Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

August 16, 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, August 12, 2016; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. 

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:  On vacation.
- Carol will relate a message from Michelle Whitney regarding the need for a backhoe for August 28, 2016 for the preparation of new playground equipment at Cheshire Elementary School.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Received request for a copy of the NOI for herbicide treatment at Cheshire Lake.  Passed along to Carole H.
- Will have Carole H. research the Tax Agreement (PILOT) with Kirt Mayland/Jamie Smith for the Bushika solar project.
- ABCC changes in forms and license renewal procedures.  All procedures will be via email in the future.
- FCC Highway Department public safety license WQFL817 set to expire on August 15, 2016.  Peter is aware.
- Response received from business manager Erica Snyder regarding last week’s questions on Chapter 70 and 71 figures for the current fiscal year.  The figures appear to be in order.
- Catherine Skiba of DEP Western MA region forwarded a complaint she received regarding activity in the vicinity of Daniels Terrace.  She requested a response once the Conservation Commission was able to investigate.
- Began studying the Governor’s newly approved legislation on reforms affecting municipalities. (120 pages)
- Peter downloaded some Chapter 90 forms for him to complete when he comes back on Friday.
- Robin is wrapping up the Assessor’s work with values and new growth and is looking to hold the annual tax classification hearing on September 13th to set the new tax rate.  Lynne, Chris, and Becky need to furnish their information to Robin as soon as possible as well.
- Mark will not be attending Selectmen meetings on September 20th and 27th.
- Continued progress on Sand Mill Road Bridge repair. Communication received from the technical review group at the Department of Transportation that the technical portion has passed.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Requested the BOS to sign the Primary Warrant.
- Reported requests for the Cheshire Master Plan outcomes for the recent survey be placed on the website. Chris suggested it be placed on the committee’s Facebook page or show a link on the Cheshire website to the committees Facebook page.


Mail and Correspondence:

- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Massachusetts Historical Commission. Will be meeting at 1pm on September 14, 2016 at the Massachusetts State Archives, Dorchester, MA for possible approve for the Cheshire Town Hall to be listed in the National Register.  If listed this property could be eligible for certain Federal investment tax credits for rehabilitation and other provisions.  Mark feels confident in the Town Hall’s acceptance and a wish list has been started.  Carol felt the first job is the gutter work and the re-pointing of bricks.

Robert:
- Robert discussed the success of the second Cheshire Block Party.  Due to rain possibilities, the event was held at the church.  The events are well received by the community and the volunteers are dedication to its success. Paul commended the group for their hard work and dedication to bringing community togetherness.

Lake Cleaning:
- For two days of cutting, 35 truck-loads of weeds have been removed.  Although the company thought it might be a 3 day job, it appears it will take several more days.  It is important to note that in other towns with
similar concerns, the weeds can be used for composting. 

Resident, Mr. Scholz:
- Questioned Robert about the progress of the 3-5 Selectmen process.  Robert answered that the answer from Town Counsel did not address the question asked but was answering a Charter or amending a Charter.  Note: the Town does not have a Charter. Mark has resubmitted the question and is awaiting Town Counsel to return from vacation for an answer.

Paul:
- Addressed a resident’s concern regarding mowing on Outlook Avenue.  Paul explained that the Highway Department was down one employee, vacations, and now removing weeds from the late, and equipment failing.  The crew is behind on roadside mowing but they anticipate getting caught up as they are cutting now.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:30; 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


August 9, 2016
6:30PM

Quorum present: Paul Astorino (PA), Chair; Carol Francesconi (CF); Robert Ciskowski(RC).
       
Press: Berkshire Courier
                       
Robert read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, August 2, 2016; Carol accepted as presented 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. 

Dr. Putnam, ACRSD Superintendent, addresses the Board and asks a series of questions to gauge the thoughts and priorities of the Board regarding the District's education mission.

Dr. Putnam asks 'what are the District's strengths?'. CF responds “parent participation and strong teaching staff'.

Dr. Putnam asks 'what are some of the Board's concerns?' PA responds 'closing of Cheshire Elementary School, loss of students to other Districts and the money that follows them'.
       
Dr. Putnam asks 'are we headed in the right direction?' RC responds 'no, not in the recent past although your outreach is refreshing. There has been poor communication and we were told that positions would be eliminated and we pushed for a funding override only to find that they were eliminated anyways.'

Dr. Putnam asks 'what should be maintained at all costs?' CF responds 'quality education at all costs, improve rating and re-establish integrity'.

Dr. Putnam asks 'what does District need to work on?' Board responds 'increased overall accountability.'

Dr. Putnam asks 'what are the core values of the community?' CF responds that 'Cheshire has always supported and funded the schools in order to provide the best education that the Town can afford and have supported overrides and has used outside funding to support school budgets.'

Dr. Putnam thanks the Board for their input and notes that he is enjoying his job so far and that it is an interesting challenge.

CF states that she has been in contact with Ray Fisher of the Cheshire Lake District who has provided updates on the recent weed problem. Ray has been working with the weed treatment contractor (Solitude) and that treatments were done on July 20 and August 4.  Ray noted that a new problem weed was identified (tape grass) and is very aggressive. Currents and wind have moved the treated, now dead and floating weeds, into large masses, particularly near the spillway and boat ramp. Ray is working on getting the contractor back to mechanically remove the nuisance as soon as possible.

Resident Mike Kruszyna voices his concerns with the current condition of the lake and introduces Dan Miraglia who acknowledges that it is a difficult job to manage a lake then addresses the Board on a variety of his concerns regarding Cheshire Lake, including: weed treatment methodology, lake ecosystems, recreational use of the lake by general public, impact of weed treatment on fishery and overall priorities, which should not be exclusive to lake residents. He adds that idea weed treatment would be selective and leave one-quarter of the weeds intact. He then questions the timing and level of weed treatment saying that it was overkill this year. He adds that the general public should have input into level and type of treatments and questions the current status and process of obtaining the Notice of Intent (NOI) for weed treatment. CF responds that all NOI hearings are open to the public and she doesn't recall anyone attending in the past. Board thanks Mr Miraglia for his input and  ill take his concerns under advisement.

7:00 PM:
PA makes a motion to enter executive session per MGL Chapter 30A, Section 21a(2) “to conduct collective bargaining”,  and to return to open meeting session upon its conclusion. CF seconds the motion. Voice vote taken: RC, aye; CF, aye; PA, aye.

Executive Session

7:25 PM:
With executive session concluded, Board returns to regular open meeting session.

Chief of Police Garner issues his weekly report. Chief Garner discusses sponsoring a candidate to the Part Time Police Academy, adding that there is no cost or hiring obligation to the Town. Board wishes to meet the candidate prior to approving request.

Water Commissioner Rick Gurney states that the Commissioners have requested bids from three qualified vendors to conduct a master plan and related reports for the Cheshire Water Department as required by the DEP. Two bids have been received and the Commissioners are anxious to get Selectmen approval of the low bidder because of the report's urgency. Bids received are from Tighe and Bond at a total cost of $33,600 and Berkshire Engineering Group at $17,210. Mr Gurney notes that the Department has  used both vendors in the past and have been satisfied with their work. Following a discussion and based on the recommendation of the Commissioners, Selectmen execute an agreement with Berkshire Engineering Group.

Peggy Richardson speaks to the Board about her concerns over the small number of active Cheshire seniors being served by the Council on Aging. She notes that there are only about 13 active members. She would like to do a town-wide mailing to attract and inform seniors. While the Board is sympathetic, they need to get specific figures on  mailing costs before offering assistance.

Highway Superintendent Peter LeFebvre gives his weekly report and notes that he will be on vacation next week and that he has provided the Highway crew with a list of projects to work on. Peter states roadside mowing is continuing.

