Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

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


April 18, 2017

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

Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Superintendent Putnam:
- Dr. Putnam discussed the possibility of utilizing the Cheshire Elementary School building this summer to house a summer day camp for fifty (50) to sixty (60) Cheshire children during the months of July and August.
In the past, this program was permitted and was covered with liability insurance that the group pays.
- Robert voiced his opinion that he was not ready to be a landlord and that a plan was needed.  He felt he did not want to be pushed into a decision and he was not ready to use the building.
- Carol was of a different opinion and felt the children shouldn’t be punished for the situation Cheshire is in now.
- Carol requested that the BOS take a week to review.
- Dr. Putnam then inquired about the special education program that had utilize the building be permitted to use Cheshire Elementary School in the summer.  The program is a district sponsored program and has been placed in different facilities in the past.
- The third request was for the central office remaining at the building.
- Robert noted that first it was one program, then two, and now three.  He felt it should be left up the voters as to how to use the building.
-  Carol noted that, “Yes, listen to the voters, but it is the Board of Selectmen’s final decision.”
- Dr. Putnam had no problem with the one (1) week decision delay as he would be proactive in seeking other locations.

Town Resident, Jeremy McLain:
- Informed the BOS that he is a part of a group of Cheshire residents who are pursuing to have over two hundred and fifty (250) residents sign a petition to have state representatives find emergency monies to keep the school open.  Mr. McLain said, “the amendment would allow the Cheshire to fund  the school without increasing the Adams assessment share.” Time is of the essence.
- Carol stated that the town does not have enough free cash to fund the school.  It is thought to cost between $350K and $400K to keep the school open.  Carol said the town needs a Proposition 2 ½ override which would have to be passed at a town meeting and a town vote before the fiscal year of July 1.
- The BOS agreed to meet with the school committe to go over the proper process.

Highway Department, Blair Crane:
- Blair checked on the status of the new truck.  While inspecting the truck he noticed small details that he wanted taken care of before ownership took place.
- Reported that there are at least 32 lighting fixtures with twenty (20) not operating in the town garage. 
- Mark will research possible energy LED lighting programs.  Carol noted that at the least, new bulbs should be installed.  Mark will also check with George Sweet regarding NationalGrid upgrades.
- Trucks are being inspected.
- Servicing mowing equipment.
- Working on pot holes.  The Pittsfield asphalt company is closed for another month.
- On schedule for updating necessary operating licenses.
- Progress is being made on the cleaning and reorganization of the town shed.
- Sand Mill Bridge on schedule.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- ABCC Hearing date for the Cheshire Liquors, June 13, 2017 at 2:30PM, ABCC office, Boston, MA.
- Working on Annual Town Meeting Warrant.  Seeking three (3) free cash transfers:  new police cruiser at $40K; a new fire station generator at $14K; free cash transfer for a yet to be determined amount to fund the upkeep or mothballing of the Cheshire Elementary and; reduce the tax rate using a yet to be determined number.
-  Police Chief Garner reported that the 2008 cruiser has 138K miles and he suggested donating it to Special Olympics for their use in annual Law Enforcement Torch Run events.  He feels the vehicle is worth approximately $1K or less and the dealer may or may not take it in on trade.
- Received information from Erika Snyder regarding Cheshire Elementary School maintenance costs.  Mark noted that it was not a complete list but a start.
- Other articles to be included or considered are:  private road maintenance language; article for 3-5 Selectmen (to be drafted by Town Counsel); political sign bylaw; rescind semi-annual Town Officers meeting; rescinding Town bylaw on Town Clerk fees, and marijuana dispensaries.
- Maintenance and or plowing of private roads is addressed by accepting the following sections of M.G.L. Chapter 40: Section 6C for snow removal and Section 6N for the maintenance of same.  Section 6N grants the ability to draft and adopt a Town by law that requires specific language for the maintenance to be done, such as grading only or includes drainage, charging betterment fees, etc.  This one can get a little involved.  Mark has asked Town Counsel to provide an opinion on how to take the vote.  Section 6C refers to Section 6D, which speaks about an election ballot for the same purpose.  Mark will check to see if both need to be done or just the Town Meeting article.  Private roads impacted by the adoption of M.G.L. 40, Section C: Wood Lane, Wells Road Terrace, Coolidge (Kittlers Sunrise Terrace), Pitt Road, Willow Lane, Willow Cove, Shadowland Cove, Horn’s Beach Road, Quarry Road, Crusher Road, Cheese Factory Lane, Meadowbrook Lane.
- Requested the BOS to set a date for the closing of the warrant for acceptance of articles.  This typically done 3-4 weeks before the posting deadline of May 29, 2017.  The Selectmen, by vote of the Board, can re-open the warrant to accept an article any time up to the posting of the Warrant, and then re-close it.
-  Discussed hourly rate of building maintenance personnel.  Carol motioned to raise the hourly rate by $1.00/hr; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted. Discuss Fred Jayko’s trash issues.
- The Chief reported a fantastic turnout for the annual Cheshire Egg Hunt.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- Rescind:
Article XVI:  Meetings for Town Officers, Elected and Appointed.  A Meeting of all elected and appointed Town officials shall be held in a Town building on the second Wednesday of April and October at 7:00PM, for the purpose of communication between the various boards and departments of the Town.  The Meeting shall be chaired by the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen.  Unanimously passed at Annual Town Meeting, June 24, 1996. Approved by the Attorney General, July 17, 1998.

Fee Schedule for Town Clerk
Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates (Certified Copies ) $3.00
Abstract of Birth, Marriage and Death Records $1.00
Entering Amendments to Birth, Marriage or Death Records    $2.00
Copies of records pertaining to Birth, Marriage or Death  $2.00

Marriage Intentions (Filing intentions, Certificate of Marriage    $10.00
     And Marriage Certificate)

Fee Town Receives $1.00
Voter Card $2.00
Business Certificates $2.00
   Additional Copies each $1.00
Gasoline Permits  $5.00

Approved by the Attorney General, August 20, 1995.

By-laws for ATM June 12, 2017.
Rescind Bi-annual Officers Meeting By-Law
Rescind Town Clerk Fee Schedule By-law
Create By-laws:
Private Roads care Chapter 60
No campaign signs or playbills on Town property.  Signs placed on private property must be removed 48 hours after the Election date.

Warrant Articles for ATM:
Care and cost of closing Cheshire Elementary School.
New copier for Town Clerk/Selectmen’s Office (this year or next).


POLLS OPEN:   9:00 AM TO 7:00 PM

Resident, Eileen Quinn:
- “Earth Day”.  Residents will be sprucing up the town of Cheshire on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10am to noon.  Contact Eileen Quinn at 717-0673.

Cheshire Board of Health:
- Reported mechanical motor issues with the transfer station.  The BoH hopes to have it running by the weekend.
- Paul noted that he wants to discuss further town employee holidays.  Specifically, he noted that the transfer station was closed on Monday, Patriot’s Day.  Carol noted that the Cheshire Town Employee Handbook would have to be reviewed before any action could be taken.

Mail and Correspondence:
- License issued to Marc Bellaud, Solitude Lake Management authorizing the application of chemicals for the control of nutrients, algae or aquatic plants to Hoosac Lake, Cheshire, MA.  Letter dated:  March 30, 2017.

- Reminded the BOS to review the financial options, disadvantages, and advantages in rental out the  Cheshire Elementary School.  Further discussion to take place on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.
Carol also wanted it noted that she has received complaints about the Zombie Acropolise Game being played at the Cheshire Elementary School. According to the Chief kids/teens play a tag game dressed up as Zombie. In one case, a couple was out for an evening walk around the school and was swarmed around by teens thinking it was funny to threaten them.  Chief said in the past the game would be held at different residential homes. He felt, “At least the kids are safe on school grounds.”  Chief Garner will talk to the gamers to be more considerate.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:15PM; 2nd by Robert 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

April 4, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent: Paul F. Astorino  
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Superintendent Putnam:
- Stopped by to update the BOS on the status of recent events regarding the Cheshire Elementary School closing, budget issues, and the discontent between the two towns.  Statements were made by Robert and Carol that clearly voiced the unlikelihood that Cheshire would be passing this year’s budget.  Both Robert and Carol agreed that if at this moment they could dissolve the district, they would. The BOS believes the district agreement has not met the needs of Cheshire and feel the only thing shared between the two towns is the border.

Robert read the Board of Selectmen’s meeting minutes for April 4, 2017.  Carol accepted the minutes as amended to indicate that the Gideon Bibles were donated for the Police and Fire Departments by Gideon International; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Blair Crane:
- This report is submitted after two days on the job.  Blair reported that the new truck should be in next week.
- Presently repairing power equipment for storage for next year.
- Observing progress on Sand Mill Road Bridge. Blair noted that pavement cuttingwould take place next week.
- Guard rail replaced on Fales Road.
- Filling and patching pot holes.
- Servicing the road grader.
- Docks will be in the lake by the week-end (4/13/17).
- Viewed Galli property at 700 Outlook Avenue.  Blair reported that an excavator could not be used due to wet conditions at this time.  Blair will report back to the BOS when weather permits with recommendations.
- All equipment and supplies will be removed from the town garage and then reorganized.
- Robert reminded Blair that there are on line Hoisting classes and there may be a class in Taunton, MA in May.
- Cheshire Highway Superintendent cell telephone number is:  413-281-7965.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Reported that Blair will be hosting a chair saw safety course on Friday, May 19, 2017 at the Cheshire Highway Department.  The announcement came from Mass Rural Water Association.
- Mark received final numbers from the ACRSD business office.  They reflect a 3% increase for Cheshire overall.
- Met with Robin and reviewed the levy limit calculations.  We will be approximately $80K under the levy limit.  This figure is based on the current version of the FY 2018 budget and applying $170K of free cash to reduce  the tax rate.  This is the amount used last year and is a discretionary figure.  Also calculated in are conservative values for new growth and local receipts.  For the current fiscal year, we are $99,565 under the levy limit.
- Current certified free cash is $626,834.  Robin, Lynne and Mark will meet to verify actual and estimates.  The amount chosen to reduce the tax rate has a tax rate effect.
- Uses for free cash: generator for the fire station - $14K; an amount of taking the elementary school back, and a new police cruiser.
- Mark suggested that the BOS consider naming a Cheshire School Re-use Committee now that the decision  to close seems final.  Five (5) or seven (7) members would be appropriate.  It will still be up to the Selectmen to determine a final figure – which can only be a best estimate – to find the cost of carrying and protecting the building for the next year. 
- Announcement from Colonial Power, the Town’s electric supplier.  National Grid will have new rates, effective May 1 through October 31.  They are about the same as what we are getting from Colonial Power for the same period – National Grid is two-tenths of a cent higher.  Colonial Power rates hold through November 2017, at which time they will have a new rate, Mark believes, based on bid results. 

Resident, Fred Jayko:
- Reported continuous issues with trash thrown on Wells Road.  The BOS will report this complaint to the Chief of Police for surveillance.

Senator Adam Hinds will be at the Cheshire Community Center on April 24, 2017 from 2pm to 4pm.
“Speak Up Western Mass” public forum.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.

COA, Peter Traub:
- Announced a $1,000 grant award for the Cheshire Council on Aging.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Election Warrant signed.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 6:30-8:30PM.  Berkshire Communities Green Network at the Ralph Froio Senior Center, 330 North Street, Pittsfield, MA.
- DCR.  Cease and Desist for cutting plan for John Gwozdz.
- Forest Cutting Plan for Farnam Goodlife, Quarry Road.
- Charter payment ($2,753.24).

Nomination of Inspector of Animals was signed and certified by Christine B. Emerson, Notary Public.

One Day Liquor Licenses for the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club ($150).

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the meeting at 8:05PM; 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


March 28, 2017

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino,  Robert S. Ciskowski, and Carol A. Francesconi  
Press: The Courier (Cory Willey)

Robert read the Board of Selectmen’s meeting minutes for March 21, 2017.  Carol accepted the minutes and noted that Candidates Neil Baker for a 3 year term on the Cemetery Commission and Donald Rueger for a three year term on the Water Commission should be included; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Peter noted that the Sand Mill Bridge project will start next week.  Weather conditions have slowed the projected time start.
- Sand and salt account at $179,905.20 which is under by $94.00. 
- Preparing for forecast of sleet on Thursday.

- Questioned the status of the Galli ditch.  Peter will be viewing the area once the melting of snow allows him to.  Attorney St. John III forwarded the decision held that the overflow of water on the “Lombardi land was no different than it would have been without the culverts.  Therefore, the culverts did not enhance or alter the natural drainage across Outlook Avenue.  Anything else that drains onto the Lombardi property would have been there irrespective of the culverts.”  Attorney St. John agreed with Carol that the town is obligated to keep the culverts clean of debris but didn’t think that the town has any further responsibility to the property owner to perform any additional maintenance work.  The matter will be taken up once Peter has had a chance to observe the area.  Peter will report back to the BOS on 4-4-17.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Researched employment references and made an offer of employment to Blair J. Crane.  The offer was accepted. Mark will schedule an introductory meeting on 4-4-17 at 6:30PM and he is working on an employment agreement for the Highway Superintendent. Mark scheduled an Executive Session at 6pm on 4-4-17.
- Completing a draft for the town report for the Selectmen.
- Executed and returned back to the BRPC the agreement for their work on the Complete Streets program.  Paperwork was sent to the MA DOT coordinator, Kathy Stevens, State Aid Coordinator at DOT District 1 and BRPC.
- Working on FY 2018 budget and levy limit calculations. Mark will distribute the latest budget version this evening. Mark asked if a new cruiser and new generator should be on the warrant.  Answer: “Yes.”

- Requested Mark to get estimates to have the Town Hall gutters repaired.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Inquired if Mark had checked into mitigation grants for the generator.  Mark has been in contact with the state regarding any possibilities for grants.  Carol will ask the fire department to submit an estimate.  To get the emergency army surplus generator working it could cost approximately $5,800.  Robert originally felt repairing the surplus equipment was the way to go.  However, after speaking with George Sweet he now feels a new generator is the way to go.

Resident, Ken Egnaczak: (Email)
- Carol received an email from Ken Egnaczak on March 12, 2017 requesting the Town of Cheshire to draft a resolution for pollinator protection.  The BOS will take this resolution up at their 4-4-17 meeting after they have had time to read the proposal.

- Reviewed the letter from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and the Age Friendly Berkshires, Innovations in Accessible Mobility grant from the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC).  It is for service providers who go outside their usual jurisdictional boundaries and transport individuals without access to transportation to pre-arranged medical appointments.  The grant runs through December 2017.  Carol recommended not becoming a part of the offering at this time.
- Robert also did research on the proposal and agrees with Carol that there are many pitfalls with scheduling and questioned if it is really needed.

Driveway Permit:
- Issued to Dixon S. Daniels on March 20, 2017 for 4.0 tenths of a mile from Windsor line on Richmond Hill Road.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

School Committee Member, Darlene Rodowicz
- Darlene presented an overview of the status of the Cheshire Elementary School closing.  She stated that she plans, “To propose the full budget and let the towns decide if they can afford it. This takes into consideration still hiring all new recommended positions.” Use of the Cheshire School was discussed as well as approximate increases to each town.  Paul inquired about the 90 day notice and the protocol to do so. Darlene ended her talk by saying there is, “No perfect solution.”
- Darlene was encouraged by the interest of parents and town residents in working together for a resolution.

Resident, E. Richard Scholz:
- Requested the BOS to change their stand on not allowing election candidates place their name signs on town property when running for office.  Mr. Scholz felt there were three areas in town where if he had the ability to post his name sign, it would allow for more visibility to voters who do not know him.  The BOS remained with no political signs posted on town property. The BOS recommended speaking with each resident where he would like to see his signs on private property and receive individual permission.  Mr. Scholz asked to see the
M.G.L. where it states their decision.

An Executive Session will take place on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 6:00PM, “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.
Motion to approve, Carol A. Francesconi, 2nd by Paul F. Astorino.  A unanimous vote was taken.

Mail and Correspondence:

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:15PM; 2nd by Robert 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

March 21, 2017

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Press: iBerkshires (Tammy Daniels) and The Courier (Cory Willey)
McCann Technical School, Superintendent, James J. Brosnan:
- Paul thanked Superintendent Brosnan for presenting the Operating Budget for 7/1/17-6/30/18.

Lanesborough Town Manager, Paul Sieloff:
- Presented a draft proposal to discuss the possibility of the Town of Cheshire and the Town of Lanesborough research the adoptability of both towns working together to offset the costs for a shared position for the role of a Highway Superintendent. The BOS will review and discuss the proposal and contact Mr. Sieloff.
- Robert:  Questioned if the department would be set up in as an Enterprise accounting system.  Mr. Sieloff remarked, “No.” 
- Peter:  Inquired if there would be an in-house engineer to draw plans and not a worker. That would have to be checked into. 

Robert read BOS minutes for March 7, 2017. Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. Note:  The Cheshire BOS meeting for Tuesday, March 14, 2017 was cancelled due to a blizzard.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Cold patching.
- Continued machine failures – down to two (2) trucks.
- Working on paperwork for the Sand Mill Bridge.
- Dealing with weather issues.

Resident,  Gayle Galli, Outlook Avenue:
- Reported continued issues with a ditch and the need for taking care of it.  The BOS will get back to Ms. Galli within two (2) weeks once Peter checks out the situation.

Resident, Larry Levesque. 
- Questioned conservation issues on property owned by Mark Fortier.  Carol suggested hiring a soil engineer.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Met with Dr. Putnam for a general discussion on Cheshire School options going forward.
- Received preliminary FY ’18 ACRSD assessment figures for the Town.  School Committee is voting this coming Monday on the budget and it looks like Cheshire’s increase will be $86K (capital and operations), or a 3.5%. Adams’ assessment will go up 3%.
- Received executed Cooperative Agreement for Kitchen Brook Dam removal from the State.
- Received a proposal from BRPC for the development of Complete Streets Program.  Their fee will be $24,882.  This is fully reimbursable through the Complete Streets program.  Their work will be completed by November 31st.  Mark will submit the proposal to the State for their approval to get started.  The BOS approved.
- Peter requested that a notice be sent to neighbors of the Sand Mill Bridge notifying them of parking and pedestrian bridge crossing prohibitions during the construction.
- Received response from town counsel regarding providing health insurance to elected officials.  The town is required under Chapter 32B, Section 23 which the Town has adopted to health insurance to any employee – elected or otherwise – if they work twenty (20) or more hours per week.  There is no obligation to provide insurance to anyone-elected or otherwise – if they work regularly under twenty (20) hours per week. There is no further town meeting action to not offer health insurance to newly elected officials going forward.   This can become problematic if there are elected officials who claim to work twenty (20) or more hours per week regularly. 
- Researched Medicare question for those on Cheshire health insurance who are over 65 and whether they can be moved over to Medicare.  If they are actively employed by the Town – either elected or appointed – you cannot move them to Medicare, they have to remain on Town insurance.  If they are retired and over 65 we are required to shift them to Medicare.  See Chapter 32B, Section 18A.
- BRPC submitted the Town’s housing assistance grant to the State last week.
- Contacted Representative, Gail Anne Cariddi regarding a question about elected officials recall process in conjunction to the proposed 3-5 Selectmen.  Mark was referred to the State’s municipal law unit.  Mark contacted town counsel instead and he responded that there are only three (3) other communities in the Commonwealth who have recall authority but that it can be done and the process is the same as the move from 3-5 Selectmen and, if the Board wished to proceed, they can both be done at the same time.
- Continuing with FY’18 budget compilation. Copies submitted to the Advisory Board. Mark met with Denise Gregoire to review the process going forward.
- Scheduling an interview for the position of Highway Superintendent.
- Submitted Nomination of Inspector of Animals papers dated 3/17/17.  Paul motioned to have Myron Proper as the Town Animal Control Officer; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, Michelle Whitney presented a list of pertinent questions regarding the status of the Cheshire Elementary School.  Attending was Eileen Quinn, John Tremblay, Jeremy McLain, and Justin Kruszyna.
Carol advised the group to attend the upcoming meeting at the school where ideas and options will be discussed.

Resident, Peter Traub: (COA)
- Discussed the COA van being a part of a new system regarding emergency needs for the COA. Carol suggested waiting until the BRTA offers concise information before further discussing possibilities.

DCR Cease and Desist Order:
Name:  John Gwozdz, 308 Fales Road.  Harvester:  Gerry Lashway, P O Box 768, Williamsburg, MA 01096.

Goecaching Event.  Tuesday, July 18, 2017 from 11am to 1pm.  The Berkshire Geobash group will hold a picnic at the Monument on Stafford Hill.  Trash will be picked up.  The BOS had no issues or concerns and approved the event.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.

 Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
 Presented candidates for the Cheshire Annual Election:
 Selectmen    Edmund St. John IV, 37 Main Street
      E. Richard Scholz, 790 Stafford Hill Road

 3 year term    Laurie Charon, 98 Meadowview Drive,  Incumbent

 Board of Health Member
 3 year term    Jeffrey Warner, 13 Wells Road,  Incumbent

 Cemetery Commissioner          Neil Baker, 408 Outlook Avenue, Incumbent
 3 year term    

 Water Commissioner   Donald Rueger, 89 Dean Street,  Incumbent
 3 year trm
 Planning Board Member
 5 year term    Francis Griswold, 1350 Wells Road,  Incumbent

 Planning Board Member
 3 year term    Donna Defino, 184 Mountain Road

Adams Cheshire Regional
School District School Committee
from Cheshire
3 year term     Adam Emerson, 34 Richardson Street

Adams District School Committee
Member from Adams
3 year term     Regina Hill,  Incumbent
      Michael Mucci, Jr.


Last day to register to vote:  Tuesday, April 11, 2017  9:00am to 8:00pm in Town Clerk’s Office for the
Monday, May 1st Annual Town Election.

Cheshire Application for Driveway Permit dated March 20, 2017.  Paul and Carol signed the permit for Dixon S. Daniels, 295 Richmond Hill Road.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Eversource Energy’s annual Emergency Response Plan meeting.  Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:24PM; 2nd by Robert 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


March 14, 2017

Meeting cancelled due to weather.