Selectmen's Weekly Minutes

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

September 26, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires

Carol motioned to accept the minutes of September 19, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Residents Eileen Quinn and John Tremblay requested usage of the Cheshire Community Center for a meeting on October 5, 2017 from 6:30PM to 8:00PM for the Appalachian Trail group.  The BOS approved and permitted a waiver of the fee.  John requested the CCC for the team working together on planning events for the Cheshire 225th Anniversary.  Due to the many meetings, Town Clerk requested a calendar be created to keep all apprised of the bookings so there are no double bookings for the center or town rooms.

Resident, Mark Biagini, thanked the BOS and town employees for attending his Dad’s funeral.  Robert voiced appreciation of Ralph’s dedication to the Town of Cheshire and his many volunteering position he had served over the years.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted the Weekly Activity Log for 9/13/17 – 9/19/17.
- Completed mowing and weed cleaning at the school building property.
- Picked up Ford F550 new flat bed body installed.
- Continuing to ditch dig and clean roadsides.
- Crack sealing Lanesboro Road completed.
- Salt shed is full.
- Second door opener replaced at the shed.  Four more openers need to be changed.  Electronics are poor after thirty years.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Submitted survey of Administrative position salaries with populations of 35K.
- Spoke with Tom Matuszko at BRPC regarding the application for a grant through the Executive Office of Environmental and Energy Affairs for approximately $20K. BRPC is seeking the BOS approval to go ahead in submitting the grant.  The money could go to the BRPC to continue to assist the Town in implementing components of the Master Plan.
- Discussed amendments to zoning by laws regarding Medical and Recreational Marijuana. Mark highly recommended the approval of a Moratorium and then following the State process for passing a bylaw.  Robert motioned to approve the creation of a Moratorium which would give the town until December and time to develop a permanent bylaw 2nd by Ed with as unanimous vote taken.   The Planning Board will be advised.
- Tax rate approved 9/25/17 at $13.06.  Tax bills are being printed now.
- Per request from the Advisory Board, Mark is doing some preliminary work on the costing out re-opening Cheshire School as a K-5 for approximately 200 students.
- Custodian respectfully requests highway clean up after edging sidewalks.
- Received a message from AFSCM representative to schedule negotiating sessions.  Mark returned the call and has had no response to date.
- A handout was received from Dr. Putnam asking the BOS to make appointment to the Regional School Agreement Committee meeting. He is seeking 1 Selectmen, 1 Advisory Board, and 1 resident.  Adams and Cheshire will have equal numbers on the committee.  Dr. Putnam would appreciate the appointments being made by the next School Committee meeting.

- Received calls of compliments for the Lanesborough Road cracks sealed, the Wells Road and Sand Mill Hill Road ditches cleaned, and for the overall clean appearance of the Cheshire school grounds.

7:00PM Selectmen’s Workshop:
- Reviewed the need to make a decision on creating a new policy that would eliminate health insurance for part-time and appointed officials. Carol reminded the board of the time frame needed to advise people so they could obtain coverage elsewhere.  Carol read an email from Ed St. John III stating that the town cannot eliminate insurance for elected officials without eliminating it for all town employees.  This elimination may cause legal issues.  Ed felt it might be difficult to adopt a time card policy to prove elected officials are working under 20 hours per week. She also felt it difficult to believe that officials worked 20 hours during a regular work week.
- Mark is going to research other communities and will submit a report to the BOS.
- Robert suggested offering a higher salary to officials to make up for the difference.  Carol noted that consideration would deplete any savings the town had. 
- Robert would like to see some of the savings go towards stipends for fire department/EMT volunteers according to calls they attended. “There are many places we could put savings but I would like to do something for them.”
Ed suggested having workshops to address a yearly Agenda, Blighted Properties, the Budget, Planning for Revenue/Expenses, Highway Department/seasonal mowing workers.  The concept is to get ahead of issues – to be proactive and not reactive.  The creation of a Priority List with dates and deadlines for efficiency is recommended. October 10th will be to discuss further insurance for elected officials; December 5th will be the start of Budget Planning.   Time for workshops will be 7PM to closing.

- Regarding the voting for a Union at the Cheshire Highway Department, four (4) voted for it.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Ed received an email from Jan Kuniholm with information regarding Greylock Road formerly called West Mountain Road.
- Letter received for Mark Webber from Governor Charles D. Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn E. Polito granting an award through the Awarding Recycling Dividends Program grant of $2,100 through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program.
- Ed will be attending the Selectmen’s Association dinner on October 26, 2017 in Great Barrington.

Cheshire Water Department Superintendent, Travis Delratez, reported to the BOS that on September 13, 2017 the town’s water won a statewide water tasting completion and received the gold in the 12th Annual Rural Water Association Water Taste Testing.  Delratez has been invited to attend a completion in Washington, D.C. in February.  This will be a completion on the national level. Kudos for a job well done.

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:20PM.


Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds


September 19, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires

Carol motioned to accept the minutes of September 12, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Log for 9/13/17-9/19/17. Mowing and ditch digging continues.
- Highway Department employees shared coverage of the Cheshire Transfer Station on:  9/18/17.
- Five hundred and twenty eight tons of salt has been received with 100 tons from last year in storage.
- Discussed the purchase of a new loader.
- Assisted Route 116, Maple Drive residents regarding the digging of a trench without permits.
- Ed motioned to approve Blair’s recommendation to purchase a John Deer loader for $196,500; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken. No bidding process is required.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Scanlon Associates, the Town’s auditors presented the Fiscal Year 2016 financial audit and management report.  The town accountant and treasurer received copies and the Advisory Board and Departments that are noted in the Management Report will receive copies also.  Copies submitted to the BOS this evening.  The auditors will address comments and recommendations with the BOS in their exit interview.  Robert, as Chairman will need to sign an audit document attesting that all information was willingly furnished to the auditors.
- Workmen’s Compensation claim sent to the town’s insurance carrier for a minor injury to one of the Cemetery Department employees. There were no lost wages and the employee has returned to work.
- Complimentary letter received praising the response and compassion of our Town Clerk, Rick Salvi, and Police Officer Carlo for their response to assist an elderly resident who was in distressed health and living conditions.
- Contacted the union representative to begin the collective bargaining.  All other procedural steps have been approved by the State to start the process.
- Advised the BOS about the building code involvement of possibly moving town offices to the Cheshire Elementary School. Mark suggested talking with Gerry Garner for the impacts and associated costs if that’s a direction of interest.
- Tax rate increased $.67/per thousand or 5.4% because the amount raised on the tax levy increased $221,752 or 6% and property values increased only .04% (less than one-half percent) and local receipts were down about $25,000 year to year.
- The Advisory Board requested Mark to set up an email address for their board.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- Requested the BOS to sign the Special State Election Primary Warrant for Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the Cheshire Community/Senior Center from 7:00AM to 8:00PM.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Robert read a letter written by Town Counsel, Ed St. John III.
“I am writing to you on behalf of the Town of Cheshire in my capacity as its Town Counsel.  At the Rent Control Board hearing held on May 23, 2016, you were granted a rent increase.  A portion of that increase ($5.12/month) was approved for paving of Park roads.  To date, there has been no paving.  On August 20, 2017, the Rent Control Board wrote to you seeking an update on the paving.  There has been no response to date. As I am sure you know, years ago, the Board had allowed an increase to Pine Valley MHC with a portion to be set aside to install a new septic system.  Many years later, the Board learned that the money that should have been set aside had been spent on septic system pumping and not a septic system upgrade.  This resulted in a health crisis for the Park tenants.  I hope that you can appreciate the fact that the Board has little patience for delays of this nature, particularly where these delays impact the habitability of the Park. Among the options the Rent Control Board may consider are the following:  a hearing on whether to rescind the May 23, 2016 rent increase retroactive to May 23, 2016.  Unless I hear from you within two weeks of this letter that you are complying with the paving portion of the order approving the rental increase, I will advise the Board as to steps to rescind any rental increase.  Letter dated: September 19, 2017.”
- Forest Cutting Plan; Cheshire Rod and Gun Club, Curran Road.
- Chapter 90 Project Requesting using funds made available from Contract #50762. For: Sealing of the cracks.
- Right to Farm Disclosure form for Darius and Arica Griffin, 187 Wells Road, Cheshire, MA.

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Issued  two (2) one (1) day liquor licenses to Wandering Star Brewing Co. at Whitney’s Farm Stand.  License was picked up on Friday, September 22, 2017.  $100.00 paid.

- Spoke with Michael Deep, owner of Kitchen Brook Mobile Home Park, on Route 8.  Trees have been trimmed for the renter concerned about trees falling on her home.
- Carol spoke with Hoosac Business Manager, E. Schneider regarding four (4) accounts with National Grid.  All accounts are now in the name of Town of Cheshire. Made arrangements with Alarms of the Berkshires to have the Police Department as first responder should the school alarm be activated.  Blair and Carol will be called after the police.

- Suggested a change in the BOS Agenda to 6PM-6:30PM for the signing of the Warrant.  Have 6:30PM to 7PM designated for reports and public comment.  7PM to 8PM will be devoted to a Business Workshop.  Ed’s concept is to have time scheduled for the next few months to work with the budget and other issues and concerns.

Cheshire Advisory Board:
Attending: Justin Kruszyna, Dick Scholz, John Tremblay, Kathleen Levesque.
- Inquired on the status of changing from three (3) to five (5) Selectmen.  The group was informed that it cannot be placed on a state ballot and it has to be on an election of offices.  Thus, May 2018.
- It was suggested to place Advisory Board minutes on the Town website.  They should be submitted for the Town Clerk to submit to the IT person.
- Ed questioned if the BOS had any thoughts about who could fill the two (2) open positions on their board.
- Ed questioned the timeline, goals, minutes, and how it was going for the School Reuse Committee.
- Justin was wondering what the town wants.  What will be the cost for the school to remain a school.  He understands that there are options for the school; but wondered what the costs would be. He felt the townspeople should be asked what they want to happen with the building.
- Reminded the group that the amendment change is a long process. To dissolve and leave the agreement, both towns would have to vote. The Advisory Board questioned if at the Reuse meeting any suggestions had been made to reopen the building as a school.  Carol voiced that there was a broad spectrum of good opinions and each member will be speaking to townspeople to get more opinions.
- Reminded all that there is a process.  All opinions will then have to go to the BOS.
- Can the Reuse Committee put it out to bid?
- Ed suggested looking to other towns that have been in a similar situation to have the costs outlined.
- There is a process for having a new school in Cheshire. 
- Believes more discussion is needed.  It is important to do a study.  He noted that Savoy has their own school.  Check into having one (1) Superintendent; one (1) Business Manager; one (1) budget; and consolidation of costs.
- It’s been an interesting year.
- Ed appreciated the time of the Selectmen and stated that we are all on common ground. Robert:
- Noted that the town is now in stewardship of the building and the highway department is providing the maintenance for mowing and hauling an old picnic table away.  In the winter they will have to plow and sand the parking areas. Justin:
- Wondered if any other townspeople inquired about being on the Town’s 225th Anniversary Committee. Carol will advise Justin if someone does.

8:00PM  The discussion ended.

Resident, Christopher Wood:
- Inquired about the closing of a local church for sleeping and showering for hikers of the Appalachian Trail.  Carol explained that it was a building code violation as legally sprinklers may be needed if the use continued.  Additionally, some hikers had small stoves and that was a fire violation.  Carol said they can

Resident, Christopher Wood:  continued
use the facility during the day time but no one can sleep there.  Mr. Wood questioned if they could utilize the Cheshire Community Center.  The same issues and concerns would apply.
- Mr. Wood inquired if arrangements could be made to give a tour of the Cheshire School building for townspeople who had attended the school.  Robert did not feel it could be possible at this time.
- Mr. Wood reported lack of maintenance of flags hung for Memorial Day.  Several flags have fallen and he felt someone should be in charge of taking them down as many are tattered.  Alternatively, they could be fixed and or replaced. 

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:48PM. 

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds


September 12, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Press: iBerkshires
Robert motioned to accept the minutes of September 5, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Justin Kruszyna introduced the group; Eileen Quinn, Sandra Sloane, and Barry Emery reporting that a group of enthusiastic residents met to discuss how they could offer a once a month activity starting in March to celebrate the town's 225th Anniversary.  Barry thanked the group as well as John Tremblay and Tim Garner for input in planning the events. 
- Carol noted that she had heard from the Historical Commission and wanted it reported that the Commission has plans for an activity at Stafford Hill Monument. 
- Christine Emerson will put a notice on the Cheshire website for suggestions and volunteers; Jack will make note of it on iberkshires; and the BOS will review possibilities.  Coordination will be the key to success. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 6:30PM.  Those interested in joining are welcome to attend.
- Barry invited all to attend his lecture on September 28, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Baptist Church.

