Janaury 23, 2018
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Press: iBerkshires and the Berkshire Eagle
Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented for January 16, 2018; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane
- Submitted Weekly Activity Report for: 1/17/18-1/23/18.
- Continuing to repair and maintain snow removal equipment.
- Storm preparation and snow removal.
- In discussing the water issue on the Jeff Warner property, boulders could be placeed where the brook turns. All agreed that the project is on private property and in other similar cases in town, town assistance was not offered. If Mr. Warner wants to pursue the CCC for bank erosion then the DEP would become involved. It was suggested to wait until the water flow goes down and then have Fred Balawender clear the trees in the stream.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Met with union representative and two town highway employees. Memorandum to be discussed in tonight's Executive Session. Next meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 13, 2018.
- Reviewed Cheshire Solar Bylaws to another perspective installer.
- Blair completed reimbursement information for Chapter 90 money. $250K should be deposited one week after submission.
- Amended the REFI for Cheshire School and placed legal notice with The Berkshire Eagle.
- Submitted two (2) documents for Robert to sign for the CDBG. Packets may be picked up at the Town Clerk's office and it will also be posted on the town website. Mark noted that the Town of New Marlboro has agreed to submit the CDBG grant together.
- Gave Blair the Complete Streets package.
- Advised Blair to forward me the instructions from Kathy Stevens for the required letter for remaining Chapter 90 reimbursements.
- Approved the BRTA Drug Policy package.
- Requested the BOS to approve Myron Proper as the Town of Cheshire Animal Control Officer.
Carol made the motion; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. Paperwork will be submitted to the State.
Carol submitted an article for the change from three (3) to five (5) Selectmen.
- Mark reported notification that the town of New Marlborough will be a part of a $800K grant. If awarded Cheshire would receive $600K and New Marlborough $200K. The balance would be for administration.
Carol questioned Blair on the status of operation for the Cheshire School generator. Time permitting, Blair will address the generator.
A meeting with Thomas Matuszko of the BRPC, and Christopher Grubs, Senior Planner and the Cheshire Board of Selectmen. Donna DeFino, Chairman of the Cheshire Planning Board, Sandra Sloane, Alternate Member, and Peter Traub, Member were also in attendance. Carol opened the meeting by reading an article in BRPC Awarded EEA Grants. "Town of Cheshire - Creation of local bylaws: This grant will focus on developing several local bylaws in order to implement the goals of the Town's Master Plan, which was adopted in 2017. Cheshire and BRPC will work together to determine whether bylaws should be created to address senior housing, apartment buildings, decreasing residential lot sizes and building setback, and residential cluster developments. The overall goal is to implement the Master Plan in a way that addresses the needs of the community and in an environmentally-sustainable manner. It's possible that some goals and not others will be implemented through new bylaws." Carol felt that a 10% survey return was not substantial. Before there was no interest in senior housing in the past. The grant had a 3-4 week turn around and had to be signed off. She noted that the Master Plan was a fantastic project.
Donna: Was surprised that housing was the focus where information and the writing of a bylaw for marijuana should be where the assistance is needed. How did it happened? Definitely there was a lack of communication. “The town can use grant writers!”
Mark: Questioned if the grant was restricted to housing. Mr. Matuszko will contact the Executive Energy and Environment Affairs and get back to Mark. According to the Master Plan, housing was an emphasis.
Ed: Felt that the Master Plan was widely supported by those who responded and did not agree with Carol. “It is an opportunity for money we don't have, Ed stated.”
Donna: People who move to Cheshire come for specific reasons and one being the tax rate. With "housing" Cheshire will be just like a lot of towns. The setbacks are for safety, there's a reason for them.
Ed: "Let's find a balance between homeowners and the town's interest. Help the town to craft a bylaw to accommodate what they want."
Donna: "It is not on the top of the priority list right now. What else could it cover? Are there any other options?"
Mark: "Not much."
Ed: "This is what is available now."
Carol: "Obviously, better communication is needed."
Ed: "It is not a top priority but it's in the Master Plan."
Three (3) years ago, the zoning bylaws were updated according to State Code and in a year we were to go back for other possible updates. ''
Before closing at 7:50PM, Mr. Matuszko updated the BOS on Green Communities and the need to review Stretch Code (780CMR 115.AA). Ed favored going forward to see if Cheshire is eligible for grants. Also, Donna will be the go to person and then she will report to the BOS.
- In regard to working with CTC for setting up a heating control system he wanted to advise the BOS that new controls would provide more accurate readings.
- Requested approval for him to work with EDM on a Scope of Services to work on the actual condition of the Cheshire School with an approximate cost of $10K. Carol motioned to allow Ed to move forward with the project; 2nd Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
- Requested use of the school for basketball games. A decision to not allow other events in the building set precedent for future requests. Unfortunately, at this time, the answer remains no.
- There will be a "Baby Town Meeting" on June 4th.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- Requested a warrant article for the Moderator to declare a 2/3's vote by voice.
- Submitted the Cheshire Annual Town Election for:
* One Selectmen for three year term
* One Assessor for three year term
* One Board of Health Member for three year term
* One Cemetery Commissioner for three year term
* One Water Commissioner for three year term
* One Tax Collector for tree year term
* One Town Clerk for three year term
* One Constable for one year term
* One Planning Board Member for five year term
* One Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee Member from Cheshire
* Two Adams-Cheshire Regional School Committee Members from Adams
Nomination papers are available at the Town Clerk's Office. Deadline to return nomination papers is Monday, March 19, 2018 by 5:00PM. The Cheshire Annual Town Election is May 7, 2018 with Polls open from 9:00PM to 7:00PM.
- Shall Cheshire vote to accept the provisions of section six C of chapter forty of the General Laws, which authorize cities and towns to appropriate money for the removal of snow and ice from private ways therein open to public use.
Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Submitted weekly report.
- Advised the BOS that he would like Cheshire to sponsor an individual to the Police Academy with no promise to hire. There is no cost to the town.
- The Firemen's Ball is in the planning stage and he noted no meal will be served. It will take place on the Saturday after Easter or the next week. It will be either the 7th or 14th of April at the school auditorium. More information will be coming.
Rent Control Board Hearing:
- Wednesday, February 7, 2018 Eviction Hearing for 12 Application; Pine Valley Mobile Home Park.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Letter received from Chris and Michela Jura with their input about their experiences at C. T. Plunkett for their daughter.
- Email received from Mike Biro regarding his input as to his children's experiences and observations at C.T. Plunkett.
- Notice of Assignment of Interest in Solar Net Metering Credit Agreement dated October 13, 2015. Seller has assigned all of its right, title, and interest in and to the Agreement to its affiliate LSE Cetus LLC.
Carol 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 bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares"; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Roll Call: Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; and Ed St. John IV, Yes.
With all business finalized at 7:50PM, Carol motioned to go into Executive Session; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. The BOS will not return to the 6:30PM open meeting.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Groundsv