Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

October 31, 2017
7:00PM

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

Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented for October 24, 2017.  Robert requested the insertion of Part-time Police Officer openings. Carol restated her motion to as corrected; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Lighting installation completed.
- Working on potholes, cleaning ditches, and grading of dirt roads when the weather permits.
- Roadside mowing continues.
- Snow equipment maintained and prepared for winter storms.
- The storage container arrives on 11/3/17.
- F550 should be back by the end of this week.
- Updated the BOS on the status of a wash out on Monday, October 30, 2017 on a section of Windsor Road embankment below Notch Road.  It appears to have been caused by debris clogging a catch basin. A great deal of material was washed away for approximately 3 feet and over 100 feet long.  Blair is watching the area closely and hopes the rain lets up so the water does not continue to bleed from the hill. One lane of the road is open and Blair's plan, weather permitting, is to repair the road in the next Monday as he realizes the inconvenience of taking a detour for those living in the area. This repair is a top priority and will be addressed with efficiency and a planned out system. Work should begin on Monday, November 6th. Blair also noted that the repairs can come from Chapter 90 and he has received the beginning approvals from the State to utilize Chapter 90.  Mark is working on securing possible funding from the State and will be getting in touch with our State Senator to assist with Mass Highway for financial assistance.   Robert thanked Blair for his excellent responce and for taking the responsibility of the project with exemplary workmanship.  It was noted that Cheshire was the only town in the county to suffer damage of this magnitude.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Met with Cheshire Highway negotiating team this morning.  MEMO submitted to the BOS.
- Working with Blair on the Windsor Road repairs and funding sources.
- Corrected law section of Town Employee health/dental insurance policy.  (Section 23 Section 2).
Mark will be drafting a letter to those affected by health and dental insurance. Carol motioned to adopt a new health/dental policy for eligible employees/elected officials and those appointed.  The individual must work for twenty hours per week or 1040 hours annually and be documented; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
- Drafted Highway Department employee job description. Robert was highly impressed with the document and offered the suggestion to include Hoisting 1C license as a requirement. After reviewing for a week, the BOS will discuss this item on November 7, 2017.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  continued
- Attending FEMA/MEMA training session on Monday, November 6, 2017 in Lanesborough with Blair.
- Contacted the ABCC regarding our annual license renewals. 
- Working on National Grid/Verizon pole licensing agreement.  They are requiring that all municipalities sign license agreements for items attached to their poles.  There are 84 poles in the central town area having items on them.  Checked out some of the poles and there are old fire alarms or other equipment on some of the poles as Chief Francesconi explained. No agreements will be signed until more information is received.

Ed:
- The BOS reviewed estimates Ed received  for the Town Hall's roof repairs and also for the roof of the fire house.  Further discussion is needed.

Carol:
- Will be contacting Big Daddy regarding the procedure for obtaining a liquor license.
- Made a motion to have an Executive Session at 7:30PM at the Town Hall on 11/7/17 to:
"Discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual" 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, Barry Emery:
- Discussed the upcoming events offered from the Ad Hoc Citizens Anniversary Committee.
- He voiced that the group would be going for a Northern Berkshire Grant, they are seeking sponsors, they desire to have student volunteers from McCann Vocational Technical High School to design a web page, and questioned the possibilities of facilities for the events and permits required.
Anniversary schedules are the following:
March 10, 2018 Cheshire Birthday Celebration; April Earth Day; May Memorial Day Parade; June 24 Eagles Concert; July 14 Cheese Festival; July 11 Block Party; Historical Slide show; August 8 Block Party; August Cruz night; September Historical walking tour and Cobbles hike. They would also like to create postcards, have a student essay contest, and a side walk chalk drawing event.
- The groups next meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at the fire station at 7pm. All are welcome. Please contact Barry with ideas or offers of help. Barry said, "It is a nice energetic group of people volunteering for town." Fred Balawender said, "It would be great to get everyone involved."
- Carol asked Mark to research RFP's.

Resident, Gary Trudeau:
- Questioned the tax rate.  Carol noted that all tax payers are paying the same rate of $13.06. The budget is up 2.5%.  Confusion between budgets and tax rates ended the conversation.

Owners, Cheshire Liquor Center:
- Questioned if the town could have their property surveyed regarding a DEP concern from the State DEP.  The BOS suggested speaking with the assessors to secure maps which might help them. No surveying services are available through the town.

WPA Emergency Certificate Form completed for stabilization of bank to support road, construction equipment will be operated from Windsor Road minimizing the exposure of the brook to contamination.

 

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Mail and Correspondence:
- MASS DOT National Bridge Inspection Standards and Bridge Inspection Reports. Wells Road/South Brook; East Main Street/South Brook; Notch Road/South Brook; Windsor Road/Dry Brook.
- Forest Cutting Plan; Joseph Wren, 224 Fisher Hill Road.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
8:45pm

 

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

October 24, 2017
6:30PM

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

Ed motioned to accept the minutes of October 17, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Log for 10/18/17-10/24/17.
- Submitted a signed Application for Driveway Permit for Curran Road (Map 205; Parcel 7) with Conditions. Carol made a motion to approve the Driveway Permit; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.  (Kruzel Builders  10/17/17)
- Continuing to patch potholes on Stafford Hill, Jenks Road, and East Harbor Road.
- Catch basin/culvert cleaning.
- Double yellow line painting was cancelled and will now happen on Wednesday night on Church Street, Main Street, Wells Road, and Windsor Road.
- Attending a training on the Streetscan software system in Burlington, MA on Tuesday,  October 31, 2017.
- Scheduled septic system cleaning for the Cheshire Community Center and the highway shed.
- Cleared a downed tree on West Mountain Road on 10/24/17.
- Ordered a forty foot storage tank to be placed next to the building for the storage of seasonal equipment.
- Met with Superintendent Putnam to discuss a process for winter school closings.
- Robert asked about the F550 truck and the status of repairs.  Blair reported many minor issues but the salt had deteriorated the computer; the dip stick had holes, and a different transmission was installed.  The truck is six (6) years old and has 89K miles.  Robert asked Blair to sit in on the 7:30PM Executive Session this evening. 

Cheshire Planning Board Chairman, Donna DeFino:
- Reported that the Cheshire Planning Board denied the Application for a Special Permit for Thomas and Barbara Ayotte.  The majority of the audience were pleased with the outcome but some cankerous remarks have come back to the board.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Memorandum to the BOS regarding all town employees currently enrolled in the Town's group health and dental insurance plan.
- Met with AFSCME representative, Nadine Kennedy, Mike and Brent regarding different singular health benefits to different groups.
- Contacted an area town regarding different insurance splits and learned it was not allowed.  Researching further.
- Sent a message to Attorney Kevin Feeley, representative for Berkshire Insurance Group and asked the same question.  Awaiting a response. The next meeting with the AFSCME will be Tuesday at 8:30am on 10/31/17.
- Met with the Complete Streets Committee last Wednesday. Blair, Christine, Peter Traub and Mark with two representatives from the BRPC. Worked on objectives and decided to do a sidewalk assessment since sidewalks-both upgrading and expanding was a focus.  The group came up with fifteen different projects which will eventually be ranked.  There is up to $400K available for construction. Engineering costs are not allowed.  Next meeting with be Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 11am.
- Meeting with MIIA agent on property/casualty policies on 10/26/17.
- Spoke with Becky regarding health insurance matters.  The following was concluded:
1. Board should make a decision soon to allow her to send out letters to those affected to allow them enough time to get in touch with SSI and Medicare.
2. Decide on a contribution split for all eligible employees; suggest somewhere between 70/30 and 75/25.  The split rate could always be negotiated in future years.  Recent survey showed an average of 74/26 among 25 responding towns.  Members of the Berkshire Health Group average 79/31.
3) Make new eligibility rules effective January 1, 2018.
4) Eliminating insurance availability is considered a qualifying event for Medicare.
5. There is no requirement that HMO plan splits be tied to 50% of the PPO.
6. The Town must still offer a PPO be we can make it a different split than the in-place Network Blue Deductable plan.  Recommend that the PPO be offered at a 50/50 split; 50% is the minimum the Town is obligated to offer under Chapter 32B.  Mark asked the board to review the policy.

Cheshire Fire Chief:
- Updated the BOS that an agreement with the Adams Ambulance to cover the town during week days has been finalized.  The ambulance will be stationed at the Cheshire Fire House Monday through Fridays from 8am to 5pm with a paramedic and an emergency medical technician at no cost to the town.  Cheshire volunteers will also be notified of all calls. Ed motioned to approve having the Adams Ambulance to be housed at the Cheshire Fire Station for medical responses as presented by the Fire Chief Monday through Fridays for regular Cheshire coverage;   2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Carol:  Reported to the BOS that the School Building Reuse Committee should, by the end of November, have some good options for usage.  The group will be talking with Zoning Enforcement Officer, Gerry Garner, regarding any ramifications from the options to be offered.

Ed:  November 6th will be the District Agreement Amendment Committee meeting at 6pm at Hoosac High School.

Robert:  Voiced concern about the traffic in the breakdown lane on Route 8.  He noted thirteen cars parked there for activities at the local farm.  Members of the BOS reported that the State Police are ticketing the cars every fifteen minutes.  Blair suggested contacting the owner to have traffic cones placed in the breakdown to deter parking. Robert's main concern is traffic safety and now understands some effort is being made.  However, he would like the breakdown lane cleared and all cars off the pavement.  He felt the discussion could lead to streamlining the concerns for next year


Resident, Sandra Sloane:
- Questioned if anything had changed regarding hikers staying in local churches.  It was noted that it was a diocese ruling that all individuals must have insurance.
 
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- Submitted a Warrant for the Cheshire Board of Selectmen to sign for the Special State Election on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 from 7am to 8pm for Representative in General Court...First Berkshire District.
- "Residents are reminded that the Board of Selectmen has issued a no parking ban, which bans overnight parking of vehicles on town roads/streets between the hours of 10PM and 7AM.  This parking ban is effective November 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018.  Residents are also reminded not to plow or push snow across public ways per Cheshire Town By-law.  Town Administrator, Mark Webber".

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.
- Halloween Parade will be on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1pm.
- The new cruiser is in and the Chief would like Mark to transfer the plates.
- Would like to hire one (1) or two (2) part-time fully trained police officers.

Carol:
- Motioned to have an Executive Session on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 7:30pm: "To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than the professional competence, or an individual, or discuss the discipline or dismissal or, or complaints or charges against, a public officer, employee staff member or individual."

Mail and Correspondence:

With all business finalized, Ed motioned to adjourn; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.
7:40pm

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

October 17, 2017
6:30PM

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

Ed motioned to accept the minutes of October 10, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly activity Log for 10/11/17-10/17/17. Blair arrived after Robert read his report.
- Attended an overview workshop by the Berkshire Transportation Advisory Committee today at 4PM. It will discuss state regulations and stream crossing standards as they pertain to culvert replacement projects. 
- Ditch cleaning on Lanesborough Road.
- Tree removal on Sand Mill Road.
- Continuing patching potholes and roadside mowing.
- Completing double yellow line painting Sunday night on Church/Main/Wells/ and Windsor.
- Completed short term pavement repairs on Stewart White Road.
- Truck #10 is back from Delurey’s.
- Truck #2 is getting a transmission overhaul.

Resident, Gary Trudeau:
- On behalf of several townspeople and himself, Mr. Trudeau wanted to compliment the Superintendent and the Cheshire Highway Department for widening roads and cleaning ditches.  Many people are very appreciative of Blair’s and the highway teams efforts in taking care of immediate needs.  He wanted to make something positive noticed publicly.  The BOS assured Mr. Trudeau that they are as pleased with
the changes being made as are the townspeople.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Questioned when the School Reuse Committee was meeting. Carol responded that the next meeting was at the Town Hall on October 18, 2017 at 6:30PM.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Held first negotiating session with AFSCME representative and Cheshire Highway Department employees.
- Met with new BRPC planner, Chris Gruber, and signed an agreement for BRPC to use grant funds to assist the Cheshire Planning Board in drafting zoning bylaws and or amendments to current zoning which focus on housing.  The Selectmen agreed to this item a few weeks back.  Signing was a grant formality.  Housing is a specific item laid out in the Master Plan.
- Complete Streets Committee meeting, October 18, 2017 at 5PM in the Town Hall.
- Working on connecting with Bay State Elevator regarding the chair life at the Cheshire Elementary building.  They had a recent inspection on 10/10/17 and Mark felt there should be no more inspections but a decommissioning of the lift and removal from the State list. An inspection certificate was missing which is now posted.  The 10-14-17 proposal from Bay State estimated $67,760 to replace the lift, which apparently no longer meets ADA requirements.  Mark is waiting for a response from Bay State and the Superintendent for clarification.  The same estimate showed a cost of $33,875 to remove and replace the lift.
- Working on a Workmen’s Compensation claim.
- Requested Town Clerk to post electric rates on the Cheshire website.

Resident, Gary Trudeau:
- Requested the makeup of the District Agreement Amendment Committee.  Ed answered: 1 Selectmen; 1 School Committee Member; 1 Advisory Board Member, 1 At Large person from each town.  Justin, Mary Ann Baker, Robert Ciskowski and Ed St. John, IV as the Liaison will be attending. The forum will be similar to the Master Plan meetings.

Ed:
- Had reached out to Superintendent, John Lev, regarding the joining of the Northern Berkshire School Union when he first joined the Cheshire Board of Selectmen. Only approval votes from both towns at a town meeting could approve the final results.  One town cannot withdraw and Adams cannot remove Cheshire.

Resident, Eileen Quinn:
- Requested use of the Cheshire Community Center for the Appalachian Trail group on Thursday, October 19, 2017.  The BOS approved.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Carole H. submitted cash for $100.00 from Wandering Star Brewing Company 10/21/17 and 10/22/17 two (1) day liquor licenses at Whitney’s Farm Stand.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Handwritten letter addressed to Ed complaining about changes that Spectrum has made.  The individual was especially upset with the canceling of the Nickelodeon Show.  Ed has a youngster so he clearly understands the frustration.  Final comments: “No Cool-No Cool”.
- Letter from Jennifer M. Breen, Esq. regarding Building and Zoning Violations at 846 South State Road.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to go into Executive Session; taken at 7:30PM and not return to the 6:30PM Tuesday Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Executive Session:
Roll Call:  Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John IV, Yes.


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

October 10, 2017
6:30PM

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

  
Robert motioned to accept the minutes of October 3, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly activity Log for 10/4/17-10/10/17.
- Working on ditch cleaning and sweeping on Stewart White Road.
- Roadside mowing and patching potholes.
- Repairing culvert on Curran Road. Discovered the 18”pipe was crushed and replacement is needed.
- Serious transmission issue for the F550.
- The need for a portable bathroom was discussed and ended as there was no issue to begin with.

Residents, Joe and Sandra Sloane and Rick Salvi:
- Wanted to request early evening usage of the school for playing Pickle Ball.
- Robert, at this moment, requested time for the BOS to review any repercussions in this request as there would be someone needed to open and close the building securely and since the school usage is still being worked on, it may not be a good idea to lock into one request for usage. The BOS will get back to the Sloane’s and Rick Salvi with a decision.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Received budget estimates from ACRSD business manager on the cost of funding a K-5 school.  Based on the current K-5 costs at Hoosac Valley Elementary, she estimates $3.5M annually based on the entire District’s current obligation.  There is the ongoing debt service obligation of $240K annually.  These estimates do not include Chapter 71 (transportation costs/reimbursements).  Mark estimates the range to operate a K-5 school district to be $6M.  There are numerous variables, including: the current District agreement; reimbursement amounts for both Chapter 70 and 71 with many other unknowns.
- Town Counsel forwarded a response letter from Kraus and Hummel, Pine Valley attorneys, which states they ran into many delays.  They are planning for a local construction company to fill potholes and re-grinding work should be completed by this evening.
Robert read a letter dated October 4, 2017 from Kraus & Hummel LLP in regard to the Pine Valley Mobile Home Park and the rent increase and the plans for paving the roads in the Park.
"As you are aware, this office represents Pine Valley MHC, LLC and Morgan Management, LLC in connection with the Pine Valley Mobile Home Park (the "Park").

I am in receipt of your letter of September 19, 2017.  I appreciate the additional time you have given me due to my schedule as the letter was forwarded to my attention last week.  This letter is an attempt to respond to the inquire of the Town of Cheshire Rent Control Board ("Board").


Robert:
As you are aware, the rent increase was granted last year due to issues with the decisions based upon the fact that they were represented by a firm.  We had delays in implementing the new rent.  Correspondence was sent to the Board to clarify the decision so that the notices could be forwarded to the residents in compliance with G.L.c. 186, and 12.  That was done last fall and the new rent increase did not go into effect until October 2016.

Paving could not be completed obviously due to the time of year and the winter.  During the winter of 2016, it was revealed that two (2) tanks connected to four (4) homes 30-32 Second Avenue and 2-4 Second Avenue, were in failure and needed to be connected to the new sewage disposal system, which went operational in February of 2014.  These homes were not connected and this had not been anticipated.  As a result, my client engaged Meyers Environmental in May of 2017, a photocopy of the contract is attached hereto as Exhibit 1 to connect those homes for $90,000.  Trinity Engineering was also hired as the local engineer.  This required the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") to become involved as these homes were not connected to the sewage system.  To do so, my client needed approval from the DEP to make sure the system could handle the additional flow from these homes into the system.  DEP approval was obtained, however, an additional tank serving the homes at 31-33 Second Avenue failed in late August of 2017.  Meyers Environmental is working with the DEP to obtain approval for those homes to make the work coincident.  Once these homes are connected, the paving can be commenced.  It would be impracticable and an inconvenience to the residents if the road was paved then to be torn up and repaved to connect these six (6 homes to the sewage system).  This was an unfortunate and unforeseen occurrence.

In the meantime, my client has retained D. Condron Construction, Inc., out of Lanesboro, MA to professionally fill the potholes and level the streets on Second and Fourth Avenues at an additional costs.  It is my understanding that the potholes will be filled with pavement that has been re-grinded. I attach a copy of that contract as Exhibit 2.  I am advised that this work is being done today.

I will supplement with additional information as it becomes available.  Should you have any questions regarding this matter, or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your cooperation and attention to this matter.  Signed:  Joseph E. Kelleher

- Spoke with the Town’s Workmen’s Compensation adjuster for an on-going case.  Confidential memo submitted to the BOS.
- Obtained two (2) documents on abandoning and discontinuing town roads.  One is an update by the Trustees of Reservation done on a previous Franklin County guide and the other is an excerpt from a comprehensive study and abandonment process done for the Town of New Marlboro back in 2005 by BRPC.  Both reports are consistent and lay out the process, upsides and downsides of abandoning or discontinuing maintenance of a town road.  In nearly all cases, a town meeting article and simple majority vote is required to discontinue a road. (M.G.L. Chapter 39; Section 10).  In the absence of an Official Town Map, the Planning Board must be given 45 days prior to town meeting vote for comment.   If the road in question is within 500 yards of an abutting town, a public hearing must be held and the abutting town notified.
- Complete Streets Committee meeting with the BRPC has been scheduled for October 18, 2017 at 5PM at the Town Annex.
- Received responses from 14 County municipalities on their policies on health insurance for elected officials.  A January 1 date to implement a policy change might be too aggressive to allow some to seek or implement other coverage.  March 1 would seem like ample time.  The policy is consistent with Chapter 32B and only offers insurance to those who can demonstrate that they work 20 or more hours per week on a regular basis.
- Robert suggested the minutes be sent to the Advisory Board members to keep them apprised of school usage/costs of operating a K-5 and elected official insurance changes.
- Mark will schedule a meeting on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 with Town Counsel: “To conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with non-union personnel.”
- On Tuesday, October 17, 2017 abandoned roads will be discussed in the Workshop time frame.
- Discussed medical and recreational temporary marijuana moratorium, a bylaw according to State rules and regulations, and the timeframe in which the CPB has to work within. At the June town meeting the town passes the moratorium, it would stop the establishment of recreational marijuana in town until December 2018.  This would give the CPB time to write a bylaw and submit it to the Attorney General Office. 
- Submitted Discontinuing Town and County Roads, by Planner, Lynn Rubinstein to the BOS.

Resident of the Main Street area:
- Voiced concern for children living along Main Street and Wells Road and the continuous danger of speeders.  Robert will discuss the issue with the Chief. 

Carol:
- Updated the BOS on the status of the Reuse Committee.  The PTG has inquired if they could receive permission to use the cafeteria at the school to sponsor a Mom and Son’s Pie Night and a Valentines Dance for children and parents.
Carol: Felt it was good use of the school and benefited town children.
Ed: Believed it would bring the community together and saw no reason to why not to let them use the building.
Carol:
- Suggested restricting the usage to one day events due to the heating/draining of pipes/alarming and security of the structure.
- Robert noted that “We are in an unchartered zone and felt it best to have one day activities only.”
- The team for Pickle Ball will be notified.  

7:00PM Selectmen’s Workshop:
- The BOS reviewed a schedule Mark prepared to compare present town employees, work hours and insurance benefits available. Carol reported that elected officials have to work/documented 20 hours or more weekly to qualify for insurance. She did not believe a time clock was needed; but time slips signed would be. A letter would have to be written notifying employees that insurance benefits would be ending in time for them to secure other insurance benefits with November being sign up time for Medicare.


BOS Workshop: continued
- Becky attended this session and said she would be talking to the Retirement Board and she would be reporting back to the BOS.
- Ed: Voiced concern about enforcement and the need for time slips.

Cheshire Board of Selectmen Workshop: continued
Elected officials and insurance discussion will continue on 10/17/17.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Managing voting at the Cheshire Community Center.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Carole H. submitted a check for $100.00 from Wandering Star Brewing Company 10/7/17 and 10/8/17 one (1) day liquor licenses at Whitney’s Farm Stand beer garden.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Hoosic River Watershed Association. Signed letter from Steve McMahon, Executive Director. RE: Kitchen Brook dam.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:14PM.

 


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

 

October 3, 2017
6:30PM

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

Robert motioned to accept the minutes of September 26, 2017 as corrected; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Superintendent, Robert Putnam offered an update on the enrollment numbers in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District.  As of October preliminary enrollment numbers are 98 lower students or 1,318 to 1,220. Forty six students moved out of the area. Thirty-five selected school choice after the closing of the Cheshire elementary school.  Thirty of these students were from Cheshire. His presentation showed that Grade six decreased 10 with a small increase number for Eighth grade.  Ninth grade had 41 students enrolling at the McCann Technical Vocational High School.  Thirteen students enrolled at the BART School (Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School in Adams.)
- Dr. Putnam's future goal for the district is to become a stellar school with the offering of a "Coding Program" which would allow the district's students to be on the forefront of new technology along side of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math programming.  Thus, attracting new enrollments in the district and a Level 1 standing with the State.
- Carol questioned the policy for sports and information regarding concussions.
- Discussion closed at 6:50PM.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Crack sealing continues.
- Roadside mowing.
- Elementary school maintenance; mowing and weed removal.
- Road grading on Richmond Hill and Stafford Hill.
- Mowing Stafford Hill and the boat launch.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Developing a survey of County towns and their offerings of health insurance to elected officials.
- Spoke with MIIA agent on the question of occasional part time employees - such as the fill-ins at the Transfer Station.  He noted that they do not qualify as vendors and need to be placed on the payroll system and treated as employees. 
- Questioned the BOS decision on marijuana moratoria. Per M.G.L. Ch 4-A Section 5, either the Planning Board or the Selectmen can initiate the process.  The Selectmen, by regular meeting vote, may refer zoning bylaw amendment language to the Planning Board and that starts the clock for the Planning Board to hold public hearings. 
- Inquired if the BOS wanted to drain the pipes at the school building of the old section.
- Connected with Nadine Kennedy, representation from AFSCM.  A meeting has been scheduled for:
October 17, 2017 at 9AM to enter into good faith negotiations on a union agreement for the Cheshire Highway Department employees.
- Cheshire Planning Board Chairman, Donna DeFino, discussed the issue of marijuana and accepted the ruling of the BOS in going forward.  Carol wanted to vote on having the Cheshire Planning Board proceed with a Moratorium for the town now.  However, Ed voiced that since it was not on the BOS Agenda a vote could not take place this evening.  Carol withdrew her motion

Residents Barbara and Paul Baran of Outlook Avenue:
- The family received a verbal notice of complaint from the Cheshire Zoning Enforcement Officer regarding logs on their property.  Mr. Baran stated that the logs are for heating his home and shop, and for making maple syrup.  He noted that he is not running a logging business but is fortunate in having a friend in the wood business that drops off logs on his property.  He has been doing this for 10 to 12 years and feels he knows which neighbor made the complaint.  Due to the location it is possible that the property is in a Agriculture zone.  However, if in a residential zone, the Cheshire Bylaws clearly define the ruling of what can and cannot take place.  Mr. Baran will first seek a map from the assessors and will abide on whatever the determination is by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, not the BOS. The BOS, is this instance, did not give an opinion, but advised working with the Enforcement Officer to resolve the issue. Ed said it may then go to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Carol:
- Advised Ed to follow up on roof repairs for the Cheshire Town Hall.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Peter talked about the Implementation list of goals to meet for each department.  Robert mentioned that the BOS has been influenced by the list and is going forward in making different changes.

Board of Health, Rick Salvi, Jeff Warner, and Mike Biagini:
- Carol reported that she, Rick and Jeff covered the Transfer Station attendance on Saturday, 29, 2017. On the recommendation of the Board of Health, Carol motioned to appoint Gene Pierce and Peter LeFebve as fill-ins at the Cheshire Transfer Station; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
- It was reported that the Highway Superintendent prefers having portable bathrooms rather than anyone besides the highway department employees using the buildings facility. This will be discussed further.

7:00PM Selectmen’s Workshop:
- Reviewing town employee health survey prepared by Mark.
- Discussed if Pine Valley Mobile Home Park has been in contact with town counsel.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- Discussed the need for having a monthly calendar of events.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.


Mail and Correspondence:
- Invitation for Inaugural Presentation in honor of the 225th Anniversary of the Town of Cheshire to present the Cheshire Senior Cane to Juliette Campbell. Monday, October 9th, 2017 at 46 Mallard Cove at 11am.
- Approval for Chapter 90 Project Request using funds available from Contract No. 50762. (John Deere 624 Loader.)

Inquiry: 
- The author of Jefferson’s Cheshire Cheese, Kristen H. Scholz-Demeo, approached the BOS questioning the Cheshire website’s promotion of another author’s book on the cheese press and not hers.  The BOS will speak to the IT person to resolve the concern.  The BOS advised Ms. Demeo that the site is not a venue for promotion for personal gain.

Note:  Mark recommended to the BOS that Carole H. be allowed to sign one day liquor licenses for the Wandering Star Brewing Co., LLC operating at the Whitney’s Farm Stand on various weekends until October 31, 2017.  A unanimous vote was taken to approve.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:40PM.

 

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

September 26, 2017
6:30PM

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

  
Carol motioned to accept the minutes of September 19, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Residents Eileen Quinn and John Tremblay requested usage of the Cheshire Community Center for a meeting on October 5, 2017 from 6:30PM to 8:00PM for the Appalachian Trail group.  The BOS approved and permitted a waiver of the fee.  John requested the CCC for the team working together on planning events for the Cheshire 225th Anniversary.  Due to the many meetings, Town Clerk requested a calendar be created to keep all apprised of the bookings so there are no double bookings for the center or town rooms.

Resident, Mark Biagini, thanked the BOS and town employees for attending his Dad’s funeral.  Robert voiced appreciation of Ralph’s dedication to the Town of Cheshire and his many volunteering position he had served over the years.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted the Weekly Activity Log for 9/13/17 – 9/19/17.
- Completed mowing and weed cleaning at the school building property.
- Picked up Ford F550 new flat bed body installed.
- Continuing to ditch dig and clean roadsides.
- Crack sealing Lanesboro Road completed.
- Salt shed is full.
- Second door opener replaced at the shed.  Four more openers need to be changed.  Electronics are poor after thirty years.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Submitted survey of Administrative position salaries with populations of 35K.
- Spoke with Tom Matuszko at BRPC regarding the application for a grant through the Executive Office of Environmental and Energy Affairs for approximately $20K. BRPC is seeking the BOS approval to go ahead in submitting the grant.  The money could go to the BRPC to continue to assist the Town in implementing components of the Master Plan.
- Discussed amendments to zoning by laws regarding Medical and Recreational Marijuana. Mark highly recommended the approval of a Moratorium and then following the State process for passing a bylaw.  Robert motioned to approve the creation of a Moratorium which would give the town until December and time to develop a permanent bylaw 2nd by Ed with as unanimous vote taken.   The Planning Board will be advised.
- Tax rate approved 9/25/17 at $13.06.  Tax bills are being printed now.
- Per request from the Advisory Board, Mark is doing some preliminary work on the costing out re-opening Cheshire School as a K-5 for approximately 200 students.
- Custodian respectfully requests highway clean up after edging sidewalks.
- Received a message from AFSCM representative to schedule negotiating sessions.  Mark returned the call and has had no response to date.
- A handout was received from Dr. Putnam asking the BOS to make appointment to the Regional School Agreement Committee meeting. He is seeking 1 Selectmen, 1 Advisory Board, and 1 resident.  Adams and Cheshire will have equal numbers on the committee.  Dr. Putnam would appreciate the appointments being made by the next School Committee meeting.

Carol:
- Received calls of compliments for the Lanesborough Road cracks sealed, the Wells Road and Sand Mill Hill Road ditches cleaned, and for the overall clean appearance of the Cheshire school grounds.

7:00PM Selectmen’s Workshop:
- Reviewed the need to make a decision on creating a new policy that would eliminate health insurance for part-time and appointed officials. Carol reminded the board of the time frame needed to advise people so they could obtain coverage elsewhere.  Carol read an email from Ed St. John III stating that the town cannot eliminate insurance for elected officials without eliminating it for all town employees.  This elimination may cause legal issues.  Ed felt it might be difficult to adopt a time card policy to prove elected officials are working under 20 hours per week. She also felt it difficult to believe that officials worked 20 hours during a regular work week.
- Mark is going to research other communities and will submit a report to the BOS.
- Robert suggested offering a higher salary to officials to make up for the difference.  Carol noted that consideration would deplete any savings the town had. 
- Robert would like to see some of the savings go towards stipends for fire department/EMT volunteers according to calls they attended. “There are many places we could put savings but I would like to do something for them.”
Ed suggested having workshops to address a yearly Agenda, Blighted Properties, the Budget, Planning for Revenue/Expenses, Highway Department/seasonal mowing workers.  The concept is to get ahead of issues – to be proactive and not reactive.  The creation of a Priority List with dates and deadlines for efficiency is recommended. October 10th will be to discuss further insurance for elected officials; December 5th will be the start of Budget Planning.   Time for workshops will be 7PM to closing.

Carol:
- Regarding the voting for a Union at the Cheshire Highway Department, four (4) voted for it.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.


Mail and Correspondence:
- Ed received an email from Jan Kuniholm with information regarding Greylock Road formerly called West Mountain Road.
- Letter received for Mark Webber from Governor Charles D. Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn E. Polito granting an award through the Awarding Recycling Dividends Program grant of $2,100 through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program.
- Ed will be attending the Selectmen’s Association dinner on October 26, 2017 in Great Barrington.

Cheshire Water Department Superintendent, Travis Delratez, reported to the BOS that on September 13, 2017 the town’s water won a statewide water tasting completion and received the gold in the 12th Annual Rural Water Association Water Taste Testing.  Delratez has been invited to attend a completion in Washington, D.C. in February.  This will be a completion on the national level. Kudos for a job well done.

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:20PM.

 

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