Resident, Leo, Choquette:
- Inquired about the process for submitting a Notice of Intent to the Cheshire Conservation Commission.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted the Weekly Activity Log.
- Chipped brush at the Transfer Station
- Property maintenance and mowing at the Cheshire school property.
- Installed concrete in Firehouse bathroom floor.
- Delivered truck #10 to Delorey's in NYS.
- Road grading at Stafford Hill and Richmond Hill Roads.
- Changed oil on Boom mower hydraulics.
- Ditch cleaning on Windsor Road.
- Blair will be checking further with the Town of New Ashford regarding the Greylock Road owernship.
- Suggested making a wise investment of purchasing a loader with Chapter 90 money.  He will have a proposal prepared for 9/19/17.
- Email from Town Counsel, Ed. St. John III regarding the approval or denial of driveway permits.  The Cheshire Highway Superintendent acts as the designee in making that determination with permission to do so.
- Ed motioned to authorize and designate the Cheshire Highway Superintendent, M.L.G 40, section 3; to approve or reject driveway permits; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  Absent

7:00PM Bid Opening
Robert read The Berkshire Eagle Legal Notice on 8/24/17 seeking sealed bids on surplus Police equipment.
Two (2) Bids were received and the higher bid award was granted to Jeff Warner. ($2,100)

Inquiry from the owner of Wandering Star Brewing Co., LLC of Pittsfield, MA to hold beer garden weekend events at Whitney's Farm Stand.  On Friday, September 15, 2017 the required liquor liability insurance certificate will be delivered.  A total of 15 days may be considered starting 9/17/17 until
Halloween. The BOS will review the plan on 9/19/17.

CCC, Carol:
- Signed Building Permit for the CCC for Lisa Malloy to repair two (2) barns and a porch.
- The Tax Classification Hearing will be Thursday, September 21, 2017at 6:30pm at the Town Hall.
- Carol checked into the fire department's checking on the weekly starting of the generator.  She noted that the department does, indeed, start it weekly and it does need a charger to start. An automatic starter will be researched. Blair voiced that the boiler should have alarms.
- A stand by ambulance meeting will take place at the end of the month.

- Would like the members of the BOS to consider meeting twice a month from 6:30PM to 7:00PM to hold a business meeting. He would also suggest meeting quarterly with each department and or Chairman.  He realized after meeting with the Water Department and working through concerns regarding a dam, it clearly demonstrated the need to communicate together on concerns. Thus, meeting with the Water Department allowed for open dialogue and resolution to a difficult issue. Robert would like to give more time to long range planning and to operate as a business.  Communication would lead to being more proactive than reactive. He would like to utilize the Cheshire Master Plan and revise the BOS Agenda for the public to clearly understand the undertakings of the BOS.  He feels the meetings should be more formal and the BOS should be working on the Budget now.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns

Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Submitted weekly report.

Cheshire Planning Board, Donna DeFino:
- Donna reviewed the timeline for a Marijuana Moratorium and the need to draft a bylaw to be prepared for the Annual Town Meeting.  The bylaw will have basic language and state requirements.
The BOS approved unanimously to go forward with the bylaw process.

Board of Health: Rick Salvi, Jeff Warner, and Michael Biagini:
- Jeff reported that the Transfer Station would be closed on Mondays as they have no option to operate if the usual employee is out.  Training takes more than a few hours and questioned if the position could be covered by the Cheshire Highway Department employees.  Mike was given the names of five (5) individuals to contact to see if there was interest in working the hours.

Board of Health:  continued
- Jeff said, ‘The highway department was going union.”

- A Town of Cheshire employee can join a union.

- "Then you can't take or give hours away."

- "They are not union yet."  Legally the Board of Health is to find coverage."

- "Questioned how an individual can work at the cemetery as a vendor?"

- “There is more liability at the Transfer Station than at the cemetery.”

- Voiced that the meeting was deteriorating and asked Blair if his department could cover Monday.
- Blair said, "Yes and he may have to be the one covering from 3:30pm to 5pm."  This topic will be continued.

- Questioned what the Fire Safety Grant would be used for.  Carol said, "It is a grant for Emergency Management for upgrading their technology."

Resident, Fred Jayko:
- Inquired about the completion of the Lion's Club sign on Route 8.  The BOS will be checking again to see the status of completion.
- Wondered who is responsible for Rt. 116 - Cheshire is. In Adams, the State plows Rt. 116.  In Savoy, they take care of Rt. 116.

Resident, Sandra Sloane: Thanked the BOS and the Chief of Police for patrolling Wells Road.  The speeding traffic was noticeably reduced.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Forest Cutting Plan: Joseph Wrenn, Fisher Hill.
- Employment Application form submitted.

- Believes more engagement in the future of the town's changes is important.  Briefly discussed options for the school buildings use and meeting space.

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:40PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds


September 5, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires

Ed motioned to accept the minutes of August 29, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.

Issued four (4) one day liquor licenses to the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club.  Amount paid: $200.00.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted the Weekly Activity Log. Submitted an Available Hour Accountability Chart.
- Continuing to road grade and mow town properties.
- Ditch digging on Curran Road.
- Road grading and hauling gravel to Jenks Road.
- Lights and other details are being installed in the flatbed 550 and should be competed in ten (10) days.
- Made a site visit at the Cheshire Elementary School to evaluate the landscaping and mowing issues.
Blair estimates at least three (3) days of a full maintenance crew to retain the property to what it was four (4) years ago.  A decision has to be made as to what level of maintenance the BOS wants completed.

- Reported on an offer of thirty-three tons of crushed fine sand by a resident of Richmond Hill Road. Blair is aware of the offer and will contact the individual.

Audience, Timothy Mack:
- Questioned the status of medical and recreational marijuana in the Town of Cheshire.
Mark gave an update on the Planning Boards plans and process in going forward for presenting it to the town.

Resident, Fred Jayko:
- Questioned the mowing of grass on Wells Road and the danger it presents to bike riders.  He noted a Letter to the Editor in The Eagle by Andrew Gold.  Blair is aware of the concern and has a priority list for maintenance. 

Resident, Myrtle Franceschini, Kitchen Brook Mobil Home Park:
- Advised the BOS of dangerous trees near her home and the fear she has of trees falling on her home.
- Unfortunately, the town cannot cut trees on private property.  Ms. Franceschini was advised that Carol will call the owner, Michael Deep, and review the complaint.  She also voiced issues with neighbors and was advised that the BOS would speak with Chief Garner.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber: 
- Will be having the clothing bin at the elementary school removed.
- Updated the BOS on the mechanical status of the generator at the school.  Batteries need charging and the motor needs priming for better start ups.  Mark was told the emergency generator could not be fitted with an automatic switch. This does not appear to be the case; this will be investigated further.
- Received a $10K rent check for the rental of the Cheshire Elementary School. Will be asking vendors and Berkshire Gas for a 12 month historic billing to get a sense of cost even though the building will be used differently.
- Requested Blair to check the solar lights outside of the Town Hall.
- Received a letter from MASS DOT stating that the town’s Chapter 90 apportionment for Fiscal Year 2018 is $200,333.
- Letter received from DCR regarding Hazard Classification of Kitchen Brook Dam dated August 31, 2017.
The dam has been changed from “Significant Hazard Potential” to a lower class, “Low Hazard.” “As a low level hazard potential dam, ODS Regulations require a Dam Safety Inspection Report be submitted every ten (10) years.  The next Phase 1 Inspection is due September 17, 2022.  Signed by Willam C. Salomaa, Director of Office of Dam Safety.
- Received a Petition of Certification by Written Majority for truck drivers, laborers, and operators of the Highway Department. Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Labor Relations Petition for Certification by Written Majority Authorization. Petitioner:  AFSCME Council 93. Signed by Patricia Glynn, Director of Strategic Planning. Typically, the State Labor Board acts as the facilitator in the process. 
- Notified the Chief of Police about an internet scam and Citizen's Bank.

- Requested Mark to schedule a meeting with Dr. Putnam for October 3, 2017 6PM to review school statistics. Specifically, the number of enrollments and how many students have left the district.
- Whitney’s will be holding an October Fest event and inquired if their craft beer vendor has to get the one day liquor license or Mr. Whitney.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Report submitted.
- New cruiser is being built and may be ready for delivery in December.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns

Mail and Correspondence:
- Berkshire Gas/Flaherty and Wells Road.

Cheshire Advisory Board (All members present)
- Justin Kruszyna asked as to how the meeting should go with the newly hired school district facilitator.  The Advisory Board suggested meeting with the BOS in order to take a unified approach.  Robert felt glad to talk and recommended just the chairman of the Advisory Board attend as he will be representing the BOS. The AB questioned how should the district go forward and how best can the towns work together.
- Robert scheduled a meeting with the AB for Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 7:30PM. Justin offered to clean Stafford Hill Monument graffiti with proper cleaning materials. The BOS approved and thanked him.

