December 6, 2016
In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
Robert read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday November 29, 2016; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Conservation Commission, Carol A. Francesconi, Chair:
- Reported a December 16, 2016 Hearing at 5pm at the Cheshire Town Hall to review the NOI Application by
the Town for the Sand Mill Bridge repair.
Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Patching Wells Road and the corner by Swistak’s.
- Corner of the Cheshire Fire Station is dug out to approximately six (6) feet.
- Questioned the status of a generator. Carol suggested going forward and purchasing a new one for approximately $20K. Peter reminded the Board that a cement foundation would also be needed for the generator to sit on. Additionally, he suggested getting a service maintenance agreement and to consider natural gas.
- Before going forward, Robert suggested getting an evaluation from a generator company to evaluate first the generators owned by the Town to see if they are repairable. If not, Robert would like Mark to follow through
on reaching a solution.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Paul questioned the wording in the Highway Superintendent job posting regarding licenses required. Peter and Robert felt it was sufficient as written.
- Reported that DEP, Representative Mark Stinson, suggested the planting of trees and shrubs by the Sand Mill Bridge area. Mark and Peter feel there is no need to pack more plantings next to the stream.
- As a member of the Cheshire Conservation Commission, the suggestion will be considered. Mark will be asking Foresight for recommendations. December 15, 2016 is the Bid due date.
- Reported that West Oil has serviced the Town Hall boilers on 12/6/16.
- Mark placed a conference call to Attorney Goldberg with Paul. Town Counsel, unfortunately was unable to partake in the conference call which did not help in the different opinions regarding the process from changing from three (3) to five (5) Selectmen for the Town.
- Mark submitted notes and emails for clarification of Attorney’s findings. However, Robert felt that even though Attorney Goldberg said the town must petition the Legislature and town counsel said that wasn’t needed and outlined a less involved process. He questioned why now is outside counsel the deciding factor when town counsel has always been advisor for the town. Robert reminded the Board that the results from the recent Master Plan Survey, clearly indicated that townspeople want to go forward in increasing the Board of Selectmen. Robert stated, “I don’t really have any faith in this other law firm because it is not in the minutes that we decided to do it. It was done six months before I found out about it so I didn’t participate in it and I don’t have any confidence in it. I hope it is not a stalling technique.”
- Will be contacting Town Counsel, St. John, to receive written documentation for resolution. (12-7-16)
- Submitted a breakdown of area highway salary ranges. Mark noted that the Town is in line with the average.
- Submitted a binder, “Guide to Abandoned and Accepted Town Roads.”
- Attended on this date a meeting at the BRPC with MASS DOT to review Chapter 85 (Bridges.) It was an intense meeting and Robert will report back to the Board once he has had time to digest the materials received. He did report that their engineers are working on streamlining the process. Robert suggested a maintenance folder should be made for each bridge with plans for dirt cleaning, rotting which would help spread out the maintenance schedule. Robert is interested in the upcoming prioritizing of bridges and for the bridges the DOT pay for. He noted that hiring the right engineer/company that specializes in bridges is important as bridge codes are different. He asked Mark to look into a list of bridge engineer(s) and companies for the future. Mark said, “They have to be prequalified by the State and they chose a Berkshire County business.”
Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Submitted the Weekly Report.
- Cory Demary will be attending the Braintree, MA Police Academy starting on January 8, 2017.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: No issues or concerns.
Resident, Fred Jajko:
- Questioned why Wells Road, section one (1) was done and not section two (2). (Blacktopping)
- Peter responded that they will be returning in spring time as the weather prevented the completion. Mr. Jajko questioned if it wasn’t the responsibility of the company to patch. Peter responded that the Town always does the pre work. Peter said, “The low bidder gets the bid.” If not awarded to the low bidder, Chapter 90 monies will not be forthcoming to pay for the project.” Mr. Jajko stated, “The Town accepts everything that the State says.”
- Bids will open at 2pm on December 15, 2016. The Bid will be awarded on the engineers recommendations. Dates were questioned and Mark and Carol clarified the process.
Mail and Correspondence:
Paul motioned to go into Executive Session: “To consider the discipline or dismissal of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual.” The 6:30 meeting will not reconvene; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.”
Paul F. Astorino, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Carol A. Francesconi, Yes.
With all business finalized Paul motioned to close the meeting to go into Executive Session at 7:30pm; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds