Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

January 10, 2016
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
                  
Robert read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, January 3, 2017; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. 

Town Accountant advised the BOS that the State mileage is 53.5 cents. Paul motioned that the mileage will be 53.5 cents per mile for the town of Cheshire; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Carol reported on her findings regarding a recent report against the Cheshire Animal Control Officer and the handling of a pet pig and a raccoon.  Carol spoke with both the Cheshire Police Chief and the Cheshire Animal Control Officer to obtain their interpretation of the handling of two possibly rabid animals.  The owner of the pig called and reported it had bitten a family person and a dog.  The owner wanted it removed from the home. It was done in a legal and safe manner.  It was not disposed of on private property but was taken to a local
veterinarian and appropriately handled according to the owner, the law and ethics.
- In regard to the raccoon in front of the Jill Balawander’s business on Route 8.  She reported that it was hit by a car, covered, and taken away. Carol stated that the Cheshire Animal Control Officer position is an on-call position.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Continuing to experience mechanical difficulties with trucks.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Spoke with out of town Cheshire Highway Superintendent applicant regarding relocation.  He said he was still interested in interviewing.
- A Cheshire resident called regarding the recent information received from BRPC and housing projects.  Mark suggested she call BRPC to be placed on the list of interested residents as they will be the administrator of the grant.
- Wrote a letter to Attorney Grandchamp regarding his findings about Mr. Clairmont’s  lawyers difference of opinion on the Clairmont fence issue.
- Requested the Board if they would appoint a Community Development Strategy Committee.
- Reported that Interim Superintendent Dr. Putnam would like to meet on January 17, 2017 at 6:15-6:30pm. Collins Institute information will be put on the Town’s website.
- With Becky’s assistance documents for the Bushika net metering billing to Lodestar.
- Submitted Animal Control 2017 Designation paperwork for the BOS to sign.  Carol made a motion to appoint Myron Proper as the designated Animal Control Officer; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.
- Spoke with Tom at BRPC and the upcoming DLTA grant.  He suggested that we team up with Hinsdale and apply for a guidance document for removing dilapidated housing.  Both communities have expressed a need.  With the Board’s approval, Mark would like to contact Hinsdale to start the process.  There would be no funding for the removals, just a layout of the process and identification of avenues for funding. Originally, Carol and Paul opposed the concept.  However, after more discussion and understanding, it was agreed to go forward.  Robert reminded all that the Cheshire Master Plan Committee found that there is an “Issue with our image” and the Committee is greatly concerned about the issue of declining population.
- The first meeting of the Complete Streets Committee meeting was held today and it was decided to send out an RFP to three (3) contractors seeking scope of work proposals, which would be funded for up to $50K under the program.  The chosen vendor would identify transportation gaps and needs and from there, a project or projects would be chosen and then the up to $400K construction grant would be applied for.  The Committee developed a few projects that may fit the intent of the program for funding.

Carol A. Francesconi:
- Signed a permit (CCC section) for a garage for Mark Warner.
- Carol motioned to appoint E. St. John IV, Eileen Quinn, and Peter Traub to the Community Development Committee.  Letters of Appointment will be mailed and their terms will expire after the application is complete; 2nd Robert, with a unanimous vote taken.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Carole H. will schedule Cheshire Highway Superintendent interviewing times for Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 10:30am; 11:00am; and 11:30am at the Cheshire Town Hall.

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.”
Roll Call:  Paul F. Astorino, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; and Carol A. Francesconi, Yes.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:02PM; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. The 6:30pm Open Meeting will not continue.


Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds

 

January 3, 2017
6:30PM

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, December 27, 2016; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. 

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Reported two (2) trucks down.
- Ordered 300 tons of salt.
- Reported that the generator company evaluated the machine and noted that it was producing power.
(Three (3) phase - 208 volts.)  A formal report will be sent to the fire house at which time a decision will be made as far as either using it or replacing it.

Resident, Linda Clairmont:
- In an effort to address Ms. Clairmont’s conservation questions, Carol asked her to wait until the end of the meeting or to contact her via telephone to answer her questions that are relevant to her property.  Time was available at the end of the meeting and Ms. Clairmont’s question was addressed.

Thomas Matuszko from BRPC was present to discuss the housing rehabilitation program.  The BRPC presenter was Patricia A. Mullins, Community Development Program Manager.  Her Agenda indicated that the 2017 Grant Application Deadline was March 10, 2017.  The maximum funding available to a single community is: $800,000.  Ms. Mullins reviewed the process, the need to sign a MOU, and to approve a CDS committee.

Carol Francesconi was appointed by Paul to be the Environmental Certifying Officer; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken by the BOS.  All present agreed that the three (3) committee members should come from the Cheshire Master Plan Committee.  Since the majority of the Cheshire Master Plan Committee was present, the Chairman, E. St. John IV, felt it was doable and he would proceed in seeking the three (3) individuals and report back to the BOS.  The Cheshire BOS approved of going forward with the project.  Matching funds will be worked on with the BRPC and if awarded, BRPC will administer the grant.  This is a labor intensive grant, but Ms. Mullins felt confident that Cheshire has a good chance at the competition.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Mark addressed last week’s question regarding the Highway Superintendent applications being available for public information.  The answer is:  Yes.
- Mark requested the BOS to review the applications and to decide how to proceed.  Carol asked Mark to contact the individual who lives out of state to review the requirements of the position and to see if he is still interested.
- Grant opportunity from DER for culvert replacement design assistance.  Highly competitive; only $50K available and up to $25K to any recipient.  Bonus points are given to open bottom culvert projects.  Applications are due by January 27, 2017.
- Completed the Ethics Commission Conflict of Interest test.
- Submitted a more developed statewide survey showing the current fiscal year municipal employee health insurance contribution rates.
- Letter received from the Mass Rural Water Association detailing the amount of work they and Travis have accomplished in the past few months.  Specifically mentioned was the mapping and location of pipes and shutoffs throughout the water system.  The letter also thanked the Cheshire Highway Department for their assistance as well.
- Confirmed the first meeting of the Complete Streets Committee meeting for next Tuesday at 4 in the Cheshire Annex.
- Started working on the FY 2018 spread sheet for the Town’s annual budget.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Out of Office.

Resident, Cara Petricca:
- Ms. Petricca reported to the BOS issues that have occurred recently regarding animals in Cheshire and the assistance or lack of assistance from the Cheshire Animal Control Officer.  Ms. Petricca offered her perception of two specific incidents regarding the possibility of rabid animals and the handling of by the CACO.  Ms. Petricca recounted a recent incident involving a home pet pig and the biting of two residents.  Her perception was that the pig was not rabid and the CAO shot the pig and then she recounted comments on Facebook from a CAO family member bragging that the pig was in their freezer.  Additionally, she noted a raccoon that was thought to be rabid and shot on property opposite the fire house on Route 8.  Carol will be speaking with the CACO and the Cheshire Chief of Police to document both sides of the incidents.
- Ms. Petricca offered her assistance to the CACO as well as those of three (3) individuals who she knows who will offer assistance to the department.
- Ms. Petricca noted that she has spent $2K of her own money in different animal cases and reminded the BOS of a skunk situation last year.
 
Resident, Eileen Quinn:
- Submitted information for the BOS to consider writing municipal leaders regarding the prevention of “Pipelines and the “Pipeline tax.”  The goal is to send a minimum of twenty-five letters statewide to the Legislature in February 2017. A decision will be made January 10, 2017.

Robert:
- Requested an Executive Session for Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 7:30PM to discuss: “To consider the discipline or dismissal of, or to her complaints or charges brought against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual.” 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Mail and Correspondence:

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:00PM; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
       
Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds

December 27, 2016
6:30PM

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent: Paul F. Astorino    
Press: iBerkshires
                  
Robert read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, December 20, 2016; Carol accepted with corrections; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. 

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Reported that two trucks are down with mechanical issues.  Peter expects a snow storm on Thursday, December 29, 2016 and amounting to 12”.  Peter was confident that coverage could be handled.
- Ordered more sand and salt.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Highway Superintendent applications closed this evening.  The BOS will review and discuss next week. Three (3) Applications were received.
- Mark submitted a salary survey for Berkshire County and Franklin County for first man and second man Highway Superintendents.
- ABCC data entry for 2017 liquor licenses was submitted and approval was received.
- Will be meeting with Nick Wildman on January 31, 2017 to review the Kitchen Brook Dam project.
- In reviewing the Sand Mill Bridge Bids, the town engineer recommended the award go to the low bidder.
(S W Construction Enterprises, LLC) for $229,640.00.  Robert noted that S W was quite lower than some of the other bids.  Carol made a motion to award S W Construction.  She reminded those present that low bidder has to be awarded in order to be reimbursed by the State. Although reluctant, Robert voted yes.  Robert, “Hopes they come through.”

Carol:
- Read the Legal Notice for the Highway Superintendent position. “The Town of Cheshire seeks qualified applicants for the position of Highway Superintendent.  The ideal candidate shall have 5-7 years supervisory experience in municipal or state highway operations and valid skills and knowledge of all phases of public works including road maintenance, construction and snow removal.  This is a working supervisory position.  This is a fully benefited position and salary shall be based on experience.  For primary consideration, letters of interest and resumes shall be addressed to the Board of Selectmen, 80 Church Street, Cheshire, MA 01225 and are due no later than 7:00PM, December 27, 2016 although this position will remain open until filled.  A complete job description is available on the Town’s website:  www.cheshire-ma.gov or by contacting the Town Administrator at 413-743-7728.”  Three (3) applications we received.  Copies of submissions were made for the BOS to review and to be prepared for discussion at the next Tuesday BOS meeting.”

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  continued
- Scheduled a Complete Streets meeting for January 10, 2017 at 4pm at the town Annex.
- Working with BRPC, Tom Matuszko, regarding low income housing rehab program.  Funding comes from the Federal CDBG program but money is sourced through the State Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).  Some communities, known as entitlement communities receive funding directly through CDBG. He noted that entitlement housing is not available in Cheshire.  There will be a fast turnaround for the application as the deadline is in January.  BRPC will draw up the application and it will be for Cheshire alone.  The program changed this year and there is no longer a scoring bonus for submitting a joint application with one or more of other towns.  A requirement that is required is to form a housing committee specific to this program and to hold at least one meeting.  Tom will be providing more information next week and will be scheduling a January meeting.
- State paperwork for the Cheshire Animal Officer will be discussed on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.
- Mark will contact Gailanne Cariddi to question how long the Legislative process will take in regard to the changing of three (3) to five (5) Selectmen. Also, Mark will schedule a meeting with Representative Cariddi to review the DER meeting about the Kitchen Brook dam removal project and information received from Nick Wildman (DER staff.)

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.
- Police Academy Attendee, Michael Alibozak, reported to the BOS that he has to do a community project for the academy and he has selected, “Cheshire’s Resources for Elderly Assistance.”  The BOS suggested he contact Outreach Worker, Kerry Lahey, at the Cheshire Community Center for assistance.  The BOS wished Mr. Alibozak best wishes at the academy.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Will be advising those town employees that are required to take a
State Ethics Test.

7:30PM
Public Hearing/National Grid with Representative Diane Clowes Abutter, E. Clairmont attended.
Carol read the following:  “Permission to erect and maintain poles and wires to be placed thereon, together with such sustaining and protecting fixtures as said Company may deem necessary, in the public way or ways hereinafter referred to, as requested in petition of said Company dated the 5th day of December 2016.  All construction under this order shall be in accordance with the following conditions:  Poles shall be of sound timber, and reasonable straight, and shall be set substantially at the points indicated upon the plan marked – Stewart White Road-Cheshire Massachusetts.  21863241 Dated:  December 5, 2016.  There may be attached to said poles such wires, cables, and fixtures as needed in their business and all of said wires and cables shall be placed at a height of not less than twenty (20) feet from the ground.  Stewart White Road-National Grid to install 6 SO poles & 4 anchors for line extension on Stewart White Road to refeed customers currently fed off right of way along Savoy Road.  Nation Grid w ll be removing all conductors from pole 128 Savoy Road to pole 140 Savoy Road in the ROW.”
- Peter requested the poles be placed as far back as possible so snow can be pushed to town line as the area is known for snow drifts.  Peter noted that the area has been surveyed for a development and wondered if that was taken into consideration for sustainability and would enough power be available.
- Mr. Clairmont discussed his concerns as to where the wires would be placed and if they would interfere with his farming equipment.  He also wondered where the guide wires would be and if they would be on his

Public National Grid Hearing:   continued
property fence line. After a lengthy discussion Mr. Clowes and Mr. Clairmont agreed to review the project and resurvey the placements in the spring. Ms. Clowes noted that poles are approximately 175’ a part and it will be a three (3) to six (6) month conversion to allow for higher voltage.
Carol motioned to approve the project; 2nd by Robert.  A unanimous vote was taken.
The meeting closed at 7:55PM.

Robert:  Deferred his questions until next week when there will be a full board.

Mail and Correspondence:

Resident, E. Richard Scholz:
- Questioned if the 3-5 Selectmen project was moving forward.  Carol updated the Legislative process and is working with Town Counsel to handle the process accordingly.  Carol noted that the procedure goes as follows:  A warrant article which will be drafted by Town Counsel will be presented to a special or annual town meeting, presumably by the Board of Selectmen, petitioning the General Court for approval of an increase from three (3) to five (5) Selectmen. Upon passage of the article, the petition will be submitted through our legislators for approval by the General Court. Once passed by the General Court, the language approved by the town meeting an legislature will appear as a ballot question for approval at a regular or special town election. 
- Mr. Scholz questioned if Christmas wreaths were placed on headstones for Veterans in the cemetery.  Carol said the cemetery is closed on December first and opens in the middle of April.  This is due to weather conditions and roadway maintenance.

A Complete Streets Committee meeting will take place at 4pm, the Cheshire Annex, on January 10, 2017.
Members include:  Diane Hitter, Peter Traub, Christine Emerson, a BOS member, Peter LeFebvre, and Mark Webber. 

A 2017 Special Use Permit Winter Events Application for Fishing and Boating Access will be submitted for the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club for February 19, 2017.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the meeting at 8:02PM; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.


Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds

 

December 20, 2016
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
                  
Board reviews and acts on weekly warrants.

Resident Barry Emery informs the Board that he is working on a new Cheshire history project regarding the Cheshire Cheese and seeks the Board's permission to use an image of the donated Stomsky painting in this new book. Board approves the request. Barry also gifts a copy of his History of Cheshire for the Town archives. Board thanks Mr. Emery.

Robert reads the minutes of the December 13, 2016 meeting. CF makes a motion to accept the meeting minutes as presented with minor grammatical correction. RC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor. It was noted that the holiday party was extended to all department heads for a meeting.

Highway Superintendent, Peter LeFebvre:

- Peter states that everything is going fine. One of the Ford highway trucks has a computer problem and is out of commission. New highway truck has arrived at the dealer and will be shipped to the equipment outfitter shortly. Peter and crew continue to work on potholes around town. PA thanks Peter and crew for doing a great job on the last snowstorm.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:

- Received opinion from Town Counsel on 3 to 5 questions and provides copies for Board (attached).

- Received bid results from Foresight Engineering from last week's bid opening for Sand Mill Road Bridge. Spoke to Steve Mack from Foresight at the end of last week and he was researching low bidder qualifications and references. Spoke with Steve this afternoon and he's still following up on past projects involving the low bidder and he's asked for another week to complete that review before giving his recommendation to award the bid.

- Finally heard from ABCC regarding our log in and password. Mark has created an account but there's nothing there for any action. Calls to ABCC have not been returned. Mark's betting they're a little overwhelmed.

- Heard from Representative Cariddi's office and her chief of staff will come and meet with Mark on a yet to be determined Tuesday in January to discuss support for the Thunder Brook dam removal project.

- Also heard again from Nick Wildman on the same subject and he and a staff member will meet with Highway Superintendent and Mark one Tuesday in January as well.

- Provides Board with notice from the Ethics Commission that all Town employees must receive a summary of the Conflict of Interest Law and complete an online training and test and provide a copy of same to the Town Clerk prior to April 7th of this year. This test has to be taken each year.

- Provides Board with a  note from ACRSD Supt. Putnam. The District is using available grant funds to conduct lead and copper tests in all of the internal plumbing and fixtures at all of its schools. They are coordinating with the Water Superintendent. Mark notes that the Cheshire Water Department conducts regular DEP mandated testing of its water supply and distribution system for lead and copper.

Paul:

- Berkshire Regional Planning announces a new round of District Local Technical Assistance grants. Applications are due by 5:00 PM on January 20th. It is suggested that the announcement be forwarded to the Planning Board, which has taken advantage of this program in the past.

- MMA letter stating the  Cheshire Town Report did not win its annual town report contest.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner: issues his weekly report.

Resident Ed Clairmont addresses the Board regarding his and his attorney's difference of opinion with that of Attorney Grandchamp who recently issued an opinion regarding an ongoing  dispute between Mr. Clairmont, the Fence Viewers and his neighbor Mr. Clairmont states that approximately 200' of common fence is the core of the dispute and that Attorney Grandchamp is mistaken by stating that the fence viewers can re-visit a prior decision. Board agrees to speak again with Attorney Grandchamp and provide him with Mr. Clairmont's and his attorney's information.

Resident John Tremblay inquires about a BRPC administered low income housing rehabilitation grant that the Town may participate in. Following a general conversation, it is suggested that John speak directly with Tom Matuszko at BRPC for program specifics. Board notes that it is interested in participating in the program.

Town Clerk Christine Emerson speaks about the added burdens resulting from changes to the Public Records Law, specifically the Town's ability to adhere to electronic provision of Town records.

Board and John Tremblay have a general discussion on Town Counsel opinion on the process to change the Board of Selectmen from 3 to 5 members.

Robert reports that the Master Plan Committee is seeking to schedule its next meeting for January 26th; time to be determined. The meeting will be in a listening session format.

Robert notes that the Board will have to consider the fate of the recently Town funded and donated computers to the Cheshire Elementary School, if the school was to close. He notes that the computers were voted specifically for the use of Cheshire Elementary students. Board agrees.

7:40 PM:There being no additional business to come before the Board, Paul makes a motion to adjourn the regular meeting and go upstairs for the Town's annual Christmas party. Carol seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds

 

 

December 13, 2016
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
                  
Robert read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday December 6, 2016; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. 

Resident, Kris Delmolino, requested the BOS to remove snow on the sidewalks of Main Street for the safety of those who walk.  Additionally, he requested sidewalks installed from Dublin Road to the bridge.  Peter will investigate.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Addressing problems as they come.
- The Town of Cheshire has had 35” of snow so far.
- Maintaining equipment.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Received a letter from the Division of Ecological Restoration with the “provisional project” approval for the Kitchen Brook Dam Removal project.  To date, that means it is not guaranteed for funding but DER will work with the Town for the next year to put together partners and funding options.  Tom Matuszko at BRPC will assist in searching out partners and funding potentials.  HOORA will offer support as in the past.  The award announcement was sent to Representative Gailanne Cariddi for her office’s assistance.
- Mark offered information from Tom Matuszko regarding a housing rehabilitation program under the Department of Housing and Community Development.  This is similar to a program offered years ago.  Mark will research more information as the BOS thought it was a help to town residents in the past.
- Bid opening for Sand Mill Bridge will take place on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 2:00pm in the Town Hall.   Peter, a Selectmen, and a representative from Foresight will attend.  Bids would be opened and taken under advisement and reviewed by the engineer who would follow up with a recommendation of the award. Abutters notifications were mailed for the ConsCom hearing schedule for Friday, December 16, 2016 at 5:00pm in the Town Hall.
- Return to Work information for Highway employee received and in effect as of Friday, December 2, 2016.
- Contacted FM Contractors from Canton, MA regarding a proposal to do an assessment of the Town’s surplus generator.  The assessment should show whether or not the unit is worth fixing and keeping.
- ACRSD Superintendent Putnam is trying to put together a meeting for January 10th for a draft presentation of the Collins Institute study.  Attending would be Mark, Tony, ACRSD business manager, Dr. Putnam, a representative from Collins and Chair of the ACRSD school committee.  The purpose is for final review and to make comments before the final report is issued.
- Contacted the ABCC about the missing link for the town to sign and return licenses.
- Spoke with the Town’s auditor about the Bushika net metering deal and the proposed accounting from Lodestar Energy, the firm that is operating the facility.  The method Lodestar is proposing is appropriate and Becky can sign and return the requested forms.  Beginning next month, Town building electricity is at a 25% discount.

Highway Superintendent Application review on December 27, 2016 at 7pm.

Hearing for National Grid scheduled for Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 7:30.  Abutters notified.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Carol:
- Will contact Town Counsel for a written document regarding the change from 3-5 Selectmen.

Mail and Correspondence:
- NationalGrid regarding herbicide application along power line rights-of-way for 2017.
- Informational letter from Andrew R. Campanella, President, National School Choice Week.

2017  Licenses signed. (Class I, II, and III for dealers; ABCC Licenses, and Common Victualler’s.)

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:30PM; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.


Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

_______________________________________________________________
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds

 

December 6, 2016
6:30PM

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

Robert:
- 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.
Carol:
- 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.”
Carol:
- 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.”

Robert:
- 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.” 

Robert:
- 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:

7:30PM
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.


Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

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Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds