December 27, 2016
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent: Paul F. Astorino
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.”
- 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.
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.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds