Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

November 27, 2018

6:00PM Open Meeting

In Attendance: Carol A. Francesconi, Robert S. Ciskowski
Absent:      
Press: iBerkshires, Berkshire Eagle

Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
 
6:30PM
Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting.
Carol read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s November 20, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane: (Home)

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  
- Created a Release Form for liability for participants in programs offered at the Cheshire Community Center.
- Received a Cheshire Lake Use Permit for the Berkshire Geobash Fire and Ice event scheduled for Saturday, February 9, 2019.
- Inquiry received regarding a marijuana business enterprise.
- Requested a meeting for the Finance Committee on December 11, 2018 at 6pm.  Approved.
- Spoke with the Building Inspector regarding the payment of an on-line permitting program. Mark advised that municipalities cannot pre-pay for goods or services.  
- Mark will be checking into electric company solicitations.

Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Weekly report submitted.

Christine Emerson:  
- No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Berkshire County Listening Session, Thursday, December 6, 2018 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  Presented by the Rural Policy Advisory Commission, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Suite 201, Pittsfield.
- Department of Housing & Community Development.  Community Development Block Grant- Community Development Fund (CDF) FY 2018 Environmental Release- The Town of Cheshire     

Mail:  continued
 Grant #00823.    Cheshire-New Marlborough Housing Rehab Program.  Has cleared environment review for Program Year 2018.  Mark will be calling Berkshire Regional to start the project.
- Carol read Minutes for November 2018 for the COA written by M. Gwozdz.
- Letter from Resident, Irene Bator, offering two suggestions.  “For the hiring of a new Town Administrator, invite a third person from another small town to be on the committee.”2.  "Once the Town files the current paperwork, the January session of Legislators could focus on it, and send to Governor Baker for signature.  This would allow from the annual May Town vote, as full complement of a 5 member select board.  Thus eliminate any need for anyone filling in and a costly special future vote."
- Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.  State Route 116 Reclamation and Paving Project was not recommended.

- One day liquor license issued to Whitney's Farm Stand LLC for 11/29/18.  $50.00

Carol and Robert continued the discussion regarding the hiring of a new Town Administrator.
- The hiring of an interim employee was not something Robert was in favor of.  Robert said, "It is more important to move on and have continuity."  He said he would consider hiring one of the three candidates on an interim bases and then, "We will see what they are capable of and what they are not capable of. At the end of this period, they could hire the candidate outright, wait for the May election, or open up the entire process again with a new board."  Mark voiced that he did not feel the gridlock would end. Robert said, he was willing to compromise.  Mark will be checking to see if any of the three candidates would consider this opportunity. Although Ed St.     John IV withdrew his application, Robert felt he would want to extend the offering to him also.  Robert said, "My concern is that my actions and yours we may have poisoned the candidates.  I     don't know what they have been following so I don't know what they think of Cheshire or whether they want the job anymore or not." Mark will report back to the board 12/4/18.

- Although Mark's plan was to retire the first of November, he would be willing to consider staying on until May.

Resident, Gary Trudeau:
- Questioned the two selectmen as to what was important to them in the candidate. Carol said, "It has to be the right fit.  Experience.” Robert said, "The job entails a lot.  He wanted someone that respected their opinion, had dedication and could direct the board to proceed on the right path and to have the ability to bounce things off of the BOS ."

Carol asked Robert if he had any questions or concerns.  He did have 5 concerns for Blair but would wait until next week when he is present.

Carol:
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:10pm; seconded by Robert.  
A unanimous vote was taken.
         
Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk

November 20, 2018
6:00PM Open Meeting
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires and The Berkshire Eagle
                  
Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
6:30PM Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting. Carol read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s November 13, 2018 meeting minutes. The date for a continuous conversation regarding the hiring of a Town Administrator should have read Tuesday, November 20th. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane: (Arrived about 7PM-road patrol)
- 22.5 hours of overtime.
- Snow plowing and salting – 8:30am to midnight- subcontractor called in. 
- Snow plowing and salting (4am – 3:30pm.)
- Snow plowing and salting (4am start) no subcontractor. 
- Changed rear tires on BRTA van to winter set.
- Fountain wrapping scheduled next week – Vinnie Bruso.
- Winter sand available to residents at town garage.
- Burial.
- Safety Inspection Report received and submitted to the BOS.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber  
- By taking advantage of the County Bid Consortium, we paid $2.53/gallon for heating oil.  Today’s average among seven (7) county oil dealers is $2.90/gallon. 
- DEP oil spill notification  at O’Connell’s on November 17, 2018.
- Responded to a public records request from the Berkshire Eagle seeking all documents over the past three (3) years related to any Town settlements.
- FYI.  The Town of Cheshire is responsible for tires for the van.
Note: A letter will be written to Water Department member, Mr. Donald Rueger, regarding attendance.  
Cheshire Community Center, Peter Traub:
- Submitted a copy of programs and events for the Council on Aging at the Community Center.
- Spoke with EDM regarding a Cheshire Elementary School Code Review.  Due to the inspection previously completed, it may be possible that the cost may be $2K for a code review.  EDM will report back to Carol with a firm cost analysis.
Resident, Charmaine Paquette:
- Ms. Paquette Voiced her opinions regarding recent statements made by Selectmen Robert Ciskowski regarding the interviewing process and in particular to the age discrimination comments towards candidate, Ed St. John III.  She said, “It is disgusting – it is age discriminatory-  it is against the law and St. John III should sue the Town. You should resign” The heated discussion continued with Selectmen Ciskowski saying he felt he (St. John) did not have the experience necessary and questioned Ms. Paquette if she wanted anything else from him.  In an effort to end the disparaging comments, Carol Francesconi thanked Ms. Paquette and ended the confrontation.
Carol:
- Reported water on the gym floor at the Cheshire School.
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Weekly report submitted.
Christine Emerson: 
- No issues or concerns.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Appreciation Letter received from Leslie (Holmes) LaPlante for his daughter, Jodi Drury’s use of Cheshire Elementary School for children from the NA Armory. 
- MassDOT.  Bridge Inspection Reports for:  Sand Mill Road/Dry Brook (C-10-002 (03G) Sand Mill Road/Dry Brook C-10-003 (03H) and Notch Road/South Brook C-10-016 (03L)
- DEP RTN 1-20720 Gasoline Release/O’Connell Oil Associates, Inc.
Carol:
- Opened the Town Administration opening by: “I would motion to appoint Dan Delorey as  Interim Administrator .  If we hold a Special Election in February, people will have to run again in May. By appointing Dan an advertisement for a Town Administrator could take place at the end of March. Then, the new BOS could make the hiring decision.
Robert:
- Understands that he is a longtime Selectmen, but felt, “The Selectmen are part of the problem.”
 “Let’s look outside of town – the town could use a new perspective.  We would be better off.”
Carol:
- “It is for five (5) months and the Selectmen have not done a horrific job.  By appointing Dan Delorey the Town Administrator position could wait until the next election. He knows the employee characters, he knows the budget, and learning would be at a minimum.”
Town Administrator’s Discussion:
Robert:
- “Not sure.” He said,” There is a steep learning curve and wanted to narrow it down to one (1) person.”
Carol:
- Suggested Dan.
Mark:
- Typically, an interim is for a short time and “Holds down” what’s happening.  Mark was willing to stay on for a few months.  Carol said, “No, an agreement was made for him to retire and that should be respected.”
Robert:
- “A candidate pulled out.  Robert said Carol’s  “Wait and See” attitude was taken.”
Carol:
- My understanding was that we both agreed on a “Wait and See” attitude.
Robert:
- You said, “Motion to have Dan Delorey as the Interim Town Administrator for five (5) month.  “I do not second that motion.”
Carol:
- “What is your recommendation?”
Robert:
- “To make a motion to offer Tom Spiro the job.”
Carol:
- Carol gave reasons why she would not vote yes.
Robert:
- Robert said, “Then offer the job to the other candidate, Ms. Carr.
Carol:
- Carol offered her reasons why her vote was a “No.”
Carol:
- “We are going nowhere.”
Robert:
- “I offered two (2) motions.”
Carol:
- “So, you are saying I am obstructing the procedure?”
Robert:
-`Well, you were the one with the “Wait and see what happens” attitude.
Carol:
- “We both agreed on the “Wait and see what happens” you did not motion a Special Election.”
Robert:
- Things aren’t going to change. In the minutes there aren’t many motions and votes.
Carol:
- Do you want a Special Election?
Robert:
- “Too late for it now.  In the past we got along without a Town Administrator.”  He wanted another person besides Dan Delorey.
Town Clerk, Christine B. Emerson:
- Offered a compromise.  “Dan Delorey was a good Selectmen – he is an excellent figure man – he can get us through to May – he is a perfect fit – everyone knows him – and he could hit the ground running.  This compromise could work.”
Robert:
- “Have nothing else to say.”
Carol:
- “Are you saying to go without a Town Administrator until the election in may?”
Robert:
- Not comfortable with the one (1) person Carol motioned for.  “What other options are there?” “He would be comfortable with Town Accountant, Lynn Lemanski.” He felt she had the skills, personality, and knows all employees and is well respected.
Chris:
- Due to the ethics, she may not be able to do both.  Mark will have to check.
Lynn:
- Happened to be standing in the doorway and when asked if interested, she responded that she had not had time to consider the position. She said, “ She could continue to work.” Mark noted he would not be in Cheshire.
Robert:
-Questioned Blair regarding Lakeshore Drive grading. Blair was unable to get there with the grader due to rain.  What was done is better and acceptable to area residents.  Robert suggested purchasing a new grader but realized the costs and recommended researching used equipment. Robert said, “We have many other pressing issues, but wanted to make Blair aware of his thoughts.”
Carol:
- Carol said, “Thought all along we needed a grader.”
Blair:
- “It may cost six (6) figures and you may still have to put a lot of money into it. He needs to find research and report back to the BOS.
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:25pm; seconded by Robert. 
A unanimous vote was taken.
Respectfully Submitted,
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
 

November 13, 2018
6:00PM Open Meeting
In Attendance: Carol A. Francesconi, Robert S. Ciskowski
Absent:     
Press: iBerkshires, Berkshire Eagle
Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
 
6:30PM
Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting.
Carol makes a motion to accept the Board’s November 6, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken. An Addendum will be included regarding the discussion taken at 6pm about Town Administrator candidates at the November 6, 2018 meeting.
The selection of a Town Administrator candidate discussion continued.  Robert read a letter of resignation stating that he was willing to vote for resident and candidate, Ed St. John IV, but would not be remaining on the Board of Selectmen. He felt there was "too much of a generational difference" and a philosophical difference on his part to be able to work cohesively.  Additionally, he felt pressure to hire Ed St. John thus partly the reason for his letter.  When Robert questioned Carol if she would vote for the candidate Robert preferred, she voiced, "No" and stated her reasons.  Robert did not submit his letter of resignation to Town Clerk, at this time, and both agreed to further discuss options for the position.  Carol suggested an Interim Town Administrator or possibly have Mark continue on until a new hiring procedure could take place.  Fortunately, Mark is flexible and timelines were discussed for advertising and the May election when new two new Selectmen will be elected.
The discussion will continue on Tuesday, November 23rd.
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Weekly Activity Log submitted for:  11/7/18-11/13/18.
- Pothole patching of Fisher Hill Road, Stafford Hill Road, West Mountain Road, Stewart White  Road, and Jenks Road.
- Fountain wrapping to be completed this week.
- Town docks will be taken out on 11/14/18.
- West Mountain Road to close on 11/15/18 at 8am. 
- Snow expected 11/15/18.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber  
- Received a description of desired uses of the Cheshire School from individuals interested in  leasing sections of the school.
- Registered the antique fire truck.
- Blair handled an apparent vehicle damage claim caused by a pothole by informing the person  that the Town follows Mass General Law which states that the Town is not responsible for  personal property; we'd be responsible for limited personal injury only.
- Scheduled Blair to oversee the boiler inspection on 11/15/18 at the Cheshire School.
- Regarding Medicare eligibility to two (2) town employees (one current/one retired) hired prior to 1986.  Findings will be reported to the BOS next week.
- Spoke to Kathy Stevens at DOT District 1 regarding the reimbursement process for the money  we paid to the BRPC for the Complete Streets application. A grant was received for the planning phase and this expense is fully covered under that program.  However, it is administered under  the State's Chapter 90 program so the reimbursement is essentially the same.  Blair will need to complete the package and submit it to the District 1 office in Lenox for processing and reimbursement. 
- A response was received from Attorney Christopher Jee of the Attorney General's office regarding Pine Valley's new lease calling for surcharging for occupancy beyond two (2) per unit. Although the Attorney General's office wrote and published the "Guide to Manufactured Housing Community Law," they stated "your question goes outside the bounds of manufactured housing community laws".  Attorney Jee recommended contacting our Town Counsel.
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
Christine Emerson: 
- Thanked Blair for personally moving the election equipment and to the road crew who picked up the political signs.
Carol:
- The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Sunday, December 2, 2018.
- Met with Berkshire Body on 11/12/18 to observe the cafeteria area size.  The resident would like to utilize the area for an exercise business starting in January 2019 and if acceptable would be willing to pay 25% of the earnings.  The BOS will check with Gerry Garner before signing  a Lease. The decision is On Hold.
Talks regarding the hiring of a Town Administrator continued with Carol voicing the possibility of having an Interim person until there is a full BOS in May.  Perhaps working with their own choice would be ideal.  The advertising could take place in the beginning of March with interviews happening in April noting that the May election would take place on May 6, 2019.
- Robert felt the new Selectmen may be overwhelmed or may come in with their own Agenda.
- Mark suggested starting fresh.  He recommended re-advertising and possibly holding a Special Election.  Carol and Robert will be taking this week to think over the best manner in which to proceed. This discussion will continue on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
 
Mail and Correspondence:
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:45pm; seconded by Robert. 
A unanimous vote was taken.
       
Respectfully Submitted,
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk

November 6, 2018

6:00PM Open Meeting

In Attendance: Carol A. Francesconi, Robert S. Ciskowski
Absent:      
Press: iBerkshires, Berkshire Eagle

Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
 
6:30PM
Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting.
Carol makes a motion to accept the Board’s October 30, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted a Weekly Activity Log for 10/31/18-11/6/18.
- All weather sensitive equipment has been moved inside under cover for the winter.
- Oil tank at school has been filled with 8800 gallons of oil.
- Inoperative fire exit signs have been repaired and new batteries installed to make them operational.
- Safety violation of missing railing on mezzanine in garage has been fixed by adding a section of railing.
- Fire alarm heat sensors are back up and operational.
- Road repairs - drainage, shoulders, ditching continue.
- Will continue with repairs and bucket patching this week and next as weather allows to finish out the blacktopping season.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Copier in the Annex repaired.
- Sent information on the Whitney Solar project to Town's PILOT specialist for the purpose of     working with the solar operation to develop a PILOT Agreement.
- Follow up note sent to the AG's office regarding the extra tenant’s language in the Pine Valley     Lease.

- Carol and Robert will be meeting individuals interested in leasing the Cheshire school on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.


Carol reported that the Cheshire Community Center's new furnace has been installed.  Additionally she spoke with Town Counsel, Ed St. John III, regarding the leasing of the Center.  All individuals must sign a release form.  If an activity is a public service and sponsored by a Town Board, they may charge for their services.  If it is a business, not offering a public service, then a fee would be charged. No fee to be charged if a public service offering.  A fee may be charges at the discretion if not during regular hours.  A fee schedule has been a long standing policy.  However, Carol will speak to Anna Farnum, the Chairman of the Cheshire Council on Aging, to clarify fees.   It was noted that it would be appreciated if the Town Administrator was first notified of changes/programs at the Center.  This information would then be passed on to the Board of Selectmen. COA, member Gene Gebrowski, reported the importance to growing the group and offering new workshops and activities for Cheshire residents.
- Carol updated the BOS on the structural progress being made at the Fire House and the timeframe for the ceiling tile to be completed by Wooliver & Sons, Inc.

- The student enrollment numbers, as of October 2018 are as follows:
Adams elementary school       291
Cheshire elementary school  75
Adams middle school       300
Cheshire middle school        92
Adams high school          251
Cheshire high school       101

Total for Adams:  842
Total for Cheshire:  268

Town Administrator suggested asking the total number of elementary school students and to what schools are they enrolled.

Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Submitted Weekly Report.
- Cheshire Police Department award grant for $12,026 for tasers, training, and equipment.

Christine Emerson:
- (Managing Voting) at Cheshire Community Center.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Email received from Representative, John Barrett, regarding Cheshire Board of Selectmen Home Rule Petition changing the number of selectmen from three (3) to five (5).  Comments and edits are required by the BOS and then to be returned to Representative Barrett for filing with the House Counsel.    

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:00pm; seconded by Robert.  A unanimous vote was taken.

        
Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk

October 30, 2018
6:00PM Open Meeting
In Attendance: Carol A. Francesconi, Robert S. Ciskowski
Absent:     
Press: iBerkshires, Berkshire Eagle
Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
 
6:30PM
Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting.
Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting. Carol read the minutes and made a motion to accept the Board’s October 23, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken Robert motioned to accept the Executive Session minutes; 2nd by Carol with a     unanimous vote taken.
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted a Weekly Activity Log for 10/24-10/30/ 2018.
- Road grading to continue.  Harbor Road yet to complete.
- One day left on grader rental.
- Ten (10) tons of cold patch in stock for the winter ahead.
- Part one of DLS inspection completed.  Inspector to follow up.  Numerous issues to correct and repairs in motion.
- Winter salt is at capacity.  Winter sand is in the yard for residents.
- Pot Hole Complaint; Fisher Hill Road and Hutchinson Lane.
Greylock Advisory Board, Gary Trudeau:
- Updated the BOS on the various upcoming programs at the Mount.
- Mr. Trudeau suggested the group work on a better system for advising visitors regarding the time frame for parking.  This initiative will be discussed further.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- In conversation with Workmen's Compensation case adjuster regarding current claimant.
- Letter sent to the AG's office attorney in charge of manufactured housing mobile home parks  division regarding the newly discovered item in the Pine Valley lease calling for a rent surcharge  for additional unit occupants beyond two (2).   This is included in the new lease document,  which is effective November 1, 2018.
- Received notice of a one-time increase in Chapter 90 highway funding in the amount of $39,926.
- Mark requested the Assessor's Clerk and the Treasurer to come up with an available Overlay Reserve amount in the event that funding may be necessary for additional firehouse roof and or other town building expenses. Another Special Town meeting would be necessary to  appropriate those or any other available funds, if necessary.
- Scheduled interviews for the position of Town Administrator for Thursday evening.
A presentation was given by Director Erica Girgenti, of the Adams Council on Aging, Adams, MA 01220 regarding a Senior Transportation Services Intermunicipal Agreement between the two (2) towns. The Agreement outlines the usage of a donated new Nissan Rouge vehicle from Fallon Health Group for the purpose of addressing the transportation need of seniors to health facilities at a distance.  Qualified volunteer drivers will assist in the process; $.54 cents/mile + $20/person+ driver rate of pay.  Usage of volunteers will always be looked to first, omitting the driver rate of pay. Monthly reports will be submitted to the Town of Cheshire and future changes will be resolved between the two (2) agencies. Erica will be in charge and will use her discretion regarding additional usage.
Carol:
- Attended the Massachusetts school Building Authority meeting and reported that due to recent  newspaper articles, the SBA felt the school was not ready to go forward.  Carol defended  Cheshire as promises were made in the  past to fix the school before it became a district  building.
- There are two (2) programs. One (1) is a CORE program which includes all envelop problems.
- The second program is the Accelerated Repair Program.  The ARP program is for roof, windows,  doors, boiler (new) only.
- Adams is budgeting $250K for third party evaluation of the building.
- After a third party review, there will be a better idea of the repair needs and costs.
- The group felt the district was not prepared for FY18 but could reapply for 2019/2020 for either repairs or a new construction.
- A feasibility study for new construction would cost between $600-$800K depending upon whether there would be multiple sites under consideration.
Robert:
- Commended Carol for carrying out the incredible amount of work she has accomplished with fire house repairs, school issues/maintenance/meetings.  Robert said, "Carol's time and effort is outstanding."  Mark concurred.
Carol:
- "The roof on the fire house will be restructured by the end of the week.  Inside repairs will follow."
- The part for the Cheshire Community Center furnace did not repair the problem.  A new furnace will be installed on November 2, 2018.
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Submitted Weekly Report.  Carol thanked the Chief for a great Halloween event. 
Christine Emerson:
- No issues or concerns.
  
Mail and Correspondence:
- Solitude Lake Management.  Increased Sonar herbicide treatment options due to increasing dominance of tapegrass (Vallisneria americana.)  A single year cost is $48,700 or with a one-year contract for 2019 (discounted) - $40,750.  A three-year contract was also available.  A discussion will take place with Ray, Fisher, Lake Recreation/Preservation District volunteer.
- Cheshire Council on Aging minutes for October 2018.
- Letter certifying Chapter 90 apportionment for Fiscal Year 2019 is $239,559.  The new supplemental amount of $39,926 has been approved.
- Notice of Intention to Convert Use and Removal of Property from Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 61A Classification/Peter I. Whitney and Eric Whitney, 221 Ingalls Road, Cheshire, MA.
Cheshire Liquor Center, Owner:
- Advised the BOS that he will be meeting with Dan Condron to discuss a plan regarding the stream by his property so an overrun does not reoccur. Carol will speak with Fred Balawender about trees crossing the stream and the removal thereof.  Carol reminded the owner that theTown of Cheshire has no jurisdiction of the State Bridge and to contact the MASS State Highway in Lenox, MA. Carol assisted with general information for filing a Notice of Intent with the Cheshire Conservation Commission.
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:45pm; seconded by Robert.  A unanimous vote was taken.

        
Respectfully Submitted,
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk

October 23, 2018
6:00PM Open Meeting
In Attendance: Carol A. Francesconi, Robert S. Ciskowski
Absent:     
Press: iBerkshires
 
Board conducts the business session of the meeting by reviewing and approving weekly payroll and vendor warrants.
 
6:30PM
Carol opens the regular portion of the meeting.
Carol makes a motion to accept the Board’s October 16, 2018 meeting minutes. Robert seconds the motion. A unanimous vote was taken.
 
Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted a Weekly Activity Log for 10/17/18-10/23/18.
- Road grading and repairs.
- Mowing grounds and roadsides.
- School Winterization.
- School system is running; mostly by manual control.  Old section is winterized, lines blown out and boilers shut down.
- Road striping completed.  Submitted a  4” waterborne yellow striping mileage schedule.  Completed 23.04 miles with the total road length in feet of 121,650 at a cost of .042 off County Bid - $5,109.30.
- Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards inspection on Thursday.
Carol made a motion to accept Blair’s Snow and Ice Removal Policy; 2nd by Robert.  A unanimous vote was taken.
 
Carol motioned to schedule an Executive Session on 10/30/18 at 5:30PM; “To consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real estate, if the chair declares that an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the public body.”  Seconded by Robert with a
unanimous vote taken.
 
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Planner, Will Sukula, presented the Application for the Community Development Housing Rehabilitation Grant for Carol to sign. Mr. Sukula stated that individuals can contact the BCRP for applications to be completed for the grant.
 
Issued two (2) one (1) day liquor licenses to Whitney’s Farm Market LLC - $100.00
 
Signed a Retail Package Goods Store License to Jay Krishna Corp/Green Acres Packaging & Variety at 1613 South State Road, Cheshire MA 01225.  Liquor License Transfer.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Mark wrote an Emergency Waiver Request for roof repairs at the Cheshire Fire Station.  It was sent to the DCAMM, the State agency charged with issuing waivers (or not) for building construction/repair projects covered under the State's procurement laws.  Approval notification was received on October 18, 2018 and a copy was forwarded to Town Counsel.
- Additional signatures were needed for Chapter 90 reimbursements.
- A Draft Lease Agreement was prepared and once signed it will be sent off to the North Berkshire Collaborative for their signature. ($1,600/month)
- Mark completed research checks on the nine (9) candidates for the Town Administrator's opening.
- Received notice of good member credit from MIIA for $2,697 which will be applied to the Town's next insurance bill.
- An organization has expressed interest in leasing a portion of the Cheshire School and asked if the BOS could meet on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 5:30pm in Executive Session per:  GL 30a,  Sec. 21a(6). "To consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real estate, if the chair declares that an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the public body.
 
7:30PM Carol motioned to go into Executive Session (Section 8.)
 Roll Call:  Carol A. Francesconi, Yes and Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes.  A unanimous vote was taken.
 
7:56PM The BOS returned from Executive Session. "To consider or interview applicants for employment by a preliminary screening committee, if the chair declares that an open meeting will have a detrimental effect in obtaining qualified applicants.  This shall not apply to any meeting  regarding applicants who have passed a prior preliminary screening."  A scheduled open  meeting for interviewing selected candidates will take place on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at5:30pm; 6:00pm; and 6:30pm at the Cheshire Town Hall. This meeting will be open to the public.
 Roll Call:  Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes.
 
Carol:
- Questioned Christine Emerson about the moving of election materials to the school.  Christine reported that the teens at “The Armory” attending the Cheshire School were a great help and the BOS requested that a Letter of Appreciation be forwarded to the teens for their efforts and assistance.  Christine also thanked Michael Biagini for his exemplary help.
Resident:
- Resident complained about two (2) foot deep pot holes on Sandmill Hill Road and the potential for automobile damage.  The BOS will report this to Blair.
Cheshire Police Chief, Tim Garner
- Submitted Weekly Report. 
Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.
 
Mail and Correspondence:
Announcement:
- The Cheshire Trick or Treat will take place on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.
COA, Peter Traub:
- A discussion took place regarding the use of for profit individuals not being charged for the use of the Cheshire Community Center.  Carol presented Peter with a schedule of Cheshire Community Center fees in use.  Peter will approach the individuals charging fees for their services yet not paying for the usage of the center.  Additionally, he will be responsible for securing waivers for non-liability.
 
Robert:  Attended a meeting he attended:  MSBA Meeting on October 17, 2018 at C. T. Plunkett.  He reported that there were about seven (7) people in attendance.   People from the State including their consultants, Robert, an Adams Selectmen, Adams Interim Administrator, Erika Snyder, Superintendent of Schools, and Principal, Michell Colvin. Robert was in awe with the amount of approximately 27 repairs needed at the school originally called C. T. Plunkett and now Hoosac Elementary School. Robert’s notes are following and ended with the meetings closing remarks,
 “Do the school building shortfalls affect education?  I think they do.  I wish both buildings could have been critiqued like this by an outside agency before the decision was made of which school to close.” 

Notes: 

- Fourth grade may come back to Plunkett from Hoosac Valley-maybe.
- Oil plume from the gas station might be an issue.
- Nine roof leaks in the gym.  Kids run around pails.  Eleven leaks in the auditorium.
- Water in the Art Room.  Water leaking down the elevator shaft and collecting.  Water leaking into the electrical system area.
- Roof was done in 1992, but it leaks.
- Heating pipes burst, water-related alarms.  There have been evacuations that are disruptive.
- The third floor is hot.  The gym and the auditorium are cold.  Heat is not even.
- A lot of toilet troubles.  Multi-floor sink clogs.
- Electrical is awful and outdated.
- All floors ADA accessible.
- No computer lab; no science lab.
- Use whatever space available to create space for interventions and privacy.
- Teachers use stage for classroom.
- Not all Pre-K have bathrooms.
- There are windowless spaces, a lot of windows don't open, windows that open have no screens, no air exchange system in the building.
- Some fire doors don't close properly.
- The main entry floods.
- The entrance camera is not right.  No security cameras generally, two on the first floor.
- Noted was Adams commercial tax rate is not at maximum.
- Music class sitting on dark stage in auditorium.
- Gym has water-stained walls, ceiling, and floors.
- Leaks in the electrical service area
- Exterior steps chipped and cracked.
- The building says, "Plunkett" however the name is, "Hoosac Valley Elementary."
- Library exterior wall has water damage.
 
- Cheshire has always sacrificed for education, but the low tax rate is a double-edge sword; we are feeling infrastructure problems from delayed action on buildings, highways and bridges, and highway equipment.  Cheshire took money from Stabilization Fund.  Cheshire trying to sustain Cheshire Elementary School Building.  Adams' tax rate high or highest.
- State looking for a conference call in a couple of weeks.  One State official thought it looks like the towns are not ready.
- Adams Interim Administrator remarked how Memorial closing affected downtown, and Adams doesn't want another downtown school to close, as would be the case if a new elementary school was built up at the Hoosac Valley site.
- Noted that Adams has closed many elementary community schools over the years.  Cheshire saw the need to consolidate much earlier than Adams did, consolidated to central school in the 1920's.
- Look at all Adams has downtown.  If Memorial closing affected them, imagine how closing Cheshire School has affected Cheshire?  It was our social hub.
- Cheshire School is still a strong issue.  I was told that we are going through a healing time.  I explained that closing our school was just the cherry on top of the sundae; there has been tension between the Towns for quite some time.
- By Robert:  Closing remarks, do the school building shortfalls affect education?  I think they do.  I wish both buildings could have been critiqued like this by an outside agency before the decision was made of which school to close. This was the Authority's last school to look at in this cycle.  About 80% to 90% of the schools don't get into the program.  If the Towns want to proceed and were chosen to proceed, a nine-month incubation period with a study committee would be next.  A consultant would have to be hired, and this preliminary work could be expensive.
- Resident, Fred Jayko questioned, "Who said Adams would pay for the repairs?"  This issue will be discussed further.
 
Carol:
- Reported that the heater part for the Cheshire Community Center is being shipped and she voiced that a new heater may be coming in the near future.
Carol:
- The BOS signed the ABCC 2019 Seasonal Population Increase Estimation Form dated 10/23/18.
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
8:40PM.
       
Respectfully Submitted,
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
_______________________________________________________________
Carol A. Francesconi, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk