Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

March 21, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
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

 Assessor
 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.

February 28, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
                  
Robert read BOS minutes for February 21, 2017. Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- The dishwasher at the Cheshire Community Center is operating.  Peter has ordered commercial soap and will be giving operational instructions to those who utilize it.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  Absent
- Paul read Discussion Items submitted by Mark:
- Distributed the McCann FY 2019 budget materials.  Mark invited Superintendent Brosnan to the Cheshire Board meeting on March 14, 2017 at 6:00PM to present his budget.
- Submitted Highway Superintendent help wanted ad to on-line version of Beacon.
- Gave Peter a copy of Project Contact Sheet for Sand Mill Bridge project and minutes from the February 7, 2017 meeting.
- Met with Bill Craig and Denise Gregoire of the Cheshire Advisory Board to transfer information from Bill to Denise.
- Requested a list of priority items to stay on top of. 
- Noted that “ownership of land surrounding Kitchen Brook dam, and response; clearly the Town owns all of the property.  No town department, even the Water Department can own property of any kind.  By the same rules, they cannot be sued either.

7:00 Berkshire Regional Planning Commission:
- Documents signed by Paul.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.

 Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.
- There is a school committee member remains open for the upcoming elections.  Interested?  Contact Town Clerk at 1-413-743-1690  Extension 22.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Department of Public Utilities. 1/30/17. Approval of General Increases in Base Distribution Rates for Electric Service and a Performance Based Ratemaking Mechanism for NSTAR Electric Company and Western Massachusetts Electric Company, each doing business as Eversource Energy.
- Selectmen’s Dinner on April 27, 2017 at the Skyline Country Club.

Paul:
- Reported that there was a good turnout of residents to the meeting regarding possible school closings. Another meeting will take place on Thursday, March 9, 2017.

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

 

February 21, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
                  
Robert read BOS minutes for February 14, 2017. Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre: 
- Peter discussed the cleaning of the dishwasher at the Cheshire Community Center and the need to order a new heating element.  Additionally, he worked on the drains and will continue to flush them until they are working better.  When the dishwasher is operating correctly Carol and Peter will demonstrate usage.
- Carol reported last week that the plow cost $8,400.  Peter reported a $200.00 lower price.
- Patching pot holes with cold patching.
- New truck in the process of meeting all specifications and my possibly be delivered in March.
- One ton truck down with oil pan issue. 

Superintendent of Adams-Cheshire Schools, Dr. Putnam:
- Dr. Putnam was invited to attend this evenings meeting so the BOS could asked questions regarding the upcoming scheduled meetings, a possible school closing, and the Budget.
- The first item to be discussed was the need to review and update the regional agreement In order to  improve the quality of education. Dr. Putnam advised that the finances cannot pay presently for changes.
Paul:
- Inquired about the condition of the CT Plunkett school roof and the costs associated.  Carol questioned, “Why should Cheshire pay for the Plunkett roof repairs?” 
Dr. Putnam:
Dr. Putnam stated that it will be, “Goodwill between the towns.”  He said, “We have to find a way to an agreement.” He felt, ”The Collins group can create the best way to go forward.”
Dr. Putnam reviewed the pro/cons of keeping the Cheshire Elementary School and or the CT Plunkett School or to have a new build. Regarding the CT Plunkett roof, there is $130K available to go towards the costs of repairing the roof.  He reported that when he first started his employment he had installed supports to hold up the roof.  It is a slate roof and there continues to be some leaks on the third floor.  Hill Engineering estimated approximately $300K for repairs.  Dr. Putnam wants the lowest price possible while allowing the school to be safe and to function as a safe school.  (All scheduled meetings are available on the ACRSD website.)

Dr. Putnam:  continued
- Transportation costs was discussed, but Dr. Putnam suggested waiting for the upcoming meeting where he will present a formal offering to address all of the above questions and concerns.
- Robert mentioned that he has had a few calls regarding the stress families and children are feeling.  Dr. Putnam assured Robert that his plan is to minimize the stress level of parents and children. Dr. Putnam will keep the BOS informed to the best of his ability.
- Dr. Putnam submitted a MEMO explaining space alternatives.

Resident, E. Clairmont:
- Questioned the status of his issue with Cheshire Fence Viewers and wondered if Attorney Grandchamp has been in contact with the BOS.  Carol reported that no written correspondence has been received and she will have Carole H. contact Grandchamp to see the status of the issue.

7:00PM   Hearing.  Carol read the Legal Notice:  BRPC Representative, Patricia Mullins and William Compton, Senior Planner at the BRPC shared updates on the progress of the grant.
- The BOS was updated regarding the status and process of the Community Development Block Grant.   Ms. Mullins submitted a copy of the Citizen Participation Plan 2017.
- All present signed a sign-in sheet for proof of attendance. A copy of tonight’s minutes and the Agenda for 2-21-17 and they will be forwarded to Ms. Mullins.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: 
- Requested more information be placed on the flyer seeking applicants as presently it is vague with no specifics on the project and what it entails. Ms. Mullins: Once the town receives the award, Ms. Mullins will create a new flyer noting that loans are 0% interest with deferred interest and no payment unless transferred.  The grant will be submitted on March 10, 2017 and notification will be approximately July 2017.
- Ms. Mullins reported that 45-50 people signed up at a recent town activity.   Ms. Mullins will be speaking with the Town Treasurer for signage of required documentation. She also wanted the BOS to review what happens if a person has to move out of the house.
- Dialogue will continue.
Paul:
- Signed a letter to the Deputy Community Development Manager, Mark Southard regarding The ADA Self Evaluation Survey and Transition Plan.

7:41PM  Carol motioned to close the Hearing; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: Absent

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.  Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Robert:
- Motioned to reach out to the Town of Lanesborough to investigate the possibility of sharing a Highway Superintendent.  Although there was no second, the BOS said it should be checked by either Robert or
Mark when he returns.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Thank you note received from candidate, Conklin, for the opportunity to interview for the Superintendent of the Cheshire Highway Department.
- Email received from Sara Clark (TAC) State of Mass regarding a copy of the current cable license for the Department of Telecommunications and Cable.  Carole H. will research.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:00PM; 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

 

February 14, 2017
6:30PM

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

Robert read BOS minutes for February 7, 2017. Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Cheshire Historical Commission, Diane Hitter:
- Requested the Town of Cheshire to be aware of the sale of the Mason’s Hall on Church Street.  She presented an overall picture of the historical value and felt it should be considered a, “Town Treasure.” Ms. Hitter wondered if Mark could explore different options to preserve the building. 
- Robert will advise the Master Plan Committee at their February meeting.
- Ms. Hitter thought the sale price was $49K. 
- The Cheshire Historical Commission was thanked for their endless efforts in preserving Cheshire.

Carol:
- Reported that Peter purchased a new plow for $8,400.
- Presently under $4K for salt and sand account.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:  Absent

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: Absent

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Carol:
- Noted Rosanne M. Frieri, Cheshire’s Veterans Agent’s Schedule:

Tuesdays  10:30am-1:00pm  Dalton Town Hall, 464 Main Street, Dalton, MA 01226
Tuesdays  1:00pm-3:30pm   Dalton Senior Center, 50 Field Street, Dalton, MA 01226
Telephone:  413-684-6111  Extension *19

Mail and Correspondence:
- Berkshire Running Center, Pittsfield, MA.  Requested the scheduling of a Steel Rail Half Marathon on  May 21, 2017 and October 8, 2017 from 9:30am to 12:30pm.
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.  23. Unlawful purchase of any alcoholic beverages by a holder of a 15 license from other than a license holder under 18, 19, 19B, or 19C or from a holder of a special permit to sell issued under 22A. 204CMR 2.05 (2) Permitting an illegality on the licensed premises, to wit:  M.G.L. c. 138.  Akshar Ji Corp. DBA Cheshire Liquor Center.
- Letter from Gailanne M. Cariddi regarding inability to contact Cheshire’s appointed Veterans’ Service Officer.
- Bay State Elevator.  Increase of elevator service to $160.68 a month.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:25PM; 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

February 7, 2017
6:30PM

In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski and, Carol A. Francesconi
Absent:       
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
                  
Robert read BOS minutes for January 31, 2017. Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented; 2nd by Paul with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Carol requested better cleaning of sidewalks.
- Peter reported that there will be an overage on the sand/salt account.
- Two (2) plows down.
- With the upcoming storm on Thursday, Carol asked if the Water Department’s plow would be utilized. Peter answered, “It would be a possibility.”

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Mark briefly discussed his weekly submission and Paul read Mark’s Discussion Items for February 7, 2017.
- Mark met with Foresight engineer, Peter, and the Sand Mill Bridge contractor superintendent who will be managing the job for a pre-construction session with the plan to start by the end of this month. The original NOI needs to be forwarded to Foresight so that they can record it.  Presently, Mark is waiting on the revised clerk of works agreement with Foresight.  Peter will then contact DOT to make sure it can be amended into the project’s Chapter 90 contract.
- Awaiting call backs from employment reference calls made.
- Reported that Paul or Carol will be attending the Collin’s Institute meeting on February 8, 2017 at the Plunkett  School.  This is a pre-official presentation for town officials only.  There will be a tour of all District schools on February 11th beginning at 9am.
- Mark will be speaking with Christine regarding the booking of space for and aide of Senator Hinds for a meet and greet sessions.
- Mark updated the BOS on the BRPC housing grant process.  A Public Notice was published in The Berkshire Eagle.  Following last week’s discussion an amendment was included: “Seeking 50 applicants by the 1st of March.”
- Carol noted that she felt the proposal was not directed fully to the rehabilitation of homes as the proposal mentioned many other items.  After a brief discussion Carol felt comfortable in signing the submission. Carol motioned to accept the application as amended; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
- Mark reported that health and dental rates have been set for the next fiscal year and there are no increases.
- Distributed the FY2018 budget request forms.  They are due back on February 28th.
- Discussed the possibility of sharing a Highway Superintendent with Lanesborough.  This will be reviewed.
- Mark will be checking with George Sweet regarding the generator.


Carol:
- Requested the BOS to review the school district’s agreement.  She would then like a meeting with the three (3) school committee members and the BOS.

Chief of Police, Tim Garner:  Weekly Report Submitted.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  Absent/Snow

BOS:
- Signed a request to the Advisory Board for $10,421.30 to repair the structural integrity at the fire house from the Reserve Fund.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Paul read a flyer “It’s National Read Across America Day”!! Interested participants who would like to share the joy of reading can call the main office of Cheshire Elementary School (413) 732-2298 by February 17, 2017.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Questioned if the minimum wage would be going up?  Carol’s response was, “No idea”.
- Peter wondered if it would have been better to have an outside company complete a salary study.  Carol did not feel that was necessary due the experience of BOS members and the Cheshire Town Administrator.

With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:20PM; 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