Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

August 29, 2017
6:30PM

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

Robert motioned to accept the minutes of August 22, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Thanked Blair Crane for cleaning out the Cheshire Community Center and for removing the barrels from the lake.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
-  Submitted the Weekly Activity Log and a Summary of Accountable Man Hours chart.
- Ditch digging on Curran Road.
- Roadside mowing on West Mountain Road.
- Assisted the Fire Department on a maintenance project.
- Grade and repair gravel roads from storm.
- Brought to the attention of the BOS as to the condition of Greylock Road; north towards Mount Greylock from West Mountain Road that ends at the Jones’ Nose Trail Head. Presently, the town maintains and grades an area of one (1) mile approximately up the road to a residence.  There, the road turns into a difficult to drive over road/path.  Town Clerk will research if the town, indeed, owns the whole road.  At which time a further discussion will take place regarding maintenance and upgrading.
- Ed questioned if there was a way to slow down traffic on Wells Road near Dublin Road.
- Resident, Sandra Sloane suggested a three way STOP sign, or some method using the road to slow down the speeding. Blair will investigate the most effective way to handle the concern without causing other issues.

Cheshire Planning Board, Donna DeFino, Chairman:
- Donna wanted to update the BOS on her waiting for a call from Attorney E. St. John, II and the moratorium on Medical and Recreational Marijuana.  Two members of the CPB will be attending a workshop on the topic in Lenox on 8/31/17.
- Donna updated the BOS on the status of the Ayotte Solar Project on East Harbor Road on Monday, August 28, 2017.  She reviewed the items the solar company needs to address at the Continuation Hearing scheduled for Monday, October 23, 2017 at 7pm at the Cheshire Community Center.  High priority is the final legal decision on the thirty (30) year residential only statement.  The solar company lawyers feel after thirty (30) years that statement is not valid and has elapsed.  Donna will be speaking with an independent lawyer for a legal opinion. Due to the incompleteness of the plan, there are several items the company has to have prepared for the October meeting. Concerns include: fencing,  landscaping, technical review with an independent engineer; to submit to the Cheshire Conservation Commission a Notice of Intent; Reports on Magnetic Electronic Fields, and glare and eye deterioration.
A Bond needs to be secure;  the need to have a legal opinion from an independent attorney on the thirty (30) year deed stipulation, the cost of removal cement at the end of the project, a copy of the Lease Mr. and Mrs. Ayotte have signed; a study for Berkshire County and real estate values with a solar project in your front yard and values with none.
Ed:
- Questioned if this was a commercial project.  Donna’s response was, “Yes.”
- Ed thought the farm land was ideal as it was reasonably flat.
- He thought the installation portrayed the town as doing its part in becoming green.  Donna responded that, “Some farmers get state incentives and money back.  It depends.”
- Mark commanded Blair on his professional and timely response to a road complaint on Jenks Road.
- Discussed the need for immediate action regarding the poor landscaping at the front of the Cheshire Elementary School.  Sandra Sloane suggested the Cheshire Garden Club or using inmates from the Berkshire House of Corrections for the cleanup.
- Mark will be out September 12, 2017.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Report submitted.
- Ed and Robert, as Police Commissioners, requested Chief Garner to patrol the Wells Road area for speeders during high traffic times when locals, especially, seem to disregard the speed limit.  For the safety of children and those who walk the road, it is imperative that this be an concern corrected.
  
7:00PM
- Mark scheduled a meeting with Eric C. Ford, Ecological Restoration Specialist, for the State of Massachusetts, The Cheshire Water Commissioners and the BOS to discuss and provide background information with the hope of finding a common ground to remove or replace whichever is best for the
Town of Cheshire and the Kitchen Brook Dam. He noted that the Department of Environmental Protection had been watchful about keeping the dam for a backup water resource, and the Office of Dam Safety listed Kitchen Brook Dam as a “Significant Hazard.” The project could cost approximately $500K.  Mr. Ford stated that the State will not go forward on the removal project if the town is not fully behind the removal.
- Water Commissioner, Francis Waterman:
- Stated that the Cheshire Water Commissioners are not behind the project of removal as the committee believes the dam could be used as a backup and should be preserved. The commissioners are working with Tighe and Bond in securing grant money to repair the dam.  In fact, two Fridays ago, the State hired Tighe and Bond to do a report on the status of the dam and that report will be forthcoming to the commissioners and the town.  The best scenario is to build a water filtration system.  However, that is a costly project and one, at this time, the town could not take on. 
- Francis also stated that the Water Department cuts timber for their department budget and he felt  removing the access road would hurt or stop the hauling out of the lumber. The culvert removal was also an issue.
- Once the report is read and understood, a more informed decision can be made on either repairing or replacing the Kitchen Brook Dam. 
- Mark requested to making a decision by December 1, 2017.

Mr. Ford reminded the group that the town was allocated by DER, $70K. If the project was not accepted in January the town would not receive this money and would have to reapply for the year 2018.
- 1998 was the last year the Kitchen Brook Dam was used. 7:50PM the discussion ended.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Resident, Sandra Sloane:
- Reminded all that the Cheshire Elementary School Reuse Committee will be meeting on September 14, 2017.

Ed:
The meeting with the School Facilitator has been canceled and will be rescheduled.

Robert:
- Requested the New Cheshire Elementary School Agreement-Lease be forwarded to all Advisory Board members.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Legislature Breakfast on September 15, 2017.  Ed may be attending.
- Letter from the BRTA approving reports on the Council on Aging Van usage with the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority.

In closing, Ralph Biagini, was memorialized for his dedication of thirty plus years to the Cheshire Police Department; fifty years as a Cheshire Fireman; thirty years as a Cheshire Town Official and Constable; and as an Advisory Board member for twelve years.  He served as an Umpire for the Cheshire Little League and Farm League for several years also.  Ralph was a friend to many and will be missed.  Sympathy was extended to his wife, children, grandchildren, and family members.

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:25PM.
  


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 22, 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 August 15, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Log.
- Roadside mowing.
- Tree on Windsor Road.
- Cleaning ditches.
- Cemetery duties.
- Ed thanked Blair for the site visit to Kitchen Brook dam.

COA, Peter Traub:
- Advised the BOS of a meeting with the COA Director of Adams to discuss the possibility of sharing a part time employee with three towns.  One project would be to work on a combined newsletter.  The BOS had several questions but will wait until Peter can better explain the job description and the need.  A new television has been installed by Blair in the center.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Discussed the status of Kitchen Brook dam.  Eric Ford of DER is willing to schedule a joint meeting with the Cheshire Water Commissioners, Mark, and the Cheshire BOS.  This presentation will allow for all to better understand the dynamics of going forward with a removal.
- Mark researched other grant opportunities for funding for either repair or removal of hazard or no longer viable dams.  The grant recently closed out in July and will not reopen again for another year. $2.4M was awarded statewide for twelve (12) projects; seven (7) repair projects and five (5) removals; two (2) of which are former, no longer needed municipal water sources.  They were awarded to medium to high hazard dams; where ours is rated a significant hazard (lower rating.) 
- Spoke with MIIA and they have added the Cheshire School to the town insurance with restrictions.
- MIIA sent a second copy of the Liability of Insurance for the BRTA.
- The Adams Cheshire District School Committee signed the Lease Agreement for the Cheshire School.
- Legal Notice in the Eagle for the sale of the Police Departments, no longer used 4-wheeler and trailer.  Bid opening will be 9/12/17 at 7:00PM  Town Hall.
- Faxed a copy of Mark's Open Meeting law test certificate to the BRPC.
-  Will be preparing to apply for an IT grant through the State's Community Compact program.  Grant opens in January.  There has been interest expressed by contractors and Town Inspectors to purchase an on-line permitting system.  BRPC feels it would be a viable application.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  continued
- The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership requested some data to complete their energy efficiency evaluation of town properties to help reduce and/or stabilize energy costs. Mark was unaware that this was a component of their mission and will be gathering information for them.
- A work proposal to Bay State Elevator to decommission the Cheshire School lift was signed by Mark.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Report submitted.
  
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.
- Submitted copy of the Cheshire Community Center Rental Agreement.

7:07PM
- The Cheshire Water Commissioners and Travis began a dialogue regarding the Kitchen Brook dam.
- Robert asked if the Commissioners were in contact with Tighe and Bond regarding the alternative of repairing the dam with grant monies. Francis Waterman apprised the BOS that the State was there last Friday inspecting the dam and a report should be forthcoming fairly soon.  The Commissioners restated that they are not interested in removal and after some discussion agreed to meet with the DER for research/ideas/and possible funding. 
- Francis stated that it is a potential resource for the town and could provide surface water.  In the case of a catastrophic event: "They could hook that system up.  There is a process, but it is doable.”
- Carol:  Noted that the dam is 100 years old.
- Francis suggested repairs might include hydraulic injection to repair the grout be used.
- Mark:  Noted that five (5) years ago, it would have cost $500K
- Francis:  Once the report comes back they will call Tighe and Bond to figure out how to fix the dam and determine how much it will cost. 
- Ed: Questioned what happens now?  What should we be doing?
- Mark believes there should be no fines from the State - that he knows of.
- Carol:  Reminded the group that this has happened before and noted a lawsuit.
- Mark:  Will be following through with scheduling a meeting with the DER and reports.

Ed:
- Updated the BOS on his attendance at School Committee meetings as the Cheshire Educational Liaison.  Discussed school building issues and the need to wait for private contractor’s bids and reports.  He felt everyone was working diligently.  He offered the school schedule for a preview night at the elementary school on Thursday, August 24, 2017 from 4pm to 6pm and Wednesday, August 23, 2017 from 6pm to 7pm for the middle school.
- The board voted on the Regional Agreement Amendment Commission and the members who will be attending.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Department of Environmental Protection.  RE:  General Permits for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) in Massachusetts.


With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken at 7:50PM. 
  
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 15, 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 August 1, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, Rosanna St. Pierre:
- Questioned when the roads in the Pine Valley Mobile Home Park would be repaired.  She believed part of the rent increase was to be used toward the fixing of the roads.  Tenants have been told it would be done in spring or July.  “Before you know it, it will be winter and cars will continue to be subjected to the holes, she said.”  Ms. St. Pierre asked if the BOS thought she should hold her rent until the roads were fixed. Chairman Ciskowski suggested that the BOS first send a letter to the owner.  The BOS will advise Ms. Pierre of their answer.

COA, Peter Traub:
- Reported that the Adams Council on Aging Director will be attending the COA meeting on Wednesday, August 16, 2017.  Peter was promoting the hiring of a part-time individual for Cheshire COA.  Carol questioned why?  Peter will bring up the topic at the August 16th meeting with Adams.
- On Thursday the barrels on the lake will be secured and Blair will pick them up.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted two weeks of Weekly Activity Logs.
- Some trees down on Outlook Avenue.
- All catch basins have been cleaned.
- Back hoe back.
- Working on lighting with National Grid.  It should be six (6) weeks to completion.
- Discussed the prospects of having the Sand Mill Bridge revamped in 2022 at the State’s cost.  The recent bridge repairs will provide usage for the six (6) years. This type of project, if organized correctly can take fifteen (15) weeks to complete.  It is important to remember that it takes four (4) weeks to cure.
- Robert wants to go over the condition of the 2002 loader which has 12,000 hours clocked.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Meet with Mr. Oulette (Plumbing) Blair and Peter to view the boiler systems. It was noted that there are no heat alarms on the boilers.  Due to the system in place it would be difficult to freeze.  There are no issues in shutting down the boilers.  Each boiler runs twelve (12) gallons each both running is 24 gallons.  Mark believes it holds 10,000 gallons and is presently the tank is full. Mark suggested shutting half of the building – mothball it – and run lower heat and heat tape the main and meter. A systematic schedule needs to be adopted to test and exercise the emergency generator at the school, or install an automated system.
- Becky is attending UMASS for training this week.
- McCann returned Chapter 71 Transportation money of $4,022.64.  Chapter 70 Education increased $346.00.
- Spoke to DER regarding Kitchen Brook Dam.  Ed is not familiar with the site and will be taking a site visit.  Carol questioned if the work is not done where does the money come from.
- Mark gave an overview of how the project started.  The State rates dams for safety every five (5) years and Cheshire is due any day now.  It is either remove or repair.  If not done according to State mandates, the Town can be fined and they can make you do it.  Carol asked to continue the discussion next week.
- Mark would like to write a comprehensive Scope of Services for the Reuse Committee to start with.  It will basically be an outline for organizational steps so they can get started.
- All carryovers –ok.
- BayState Elevator quote to decommission the elevator at the school will be $2,087.00 or $500.00 per hour. Waiting for a call back from their sales team.
- Requested direction regarding the Kitchen Brook Dam project. Mark reported that the DER is awaiting a decision from the town as to if we will be going forward with the removal.  The dam is not a backup up water supply and the DER is not especially concerned about safety but in creating an unrestricted waterway for fish. Robert said it is more of a pristine source of water.  Mark said the town has backup wells and a tank.  Additionally, Cheshire Lake could also be used for backup if necessary. Carol voiced that the dam is presently dry and is a "mud pit" She would like to know the repair costs and whether the town water users would pay for it. She didn't think the water users would want to cover the repair costs of $500,000 to repair the dam. - When/if the plans are approved the state will complete date in 2018, complete plans in 2019, and implement in 2020.  This part of the project can cost approximately $155,000 and the cost to remove $350,000.
- Robert voiced concern about not working with the Water Department and their ideas.  Mark will check if they contacted Tighe and Bond regarding possible grants for repairs.  Ed asked to continue the topic on August 22, 2017.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Report submitted.
  
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Cheshire Planning Board, Donna DeFino, Chairman
- Asked permission to speak with Town Council, Ed. St. John III regarding a Medical and Recreational Marijuana Moratorium.  Mark suggested contacting the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. Sandy Sloane and Peter Traub will be attending a workshop in Lenox on August 31, 2017 to learn more about the process.  

Robert:
- Reported speaking with George Sweet about the generator and noted that the fire house generator gets started once a month. George noted that the school generator might need a different transfer  switch. George feels that the Emergency Management group should meet and review emergency plans before an emergency happens. 

Mail and Correspondence:

One Day Liquor License issued to Whitney’s.  Amount received was $50.00.

Carol motioned to closed the Open Meeting at 7:46PM and motioned to go into Executive Session to
“Discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, r discuss the discipline or dismissal of or complaints or charges against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.”

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

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 7:46PM. The Open Meeting will not reconvene.

                 

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 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