Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

July 5, 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, June 21, 2016; Carol accepted as amended 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.  (The pothole complaint was for Lanesborough Road.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Working on new truck specs.

Carol:
- Noted that the Debt Exclusion vote will take place on Monday, July 11, 2016 from 9am to 7pm at the Cheshire Elementary School.

7:00
Carol motioned to close the Applications for the COA Outreach Worker; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.  Peter Traub notified the BOS that there will be interviews scheduled and multiply town representatives will interview the candidates. Mr. Traub also questioned the BOS wondering if the Harbor Master, Paul Maloney, received a stipend for the excellent service he performs.  In appreciation of the great job he does, Mr. Traub feels he will attempt to find some funding for at least gasoline for the boat.  The BOS concurred that Paul does and outstanding job.

Carol:
- The BOS reviewed and discussed the candidates interested in becoming a member of the Cheshire Conservation Commission.  All candidates were highly qualified in the field of conservation.  The BOS decided to start, with one year appointments, and offer the volunteer appointments to two out of the four candidates.
Appointed was:  Raymond Killeen and Leah Kruszyna. Carol A. Francesconi will remain on the commission as the BOS representative. Paul made a motion to appoint Ms. Kruszyna and Mr. Killeen; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Paul:
- Paul noted that four (4) surveillance cameras were delivered and will be installed at the playground at the Cheshire Elementary School possibly by the Cheshire Fire Department.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Invitation from Gailanne Cariddi for the BOS to attend a seminar on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at MCLA.


Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 

Police Chief Garner:   Submitted weekly report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: No issues or concerns.

7:30
In the interest of resolving an on-going fence issue and at the request of the Cheshire Fence Viewers, the BOS scheduled a meeting with the Cheshire Fence Viewers, Attorney Jeff Grandchamp, and resident,
Edwin Clairmont to discuss on-going fence issues between Edwin Clairmont and Bertrand Beiseigel for this evening.
The Fence Viewers posted a Decision on the issue and believed the issue was resolved.  However, Mr. Clairmont did not agree and is especially critical on the Fence Viewers authority of stating a “Grazing Season” from the first of May to December 1. Mr. Clairmont stated that the Cheshire Fence Viewers have no authority to state a “Grazing Season.”
Fence Viewers Chairman, Mark Warner,  stated that if the Fence Viewers have no authority then the Fence Viewers made a big mistake.  He noted that the Fence Viewing Board has four (4) members and two
want nothing more to do with the issues that have been going on for years.
Clairmont:  After the fence was divided, and the Beiseigel fence remained bad, Mr. Clairmont decided that small claim courts would resolve the issues. In May Mr. Clairmont repaired the fence.  In summer of 2015 he went to small claims court and the court ruled against him.  He notified the Fence Viewers and asked them to view the fence and to see the repairs needed.  He would then go to small claims court for restitution.

Clairmont:
In the fall he called Mark Warner, out of “Grazing Season” and wanted fence maintenance from November to May. Mr. Clairmont stated that there is no law that someone is exempt.  He submitted forms and a letter from his lawyer.  The complaint was that the Beiseigel fence is not in proper condition. The issues have been on-going for seven (7) years.

Clairmont:
Said that the Fence Viewers don’t have to have Beisegel to build a fence like his.  Fences have to be installed for different types of animals. The Fence Viewers can tell the owner what kind of fence can be installed. He
said Mr. Beioseigel was told by the Fence Viewers he is not to build any fence.  Mr. Warner said, “NO.”
Mr. Clairmont wanted to know who is responsible for the twelve (12) foot section.  Mr. Clairmont’s cattle have gotten out twice due to the fence.

Attorney Grandchamp, Attorney for the Town of Cheshire:
Attorney Grandchamp applauded the Cheshire Fence Viewers for taking a practical solution.  The statue does not provide for a season.  The laws go back three (3) hundred years and was for animals straying on to other properties.  He noted that Mr. Beiseigel has no animals.

Attorney Grandchamp reported that he needs to go back in the files before he can advise the town.  The cases go back to 1936, 1950, 2009 (Not a partition case) and older.

Mr. Clairmont wanted to know who is required to maintain the fence.

Attorney Grandchamp inquired if the Fence Viewers were paid $5.00 a visit and noted there was a short time frame to make an appeal.

Carol
Requested to put the issue on hold until the BOS hears back from Attorney Grandchamp.  This will allow
Attorney Grandchamp sufficient time to research M.G.L. Chapter 49 Fences, Fence Viewers, Pounds and Field Drivers.  Specifically;  Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 18 and any other pertinent cases, as he requested.  Another meeting will be scheduled.
** Note:  No documentation was submitted to the BOS.
Mr. Clairmont will receive a copy of the minutes once approved by the BOS.

With all business finalized, Paul 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


June 28, 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, June 21, 2016; Carol accepted as amended 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.  Carol requested the minutes to note that Donna DeFino’s appointment was until the next election as she is replacing Daniel Speth who resigned in May 2016.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:  On vacation.

Carol:
- Requested a letter be sent to Attorney Kelleher of Kraus and Hummel LLC regarding a letter received regarding the recent rent increase for Pine Valley Mobile Home Park.  Carol wanted it noted that the Rent Control Board at no time was informed that there were renters on 5 year leases at the park.  Additionally, the rent including the $12.00 fee is $275.46. The rent increase applies to all renters.  Leases were not a part of the factor in the rent increase decision.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Scheduling a meeting with Mark Capadano for July 12, 2016 at 7:00pm. To discuss Hampshire Power for additional rate discounts on top of our aggregation rate.
- Working on grant of $2,460 for the purchase of updated Police and Fire radios. (EMPG 2016 Grant)
- Becky is on vacation.
- Continuing to work on salary comparison survey.
- Log for department hours/time actually worked to verify and support for town business.
- Will continue to research employee health insurance options.  Currently a family plan could cost the town nearly $18,000 per elected official.  Robert preferred a statement covering all elected officials rather than an individual case by case approval.
- Working on researching examples of past Legislature for changes the Select Board from three (3) to five (5).
Gave Robert copy of Guide to review.
- Received the fourth communication between Foresight Engineering and the State Department of Transportation regarding Sand Mill Road Bridge.
- The Department of Public Works installed a Berkshire United Way book house at Leland Park.  It is a children’s drop off and exchange book project for the summer.
- Working on highway contract regarding vacation time.
- Complaint received regarding the fees for Electrical Inspector’s solar permit fees.

Carol:
- Voiced concerns about Cheshire students opting out of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District due to the possibility of the elementary school closing.  A decision will happen after a study is completed.

Resident, Richard Jennings:
- Questioned if the mansion on South Street across from the fire station will be torn down.  Carol reported that it could be condemned by the Cheshire Board of Health.  She reminded all that the Cheshire Inn cost the town nearly $50,000.

Carol:
- Showed the BOS an article in the Berkshire Eagle and informed the BOS of a dispute with the Bluebird Farm Animal Sanctuary and Rehabilitation over a dead skunk.  It appears that the skunk was transported from Vermont to a Cheshire site for rehabilitation.  However, the skunk died on the property.  The Cheshire Animal Control Officer gathered the body as it had to be tested for rabies. This action was not done until the Officer received a telephone call from the State Department of Health.  There are concerns as to who is responsible for paying for the $150.00 for the testing.  Carol said, “There are several areas that raise a little concern with us… it’s like saying if a skunk died in my yard the town has to pay for it.”  The concern will be reviewed as the town did not know about the offering at Blue Bird Sanctuary.  Zoning, health issues, and licenses will be
reviewed.

Resident, Rene Martel, 98 West Mountain Road, voiced concerns regarding pot holes on West Mountain Road
and the hopes of repairing the road.

Police Chief Garner:   Submitted weekly report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Paul read a letter from Kraus & Hummel LLP dated June 13, 2016 regarding one issue.  “Tenants still under a five year lease cannot have their rents changed”.  In all of the documents received and presentations given, there was never word of any tenants having a five (5) year lease.  Carole H. will write a letter advising of the same information.
- Letter from Barbara Proper requesting an application to become a member of the Cheshire COA Board.  A letter will be written noting that there are, presently, no openings.
- Notification of Pipeline Maintenance Activities – Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company – HMM Project No. 364638AB01.
- State House News Service/Gailanne M. Cariddi.  Update of Highway Funding, Small Bridges Bill on House Agenda.
- Update on scholarships available for students at ACRHS.  Cheshire Grange Scholarship Class 2015 awarded Marissa Felter and Samantha Staffin scholarships. In 2016 there were no students majoring in agriculture or environmental studies.
- Email from Eversource regarding Eversource supply rate changes.

Mail and Correspondence:  continued
- Thank you letter from the Cheshire Library to volunteers who installed the Book House. ) Mr. Peter LeFebvre, Mr. Jack Girard and Mr. Mike Rivera.)

Carole H. informed the BOS that she had scheduled a meeting with Jeff Grandchamp and the Cheshire Fence Viewers for Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 7:30pm.  Carol requested to have E. Clairmont also invited.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:49pm; 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

June 21, 2016
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino,  Robert S. Ciskowski, and Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
Press:
                       
Robert read the Board of Selectmen meeting minutes for Tuesday, June 14, 2016; Carol accepted as presented 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. 

Resident, Ken Egnaczak:
- Discussed the process for submitting a DEP NOI for 1490 North State Road building project.

Carol:
- Signed a CCC permit for a swimming pool for Ruth Armstrong.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
-  All ok.
- Will be attending meetings on Thursday and Wednesday afternoon.
- Completing town mowing.

Carol:
- Asked Carole H. to contact Barry Emery to advertise the following on the Cheshire Fire House sign.
“Seeking Volunteers for the Cheshire Conservation Commission.  Respond by July 5th.”

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Carol asked Mark to secure insurance coverage for the Cheshire Block Parties.  St. Mary’s Church at 159 Church Street will be the site in case of rain.
- Received a Letter of Support from Hooray – Kitchen Brook Dam Removal Project.
- Paul, as Chairman, signed the 2017 Berkshire Regional Transit Contract.
- Contract for Lynn’s computer was signed and will be mailed asap.
- Tracking status of the Sand Mill Road Bridge.  Representative Gailanne Cariddi is following up with the DOT.
- Working on a Salary Comparison spreadsheet.

Police Chief Garner:   Submitted weekly report.

COA, Anna Farnum and Peter Traub:
- Six (6) applications received for the COA Director position. Anna will be reviewing them and will report back to the BOS.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: Paperwork signed by the BOS for the:
- Special Election/Debt Exclusion/Monday, July 11, 2016 at the Cheshire Community Center, 119 School Street. Polls open from 9am to 7pm.

Question 1:
“Shall the Town of Cheshire be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to purchase a new model year Highway Department dump truck with related plow and sanding equipment?”

Question 2:
“Shall the Town of Cheshire be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issued in order to purchase a new model year Police Cruiser for use by the Cheshire Police Department?”

A Memorandum was received from the Cheshire Planning Board recommending Donna DeFino to the Cheshire Planning Board.  Carol made a motion for Donna to be a member on the Cheshire Planning Board for Daniel Speth, until the next election, who resigned as the Chairman and as a Board Member; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Contract received from Jeffrey Grandchamp for covering a fence viewing case.  Carole H. will schedule a meeting.
- Division of Fisheries & Wildlife.  RE:  Cutting Plan: 058-8236-16 – Landowner: Nick Mirke.  No concerns.

Robert:
- Master Plan Committee Meeting met on June 20, 2016 with Tom Matuszko. (BRPC) Will meet in one month with stakeholders to review the results of opinions.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:45pm; 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


June 14, 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, June 7, 2016; Carol accepted as amended 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. 

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Updated the BOS on the installation of the Leland sign.
- Installed two (2) “Children Playing signs” at Stafford Hill.
- Mowing machine down.
- Ordering new tires for mowing machine.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  On vacation

Police Chief Garner:   Submitted weekly report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: No issues or concerns. (In Library)

Carol:
- Discussed website options.  The BOS approved the continuation of the IT person presently used to continue at a cost of $250/month.
- Carol will request Mark to advertise for Conservation Commission members.  Additionally, Mark will need to research the change from three (3) to five (5) members and start the process.
- Completed a WPA2 for the DEP on the project for Ken and Sue Egnaczak.  An NOI will be required. A site visit took place.
- Seeking a copy of the Lombardi Court Decision.


Mail and Correspondence:
- Letter from Kraus and Hummel regarding one (1) Eviction.  Date scheduled for Monday, July 11, 2016 7pm at the Cheshire Town Hall.
- Flyer received for the Summer Music Block Parties.  The first event will take place on July 13, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm in front of the Cheshire Town Hall.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:45pm; 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

June 7, 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, May 31, 2016; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. 

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Peter reported no news on the Sand Mill Road Bridge.
- Telephone message given to Peter regarding a resident, Carol Walsh, of Shadowland Cove and drainage concerns.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Mark requested Peter to attend a storm/drain meeting at the BRPC for the working group NPDES on the 16th or 22nd of June.
- Mark will be off on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.
- Checking into who was cutting trees next to or on the riverbank by the Cheshire Liquor Store.
- Bay State Elevator conducted their annual inspection.
- Per the request of the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste, Mark distributed the Town’s buy recycled goods policy for the purpose of satisfying the DEP and receiving a $1,800 grand for the Board of Health.
- Amended the Outreach Worker job description per BOS.  The advertisement has been placed in The Berkshire Eagle and the new application due date is June 28th at 7:00pm.
- Notice received that the Complete Streets policy was approved by MA DOT with a score of 98.  The next step is to submit an application for technical assistance to develop a prioritization plan.  Up to $50K is available for this assistance.  Mark has contacted Kathy Stevens at MA DOT District 1 and Tom M. at BRPC.
- Began work on the Request for Proposals for the Kitchen Brook dam removal under the Division of Ecological Restoration dam removal program.
- Met with electrical contractor for Bushika solar project.  They are finished and will be looking for a final inspection Electrical Inspector tomorrow.  The outstanding items are:  NGrid interconnection permit and approval and reconciliation of the decommission bond.
- Request received from a resident on Stafford Hill Road asking if a “SLOW children sign” could be placed in the neighborhood.  Peter will check out the request.
- Mark will research the Cheshire website and report back to the BOS as far as updating the service.

Robert:
- Acting as the BOS Chairman in Paul’s absence, Robert read a Letter of Resignation dated June 6, 2016 from Daniel L. Speth from the Cheshire Planning Board and as the Cheshire Planning Board Chairman.  Carol accepted the letter with regret and understanding of his health concerns; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote was taken.


Carol:
- Requested a Letter of Appreciation be sent to the Adams American Legion 160 for their firing squad participation at the Cheshire Memorial Day Parade.

An anonymous letter received regarding possible wetlands disturbance at 504 Lanesboro Road.  The concern was checked into and no infraction was found.

Police Chief Garner:   Submitted weekly report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: No issues or concerns.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Eviction paperwork received for a renter at Pine Valley Mobile Home Park by Krauss and Hummell.
- Berkshire Taconic Foundation 2015 Report.
- Northern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District request for a Commissioner appointment.  Rick Salvi was appointed to this post and a letter was written to confirm the action.

With all business finalized, Carol 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

May 31, 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, May 24, 2016; Carol accepted as presented; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken. 

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Site visit to 700 Outlook Avenue – on hold.
- Will be researching specs for a new truck.

Paul:
- Formal written complaint received regarding the water shut off of an elderly resident.  Paul will be checking into the policy and the notification process in place.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Reviewed each article on the Warrant for the June 13, 2016 Annual Town Meeting. The BOS signed the Warrant.
- Mark noted that the Cheshire Advisory Board will make a statement at the meeting.
- Town of Cheshire employees received a 2.5% increase in pay.
- Received an email from the Town’s engineer for the Sand Mill Road Bridge project.  Requests for additional information have been sent to the State’s bridge division.  This is the 2nd round of questions and follow up answers.  Mark has received no timeline for approval, final engineering, bidding, or construction.
- Received RFR from the Division of Ecological Restoration for Kitchen Brook Dam removal project funding application.  Applications are due by June 21st. 
- Completed the portal for the Complete Streets program and submitted the Town’s Complete Streets policy for agency review.  Mark is waiting for any associated comments and what the Town of Cheshire’s score will be.
- Adams seeking comments on their grant submission to Community Compact for ACRSD operations and review study before it is submitted.
- Will be checking to see the availability for taking credit cards for other department such as the B.O.H.

Police Chief Garner: Submitted weekly report.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- Warrant signed.

One Day Liquor Licenses issued for the Cheshire Road and Gun Club; $200.00.

Carol:
- Noted that in the BOS May 24th minutes there was an error on the date employment applications were due to return. The date should have been June 21, 2016.

7:00PM CCC Hearing: Ken and Sue Egnaczak, 1490 North State Road, Cheshire, MA.
Carol opened the Hearing by reading the Legal Notice in The Berkshire Eagle.  Carol read an email received from DEP, Mark Stinson in regard to the project.  The email included several concerns to be addressed.
The BOS will make a site visit by June 14, 2016.  A motion to continue the Hearing was made by Carol for June 14, 2016 at 7pm; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Berkshire Gas Company, partial service replacement at 94 Richmond Street.  BOS approved.
- Forest Cutting Plan for owner, Nick Mirke.  Project site:  Windsor Road, Cheshire, MA.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:45pm; 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