Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

May 9, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires
Robert opened the meeting at 6:30PM and motioned to waive the reading of the minutes for May 2, 2017. All members had received the minutes previous to tonight's meeting; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, John Tremblay:
- Presented to the BOS a flyer that will be used to advertise the Summer Music Block Parties on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 and Wednesday, August 9, 2017. Where:  Town Hall Center.  Time:  6:00pm-8:00pm.  A request,  in writing, is forthcoming seeking the approval for using the cheese press logo for tee shirts/ prints and other fund raising means.   All proceeds will benefit the Cheshire Community Association (CCA).

- Notified the audience that all comments and questions will be addressed at the end of the open meeting.

Town Counsel, Ed St. John III
Robert: In an effort to better understand the recent events concerning the Adams-Cheshire Regional School Districts School Committee's decision to close the Cheshire Elementary School, the processes for addressing the two (2) recent citizens petitions, and the legal/proper procedures needed to go forward, the BOS requested guidance from Town Counsel.
-    Town Counsel reviewed the challenges faced with the two citizen’s petition and the use of free cash and the stabilization account for approximately $300k and noted that there are procedures that have to be followed with the Department of Education. He noted that the town is unable to transfer money in this manner and the agreement totally would have to be amended. Once the amendment is approved the district can change the budget to indicate an increase.  This action would need to go before both towns in a town meeting.  Should   the towns pass new budgets and the town meeting does not vote to use the reserves to fund, this could also lead into an override vote. St. John noted that the towns cannot tell the school committee which approach to take. Carol also questioned if the $300K is secured and given to the school district, can the money just be put into the operation of the district, and could the closing continue?  This has to be further investigated.

Outside Fundraising:   St. John reported that an outside fundraising effort is a tax exempt situation and  a 501
(c) (3) would needed to be in place. Resident, Mr. McLain, reported that the petition group is prepared to go forward with the paperwork and processes to become 501 (c) (3). It is imperative that the town follow the procedures so litigation does not follow.

- Suggested meeting with the individuals involved with the petitions to clarify what exactly is happening and why the BOS makes the decisions they do. Mr. McClain left the Advisory Board meeting and met with the BOS to go over the situation as it stands this evening.
- Would like to offer a “Baby Town Meeting” to explain the articles and any questions regarding the handling of the petitions and the State process for doing  so.
- Informational Meeting to review the articles for the upcoming Cheshire Annual Town meeting will take place on Monday, June 5, 2017 -  7pm @ the Cheshire Community Center.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Busy week with a lot accomplished.
- Mowing.
- West Mountain Road is opened.
- Floating dock rescued.
- Worked on catch basin on Stafford Hill Road.
- Addressing repairs to the blown hydraulic line on  sweeper.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Reviewed and edited changes in articles for the upcoming June 12th Annual Town Meeting.
- Will be reviewing the process needed to change from three (3) to five (5) Selectmen.
- Plowing and caring for private roads.  Mark will be calling the attorney general for the correct
verbiage for the continuance of plowing private road for fire, and police access. Going further regarding the possibility of maintaining private roads is another issue. Mark will discuss 6c and 6n of the MGL with the Attorney General.
- Worked with the BoH regarding the removal of a resident for unsanitary conditions. Elder Services is involved.  It was necessary to condemn the house and the house needs to be cleaned.
- Placed in all mailboxes, at Cheshire Town Hall, a Memorandum for Recycled Procurement Policy.
- Mark will address changes made to  the articles on the Warrant.
- Completing  MIIA application for insuring the Cheshire Elementary School.
- Reported that co sponsorship was approved by an aide to Adam Hinds. He will send a similar letter that Gailanne Cariddi wrote in support of receiving monies from the State which would go the general fund of the district
- The Bid for Emergency Water Repairs is due back May 30, 2017 by 7PM. The advertisement will be in The Eagle next week.
- Spoke to Eammon Coughlin and Tom from BRPC regarding amendments to Zoning Bylaws.
- Physics instructor requested the use of Cheshire Lake for a Recycle Regatta. All boats will be made out of recyclables.   Answer tabled until Mark has the school secure insurance coverage.
- Under advisement; monthly elevator  inspections.

Cheshire Planning Board Chairman, Donna Defino:

- After a discussion with Mark and the BOS, the request to have a Moratorium on Marijuana Dispensaries, Donna announced that it will be put on HOLD. Due to the need of two hearings and the timeframe allowed, there is no time to complete everything appropriately for this year’s town meeting.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:    Weekly Report Submitted.
- Reported three tractor trailers were seen using Henry Wood Road. BOS suggested posting a sign to deter trucks from using the road.

- School Reuse Committee on hold pending lease.
- Noted the need for an additional member to the Cheshire Advisory Board. Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   No issues or concerns.
- Reported that the Library section of rebuilding the gutters would cost approximately $20K-$40K. To do all gutters; estimates are needed.  Grants would be needed to correct the problem.

Mail  and Correspondence:
- Race Amity Day Proclamation date set for June 11,  2017.

Audience Question:   Peter Traub
- Can the town legally maintain private roads? The answer will be coming from the Attorney General.

Carole H.:
- Called Attorney Grandchamp to follow up on Clairmont fence viewing issue.

With all business final, Robert motioned to close the meeting at 8:45pm; seconded by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

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

May 2, 2017

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

Robert opened the meeting at 6:30PM.  Carol motioned to have Robert S. Ciskowski as the Cheshire Board of Selectmen Chairman; 2nd by Ed St. John. Carol motioned Ed St. John IV as the Cheshire Board of Selectmen Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds; 2nd by Robert.  Robert motioned to have Carol as the Cheshire Board of Selectmen Clerk; 2nd by Ed.

Carol read the BOS meeting minutes of April 25, 2017; resident, Peter Traub, requested to change the date of the COA Open House to read Sunday, April 30, 2017.  Robert motioned to accept the minutes as amended; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Met with National Grid’s energy efficiency division and energy analyst.  Surveyed the Town Garage, Fire House, Senior Center and Town Hall.  An assessment is expected back within two (2) weeks with recommendations.
- New tires have been mounted on the New Holland boom mower.
- Approximately half of the towns gravel roads have been graded.  Rainy weather is slowing the process on some of the steeper terrain.
- Blair attended the Berkshire County Highway Superintendents Meeting in Lanesborough last Thursday. 
- Continued patching Route 116.
- New truck has been lettered.
- National Grids Forestry Contractor was in town last Friday to take care of some tree issues.
- Future Issues:  Outlook Avenue ditch cleanout. Waiting for the ground to dry out to be able to make a recommendation.
- Various snowplowing cleanup requests are coming into the office.  The department will tackle them as they come in and as weather permits.
- Wells Road to be shimmed tomorrow if the weather will cooperate as well as mowing later in the week if things can dry out.

Resident, Michelle Whitney presented the BOS with two (2) citizens’ petitions to be placed on the upcoming Warrant for the June Annual Town Meeting.  The petitions involves $300,000 to come from the Stabilization
and Free Cash Accounts.

Petition 1
Thirteen (13) signatures.  (To be certified by the Town Clerk)”We, the undersigned registered voters of the Town of Cheshire, MA, do hereby petition the Select Board pursuant to MGL Ch. 39, S. 10, to include the following articles on the Warrant for the Annual Town Meeting to be held on Monday, June 12, 2017:

To see if the town will vote to:

1. Appropriate from certified free cash the sum of $150,000 to fund continued operation of the Cheshire Elementary School grades pre-k through 5 for FY 17-18 only.

2. Appropriate the sum of $150,000 from the Stabilization Fund to fund continued operation of the Cheshire Elementary School grades pre-k through 5 for FY 17-18 only.

3. Appropriate the sum of $300,000 to keep Cheshire Elementary School open from grades pre-k through 5 for FY 17 – 18 only.  If articles 1 & 2 on this petition are approved, this article will not be necessary.
4. Allow outside fundraising to offset and reduce the cost of continued operation of the Cheshire Elementary School grades pre-k through 5.”

Petition 2
Two hundred thirty one (231) signatures.  (To be certified by the Town Clerk)
Emergency Amendment Pursuant Section VII (B) of the Agreement between the towns of Adams and Cheshire, Massachusetts-Allowing The Town of Cheshire to Pay Additional costs to keep Cheshire Elementary School Open.
“Amendment pursuant to Section VII(B) of the Agreement Between the Towns of Adams and Cheshire, Massachusetts, with Respect to the Formation of a Regional School District, to allow the Town of Cheshire to fund continued operation of the Cheshire School without contribution by the Town of Adams, notwithstanding any provision in the agreement regarding apportionment and payment of costs incurred by the district, which provisions shall be considered amended consistent with this petition.  This petition is for an emergency amendment to our district agreement.  It will allow the Town of Cheshire to pay any additional costs to keep Cheshire School open for grades PreK-5th grade without any additional cost to the Town of Adams.  Please sign and join us in our fight to fund Cheshire Elementary School.  All signatures must be from registered voters in the Town of Cheshire.”
This petition will be delivered to the School Committee and a similar petition by Adams residents will be submitted.

- The Cheshire BOS are unfamiliar with the proper procedures and protocol for the articles as the town meeting does not allow for changing the budget. It was thought that the school committee would have to rescind their vote, and the final decision would be up to the school committee.
- Voiced concerns about using the stabilization account as typically it is used only for emergencies.
- Ed suggested having an informational meeting for resident’s to review the town articles before the meeting.
Carol:  Suggested scheduling a meeting for Town Counsel, Ed St. John III, for Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 6:30PM to review the concerns.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:   
- Reported the resignation of Cheshire Advisory Board Chairman, Denise Gregoire.  Mark is unsure of who will take over.
- Met with Blair to review the FY18 budget. 
- Pothole near the high school reported; repaired by the end of the day.
- Met with ACRSD Superintendent Putnam today.  Mark noted that Representative Cariddi has sponsored and included an amendment to the State FY 18 budget. In the seven (7) pages of amendments the important language for the town is as follows:  “Provided further, that not less than $100,000 shall be expended for grants to the Adams-Cheshire regional school district for the purpose of offsetting increased costs”. The BOS suggest Mark contact Adam Hinds for a similar act of support.
- Tonight the warrant will be closed to additional articles.  Time should be scheduled for May 9th to review the draft warrant and budget.  A revised list of free cash items was submitted.
- Needs to execute a State contract for the Board of Health.  This is done every several years and is necessary for them to receive future grant money.  New Selectmen Chair needs to sign along with the signature and seal by the Town Clerk.
- MIIA, the Town’s insurance carrier, just came out with new minimums on what will be considered as an “occupied” building for insurance purposes.”  31% or more of a building must be occupied.  Mark sent our agent the Town’s property card and told them to give him a quote on this more reasonable value – about ½ of what the current insurer has it valued at – with the assumption that it will hit the 31% minimum occupancy.
- Will add an article for maintenance of dirt roads limiting to grading and maintenance flexibility of drainage structures.
- Awaiting article regarding a moratorium on marijuana dispensaries from the Cheshire Planning Board.
- The school district hired a Facilitator of goodwill.  The position is for one (1) year.

- Discussed the plans for the upcoming Memorial Day Parade and special activities for the day.
- Would like to appoint the Building Reuse Committee.  The BOS will review the list of volunteers on May 9th.

- Reported that school children have handed in their essays and she called the high school regarding the marching band for the Cheshire Memorial Day Parade.
- Tim Garner reported that the food is all set.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- Carol motioned to close the Warrant; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

- Reminded Mark to prepare the Bid for Emergency Work for the Cheshire Water Department.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Discussed two (2) grant possibilities for the town.  Suggested the town go for the Green Community Grant.  He had spoken to Gerry Garner and he felt there was no reason not to go for the grant.
- Additionally, there is a grant with five (5) criteria for a competitive program for the lake area where there are needs for remediation plans to correct erosion.
- Peter was going to speak with Blair and the Cheshire Lake Association.  The BOS agreed to go forward and to report back to the BOS providing there is no cost to the Town.

Carol read the 2018 Appointments:

Cheshire Police Department: FY 2018 Roster:

Chief of Police              Tim Garner

Staff Sergeant             Alison Warner

Officer                        David Tarjick

Officer                        Joe Charon

Officer                        Michael Alibozek

Officer                        Trish Carlo

Officer                        Corey Demary

Special Police Officers               
                        Peter Mazzacco
                        Paul Maloney

Town Administrator
Procurement Officer
BRTA Representative                Mark Webber

Selectmen’s Secretary
Adm. Asst. Town Adm.
Planning Board Secretary          Carole Hilderbrand

Superintendent of Streets
Tree Warden
Measurer of Wood and Bark
Inspector of Ditches                Blair Crane

Treasurer                              Rebecca Herzog

Accountant                           Lynn Lemanski

Town Counsel                        Edmund St. John III           

Building Commissioner
ADA Co-ordinator
Zoning Enforcement                Gerry Garner

Local Building Inspector            Mark Kruzel

Inspector of Wiring                 George Sweet

Assistant Wiring Inspector        Leslie Rhinemiller

Inspector of Gas/Plumbing        Bruce LaPerle

Assistant Inspector of Gas/Plumbing        John Burzimati

Emergency Management Co-ordinator       Corey Swistak

Assistant Emergency Management            Fred Balawender

Animal Control Officer
Animal Inspector                    Myron Proper

Keeper of the Pound                Everett Martin

Director of Veterans Services
Veteran Burial Agent                Roseanne Fieri

Right To Know Co-ordinator      Richard Francesconi

Farm Commission                    Kenneth Egnaczak
                                          Michael Balawender

Appointments continued:

Fence Viewers
Members of Farm Commission   Kenneth Egnaczak
                                          Mark Warner
                                          Fred Balawender

Vocation School Program        William Craig

Representatives Arts Lottery
Council North Berkshire Arts Council
                                        Jill Reynolds

Recreation Committee          Robin Poirot
                                       Heather Emerson
                                       Andrew Kachel

Delegate to Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management Program

                                      Richard Salvi

Rent Control Board
Memorial Day Parade           Board of Selectmen

Conservation Commission     Carol Francesconi
                                       Leah Kruszyna
                                       Raymond Killeen

Emergency Management Committee
                        Carol Francesconi
                        Ed St. John IV
                        Robert Ciskowski
                        Richard Salvi
                        Francis Waterman
                        Travis Delratez
                        Blair Crane
                        Timothy Garner
                        Thomas Francesconi
                        Corey Swistak

Council on Aging                Donald Pulver

Historical Commission         Dawn Daniels
                                     Barry Emery
                                     Gus Martin

Board of Registrar of Voters    Elizabeth King  (3 year)

Election Official                    Alison Warner

Assistant Election Official       Ronald Lancia

Fire Chief                            Thomas Francesconi

Zoning Board of Appeals         Thomas Zappula
                                         Dale Grimshaw
                                         Stephen Marko
Alternate Board of Appeals Member        Robert Balawender

Robert motioned to appoint the above appointments:
Carol abstained from voting for Thomas Francesconi and Richard Francesconi.
Ed abstained from voting for Edmund St. John III.
2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Mail and Correspondence:
- April 27, 2018.  Letter from the Hoosac Lake Recreation/Preservation District.  Weed treatment will take place on Monday, May 1, 2017.
- National Grid.  Yearly Operation Plan showing treatment areas.
- Race Amity Day Observances in Massachusetts Consistent with H2745, Chapter 163 of the Acts of 2015.
- Letter to Sandra Smith by Blair J. Crane regarding denial of a driveway permit on the east side of Richmond Hill Road.

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

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

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.

Robert continued:
- 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.

Brent Fields:
- 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.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds


April 18, 2017

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino,  Robert S. Ciskowski, and Carol A. Francesconi  
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier

Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Superintendent Putnam:
- Dr. Putnam discussed the possibility of utilizing the Cheshire Elementary School building this summer to house a summer day camp for fifty (50) to sixty (60) Cheshire children during the months of July and August.
In the past, this program was permitted and was covered with liability insurance that the group pays.
- Robert voiced his opinion that he was not ready to be a landlord and that a plan was needed.  He felt he did not want to be pushed into a decision and he was not ready to use the building.
- Carol was of a different opinion and felt the children shouldn’t be punished for the situation Cheshire is in now.
- Carol requested that the BOS take a week to review.
- Dr. Putnam then inquired about the special education program that had utilize the building be permitted to use Cheshire Elementary School in the summer.  The program is a district sponsored program and has been placed in different facilities in the past.
- The third request was for the central office remaining at the building.
- Robert noted that first it was one program, then two, and now three.  He felt it should be left up the voters as to how to use the building.
-  Carol noted that, “Yes, listen to the voters, but it is the Board of Selectmen’s final decision.”
- Dr. Putnam had no problem with the one (1) week decision delay as he would be proactive in seeking other locations.

Town Resident, Jeremy McLain:
- Informed the BOS that he is a part of a group of Cheshire residents who are pursuing to have over two hundred and fifty (250) residents sign a petition to have state representatives find emergency monies to keep the school open.  Mr. McLain said, “the amendment would allow the Cheshire to fund  the school without increasing the Adams assessment share.” Time is of the essence.
- Carol stated that the town does not have enough free cash to fund the school.  It is thought to cost between $350K and $400K to keep the school open.  Carol said the town needs a Proposition 2 ½ override which would have to be passed at a town meeting and a town vote before the fiscal year of July 1.
- The BOS agreed to meet with the school committe to go over the proper process.

Highway Department, Blair Crane:
- Blair checked on the status of the new truck.  While inspecting the truck he noticed small details that he wanted taken care of before ownership took place.
- Reported that there are at least 32 lighting fixtures with twenty (20) not operating in the town garage. 
- Mark will research possible energy LED lighting programs.  Carol noted that at the least, new bulbs should be installed.  Mark will also check with George Sweet regarding NationalGrid upgrades.
- Trucks are being inspected.
- Servicing mowing equipment.
- Working on pot holes.  The Pittsfield asphalt company is closed for another month.
- On schedule for updating necessary operating licenses.
- Progress is being made on the cleaning and reorganization of the town shed.
- Sand Mill Bridge on schedule.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- ABCC Hearing date for the Cheshire Liquors, June 13, 2017 at 2:30PM, ABCC office, Boston, MA.
- Working on Annual Town Meeting Warrant.  Seeking three (3) free cash transfers:  new police cruiser at $40K; a new fire station generator at $14K; free cash transfer for a yet to be determined amount to fund the upkeep or mothballing of the Cheshire Elementary and; reduce the tax rate using a yet to be determined number.
-  Police Chief Garner reported that the 2008 cruiser has 138K miles and he suggested donating it to Special Olympics for their use in annual Law Enforcement Torch Run events.  He feels the vehicle is worth approximately $1K or less and the dealer may or may not take it in on trade.
- Received information from Erika Snyder regarding Cheshire Elementary School maintenance costs.  Mark noted that it was not a complete list but a start.
- Other articles to be included or considered are:  private road maintenance language; article for 3-5 Selectmen (to be drafted by Town Counsel); political sign bylaw; rescind semi-annual Town Officers meeting; rescinding Town bylaw on Town Clerk fees, and marijuana dispensaries.
- Maintenance and or plowing of private roads is addressed by accepting the following sections of M.G.L. Chapter 40: Section 6C for snow removal and Section 6N for the maintenance of same.  Section 6N grants the ability to draft and adopt a Town by law that requires specific language for the maintenance to be done, such as grading only or includes drainage, charging betterment fees, etc.  This one can get a little involved.  Mark has asked Town Counsel to provide an opinion on how to take the vote.  Section 6C refers to Section 6D, which speaks about an election ballot for the same purpose.  Mark will check to see if both need to be done or just the Town Meeting article.  Private roads impacted by the adoption of M.G.L. 40, Section C: Wood Lane, Wells Road Terrace, Coolidge (Kittlers Sunrise Terrace), Pitt Road, Willow Lane, Willow Cove, Shadowland Cove, Horn’s Beach Road, Quarry Road, Crusher Road, Cheese Factory Lane, Meadowbrook Lane.
- Requested the BOS to set a date for the closing of the warrant for acceptance of articles.  This typically done 3-4 weeks before the posting deadline of May 29, 2017.  The Selectmen, by vote of the Board, can re-open the warrant to accept an article any time up to the posting of the Warrant, and then re-close it.
-  Discussed hourly rate of building maintenance personnel.  Carol motioned to raise the hourly rate by $1.00/hr; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted. Discuss Fred Jayko’s trash issues.
- The Chief reported a fantastic turnout for the annual Cheshire Egg Hunt.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- Rescind:
Article XVI:  Meetings for Town Officers, Elected and Appointed.  A Meeting of all elected and appointed Town officials shall be held in a Town building on the second Wednesday of April and October at 7:00PM, for the purpose of communication between the various boards and departments of the Town.  The Meeting shall be chaired by the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen.  Unanimously passed at Annual Town Meeting, June 24, 1996. Approved by the Attorney General, July 17, 1998.

Fee Schedule for Town Clerk
Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates (Certified Copies ) $3.00
Abstract of Birth, Marriage and Death Records $1.00
Entering Amendments to Birth, Marriage or Death Records    $2.00
Copies of records pertaining to Birth, Marriage or Death  $2.00

Marriage Intentions (Filing intentions, Certificate of Marriage    $10.00
     And Marriage Certificate)

Fee Town Receives $1.00
Voter Card $2.00
Business Certificates $2.00
   Additional Copies each $1.00
Gasoline Permits  $5.00

Approved by the Attorney General, August 20, 1995.

By-laws for ATM June 12, 2017.
Rescind Bi-annual Officers Meeting By-Law
Rescind Town Clerk Fee Schedule By-law
Create By-laws:
Private Roads care Chapter 60
No campaign signs or playbills on Town property.  Signs placed on private property must be removed 48 hours after the Election date.

Warrant Articles for ATM:
Care and cost of closing Cheshire Elementary School.
New copier for Town Clerk/Selectmen’s Office (this year or next).


POLLS OPEN:   9:00 AM TO 7:00 PM

Resident, Eileen Quinn:
- “Earth Day”.  Residents will be sprucing up the town of Cheshire on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10am to noon.  Contact Eileen Quinn at 717-0673.

Cheshire Board of Health:
- Reported mechanical motor issues with the transfer station.  The BoH hopes to have it running by the weekend.
- Paul noted that he wants to discuss further town employee holidays.  Specifically, he noted that the transfer station was closed on Monday, Patriot’s Day.  Carol noted that the Cheshire Town Employee Handbook would have to be reviewed before any action could be taken.

Mail and Correspondence:
- License issued to Marc Bellaud, Solitude Lake Management authorizing the application of chemicals for the control of nutrients, algae or aquatic plants to Hoosac Lake, Cheshire, MA.  Letter dated:  March 30, 2017.

- Reminded the BOS to review the financial options, disadvantages, and advantages in rental out the  Cheshire Elementary School.  Further discussion to take place on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.
Carol also wanted it noted that she has received complaints about the Zombie Acropolise Game being played at the Cheshire Elementary School. According to the Chief kids/teens play a tag game dressed up as Zombie. In one case, a couple was out for an evening walk around the school and was swarmed around by teens thinking it was funny to threaten them.  Chief said in the past the game would be held at different residential homes. He felt, “At least the kids are safe on school grounds.”  Chief Garner will talk to the gamers to be more considerate.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:15PM; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds

April 4, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent: Paul F. Astorino  
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Superintendent Putnam:
- Stopped by to update the BOS on the status of recent events regarding the Cheshire Elementary School closing, budget issues, and the discontent between the two towns.  Statements were made by Robert and Carol that clearly voiced the unlikelihood that Cheshire would be passing this year’s budget.  Both Robert and Carol agreed that if at this moment they could dissolve the district, they would. The BOS believes the district agreement has not met the needs of Cheshire and feel the only thing shared between the two towns is the border.

Robert read the Board of Selectmen’s meeting minutes for April 4, 2017.  Carol accepted the minutes as amended to indicate that the Gideon Bibles were donated for the Police and Fire Departments by Gideon International; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Blair Crane:
- This report is submitted after two days on the job.  Blair reported that the new truck should be in next week.
- Presently repairing power equipment for storage for next year.
- Observing progress on Sand Mill Road Bridge. Blair noted that pavement cuttingwould take place next week.
- Guard rail replaced on Fales Road.
- Filling and patching pot holes.
- Servicing the road grader.
- Docks will be in the lake by the week-end (4/13/17).
- Viewed Galli property at 700 Outlook Avenue.  Blair reported that an excavator could not be used due to wet conditions at this time.  Blair will report back to the BOS when weather permits with recommendations.
- All equipment and supplies will be removed from the town garage and then reorganized.
- Robert reminded Blair that there are on line Hoisting classes and there may be a class in Taunton, MA in May.
- Cheshire Highway Superintendent cell telephone number is:  413-281-7965.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Reported that Blair will be hosting a chair saw safety course on Friday, May 19, 2017 at the Cheshire Highway Department.  The announcement came from Mass Rural Water Association.
- Mark received final numbers from the ACRSD business office.  They reflect a 3% increase for Cheshire overall.
- Met with Robin and reviewed the levy limit calculations.  We will be approximately $80K under the levy limit.  This figure is based on the current version of the FY 2018 budget and applying $170K of free cash to reduce  the tax rate.  This is the amount used last year and is a discretionary figure.  Also calculated in are conservative values for new growth and local receipts.  For the current fiscal year, we are $99,565 under the levy limit.
- Current certified free cash is $626,834.  Robin, Lynne and Mark will meet to verify actual and estimates.  The amount chosen to reduce the tax rate has a tax rate effect.
- Uses for free cash: generator for the fire station - $14K; an amount of taking the elementary school back, and a new police cruiser.
- Mark suggested that the BOS consider naming a Cheshire School Re-use Committee now that the decision  to close seems final.  Five (5) or seven (7) members would be appropriate.  It will still be up to the Selectmen to determine a final figure – which can only be a best estimate – to find the cost of carrying and protecting the building for the next year. 
- Announcement from Colonial Power, the Town’s electric supplier.  National Grid will have new rates, effective May 1 through October 31.  They are about the same as what we are getting from Colonial Power for the same period – National Grid is two-tenths of a cent higher.  Colonial Power rates hold through November 2017, at which time they will have a new rate, Mark believes, based on bid results. 

Resident, Fred Jayko:
- Reported continuous issues with trash thrown on Wells Road.  The BOS will report this complaint to the Chief of Police for surveillance.

Senator Adam Hinds will be at the Cheshire Community Center on April 24, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm.
“Speak Up Western Mass” public forum.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.

COA, Peter Traub:
- Announced a $1,000 grant award for the Cheshire Council on Aging.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Election Warrant signed.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 6:30-8:30PM.  Berkshire Communities Green Network at the Ralph Froio Senior Center, 330 North Street, Pittsfield, MA.
- DCR.  Cease and Desist for cutting plan for John Gwozdz.
- Forest Cutting Plan for Farnam Goodlife, Quarry Road.
- Charter payment ($2,753.24).

Nomination of Inspector of Animals was signed and certified by Christine B. Emerson, Notary Public.

One Day Liquor Licenses for the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club ($150).

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the meeting at 8:05PM; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds


March 28, 2017

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino,  Robert S. Ciskowski, and Carol A. Francesconi  
Press: The Courier (Cory Willey)

Robert read the Board of Selectmen’s meeting minutes for March 21, 2017.  Carol accepted the minutes and noted that Candidates Neil Baker for a 3 year term on the Cemetery Commission and Donald Rueger for a three year term on the Water Commission should be included; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Peter noted that the Sand Mill Bridge project will start next week.  Weather conditions have slowed the projected time start.
- Sand and salt account at $179,905.20 which is under by $94.00. 
- Preparing for forecast of sleet on Thursday.

- Questioned the status of the Galli ditch.  Peter will be viewing the area once the melting of snow allows him to.  Attorney St. John III forwarded the decision held that the overflow of water on the “Lombardi land was no different than it would have been without the culverts.  Therefore, the culverts did not enhance or alter the natural drainage across Outlook Avenue.  Anything else that drains onto the Lombardi property would have been there irrespective of the culverts.”  Attorney St. John agreed with Carol that the town is obligated to keep the culverts clean of debris but didn’t think that the town has any further responsibility to the property owner to perform any additional maintenance work.  The matter will be taken up once Peter has had a chance to observe the area.  Peter will report back to the BOS on 4-4-17.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Researched employment references and made an offer of employment to Blair J. Crane.  The offer was accepted. Mark will schedule an introductory meeting on 4-4-17 at 6:30PM and he is working on an employment agreement for the Highway Superintendent. Mark scheduled an Executive Session at 6pm on 4-4-17.
- Completing a draft for the town report for the Selectmen.
- Executed and returned back to the BRPC the agreement for their work on the Complete Streets program.  Paperwork was sent to the MA DOT coordinator, Kathy Stevens, State Aid Coordinator at DOT District 1 and BRPC.
- Working on FY 2018 budget and levy limit calculations. Mark will distribute the latest budget version this evening. Mark asked if a new cruiser and new generator should be on the warrant.  Answer: “Yes.”

- Requested Mark to get estimates to have the Town Hall gutters repaired.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Inquired if Mark had checked into mitigation grants for the generator.  Mark has been in contact with the state regarding any possibilities for grants.  Carol will ask the fire department to submit an estimate.  To get the emergency army surplus generator working it could cost approximately $5,800.  Robert originally felt repairing the surplus equipment was the way to go.  However, after speaking with George Sweet he now feels a new generator is the way to go.

Resident, Ken Egnaczak: (Email)
- Carol received an email from Ken Egnaczak on March 12, 2017 requesting the Town of Cheshire to draft a resolution for pollinator protection.  The BOS will take this resolution up at their 4-4-17 meeting after they have had time to read the proposal.

- Reviewed the letter from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and the Age Friendly Berkshires, Innovations in Accessible Mobility grant from the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC).  It is for service providers who go outside their usual jurisdictional boundaries and transport individuals without access to transportation to pre-arranged medical appointments.  The grant runs through December 2017.  Carol recommended not becoming a part of the offering at this time.
- Robert also did research on the proposal and agrees with Carol that there are many pitfalls with scheduling and questioned if it is really needed.

Driveway Permit:
- Issued to Dixon S. Daniels on March 20, 2017 for 4.0 tenths of a mile from Windsor line on Richmond Hill Road.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

School Committee Member, Darlene Rodowicz
- Darlene presented an overview of the status of the Cheshire Elementary School closing.  She stated that she plans, “To propose the full budget and let the towns decide if they can afford it. This takes into consideration still hiring all new recommended positions.” Use of the Cheshire School was discussed as well as approximate increases to each town.  Paul inquired about the 90 day notice and the protocol to do so. Darlene ended her talk by saying there is, “No perfect solution.”
- Darlene was encouraged by the interest of parents and town residents in working together for a resolution.

Resident, E. Richard Scholz:
- Requested the BOS to change their stand on not allowing election candidates place their name signs on town property when running for office.  Mr. Scholz felt there were three areas in town where if he had the ability to post his name sign, it would allow for more visibility to voters who do not know him.  The BOS remained with no political signs posted on town property. The BOS recommended speaking with each resident where he would like to see his signs on private property and receive individual permission.  Mr. Scholz asked to see the
M.G.L. where it states their decision.

An Executive Session will take place on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 6:00PM, “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.
Motion to approve, Carol A. Francesconi, 2nd by Paul F. Astorino.  A unanimous vote was taken.

Mail and Correspondence:

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:15PM; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds