Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

August 8, 2017
6:30PM

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

Carol motioned to accept the minutes of August 1, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

6:00PM
Executive Session motioned by Carol; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. Carol read:
“To consider the purchase, exchange, taking, lease, or value of real property if such discussion may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the governmental body.”
Roll Call:  Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John, IV, Yes.

Robert S. Ciskowski (Excused himself from the Executive Session) Ed St. John, IV; Yes and Carol A. Francesconi, Yes.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane: Absent

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Scheduled a meeting with Oulette Plumbing for Tuesday, August 15th at 9am to research the boilers and layout of the school system.  Both units were recently services.  Blair and Peter will be joining the viewing.
- On Monday, August 14th Blair will meet at the Cheshire Elementary School at 1:00pm with BayState Elevator to view the lift and whether or not to de-commission it.  Otherwise, annual service and inspection will continue.  There is a process to follow and if not there can be substantial fines.
- Continuing to work on liability insurance for the Cheshire Elementary School.
- Added the Cemetery Department to the charge account at Carr Hardware so they can purchase paint. 
The Cemetery, Water Department and County Jail personnel are working on painting the fire hydrants and wrought iron fences and other items at the Cemetery.
- Received requested meeting minutes from the Advisory Board.
- There will be a site visit conducted by MA DOT at a Sand Mill Bridge at 8/9/17 - 3pm to discuss bridge replacement in FY'22.  Blair will attend.
- Received the mold study report on CT Plunkett from Dr. Putnam.  ATC Group did the testing and concluded that all tested areas were within acceptable levels.
- Workshop will be held in Lenox Town Hall on August 31st at 6-8PM to discuss recreational marijuana and the process to vote on moratoriums on both medical and recreational sales. BRPC will host the meeting.  Open to the public.


-Colonial Power is seeking approval to continue the Berkshire Aggregation involving Cheshire.  The new rate, effective November 1 is $.107/kW for 100% Green energy, locked for 36 months.  Cheshire's current rate is $.092/kW through October 31st.  National Grid's current rate through the end of October
is $.094/kW.  NGrid winter rates beginning November 1 will not be known until mid-September but are anticipated to be in the high 11's or low 12's.  The price would come back down in the spring.
 The bill will no longer show Hampshire Power but will show Public Power.  Carol motioned to stay with the Aggregation; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
- Mark suggested petitioning the Cheshire Planning Board to start the process for voting on moratoriums on both medical and recreational sales.  Ed made a motion for the Planning Board to go forward; 2nd by Carol.  Robert was against the motion.

Willow Tree on Windsor Road will be attended to.

Emergency Management:  Corey Swistak:
- Submitting a grant.  The BOS reviewed.

Carol suggested that the custodian be a "Salary Vendor." All agreed.
- She also suggested a $25.00 refundable charge be placed on the Application to Use the Cheshire Community Center.  Unfortunately, there have been times when clean up was not performed and the custodian was called.

Ed:
- Is working on a Facility Use Application.

Robert:
- Advised that many events are in need of a maintenance person with events closing at 10PM.  He hoped the Reuse Committee would evaluate possible fees involved.  This would include the field use.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Report submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

The Cheshire Water Department Commissioners were called to the meeting to discuss; Kitchen Brook Dam removal.
- Mark presented an update and status of the Kitchen Brook Dam and the need for a Letter of Support from the Commissioners and the BOS.  Going back to 2012 Foresight called the dam a significant hazard potential.
Francis:  Spoke for the Commissioners and voice disappointment as to why they were not included in talks from day one.  This affects the water users and they felt there were alternatives.  He was not aware of a dam safety issues.  He said in 1994 the USA sued Cheshire Water for $23K for not complying

with surface water rules.  That's when two wells and a new tank were installed. They felt that Water Protection couldn't ask for better water.  The wells are 56' by 20' apart.  They felt it was not in the best
interest of the town to remove the dam. The department was given a list of things to get done and they are still trying to complete the list.  The Water Department will not support removing the dam. 

Carol:
- Asked if the Water Department would pay for the repair of the dam?

Rick:
- Questioned, out of courtesy, why the Water Commissioners were not informed.  Perhaps there is grant money for restoration.  Was that investigated?

Mark:
- Pointed out that the Cheshire Water Department does not own the land they are "Stewards".  Ten years ago a dam removal would be $338K. Now, today, it could be $500K to remove it.

Francis:
- Had no issues with Thunderbrook Dam's removal.  They want money to fix the problems as they can envision twenty years down the road the needs.  Spend time looking for funding. They questioned the next move.  What are the consequences?  Mr. Waterman said he is passionate and will fight until they win.

Carol:
- Asked if they would contact Tighe and Bond for suggestions and funding possibilities.

Francis:  "I just do not think it is best for the town."

Robert:  Asked Travis if the pothole on Dublin Road could be repaired.  Response, "The Water Department will take care of it."

7:52PM PM Carol motioned to go into Executive Session: 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. 
"To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the government's bargaining or litigating position.  Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel. The 6pm Open Meeting will reconvene.
Roll Call:  Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John, IV; Yes.

8:15PM
Roll Call:  Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John, IV, Yes.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Forest Cutting Plan from DCR for Robert H. Parker and Jill Gerson Parker at 179 Fisher Hill Road.
- Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts.  Use of Ashuwillticook Rail Trail for September 9th.
- Letter received from a town employee seeking an Appeal. Carol will contact the Department Head.
- Mark Harrington, President of the Adams Cheshire Hurricane Youth Football and Cheerleading Program. (Field usage). The Cheshire BOS approved.


Robert will be meeting with the new ACRSD Facilitator on August 30, 2017.  Carol and Ed will also be attending. It was suggested to invite all department heads.
- Spoke with George Sweet regarding electricity.  He said it comes from School Street, is the primary power and is 1300 volts.  District offices are not separate and it comes in underground.  George suggested making a plan to have some people in town be trained to how to start the generator.  Presently, it needs a transfer switch with 800 amp service in.”  He will speak to Gigliotti Electric and report back to the BOS.

Ed:
- Will be meeting with Dr. Putnam, and the Adams School Committee liaison tomorrow, 8/9/17,

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to closed the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 9:10PM.

                                   
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

August 1, 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 July 25, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

The BOS voiced dissatisfaction to Superintendent, Dr. Robert Putnam, about the safety and stabilization of the boiler room roof at the Hoosac Valley Elementary School. Carol also announced the resignation of Principal, Bachli from the HVES. It was noted that the structure is not fixed and the project has not be put out to bid. At the Town of Adams annual meeting, $130K was designated for the repairs.
Carol feels the replacement will not happen.  Dr. Putnam said there was no mold and it was structurally sound with the repairs already in place.
Ed said he had photos of the mold from tours he had taken of the building. Further discussion will take place.

A One Day Liquor License issued to Bass Water Grill/St. Mary’s Church for an event on October 1, 2017.  No fee charged.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Asked permission for the Implementation Committee to use the Clerk’s office for a meeting on 8/2/17.
Permission granted.
- Peter noted several barrels floating in Cheshire Lake and asked to bring them to the launch area.  Many may be from a recent neighborhood lake parade that was recently held.  Permission granted.

Resident, David Tarjack:
- Voiced concern about the safety and condition of the boiler room and possible mold.  Ed will make a visit tomorrow to see the status of the roof and possible mold and will report back to the BOS.

6:00PM  Executive Session motioned by Carol; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. Carol read:
“To consider the purchase, exchange, taking, lease, or value of real property if such discussion may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the governmental body.”

Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Ed St. John, IV; Yes and Carol A. Francesconi, Yes.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Pothole patching.
- Roadside mowing.
- Garage cleaning due to inclement weather.
- Miscellaneous maintenance tasks, equipment moves.
- Road grading.
- Mowing town properties.
- Refrigerator installed.
- Will be moving forward with the replacement of inefficient, no lightening areas of the Highway Shed and the salt shed. The BOS approved. Costs for the change will be $17K with NationalGrid covering 40%.  Payback in the shed is five (5) years and the salt shed being three (3) years.
- Discussed the general condition of bridges in 2000 and submitted a spreadsheet showing work competed on bridging with Chapter 90 monies in 2010.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Will schedule a meeting with the Water Commissioners for 7:15pm, August 8, 2017.
- Letter of interest received for town employment.  An application has been picked up.
- Followed up with request from Standard and Poor’s seeking audit information so that they can update our bond rating.  Followed up with Scanlon Associates, our auditor, to see when the audit will be completed and when we can schedule an audit exit conference.  A conference will be scheduled in about two (2) weeks.
- Spoke with Eric Ford, DER representative, regarding Kitchen Brook dam removal.  We remain in provisional approval status.  The requirements to move on to design and eventual implementation are:
“Document of support from the BOS (in the form of meeting minutes vote or a separate signed document.  A determination that the current access with the two (2) existing culverts can be abandoned and that alternate access to the site be obtained.  A document to that effect will be necessary. DET wants to remove the two (2) culverts as the pull out at the end of the job.  Rebuilding/replacing these culverts will be very expensive and hard to justify and will most likely end the project.  This is an important project to release the town from almost certain liability down the road because of the poor engineering report which the Office of Dam Safety will revisit eventually”.  Mark submitted to the BOS a Kitchen Brook Dam Removal Work Plan; revised June 2017.
A meeting with the Water Commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 7:15pm.
- Plumber, Pat Klammer, repaired the Annex bathroom.
- The Water Department Superintendent requested using his personal cell phone as with the town supplied cell phone he cannot retrieve messages.  He asked to be compensated the current cost of what he pays which is approximately $24.00 per month.  The BOS approved.
- Bernie Lynch, Facilitator, for the school district, scheduled a meeting on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 5pm.


Fire Chief, Thomas Francesconi:
- Discussed a recent issue that is occurring in many volunteer fire department; lack of fire volunteers during the day shift.  The highway department members can help and have but if there is an EMS issue, there is concern. Chief Francesconi noted that Lanesborough and Adams can cover Cheshire.  Volunteerism is down 40% nationwide.  With this in mind, the Chief would like to explore options.  In order to be a member you have to be a resident of Cheshire for six (6) months and 18 years old. The next step will be to speak to ambulance services for coverage from 8am to 5pm.  There usually is no cost to the town except for electricity and heat in the winter.  They use the building with their equipment or we could use truck #5.  That scenario was offered about three – four years ago. The Chief will go back to the agencies and see what is being offered now.  Additionally, combined resources may be another option.  There is a couple of minutes delay from Adams who has a private ambulance service.
- Mark suggested he called the Chief of Richmond as they have experienced a similar situation.
- Ed reminded all about the insurance implications.
- The Chief will report back to the BOS with follow up information and recommendations.

Resident, Lisa Malloy:
- Questioned why State Police were checking her horses, cleanliness due to water nearby, and poor conditions.  The BOS suggested she meet with the Cheshire Board of Health as the BOS has no knowledge of her situation with the DEP or the State Police.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Report submitted.
- Officer Alibozek will be back on August 20, 2017 for duty.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.
- Certified 209 signatures for the Chapter 40 Sec. 6C Petition.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Letter from the Board of Health dated August 1, 2017.
- Ed submitted Town Facilities Request Form for review and acceptance.
- Letter from Sandy Smith reporting a drain on Richmond Hill that is clogged. Cleaning was requested.
- Thank you letter receive from Barbara Hutchinson for Andy Kachel’s hard work and dedication as a town employee.
- Charter Communications; annual balance sheet, statement of ownership for calendar year 2016.

8:21 PM Carol motioned to go into Executive Session: 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken."To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the government's bargaining or litigating position.  Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel.
The 6pm Open Meeting will not be reopened.

Roll Call:  Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John, IV; Yes.

Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; and to not return to 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

July 25, 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 July 18, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

COA, Anna Farnam and Peter Traub:
- Ms. Farnam updated the BOS on the status of Elsie Zaleski, who recently resigned from the COA.  She has personally spoken to Ms. Zaleski regarding the handling of the resignation and assures the BOS that she is assisting in the lunch programs when available.  Carol stated she had been in the hospital and was unable to do things.  It was especially discouraging as it was the Council on Aging and it was not handled appropriately.

Residents:
- Requested an update on the status of their complaint regarding a town employee.  She felt there was retaliation after the Annual Town Meeting by the individual.  Due to confidentiality, and the M.G.L. regarding Executive Sessions, until the situation is resolved it cannot be discussed publicly.  In fact, due to it being a personnel concern it may not become public knowledge.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Received a thank you card from a resident of Wells Road regarding the recent blacktopping.
- Pot holes continue to be patched depending on the weather.
- Cleaned garage due to inclement weather.
- Roadside mowing.
- Mowed Town properties.
- Road grading.
- Street Scan has been completed on all roads in Cheshire.
- Crack and sealing will take place under Chapter 90.

Carol:
- Submitted Petition: “We, the undersigned registered voters of the Town of Cheshire, petition the Town of Cheshire to place the following question on the election ballot Shall the Town adopt the provisions of MGL Chapter 40, Section 6C, which allows the Town to remove snow and ice from private roads with its limits and open to the public use?  The Petition had 220 signatures. Ed motioned to approve; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Conversed with Dr. Putnam today and was told a draft lease proposal to the BOS will be presented next Tuesday.
- MIIA, issued a new round of loss control grant funding.  Application deadline is November 2.  Mark asked our agent for recommendations for facility maintenance programs and assessments.  The Cheshire School appears to be the ideal candidate for a grant. 
- Unfortunately, grant awards for the CDBG grant were announced and Cheshire was not awarded.  More scoring information will be available next week.  Identifying our application's shortcomings will assist in trying again next year.
- Compiling a spreadsheet of employee/town contribution rates on health insurance.  A recent survey included about 64 communities.
- Plumbing problem with the Annex toilet.  Calling Pat Klammer as the valve needs replacement.
- Reminded the BOS that a discussion needs to take place regarding the Kitchen Brook dam removal project.  Mark would like the meeting to include the Water Commissioners and suggested meeting next week.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Report submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Reported a sizeable hole in the roof by the Library.  Francis Waterman will be asked for a recommendation to resolve the issue.

Resident, Eileen Quinn:
- Reported on her involvement in the Appalachian Trail Community initiative;  a group working towards community education and awareness of the Trail through Cheshire.  It is a year process and the other towns involved are Great Barrington, Dalton, North Adams, and Cheshire, MA.  The towns have to apply; there is no cost; and it will be good town recognition and a help to businesses and hikers.  There will be an event planned for 2019.

Resident:
- Questioned if there had been any changes regarding the status of the falling down house by the light intersection in town?  Unfortunately, the property is privately owned and should the town take over ownership, the costs for demolition are extremely expensive.  Also questioned what is happening with the Welcome to Cheshire sign.  Noted was the building of posts but no sign. 
The Town’s Lions Club is in charge of the project and it should be completed shortly.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Certificate of Liability Insurance for the Cheshire Cheese Festival for July 29, 2017.
- Letter from Karyn E. Polito, Lieutenant Governor, to Ed. St. John a congratulation letter on his election to the post of Cheshire Selectmen.
- Letter of Interest from Gene Gebarowski, Jr. for a position on the Cheshire Council on Aging.

One day liquor license granted to Jeremy McLain/Kelly’s Liquor for the Cheshire Cheese Festival.  No charge.

Carol motioned to appoint Gene Gebarowski, Jr. to the Cheshire Council on Aging; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Carol stated that after the Executive Session, the BOS would not return to the 6:30pm Open Meeting.

Cheshire Planning Board, Donna Defino, Chairman:
- Reported that Dean Smith will be submitting an Application for a Special Permit to go before the Cheshire Planning Board at their next meeting on Monday, August 28, 2017 – 7pm at the Cheshire
Community Center.  To date, the application has not been received.
- Donna updated the BOS on the changes occurring daily from the State regarding marijuana. A Moratorium cannot be place on the State fall ballot.  Research will be needed to see how to handle it placed on local ballots.

8:00PM Carol motioned to go into Executive Session: 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. 
"To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the government's bargaining or litigating position.  Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel.

Roll Call:  Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John, IV; Yes.

Carol motioned to have an Executive Session for Tuesday, August 1, 2017 "To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the governent's bargaining or litigating position.  Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel.  Additionally, “To consider the purchase, exchange, taking, lease, or value of real property if such discussion may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the governmental body.”

Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; and not to return to the 6:30pm Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:00PM


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

July 18, 2017
6:30PM

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

Ed motioned to accept the minutes as submitted; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, Barry Emery
- Suggested contacting Cheshire, England or Cheshire, Scotland to celebrate the Cheshire, MA 225th Anniversary.  Carol reported that Cheshire had been in contact with Cheshire, Scotland and received a banner.  This event happened many years ago.  Barry and Ed will follow up on the idea and report back to the BOS.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Completed 85 hours of filling pot holes.
- Cemetery duties.
- Street Scan scanned all roads.
- Mower back and should be out Thursday morning mowing.
- Road signs replaced on Wells, Jenks and School Streets.
- Grade and haul gravel on Harbor Road.
- Trash pickup on Lanesborough Road - 18 bags.
- Patching Hutchinson roads.
- #3 truck picked up in Connecticut.
- Area for leaves and topsoil closed due to trash being dumped and the time involved every Monday morning in cleaning it up.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Submitted a letter dated July 17, 2017 regarding the Cheshire Master Plan Nominating Subcommittee.  Members:  Eileen Quinn, Atalanta Sunguroff, Peter Traub, and John Bianchi. 
- Nominees:
Barbara Chaput, Blair Crane, Rob Daugherty, Christine Emerson, Misty Sarkis, Atalanta Sunguroff, and Peter Traub. The primary responsibilities of the Cheshire Master Plan Implementation Committee will to be to prioritize tasks presented in the Cheshire Master Plan Action Plan by working with the various groups
The hope is that each group will organize and support the Master Plan in reaching the goals set forth in the Plan.  Progress will be reported to the Cheshire Board of Selectmen and the CMPIC.
Ed motioned to accept the list of nominations; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.  No appointment letters are required.  However, the committee will follow the Open Meeting Law meeting laws. 

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Spoke with Dr. Putnam.  Attorney Grandchamp is working in earnest on a lease agreement.  Dr. Putnam is re-starting the facilitator process by the 3rd party group to work on getting Adams and Cheshire to the table to discuss differences and other matters of importance.
- Cheshire Cheese Festival.  Mark has concern regarding acquiring a one day liquor license.  A Certificate of Insurance needs to be secured; what is the event sponsoring, and who are the sponsors/organizers. No paperwork has been received by the BOS.  Mark believes they may need a Charity Wine Pouring License.  The event is July 29th.
- Mark will create a document for facility usage as well as a guide with the rules and regulations.  Justin is being contacted for answers.
- Proposal submitted to Building Inspector for 151 Lakeshore Drive.
-  Reported on up-to-date information regarding marijuana zoning and amendments.  Mark will apprise the BOS as more information is received.
- Cherry Sheet numbers arrived today.  The Town of Cheshire is within a few dollars of what we estimated in projecting the levy limit.
- Requested two (2) Chiefs and Blair to do a review of the Town's vehicle fleet list as provided by our insurer to check for accuracy before mailing it into MIIA.
- The primary responsibilities of the Cheshire Master Plan Implementation Committee will to be to prioritize tasks presented in the Cheshire Master Plan Action Plan by working with the various groups. The hope is that each group will organize and support the Master Plan in reaching the goals set forth in the Plan.  Progress will be reported to the Cheshire Board of Selectmen and the CMPIC. Ed motioned to accept the list of nominations; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.  No appointment letters are required.  However, the committee will follow the Open Meeting Law meeting laws.  An Agenda has to be posted 48 hours before a meeting can be held; it has to be given to the Town Clerk; minutes should be taken with a copy submitted to the Town Clerk.

7:15pm
Presenter, Peter Kavanaugh from Northeast Renewable Link in Cheshire presentation.  Mr. Kavanaugh reviewed the "23-mile, 345kV transmission line from the Alps Substation in Nassau, NY to the Berkshire Substation in Hinsdale, MA with a capacity of to 600MW of clean, reliable energy to Massachusetts."  The new poles are in or adjacent to existing transmission corridor, minimizing environmental and view shed impacts.”  There will be 1.9 miles of installation in Cheshire, MA. The timeline shown was:  Outreach:  June 2017- in-service date.  Permitting:  2017-2019. Construction:  2020-2021.  In Service:  2021-End of 2021. One can contact Mr. Kavanaugh at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (508) 951-8396. The company plans are hosting an informal open house to answer any and all questions.


Carol motioned to appoint the following residents to the School Reuse Committee; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken:
Ellie Baker, Heather Emerson, Carol A. Francesconi, Christine Emerson, Peter LeFebvre, Bethany DeMarco and Sandra Sloane.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:

Carol stated that after the Executive Session, the BOS would not return to the 6:30pm Open Meeting.

7:30PM Carol motioned to go into Executive Session: 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. 
"To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the government's bargaining or litigating position.  Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel.
Roll Call:  Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John, IV; Yes.

Carol motioned to have an Executive Session for Tuesday, July 25, 2017 "To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the government's bargaining or litigating position.  Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel.  Additionally, "To consider the discipline or dismissal of,  or to hear complaints or charges brought against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual."

The BOS convened into Executive Session at 7:30pm.


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

July 11, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press:
       
Carol motioned to accept the minutes of Tuesday, July 3, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

6:00PM
Advisory Board Members:  D. Scholz, J. Tremblay, K. Levesque, J. McLain, and R. Biagini
Attending:  Superintendent R. Putnam, P. Butler, and Adam Emerson

Robert opened the meeting by thanking the Advisory Board for their efforts in working on the 2018 budget. Dick reviewed why this meeting was important and presented a synopsis of recent events with the short notification of the closing of the Cheshire Elementary School, the process of keeping the school open, the options possible for the structure, and number one of importance, the Advisory Board did not understand what the Cheshire Board of Selectmen were doing in regard to the school usage and its future.
- Surprised at the Town Meeting and the articles considering the petitions submitted.
- Sense of commitment to move forward to find another school for the usage of the CES.
- Other towns interested in working with us.
- Forward planning; longer term part of the school district.  Talking with John Lev.
- Need attorney that is independent counsel.  Need to look at the agreement.
- Concerned about the voting power of the school committee.
- How does Select Board plan to move forward?  Many towns’ people want a school in town.
- Would like to work with the BOS.  The Advisory Board wants to work together.
- Establish some type of elementary school in Cheshire to compliment what else is going on in the district.
- 100K to maintain yearly?
- Budget.  A joint town meeting. 

Carol:
The school is closed. That was a school board decision.  Will they change at this point? If the budget is not passed, no tax bills will be sent out.

Kathy:
- Seems like the BOS shows it is closed.  It’s done.

Dick:
- Rent the campus for ten years-could it be done.  Grounds and Building are ours.


Robert:
- Until notice is received, they assume the liabilities.  90 day notice; has not been received.  Modified agreement working on – nothing specific.  Hands are tied right now.  District offices are staying there.
- Not sure where we are at this point.
- School not turned back to town at this time.

John:
- If a tenant is found, can the town get out of the agreement?  No exit clause on the agreement?  No.
- Trying to understand it.
- How to use the building?

Mark:
- Grandchamp is working on changes and will submit it a draft very soon.
- School is already vacant.  
- The BOS will appoint a school reuse committee. 

Robert:
- What kind of a vision of a school do you want?

John:
- Meetings NBSU would like us to join with them.  Would be willing to sit down to talk.  NBSU is union.
Northern Berkshire School Union.  (Mr. John Lev)

Robert:
- We are in the district.

John:
- Get counsel to guide us.  Many towns have their own elementary school.
- Dick believes independent counsel should considered to reviewed all options.

Dick:
- What first steps should we be taking either as the Advisory Board or as residents?

Kathy:
- Is information in the minutes?  Carol:  The BOS goes into Executive Session.

Carol:
- Why isn’t town council asked?  The BOS has not asked him.  John: would like to ask that question.

Kathy:
- Not as an Advisory Board but as residents. 

Ed:
- How do you set up a reuse committee when it isn’t closed?


John:
- Want to do what the people of town want.  They want an elementary school.

John:
- Budget is #1.  Want an open meeting to see what people want.

Dick:
-  Sensing the BOS has options.  Robert:  Turned some options away at this point.

Dick:
- Residential property values dropped in other towns that do not have a school.

Carol:
- We still have a building.

John:
-Lease.  Registered at the Registry of Deeds.  Negotiations in Executive Sessions?
- Timeline?  Draft?  Delayed because of annual meeting votes.
- People in authority should do what the people want.  Find out by asking the people what they want at a special town meeting.  No one has ever been through this before.  Why would people want to come and live here- the more viable the community is the better off we all are.
Many roadblocks - would like to chart a path. The board collectively would like to see a school there; no formal vote.

Robert:
- Powerless.
- Ballot questions for November.  3-5 Selectmen and Private Plow of Roads.
- Think about a possible ballot question.  Meaningful question needed.

Dick:
- Vote in secret?  What is the procedure for a secret vote.  A motion and a second with a majority vote.

Jeremy:
- Meeting with DESI.  Invited the BOS. General discussion.  Help with guidelines.

Dick:
- Requested introductions of the Advisory Board at town meetings as well as sitting up front so people know who they are.
- No position on the status of the Advisory Board regarding the budget when asked.


Kathy:
- Do the townspeople know what the budget is all about and the ramifications to the tax bills if the budget is not passed?

Carol:
- The minutes are posted in the Town Hall and are the website.

Dick:
- Some BOS take a stand on what they think; others listen to the people.  Write an article that would pass. 

Ed:
Several venues were used to inform residents:
- iBerkshires
- Videos
- Strong desire to rewrite the agreement.
- Moving forward MARS steps for changing a district.  Have to bring in Adams. Both towns have to approve the starting process of withdrawal.  Work done in advance can go smoothly – a lot has to be well thought out.  No hard numbers.  Have to include the school district in all options. Have to pass the budget in the interest of students.  Cannot operate as a town.  Lending measures- sure but that is no way to run a town.  Name change should have gone out for people to advice.   We are the Selectmen and we are charged to do the best for the town.

Ed:
- Voted to close building – necessary but very difficult to make.
- Ed explained the 1/12 payment will happen if the budget is not passed on July 17th. If it does not pass there is no money.  The 1/12 payment will continue until December 1, 2017 and then the Department of Education takes over.

Dick:
- Appreciate the BOS meeting. 

Robert:
- More information and communication will be addressed.
- Thank you.  Appreciate your position.
- Robert asked if the Advisory Board had any other questions either from the BOS or the school figures present.  No questions were asked.

Superintendent Robert Putnam:
- Suggested guidance as to do this, he felt the best manner would be a Town Meeting style for both towns to meet.  Paul noted that he did not know of any building big enough.  It is doable with creative thinking.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Questioned the date of when the school would be closed.  Discussion finished at 7:11pm

Cathy Foster and Sara Hollander inquired about the process for making a complaint about a town employee.  In this instance, the BOS directed them to the Cheshire Board of Health.

Resident, Brian Astorino:
-Reported algae on his driveway due to a water leak.  Three houses have no water pressure, and they are inundated with mosquitoes.  The BOS had Francis Waterman join the meeting and questioned him when the problem would be resolved.  He stated the work is planned for this week on Wednesday at 8:30am. The BOS expects a report back on Tuesday, July 18th.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane: Submitted weekly report.
- Dug and completed grave.
- Repairing Outlook Avenue
- Ford F550 passed inspection
- International 7500 to Delores for inspection and repairs.
- Preparing for crack sealing repairs to numerous roadways.
- Chipped brush at Transfer Station.
- Site visit to Cheshire Elementary School.

Carol:
Phil LaFromboise and abutters to the Ayotte property requested information regarding a possible solar farm being proposed on the Ayotte site.  The company doing the work requested a CCC Notice of Intent.
Mr. LaFromboise stated that the property is for residential purposes only and it is on the deed as a restriction in the Registry of Deeds.  Also, technically it is not a farm.  No mobile homes or trailers are allowed. Until applications are received the boards have no authority or statement to make. Once information is received, the board secretary will call Mr. LaFromboise.  All abutters will be formally notified by return receipt /certified mail.

Residents Mr. and Mrs. Huberdeau:
- Questioned the timeframe for the Hutchinson Development to have pot holes filled as some are large and deep.  Carol also noted receiving calls from Harbor Road, Richmond Hill, and for the need to clean catch basins.  Blair answered that pot holes will be filled asap weather permitting.

Cheshire Board of Health, J. Warner, and M. Biagini:
- Requested procedural steps for complaints filed.  The BOS reviewed the process and steps will be followed. An Executive Session will be scheduled and the M.G. L. Chapter 39, S.23B #2 will be posted.
“To consider the discipline or dismissal of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual.”  The Executive Session is scheduled for Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

Becky Herzog, Treasurer and Lynn Lemanski, Accountant:
-  Needed clarification regarding an employee’s hours and the need to have a time slip showing separation of duties according to the job description.  The employee will be notified.

The BOS reviewed the Bruce LaPerle invoice.

Resident, Jeremy McLain:
- Questioned the process and necessary licenses to secure a one day liquor license for the Cheshire Cheese Festival event at the Cheshire Elementary School.  Mr. McLain will be checking with the vendor for insurance liability certificates and licenses.  The event is planned for July 29, 2017.

Resident, Barry Emery:
- Wanted to discuss two incorrect spellings on the Stafford Hill Monument.  One is influential and the other fact is that it is not the Big Cheese it should read the Mammoth Cheese. This will be discussed further

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Reported that Jack Girard would like a thank you extended to Reynolds for helping with the use of a rental mower for the cemetery.
- Created Town email accounts for Ed and Carol.  Carol:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Ed:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
- Spoke with Dr. Putnam and he will give a reminder to Attorney Grandchamp who said he would be producing a draft Cheshire School lease agreement for the Board’s review.
- Need to execute and return contract signature pages to the State for grant funds under the Complete Streets program.
- Auditor questions the status of the COA van (2007).
- MIIA certificate of insurance for BRTA van arrived.
- See Chapter 90 approval for Street Smart program.
- Town’s property and casualty and workers compensation premium for FY 18.  Pay full amount now and take advantage of 3% discount.
- Information sent to Borego Solar per their request for a potential solar site on East Harbor Road.

Carol motioned to appoint the following individuals to the Building Reuse Committee which will not be active upon notification from the BOS; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. Ellie Baker, Heather Emerson, Bethany DeMarco, Sandra Sloane, Peter LeFebvre, Carol Francesconi, and Christine Emerson.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Weekly report submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Prepared for July 17, 2017 town meeting.

Letter received from Elsie Zaleski resigning from the Cheshire Council on Aging.  Carol accepted the resignation with great regret; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.  Carol voiced that she did not approve of the manner in which Ms. Zaleski was prodded to submit her resignation.

Letter from Resident, Gene Gebarowski, Jr. :
- Interested in being considered for the open position on the Cheshire Council on Aging.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Council on Aging Board meeting minutes for May 17, 2017 and June 21, 2017.
- Common Ground Newsletter.
- Municipality ADA Training on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
- Letter from Adam G. Hinds, State Senator, noting his availability during this transition time due to the passing of State Representative Gailanne Cariddi.
- MASS DOT.  Chapter 90 Project Request Contract #50762 Balance and Expenditure Sheet.
- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Authorization for the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District to continue its operations and to spend up to $1,582,980 in each month of fiscal year 2018 until your district’s fiscal year 2018 budget has been adopted, or until December 1, 2017, whichever comes first.  This interim monthly budget is one-twelfth of the regional school district’s budget for the prior fiscal year.
- Insurance Liability Certificate received from MIIA for The Town of Cheshire. 7/12/17
- Workmen’s Compensation doctor’s evaluation to date.
- Akshar Ji Corp. D/B/A Cheshire Liquor Center/Memorandum and Order on Licensee’s Motion to Dismiss. Allowed.

9:00PM
Ed motioned to go into Executive Session; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Ed St. John IV, Yes; and Carol A. Francesconi, Yes.  The BOS will not return to the open meeting.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. 9:40PM

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

July 3, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires
                  
Carol motioned to accept the minutes of Tuesday, June 27, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Ed with a
unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane: Submitted weekly report.
- Completed town wide culvert and catch basin inspections.
- Back filled foundation at fire house.
- Graded Lake Roads
- Jenks Road graded and York raked in its entirety.
- Outlook Avenue washout Friday night.  Damage marked and will be repaired Wednesday.
- Submitted Cheshire Town Buildings Energy Analysis and Budget Proposal from Energy Conservation, Inc. for LED lighting upgrades for the CDPW and CDPW salt shed. The approximate estimate would cost $500 a month for twenty four months. Blair will research further and report back to the BOS.
- Will be ordering sand and salt before Labor Day to receive a 4% discount.
- Suggested becoming proactive on the conditions of local bridges.  He questioned the Sand Mill Bridge and a bridge ½ mile to the South for the length of usage predicted. This topic will continue as to the best practice for the future.
- Ed and Blair have not been able to view the inside of the Cheshire Elementary School but moving vans have been there this week.

Ed:
- Heard from Paul Butler this week regarding the possibility of changing the name of the schools to: Hoosac Valley School District; Hoosac Valley High School; Hoosac Valley Middle School; and Hoosac Valley Elementary.  The Cheshire BOS were lukewarm as to the idea.

Robert:
- Spoke with Superintendent Robert Putnam regarding the status of the Facilitator.  Dr. Putnam’s response indicated that he preferred to wait until after the Town meetings and perhaps start an individual in the fall.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: Absent

Police Chief, Timothy Garner: 

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- Suggested following State procedures for placing the three (3) to five (5) Selectmen articles and Private Roads Plowing on the November 7, 2017 ballot.  The BOS agreed.


Carole H. will be contacting the Dick and Justin, co-chairs of the Cheshire Advisory Board for a copy of their minutes for the last year in an effort to be better prepared for the Tuesday, July 11th meeting.

Mail and Correspondence:

Reminder:
- Will be having further discussions on employee health care and garage lighting.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. 8:35PM


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