Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

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

October 21, 2014
6:30PM

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

Robert read the meeting minutes of October 14, 2014. Carol made a motion to accept the minutes as read; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Carol:
- Discussed the need to have Francis Waterman check out the roof of the Cheshire Town Hall for leaks.
- Discussed change of personnel plans for the Water Meter Reader position.
- Signed Building Permit section regarding wetlands for the building of a deck at 48 Yorkshire Drive.

Resident, Barry Emery:
- Reported on the well-organized Clean-Up Cheshire day.  Over forty (40) bags of trash was collected and hauled to the Cheshire Transfer Station by Peter LeFebvre  Mr. Emery reported that the event was well received as a community event and thanked John Tremblay for his efforts in organizing the event.   Carol thanked all involved for their hard work and for the positive experience residents enjoyed.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Bus shelter will be in on Thursday.
- Four (4) employees attended continuing education classes offered by MIIA in North Adams. (2A and 2B)
- Springfield offers mowing licenses and Peter will be checking into the schedule to enroll employees.
- Salt ordering.  The price of salt is up 50% (Morton Salt.)

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  In Library

Chief Garner:  Weekly Report submitted.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Kittay update:  Peter suggested checking the basement weekly and shutting off power and water. Process continues.
Met with Bruce Agusti/MEMA and executed grant documents for $4,435 in emergency equipment funding.
- Received notice from MA DOT that money has been sent to the Town for one-time additional state funding for June rain events ($39,953.39) and pothole repairs ($30,292).  This additional funding was made possible due to Peter’s diligence in completing paperwork in a timely fashion.
- Met with an employee to review FMLA process. There is an allowance under FMLA of up to twenty-six (26) weeks in a calendar year.
- Road salt usage estimate was sent to the State in order to take advantage of the State contract price.  There is a concern about shortages this winter and it was suggested to purchase early and often.
- Spoke with Bill Soloman. Contract signing should be forthcoming.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- ABCC returned the Cheshire Liquors application for early Sunday opening as incomplete.  The BOS needs to sign a Form 43.
- Water to be ordered from Berkshire Mountain Spring Water.

Mail and Correspondence:
- November 6, 2014.  Invitation to the Selectmen’s dinner at the Skyline Country Club.

With all business finalized Paul motioned to close the meeting, 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Time:  7:45 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 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