Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

March 13, 2018
6:30PM

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


Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented for March 6, 2018; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

6:15PM Carol motioned to go into Executive Session to discuss pending litigation; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. The 6:30 Open Meeting will reconvene.
Roll Call:  Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; Ed St. John IV, Yes. 
6:40PM
Roll Call:  Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; Ed St. John IV, Yes.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane/Plowing

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Due to weather conditions, the BRPC Green Communities meeting was rescheduled to April 10th at 7PM.
- The Water Commissioners have reviewed and approved a new employment agreement for Travis which goes into effect July 1, 2018.
- Spoke with Dr. Putnam and he will be attending Thursday’s meeting in Cheshire Town Hall on Thursday, March 15, 2018 with Lt. Governor and will explain the education grant that was mentioned by her office.
- Internet issue with Spectrum.  Resolved internet with IT person and all computers are operating.
- Budget sheets FY 19 have been updated.  Mark asked Robin and Lynn to do separate calculations and checks against levy limit.  This will be prepared for next week’s meeting.  Mark will send a copy to the Advisory Board.
- Rescheduled Jacob Zieminski for Marijuana presentation to March 20, 2018. Mark will be in contact with Town Counsel, Ed St. John III regarding his opinion on requested “Letter of Non-Opposition” for potential marijuana retail facility.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Noted that the Cheshire 225th Anniversary opening event celebration was very nice.
- Discussed the possibility of the COA receiving a donated automobile that could be used for residents needing transportation to Albany or Boston hospitals.  It could also be used as a taxi to airports. There are many issues that would need to be studied before an acceptance could be made.

Carol:- Requested Mark to prepare the Request for Proposals for the Cheshire Elementary School use be for Lease Occupancy and not For Sale. The two submissions were Dance Capade and Head Start from Pittsfield.


Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Report submitted.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Check from Charter for $2,576.26.
- Town Facilities Request Form from Michael Mucci, NB Youth Lacrosse.  (To be discussed.)
- Certified Return Receipt from New Ashford Planning Board for the Cheshire Planning Board.
- Cheshire Council on Aging reply to Adams Senior Center’s Hoosac Valley Senior Services Proposal. Carol questioned Mr. Traub on “A motion was proposed and passed to request the Town appropriate $5000 for general expenses and $3400 for FY 19.”  Mr. Traub said that was incorrect.
- Minutes for January 31, 2018 for the Cheshire Council on Aging Meeting.

With all business finalized at 7:30PM, Carol motioned to adjourn; 2nd by Ed 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 Groundsv

March 6, 2018
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St.

John IV
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires

Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented for February 27, 2018; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

The resident of 38 Prospect Street and two teens approached the BOS with an inquiry regarding the possibility of building a skate board/scooter park in Cheshire.  Mr. LaChance will look into the costs and availability of grants.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Reported that the septic system at the highway garage has been fixed.
- Repaired transfer station stairs.
- Stewart White Road: filled in caved in section with gravel.  This is not permanent but should satisfy for a month or until springtime.
- Discussion regarding town mailboxes.  If a Town truck hits a mailbox and damage occurs, then the town will fix it.  Damage due to snow would not be the town’s responsibility
- Preparing for 18-24” of heavy snow conditions starting on 3-7-18.  The BOS or Blair will speak with Chief Garner regarding the Parking Ban for Wednesday night.
- Presently, Blair has a four (4) man crew.
- Repairing and maintenance of winter equipment continues.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Presented the BOS a letter regarding pending litigation.  The original was sent to Donna DeFino, Chairman of the Cheshire Planning Board.  A copy was sent to Town Counsel, Ed St. John III.
Carol motioned to have an Executive Session regarding the litigation on Tuesday, March 13, 2018; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
- Mark is working on the 2019 Budget.  He restated his suggestion to offer an across the board increase such as 2 or 3%. 
- The Complete Streets grants will be submitted for repairs on Depot and Railroad Streets.  The due date for submission is April 1, 2018. The amount requested is slightly less than $400K.
- The next Highway Union meeting will take place on March 20, 2018.
- Inquiry from an individual seeking a Letter of Non Opposition. (RE: Retail Marijuana.) To be placed on Agenda for March 13, 2018 at 7:30PM.

Robert:
- Will be attending training out of town on March 13, 2018.
- Robert will be attending Superintendent Search Committee meetings on Tuesdays March 20th and March 27th.


Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Report submitted.

Resident, Mark Biagini:
- Reported chunks of blacktop on family driveway and lawn property due to snowplowing.  The BOS will speak with the Highway Superintendent.

Mail and Correspondence:

7:35PM Executive Session:
Carol motioned to go into Executive Session to:  “Discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares.”2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Roll Call:
Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John IV, Yes.

The BOS will not return to the 6:30PM Open Meeting.

With all business finalized at 7:25PM, Carol motioned to adjourn; 2nd by Ed 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 Groundsv

February 27, 2018
6:30PM
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires
                  
Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented for February 20, 2018; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Report for: 2/21/18-2/27/18.
- Patching potholes and grading roads. (Richmond Hill, Sand Mill Hill, Jenks Road.)
- Snow/ice conditions 2/21/18.
- Repaired major hole on Outlook Avenue.
- Repair and maintain snow removal equipment.
- Repaired "E" on Cheshire Elementary School.
- Salt delivered to Town Hall.
- Possible grader rental in March.
One Day liquor licenses issued (2) to the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club for 3/16/18 and 3/24/18.
Robert read Legal Notice:  Request for Expressions of Interest (REFI)-Cheshire Elementary School.
"The Town of Cheshire Board of Selectmen seeks formal expressions of interest for the reuse and or redevelopment of the former Cheshire Elementary School, 191 School Street, Cheshire, MA 01225.  Proposals are due no later than 3:00PM on February 27, 2018 and shall be addressed to the Cheshire Board of Selectmen, 80 Church Street, Cheshire, MA 01225.  REFI proposal document is available at the Cheshire Town Clerk's office, 80 Church Street, Cheshire, MA during normal business hours and at the Town of Cheshire website:   www.cheshire-ma.gov Signed: Robert Ciskowski, Chair"
Carol closed the proposals on 2/27/18 at 7pm; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Two proposals were received and Carol motioned to have the proposals under advisement until after March 8, 2018 when the Reuse Committee meets; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Cheshire Planning Board, Donna DeFino:
- Updated the BOS on the Marijuana Establishment Law noting that "it mirrors what Mass General Law already has in place" and which Christopher Gruber of BRPC has assisted with in meeting the needs of Cheshire.  The Bylaw is available at the Town Clerk's office and on the Cheshire website.  A Hearing will take place on Monday, March 19, 2018 at 7pm at the Cheshire Town Hall-Second Floor. The bylaw allows for one (1) retail operation and one other use.  Cultivation of the product can be in an agricultural specifically with a minimum of five acres.  The retail operation would be only on Route 8 where existing businesses exist.  Robert motioned to accept the bylaw; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken. 
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- April 3, 2018 at 6pm there will be an Advisory Board Budget meeting.
- An aerial life was dropped off today for Wooliver to inspect the roof.
- Worked on the FY 2019 budget items, and would like to review with the BOS on 3/6/18.
- Salaries.  Different departments are submitting their budgets and Mark noticed that the rate of increases went from 2% to 5%.  Mark recommended the BOS adopt a percentage increase and apply it across the board.
- In talks with Gerry Garner regarding software - E Permitting.  The initial cost could be $5K and yearly maintenance is approximately $1,200.
- A full draft proposal was received today from the Highway Union representative.  Mark submitted copies for the BOS to review during the week and suggested an Executive Session on 3/6/18. Carol motioned to schedule an Executive Session for March 6, 2018 at the end of the regular 6:30 PM meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV, Yes. "To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares." Robert:  Requested Mark to research and prepare a spreadsheet indicating the financial savings due to reducing insurance on two members of the cemetery committee.
- A Letter of Interest was received for the position of Cemetery Chairman.
- Robert signed the Block Grant 2018 CDBG Grant Total Request:  $998,000.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.
Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Report submitted.
Town Facilities Request Form received for the Adams-Cheshire Little League, TBall and Minor League use of the Cheshire School Field, Little League Field, School Street, and field by church parking lot. Ed motioned to allow the teams the use of school fields; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.
- Carol noted that Darlene Rodowicz will not be running for reelection on the Adams Cheshire Regional School District School Committee.
Robert:  Will be attending a Superintendent Search Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 from 5:00PM to 6:30PM at the Cheshire Elementary School.
Mail and Correspondence:
With all business finalized at 8:00PM, Carol motioned to adjourn; 2nd by Ed 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
 

February 20, 2018
6:30PM

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

Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented for February 13, 2018; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident’s John Tremblay and Sandra Sloane invited and updated the BOS on planned activities for the Saturday, March 10, 2018 first event to mark the 225th anniversary of the Town’s incorporation as an independent municipality in Massachusetts. For information:  see www.cheshireproud.com on Facebook.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Report for: 2/14/18-2/20/18.
- Working in cold, rain, snow, and 70 degrees temperatures.
- Repaired and maintained snow removal equipment.
- Truck #3 power steering hydraulic line replacement/Delureys.
- Loader delivered. Works as designed and expected.
- Prepping grader for soft roads.
- Will be adding stone to gravel roads as they soften.
- Pothole patching.
- Robert will give Blair information on a Case Construction Grant for $25K.  Blair will follow up.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Will from BRPC will meet with the BOS on 2-27-18 at 6:50PM for final signage.  (Housing Grant)
- RFEI is due on 2/27/18.
- Scheduled a meeting with Tom/BRPC; Jim Berry, DOER, Town Building Inspector and the Cheshire Planning Board for 3/13/18 @ 7pm Town Hall.
- Submitted Memorandum regarding today’s 9:00am highway union meeting.
- Attended the Berkshire County Manager’s meeting in Lenox today.  Able to network regarding lighting projects in other towns.
- Budgets are being submitted.
- BRPC revised scope of work and cost estimate for the discussed Depot and Railroad Streets proje4ct under the Complete Streets program.  As of now, it comes in under the $400K maximum available grant amount.

Robert:
- Read retirement letters from Josephine A. Lewis and Neil Baker from the Cheshire Cemetery Department effective on May 7, 2018. Carol motioned to accept the retirement letters; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

- It was also noted that Jack Girard will not be running for a position on the Cemetery Board.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Report submitted.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Email from Ed St. John, IV/Regina A. Hill to attend the 2018 Career Day invitation to Hoosac Valley Middle/High School’s Annual event.
- National “Read Across America” Day!  Friday, March 2, 2018.

Note:  Robert and Melissa Tarjick will be the Cheshire representatives on the Superintendent Search Committee.

With all business finalized at 7:25PM, Carol motioned to adjourn; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Respectfully submitted,

                 
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 Groundsv

February 13, 2018
6:30PM

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


Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented for February 6, 2018; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Agenda for February 27, 2018.  6pm Superintendent/Advisory Board/BOS.  Town Hall.
           March 6, 2018 6pm; McCann Vocational-Budget Review.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Report for: 2/7/18-2/13/18.
- Repairing and maintaining snow removal equipment.
- Addressed snowy/icy road conditions.
- #3-blown/rotted power steering hose.
- #10- blown fan clutch replaced.
- Discussed the non-plowing of the school parking lot areas.  The BOS agreed not to plow the area at this time.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Scheduled Highway union negotiating session was cancelled and re-schedule for next Tuesday at 9am.
- Edits completed to the Highway Superintendent and Full Time Police Officer employment agreements.
- Collated Highway Superintendent Performance Review and comments.  BOS to sign original and provide to Blair for his signature.  Provide copy to Town Treasurer to place in employee’s personnel file.
- Once finalized and passed along to individuals, provide copies of all Highway employee performance reviews to Town Treasurer to be placed in employee’s personnel files.
- Held non-mandatory site visit/walk through today for interested proposers for the Cheshire School RFEI.  Missed meeting the representative from Head Start.  Another date will be scheduled.  One person interested in limited space for a dance studio.  Proposals are due February 27, 2018 at 3pm.
- Contacted Joanne DeRose at National Grid about streetlight program update and questions about Chester, MA updated street lighting. A street lighting project is also a possibility and National Grid suggested using the Green Communities Program.
- Spoke with Travis this morning and updated his employment agreement.  Asked that he review it with his commissioners for edits and get it back to me for finalization.
- Attended Complete Streets Committee meeting this afternoon.  Will meet again in three (3) weeks to finalize reports.  Submission date is April 1.  The Committee’s top choice, as of today, is the reconstruction of Depot and Railroad Streets.  The Water Department is planning to replace the water mains and laterals along Depot this spring. The thought was to come in after them and do a complete sidewalk, paving, curbing, landscaping project.  Originally, there were 16 projects. Only one (1) or a group of a few different projects can be submitted that don’t exceed the $400K potential funding.
- Department Budgets are coming in.
- Schedule on Agenda: Green Community, March 13, 2018 at 7pm.

BRPC, Pat Mullins:
- Updated the BOS on the status of the CBDG housing rehabilitation grant.
- The grant is due by March 2, 2018 and New Marlboro will be a part of the grant.  To date, Cheshire has 50-70 interested individuals with a maximum possibly of $35K each – or $40K.  Projects could consist of housing repair, energy, foundation, and plumbing.  Income eligibility is low to moderate income.  HUD sets the limits and guidelines to be followed.  One (1) person up to $44,800; two (2) persons over $50K.
- BRPC has managed fifty projects in the past and is familiar with all of the processes.
- The loan is to the homeowner.  The loan will go down 15% each year.  If there is a change of owners the loan would have to be paid.  The Town would hold the lien and it would be recorded at the Registry of Deeds.  The Town also has the capacity to forgive the loan.
- Program income could be used for CBDG eligible project(s).
- Pat (BRPC) selects the projects along with a citizen’s advisory committee.  Only the projects are discussed, not homeowner’s names.
- The Town’s $60K is keep available.  The accounting is separate. It could be used for new projects, costs of overruns over $35K or for full de leading.  Each account is documented as to how the money has been spent and the BRPC works in collaboration with the Town for verification. Robert:  Could the loan balance go to zero balance in 15 years?  There is zero interest.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns

Police Chief, Timothy Garner: 
- Discussed letter received from Sgt. Steven M. Charon regarding formal retirement from the Cheshire Police Department.  Chief Garner will follow up on addressing the request.

Pine Valley Mobile Home Park Eviction forms were signed.

Mail and Correspondence:

8:00PM
Carol motioned to go into Executive Session: “To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares;” 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Roll Call:  Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John IV, Yes.

With all business finalized at 8:00PM, Carol motioned to go into Executive Session; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. The BOS will not return to the 6:30PM open meeting.
                 
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 Groundsv

February 6, 2018
6:30PM

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

Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented for January 30, 2018; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.


Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane
- Submitted Weekly Activity Report for: 1/31/18-2/6/18.
- Continuing to repair and maintain snow removal equipment.
- 77% of the work week was spent treating roads due to storm conditions.
- Replaced rotted fuel tank on truck #10.
- Replaced blown hydraulic hose on truck #2 and #4.
- Replaced worn cutting edge on #4 plow blade.
- Replaced front spring on #3 truck.
- Ordered a second load of regular sand for residents.  Took delivery today – 15% sand.
- Reported that the Loader delivery will most likely take place on Friday, February 9, 2018.
- Prepared for storm system of 8” to 12” of snow on February 7, 2018.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Completing Employment Agreements for the Water and Highway Superintendents as well as the full-time Police Officer.
- MIAA training in Safety will take place on April 4th in North Hampton.  Mark recommends that Blair attend.
- Working on completion of the City of North Adams, Town of Adams, Town of Williamstown Intermunicipal Veterans’ Services Agreement. Once finalized, a schedule will be posted and in effect on March 1, 2018.  Nine communities will be utilizing the service and Cheshire residents may utilize the services of the Veterans Service Office in North Adams, Adams, Dalton and Williamstown during the normal hours or by appointment during normal hours as agreed upon.

Carol:
- Rick Salvi met with the BOS to discuss an anonymous complaint regarding odor at a Wells Road residence.  Rick will check into the matter.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns

Police Chief, Timothy Garner: 
- Discussed road conditions during storm

Robert:  Requested Ed to do a Title Search on the Cheshire School.
- Discussed the status of the Cheshire School generator.  Right now the BOS is confident in the generator at the fire house.
- Checking into road conditions regarding a recent car accident on the Lanesborough Road.
- Peter Traub reported that the Complete Streets Committee has received advice from BRPC to submit a grant for a project to change the public lights in the town.
- Signed Board of Health Alliance paperwork.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Letter of Support from William H. Smith, Ed., regarding activities to observe Massachusetts Race Amity Day on June 10, 2018. Included was A Proclamation proclaiming June 10, 2018 Race Amity Day signed by Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth, Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth, and William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth.
- Letter from the Mt. Greylock Advisory Council, Cosmo Catalano, Chairman. Letter for Senator Hinds and Representative Barrett for support of funding a full-time Park Supervisor, Visitor Center staff for the Mount Greylock Visitors Center.
- Forest Cutting Plan for owner:  Robert H. Parker & Jill Gerson Parker, 179 Fisher Hill Road. File Number:  058-8950-18.
- Forest Cutting Plan for owner:  Joseph Wrenn, 224 Fisher Hill Road.  File Number:  058-9016-18.
- Status Update re:  Environmental Notification Form – Northeast Renewable Link Project for the proposed Northeast Renewable Link Project in Hinsdale, Dalton, Cheshire, Lanesborough, and Hancock, MA with the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs on January 19, 2018. GridAmerica Holdings Inc. has decided to pause the ENG proceedings in order to review and potentially update and clarify portions of the ENF.
- Schedule of the Cheshire 225th Anniversary Celebrations.  First event will be on Saturday, March 10, Open Celebration at the Cheshire Elementary School from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.
- Email received from Peter Traub regarding his thoughts on a recent BOS and BRPC meeting.
- Letter from Sgt. Steven M. Charon.

7:25PM
Carol motioned to go into Executive Session: “To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares;” 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Roll Call:  Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John IV, Yes.

With all business finalized at 7:25PM, Carol motioned to go into Executive Session; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. The BOS will not return to the 6:30PM open meeting.

                 
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 Groundsv