Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

October 18, 2016
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
Press: The Courier and iBerkshires
                  
Robert read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, October 11, 2016; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. 

Fire Chief, Thomas Francesconi:
- Submitted an estimate for repairs to one corner of the fire house.  Mark will be researching the prevailing wages and process for going forward on the project.

Resident, Leonard Stomski, presented the Town of Cheshire with a 4’ by 8’ painting entitled, “Cheshire Cheese Goes To Washington DC.  The painting will be hung on the second floor of the Cheshire Town Hall.  The Cheshire Board of Selectmen thanked Mr. Stomski for his generous gift and they are planning to place a plaque in honor of Mr. Stomski’s gift. Those present included:  Leonard Stomski, Doris Stomski, Diane Hitter, Robert Hitter, Gus Martin, and Peter Traub.

Resident, Jan Cunniholm:
- Shared with the BOS his experience as a surveyor on his knowledge of private ways.  He noted that the Town may not be responsible, but it is commonly done.
- Reported that the sidewalk in front of his residence is deteriorating.  Peter will be checking into it.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Patching continues.
- Kirk Scholz may be interested in snow plowing. 
- Reported that the mower is down and being repaired.
     
Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Mark held a conference call on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 with Bill Isaksen from National Grid and Peter regarding their lighting change-out program.  Their 3rd party contractor will be making an appointment with Peter shortly and will submit a proposal.  The program works as follows:  each National Grid customer has a small amount added to their bill which goes into the fund for this energy savings program.  Depending on the cost of the highway garage change out, this fund will pay a portion of the cost and the town is responsible for the balance.  The balance can be paid in several ways; either one payment sum, 0% interest rate over 1 or 2 years or a small amount can be added to Town electric bills for 1 or 2 years. Once the estimate is received, a decision will be made.  There will be future savings as well because we’d be changing to LED lights which use less power.

Town Administrative, Mark Webber: continued
- Held a conference call on Thursday, October 13, 2016 with Superintendent Putnam, Tony M., and Monica from the Collins Institute and Mark. The purpose was to preview the upcoming second World Café meetings on October 22, 2016 from 10-noon and November 3rd from 6pm-8pm at the high school.  Other topics included building closing scenarios and cost impacts, student changes, student’s opting out of the District, class sizes and more.  Superintendent Putnam has developed spreadsheets specific to one or the other elementary school closing and class size and costs impact and is continually working on alternate scenario calculation.
- Mark received a note from the Sand Mill Bridge engineer requesting authority to go out to bid this fall or wait until spring.  The BOS will make the decision.  A unanimous decision was reached to move forward.
- Mark requested the Town Clerk to post on the website new rates for the next 6 months from National Grid.  Ours, under the Community Choice consortium, will not change and will stay at $.0932 through November 2017.  National Grid’s winter rate (November 1 through April 30) will be $.0978.  This is a much smaller increase than we’ve seen in the recent past.  As always, residents have the no penalty option to opt out and in as they wish.
- Robin, in the Assessor’s office is working on receiving an updated quote from Cartographic to place and host the Town’s assessing records on line.
- Submitted to Peter updated speed limits rules for densely settled town roads as per new legislation.
- Mark met on this date with Berkshire Engineering to discuss their work on the Water Department’s required Master Plan for DEP.  Mark submitted financial information.  Mark noted that the deadline has been extended by the DEP from the end of October to a date undetermined.
- Mark reported a conference call on this date with ACRSD Superintendent, the Business Manager, Tony M and two individuals from the DOE to discuss the MLC formula and how it affects Cheshire and Adams.  Both towns are very close to their Target Contribution as determined by the DOE ability to pay/relative wealth formula.  Cheshire’s target is 50% and we are at 49%.  Adams’ target is 32% and they are at 31%.  It appears that neither town will see a major increase next year in the DOE MLC formulate to get us to their target.  To Mark, it appears that the disparity between what the two towns assessment last year had to do with the over MLC amount, which is on a strictly headcount basis.  From FY ’16 to FY’17, Adams sent 29 fewer students and Cheshire sent two additional students.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  - Thanked Colin from The Courier for his coverage on early voting and Tammy Daniels of iberkshires.
- Peter will be moving the Automark election equipment on Friday, October 21st.

Robert:
- Robert reported that the Cheshire Master Plan Committee did not open the meeting on October 13, 2016 due to not having a quorum.
- In an attempt to understand lack of population growth, Robert suggested working on considering having a more robust website so potential home and rental individuals could have a better sense of what Cheshire, MA is all about.  Now, most individuals use the internet to first do their research on possible new locations to move to and it is imperative for Cheshire’s site to offer as much information as possible.
- Superintendent Putnum attended the October 13, 2016 meeting and he offered the details for the importance of holding World Cafe’s.  Those attending continue to be impressed with the input from Superintendent Putnum and his ability to move forward.

Carol:
- Reported that the BOS has received three different opinions regarding the change from three (3) to five (5) Selectmen.  Further research is required.
- Suggested that Mark prepare a complete Job Description for the position of Superintendent of the Cheshire Highway Department for advertising in December’s job posting sites and The Berkshire Eagle.  This planning will allow for an overlay period to acclimate the new hire.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Paul signed the DEP FY17 Small Initiative Grant contract for $500.
- Letter from Massachusetts Historical Commission informing the Town that the Cheshire Town Hall Complex has been voted eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (36 CFR 60).
- DCR Forest Cutting Plan for Nick Mirke on Windsor Road.

TRICK OR TREAT:  Monday, October 31, 2016 at 5pm-7pm.

With all business finalized Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:30pm; 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

 

October 11, 2016
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino and Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:  Robert S. Ciskowski
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier

Paul read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, October 4, 2016; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Paul with unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:

- Patching continues as well as mowing.
- Peter will inspect and report back to the BOS his findings regarding a ditch on the old Lombardi property.  Peter reminded the BOS that electric and telephone lines are located under the ditch in question.
- Checked in on the status of the new truck and reported no dates for delivery.
- Resident, Atalanta Sunguroff, thanked the BOS for following up on her inquiries of September.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:

- Nick Wildman at the DER reported that they are still reviewing applications,  He noted that the Cheshire application offered plenty of merit.
- Mark will be working with National Grid and their vendor tomorrow morning regarding a lighting change out program.
- A tentative date of October 13, 2016 at 1:30pm has been scheduled for a conference call with Mark, Tony M., Robert Putnam, and Erika Snyder.  The purpose of this call is to better understand the MLC formula and how it will work and whether Cheshire is going to continue to see a shift from Adams to Cheshire in the Towns' ability to pay.  Cheshire is already paying considerable more per student than Adams.
- Spoke at length with Rick Kingsley of the Collins Institute who was seeking information as part of their District study.  He was interested in the Town's financial health.  A budget and other fiscal  items were sent to Mr. Kingsley.  Carol interjected that the "Town is paying more, more, more, and more but getting less and less."
- Received a note from Representative Cariddi's office asking for a response to a Cheshire Constituent's question of why Cheshire recently awarded a paving bid to an out of state contractor when there are several Massachusetts contractors who also bid.  Mark responded that this and every other town in the Commonwealth is required to follow the law and reward contracts to the low bidder provided they are responsive and responsible.  DelSignore is both.  DelSignore is on the MA DOT prequalified paving contractor list.  And, if Cheshire had awared the contract to someone other than the low bidder, we would surely have had a bid protest and if we actually had someone other than a qualified low bidder do the work, then the State would have refused reimbursement to Cheshire and we would have been out $214,500.
- Foresight Engineering requested and received an abutter list for the Sand Mill Road Bridge in order to notify for a ConsCom Hearing.
- Mark has suggested that the Town consider placing its property records on line as so many other communities are doing.  Mark has asked Robin to research updated cost from the Cartographic, which provides our property maps and hosts our property data.
- Mark understands that the Master Plan Committee has discussed and may recommend a more robust town website, which could include property information along with general permitting information and other information.
- Eammon from BRPC asked if there has been any study on the needs and condition of existing Town buildings.  Other than the Stafford Monument, Mark did not think so.  A copy of that study should be scanned and sent to him.
- Received a letter from the Small Town Administrators of Massachusetts (STAM) sent to the Public Records Division of the Secretary of State, asking them to reconsider the recent changes to the Public Records law for the 80 small communities that STAM represents.  The new law calls for fines and penalties for non or inaccurate compliance to public records requests.  Most small towns have part-time staff and records are not coordinated on a master server when someone can type in a request and have the records printed out.  Mark feels that this could be a big problem for small communities like Cheshire.
- Working on financial information on the Cheshire Water Department for Berkshire Engineering as past of the DEP Master Plan.
- Letter submitted from a concerned resident about the Town's plowing of private roads.  Resident Marya LaRoche, questioned the maintenance and plowing of private roads.  The response via a letter noted that "Usual maintenance and plowing of private roads is an historic past practice for emergency and safety vehicles answering emergency calls."

Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Submitted weekly report.
- Paul requesting patroling Wells Road for bicycle club members riding three and four abreast in a lane.
- The Chief reported that M. Alibozek will be attending the Academy starting on November 8, 2016.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- BOS signed the Warrant for the Elections.
- Paid for Legal advertisement of $102.14.  It was charged to the BOS but will be paid out of

Elections.
- Public Records Request from Ron DeAngelis, regarding the Farnum/Goodlife demoliton.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Paul read the letter from Marya LaRoche regarding maintenance and plowing private roads.
- Paul read a letter from Mrs. Jessica Oliver requesting a statement regarding private roads for a

new property purchase.
- DCR Forest Cutting Tree Plan for: Landowner, Mike Mirke; Site, Windsor Road
- Agenda from the Master Plan Committee.  The meeting will take place on October 13, 2016 at 6pm at

the Cheshire Community Center.

Paul:
- Paul discussed the need to start seeking a replacement for Highway Superintendent, Peter LeFebvre, as his retirement date is April 7, 2017.  Carol suggested waiting until January.  This will again be discussed when there is a full BOS Board.

TRICK OR TREAT:  Monday, October 31, 2016

Resident Peter Traub:
- Reported that the Adams Art Cultural Board has placed art along the trail in Adams and he thought "Why not Cheshire?" He noted that they viewed two (2) possible sites in Town.  The two (2) sites have not had a discussion about the possibility.  Eileen Quinn stated that the project was in the formative stages.
- Mr. Traub requested the list of individuals on the Smart Streets project.  He was given the list and will make a request to the Cheshire Planning Board for one (1) Cheshire Planning Board member to join the project.  Peter is interested in the position.

With all business finalized Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:28pm; 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

October 4, 2016
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
Press: The Courier and iBerkshires
                  
Robert read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, September 27, 2016; Carol accepted as amended; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. 

After reviewing the employment application of Robert Belini, Paul motioned to appoint Robert Belini as the Cheshire Buildings Custodian at a monthly rate.  Lawn mowing and snow clearance will billed separately; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Patching continues as well as mowing.
- The boat ramp will be removed.

Carol:
- Continuing research on the responsibility for the Lombardi ditch and the Superior court verdict.  Carol is in contact with Town Attorney, E. St. John.
     
Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- In contact with Foresight Engineering about the Sand Mill Bridge project.  Filing for a ConsCom hearing is forthcoming.  The original project cost estimates based on series of changes are being reviewed.  Mark is checking to see if the ConsCom hearing costs are included in the original contract.
- Discussion is needed regarding the Highway Department manpower for the upcoming winter season.  A plan needs to be in place to cover plowing routes, etc. 
- Spoke to Fire Chief and it looks like FEMA/AFG filing obligations are satisfied.
- Met with Peter and a representative from Unifirst Uniforms.  The Town will save approximately 50% or $2,500 a year over the current uniform vendor agreement.
- Reported that the Office of Fishing and Boating access allows groups to apply for Special Use Permits for Cheshire Lake on line.  Mark is unsure as to possible overbooking and who will be responsible for the possibility to avoid conflicts.
- BayState tested the elevator due to reports of sticking.  It was tested and reported to be working fine.
- Requested and received loss run reports from the Town’s insurer MIIA.  Mark will be scheduling a meeting with the loss control individuals in the near future.  Fortunately, all claims are very low across all lines:  Workers Compensation, Professional Liability and Property and Casualty.
- Reviewed the paving bid results with Peter.  A notice of award was sent to DelSignore.  Peter expects the project to take place at the end of October or the beginning of November 2016.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Contacted Nick Wildman at the Division of Ecological Restoration to get an update on applications for assistance with dam removal and to see if Cheshire was still in the running or not.  No response as to this date.
- Contacted National Grid to see if they were still running lighting programs.  Mark is waiting for a call back.
- Eammon from BRPC asked if there was a published study on the proposed wind farm on the Cheshire watershed land and if he could get a copy.  Mark is researching a copy.
- Attended a 3:30pm meeting at ACRSD business office.  General discussion, wide ranging, looking into the future.  Scheduling a follow up meeting either next Tuesday or the week afterwards to have a conference call with DOE on the MLC/community wealth formula and how it is projected to impact each of the 2 District Towns.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Invitation to attend a ribbon cutting at the Cheshire Elementary school for the new playground equipment. Paul will be attending on October 7, 2016.
- MASS Legal Association offers free legal advice on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.  Call:  1-413-782-1659.
- DEP Letter regarding Vallisneria growth at Cheshire Reservoir (Hoosac Lake).

Robert:
- Reported that Interim Superintendent Putnam attended a Cheshire Master Plan meeting.  The committee was impressed with Mr. Putnam’s dedication to the school district and participated in the discussion and clearly understands the uncertainty of the schools and the concerns of residents.

Carol:
- In contact with E. St. John regarding the status of his researching of 3-5 Selectmen.
- Received a call from Nate Cairns to call Governor Baker regarding the funding cuts to BRPC.

TRICK OR TREAT:  Monday, October 31, 2016 at  5pm-7pm.

With all business finalized Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:30pm; 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

 

September 27, 2016
6:30PM

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

Resident, Atalanta Sunguroff, inquired about the preventive measures moving forward regarding the Japanese Knot Weed control.  Peter noted that he did not believe that cleaning out ditches and culverts contributed to the weeds growth.  Ms. Sunguroff also reported bug issues on Ash Trees on East Main Street and Wells Road.
Peter will be checking out the situation and report back to the BOS.
Ms. Sunguroff also suggested a Stop sign be reinstalled by East Main and Church Street.  Carol requested Peter to reinstall a sign.  Peter reported that several signs at that site have been stolen.  A replacement will be forthcoming.

Paul:
- Asked for Peter’s recommendation regarding the Blacktopping Bids received on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. 
- Peter, after reviewing all bids carefully, recommended the bid of $214,500 inclusive to DelSignor of Troy, NY. Carol made a motion to award the Bid to DelSignor, Troy New York; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Reported the approval of Sand Mill Bridge repair.  Mylars of the plan have to be sent to Boston.  An engineering estimate will be needed; an application for Chapter 90 will be submitted, a Cheshire Conservation Commission Hearing will be needed to be scheduled.
- Patching continues
- Peter will be attending a New England Highway Association meeting in Boxborough, MA on September 28, 2016.

Paul:
Read the following Forest Cutting Plans:
- Joseph Alibozek, Jr., 420 Stewart White Road.
- David Krutiak, Stewart White Road.
- Evelyn Reynolds, Fred Mason Road.

Cheshire Planning Board, Donna DeFino, Chairman:
- Requested the re advertising for an Alternate Cheshire Planning Board member on the website.
- Suggested the fee of $50.00 and $25.00 for extra lots for the filing of Form A’s.  Carol motioned to charge $50.00 and $25.00 for extra lots for the filing fees for a Form A; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.
- Christine Emerson will have the forms posted on the website for convenience.

Paul:
- Attended the Collins Center Kickoff meeting on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 from 3:45pm to 5:00pm.
- Paul reported on the presentations on district history and current challenges, the district’s and town’s preliminary goals. 
- There will be a posting for a World Cafe’ with tentative dates of October 22nd or October 29th.  He advised watching the website for a posting.
- Those in attendance: Monica Lambay, Senior Associate, Collins Center; Rick Kingsley, Associate, Collins Center; Bil Lupini, Associate, Collins Center; Rob Putnam, Superintendent, ACRSD; Ed St. John, School Committee ACRSD; Jeff Snoorign, Chair Adams Select Board, Town of Adams; Paul F. Astorino, Chairman Cheshire Selectmen, Cheshire; Joe Nowak, Adams Select Board, Town of Adams; Paul Butler, Chair ACRSC, Town of Adams.
- Paul highlighted discussions on rankings, going forward with a decreasing population and the World Café. Paul noted that the meetings are open to the public.  They will be discussing goals of the school district, closing 1 or 2 schools and all going to Hoosac High School.  He encouraged everyone to voice their concerns.
     
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  On vacation

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Thanked Colin from The Courier for the great coverage on the Cheshire Town Library.

The BOS requested the Cheshire Board of Health to investigate 78-80 School Street and report back to the BOS.

Carol accepted an application for the CCC Determination of Applicability for Francis A. Waterman, Jr., to install two (2) pole solar poles at his residence.

Mail and Correspondence:

With all business finalized Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:30pm; 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

 

September 20, 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, September 13, 2016; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. 

Carol:
- Reported a conversation she had with Mr. Malnati of the BRTA regarding the elimination of a bus stop in Cheshire located by the Cheshire Post Office.  Mr. Malnati assured her that they would not being making a change to that stop.

Cheshire Historical Commission, Diane Hitter, Chairman:
- Ms. Hitter reported on a meeting on September 14, 2016 at the Massachusetts Archives in Boston regarding the National Register Program. A power point presentation was given by Greg Farmer about Cheshire and it was positively received.  Ms. Hitter reported that the Cheshire Town Hall was accepted to the National Register which also includes the State Registry.  This honor opens the possibility to applying for competitive grants.  The Cheshire BOS thanked Ms. Hitter and her Commission for their due diligence in seeking this status.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Will be mowing Windsor Road.
- Continuing to clean catch basins.
- Checked on trees needing cutting and checking with to the State to see if they are willing to cut some of the trees.
- Paul asked that Mark be reminded to check on Route 116 and the guard rails.
- Waiting on word from the Lenox State Highway Department regarding Sand Mill Bridge.
- Reported that as a community service project, GeoBash, cleaned the Stafford Hill Monument area.  They would like to hold a spring picnic.
- Peter will be asking Mark to have an energy audit for new lights for the Town shed.

Cheshire Assessors:
- Tax rate has been approved.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  On vacation


7:10PM  Blacktopping Bids. (6,000 feet for Wells Road and 3,800 feet Windsor Road.
Carol reviewed the requirements for submission and Paul opened the Bids:
1. DelSignor, Troy New York   $66.00/ Ton
2. HMA Contracting, Mechanicville,   NY $65.88/ Ton
3. Warner Bros., Sunderland, MA   $66.50/ Ton
4. Lane, Westfield, MA     $67.00/Ton
Bids closed for Peter’s review.  Peter will report back to the BOS on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 with a recommendation.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Robert:
- Reported the cancellation of the Master Plan Committee meeting for September 19, 2016.  Robert reported that 34 individuals have completed the interview process for the Master Plan.  Only one individual declined to participate.

Peter:
- Gave an overview of his evaluation of road conditions, in general, in Cheshire.  He discussed the costs of improvements and the need for resurfacing part of West Mountain Road.  Resurfacing is all the town can afford to do but it needs a lot of work.  He noted two culverts need replacement and the costs now compared to years ago.
Paul: Voiced concern, again, regarding the guardrails on Route 116. Peter estimates the costs of correcting culvert work could be from $2M to $3M.
Robert: Suggested the possibility of moving the road to eliminate culvert washouts.  Peter gave an overview of the area and felt it would be difficult and expensive if not impossible due to State regulations.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Letter submitted from Amy Emerson, Cheshire Library Director, requested the use of $500 for the cost of new acquisitions from the Phillip Burns Memorial Fund. The BOS approved.

With all business finalized Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:30pm; 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


September 13, 2016
6:30PM

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

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Carol commended Peter on the installation of benches at Leland Park.  She noted that they were, “Beautiful.”
- Road painting has been completed with no negative incidents.
- The catch basin cleaner will be in town this week.
- Peter will take a look at a resident’s set of stairs and the possible hazard to children walking by.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Sent a note to ACRSD Superintendent Putnam requesting information on this year’s beginning enrollment census at Cheshire Elementary School.  Several parents have voiced concerns raised over child safety at the bus stop at the corner of Richardson and Route 8.  Apparently, children are hiding behind guardrails when trucks come by.  Additionally, Mark asked that he investigate the District’s net metering electric capacity and any agreements that might be already in place.  Additional net metering credits for an eastern project that would benefit the District are offered from the Bushika developers.  The program ends in January.
- Spoke to Kirt Mayland’s partner yesterday and he said the Bushika project is coming on line any day.  They are waiting for final approval from National Grid on the required interconnection permit.
- Discussed the State’s new Small Bridge Program with Peter.  The grant program has strict criteria for scoring and is limited to bridges with spans between 10 and 20 feet, which are weight posted, closed, pose a public safety or inconvenience, etc.  Total statewide funding is $10M per year for each of the next five (5) years.  Peter will recommend which if any of these structures might qualify for an application.
- Spoke with Steve Mack of Foresight Engineering this past Friday.  He has had no word from Boston on Sand Mill Road Bridge in weeks.  He said he would call Boston again on Friday.
- Sent out more plans and specs for the upcoming paving project.
- MIIA, the Towns property and casualty insurer will be sending an adjuster next Tuesday to view all Town properties valued in excess of $100,000 for insurance purposes.  Robin furnished property records for same.
- MIIA will also be sending a loss run report for the Town.  A grant application for loss control may be possible.
- Submitted a Custodian Job Description for review.  Town Clerk, Christine Emerson has Town employment applications.
- Lake Use Permit changes given to Carole H.

7:00PM Tax Classification Hearing
- Robert read the Legal Notice for the Hearing as published in The Berkshire Eagle.  Representing the Assessor’s was Robin Wadsworth, Assessor Clerk. She reported that the tax rate will be $12.39 for fiscal 2017 which is 13 cents higher than 2016’s rate of $12.26.
- Mark voiced approval of the rate noting that a single family home in Cheshire 2016 was approximately $205,248.  A tax bill average would be approximately $2,500 or a $27.00 increase.
- Robert questioned the benefit from a split rate of taxes.  Robin felt there was no new or huge commercial or industrial business to make it worthwhile.
- Robin noted that there is only about 8.5 percent of Cheshire businesses and personal property and the split rate would be $11.75 for residential and $18.59 for commercial.
- She noted a $20,958 increase in growth which is smaller than usual.
- Reported was the figure of $99,154 for the Town’s levy capacity.
- The BOS commended the Assessor’s on their fantastic work.  Mark thanked Robin and the Assessor’s for their diligence in preparing the reports and submitting them so they can receive approval quickly.
- Carol made a motion to approve the single tax rate of $12.39 for 2017 for businesses and residential; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, Fred Jayko:
- Inquired if the town has had any complaints regarding poor Time Warner Cable service.
- Carol noted personal poor service history and said that the Town receives a yearly report that shows the amount of complaints received.  That number is usually low.  She suggested Fred continue to call to receive better service.
- Mr. Jayko reported trees in need of cutting down on Wells Road.  Peter will follow up and report back to the BOS.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.
- Chief Garner reported a tractor trailer on West Mountain Road that was unable to turn.  The road was closed for four hours.  He suggested installing signs indicating that passage is not possible for large trucks.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Felt the voting went well.  The number was low; 300 out of 2300.

Resident, Gary Trudeau:
- Voiced displeasure with the new voting machine.  He felt people were standing around the machine and that they could view his ballot choices.  He asked the Town Clerk to investigate the situation.  Town Clerk, Christine Emerson, assured Mr. Trudeau that it was impossible to read the ballot.
- Mr. Trudeau also felt it should be demanded for the School Board to be accountable to residents as to what is happening.
- Robert assured Mr. Trudeau that the Cheshire BOS and Mark have been in communication with Interim Superintendent Putnam and have had several meetings going over his plans.  The BOS were impressed with his knowledge and up front approach.  The BOS was satisfied, to date, with his performance and feel comfortable contacting him with any questions.  In fact, Robert advised Mr. Trudeau to call Superintendent Putnam to make an appointment to meet him and have a conference with him.
- Mr. Trudeau noted that the Master Plan Survey was good except for the schools.
- Interim Superintendent Putnam’s reports can be viewed on line under Adams-Cheshire Schools or the PTG.


Robert:
- Thanked Peter Traub for working on creating a Master Plan concept and assisting in getting the work done with the committee and Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

Carol:
- Reported that she is against the elimination of a bus stop in the Town of Cheshire.  She wants to be proactive and wants to attend the Friday, September 23, 2016 10-2pm meeting with the BRTA at the First Baptist Church of North Adams meeting room.  This meeting is open to the public and is a:  Public Meeting for More efficient BRTA bus service.

Robert:
- Will discuss 3-5 Selectmen legal opinion next week when there is a full BOS.
- Read an article in The Berkshire Eagle regarding a one lane bridge in Sheffield, MA and the need for a temporary light.  He wondered if there might be a parallel to Sand Mill Bridge.
- Robert noted a busy event on the rail trail last week end and questioned Chief Garner if there were any visibility issues as many were parked on Route 8.  Chief Garner will be there Saturday for another event and will control the issue.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Eversource plans for Aerial Patrol Notification in Western MA transmission lines for vegetation issues.
- BRTA Public Meeting for More Efficient Bus Services.
- Report from Superintendent Robert Putnam dated Tuesday, September 13, 2016.
- DEP (MassDEP) awarded the Town of Cheshire a Sustainable Material Recovery Program Municipal Grant up to $500 for a Small-Scale Initiative.
- Memorandum from Carole H. documenting a verbal communication from Ronald Tenczar’s family requesting his resignation be accepted due to his health. The BOS regretfully accepted the resignation and thanked Ron for his many years of service on the Cheshire Zoning Board of Appeals.  Carol motioned to accept the resignation; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

With all business finalized Robert motioned to close the meeting at 7:55pm; 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