October 23, 2018
6:00PM Open Meeting
In Attendance: Carol A. Francesconi, Robert S. Ciskowski
Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting.
Carol makes a motion to accept the Board’s October 16, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted a Weekly Activity Log for 10/17/18-10/23/18.
- Road grading and repairs.
- Mowing grounds and roadsides.
- School Winterization.
- School system is running; mostly by manual control. Old section is winterized, lines blown out and boilers shut down.
- Road striping completed. Submitted a 4” waterborne yellow striping mileage schedule. Completed 23.04 miles with the total road length in feet of 121,650 at a cost of .042 off County Bid - $5,109.30.
- Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards inspection on Thursday.
Carol made a motion to accept Blair’s Snow and Ice Removal Policy; 2nd by Robert. A unanimous vote was taken.
Carol motioned to schedule an Executive Session on 10/30/18 at 5:30PM; “To consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real estate, if the chair declares that an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the public body.” Seconded by Robert with a
unanimous vote taken.
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Planner, Will Sukula, presented the Application for the Community Development Housing Rehabilitation Grant for Carol to sign. Mr. Sukula stated that individuals can contact the BCRP for applications to be completed for the grant.
Issued two (2) one (1) day liquor licenses to Whitney’s Farm Market LLC - $100.00
Signed a Retail Package Goods Store License to Jay Krishna Corp/Green Acres Packaging & Variety at 1613 South State Road, Cheshire MA 01225. Liquor License Transfer.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Mark wrote an Emergency Waiver Request for roof repairs at the Cheshire Fire Station. It was sent to the DCAMM, the State agency charged with issuing waivers (or not) for building construction/repair projects covered under the State's procurement laws. Approval notification was received on October 18, 2018 and a copy was forwarded to Town Counsel.
- Additional signatures were needed for Chapter 90 reimbursements.
- A Draft Lease Agreement was prepared and once signed it will be sent off to the North Berkshire Collaborative for their signature. ($1,600/month)
- Mark completed research checks on the nine (9) candidates for the Town Administrator's opening.
- Received notice of good member credit from MIIA for $2,697 which will be applied to the Town's next insurance bill.
- An organization has expressed interest in leasing a portion of the Cheshire School and asked if the BOS could meet on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 5:30pm in Executive Session per: GL 30a, Sec. 21a(6). "To consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real estate, if the chair declares that an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the public body.
7:30PM Carol motioned to go into Executive Session (Section 8.)
Roll Call: Carol A. Francesconi, Yes and Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes. A unanimous vote was taken.
7:56PM The BOS returned from Executive Session. "To consider or interview applicants for employment by a preliminary screening committee, if the chair declares that an open meeting will have a detrimental effect in obtaining qualified applicants. This shall not apply to any meeting regarding applicants who have passed a prior preliminary screening." A scheduled open meeting for interviewing selected candidates will take place on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at5:30pm; 6:00pm; and 6:30pm at the Cheshire Town Hall. This meeting will be open to the public.
Roll Call: Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes.
- Questioned Christine Emerson about the moving of election materials to the school. Christine reported that the teens at “The Armory” attending the Cheshire School were a great help and the BOS requested that a Letter of Appreciation be forwarded to the teens for their efforts and assistance. Christine also thanked Michael Biagini for his exemplary help.
- Resident complained about two (2) foot deep pot holes on Sandmill Hill Road and the potential for automobile damage. The BOS will report this to Blair.
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Submitted Weekly Report.
Christine Emerson: No issues or concerns.
Mail and Correspondence:
- The Cheshire Trick or Treat will take place on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.
COA, Peter Traub:
- A discussion took place regarding the use of for profit individuals not being charged for the use of the Cheshire Community Center. Carol presented Peter with a schedule of Cheshire Community Center fees in use. Peter will approach the individuals charging fees for their services yet not paying for the usage of the center. Additionally, he will be responsible for securing waivers for non-liability.
Robert: Attended a meeting he attended: MSBA Meeting on October 17, 2018 at C. T. Plunkett. He reported that there were about seven (7) people in attendance. People from the State including their consultants, Robert, an Adams Selectmen, Adams Interim Administrator, Erika Snyder, Superintendent of Schools, and Principal, Michell Colvin. Robert was in awe with the amount of approximately 27 repairs needed at the school originally called C. T. Plunkett and now Hoosac Elementary School. Robert’s notes are following and ended with the meetings closing remarks,
“Do the school building shortfalls affect education? I think they do. I wish both buildings could have been critiqued like this by an outside agency before the decision was made of which school to close.”
- Fourth grade may come back to Plunkett from Hoosac Valley-maybe.
- Oil plume from the gas station might be an issue.
- Nine roof leaks in the gym. Kids run around pails. Eleven leaks in the auditorium.
- Water in the Art Room. Water leaking down the elevator shaft and collecting. Water leaking into the electrical system area.
- Roof was done in 1992, but it leaks.
- Heating pipes burst, water-related alarms. There have been evacuations that are disruptive.
- The third floor is hot. The gym and the auditorium are cold. Heat is not even.
- A lot of toilet troubles. Multi-floor sink clogs.
- Electrical is awful and outdated.
- All floors ADA accessible.
- No computer lab; no science lab.
- Use whatever space available to create space for interventions and privacy.
- Teachers use stage for classroom.
- Not all Pre-K have bathrooms.
- There are windowless spaces, a lot of windows don't open, windows that open have no screens, no air exchange system in the building.
- Some fire doors don't close properly.
- The main entry floods.
- The entrance camera is not right. No security cameras generally, two on the first floor.
- Noted was Adams commercial tax rate is not at maximum.
- Music class sitting on dark stage in auditorium.
- Gym has water-stained walls, ceiling, and floors.
- Leaks in the electrical service area
- Exterior steps chipped and cracked.
- The building says, "Plunkett" however the name is, "Hoosac Valley Elementary."
- Library exterior wall has water damage.
- Cheshire has always sacrificed for education, but the low tax rate is a double-edge sword; we are feeling infrastructure problems from delayed action on buildings, highways and bridges, and highway equipment. Cheshire took money from Stabilization Fund. Cheshire trying to sustain Cheshire Elementary School Building. Adams' tax rate high or highest.
- State looking for a conference call in a couple of weeks. One State official thought it looks like the towns are not ready.
- Adams Interim Administrator remarked how Memorial closing affected downtown, and Adams doesn't want another downtown school to close, as would be the case if a new elementary school was built up at the Hoosac Valley site.
- Noted that Adams has closed many elementary community schools over the years. Cheshire saw the need to consolidate much earlier than Adams did, consolidated to central school in the 1920's.
- Look at all Adams has downtown. If Memorial closing affected them, imagine how closing Cheshire School has affected Cheshire? It was our social hub.
- Cheshire School is still a strong issue. I was told that we are going through a healing time. I explained that closing our school was just the cherry on top of the sundae; there has been tension between the Towns for quite some time.
- By Robert: Closing remarks, do the school building shortfalls affect education? I think they do. I wish both buildings could have been critiqued like this by an outside agency before the decision was made of which school to close. This was the Authority's last school to look at in this cycle. About 80% to 90% of the schools don't get into the program. If the Towns want to proceed and were chosen to proceed, a nine-month incubation period with a study committee would be next. A consultant would have to be hired, and this preliminary work could be expensive.
- Resident, Fred Jayko questioned, "Who said Adams would pay for the repairs?" This issue will be discussed further.
- Reported that the heater part for the Cheshire Community Center is being shipped and she voiced that a new heater may be coming in the near future.
- The BOS signed the ABCC 2019 Seasonal Population Increase Estimation Form dated 10/23/18.
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk