Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

December 9, 2014
6:30pm

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

Robert Ciskowski read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, December 2, 2014.
Robert  made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted, 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: - Attending to roads/snow storm.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Met with representatives of Kinder Morgan who came to give me an overview of the new gas pipeline route.  Involved may be 1.9 miles of South Cheshire, mostly along an existing power line right of way.  A total of six (6) landowners will be impacted.  The project is in its infancy stage and it will be a few years before it is constructed – if it receives its permits.  This is a federally licensed project.  No state licenses required.  Only local approvals are ConsCom, and they could be overruled by the Federal government although Kinder Morgan would prefer to resolve issues locally.  The route does go under a portion of what appears to be the middle basin of Cheshire Lake.  Additional local and regional public informational sessions will be scheduled over the coming months.  Kinder Morgan will also be meeting with the Towns of Hancock, Lanesboro, and Dalton.
- Meeting set for Monday, December 15, 2014 at PRPC offices to review and discuss the filing.  Administrators from impacted communities are the invitees.
- Cheshire will be hosting the January monthly county manager’s meeting on January 13, 2015.
- Spoke with District 1 DOT ROA person who said that he is waiting for responses to some of their questions posed to Bohler Engineering on behalf of Dollar General’s curb cut application.  He did not indicate what the timeline for a decision would be. The BRPC will conduct a peer review of the study at no cost to the Town.  Mark also informed the DOT of the peer study.
- Dalton will be the lead agency in submitting a DLTA planning grant application for the purpose of conducting a feasibility study on forming a Veteran’s District with Cheshire.
- Completed DLTA grant application for BRPC assistance in developing a Master Plan for Cheshire.  Carol signed and Mark will hand deliver to the BRPC along with the Bohler Engineering traffic study for Route 8.
- Spoke with Tighe and Bond regarding the USDA water meter replacement project.  Sent a reminder note to Town Counsel seeking a statement from him regarding the appropriateness of Waterman Excavating conducting work under the Town’s emergency water repair contract to find and address water service shut offs as needed to install some of the meters.  This is the last item needed by USDA to close out the project and to receive final payment and permanent financing.
- Received signed agreement for the new COA van from BRTA.  Awaiting RMV 3 paperwork from MIIA to BRTA to be finalized.  Contact person is David Brown at BRTA for the scheduling of training and pickup.
- Photo needed of the Kittay property for insurance coverage.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber…continued:

- Acuity Technologies completed their study of Town computers and equipment.  Individual work stations received a  9 out of 10 because they are up to date.  Demerits received for lack of off-site back up and no central server. Barry Emory will be consulted when he returns from Florida.
- Gerry Garner will be addressing the Board to seek approval for a new Assistant Building Inspector.  Jeremy Richardson is planning to resign and leave by the first of January 2015.
- Did not attend Receivership Meeting.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  
- Requested two (2) central lights outside of the Town Hall.  Approved by the BOS.

Chief Garner:   Weekly Report submitted.
- Discussed light/time sensors for the Police Department building.

Carol:
- The December 3, 2014 Eviction Continuation Hearing was continued until February 11, 2015 at 7pm
Town Hall.  Attorney Kelleher is working with the two residents to resolve payment issues by the above date.

Robert:
- Investigated further the feeding of water fowl.  As Mark stated previously, it is not nutritionally good for the fowl.   Discussed other Towns and how they addressed the problem with little to no success.
Audience:  Suggested having more informational flyers placed in areas known to be areas where individuals feed the fowl.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Petition of Western MASS Electric Company for approval of its annual Storm Recovery Adjustment Factor filed pursuant to its Storm Recovery Reserve Cost Adjustment tariff.
- Northeast Utilities System; planned and scheduled vegetation maintenance work on the transmission right-of-way in Cheshire.
- Mail copy to Bass Water Grill from the MASS DOT regarding the denial of guard rails in front of the restaurant.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the meeting, 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.
Time:  7:48PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen Secretary

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

December 2, 2014
6:30pm

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

Robert Ciskowski read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, November 25, 2014.
Robert  made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted, 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Everything is running.
- Chipper out for repairs; should be back this week.
- Salt coming in.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Will be attending an informational session at the Southampton Town Hall on Monday, December 8, 2014 to hear a presentation by the Assistant Attorney General on “Receivership.” A Receivership ship program is where the State finds a receiver who cleans up, repairs or demolishes a property at their expense.  The receiver then petitions the court to sell the property.  The receiver collects the money that he’s spent and the Town collects any outstanding liens with no cost to the Town.
- Emails sent to Tom Matuszko of BRPC and Kevin Whaler, ROA chief at MASS DOT re: curb cut for Dollar General as the possibility of the BOS requesting a peer review of the recent traffic study.
- Went to BRTA garage in Pittsfield to get paperwork to get the new COA van registered.  Sent in paper work to MIIA who will complete the task.  The COA van should be available for pick up next week.  Lettering has been completed.
- Working on liability coverage for the Kittay property.
- Acutity Technologies, a BRPC funded IT vendor, took inventory of all computers and equipment.  They will issue a report and recommendations for computer and IT needs.  There is no cost or obligation to act on their report.
- Contacted Town’ financial advisor to extend the current short term borrowing for the USDA water meter grant/loan project.  The current borrowing matures in 2 weeks and although the project is complete, the final loan closeout paperwork with USDA has not been completed. 
- Completed the amendment paperwork for the AFG grant for the Fire Department cascade system.
- Completed DLTA #1 technical assistance request to update the Town’s zoning bylaws.  Carol needs to sign and Carole H. will mail to BRPC.

Audience:
- Did not understand why all Town Departments had not submitted reports for the Annual Report.
Carol:  Will review the situation at the end of the month.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
Christine continued the conversation regarding department reports noting that most departments are part timers.

Chief Garner:   Weekly Report submitted.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Time Warner Senior discount letter.  A senior must meet the income eligibility requirements to receive the discount.
- Showcase to Success at McCann Vocational Technical High School on December 9, 2014.
- COA Report

Carol:
- Reported to the BOS that she read the traffic impact study performed by Ron Muller & Associates of Hopkinton, MA 01748 for the General Dollar store site and clearly understood the outcomes. She noted that the TMCs were performed during the weekday PM peak period (4:00 to 6:00PM) and the Saturday midday peak period (11:00am to 2:00pm) to collect peak hour date during times when both the adjacent street volumes are highest and the development generates the greatest volume of traffic.

Paul:
Reviewed the study and driveway width noting left turns will be difficult.

Robert:
Reviewed the study and noted no mention of the proximity to the Town Fire House.  He questioned how objective the company could be since they were hired by Dollar General and how balanced the report was.
Robert motioned to approve the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to do a peer review of the report; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken. It was noted that there will be no cost to the Town.

Audience:
- Thanked the BOS for moving forward with a peer review of the traffic study on Route 8.

Carol:
- Regarding water fowl.  In communication with Andrew Madden, Department of Water, Game, and Fisheries, there has to be a Town By Law to stop feeding water fowl.

Carol:
- Requested Mark to follow up with letters to Attorney St. John regarding Ordinance vs. Bylaw for fowl and Noise By laws.  She request Attorney St. John be invited to attend next week’s BOS meeting.


Audience:
- Inquired if it would be a good idea to put the traffic study on the Town’s website.
Carol:  “Not at this time.”

Meeting:  All Departments Annual Meeting, Tuesday, December 23, 2014  7pm.  Town Hall.

With all business finalized Carol motioned to close the meeting, 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.
Time:  7:46PM.

Respectfully Submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen Secretary

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

 

November 25, 2014
6:30pm

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

Robert read the meeting minutes of November 18, 2014. Carol made a motion to accept the minutes with the correction of Robert submitting information on property auctions happening in Adams, MA rather than Mark; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Inquired if Mark will be submitting two Technical Assistance grants to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.  Mark will be submitting a grant on behalf of the Cheshire Planning Board for continued assistance on the Cheshire Bylaws.  Mark will inquire with the BRPC if the town would be eligible for a grant to begin work on a Master Plan.
Carol:  Noted that a Master Plan is important but reminding the BOS that the upcoming budget will determine the Town’s availability to assist financially as there may be a 15% reduction forthcoming in the budget.
Carol requested Mark to continue writing the grants and to submit two (2) applications.

James Pasquini:
- Would like to resign from his position of Vocational School Co-ordinator.  Mark will meet with Jim to review the process.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Cleaning ditches and filling potholes.
- Trucks ready to roll for snow.
- Kittay property cleaned and secured.
- No progress on Kittay automobile.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:

Chief Garner:   Weekly Report submitted.
- Warnings issued for parking in the Fire Lane and No Parking area at Hoosac Valley.  Fines will be issued next time.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Spoke with Andrew Madden at the DWF whereby he stated there is no federal or state regulations against feeding waterfowl.  Other than being a nuisance, it is very detrimental to the geese and cause nutritional based defects in the young. More signs will be installed near residences along the rail trail.  Drafted a response to Mr. Costi who wrote the water fowl letter last week seeking assistance.
- Spoke with Colonial Power.  This is the group that has formed the 9 town Berkshire electricity buying aggregate.  He will add Cheshire to the group and will be getting paperwork to Mark to consider the language


Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  continued
to consider for an article to pass at a town meeting to join the aggregate.  Note:  This opportunity cannot come into effect until an article is passed by the townspeople.
- Received information that Kinder Morgan is strongly considering an alternate route for the gas pipeline that appears to go through a slice of S. Cheshire.  It’s called the New York Power line right of way.  Mark will report back to the BOS once he receives additional information.
- Left a message with MIIA representative seeking guidance on the need for property and or liability coverage on the Kittay property.
- Spoke with Tom Matuszko at BRPC regarding DLTA grant and Master Plan for Cheshire.  He indicated that his agency would consider partially funding a Master Plan provided that the Town pledged an amount for its completion.  BRPC, if it approved a request from the Town, would do preliminary analysis work towards a plan and BRPC would then be the vendor for a final master plan.  Presently, Mark does not have a figure on what a town meeting amount would be to complete a master plan.
- Received notice that the AFG grant amendment for the cascade system has been approved – with a caveat.  An 8 page Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation Screen form for the Fire Stations needs to be filled out and sent back to Washington.
- Drafted a letter to MassHighway District 1 requesting that they consider safety improvements (guardrails) in the area of Bass Water Grill Restaurant.
- Following up on status of Waterman and Water Dept. emergency repairs for USDA project.
- Time Warner renewal contract; in the mail. 
- Letter to Kittay to remove car in two (2) weeks.)
- Submitted copy of Northampton, MA ordinance: Feeding of Wildlife Prohibited.

Carole:
- Submitted Cheshire Planning Board Rules and Regulations copy.  BOS approved.

Resident, E. Richard Scholz:
- Submitted letter dated November 25, 2014.  Subject: Independent Peer Review of South Street Traffic Study by BRPC.
- Believes the “Traffic Study contains much data that is arcane and difficult to understand and evaluate except by individuals trained and skilled in the Traffic Science and Art.”  Therefore he would request that a Independent Peer Review be conducted by the BRPC.
- Requested the Cheshire Board of Selectmen to make formal request the BRPC to conduct a Independent Peer Review of 12 South Street with no costs involved.
John Tremblay:  Stated that the study was completed by the engineering company of Dollar General  MassHighway did not do the traffic study.
- Both parties were concerned that the study was not done at a high traffic time and questioned what time of the year the study was conducted.

Bob Soldo and Elias Casal:
- Issues regarding Cease and Desist to Mr. Casal to stop using a woodstove.  Gerry provided steps to take in order to utilize the woodstove.  Issue should be resolved with correct follow through by Mr. Casal.


Carol: 
- Would not be able to approve an Independent Peer Review until she read the traffic study and stated that she would like to postpone making a decision until next week as she has never made a harsh, quick decision in five minutes in all of her years on the BOS.
Paul:  “Next week will be fine.”
Robert:  “Disagreed.”
- John Tremblay.  Left the meeting and returned with the copy of the study.  All BOS members will receive a copy for their review.
- Requested Mark and or Peter to contact the DOT to see if a permit had been issued.  If so, this discussion is
obsolete.

Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission licenses signed for 2015 and submitted to the ABCC.  (5)

Mail and Correspondence:
- Western Massachusetts Electric; 2015 Yearly Operational Plan Submittal.

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

Respectfully Submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen Secretary


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

 

November 18, 2014
6:30pm

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

Robert read the meeting minutes of November 4, 2014. Paul made a motion to accept the minutes as read; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. (November 11, 2014 – Veterans Day – No meeting.)

Application for Driveway Permit signed for Brett Field, 248 Curran Road.

Photograph submitted showing white birch tree cut/vandalism.

Planning Board Chairman, Charles Howard:
- Discussed Mark Webber applying for an additional Technical Assistance grant from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to continue work on the bylaws.  BOS approved.
- Discussed the possibility of the BOS applying for a Technical Assistance grant to start the process of developing a Cheshire Master Plan.  Mark will check with the BRPC to see if this is a possibility.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Cleaning out the Kittay property.  Power off in two apartments.  Loading garbage to haul away.
- No issues.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   In Library

Chief Garner:   Weekly Report submitted.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Submitted press release to be issued by MIIA for the Town’s $5k safety equipment grant.
- Check received from McCann for reimbursement of FY 2014 student transportation costs.  Final Chapter 71 (school transportation funding) came in higher than the District’s budgeted amount for which we and other District towns were assessed. 
- Claim submitted to MIIA for Town fire hydrant that was destroyed by a motorist.
- New COA van is available.
- Spoke with Dalton Town Manager Ken Walto regarding the upcoming Veteran’s District issues.
- Executed two contracts from DEP for the Cheshire BOH for grant funding.  $500 to be used for shed roof shingles at the transfer station and $1,200 for the installation of a steel plate under the roll off because the pad is getting damaged.
- New Time Warner contract should be arriving from Bill Soloman. 
- Per Water Department, sent requests for certifications required by USDA for expending the remaining grant funds for the water meter replacement project.  Town Counsel and Town Accountant need to furnish statements before funding will be approved to cover already paid Waterman Excavating charges to the project.
- Discussed the Town ordered Public Auction process being used in Adams, MA for 17 properties.

Carol:
- Requested Mark to contact Attorney St. John regarding the noise laws in place in Lanesborough, MA.
- Carol would like to know if the noise ordinance has been approved by the Attorney General.

The BOS thanked Peter for his efforts in cleaning the Kittay house.

Christmas Tree Lighting:  December 7th, 2014 at 5:30pm at the Senior Center

Cheshire employee holiday get together; Tuesday, December 23, 2014 – Cheshire Town Hall.

Resident, Peter Traub;
- Inquired about a resolution to the geese dropping problem.  Mark advised Mr. Traub that he will be contacting the DCR and that he is working on the issue.  Additionally, there are already signs posted at the causeway regarding the need not to feed the water fowl.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Letter from Berkshire Regional Transit Authority/contract for insurance of 2014 Ford E350 for the COA.
- Letter and photographs from property owners who abut Cheshire Lake requesting an ordinance to make it unlawful to feed water fowl on the lake.  Mark will check further into this issue as it is believed that there is an ordinance on record from the State.

With all business finalized Carol motioned to close the meeting, 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.
Time:  7:49 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen Secretary

 

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

November 4, 2014
6:30pm

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

Robert read the meeting minutes of October 28, 2014. Paul made a motion to accept the minutes as read; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Carol
- Informed the BOS that rides to Veterans facilities were provided by Solider One.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Bell housing broken due to stress on the 8 year old truck.
- Number 2 truck out of commission due to transmission cooler lines
- Ordered salt, sand and sand/salt mix.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: In Library

Chief Garner:  Weekly Report submitted.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Submitted a $12K grant application to the Berkshire Taconic Fund for playground equipment.
- Myron inspected the fire house and will install flashing for $300-$400 to resolve the problem.
- Waterman crew sealing/repairing the gutter edge of Cheshire Town Hall today.
- Executed agreement with Dufour in which Dufour agrees to pay $4,657.50 a month starting in November and ending in June.  This reimbursement is for overpayment of $37,260 during 2013-2014 school year for
McCann Vocational High School transportation.
- Arrangements confirmed for Acutiy Technologies to make a free assessment of all computer/technology equipment at the Town Hall.  This is a service from BRPC and there is no obligation to take further action with them.
- Water replacement jugs will be arriving on Thursday.
- Will be checking further into the process and fine schedule for condemnation/securing of dilapidated buildings.
- Notice from MIIA that the grant application for the Highway Departments safety trailer has been approved for $5K.
- DEP notice about required actions for Cheshire Water Dept re: notification to customers and article in newspaper re:  bad water test results.
- Will write a letter to the MASS Highway for guardrails for the front of Bass Water Grill.
- Will prepare for the selling or tearing down of the Kittay property process in time for the Cheshire June
Annual Meeting.

Paul:
Made a motion to cancel the November 11, 2014 BOS meeting in observance of Veterans Day; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Robert:
- Questioned the status of the septic system at 77 Depot Street.  Rick Salvi will check the file and report
back to the BOS.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Berkshire Gas Permit.
- Berkshire Regional Planning Commission application for Technical Assistant program.

With all business finalized Carol motioned to close the meeting, 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Time:  7:46 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen Secretary

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

October 28, 2014
6:30PM

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

Robert read the meeting minutes of October 21, 2014. Carol made a motion to accept the minutes as read; 2nd by Paul with an amendment to take out the employees name in Mark’s report, a unanimous vote taken.

Carol:
- Reported a conversation with Teddy Jayko regarding the status of a cattle crossing sign.  Peter reported that the sign is on backorder.
- Mr. Jayko also inquired about the installation of a 40mph speed limit where the cattle cross.  Peter noted that he will install a CAUTION sign.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Possible snow Saturday and or Sunday.
- Completing patching.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   In Library

Chief Garner:   Weekly Report submitted.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Discussed the interior of the Kittay home.
- Received free cash certification notice from DOR. $235,630.  The increase we expected over last year ($246,339) did not happen due to the water meter loan not being closed out ($109,205).  That amount will not show up until next year’s certification.  The BOS thanked Lynn for her diligence in receiving certification so early in the process.
- Mark discussed the noise bylaw with former Lanesboro town administrator Paul Boudreau.  Mark suggested the Town use the Lanesboro bylaw.
- Received a call from Nathan at Bohler Engineering seeking town approval for access to the Krutiak/Dollar General site from Route 8.  Waiting for him to return the call.  Called Kevin Whalen, Right of Way agent for MassHighway to find out the status of Dollar Generals application for a curb cut on Rte. 8.  Waiting for a return call.  Mark believes that the granting access to the site from Rte 8 is probably not within the Selectmen’s authority.  Would defer to MassHighway if it’s only for pre-construction purposes.
- No response from Cheshire Parks and Recreation Committee regarding assistance in the Barrett Fund grant for playground equipment.
- Attending the County Selectmen’s Association meeting on November 6th to hear DVS Director Matthew McKenna’s address.
- Observed, with George Sweet, deteriorating flashing along the Rte 8 façade on the Fire House.  Will call John Butler to take a look at it before winter time.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- BRPC announced the new round of District Local Technical Assistance grants.  Mark suggested that the Planning Board apply for continued assistance in developing bylaws.

Carol:
- Read COA meeting minutes.

Mail and Correspondence:
-  Mount Greylock Advisory Council minutes of October 23, 2014.
- Conservation Commission Order of Conditions for Jayne E. DeAngelis  DEP#130-0162 proof of registration at the Registry of Deeds.

Rent Control Continuation Hearing on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 – 7pm Cheshire Town Hall.
Carole H. will call Eviction lawyer, Joseph Kelleher to check on the status of payments.

With all business finalized Carol motioned to close the meeting, 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Time:  8:02 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen Secretary

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