Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

July 11, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press:
       
Carol motioned to accept the minutes of Tuesday, July 3, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

6:00PM
Advisory Board Members:  D. Scholz, J. Tremblay, K. Levesque, J. McLain, and R. Biagini
Attending:  Superintendent R. Putnam, P. Butler, and Adam Emerson

Robert opened the meeting by thanking the Advisory Board for their efforts in working on the 2018 budget. Dick reviewed why this meeting was important and presented a synopsis of recent events with the short notification of the closing of the Cheshire Elementary School, the process of keeping the school open, the options possible for the structure, and number one of importance, the Advisory Board did not understand what the Cheshire Board of Selectmen were doing in regard to the school usage and its future.
- Surprised at the Town Meeting and the articles considering the petitions submitted.
- Sense of commitment to move forward to find another school for the usage of the CES.
- Other towns interested in working with us.
- Forward planning; longer term part of the school district.  Talking with John Lev.
- Need attorney that is independent counsel.  Need to look at the agreement.
- Concerned about the voting power of the school committee.
- How does Select Board plan to move forward?  Many towns’ people want a school in town.
- Would like to work with the BOS.  The Advisory Board wants to work together.
- Establish some type of elementary school in Cheshire to compliment what else is going on in the district.
- 100K to maintain yearly?
- Budget.  A joint town meeting. 

Carol:
The school is closed. That was a school board decision.  Will they change at this point? If the budget is not passed, no tax bills will be sent out.

Kathy:
- Seems like the BOS shows it is closed.  It’s done.

Dick:
- Rent the campus for ten years-could it be done.  Grounds and Building are ours.


Robert:
- Until notice is received, they assume the liabilities.  90 day notice; has not been received.  Modified agreement working on – nothing specific.  Hands are tied right now.  District offices are staying there.
- Not sure where we are at this point.
- School not turned back to town at this time.

John:
- If a tenant is found, can the town get out of the agreement?  No exit clause on the agreement?  No.
- Trying to understand it.
- How to use the building?

Mark:
- Grandchamp is working on changes and will submit it a draft very soon.
- School is already vacant.  
- The BOS will appoint a school reuse committee. 

Robert:
- What kind of a vision of a school do you want?

John:
- Meetings NBSU would like us to join with them.  Would be willing to sit down to talk.  NBSU is union.
Northern Berkshire School Union.  (Mr. John Lev)

Robert:
- We are in the district.

John:
- Get counsel to guide us.  Many towns have their own elementary school.
- Dick believes independent counsel should considered to reviewed all options.

Dick:
- What first steps should we be taking either as the Advisory Board or as residents?

Kathy:
- Is information in the minutes?  Carol:  The BOS goes into Executive Session.

Carol:
- Why isn’t town council asked?  The BOS has not asked him.  John: would like to ask that question.

Kathy:
- Not as an Advisory Board but as residents. 

Ed:
- How do you set up a reuse committee when it isn’t closed?


John:
- Want to do what the people of town want.  They want an elementary school.

John:
- Budget is #1.  Want an open meeting to see what people want.

Dick:
-  Sensing the BOS has options.  Robert:  Turned some options away at this point.

Dick:
- Residential property values dropped in other towns that do not have a school.

Carol:
- We still have a building.

John:
-Lease.  Registered at the Registry of Deeds.  Negotiations in Executive Sessions?
- Timeline?  Draft?  Delayed because of annual meeting votes.
- People in authority should do what the people want.  Find out by asking the people what they want at a special town meeting.  No one has ever been through this before.  Why would people want to come and live here- the more viable the community is the better off we all are.
Many roadblocks - would like to chart a path. The board collectively would like to see a school there; no formal vote.

Robert:
- Powerless.
- Ballot questions for November.  3-5 Selectmen and Private Plow of Roads.
- Think about a possible ballot question.  Meaningful question needed.

Dick:
- Vote in secret?  What is the procedure for a secret vote.  A motion and a second with a majority vote.

Jeremy:
- Meeting with DESI.  Invited the BOS. General discussion.  Help with guidelines.

Dick:
- Requested introductions of the Advisory Board at town meetings as well as sitting up front so people know who they are.
- No position on the status of the Advisory Board regarding the budget when asked.


Kathy:
- Do the townspeople know what the budget is all about and the ramifications to the tax bills if the budget is not passed?

Carol:
- The minutes are posted in the Town Hall and are the website.

Dick:
- Some BOS take a stand on what they think; others listen to the people.  Write an article that would pass. 

Ed:
Several venues were used to inform residents:
- iBerkshires
- Videos
- Strong desire to rewrite the agreement.
- Moving forward MARS steps for changing a district.  Have to bring in Adams. Both towns have to approve the starting process of withdrawal.  Work done in advance can go smoothly – a lot has to be well thought out.  No hard numbers.  Have to include the school district in all options. Have to pass the budget in the interest of students.  Cannot operate as a town.  Lending measures- sure but that is no way to run a town.  Name change should have gone out for people to advice.   We are the Selectmen and we are charged to do the best for the town.

Ed:
- Voted to close building – necessary but very difficult to make.
- Ed explained the 1/12 payment will happen if the budget is not passed on July 17th. If it does not pass there is no money.  The 1/12 payment will continue until December 1, 2017 and then the Department of Education takes over.

Dick:
- Appreciate the BOS meeting. 

Robert:
- More information and communication will be addressed.
- Thank you.  Appreciate your position.
- Robert asked if the Advisory Board had any other questions either from the BOS or the school figures present.  No questions were asked.

Superintendent Robert Putnam:
- Suggested guidance as to do this, he felt the best manner would be a Town Meeting style for both towns to meet.  Paul noted that he did not know of any building big enough.  It is doable with creative thinking.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Questioned the date of when the school would be closed.  Discussion finished at 7:11pm

Cathy Foster and Sara Hollander inquired about the process for making a complaint about a town employee.  In this instance, the BOS directed them to the Cheshire Board of Health.

Resident, Brian Astorino:
-Reported algae on his driveway due to a water leak.  Three houses have no water pressure, and they are inundated with mosquitoes.  The BOS had Francis Waterman join the meeting and questioned him when the problem would be resolved.  He stated the work is planned for this week on Wednesday at 8:30am. The BOS expects a report back on Tuesday, July 18th.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane: Submitted weekly report.
- Dug and completed grave.
- Repairing Outlook Avenue
- Ford F550 passed inspection
- International 7500 to Delores for inspection and repairs.
- Preparing for crack sealing repairs to numerous roadways.
- Chipped brush at Transfer Station.
- Site visit to Cheshire Elementary School.

Carol:
Phil LaFromboise and abutters to the Ayotte property requested information regarding a possible solar farm being proposed on the Ayotte site.  The company doing the work requested a CCC Notice of Intent.
Mr. LaFromboise stated that the property is for residential purposes only and it is on the deed as a restriction in the Registry of Deeds.  Also, technically it is not a farm.  No mobile homes or trailers are allowed. Until applications are received the boards have no authority or statement to make. Once information is received, the board secretary will call Mr. LaFromboise.  All abutters will be formally notified by return receipt /certified mail.

Residents Mr. and Mrs. Huberdeau:
- Questioned the timeframe for the Hutchinson Development to have pot holes filled as some are large and deep.  Carol also noted receiving calls from Harbor Road, Richmond Hill, and for the need to clean catch basins.  Blair answered that pot holes will be filled asap weather permitting.

Cheshire Board of Health, J. Warner, and M. Biagini:
- Requested procedural steps for complaints filed.  The BOS reviewed the process and steps will be followed. An Executive Session will be scheduled and the M.G. L. Chapter 39, S.23B #2 will be posted.
“To consider the discipline or dismissal of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual.”  The Executive Session is scheduled for Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

Becky Herzog, Treasurer and Lynn Lemanski, Accountant:
-  Needed clarification regarding an employee’s hours and the need to have a time slip showing separation of duties according to the job description.  The employee will be notified.

The BOS reviewed the Bruce LaPerle invoice.

Resident, Jeremy McLain:
- Questioned the process and necessary licenses to secure a one day liquor license for the Cheshire Cheese Festival event at the Cheshire Elementary School.  Mr. McLain will be checking with the vendor for insurance liability certificates and licenses.  The event is planned for July 29, 2017.

Resident, Barry Emery:
- Wanted to discuss two incorrect spellings on the Stafford Hill Monument.  One is influential and the other fact is that it is not the Big Cheese it should read the Mammoth Cheese. This will be discussed further

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Reported that Jack Girard would like a thank you extended to Reynolds for helping with the use of a rental mower for the cemetery.
- Created Town email accounts for Ed and Carol.  Carol:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Ed:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
- Spoke with Dr. Putnam and he will give a reminder to Attorney Grandchamp who said he would be producing a draft Cheshire School lease agreement for the Board’s review.
- Need to execute and return contract signature pages to the State for grant funds under the Complete Streets program.
- Auditor questions the status of the COA van (2007).
- MIIA certificate of insurance for BRTA van arrived.
- See Chapter 90 approval for Street Smart program.
- Town’s property and casualty and workers compensation premium for FY 18.  Pay full amount now and take advantage of 3% discount.
- Information sent to Borego Solar per their request for a potential solar site on East Harbor Road.

Carol motioned to appoint the following individuals to the Building Reuse Committee which will not be active upon notification from the BOS; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. Ellie Baker, Heather Emerson, Bethany DeMarco, Sandra Sloane, Peter LeFebvre, Carol Francesconi, and Christine Emerson.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Weekly report submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Prepared for July 17, 2017 town meeting.

Letter received from Elsie Zaleski resigning from the Cheshire Council on Aging.  Carol accepted the resignation with great regret; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.  Carol voiced that she did not approve of the manner in which Ms. Zaleski was prodded to submit her resignation.

Letter from Resident, Gene Gebarowski, Jr. :
- Interested in being considered for the open position on the Cheshire Council on Aging.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Council on Aging Board meeting minutes for May 17, 2017 and June 21, 2017.
- Common Ground Newsletter.
- Municipality ADA Training on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
- Letter from Adam G. Hinds, State Senator, noting his availability during this transition time due to the passing of State Representative Gailanne Cariddi.
- MASS DOT.  Chapter 90 Project Request Contract #50762 Balance and Expenditure Sheet.
- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Authorization for the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District to continue its operations and to spend up to $1,582,980 in each month of fiscal year 2018 until your district’s fiscal year 2018 budget has been adopted, or until December 1, 2017, whichever comes first.  This interim monthly budget is one-twelfth of the regional school district’s budget for the prior fiscal year.
- Insurance Liability Certificate received from MIIA for The Town of Cheshire. 7/12/17
- Workmen’s Compensation doctor’s evaluation to date.
- Akshar Ji Corp. D/B/A Cheshire Liquor Center/Memorandum and Order on Licensee’s Motion to Dismiss. Allowed.

9:00PM
Ed motioned to go into Executive Session; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Ed St. John IV, Yes; and Carol A. Francesconi, Yes.  The BOS will not return to the open meeting.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. 9:40PM

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

July 3, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires
                  
Carol motioned to accept the minutes of Tuesday, June 27, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Ed with a
unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane: Submitted weekly report.
- Completed town wide culvert and catch basin inspections.
- Back filled foundation at fire house.
- Graded Lake Roads
- Jenks Road graded and York raked in its entirety.
- Outlook Avenue washout Friday night.  Damage marked and will be repaired Wednesday.
- Submitted Cheshire Town Buildings Energy Analysis and Budget Proposal from Energy Conservation, Inc. for LED lighting upgrades for the CDPW and CDPW salt shed. The approximate estimate would cost $500 a month for twenty four months. Blair will research further and report back to the BOS.
- Will be ordering sand and salt before Labor Day to receive a 4% discount.
- Suggested becoming proactive on the conditions of local bridges.  He questioned the Sand Mill Bridge and a bridge ½ mile to the South for the length of usage predicted. This topic will continue as to the best practice for the future.
- Ed and Blair have not been able to view the inside of the Cheshire Elementary School but moving vans have been there this week.

Ed:
- Heard from Paul Butler this week regarding the possibility of changing the name of the schools to: Hoosac Valley School District; Hoosac Valley High School; Hoosac Valley Middle School; and Hoosac Valley Elementary.  The Cheshire BOS were lukewarm as to the idea.

Robert:
- Spoke with Superintendent Robert Putnam regarding the status of the Facilitator.  Dr. Putnam’s response indicated that he preferred to wait until after the Town meetings and perhaps start an individual in the fall.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: Absent

Police Chief, Timothy Garner: 

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- Suggested following State procedures for placing the three (3) to five (5) Selectmen articles and Private Roads Plowing on the November 7, 2017 ballot.  The BOS agreed.


Carole H. will be contacting the Dick and Justin, co-chairs of the Cheshire Advisory Board for a copy of their minutes for the last year in an effort to be better prepared for the Tuesday, July 11th meeting.

Mail and Correspondence:

Reminder:
- Will be having further discussions on employee health care and garage lighting.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. 8:35PM


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

 

June 27, 2017
6:30PM

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

       
Ed motioned to accept the minutes of Tuesday, June 20, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Robert with a
unanimous vote taken. Ed acted as the BOS Chairman for the evening.

The audience was reminded that the Cheshire Board of Selectmen will meet on Monday, July 3, 2017 due to the July 4th holiday on Tuesday.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Paved Wells Road - 13 hours start to finish.
- Met with engineers at the Sand Mill Bridge.
- Repaired damaged shoulders on Outlook with gravel due to the recent rains.
- Swept Outlook and Sand Mill.
- Installed STOP signs on Wells Road, East Harbor, and Jenks Roads.
- Installed NO PARKING signs on School Street - 110' apart.
- Mowed town properties on 6/26/17.
- StreetScan Agreement signed. Paid from Chapter 90 grant.
- Truck #2-F550 needs tires for sticker.
- Received lighting estimate for the garage of $16,921 with a 40% discount of $6,800  price would be $10,111.  The lights would be LED and up to code.  Will review when there is a full BOS board.
- Inquiry from resident, Atalanta Sunguroff, of  669 Sandmill Road regarding the installation and enforcement of speed limit signs.  She also questioned weight limits for trucks.  The BOS will talk with Chief Garner about her requests.  Additionally she asked about biking on Wells Road and the narrowness of the road.  Blair will measure the road and report back next week.
- Blair completed State testing requirements with high test scores.

Special Town Meeting on Monday, July 17, 2017  7:00PM  Cheshire Elementary School Cafeteria. 6:30PM Voter check-in.

Article 1.
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate from available funds in the Treasure to fund the following:
Adams Cheshire Regional Foundation Budget (FY 2018)                 $1,984,517
Adams Cheshire Regional Over Foundation Budget (FY 2018)        $  312,815
Adams Cheshire Regional Transportation (FY 2018)            $  183,294
Adams Cheshire Building Project, Interest (FY 2018)            $  239,639
Adams Cheshire total                                      $2,720,265
Article 2
To transact any other business that may properly come before this meet

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Reported that five (5) auditors are working on 6/27, 6/28, 6/29, and 6/30.  The audit is for the past two (2) years.
- Submitted a confidential Workmen's Compensation memorandum.
- Ray Fisher informed Mark that there would be a third lake treatment on Thursday.  All lake residents have been notified and the fire house sign also indicates the treatment information.
- Ed motioned to sign the upcoming Warrant for the July 17, 2017 meeting; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. - In the future, should this situation ever happen again, the school budget and the Town budget should be separate.
- Submitted a bill for a tire victim on Fred Mason Road.  $256.00.  A decision will be made next week.
- The Cheshire Cemetery Commission submitted minutes for their June 20, 2017 meeting. The minutes noted the commission surveyed thirteen town for comparison rates.  After reviewing the surveys, time slips, general costs, and expenses, the following was motioned and approved: Will reduce the Saturday interments of cremations from $500.00 to $300.00.  Will increase the weekday charge from $100.00 to $200.00.  Full burial rates will remain at $425.00 for weekdays and $825.00 for Saturdays. Josie Lewis, Chairman, Neil Baker, and Jack Girard were present. Ed motioned to accept the new rates; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. Robert:  Thanked the Cemetery Commission for their due diligence in researching and surveying other commissions in order to arrive at their decisions.
- Info given regarding a solar project on East Harbor Road.
- DER sent a Kitchen Brook Dam Action Plan.  Mark will meet with the Cheshire Water Commission  by the middle of July.
- Ed requested email accounts be set up for the BOS.
- Waiting for a return call from BRPC to discuss last week's announcement that EPA has delayed implementation of their MS4 stormwater permit that affected Cheshire and other surrounding communities. 

Robert:
- Reminded Mark about the stipulation in granting the Emergency Water Bid to Waterman Excavating.
- Asked Blair if he could put together a binder on the status of all town bridges.  He noted that a state bridge engineer would be coming out to check on the status of life of the Sand Mill Bridge.

Resident, John Tremblay and Eileen Quinn discussed with Blair the edging of sidewalks on Church Street and the possibility of their helping with the cleanup.

Route 8 graffiti.  Blair reported that it is State property and the Mass DOT will take care of it.

Cheshire Rod and Gun Club four (4) (1) day liquor licenses.  Amount paid: $200.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:
- DCR letter to Scott Pierce for timber harvesting violation hearing on the property of John Gwozdz held on April 12, 2017.  Violations outlined in the stop order issued on March 17, 2017 for failure to comply with the faithful execution of the Cutting Plan.
- 2016 Consumer Confidence Report - Cheshire Water Department.
- Thank You card for Blair from Gayle Galli in appreciation of resolving her water problem.

With all business finalized, Ed motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote
taken. 8:47PM

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

June 20, 2017
6:30PM

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

Carol motioned to accept the minutes of Tuesday, June 13, 2017 as amended; 2nd by Robert with a
unanimous vote taken.

The Cheshire Board of Selectmen will meet on Monday, July 3, 2017 due to the July 4th holiday on Tuesday.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Sand Mill Bridge is opened as of 10:30am on this date.
- Moderate flooding on some roads; repairs underway.
- “No Parking” signs will be installed this week on School Street.
- Wells Road is scheduled for Thursday.  Blair estimated one (1) day to pave all of it.
- Catch basin repairs scheduled for Main Street.
- Equipment repairs underway and on-going.
- Major pot holes repaired on Outlook Avenue.  The work will continue as time permits.
Carol suggested the highway department purchase a new refrigerator as of July 1.

Resident, Amanda Raymond inquired about the graffiti on Route 8.  Blair will be checking into the best coverage to use.

Emergency Repairs for the Town of Cheshire Water Department bidding.
Carol motioned to accept the Bid from Waterman Excavating Inc. noting any bills submitted would not be paid until prevailing wages are included; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Carol:
- Reported receiving a call from a company who will be shutting down the second well and acid washing the tank.  The water will be hauled away.

Resident, Peter Traub:
Inquired about the status of the article on Private Roads.
- Carol read the following email from Town Counsel, E. St. John III. “It is mandatory that this article be approved by referendum vote and that it should be done prior to this coming snow season.  Section 6D states that the election must be called when a petition of 200 registered voters is received so it is incumbent on someone, e.g., who lives on the lake to general the petition ASAP.”
- Reported that he will be placing in town mail boxes, the Executive Summary of the Cheshire Master Plan.
- Carol requested a Job Description for the Implementation Committee.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber: On vacation

Mail and Correspondence:
- Robert read the Resignation Letter from Shannon Plumb, Esq. from the Cheshire Planning Board. Ms. Plumb is moving to Lanesborough. Carol motioned to accept the resignation with regret; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Planning Board, Chairman Donna DeFino:
- Reported that Nick Graham has agreed to take the place of Shannon Plumb on the CPB. Ed made a motion to appoint Nick Graham to the CPB; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.
- Carol reported that Sandra Sloane is interested in becoming the Alternate Member on the CPB. Ed motioned to appoint Ms. Sloane to the CPB; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.
- Other items. The CPB may possibly be working on an upcoming project of a solar project on East Harbor Road.  To date, no formal application has been received.
- Donna suggested inviting the Cheshire Fire Chief to the project meetings, so emergency vehicles can be discussed.

Ed:
- Would like a list from the school regarding what items are being removed.  Carol noted that hundreds of desks were in storage, shelving in the Library is remaining, chairs will be remaining in the Cafeteria.
- Ed and Blair will coordinate a school site visit for Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
- Ed spoke on behalf of the Select Board the sad passing of Representative Gailanne Cariddi.  Gailanne was dedicated and great help to the residents of Cheshire.  Every Saturday the BOS minutes were emailed to her and many times she would respond on different happenings in the Town of Cheshire.

Carol:
- Signed a building permit on behalf of the CCC for a handicap accessible ramp at 17 Willowcove Road.

Dollar General paid $50.00 for a Common Victualler’s License.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Resident complained about the building collapsing on West Mountain Road and Rt. 8 corner.

Carol: Motioned to go into Executive Session – 8:06pm and not return to the 6:30 Open Meeting.
"To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the governent's bargaining or litigating position.  Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel.  To consider the purchase, exchange, taking, lease, or value of real property if such discussion may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the governmental body." 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, Carol motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Robert 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

June 13, 2017
6:30PM

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

   
Carol motioned to accept the minutes of Tuesday, June 6, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Ed. St. John, IV.

A decision was made to hold a Special Town Meeting on July 17, 2017 at the school cafeteria.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Potholes patched on Fred Mason/Lanesborough Road & Rt. 116.
- Blair and Brent attended a John Deere sponsored Road Grader Training.
- Grave detail completed (Friday-Saturday) (Mike/Brent-dug) (Brent/Blair- filled.)
- Met with boom mower company regarding extensive repairs.
- Truck #2 - Ford F550 is currently at mechanics for repairs and inspection.
- Patching West Mountain Road and Outlook Avenue tomorrow.
- 14 day cylinder break is today.  Expect results over 4000psi tomorrow.  Final repairs will commence with possible opening with 10 days.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Spoke with Robin concerning the inability to get Town certified on its FY'18 budget without an approved school budget.  Robin is checking into the situation with the DOR.
- Reported that Dr. Putnam was available to meet this evening at 7pm. The BOS preferred a later date.
- Spoke with Deb Wagner, Supervisor at DOR/BOA.  Mark drafted a MEMO recapping the conversation.
- Spoke with Borrego Solar.  They are investigating a 2mW project at 203 E. Harbor Road and wanted to discuss a Pilot agreement.  If the project goes forward, it would be certified under a new State program called Smart Solar which will replace the current SREC program that the Bushika and others operate under. They will be seeking a meeting with the Planning Board. There may be a question if the proposed site is under Chapter 61, which could be problematic.  If the project goes forward, Mark strongly recommended hiring RRG to negotiate the PILOT.  They have done dozens of these in the state and are strong negotiators.  Flat fee of $1,500.  Current rates are between $12K and $15K per mW annually for a 20 year agreement. 
- Mark spoke with Chief Garner and Jack Girard and told them to go forward in ordering a cruiser and lawn mower.  Free cash need not wait until July 1.
- Carol signed the BRTA agreement for the upcoming year for the COA van.
- Spoke with Sand Mill Road Bridge engineers from Foresight regarding payment of the contractor's bill. The project is substantially complete.  There is a low retainage being held.  However, the bridge isn't open until the final concrete test is received.  The Town will be paying the bill upon substantial completion and the test results or if they send enforcers.
- Annual Audit is scheduled to begin June 27, 2017
- Asked the BOS to review the amended workplan for the Kitchen Brook dam removal project.  After the BOS has time to review and comment, Mark will make contact with the DER.  Discussion with the Water Commissioners was also advised.
- Robert had asked for certified payrolls from prior year's low bidder on emergency water repairs.  Accountant provided the payments; she could provide the billing details if asked.  There does not appear to be any certified payroll submissions.  This needs to be watched closer.  Presently, the current prevailing wage rates are given to all bidders.

Carol motioned to appoint Shannon Badorini to be the Representative to the Northern Berkshire Arts
Council; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. Note: Peter Traub completed a six (6) year term.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Wanted to discuss the Private Roads article on the Warrant in regard to 6N and maintenance. Mark responded that there are procedures needing to be followed.  Carol said, "The roads will be plowed for emergency vehicles."
- Additionally Mr. Traub inquired into the need to have meetings held at the school in the cafeteria. Handicap accessibility was discussed.

Carol motioned to have an Executive Session held on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 7:30pm "To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the government's bargaining or litigating position.  Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel.  To consider the purchase, exchange, taking, lease, or value of real property if such discussion may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the governmental body." 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

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

June 6, 2017
6:30PM

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

Ed motioned to waive the reading of the May 30, 2017 minutes. Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident’s Mr. and Mrs. Sloane:
- Requested painting lines on the basketball court for “Pickle Ball.” There is a 3’ portable net and the game is similar to ping pong or whiffle ball.  The BOS approved and the Sloan’s will be speaking to the highway superintendent as to what type of paint is most appropriate.

Highway Department, Blair Crane:
- Major pothole filling on RT. 116.  Savoy line to Fales Road - complete both lanes.
- Mowed Town properties.
- Dug grave Friday (8 man hours.)
- Completed a detailed assessment of RT. 116.
- Met with DOT to discuss Chapter 90, “Massworks” Grant for possible solutions for fixing RT. 116 long term including the upper brook area below Stewart White Road.
- Looking at viable options with regards to crack sealing Lanesborough Road and Church Street late summer.
- Town chainsaws taken out of service for safety reasons.  Repairs are in process.
- Informed the BOS of the StreetScan computer program for $27,839.  The program is digital pictures of road conditions and spreadsheets of maintenance.  The $27K will come out of Chapter 90 money.

Resident, Brian Astorino:
- Updated the BOS on the condition of the septic system at the Cheshire Little League Baseball Field.  He noted that the pumps are dead and the replacement costs is approximately $2,100.  Mr. Astorino will return to the BOS with definitive costs.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Reported an inquiry from an Adams Dance Studio regarding the possibility of leasing school space.  Mark responded that the BOS is not presently considering leasing options.
- Submitted a list of Cheshire School building turn back to the Town considerations from the Business Manager and Principal.
- Spoke with David Cameron, Chief of Wetlands/Waters at DEP.  Two complaints have been received about livestock and manure in streams.  The first is the Fortier Farm on Stafford Hill.  That one may well be covered under the agricultural exemption and is un-actionable.  The other is the Malloy residence on Notch Road which probably does not qualify under agricultural exemption.  Mark contacted the Cheshire Board of Health which is the proper authority to investigate prior to DEP intervention.
- Report of pothole on Fred Mason Road (after Outlook and before Reservoir) which caused $250 worth of wheel damage.  Further discussion will take place.
- Presented the ATM packet for review.
- Received a modified work plan from DER for the Kitchen Brook Dam removal and notes.  The BOS can review and discuss after the town meeting .
- NationaGrid sent an LED lighting options spreadsheet for Cheshire street lights.  Copies were emailed to Robert and Carol.
- In communication with MIIA adjuster about a Workmen’s Compensations case.  The Chief will inform the Treasurer and provide a doctor’s return to work statement this evening. Surgery will take place at the end of this month and there will be a 4-6 week recovery time before returning to work.
- Received next year’s BRTA contract for the COA van.  It is a renewal of last years and needs to be signed and returned along with some additional insurance certificated by the end of next week.
- Requested certified payroll information from prior year’s low bidder for emergency water repairs. Lynn is checking on Prevailing Wages.
- Met with Dr. Putnam today regarding the school lease.  Attorney Grandchamp will draft an agreement for the BOS to review. 

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Requested an update on the Complete Streets grant.  Mark reported that it has been extended one (1) year due to a backup at the State.

Resident, Steve LaFogg:
- Inquired about pothole rules.  If someone reports a pothole, the Town has so many hours to repair it and the next person to report it and has car damage may be reimbursed from the Town.

Cheshire Planning Board Chairman, Donna Defino:
- Wanted to remind the BOS that the Planning Board is seeking an Alternative Member.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Forest Cutting Plan received for the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club.

Cheshire Cemetery Commission, Josephine Lewis, Chairman, Neil Baker, and Jack Girard:
- Carol opened the discussion by stating that she recently received a call from an upset resident who was charged $500 for a burial fee for a weekend burial  She felt the weekday burial is $100 and believed the extra $400 was excessive.  Although Ms. Lewis said no one had complained in the past since 2012 when the charge was $200.  Carol noted that it might be as the charge may be charged directly from the funeral home. The manpower hours were discussed as well as overtime rates for highway department workers and cemetery workers.  Ms. Lewis felt the commission will review all numbers and when completed the cemetery commission will return to the BOS for further discussion.  Ed St. John felt a reasonable fee would be acceptable.  Carol felt the $500 charge was above and beyond what should be charged.  Ms. Lewis said they will come back to the BOS with a possible compromise.

Dr. Robert Putnam, Paul Butler, and Adam Emerson:
- Dr. Putnam submitted hard copies of the June 5, 2017 Presentation on ACRSD Reconfiguration for 2017-2018.  The PowerPoint presentation is available on line. Ed questioned if the final bids were in on the costs to repair the roof in Adams and if the numbers were higher.  Dr. Putnam reported that the final bids were not all in. Dr. Putnam

Carol:  Questioned why all areas of C. T. Plunkett were not mold tested and only the air quality was done for the kitchen and Janitor’s closet. The cafeteria and basement areas were not tested.  Dr. Putnam will look into that and noted that he will be speaking with building inspectors.  Dr. Putnam, also did not know if the Boiler Bid was out for bid. He will back to the BOS.

Dr. Putnam discussed the Cheshire ATM process.  He also asked for assistance in how best to reach families to inform them about the positive changes moving forward.  He was willing to do a Face Book live. He believes communication is the key to future educational success for the children.

Ed:
- “Time to accept the budget and pass it.”

Adam Emerson:
- Stated that the, “Towns need to be realistic and there will be ramification for the entire Towns, it just doesn’t affect the school - $600K in free cash doesn’t always happen.”

Ed:  “We need to move forward for all of the children in Cheshire – the education offered has to be improved.”

Dr. Putnam:
- Stressed the positives of moving forward and bringing the towns, teachers, resident’s communicating so that the children receive the best education possible.  He believes that will happen.  He did not go into changing high school hours as that will be a conversation for next year.  He encouraged all to attend the CATM, Monday, June 12, 2017 at 7pm.  Location:  Cheshire Elementary School.

Cheshire Water Department, Francis Waterman:
- Presented a copy of a letter from BEK Land Surveyors and Foresters Associates dated November 20, 2017 in regard to a completed Compiled Deed Study Plan on both sides of Kitchen Brook.  Discussion will take place at a later date.

Carol motioned to appoint Ed. St. John, IV as the Cheshire Liaison to the Adams-Cheshire School Committee. Ed accepted.

With all business finalized, Ed motioned to close the meeting at 8:50PM; 2nd by Carol 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