May 10, 2016
In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski, and Carol A. Francesconi
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
Paul read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, May 3, 2016; Paul accepted with amendments; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Recommended a full board viewing of 700 Outlook Avenue - erosion problem. Site visit will take place on 5:45pm, Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
- Sweeping took place this week in town.
- The Cheshire Garden Club will be responsible for the flowers/plantings at the Cheshire Community Center.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Mark advised the BOS that a previously imposed fine of $2,800 for failure to have the Town Hall elevator inspected in a timely manner, has been reduced to $700.
- Met with employee this morning to discuss options for carrying forward accrued vacation time unable to use. Mark requested an Executive Session to discuss the issue. Paul scheduled an Executive Session for Tuesday, May 17, 2016 @ 7:00pm. “To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may be detrimental effect on the government’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 new Water Department truck is now registered and is being fitted with a radio and lettering.
- Spoke with Nick Wildman regarding Kitchen Brook Dam removal project. Wildman said the formal project application will be out in a month and it should be fairly easy to complete. Requested HOORA to be a partner participant. Wildman also suggested that in-kind services from our Highway Department similar to previous dam removal projects would be looked upon favorably by the State.
- Met with Bill Weigle/Peter/and Carol to discuss available surplus equipment and how to access it. Mark recommended checking availability on an ongoing basis and review anything of interest with Peter and the BOS. Spoke with an electrician to trouble shoot surplus generator that Peter got going but is not producing appropriate voltage.
- Spoke with Adam Beal, the current operator of the Bushika solar facility. He is attempting to meet the surety bond condition on the Special Permit that required the applicant to post a bond ($22,150) to protect the town for future removal of equipment. Beal is having difficulties in finding an insurance company to write a bond because this is an unusual request which typically is reserved for cell towers. Mr. Beal offered a letter from his engineer for a similar project with estimates of removal for a 2.8 mW site is $78K. (Cheshire site is .5 mW). They agreed on a $10K cash surety bond to cover any unanticipated issues. This was used in the Town of Ashland. An agreement could be presented to the Planning Board for action. If agreeable, it would be an amendment to the Special Permit. The construction will be completed in the next few weeks and is expected to be on line within 60 days, providing they get their Ngrid interconnection permit in a timely fashion.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Spoke with Kirt Mayland about offering a $34K worth of net metering credits to the ACRSD. Seeking results, Mark suggested contacting the head of the school committee directly.
- FY 17 Budget review.
- Reviewed with the BOS line by line items for the FY17 budget, to date. Changes were suggested and the BOS members will review individually their recommendations and offer them on Tuesday, May 17th when The budget will be again reviewed and discussed with the heads of each department.
- Reported that Town Counsel is the attorney regarding a fence viewing issue. The BOS is considering Jeff Grandchamp.
- Per the DEP, Carol noted that Travis is the 40 hour primary operator and Francis Waterman is the secondary operator for the Cheshire Water Department.
- Memorial Day Parade; Monday, May 30, 2016 at 1pm.
Police Chief Garner: Submitted weekly report.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- Requested the Board of Selectmen vote to change the form of voting used by the Town. Paul read, “I move that per MGL Chapter 54, Section 34, the Town discontinue to use the current paper ballot system, including hand operated ballot box and hand counting system, and begin using the ImageCast Precinct Optical Scan Tabulator.” The motion was seconded by Carol with a unanimous vote taken. Town Clerk noted that the vote must take place one hundred and twenty days prior to the Sate or Presidential Primary.
Mail and Correspondence:
With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:12pm; 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