Town Administrator Mark Webber gives his weekly report including the following items:

Asks whether the Board given any more thought to the MIIA grant options, noting that the Town tree survey is probably not the best idea. Applications are not due for several more weeks.
Board reviews a note from the Town's engineer for Sand Mill Road bridge repair project. Seems like the technical review stage has been completed to the satisfaction of MA DOT. Now it goes to final review by the Chief Engineer. No indication of how long that will take.
Submitted a prevailing wage request for Peter for the Windsor and Wells Roads paving project. They will be attached to the bid package which should be finished up shortly, then advertised and put out to bid. Bids are coming in for other towns between $65 and $70/ton for blacktop in place.
Had a long chat with Ray Fisher last evening after getting a call from the newspaper seeking comment. Ray spoke with the reporter as well. Eagle called back today to say that Solitude is going to address the clean up at no cost to the Town.
Governor Baker has signed this year's budget, including municipal government reforms; several  may be of interest to the Town. Will need to investigate the specifics. Also, final State Aid figures are approved for both the Town and the school district (Chapter 70 & 71). Requested clarification from the District on discrepancies between FY '17 ACRSD budget figures compared with actual receipts.
Had a follow up conversation with Nexamp regarding past discussions and recent presentation from Hampshire Power on their virtual net metering program. Still sorting things out to avoid conflicts with the Town's current power agreements.

Board receives a letter from MA DOT (attached) denying the Town's request to install guardrails in the vicinity of 137 South State Street in response to a recent and prior vehicle accidents causing property damage.

RC comments that, while the earlier conversation on Cheshire Lake weed treatment was informative, he notes that comments that the general public should have equal or primary say in how the lake is managed might not sit well with Lake residents who, in the past, have suffered with serious weed issues to the point of receiving tax abatements. Bob adds that Lake residents have put their money where their mouths are and should receive considerations over visiting sportsmen.

CF states that she received a call from Historic Commission member Diane Hitter saying that the State is looking favorably upon the Town's application for restoration funding for the Cheshire Town Hall.


8:10 PM:
There being no additional business to come before the Board, PA makes a motion to adjourn. RC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


_______________________________________________________________
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds


August 2, 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, July 26, 2016; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. 

Residents, Kendall and Janice Sisson inquired about the progress of repairs on the Sand Mill Bridge.
Paul updated the status and noted that the Town does have the finances for it.  However, the State has to approve the plans.

COA, Anna Farnum and Peter Traub:
- Anna reported that Butch King is assisting her in the cleaning out of one of the offices. 
- There will be a meeting with Kerry Lahey, the newly appointed COA Outreach Worker, on Monday, August 8, 2016.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Mowing Route 116.
- Continuing to clear brush from a recent wind/rain storm.
- Checked Fisher Hills for pot holes.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Resident, Peter Franz expressed concern with the Town Hall gutters needing repair and asked if there were plans to address them.
- A Risk and Loss Control grant program is being offered by the Town’s insurer – MIIA.  Mark suggested applying for a Town tree survey/assessment.  MIIA is giving grants of up to $15K with a cap of $10K per item. Applications need to be submitted by October 28th and spent by May 15, 2017.
- Spoke with Travis of the Water Department and he has two quotes in hand for the DEP required master plan and will have a third quote by the end of this week. Commissioners will then review and pass along a recommendation to the Board.
- Spoke with Officer Alibozek about his employment agreement status.  We have a standard agreement that was adopted a few years back for full time officers.  Mark suggested waiting until and if he passes the full time Academy, which he is enrolled in the beginning of November.  It would then, by law, be a one year probationary agreement, with a maximum of up to a 3-year term afterwards.
- Spoke with Julie at Hampshire Council of Governments about the virtual net metering program for Town accounts.  They are reviewing our bills and should have something for the Board at the next meeting.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Ray Fisher notified the Board that there will be a lake treatment on August 4, 2016.

Robert:
- Announced renewed confidence after hearing Dr. Putnam’s presentation last week.  He was especially pleased to know that information will be forthcoming regarding decisions.
- Robert would like to review Executive Session minutes.
- Robert will be checking the trash rack for weeds as there is an over abundance.
- Suggested thinking about a Foreman position for when the Highway Superintendent is unavailable.

Mark will be contacting Town Counsel regarding the three to five Selectmen process.

Paul announced an Executive Session for Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 7pm 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.

One Day Liquor Licenses for the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club.  Issued for $150.00

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:30; 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


July 26, 2016
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:     
Press: iBerkshires
                 
Robert read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, July 19, 2016; Carol accepted as amended; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. 

Interim Adams-Cheshire Regional School Superintendent, Dr. Putnum addressed the Cheshire Board of Selectman introduce himself and to review his Interim position, goals to accomplish, and the need for better communication with both Towns.  His plans include meeting as many residents as possible to discuss the needs they feel are relevant which will allow him to be successful in the decisions he will be making.
Carol:
- Noted that the Cheshire BOS disliked the fact that they would find out about decisions in the newspaper. Dr. Putnum stated he is always available to meet with people in general and was looking forward to meeting the Cheshire Advisory Board members. Dr. Putnum’s main goal is to improve student learning.  He explained the definitions of Levels 2 and 3.
Robert:
-Troubled by the fact that the override passed the second time and it was mainly for the school.  He noted that positions have been eliminated and feels he doesn’t know what to believe anymore.  He cited two positions eliminated; one technology and one professional development individual. Dr. Putnam said the staff is lean.
Carol:
- Questioned the status of the study the School Committee is performing.
Dr. Putnum:
- “All Towns will be informed of the outcome of the study and there will be information posted on the website.”
Dr. Putnum:
- The biggest decision he is working on is the Budget.  He is dealing with fixed costs going up, negotiations,  and health care.  He is striving to maintain a quality education and for the first thirteen days on the job he has concentrated on taking in all information from both Towns.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- To date Peter has received six (6) requests for Bid packages for the highway truck.
- Submitted a project request for signature for Wells and Windsor Road blacktopping.
- Guy Lewis of Fisher Hill Road report pot holes.
- Paul commended Peter and crew for clearing brush by the river.   
- Noted that the ditch in front of the Gable property had been inspected and he noted it to be clean.



COA, Anna Farnum and Peter Traub:
- Anna requested assistance for trash removal as she is clearing out one of the offices.  Peter will assist. Anna and Peter reviewed their interviewing process for the Outreach Worker for the COA and recommended Kerry Lahey.  Carol motioned to appoint Kerry Lahey as the 20 hour/week COA Outreach Worker; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. Anna was asked to see if Ms. Lahey will be available in the winter months.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Submitted an article from Mass Moments, a story on the 1801 cheese ball shipped to Washington as Western MASS supported newly elected Thomas Jefferson and eastern Mass supported the defeated John Adams.
- Received a copy of the 6th submission to MA DOT Bridge from the Town’s engineers. To date, $23,000 has been paid for professional services for Sand Mill Bridge.
- Request received for the Barn Book from Myron Proper.
- Received educational information from Hampshire Power on their available virtual net metering plan which can be posted on the Towns website. Would like to participated successfully before promoting the program for Town residents.
- Spoke to Travis regarding his submission of a Master Plan for the water system. A DRAFT should be done by October.
- Will work on Carry Forwards next week.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted the Weekly Report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- Invited the BOS to attend a viewing of the new election machine in operation on August 24, 2016 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Cheshire Town Hall.

Robert:
- Question if there was a resignation from the Water Department.  Answer:  No changes made.

Mail and Correspondence:
- APEX Cleaning.
- Berkshire Gas.

7:30pm
Paul 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 and the open meeting at 6:30pm will not continue.
Paul F. Astorino, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; and Carol A. Francesconi, Yes.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting to go into Executive Session at 7:30; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken. The 6:30 meeting will not reopen


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

July 19, 2016
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino and Carol A. Francesconi
Absent: Robert S. Ciskowski      
Press: iBerkshires
                  
Carol read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, July 19, 2016; Paul accepted as presented; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. 

Resident, Carol F. Dickinson of 322 Lanesborough Road addressed the BOS regarding the fees charged for solar installations.  Wiring Inspector, George Sweet, addressed the concerns and advised that the fees have been in place since October 2015.

Paul: Thanked Corey Swistak and Mike for their emergency efforts at a recent wind/rain storm.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
-  Reported that there will be a truck bid opening on August 23, 2016 at 6:45pm at the BOS meeting.
- Working on storm cleanup on East Main Street (80-90% of the damage) Shadowland and Willowcove had minor damage. Meadowview, Mill Hill, and Furnace also had damage.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Spoke with Bruce Agusti from MEMA.  Bruce was able to speak with Corey Swistak last evening for a report on the storm damage and will be her to meet with Peter for a viewing and assessment.  Spoke to Mr. Davis about the damage at his house and confirmed that no Town trees were involved.  Mark noticed some trees in the river that will need to be addressed when time permits.  Spoke to another resident regarding Town funds available for storm clean up.
- Spoke with two residents with questions about the Town’s electric aggregation program and the additional virtual net metering discount opportunity.
- Following up on generator working status.
- Placed Bid Truck ad in The Berkshire Eagle.
- Need to have Peter check on trees in McDonald Brook.
- Submitted revised highway contract.

John Choquette from the Hoosac Valley Motor Cycle Club requested approval for a Adams Motor Cycle Club event on September 17, 2016 at the Saradoff property.  Paul wished Mr. Choquette a safe fun time.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Reported that there will be interviews for the COA Outreach Worker on July 20, 2016.
- Questioned any changes happening with the 12 South Street property.


Carol:
- Announced an Executive Session on July 26, 2016 at 7:30 at the Town Hall to discuss the Highway Contract.
- Carol requested the posting of an Agenda for the newly formed Cheshire Conservation Commission for Friday, August 5, 2016 at 6:30pm.  The purpose is for organization.

Resident, E. Richard Scholz:
- Requested an update on the expansion for the Select Board. Mr. Scholz was advised to speak with Robert S. Ciskowski as Robert has the guidelines and will be moving forward with the project.
- Additionally, Mr. Scholz wants the Town to be pro active regarding Cheshire School updates.  The Board assured Mr. Scholz that they were in contact with school personnel and the school committee.

Resident, Mike Biagini:
- Requested the BOS to be pro active for grants for a working generator.

Police Chief Garner:  On vacation.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: No issues or concerns.

Resident, Lynn Clairmont:
- Questioned if brush was going to be cut by Pleasantview & Route 116.  Peter advised that it was on the schedule.

Mail and Correspondence:
- All Energy Solar.  RE: solar permitting fees.

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


July 12, 2016

6:00 PM

Open business session of regular meeting.


Quorum present: Paul Astorino (PA), Chair, Carol Francesconi (CF), Robert Ciskowski (RC)
Absent:      
Press:
                  
Board reviews and acts on weekly warrants.


6:30 PM

PA calls the regular meeting to order.
RC reads the meeting minutes of July 5, 2016.  CF makes a motion to accept minutes as corrected.  PA seconds the

motion.  Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Resident Mr. Jajko, Wells Road, asks if Town has any authority to force people to take care of their properties.  

Although sympathetic, CF responds that no such regulations exist but an upcoming review of Town Bylaws could address

the matter.

Highway Superintendent Peter LeFebvre gives his weekly report.  Specifications for new highway truck are almost

completed and will be ready to put out to bid next week.  Peter provides an overview of the 19,500 GVW vehicle to the

Board.  Peter will be on vacation Friday through Monday of the upcoming week.  A list of duties will be offered to

the Highway Dept. employees; specifically mowing and pothole repair.

Town Administrator Mark Webber gives his weekly report to the Board as follows:
- Spoke with Police Chief regarding failure of new cruiser debt exclusion.  He'll just keep the 2 cruisers going as

best as he can.  Crown Victoria needs some immediate attention that he was deferring until after the vote.

- Processed and files firefighter accident claim with the Town's insurance carrier.  Had been waiting on some forms

to be completed and returned.
- Received the 5th bridge submission on Sand Mill Road bridge between our engineer and the State bridge engineer.  

Gave a copy to Peter.  This most recent exchange seems to focus on shoring, coffer dam and related structural items.

- Received the bond, as required by the Planning Board, for the Bushika solar project.  On Friday the Building

Inspector and Wiring Inspector were told that they could now sign off on the project.

- Received certificate of insurance for use of St Mary's Church for Town approved events.

- Had a discussion with Dr. Putnam, new ACRSD Superintendent.  He's having an initial meeting with Adams town

administrator and one school committee person rhis evening to discuss the Collins Institute study.  We agreed that

subsequent discussions will include representatives(s) from Cheshire.

- Received an official complaint from All Energy Solar about what they feel are high electrical fees for solar

projects.  I forwarded the complaint to Wiring Inspector George Sweet. George's response is given to the Board.

- Received a call from John Choquette, head of the Hoosic Valley motorcycle club seeking permission to hold an event

in Cheshire.  No date given.  He said that they've held the event in past years in Lanesborough.  Called back and

spoke to him and suggested that he give his pitch to the full Board at next week's meeting at 7.  It is to take place

on private property in the vicinity of Farnums.  He agreed.  Phone # 413-358-7000.

- On the never ending paperwork requirements from USDA, I have a revised list for Town Counsel and the Water Dept and

their engineers to gather and get back to the USDA.

- See note from Cemetery Dept on urgent need to replace a piece of equipment. They are requesting a carry forward of

unspent FY'16 appropriation to cover a portion of the cost of the new item.

- Of the 21 statewide projects appearing on the 2016 TIP sheet, 1 is in Berkshire County.  $1.3m improvements to

traffic signals in Pittsfield.


7:00 PM

Representatives from Colonial Power (Mark Cappadona) and Hampshire Council of Governments (Todd Ford) present a new

virtual net metering plan to the Board.  The program, offered through Hampshire Power, is available to all Town

residents and Town buildings accounts and provides for a discount of 15% on both transmission and supply costs on

electric bills.  This discount is available to all who are participating in the Town's community aggregation plan.  

Mr. Ford explains that the cost of subsidizing alternative energy is already built in to everyone's electric bill, so

resident's might as well take advantage of this discount program.  Interested residents will need to contact

Hampshire Power to sign up for the program and enrollees must provide a 6-month notice if they wish to drop out in

the future.  Mr. Ford answers a series of questions from audience members.  Mr. Ford offers to provide program

information to put on the Town's website and is willing to hold a workshop in the future for residents if the Board

wishes.  Board thanks both men for their presentation.

Chief of Police Garner has a general discussion with the board regarding the defeat of the debt excllusion vote for a

replacement cruiser.  Chief requests that FY'16 police operating funds be carried forward for anticipated repairs to

the Crown Victoria cruiser.  Chief is advised that specific bills need to be in play to allow for carry forwards.  

Cheif Garner, in response to comments at a previous Board meeting, notes that the Harbor Master's expenses and time

are paid through the Police Department line items.  Chief agrees that the Harbor Master is doing a great job.  At the

Cheif's request, CF makes a motion to appoint Officer Steven Charron to a 90-day probation period as a regular

officer.PA seconds the motion.  Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Water Commissioner Biggs Waterman addressed the Board and notes his displeasure with the 50% reduction in the Water

Department's Licensed Operator line item from $15,000 to $7,500 as voted at the FY 2017 Annual Town Meeting.  Mr.

Waterman states that no one would work for that kind of money.  He states that DEP requires that the Town have

separate people to hold the two required licenses: Operator and Distribution.  Furthermore, DEP, according to Mr.

Waterman, requires back-up license holders for both primary licenses as well.  A heated discussion follows and Mr.

Waterman states that he is prepared to resign as one of the licensed operators and that the DEP will cite the Town

with a non-compliance order. Mr. Waterman also indicates that he will resign as Water Commissioner as well.  Board

suggests that the Commissioners seek out interested license holders for both part time and back up operator

positions. Commissioner Gurney suggests that would be the Board's duty not the Commissioners'. Board suggests two

license holders who may be interested.  A general discussion of water rates follows.  No conclusions are reached on

Mr. Waterman's resignation or required license holders.

CF notes that Diane Hitter, Historic Commission member, is interested in being a membe of the Town's Complete Streets

Committee.

8:00 PM

PA makes a motion to enter executive session per MGL Chapter 30A, Section 21a(2); to discuss strategy with respect to

collective bargaining and not to return to open session upon its conclusion.  CF seconds the motion.  Voice vote

taken: RC, aye; CF, aye; PA, aye.

Executive Session



_______________________________________________________________
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds