Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

June 6, 2017

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.

- “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


May 23, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Press: iBerkshires
Ed motioned to waive the reading of the May 16, 2017 minutes. Ed motioned to accept the minutes as amended; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Blair Crane:
- Shadowland Cove; swept, repaired and repaved.
- Fuel tank painted and placarded at the Town Garage.
- Ditch digging on Wells Road continues.
- Ditch in front of Gable residence completed.
- Mowed town properties.
- Repaired cracked mower deck on the Scag.
- Major fabrication and weld project completed on York Rake.
- Town crosswalks repainted for Memorial Day.

Carol requested an Executive Session for the May 26, 2017 6:30PM Open Meeting at the end of the session. “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: 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

- Read a letter from Attorney Jeff Grandchamp regarding the fence concerns between Edwin Clairmont, Dr. Beisiegel and the Cheshire Fence Viewers.  Copies of the letter will be forwarded to Mr. Clairmont, Dr. Beisiegel and the Cheshire Fence Viewers. 

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Submitted a MEMO to the BOS recapping a meeting Mark attended with Dr. Putnam, Erica Snyder and Jeff Grandchamp.
- Met with Cemetery Commissioner to review the replacement of a Scag mower.  Mark added an article for the warrant to cover the total needs of $11,514 for a mower and wooden planks needed for funerals.  The appropriation will come from the Cemetery Perpetual Care interest account.
- Tom Matuszko from BRPC will speak tonight to ask the Board to sign on to becoming a Green Community.
- Concrete work is completed at the Sand Mill Road Bridge.  The steel has been installed and the completion date of June 9, 2017 appears feasible.
- Follow up documentation has been submitted for the current workers’ compensation claim.
- Heard from the Division of Ecological Restoration regarding the final project review of Kitchen Brook dam project. They anticipate that funding will be approved effective July 1, 2017 for the Kitchen Brook dam project.
- Updated FY 18 ATM warrant, budget and levy limit.  Changes from prior submissions are:  Cemetery article at end of warrant; increase in Veteran’s benefits, communications and town building utilities.
- Mark spoke with Peter L. to review unused vacation time accrual.

BRPC, Tom Matuszko:
- Green Community discussed.  New buildings would be stricter under the Stretch Code.  However, the costs would be recouped in the differences saved by energy saved. Basic awards are approximately $135K and it is State money from the Department of Energy Resources.  It is for installation of energy efficient systems such as energy efficient cars and trucks, boilers, windows, or possibly an energy efficient police vehicle or highway vehicle.  There is no cost or risk to the town to explore possibilities.  Ed motioned to move forward with the initiative; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken. Grant round would be early fall of 2018.
Criteria 1.
Work with BRPC to review the Town’s existing zoning bylaws meet the by-right use requirements of
Criteria 1:  If zoning amendments are needed, examine options best suited to the Town that will meet Criteria 1 and bring the most suitable option to Town Meeting for approval.

Criteria 2:  Examine permitting policies and regulations for compliance with Criteria 2; pursue amendments if needed.

Criteria 3:  Work with BRPC to develop a municipal energy use baseline and prepare a 5-year Energy Reduction Plan.

Criteria 4:  Inventory the Town’s vehicle fleet and partner with BRPC to draft and adopt a Fuel Efficient Vehicle Policy.

Criteria 5:  Work with Green Communities Western Regional Coordinator to pursue adoption of the Energy Stretch Code.

- Thanked Tom for services rendered and the Scope of Work he completed for the Cheshire Master Plan. The town looks forward to continuing to work with BRPC as the Implementation Committee is formed.  Ed
noted that he attended the Cheshire Planning Board’s monthly meeting on Monday, May 22, 2017 whereby they approved the Cheshire Master Plan.  Robert thanked Tom and Eammon for keeping the group focused with strong guidance and support.

- Reported that the Implementation Committee will consist of individuals from the Cheshire Master Plan Committee.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:

Issued four (4) one day event Liquor Licenses for the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club.  Received:  $200.00

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the meeting at 8:02PM; 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


May 16, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Press: iBerkshires
Carol read BOS minutes for May 9, 2017. Robert motioned to accept the minutes as amended; 2nd by Ed
with a unanimous vote taken.

Budget Discussion:
- Mark presented the BOS a draft fiscal 2018 budget up $306,732 which is a 5.5% increase this year. Mark  felt the increase was between education and general town expenses. The BOS reviewed a proposed budget of $5,902,686.
- Robert voiced concerns about the Town’s Clerk’s small increase and encouraged the BOS to relook the increase and consider giving a higher increase.  On hold.  To discuss further.
- Carol voiced the need for setting aside money for building maintenance.  Mark noted that there is approximately $80K in levy capacity and noted the need to be careful in making any increases.
- The Highway Department Budget was increased $26K or 3.3%.
- The Budget review will continue on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
Highway Department, Blair Crane:
- Repaired catch basin on Stafford Hill.
- Street sweeping is complete.
- Trucks #5 and #3 passed inspection this past week.
- Continued cleaning the ditches on Wells Road in anticipation of upcoming paving in the next week.
- Graded Richmond Hill Road and hauled gravel to fill in washed out areas.  Will need another half day to complete the job.
- Shadowland Cover project is on the schedule for 5/17/17.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Discussed leasing possibilities with the school district for business office space and two (2) other entities.  More definitive information is needed before the BOS can review and make a decision.
- Robert wanted it noted in the minutes that he is against proceeding.  There are too many variable; too many questions about the unsure costs.  He does not want to go in blinded and then be a year down the road and be surprised at the costs.  He is open to learning more specifics.
- Mark needs to meet with heating companies to better understand the heating needs and costs.
- After the Cheshire Annual Meeting on June 12th, the Reuse Committee can begin to access the plan for the Cheshire Elementary School.


Cheshire Board of Selectmen    May 16, 2017    Page 2

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Carol reported having a discussion with Attorney, Jeff Grandchamp regarding the Clairmont fence viewing Case.  He revised his legal opinion and will forward a copy to Mark.  Carol also spoke to Attorney Granchamp and said his original opinion stands.

Request submitted in writing from the Cheshire Community Association (CCA) to utilize the trademark of the Mammoth Cheshire Cheese Press for marketing items.  BOS approved.

- Final plans in place for the Cheshire Memorial Day Parade and activities.

- A reimbursement was approved for Andy Kachel for the cost of a physical.  Payment due to Mr. Kachel not BMC.

- Checked the wording for the Chrome Book computers.  “To see if the Town will vote to appropriate the sum of $20K from the Capital Stabilization Fund and transfer the same amount to the Cheshire Elementary School Laptop Computer Account for the purpose of purchasing laptop computers and associated equipment for the exclusive use of students attending the Cheshire Elementary School, with the express understanding that these computers shall not be utilized for other purposes without the approval of the Town, or take any other action in relation thereto.”  Article Passed

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.
- Updated BOS on the knee injury of a police department employee.  Chief Garner will keep the BOS apprised of a return to work date.  Presently claiming Workmen’s Compensation.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   No issues or concerns.

Resident, Brian Astorino:
- Discussed using the field at Cheshire Elementary for movie nights on Saturday after June 30th.  BOS approved.
- Brian reported that the locks have been changed and the septic system needs pumping.  The BOS suggested getting the costs for the maintenance and report back to the BOS.
- Brian reported that Adams Trucking will be providing the manpower and clay for the field. 

Mail and Correspondence:
- MIIA participation credit on Property and Casualty: $2,190 for July 1, 2017 invoice.

 Advisory Board meeting with the BOS. On Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Robert motioned to go into Executive Session “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.” The 6:30 meeting will not reopen.

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

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the meeting at 8:10PM; 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


May 9, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires
Robert opened the meeting at 6:30PM and motioned to waive the reading of the minutes for May 2, 2017. All members had received the minutes previous to tonight's meeting; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, John Tremblay:
- Presented to the BOS a flyer that will be used to advertise the Summer Music Block Parties on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 and Wednesday, August 9, 2017. Where:  Town Hall Center.  Time:  6:00pm-8:00pm.  A request,  in writing, is forthcoming seeking the approval for using the cheese press logo for tee shirts/ prints and other fund raising means.   All proceeds will benefit the Cheshire Community Association (CCA).

- Notified the audience that all comments and questions will be addressed at the end of the open meeting.

Town Counsel, Ed St. John III
Robert: In an effort to better understand the recent events concerning the Adams-Cheshire Regional School Districts School Committee's decision to close the Cheshire Elementary School, the processes for addressing the two (2) recent citizens petitions, and the legal/proper procedures needed to go forward, the BOS requested guidance from Town Counsel.
-    Town Counsel reviewed the challenges faced with the two citizen’s petition and the use of free cash and the stabilization account for approximately $300k and noted that there are procedures that have to be followed with the Department of Education. He noted that the town is unable to transfer money in this manner and the agreement totally would have to be amended. Once the amendment is approved the district can change the budget to indicate an increase.  This action would need to go before both towns in a town meeting.  Should   the towns pass new budgets and the town meeting does not vote to use the reserves to fund, this could also lead into an override vote. St. John noted that the towns cannot tell the school committee which approach to take. Carol also questioned if the $300K is secured and given to the school district, can the money just be put into the operation of the district, and could the closing continue?  This has to be further investigated.

Outside Fundraising:   St. John reported that an outside fundraising effort is a tax exempt situation and  a 501
(c) (3) would needed to be in place. Resident, Mr. McLain, reported that the petition group is prepared to go forward with the paperwork and processes to become 501 (c) (3). It is imperative that the town follow the procedures so litigation does not follow.

- Suggested meeting with the individuals involved with the petitions to clarify what exactly is happening and why the BOS makes the decisions they do. Mr. McClain left the Advisory Board meeting and met with the BOS to go over the situation as it stands this evening.
- Would like to offer a “Baby Town Meeting” to explain the articles and any questions regarding the handling of the petitions and the State process for doing  so.
- Informational Meeting to review the articles for the upcoming Cheshire Annual Town meeting will take place on Monday, June 5, 2017 -  7pm @ the Cheshire Community Center.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Busy week with a lot accomplished.
- Mowing.
- West Mountain Road is opened.
- Floating dock rescued.
- Worked on catch basin on Stafford Hill Road.
- Addressing repairs to the blown hydraulic line on  sweeper.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Reviewed and edited changes in articles for the upcoming June 12th Annual Town Meeting.
- Will be reviewing the process needed to change from three (3) to five (5) Selectmen.
- Plowing and caring for private roads.  Mark will be calling the attorney general for the correct
verbiage for the continuance of plowing private road for fire, and police access. Going further regarding the possibility of maintaining private roads is another issue. Mark will discuss 6c and 6n of the MGL with the Attorney General.
- Worked with the BoH regarding the removal of a resident for unsanitary conditions. Elder Services is involved.  It was necessary to condemn the house and the house needs to be cleaned.
- Placed in all mailboxes, at Cheshire Town Hall, a Memorandum for Recycled Procurement Policy.
- Mark will address changes made to  the articles on the Warrant.
- Completing  MIIA application for insuring the Cheshire Elementary School.
- Reported that co sponsorship was approved by an aide to Adam Hinds. He will send a similar letter that Gailanne Cariddi wrote in support of receiving monies from the State which would go the general fund of the district
- The Bid for Emergency Water Repairs is due back May 30, 2017 by 7PM. The advertisement will be in The Eagle next week.
- Spoke to Eammon Coughlin and Tom from BRPC regarding amendments to Zoning Bylaws.
- Physics instructor requested the use of Cheshire Lake for a Recycle Regatta. All boats will be made out of recyclables.   Answer tabled until Mark has the school secure insurance coverage.
- Under advisement; monthly elevator  inspections.

Cheshire Planning Board Chairman, Donna Defino:

- After a discussion with Mark and the BOS, the request to have a Moratorium on Marijuana Dispensaries, Donna announced that it will be put on HOLD. Due to the need of two hearings and the timeframe allowed, there is no time to complete everything appropriately for this year’s town meeting.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:    Weekly Report Submitted.
- Reported three tractor trailers were seen using Henry Wood Road. BOS suggested posting a sign to deter trucks from using the road.

- School Reuse Committee on hold pending lease.
- Noted the need for an additional member to the Cheshire Advisory Board. Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:   No issues or concerns.
- Reported that the Library section of rebuilding the gutters would cost approximately $20K-$40K. To do all gutters; estimates are needed.  Grants would be needed to correct the problem.

Mail  and Correspondence:
- Race Amity Day Proclamation date set for June 11,  2017.

Audience Question:   Peter Traub
- Can the town legally maintain private roads? The answer will be coming from the Attorney General.

Carole H.:
- Called Attorney Grandchamp to follow up on Clairmont fence viewing issue.

With all business final, Robert motioned to close the meeting at 8:45pm; seconded 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

May 2, 2017

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

Robert opened the meeting at 6:30PM.  Carol motioned to have Robert S. Ciskowski as the Cheshire Board of Selectmen Chairman; 2nd by Ed St. John. Carol motioned Ed St. John IV as the Cheshire Board of Selectmen Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds; 2nd by Robert.  Robert motioned to have Carol as the Cheshire Board of Selectmen Clerk; 2nd by Ed.

Carol read the BOS meeting minutes of April 25, 2017; resident, Peter Traub, requested to change the date of the COA Open House to read Sunday, April 30, 2017.  Robert motioned to accept the minutes as amended; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Met with National Grid’s energy efficiency division and energy analyst.  Surveyed the Town Garage, Fire House, Senior Center and Town Hall.  An assessment is expected back within two (2) weeks with recommendations.
- New tires have been mounted on the New Holland boom mower.
- Approximately half of the towns gravel roads have been graded.  Rainy weather is slowing the process on some of the steeper terrain.
- Blair attended the Berkshire County Highway Superintendents Meeting in Lanesborough last Thursday. 
- Continued patching Route 116.
- New truck has been lettered.
- National Grids Forestry Contractor was in town last Friday to take care of some tree issues.
- Future Issues:  Outlook Avenue ditch cleanout. Waiting for the ground to dry out to be able to make a recommendation.
- Various snowplowing cleanup requests are coming into the office.  The department will tackle them as they come in and as weather permits.
- Wells Road to be shimmed tomorrow if the weather will cooperate as well as mowing later in the week if things can dry out.

Resident, Michelle Whitney presented the BOS with two (2) citizens’ petitions to be placed on the upcoming Warrant for the June Annual Town Meeting.  The petitions involves $300,000 to come from the Stabilization
and Free Cash Accounts.

Petition 1
Thirteen (13) signatures.  (To be certified by the Town Clerk)”We, the undersigned registered voters of the Town of Cheshire, MA, do hereby petition the Select Board pursuant to MGL Ch. 39, S. 10, to include the following articles on the Warrant for the Annual Town Meeting to be held on Monday, June 12, 2017:

To see if the town will vote to:

1. Appropriate from certified free cash the sum of $150,000 to fund continued operation of the Cheshire Elementary School grades pre-k through 5 for FY 17-18 only.

2. Appropriate the sum of $150,000 from the Stabilization Fund to fund continued operation of the Cheshire Elementary School grades pre-k through 5 for FY 17-18 only.

3. Appropriate the sum of $300,000 to keep Cheshire Elementary School open from grades pre-k through 5 for FY 17 – 18 only.  If articles 1 & 2 on this petition are approved, this article will not be necessary.
4. Allow outside fundraising to offset and reduce the cost of continued operation of the Cheshire Elementary School grades pre-k through 5.”

Petition 2
Two hundred thirty one (231) signatures.  (To be certified by the Town Clerk)
Emergency Amendment Pursuant Section VII (B) of the Agreement between the towns of Adams and Cheshire, Massachusetts-Allowing The Town of Cheshire to Pay Additional costs to keep Cheshire Elementary School Open.
“Amendment pursuant to Section VII(B) of the Agreement Between the Towns of Adams and Cheshire, Massachusetts, with Respect to the Formation of a Regional School District, to allow the Town of Cheshire to fund continued operation of the Cheshire School without contribution by the Town of Adams, notwithstanding any provision in the agreement regarding apportionment and payment of costs incurred by the district, which provisions shall be considered amended consistent with this petition.  This petition is for an emergency amendment to our district agreement.  It will allow the Town of Cheshire to pay any additional costs to keep Cheshire School open for grades PreK-5th grade without any additional cost to the Town of Adams.  Please sign and join us in our fight to fund Cheshire Elementary School.  All signatures must be from registered voters in the Town of Cheshire.”
This petition will be delivered to the School Committee and a similar petition by Adams residents will be submitted.

- The Cheshire BOS are unfamiliar with the proper procedures and protocol for the articles as the town meeting does not allow for changing the budget. It was thought that the school committee would have to rescind their vote, and the final decision would be up to the school committee.
- Voiced concerns about using the stabilization account as typically it is used only for emergencies.
- Ed suggested having an informational meeting for resident’s to review the town articles before the meeting.
Carol:  Suggested scheduling a meeting for Town Counsel, Ed St. John III, for Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 6:30PM to review the concerns.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:   
- Reported the resignation of Cheshire Advisory Board Chairman, Denise Gregoire.  Mark is unsure of who will take over.
- Met with Blair to review the FY18 budget. 
- Pothole near the high school reported; repaired by the end of the day.
- Met with ACRSD Superintendent Putnam today.  Mark noted that Representative Cariddi has sponsored and included an amendment to the State FY 18 budget. In the seven (7) pages of amendments the important language for the town is as follows:  “Provided further, that not less than $100,000 shall be expended for grants to the Adams-Cheshire regional school district for the purpose of offsetting increased costs”. The BOS suggest Mark contact Adam Hinds for a similar act of support.
- Tonight the warrant will be closed to additional articles.  Time should be scheduled for May 9th to review the draft warrant and budget.  A revised list of free cash items was submitted.
- Needs to execute a State contract for the Board of Health.  This is done every several years and is necessary for them to receive future grant money.  New Selectmen Chair needs to sign along with the signature and seal by the Town Clerk.
- MIIA, the Town’s insurance carrier, just came out with new minimums on what will be considered as an “occupied” building for insurance purposes.”  31% or more of a building must be occupied.  Mark sent our agent the Town’s property card and told them to give him a quote on this more reasonable value – about ½ of what the current insurer has it valued at – with the assumption that it will hit the 31% minimum occupancy.
- Will add an article for maintenance of dirt roads limiting to grading and maintenance flexibility of drainage structures.
- Awaiting article regarding a moratorium on marijuana dispensaries from the Cheshire Planning Board.
- The school district hired a Facilitator of goodwill.  The position is for one (1) year.

- Discussed the plans for the upcoming Memorial Day Parade and special activities for the day.
- Would like to appoint the Building Reuse Committee.  The BOS will review the list of volunteers on May 9th.

- Reported that school children have handed in their essays and she called the high school regarding the marching band for the Cheshire Memorial Day Parade.
- Tim Garner reported that the food is all set.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- Carol motioned to close the Warrant; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

- Reminded Mark to prepare the Bid for Emergency Work for the Cheshire Water Department.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Discussed two (2) grant possibilities for the town.  Suggested the town go for the Green Community Grant.  He had spoken to Gerry Garner and he felt there was no reason not to go for the grant.
- Additionally, there is a grant with five (5) criteria for a competitive program for the lake area where there are needs for remediation plans to correct erosion.
- Peter was going to speak with Blair and the Cheshire Lake Association.  The BOS agreed to go forward and to report back to the BOS providing there is no cost to the Town.

Carol read the 2018 Appointments:

Cheshire Police Department: FY 2018 Roster:

Chief of Police              Tim Garner

Staff Sergeant             Alison Warner

Officer                        David Tarjick

Officer                        Joe Charon

Officer                        Michael Alibozek

Officer                        Trish Carlo

Officer                        Corey Demary

Special Police Officers               
                        Peter Mazzacco
                        Paul Maloney

Town Administrator
Procurement Officer
BRTA Representative                Mark Webber

Selectmen’s Secretary
Adm. Asst. Town Adm.
Planning Board Secretary          Carole Hilderbrand

Superintendent of Streets
Tree Warden
Measurer of Wood and Bark
Inspector of Ditches                Blair Crane

Treasurer                              Rebecca Herzog

Accountant                           Lynn Lemanski

Town Counsel                        Edmund St. John III           

Building Commissioner
ADA Co-ordinator
Zoning Enforcement                Gerry Garner

Local Building Inspector            Mark Kruzel

Inspector of Wiring                 George Sweet

Assistant Wiring Inspector        Leslie Rhinemiller

Inspector of Gas/Plumbing        Bruce LaPerle

Assistant Inspector of Gas/Plumbing        John Burzimati

Emergency Management Co-ordinator       Corey Swistak

Assistant Emergency Management            Fred Balawender

Animal Control Officer
Animal Inspector                    Myron Proper

Keeper of the Pound                Everett Martin

Director of Veterans Services
Veteran Burial Agent                Roseanne Fieri

Right To Know Co-ordinator      Richard Francesconi

Farm Commission                    Kenneth Egnaczak
                                          Michael Balawender

Appointments continued:

Fence Viewers
Members of Farm Commission   Kenneth Egnaczak
                                          Mark Warner
                                          Fred Balawender

Vocation School Program        William Craig

Representatives Arts Lottery
Council North Berkshire Arts Council
                                        Jill Reynolds

Recreation Committee          Robin Poirot
                                       Heather Emerson
                                       Andrew Kachel

Delegate to Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management Program

                                      Richard Salvi

Rent Control Board
Memorial Day Parade           Board of Selectmen

Conservation Commission     Carol Francesconi
                                       Leah Kruszyna
                                       Raymond Killeen

Emergency Management Committee
                        Carol Francesconi
                        Ed St. John IV
                        Robert Ciskowski
                        Richard Salvi
                        Francis Waterman
                        Travis Delratez
                        Blair Crane
                        Timothy Garner
                        Thomas Francesconi
                        Corey Swistak

Council on Aging                Donald Pulver

Historical Commission         Dawn Daniels
                                     Barry Emery
                                     Gus Martin

Board of Registrar of Voters    Elizabeth King  (3 year)

Election Official                    Alison Warner

Assistant Election Official       Ronald Lancia

Fire Chief                            Thomas Francesconi

Zoning Board of Appeals         Thomas Zappula
                                         Dale Grimshaw
                                         Stephen Marko
Alternate Board of Appeals Member        Robert Balawender

Robert motioned to appoint the above appointments:
Carol abstained from voting for Thomas Francesconi and Richard Francesconi.
Ed abstained from voting for Edmund St. John III.
2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Mail and Correspondence:
- April 27, 2018.  Letter from the Hoosac Lake Recreation/Preservation District.  Weed treatment will take place on Monday, May 1, 2017.
- National Grid.  Yearly Operation Plan showing treatment areas.
- Race Amity Day Observances in Massachusetts Consistent with H2745, Chapter 163 of the Acts of 2015.
- Letter to Sandra Smith by Blair J. Crane regarding denial of a driveway permit on the east side of Richmond Hill Road.

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the meeting at 8:25PM; 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

April 25, 2017

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
Resident, E. Clairmont:
- Requested an update on a continuous fence viewing issue on his property as he continues to be irritated by a lack of resolution.  He reported that, due to the fence in question, a calf got out and died.  Carol told Mr. Clairmont  that the BOS is waiting for a letter of opinion from Attorney Jeff Grandchamp and once received the case can go forward. Mr. Clairmont stated that he wants Attorney Grandchamp to address the issue using references to laws. Attorney Grandchamp will be called and Carol will advise Mr. Clairmont personally.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Sand Mill Hill Bridge; work is progressing.
- Checked on culvert by the Gable property on Wells Road.  Reported that the culvert is in good condition.
- Patching and grading roads when the weather permits.  Route 116 is patched.
- Parked the new highway truck in front of the Town Hall.  Blair reported on the versatility of the truck as it is three (3) trucks in one as the bodies are interchangeable.

Carol noted that the BOS was to review the options of using the Cheshire Elementary School during the summer months for summer programs and the central office.  Carol made a motion to allow the School District to utilize the Cheshire Elementary School for the benefit of Cheshire children, 2nd by Paul.
However, Robert clearly stated his displeasure with the motion and articulated his belief that the two Selectmen made this decision before the meeting.  Additionally, Robert  said, "Thank you Dr. Putnam, you have changed Cheshire forever by helping close a school and now that you closed the school you still want to use it.  Welcome to Cheshire."
- Although there were some concerns, the main one was the need for custodial care and the costs associated.
- Carol said, "It is only for eight (8) weeks and it is for the children of Cheshire."
- Central Office could sign a lease agreement with specifics regarding electrical costs and maintenance.
Paul- Reported receiving eleven (11) telephone call complaints requesting, “ That Cheshire BOS do the right thing for the children.” The motion was allowed with a two (2) to one (1) vote.  Francesconi and Astorino For; Ciskowski, Against.
- Dr. Putnam noted that he will get actual building costs to Mark Webber asap.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Met with Robin to review the assessor's card for the school property which has about half of its value compared to the MIIA value.  There may be some room for negotiating.
- Dr. Putnam proposed the hiring of a facilitator to bring peace and understanding among the District and its two (2) towns.  Carol felt it was too expensive and did not agree with the proposal.  The cost would be $8,500.
- Spoke with Peter and Blair regarding a driveway permit off of Richmond Hill Road.  Peter urged the Highway Superintendent to act jointly with the Conservation Commission to set conditions prior to issuing the permit, or to jointly deny it on conditions.  Carol noted that there has to be a Determination of Applicability needed to be presented to the Cheshire Conservation Commission before they can take any action.
- Reviewed with Peter and Blair this year's county bid materials form.  The question of what to do with the Ford 550 dump body and sander which are both rotted and likely not to make it through the next winter.  There is a quote for approximately $12K to replace both the flat bed dump and sander.  If approved, this would come out of the current year's operating funds, which would leave those budgets stretched or seek a town meet appropriating from free cash. Will be seeking free cash procedure.
- Mark sent in registration materials for new highway truck.  Blair is finishing the Change Form and will fax back to MIIA.
- Received information from BRPC asking if the Town was interested in their assistance in becoming a Green Community.  It was sent this morning and the deadline for signing up is this Thursday.  Mark recommended getting input from Gerry Garner, Cheshire Building Inspector first.
- Presented a spreadsheet with FY'18 Annual Town Meeting uses of Free Cash.
- Stabilization fund balance as of today; approximately $480K.  Cheshire has maintained an enviable and consistent balance in stabilization over the past 14 years, averaging $515,000 over the past 14 years.
- Reviewing FY 2018 budget.

Cheshire Master Plan Member, Peter Traub:
- Reported that the Cheshire Master Plan was discussed at the CPB meeting on Monday, April 24, 2017. Christine said the report will be on the Town's website it was submitted by Eammon Coughlin at the BRPC. Christine also explained why she wanted to rescind meetings by the various Boards.  In the past, Boards would meet quarterly. Since there was a lack of interest and few members attended, it was cut back to twice a year.  With continued lack of attendees, it was then announced for a once a year meeting at the town employee Christmas party. 
- Cheshire Master Plan Implementation Committee:
- The Cheshire Master Plan has been broken down into an Action Plan for the proposed timing for the action to be taken, potential leadership, and other interested parties responsible for implementing the action.  The group would make reports to the BOS and felt it needs to be a cooperative effort for further success.

- Believed the meetings should be formal.  Each Tuesday night, all Boards meet.  However, there is no time for interaction.  He felt it best to just eliminate the by-law and just have formal meetings.
- Peter Traub interjected that people feel there is no coordination between departments and they want something done about it.
- Bill Craig reminded the group that when he was on the Advisory Board they had group discussions when putting the budget together.

Robert continued:
- Reported to Blair that he is concerned about people cutting wood at the Transfer Station.  He felt there could be liability concerns even if signs are posted.  Robert requested Blair to give it some thought and possibly Blair knows of some solution to that could be adopted.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:    Weekly Report Submitted

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- A hard copy of the Cheshire Master Plan is available for viewing at the Town Clerk’s Office.

- Paul thanked the Earth Day group for their cleanup efforts in the town.

Brent Fields:
- CCC signed building permit for 215 Jenks Road.

- A Cheshire Council on Aging Open House will take place on Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm at the Cheshire Community Center.

Mail and Correspondence:
- National Register of Historic Places Certificate received.  (Cheshire Town Hall)
- Housing in the Berkshires Workshop.  Workshop costs $30.00 on Friday, May 19. 2017  @ BRPC.

Carol invited all to attend a small gathering on the second floor in honor of Paul's retirement for his many years of service as a Cheshire Selectmen. 

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:02PM; 2nd by Carol 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