April 25, 2017
In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
Resident, E. Clairmont:
- Requested an update on a continuous fence viewing issue on his property as he continues to be irritated by a lack of resolution. He reported that, due to the fence in question, a calf got out and died. Carol told Mr. Clairmont that the BOS is waiting for a letter of opinion from Attorney Jeff Grandchamp and once received the case can go forward. Mr. Clairmont stated that he wants Attorney Grandchamp to address the issue using references to laws. Attorney Grandchamp will be called and Carol will advise Mr. Clairmont personally.
Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Sand Mill Hill Bridge; work is progressing.
- Checked on culvert by the Gable property on Wells Road. Reported that the culvert is in good condition.
- Patching and grading roads when the weather permits. Route 116 is patched.
- Parked the new highway truck in front of the Town Hall. Blair reported on the versatility of the truck as it is three (3) trucks in one as the bodies are interchangeable.
Carol noted that the BOS was to review the options of using the Cheshire Elementary School during the summer months for summer programs and the central office. Carol made a motion to allow the School District to utilize the Cheshire Elementary School for the benefit of Cheshire children, 2nd by Paul.
However, Robert clearly stated his displeasure with the motion and articulated his belief that the two Selectmen made this decision before the meeting. Additionally, Robert said, "Thank you Dr. Putnam, you have changed Cheshire forever by helping close a school and now that you closed the school you still want to use it. Welcome to Cheshire."
- Although there were some concerns, the main one was the need for custodial care and the costs associated.
- Carol said, "It is only for eight (8) weeks and it is for the children of Cheshire."
- Central Office could sign a lease agreement with specifics regarding electrical costs and maintenance.
Paul- Reported receiving eleven (11) telephone call complaints requesting, “ That Cheshire BOS do the right thing for the children.” The motion was allowed with a two (2) to one (1) vote. Francesconi and Astorino For; Ciskowski, Against.
- Dr. Putnam noted that he will get actual building costs to Mark Webber asap.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Met with Robin to review the assessor's card for the school property which has about half of its value compared to the MIIA value. There may be some room for negotiating.
- Dr. Putnam proposed the hiring of a facilitator to bring peace and understanding among the District and its two (2) towns. Carol felt it was too expensive and did not agree with the proposal. The cost would be $8,500.
- Spoke with Peter and Blair regarding a driveway permit off of Richmond Hill Road. Peter urged the Highway Superintendent to act jointly with the Conservation Commission to set conditions prior to issuing the permit, or to jointly deny it on conditions. Carol noted that there has to be a Determination of Applicability needed to be presented to the Cheshire Conservation Commission before they can take any action.
- Reviewed with Peter and Blair this year's county bid materials form. The question of what to do with the Ford 550 dump body and sander which are both rotted and likely not to make it through the next winter. There is a quote for approximately $12K to replace both the flat bed dump and sander. If approved, this would come out of the current year's operating funds, which would leave those budgets stretched or seek a town meet appropriating from free cash. Will be seeking free cash procedure.
- Mark sent in registration materials for new highway truck. Blair is finishing the Change Form and will fax back to MIIA.
- Received information from BRPC asking if the Town was interested in their assistance in becoming a Green Community. It was sent this morning and the deadline for signing up is this Thursday. Mark recommended getting input from Gerry Garner, Cheshire Building Inspector first.
- Presented a spreadsheet with FY'18 Annual Town Meeting uses of Free Cash.
- Stabilization fund balance as of today; approximately $480K. Cheshire has maintained an enviable and consistent balance in stabilization over the past 14 years, averaging $515,000 over the past 14 years.
- Reviewing FY 2018 budget.
Cheshire Master Plan Member, Peter Traub:
- Reported that the Cheshire Master Plan was discussed at the CPB meeting on Monday, April 24, 2017. Christine said the report will be on the Town's website it was submitted by Eammon Coughlin at the BRPC. Christine also explained why she wanted to rescind meetings by the various Boards. In the past, Boards would meet quarterly. Since there was a lack of interest and few members attended, it was cut back to twice a year. With continued lack of attendees, it was then announced for a once a year meeting at the town employee Christmas party.
- Cheshire Master Plan Implementation Committee:
- The Cheshire Master Plan has been broken down into an Action Plan for the proposed timing for the action to be taken, potential leadership, and other interested parties responsible for implementing the action. The group would make reports to the BOS and felt it needs to be a cooperative effort for further success.
- Believed the meetings should be formal. Each Tuesday night, all Boards meet. However, there is no time for interaction. He felt it best to just eliminate the by-law and just have formal meetings.
- Peter Traub interjected that people feel there is no coordination between departments and they want something done about it.
- Bill Craig reminded the group that when he was on the Advisory Board they had group discussions when putting the budget together.
- Reported to Blair that he is concerned about people cutting wood at the Transfer Station. He felt there could be liability concerns even if signs are posted. Robert requested Blair to give it some thought and possibly Blair knows of some solution to that could be adopted.
Chief of Police, Tim Garner: Weekly Report Submitted
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- A hard copy of the Cheshire Master Plan is available for viewing at the Town Clerk’s Office.
- Paul thanked the Earth Day group for their cleanup efforts in the town.
- CCC signed building permit for 215 Jenks Road.
- A Cheshire Council on Aging Open House will take place on Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm at the Cheshire Community Center.
Mail and Correspondence:
- National Register of Historic Places Certificate received. (Cheshire Town Hall)
- Housing in the Berkshires Workshop. Workshop costs $30.00 on Friday, May 19. 2017 @ BRPC.
Carol invited all to attend a small gathering on the second floor in honor of Paul's retirement for his many years of service as a Cheshire Selectmen.
With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:02PM; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds