Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

October 14, 2014
6:30PM

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

Robert read the meeting minutes of October 7, 2014. Carol made a motion to accept the minutes as read; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Bus shelter project progressing.
- Received a Certificate for Post Accident/Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training/Cheshire Council on Aging/George Gilpatrick, FTA Consultant.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   In Library
- Requested the Board of Selectmen to sign the election Warrant.

Chief Garner:   Weekly Report submitted.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Dollar General did not submit an application to the Building Inspector.  A representative for Dollar General did have Carol A. Francesconi sign the section regarding no wetlands on the Route 8 property in question.
- Spoke with Dave Fabiano of Community TV in North Adams regarding the ComCast contract.  There will be a meeting/photo opportunity on October 29th.  Time and location to be announced.
- Complaint from Peter Armstrong of 44 Coolidge Road regarding a town water line repair.  Francis Waterrman assured the BOS that by the evening the issue would be addressed.
- Board of Selectmen suggested the Water Meter Reader wear a Water Department vest for identification. -  --- Submitted letter of appointment for Myron Proper, Inspector of Animals, for May 1, 2014 until
April 30, 2015.
- MS office installed on new computer. (Town Clerk’s Office.) All email accounts have been updated.
- Received an email from Kurt Boisjolie/DEP re: Pine Valley.
- Received wire transfer of $85,570 into the bank for Cheshire from AFG which covers the cost of the Scott air packs.
- Gathered winter materials bid information for Peter.
- Submitted booklet for county service providers from the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition.
- Set up on line reporting for Workers Compensation claims and reporting with MIIA.

Appointment letter will be sent to Veteran’s Agent, Rosanne Fieri.

Audience:
- It was reported that State Representative, Gailanne Cariddi, will be assisting in the Cheshire Clean Up on Saturday, October 18, 2014.

COA, Karmen Mitchell Field
- Updated the Board on requests from citizen’s group for scheduling activities and possibly using the Cheshire Community Center.
- Noted that she has a copy of the Veteran’s Blue Book.

Mail and Correspondence:

With all business finalized Carol motioned to close the meeting, 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Time:  7:38 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 7, 2014
6:30PM

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

Robert read the meeting minutes of September 30, 2014. Carol made a motion to accept the minutes as read; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken


Resident, Ron Lancia:
- Reported that the roads at the Pine Valley Mobile Home Park will not be blacktopped.

Carol:
- Review audit concern regarding trash bags inventory. Receipts will be put into place.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- (WRRP) Winter Roads Rapid Repairs.
- Blacktopping completed on Wells and Windsor Roads.
- Boat dock will be taken out by the end of October.
- Driveway Permit; Richard Perry, 114 Eastview Drive.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   In Library

Chief Garner:   Weekly Report submitted.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Dufour situation resolved with an agreement to pay 4 installments prior to June 30th.  ($37K)
- A letter will be send to Ed St. John regarding the number of dogs allowed on a residential property.
- Joe Boudreau stopped by to introduce his replacement, Matthew Andre.
- Checking into the Barrette Fund.  Michelle Whitney stopped by to discuss a plan for a new playground.  The Barrett Fund might be a perfect match for the playground project.  Mark and Michelle will meet to review
the requirements.
- Photos received from Tim McElroy regarding wood furnace smoke on Richmond Street- Kurt Boisjolie called
regarding roads at Pine Valley Mobile Home Park.  He said the DEP have no jurisdiction over the roads or construction issues related to the septic upgrade.  He is awaiting word from the project engineer to schedule a final inspection of the upgrades.
- BOS signed Chapter 90 contracts.
- Spoke with Tom Matuszko, BRPC, regarding the Central Berkshire towns forming a Veteran’s District.  Mark will explore the South County model.
- Submitted examples of noise ordinances for the BOS to review.
- COA grant for up to $1K application due November 30th.  Mark will review with Karmen.
- Carol signed letter of support for a grant piggybacking for the Community Software Consortium for Becky Herzog. Cheshire is a part of this DOR affiliated program.
- All AFG concerns addressed with the grant writer and everything is set for purchases and reimbursement for the same.
- Sent list of double utility poles, furnished by Peter, to Richard Ladd of Verizon.
- BRPC will be sending a survey to Rail Trail abutters asking for feedback regarding any negative living by the trail.
- New office computer needs Outlook and Office installed.
- Mark will check into the upcoming National Grid electric increase.

Robert:
- Suggested the creation of a list of services available for townspeople seeking different resource assistance.

One day liquor licenses for the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club; $100.00.

Resident, John Tremblay:
- Discussed possible upcoming town activities such as outdoor movie nights and block parties.

Board of Selectmen:
Following engineering advice, Carol motioned to deny the request for Vendor payment in regard to the water meter project, 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.  Carol; deny, Robert; deny, Paul; deny, and
Rick Guerney, deny.  (Water Department member.)  Note:  Francis Waterman, abstained.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Time Warner.
- Flyer:  Saturday, October 18th; Fall Clean Up. Rain date:  October 19th.

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

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

September 30, 2014

 

6:30PM

 

 

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

 

Absent:

 

Press: iBerkshires and The Courier

 

Robert read the meeting minutes of September 23, 2014. Carol made a motion to accept the minutes as read; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken

 

Present member of the Northern Berkshire Cultural Council nominated Maureen Riley-Moriarty to the council.  Ms. Reynolds’ will be submitting a letter of resignation.

 

Resident, Ron Lancia:

 

Updated the Board on the status of the sewer system at Pine Valley Mobile Home Park of which he resides.

 

- All proposed units to be on the system have been hooked up.

 

- Roads need repairs and paving.

 

- Lawns are ok.

 

- Mr. Lancia questioned if the system had passed and is legal.

 

 

 

One Day Liquor Licenses issued to the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club for $100.

 

 

 

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:

 

- Blacktopping taking place this week on Wells and Windsor Roads.

 

 

 

7:30PM  Verizon Pole Hearing – Curran Road

 

- Peter updated the representative of past pole issues of removal that have not been taken care of.

 

He stated the only time past issues receive attention is when a new Hearing takes place.  The representative requested a list of all pending concerns and he will give it to Verizon.  Paul motioned to approve the request; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

 

- Resident, Barry Emery submitted his general issue for 395 East Harbour Road pole issue since March.

 

The representative will call the construction manager to check into the concerns and request the job get done asap.

 

 

 

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   In Library

 

 

 

Chief Garner:   Weekly Report submitted.

 

- Halloween will take place on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014  5:30-7:00pm.

 

 

 

Robert: Questioned if the upcoming Evictions Hearing would address park issues.  Answer:  “No.”

 

- Questioned the status of education for mower licenses.  Peter stated, “Presently, no testing sites are available.”

 

 

 

 

 

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:

 

- Call received from Tim McElroy, Springfield DEP, regarding a complaint received about an outdoor wood furnace on Richmond Street.  It was suggested that Mark call the complainant.

 

- Bat incident.  Mark will follow through with procedures according to the Department of Agricultural Resources.

 

- Call from resident, Elaine Daniels, concerned about heavy chlorine smell in the drinking water.

 

- Spoke with Frank Petrulli/USDA regarding the water meter project.  The project has been closed out.  Mark will be speaking with Rebecca and Clark Rowell, the financial advisor, to let them know regarding the long term financing of the loan.

 

- Email regarding upcoming changes to wetland regulations.   New changes should be on line in one month.

 

- Submitted approved MA DOT contract for June/July rain event additional grant funds - $40,000.

 

- Gas leak outside the annex in the street.  Berkshire Gas has it marked. Odoriferous.

 

- Grant writer for the AFG grant for air packs needs to amend the submittal to include the cascade system which was inadvertently omitted from the application which was funded.

 

- Received a second request from New England Center for Investigative Reporting requesting payroll records.

 

All municipalities in the State have been contacted.

 

- Researching process for training to become a bona fide hearings officer.

 

- Submitted amended version of Cheshire employee discipline policy.  To be discussed on 10/7/14 with the

 

BoH, Assessors, Police, Water and Highway Department heads.

 

- Submitted for approval, a letter to the MA DOT regarding Rte. 8/Nobody’s Road crossing.

 

- No communication Bill Soloman of Time Warner.

 

 

 

7:50PM  Treasurer, Becky Herzog:

 

- Discussed the implementation of Semi-annual Preliminary Tax Payment System Effective FY 2016.  This would have to be accepted at the June Annual Town Meeting.

 

 

 

Water Department, Rick Guerney:

 

- Carol requested that reverse 911 be utilized in the future should there be an issue with the water.

 

 

 

Mail and Correspondence:

 

- Berkshire Gas Company.  Application for Permit for Gas Main Repair in front of 93 Church Street.

 

- Memorandum received from the Planning Board.  Fee increase:  Residential/Business; $400 with AG; $300 for special permits. The change takes place  as of September 30, 2014.  Carol motioned to accept the increase; 2nd by Paul.  A unanimous vote was taken.

 

 

 

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

 

Time:  8:05PM.

 

 

 

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

September 23, 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 September 16, 2014. Carol made a motion to accept the minutes as read; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. Correction for the September 9, 2014 Tax Classification Hearing.
Please note that the Assessor’s advised the BOS of conflicts for the date scheduled and would be available on
September 16, 2014.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Carol questioned if sidewalks were needed by Whitney’s/Nobody’s Road.  There appears to be
traffic generating from the rail trail to Whitney’s Farm Market.  Mark will write a letter to the MASS Highway.
- Met with Emily Stockman regarding East Harbor Road culvert.  In her opinion the project would cost approximately $100K.  The Army Corp of Engineers would have complete control of the project.  Project:  on hold.
- Will complete pipe project on Wells Road (replacement) before blacktopping/guard rail completed.
- Paul suggested installing “No Parking” signs on Richmond Street as people are parking on the street to do banking.
- Carol reminded Peter that the bushes on Richmond Street need additional trimming.

7:00PM  The BOS attended the Audit exit meeting with Scanlon Associates.  The BOS returned to the 7pm meeting at 7:41pm.

Resident, Diana Pikil.  Inquired about a noise ordinance for the Town of Cheshire.  Carol suggested speaking the Planning Board as well as calling the Cheshire Police Department to voice a complaint each time she has to endure loud music.

Robert:
- Questioned when does the BOS gets involved when there is a disciplinary action to be taken in other departments.  Mark noted that the department head would take action and then with knowledge the BOS could assist in its approval.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Town and lake area tax rate will be $11.94.  The State has approved. Mark reported that there are 351 cities/towns and Cheshire was #17 for receiving State approval.
- Presented the BOS with several examples of Job Descriptions to review.
- MIIA.  Signage could be used:  “Use at your own risk” in the area where, in the past, wood has been piled for residents to cut.  Do not supply chain saws.  Do not provide supervision. 
- Discussed the North Adams Cable TV renewal.
- Highway Department personnel injury.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber:   continued
- Amended contract of $40K to cover Highway Department expenses to repair rain damaged roads.  Due to Peter’s diligence in record keeping reports for reimbursement, he is prepared to meet the deadline of
October 30th.  It should be noted that several other towns did not submit an initial damage cost estimate to the State back in July.  Therefore, they will have no chance to complete the work by the end of this month as required and will lose out on this one-time free money.
- Checking into free computers offered by the BRPC.
- Training is required and a certificate of completion is received after successful completion for the position of Hearing’s Officer.

Robert:
- Robert was glad to hear MIIA’s response and, as a thought, suggested the town dump truck bring the wood to the resident’s home using a master list of people who are interested.  He asked the BOS and Peter to think about it as it would be a service to the community. Peter responded it would be difficult to schedule deliveries and was concerned about property damage.  Much of the wood pieces are  large chunks of wood and difficult to handle in general.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   In Library

Chief Garner:   Weekly Report submitted.

Henry Klein of Adams inquired about the property on Route 8 “Former Country Charm Restaurant.”  He inquired about possible future plans of the structure and the amount of acreage available.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Berkshire Gas Company.  Application for Permit; Lanesboro Road, Replacing telemeter.

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

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

 

September 16, 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 September 9, 2014. Carol made a motion to accept the minutes as read; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Guardrails should be down by Thursday.
- Ordered pipe to use by the Bushika house/Wells Road.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Spoke with Joe Boudreau of DOR regarding the implementation of Enterprise Accounting for Water Operations.  He and Dennis Mountain agree that it would be better to postpone the change over until the next fiscal year.  He noted to remember to amend the Water Operations appropriation article to reflect enterprise accounting rules at next year’s Annual Town Meeting.  The language should include “to be offset by user receipts”.  Joe retires in 43 days.
- Spoke with Tom Scanlon, Town Auditor, regarding the scheduling of an audit exit conference for September 23, 2014 at 7pm.
- Advisory Board approved the transfer for emergency generator transport.
- Veteran’s Agent, Rosanne Frieri, will be stopping by Tuesday evening.
- Draft disciplinary policy submitted for Selectmen review.
- Met with Sheri Biasin re: water meter reader position.  She will be meeting with the Water Commissioners to review the process and work schedule.
- George Sweet requested the BOS to take advantage of a National Grid light bulb purchase program for $404.00. Paul motioned to approve the purchase program; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.
- Reported that he will be working with Carole H. on tightening the weekly Agenda.
- Working on highway department employee job descriptions.
- Remind Lynne and Robin that on the DE1 page of the RECAP, Column F has no numbers.  Need to be plugged in.
- No response from Mick Garrold, MIIA insurance agent, re:  Town’ exposure with residents cutting firewood.
- Will check to see if there is any training requirement for being the Town’s Municipal Hearings Officer.

7:00PM Carol:
- Reread the Tax Classification Hearing notice to open the continuation hearing.  Mr. Martin and Mrs. Astorino were present.  After receiving a recommendation from Mr. Martin and an overview of past years classification
process, Carol motioned that the Town continue to be a single tax rate; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.  Mark thanked the assessor’s for their exemplary work.  The rate will be $11.94.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:


Chief Garner:   Report submitted.
- 90 day employment probation completed for part time Police Officer, Cori Demary.  An appointment letter will be issued.  Carol motioned to appoint Officer Demary until reappointments in May 2015; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, Bonnie Bressette:
- Reported no change in the pipe situation on Daniels Terrace.  Peter promised that the pipe will be installed before this winter.

Paul:  On vacation October 14, 2014.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Verizon.  Verizon job #1AOGR3D – Curren Road.  Hearing will take place 9/30/14 at 7:30pm.
- ecs Environmental Compliance Services, Inc.  for O’Connell Convenience Plus Shell.  Release Abatement Measure (RAM) Plan.

With all business finalized Carol motioned to close the meeting, 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Time:  7:50PM.

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

September 9, 2014

6:30PM

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

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

Town Attorney, E. St. John addressed how the Town could possibly create a “Potato Salad” project.  Carol submitted Barry Emery’s proposal for Town Counsel to review and report back to the BOS.
Robert inquired about the general public cutting downed wood at the Cheshire Transfer Station.  St. John suggested Mark contact MIIA regarding insurance liability.

At 6:51PM Carol motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss Pending Litigation. The 6:30 meeting will resume.
Roll Call Taken:  Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes.

7:08PM Carol reopened the 6:30PM meeting.
Roll Call Taken:  Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes.

7:09PM  Carol read the Annual Tax Classification Public Hearing Notice.  No Assessor’s were available to make a recommendation on single or double tax rates.  Therefore, Carol made a motion to continue the Hearing until next Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 7pm; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Audience: 
- Questioned Town Counsel regarding Annual Meeting rules, and the Dollar General border issues.
Carol noted that the BOS, the attorney, or any other board had received any follow ups regarding Dollar General.  Questions regarding meeting rules will be addressed once received in writing.
- Website request:  To show number of individuals reading each page.
- Questioned when the Executive Session minutes were made public.  Carol stated when the pending litigation was a closed legal case.

Carol:  Asked Carole H. to contact Emily Stockman in regarding to the East Harbor Road culvert and the necessary filing documents for the DEP.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Trimming and tree removal on Depot Street/Fales Road/Richardson Street and three (3) on Ingalls Road.
- Scheduling local education classes. (2A continuing education classes.)
- Flagman on Windsor Road guardrail project.
- Will pressure wash the two generator’s.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  At voting polls.

Chief Garner:

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- - Two surplus generators arrived and Peter will be checking them out.  Thanked George Sweet for his offer of assistance.
- Spoke with Joe Boudreau re:  Water Enterprise.  Process in place and will be working on a specific report (A-2) that is required to be filed as part of the annual Recap submitted by the Assessor’s in order to set the tax rate (October/November).  Working with the DOR to delay implementation of the Enterprise accounting until FY 2016. It may have been aggressive to expect to get all of the requirements in order in a few months following the town meeting in order to have all ready by tax rate setting time.  Will apprise the BOS as the project progresses.
- Working with Town Treasurer and Clark Rowell (Town’s financial adviser) regarding upcoming borrowing for the fire truck and highway truck.  Will consider possibly bundling them with the USDA water meter debt into one borrowing.  This could result in a lower interest rate.  Will report back to the BOS.
- Met with the Town’s insurance agent.  He clarified the situation of using a vendor/sole proprietor on a limited basis who does not have worker’s compensation insurance.  If this person was injured while performing a service for the Town, then the town would have exposure and be responsible under its police.  The audit would pick up the 1099 because MIIA’s auditor checks 1099 vendors to make sure they have WC certificates.  Those not having certificates would be added to the Town’s payroll.  The code for a meter reader falls under “waterworks” employee and the rate is #3.13 per hundred.  If the person made $3,000 annually, the increase to the Town’s policy would be $94 a year.  An employee of the Town would be the best match for insurance purposes if there was an individual who met the job description.
- MIIA requested an equipment inventory list from the Highway and Fire Departments of all items with a value over $2,500 such as air packs, jaws of life, pumps, etc.  These items go under a special equipment category and fall under a sub coverage category.
- Email received from Mark Stinson regarding the retirement of Bob McCollum.
- Reported a conversation with Tami at the Berkshire Regional Transit regarding the drug and alcohol screening testing.  Ed Gwozdz will be the individual to this testing – noting that he has already done the testing.
- Gathered information on reprimand/dismissal procedures for Town employees.  Once approved, it would be inserted into the town’s employee policies.
- Follow up note from East Main Street resident regarding the speed trailer.
- Submitted Advisory Board signed/approved Reserve Fund transfers.
- Attending a Municipal Law meeting on 9/25/14 in Holyoke.

Water Department, Francis Waterman:
- Carol motioned to hire Sheri Biasin for this round of water meter reading to get the meter read and working;
2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. When the project is completed the position will be reviewed.  Mark will contact Ms. Biasin. - Letters regarding the hiring of the position will be sent to those who applied.
- Mr. Waterman advised the BOS that there is a work change order regarding additional expenses for Mike Lahey and that the paperwork should be signed by the BOS therefore showing no conflict of interest.


Mail and Correspondence:
- ABCC M.G.L. c.138, 15 Sunday Opening Time Allowed at 10:00am.
- Elder Affairs Grant submitted by Karmen B. Field-Mitchell.
Email:  Gregory Farmer/National Register nominator for the Cheshire Town Hall & Library update.
- Time Warner via mail and electronically.
-  Seven (7) Applications of Eviction received from Kraus & Hummel.  Hearing set for October 6, 2014, Monday at 7pm in the Cheshire Town Hall. (Pine Valley Mobile Home Park.)
- Request from Hashim & Spinola – copy of Holly Drosehn and/or Cheshire Pressure, Inc. liquor license.

With all business finalized Carol motioned to close the meeting, 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Time:  8:08PM.

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