revealed that two (2) tanks connected to four (4) homes 30-32 Second Avenue and 2-4 Second Avenue, were in failure and needed to be connected to the new sewage disposal system, which went operational in February of 2014.  These homes were not connected and this had not been anticipated.  As a result, my client engaged Meyers Environmental in May of 2017, a photocopy of the contract is attached hereto as Exhibit 1 to connect those homes for $90,000.  Trinity Engineering was also hired as the local engineer.  This required the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") to become involved as these homes were not connected to the sewage system.  To do so, my client needed approval from the DEP to make sure the system could handle the additional flow from these homes into the system.  DEP approval was obtained, however, an additional tank serving the homes at 31-33 Second Avenue failed in late August of 2017.  Meyers Environmental is working with the DEP to obtain approval for those homes to make the work coincident.  Once these homes are connected, the paving can be commenced.  It would be impracticable and an inconvenience to the residents if the road was paved then to be torn up and repaved to connect these six (6 homes to the sewage system).  This was an unfortunate and unforeseen occurrence.

In the meantime, my client has retained D. Condron Construction, Inc., out of Lanesboro, MA to professionally fill the potholes and level the streets on Second and Fourth Avenues at an additional costs.  It is my understanding that the potholes will be filled with pavement that has been re-grinded. I attach a copy of that contract as Exhibit 2.  I am advised that this work is being done today.

I will supplement with additional information as it becomes available.  Should you have any questions regarding this matter, or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your cooperation and attention to this matter.  Signed:  Joseph E. Kelleher

- Spoke with the Town’s Workmen’s Compensation adjuster for an on-going case.  Confidential memo submitted to the BOS.
- Obtained two (2) documents on abandoning and discontinuing town roads.  One is an update by the Trustees of Reservation done on a previous Franklin County guide and the other is an excerpt from a comprehensive study and abandonment process done for the Town of New Marlboro back in 2005 by BRPC.  Both reports are consistent and lay out the process, upsides and downsides of abandoning or discontinuing maintenance of a town road.  In nearly all cases, a town meeting article and simple majority vote is required to discontinue a road. (M.G.L. Chapter 39; Section 10).  In the absence of an Official Town Map, the Planning Board must be given 45 days prior to town meeting vote for comment.   If the road in question is within 500 yards of an abutting town, a public hearing must be held and the abutting town notified.
- Complete Streets Committee meeting with the BRPC has been scheduled for October 18, 2017 at 5PM at the Town Annex.
- Received responses from 14 County municipalities on their policies on health insurance for elected officials.  A January 1 date to implement a policy change might be too aggressive to allow some to seek or implement other coverage.  March 1 would seem like ample time.  The policy is consistent with Chapter 32B and only offers insurance to those who can demonstrate that they work 20 or more hours per week on a regular basis.
- Robert suggested the minutes be sent to the Advisory Board members to keep them apprised of school usage/costs of operating a K-5 and elected official insurance changes.
- Mark will schedule a meeting on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 with Town Counsel: “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.”
- On Tuesday, October 17, 2017 abandoned roads will be discussed in the Workshop time frame.
- Discussed medical and recreational temporary marijuana moratorium, a bylaw according to State rules and regulations, and the timeframe in which the CPB has to work within. At the June town meeting the town passes the moratorium, it would stop the establishment of recreational marijuana in town until December 2018.  This would give the CPB time to write a bylaw and submit it to the Attorney General Office. 
- Submitted Discontinuing Town and County Roads, by Planner, Lynn Rubinstein to the BOS.

Resident of the Main Street area:
- Voiced concern for children living along Main Street and Wells Road and the continuous danger of speeders.  Robert will discuss the issue with the Chief. 

Carol:
- Updated the BOS on the status of the Reuse Committee.  The PTG has inquired if they could receive permission to use the cafeteria at the school to sponsor a Mom and Son’s Pie Night and a Valentines Dance for children and parents.
Carol: Felt it was good use of the school and benefited town children.
Ed: Believed it would bring the community together and saw no reason to why not to let them use the building.
Carol:
- Suggested restricting the usage to one day events due to the heating/draining of pipes/alarming and security of the structure.
- Robert noted that “We are in an unchartered zone and felt it best to have one day activities only.”
- The team for Pickle Ball will be notified.  

7:00PM Selectmen’s Workshop:
- The BOS reviewed a schedule Mark prepared to compare present town employees, work hours and insurance benefits available. Carol reported that elected officials have to work/documented 20 hours or more weekly to qualify for insurance. She did not believe a time clock was needed; but time slips signed would be. A letter would have to be written notifying employees that insurance benefits would be ending in time for them to secure other insurance benefits with November being sign up time for Medicare.


BOS Workshop: continued
- Becky attended this session and said she would be talking to the Retirement Board and she would be reporting back to the BOS.
- Ed: Voiced concern about enforcement and the need for time slips.

Cheshire Board of Selectmen Workshop: continued
Elected officials and insurance discussion will continue on 10/17/17.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Managing voting at the Cheshire Community Center.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Carole H. submitted a check for $100.00 from Wandering Star Brewing Company 10/7/17 and 10/8/17 one (1) day liquor licenses at Whitney’s Farm Stand beer garden.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Hoosic River Watershed Association. Signed letter from Steve McMahon, Executive Director. RE: Kitchen Brook dam.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:14PM.

 


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

 

October 3, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires

Robert motioned to accept the minutes of September 26, 2017 as corrected; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Superintendent, Robert Putnam offered an update on the enrollment numbers in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District.  As of October preliminary enrollment numbers are 98 lower students or 1,318 to 1,220. Forty six students moved out of the area. Thirty-five selected school choice after the closing of the Cheshire elementary school.  Thirty of these students were from Cheshire. His presentation showed that Grade six decreased 10 with a small increase number for Eighth grade.  Ninth grade had 41 students enrolling at the McCann Technical Vocational High School.  Thirteen students enrolled at the BART School (Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School in Adams.)
- Dr. Putnam's future goal for the district is to become a stellar school with the offering of a "Coding Program" which would allow the district's students to be on the forefront of new technology along side of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math programming.  Thus, attracting new enrollments in the district and a Level 1 standing with the State.
- Carol questioned the policy for sports and information regarding concussions.
- Discussion closed at 6:50PM.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Crack sealing continues.
- Roadside mowing.
- Elementary school maintenance; mowing and weed removal.
- Road grading on Richmond Hill and Stafford Hill.
- Mowing Stafford Hill and the boat launch.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Developing a survey of County towns and their offerings of health insurance to elected officials.
- Spoke with MIIA agent on the question of occasional part time employees - such as the fill-ins at the Transfer Station.  He noted that they do not qualify as vendors and need to be placed on the payroll system and treated as employees. 
- Questioned the BOS decision on marijuana moratoria. Per M.G.L. Ch 4-A Section 5, either the Planning Board or the Selectmen can initiate the process.  The Selectmen, by regular meeting vote, may refer zoning bylaw amendment language to the Planning Board and that starts the clock for the Planning Board to hold public hearings. 
- Inquired if the BOS wanted to drain the pipes at the school building of the old section.
- Connected with Nadine Kennedy, representation from AFSCM.  A meeting has been scheduled for:
October 17, 2017 at 9AM to enter into good faith negotiations on a union agreement for the Cheshire Highway Department employees.
- Cheshire Planning Board Chairman, Donna DeFino, discussed the issue of marijuana and accepted the ruling of the BOS in going forward.  Carol wanted to vote on having the Cheshire Planning Board proceed with a Moratorium for the town now.  However, Ed voiced that since it was not on the BOS Agenda a vote could not take place this evening.  Carol withdrew her motion

Residents Barbara and Paul Baran of Outlook Avenue:
- The family received a verbal notice of complaint from the Cheshire Zoning Enforcement Officer regarding logs on their property.  Mr. Baran stated that the logs are for heating his home and shop, and for making maple syrup.  He noted that he is not running a logging business but is fortunate in having a friend in the wood business that drops off logs on his property.  He has been doing this for 10 to 12 years and feels he knows which neighbor made the complaint.  Due to the location it is possible that the property is in a Agriculture zone.  However, if in a residential zone, the Cheshire Bylaws clearly define the ruling of what can and cannot take place.  Mr. Baran will first seek a map from the assessors and will abide on whatever the determination is by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, not the BOS. The BOS, is this instance, did not give an opinion, but advised working with the Enforcement Officer to resolve the issue. Ed said it may then go to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Carol:
- Advised Ed to follow up on roof repairs for the Cheshire Town Hall.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Peter talked about the Implementation list of goals to meet for each department.  Robert mentioned that the BOS has been influenced by the list and is going forward in making different changes.

Board of Health, Rick Salvi, Jeff Warner, and Mike Biagini:
- Carol reported that she, Rick and Jeff covered the Transfer Station attendance on Saturday, 29, 2017. On the recommendation of the Board of Health, Carol motioned to appoint Gene Pierce and Peter LeFebve as fill-ins at the Cheshire Transfer Station; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
- It was reported that the Highway Superintendent prefers having portable bathrooms rather than anyone besides the highway department employees using the buildings facility. This will be discussed further.

7:00PM Selectmen’s Workshop:
- Reviewing town employee health survey prepared by Mark.
- Discussed if Pine Valley Mobile Home Park has been in contact with town counsel.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- Discussed the need for having a monthly calendar of events.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.


Mail and Correspondence:
- Invitation for Inaugural Presentation in honor of the 225th Anniversary of the Town of Cheshire to present the Cheshire Senior Cane to Juliette Campbell. Monday, October 9th, 2017 at 46 Mallard Cove at 11am.
- Approval for Chapter 90 Project Request using funds available from Contract No. 50762. (John Deere 624 Loader.)

Inquiry: 
- The author of Jefferson’s Cheshire Cheese, Kristen H. Scholz-Demeo, approached the BOS questioning the Cheshire website’s promotion of another author’s book on the cheese press and not hers.  The BOS will speak to the IT person to resolve the concern.  The BOS advised Ms. Demeo that the site is not a venue for promotion for personal gain.

Note:  Mark recommended to the BOS that Carole H. be allowed to sign one day liquor licenses for the Wandering Star Brewing Co., LLC operating at the Whitney’s Farm Stand on various weekends until October 31, 2017.  A unanimous vote was taken to approve.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:40PM.

 

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

September 26, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires

  
Carol motioned to accept the minutes of September 19, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Residents Eileen Quinn and John Tremblay requested usage of the Cheshire Community Center for a meeting on October 5, 2017 from 6:30PM to 8:00PM for the Appalachian Trail group.  The BOS approved and permitted a waiver of the fee.  John requested the CCC for the team working together on planning events for the Cheshire 225th Anniversary.  Due to the many meetings, Town Clerk requested a calendar be created to keep all apprised of the bookings so there are no double bookings for the center or town rooms.

Resident, Mark Biagini, thanked the BOS and town employees for attending his Dad’s funeral.  Robert voiced appreciation of Ralph’s dedication to the Town of Cheshire and his many volunteering position he had served over the years.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted the Weekly Activity Log for 9/13/17 – 9/19/17.
- Completed mowing and weed cleaning at the school building property.
- Picked up Ford F550 new flat bed body installed.
- Continuing to ditch dig and clean roadsides.
- Crack sealing Lanesboro Road completed.
- Salt shed is full.
- Second door opener replaced at the shed.  Four more openers need to be changed.  Electronics are poor after thirty years.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Submitted survey of Administrative position salaries with populations of 35K.
- Spoke with Tom Matuszko at BRPC regarding the application for a grant through the Executive Office of Environmental and Energy Affairs for approximately $20K. BRPC is seeking the BOS approval to go ahead in submitting the grant.  The money could go to the BRPC to continue to assist the Town in implementing components of the Master Plan.
- Discussed amendments to zoning by laws regarding Medical and Recreational Marijuana. Mark highly recommended the approval of a Moratorium and then following the State process for passing a bylaw.  Robert motioned to approve the creation of a Moratorium which would give the town until December and time to develop a permanent bylaw 2nd by Ed with as unanimous vote taken.   The Planning Board will be advised.
- Tax rate approved 9/25/17 at $13.06.  Tax bills are being printed now.
- Per request from the Advisory Board, Mark is doing some preliminary work on the costing out re-opening Cheshire School as a K-5 for approximately 200 students.
- Custodian respectfully requests highway clean up after edging sidewalks.
- Received a message from AFSCM representative to schedule negotiating sessions.  Mark returned the call and has had no response to date.
- A handout was received from Dr. Putnam asking the BOS to make appointment to the Regional School Agreement Committee meeting. He is seeking 1 Selectmen, 1 Advisory Board, and 1 resident.  Adams and Cheshire will have equal numbers on the committee.  Dr. Putnam would appreciate the appointments being made by the next School Committee meeting.

Carol:
- Received calls of compliments for the Lanesborough Road cracks sealed, the Wells Road and Sand Mill Hill Road ditches cleaned, and for the overall clean appearance of the Cheshire school grounds.

7:00PM Selectmen’s Workshop:
- Reviewed the need to make a decision on creating a new policy that would eliminate health insurance for part-time and appointed officials. Carol reminded the board of the time frame needed to advise people so they could obtain coverage elsewhere.  Carol read an email from Ed St. John III stating that the town cannot eliminate insurance for elected officials without eliminating it for all town employees.  This elimination may cause legal issues.  Ed felt it might be difficult to adopt a time card policy to prove elected officials are working under 20 hours per week. She also felt it difficult to believe that officials worked 20 hours during a regular work week.
- Mark is going to research other communities and will submit a report to the BOS.
- Robert suggested offering a higher salary to officials to make up for the difference.  Carol noted that consideration would deplete any savings the town had. 
- Robert would like to see some of the savings go towards stipends for fire department/EMT volunteers according to calls they attended. “There are many places we could put savings but I would like to do something for them.”
Ed suggested having workshops to address a yearly Agenda, Blighted Properties, the Budget, Planning for Revenue/Expenses, Highway Department/seasonal mowing workers.  The concept is to get ahead of issues – to be proactive and not reactive.  The creation of a Priority List with dates and deadlines for efficiency is recommended. October 10th will be to discuss further insurance for elected officials; December 5th will be the start of Budget Planning.   Time for workshops will be 7PM to closing.

Carol:
- Regarding the voting for a Union at the Cheshire Highway Department, four (4) voted for it.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.


Mail and Correspondence:
- Ed received an email from Jan Kuniholm with information regarding Greylock Road formerly called West Mountain Road.
- Letter received for Mark Webber from Governor Charles D. Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn E. Polito granting an award through the Awarding Recycling Dividends Program grant of $2,100 through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program.
- Ed will be attending the Selectmen’s Association dinner on October 26, 2017 in Great Barrington.

Cheshire Water Department Superintendent, Travis Delratez, reported to the BOS that on September 13, 2017 the town’s water won a statewide water tasting completion and received the gold in the 12th Annual Rural Water Association Water Taste Testing.  Delratez has been invited to attend a completion in Washington, D.C. in February.  This will be a completion on the national level. Kudos for a job well done.

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:20PM.

 

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

 

September 19, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires

Carol motioned to accept the minutes of September 12, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Log for 9/13/17-9/19/17. Mowing and ditch digging continues.
- Highway Department employees shared coverage of the Cheshire Transfer Station on:  9/18/17.
- Five hundred and twenty eight tons of salt has been received with 100 tons from last year in storage.
- Discussed the purchase of a new loader.
- Assisted Route 116, Maple Drive residents regarding the digging of a trench without permits.
- Ed motioned to approve Blair’s recommendation to purchase a John Deer loader for $196,500; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken. No bidding process is required.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Scanlon Associates, the Town’s auditors presented the Fiscal Year 2016 financial audit and management report.  The town accountant and treasurer received copies and the Advisory Board and Departments that are noted in the Management Report will receive copies also.  Copies submitted to the BOS this evening.  The auditors will address comments and recommendations with the BOS in their exit interview.  Robert, as Chairman will need to sign an audit document attesting that all information was willingly furnished to the auditors.
- Workmen’s Compensation claim sent to the town’s insurance carrier for a minor injury to one of the Cemetery Department employees. There were no lost wages and the employee has returned to work.
- Complimentary letter received praising the response and compassion of our Town Clerk, Rick Salvi, and Police Officer Carlo for their response to assist an elderly resident who was in distressed health and living conditions.
- Contacted the union representative to begin the collective bargaining.  All other procedural steps have been approved by the State to start the process.
- Advised the BOS about the building code involvement of possibly moving town offices to the Cheshire Elementary School. Mark suggested talking with Gerry Garner for the impacts and associated costs if that’s a direction of interest.
- Tax rate increased $.67/per thousand or 5.4% because the amount raised on the tax levy increased $221,752 or 6% and property values increased only .04% (less than one-half percent) and local receipts were down about $25,000 year to year.
- The Advisory Board requested Mark to set up an email address for their board.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- Requested the BOS to sign the Special State Election Primary Warrant for Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the Cheshire Community/Senior Center from 7:00AM to 8:00PM.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Robert read a letter written by Town Counsel, Ed St. John III.
“I am writing to you on behalf of the Town of Cheshire in my capacity as its Town Counsel.  At the Rent Control Board hearing held on May 23, 2016, you were granted a rent increase.  A portion of that increase ($5.12/month) was approved for paving of Park roads.  To date, there has been no paving.  On August 20, 2017, the Rent Control Board wrote to you seeking an update on the paving.  There has been no response to date. As I am sure you know, years ago, the Board had allowed an increase to Pine Valley MHC with a portion to be set aside to install a new septic system.  Many years later, the Board learned that the money that should have been set aside had been spent on septic system pumping and not a septic system upgrade.  This resulted in a health crisis for the Park tenants.  I hope that you can appreciate the fact that the Board has little patience for delays of this nature, particularly where these delays impact the habitability of the Park. Among the options the Rent Control Board may consider are the following:  a hearing on whether to rescind the May 23, 2016 rent increase retroactive to May 23, 2016.  Unless I hear from you within two weeks of this letter that you are complying with the paving portion of the order approving the rental increase, I will advise the Board as to steps to rescind any rental increase.  Letter dated: September 19, 2017.”
- Forest Cutting Plan; Cheshire Rod and Gun Club, Curran Road.
- Chapter 90 Project Requesting using funds made available from Contract #50762. For: Sealing of the cracks.
- Right to Farm Disclosure form for Darius and Arica Griffin, 187 Wells Road, Cheshire, MA.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Issued  two (2) one (1) day liquor licenses to Wandering Star Brewing Co. at Whitney’s Farm Stand.  License was picked up on Friday, September 22, 2017.  $100.00 paid.

Carol:
- Spoke with Michael Deep, owner of Kitchen Brook Mobile Home Park, on Route 8.  Trees have been trimmed for the renter concerned about trees falling on her home.
- Carol spoke with Hoosac Business Manager, E. Schneider regarding four (4) accounts with National Grid.  All accounts are now in the name of Town of Cheshire. Made arrangements with Alarms of the Berkshires to have the Police Department as first responder should the school alarm be activated.  Blair and Carol will be called after the police.

Ed:
- Suggested a change in the BOS Agenda to 6PM-6:30PM for the signing of the Warrant.  Have 6:30PM to 7PM designated for reports and public comment.  7PM to 8PM will be devoted to a Business Workshop.  Ed’s concept is to have time scheduled for the next few months to work with the budget and other issues and concerns.


Cheshire Advisory Board:
Attending: Justin Kruszyna, Dick Scholz, John Tremblay, Kathleen Levesque.
- Inquired on the status of changing from three (3) to five (5) Selectmen.  The group was informed that it cannot be placed on a state ballot and it has to be on an election of offices.  Thus, May 2018.
- It was suggested to place Advisory Board minutes on the Town website.  They should be submitted for the Town Clerk to submit to the IT person.
- Ed questioned if the BOS had any thoughts about who could fill the two (2) open positions on their board.
- Ed questioned the timeline, goals, minutes, and how it was going for the School Reuse Committee.
- Justin was wondering what the town wants.  What will be the cost for the school to remain a school.  He understands that there are options for the school; but wondered what the costs would be. He felt the townspeople should be asked what they want to happen with the building.
Robert:
- Reminded the group that the amendment change is a long process. To dissolve and leave the agreement, both towns would have to vote. The Advisory Board questioned if at the Reuse meeting any suggestions had been made to reopen the building as a school.  Carol voiced that there was a broad spectrum of good opinions and each member will be speaking to townspeople to get more opinions.
Ed:
- Reminded all that there is a process.  All opinions will then have to go to the BOS.
Ed:
- Can the Reuse Committee put it out to bid?
- Ed suggested looking to other towns that have been in a similar situation to have the costs outlined.
Mark:
- There is a process for having a new school in Cheshire. 
Ed:
- Believes more discussion is needed.  It is important to do a study.  He noted that Savoy has their own school.  Check into having one (1) Superintendent; one (1) Business Manager; one (1) budget; and consolidation of costs.
- It’s been an interesting year.
- Ed appreciated the time of the Selectmen and stated that we are all on common ground. Robert:
- Noted that the town is now in stewardship of the building and the highway department is providing the maintenance for mowing and hauling an old picnic table away.  In the winter they will have to plow and sand the parking areas. Justin:
- Wondered if any other townspeople inquired about being on the Town’s 225th Anniversary Committee. Carol will advise Justin if someone does.

8:00PM  The discussion ended.

Resident, Christopher Wood:
- Inquired about the closing of a local church for sleeping and showering for hikers of the Appalachian Trail.  Carol explained that it was a building code violation as legally sprinklers may be needed if the use continued.  Additionally, some hikers had small stoves and that was a fire violation.  Carol said they can


Resident, Christopher Wood:  continued
use the facility during the day time but no one can sleep there.  Mr. Wood questioned if they could utilize the Cheshire Community Center.  The same issues and concerns would apply.
- Mr. Wood inquired if arrangements could be made to give a tour of the Cheshire School building for townspeople who had attended the school.  Robert did not feel it could be possible at this time.
- Mr. Wood reported lack of maintenance of flags hung for Memorial Day.  Several flags have fallen and he felt someone should be in charge of taking them down as many are tattered.  Alternatively, they could be fixed and or replaced. 

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:48PM. 

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

 

September 12, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires
                  
Robert motioned to accept the minutes of September 5, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Justin Kruszyna introduced the group; Eileen Quinn, Sandra Sloane, and Barry Emery reporting that a group of enthusiastic residents met to discuss how they could offer a once a month activity starting in March to celebrate the town's 225th Anniversary.  Barry thanked the group as well as John Tremblay and Tim Garner for input in planning the events. 
- Carol noted that she had heard from the Historical Commission and wanted it reported that the Commission has plans for an activity at Stafford Hill Monument. 
- Christine Emerson will put a notice on the Cheshire website for suggestions and volunteers; Jack will make note of it on iberkshires; and the BOS will review possibilities.  Coordination will be the key to success. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 6:30PM.  Those interested in joining are welcome to attend.
- Barry invited all to attend his lecture on September 28, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Baptist Church.

Resident, Leo, Choquette:
- Inquired about the process for submitting a Notice of Intent to the Cheshire Conservation Commission.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted the Weekly Activity Log.
- Chipped brush at the Transfer Station
- Property maintenance and mowing at the Cheshire school property.
- Installed concrete in Firehouse bathroom floor.
- Delivered truck #10 to Delorey's in NYS.
- Road grading at Stafford Hill and Richmond Hill Roads.
- Changed oil on Boom mower hydraulics.
- Ditch cleaning on Windsor Road.
- Blair will be checking further with the Town of New Ashford regarding the Greylock Road owernship.
- Suggested making a wise investment of purchasing a loader with Chapter 90 money.  He will have a proposal prepared for 9/19/17.
- Email from Town Counsel, Ed. St. John III regarding the approval or denial of driveway permits.  The Cheshire Highway Superintendent acts as the designee in making that determination with permission to do so.
- Ed motioned to authorize and designate the Cheshire Highway Superintendent, M.L.G 40, section 3; to approve or reject driveway permits; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  Absent

7:00PM Bid Opening
Robert read The Berkshire Eagle Legal Notice on 8/24/17 seeking sealed bids on surplus Police equipment.
Two (2) Bids were received and the higher bid award was granted to Jeff Warner. ($2,100)

Inquiry from the owner of Wandering Star Brewing Co., LLC of Pittsfield, MA to hold beer garden weekend events at Whitney's Farm Stand.  On Friday, September 15, 2017 the required liquor liability insurance certificate will be delivered.  A total of 15 days may be considered starting 9/17/17 until
Halloween. The BOS will review the plan on 9/19/17.

CCC, Carol:
- Signed Building Permit for the CCC for Lisa Malloy to repair two (2) barns and a porch.
- The Tax Classification Hearing will be Thursday, September 21, 2017at 6:30pm at the Town Hall.
- Carol checked into the fire department's checking on the weekly starting of the generator.  She noted that the department does, indeed, start it weekly and it does need a charger to start. An automatic starter will be researched. Blair voiced that the boiler should have alarms.
- A stand by ambulance meeting will take place at the end of the month.

Robert:
- Would like the members of the BOS to consider meeting twice a month from 6:30PM to 7:00PM to hold a business meeting. He would also suggest meeting quarterly with each department and or Chairman.  He realized after meeting with the Water Department and working through concerns regarding a dam, it clearly demonstrated the need to communicate together on concerns. Thus, meeting with the Water Department allowed for open dialogue and resolution to a difficult issue. Robert would like to give more time to long range planning and to operate as a business.  Communication would lead to being more proactive than reactive. He would like to utilize the Cheshire Master Plan and revise the BOS Agenda for the public to clearly understand the undertakings of the BOS.  He feels the meetings should be more formal and the BOS should be working on the Budget now.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Cheshire Planning Board, Donna DeFino:
- Donna reviewed the timeline for a Marijuana Moratorium and the need to draft a bylaw to be prepared for the Annual Town Meeting.  The bylaw will have basic language and state requirements.
The BOS approved unanimously to go forward with the bylaw process.

Board of Health: Rick Salvi, Jeff Warner, and Michael Biagini:
- Jeff reported that the Transfer Station would be closed on Mondays as they have no option to operate if the usual employee is out.  Training takes more than a few hours and questioned if the position could be covered by the Cheshire Highway Department employees.  Mike was given the names of five (5) individuals to contact to see if there was interest in working the hours.

Board of Health:  continued
- Jeff said, ‘The highway department was going union.”

Robert:
- A Town of Cheshire employee can join a union.

Jeff:
- "Then you can't take or give hours away."

Carol:
- "They are not union yet."  Legally the Board of Health is to find coverage."

Mike:
- "Questioned how an individual can work at the cemetery as a vendor?"

Carol:
- “There is more liability at the Transfer Station than at the cemetery.”

Robert:
- Voiced that the meeting was deteriorating and asked Blair if his department could cover Monday.
- Blair said, "Yes and he may have to be the one covering from 3:30pm to 5pm."  This topic will be continued.

Jack:
- Questioned what the Fire Safety Grant would be used for.  Carol said, "It is a grant for Emergency Management for upgrading their technology."

Resident, Fred Jayko:
- Inquired about the completion of the Lion's Club sign on Route 8.  The BOS will be checking again to see the status of completion.
- Wondered who is responsible for Rt. 116 - Cheshire is. In Adams, the State plows Rt. 116.  In Savoy, they take care of Rt. 116.

Resident, Sandra Sloane: Thanked the BOS and the Chief of Police for patrolling Wells Road.  The speeding traffic was noticeably reduced.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Forest Cutting Plan: Joseph Wrenn, Fisher Hill.
- Employment Application form submitted.

Ed:
- Believes more engagement in the future of the town's changes is important.  Briefly discussed options for the school buildings use and meeting space.


With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:40PM.


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

 

September 5, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires

  
Ed motioned to accept the minutes of August 29, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Issued four (4) one day liquor licenses to the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club.  Amount paid: $200.00.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted the Weekly Activity Log. Submitted an Available Hour Accountability Chart.
- Continuing to road grade and mow town properties.
- Ditch digging on Curran Road.
- Road grading and hauling gravel to Jenks Road.
- Lights and other details are being installed in the flatbed 550 and should be competed in ten (10) days.
- Made a site visit at the Cheshire Elementary School to evaluate the landscaping and mowing issues.
Blair estimates at least three (3) days of a full maintenance crew to retain the property to what it was four (4) years ago.  A decision has to be made as to what level of maintenance the BOS wants completed.

Carol:
- Reported on an offer of thirty-three tons of crushed fine sand by a resident of Richmond Hill Road. Blair is aware of the offer and will contact the individual.

Audience, Timothy Mack:
- Questioned the status of medical and recreational marijuana in the Town of Cheshire.
Mark gave an update on the Planning Boards plans and process in going forward for presenting it to the town.

Resident, Fred Jayko:
- Questioned the mowing of grass on Wells Road and the danger it presents to bike riders.  He noted a Letter to the Editor in The Eagle by Andrew Gold.  Blair is aware of the concern and has a priority list for maintenance. 

Resident, Myrtle Franceschini, Kitchen Brook Mobil Home Park:
- Advised the BOS of dangerous trees near her home and the fear she has of trees falling on her home.
- Unfortunately, the town cannot cut trees on private property.  Ms. Franceschini was advised that Carol will call the owner, Michael Deep, and review the complaint.  She also voiced issues with neighbors and was advised that the BOS would speak with Chief Garner.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Will be having the clothing bin at the elementary school removed.
- Updated the BOS on the mechanical status of the generator at the school.  Batteries need charging and the motor needs priming for better start ups.  Mark was told the emergency generator could not be fitted with an automatic switch. This does not appear to be the case; this will be investigated further.
- Received a $10K rent check for the rental of the Cheshire Elementary School. Will be asking vendors and Berkshire Gas for a 12 month historic billing to get a sense of cost even though the building will be used differently.
- Requested Blair to check the solar lights outside of the Town Hall.
- Received a letter from MASS DOT stating that the town’s Chapter 90 apportionment for Fiscal Year 2018 is $200,333.
- Letter received from DCR regarding Hazard Classification of Kitchen Brook Dam dated August 31, 2017.
The dam has been changed from “Significant Hazard Potential” to a lower class, “Low Hazard.” “As a low level hazard potential dam, ODS Regulations require a Dam Safety Inspection Report be submitted every ten (10) years.  The next Phase 1 Inspection is due September 17, 2022.  Signed by Willam C. Salomaa, Director of Office of Dam Safety.
- Received a Petition of Certification by Written Majority for truck drivers, laborers, and operators of the Highway Department. Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Labor Relations Petition for Certification by Written Majority Authorization. Petitioner:  AFSCME Council 93. Signed by Patricia Glynn, Director of Strategic Planning. Typically, the State Labor Board acts as the facilitator in the process. 
- Notified the Chief of Police about an internet scam and Citizen's Bank.

Carol:
- Requested Mark to schedule a meeting with Dr. Putnam for October 3, 2017 6PM to review school statistics. Specifically, the number of enrollments and how many students have left the district.
- Whitney’s will be holding an October Fest event and inquired if their craft beer vendor has to get the one day liquor license or Mr. Whitney.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Report submitted.
- New cruiser is being built and may be ready for delivery in December.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns

Mail and Correspondence:
- Berkshire Gas/Flaherty and Wells Road.

Cheshire Advisory Board (All members present)
- Justin Kruszyna asked as to how the meeting should go with the newly hired school district facilitator.  The Advisory Board suggested meeting with the BOS in order to take a unified approach.  Robert felt glad to talk and recommended just the chairman of the Advisory Board attend as he will be representing the BOS. The AB questioned how should the district go forward and how best can the towns work together.
- Robert scheduled a meeting with the AB for Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 7:30PM. Justin offered to clean Stafford Hill Monument graffiti with proper cleaning materials. The BOS approved and thanked him.


Resident, Sandra Sloane:
- Questioned how the BOS would be going about selecting a Chairman for event planning for the Town of Cheshire’s 225th Anniversary.  Carol noted that individuals could and had advised the BOS of interest in heading the event(s).

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:30PM.


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