Resident, Sandra Sloane:
- Questioned how the BOS would be going about selecting a Chairman for event planning for the Town of Cheshire’s 225th Anniversary.  Carol noted that individuals could and had advised the BOS of interest in heading the event(s).

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:30PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds


August 29, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV
Absent: Carol A. Francesconi 
Press: iBerkshires

Robert motioned to accept the minutes of August 22, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, Peter Traub:
- Thanked Blair Crane for cleaning out the Cheshire Community Center and for removing the barrels from the lake.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
-  Submitted the Weekly Activity Log and a Summary of Accountable Man Hours chart.
- Ditch digging on Curran Road.
- Roadside mowing on West Mountain Road.
- Assisted the Fire Department on a maintenance project.
- Grade and repair gravel roads from storm.
- Brought to the attention of the BOS as to the condition of Greylock Road; north towards Mount Greylock from West Mountain Road that ends at the Jones’ Nose Trail Head. Presently, the town maintains and grades an area of one (1) mile approximately up the road to a residence.  There, the road turns into a difficult to drive over road/path.  Town Clerk will research if the town, indeed, owns the whole road.  At which time a further discussion will take place regarding maintenance and upgrading.
- Ed questioned if there was a way to slow down traffic on Wells Road near Dublin Road.
- Resident, Sandra Sloane suggested a three way STOP sign, or some method using the road to slow down the speeding. Blair will investigate the most effective way to handle the concern without causing other issues.

Cheshire Planning Board, Donna DeFino, Chairman:
- Donna wanted to update the BOS on her waiting for a call from Attorney E. St. John, II and the moratorium on Medical and Recreational Marijuana.  Two members of the CPB will be attending a workshop on the topic in Lenox on 8/31/17.
- Donna updated the BOS on the status of the Ayotte Solar Project on East Harbor Road on Monday, August 28, 2017.  She reviewed the items the solar company needs to address at the Continuation Hearing scheduled for Monday, October 23, 2017 at 7pm at the Cheshire Community Center.  High priority is the final legal decision on the thirty (30) year residential only statement.  The solar company lawyers feel after thirty (30) years that statement is not valid and has elapsed.  Donna will be speaking with an independent lawyer for a legal opinion. Due to the incompleteness of the plan, there are several items the company has to have prepared for the October meeting. Concerns include: fencing,  landscaping, technical review with an independent engineer; to submit to the Cheshire Conservation Commission a Notice of Intent; Reports on Magnetic Electronic Fields, and glare and eye deterioration.
A Bond needs to be secure;  the need to have a legal opinion from an independent attorney on the thirty (30) year deed stipulation, the cost of removal cement at the end of the project, a copy of the Lease Mr. and Mrs. Ayotte have signed; a study for Berkshire County and real estate values with a solar project in your front yard and values with none.
- Questioned if this was a commercial project.  Donna’s response was, “Yes.”
- Ed thought the farm land was ideal as it was reasonably flat.
- He thought the installation portrayed the town as doing its part in becoming green.  Donna responded that, “Some farmers get state incentives and money back.  It depends.”
- Mark commanded Blair on his professional and timely response to a road complaint on Jenks Road.
- Discussed the need for immediate action regarding the poor landscaping at the front of the Cheshire Elementary School.  Sandra Sloane suggested the Cheshire Garden Club or using inmates from the Berkshire House of Corrections for the cleanup.
- Mark will be out September 12, 2017.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Report submitted.
- Ed and Robert, as Police Commissioners, requested Chief Garner to patrol the Wells Road area for speeders during high traffic times when locals, especially, seem to disregard the speed limit.  For the safety of children and those who walk the road, it is imperative that this be an concern corrected.
- Mark scheduled a meeting with Eric C. Ford, Ecological Restoration Specialist, for the State of Massachusetts, The Cheshire Water Commissioners and the BOS to discuss and provide background information with the hope of finding a common ground to remove or replace whichever is best for the
Town of Cheshire and the Kitchen Brook Dam. He noted that the Department of Environmental Protection had been watchful about keeping the dam for a backup water resource, and the Office of Dam Safety listed Kitchen Brook Dam as a “Significant Hazard.” The project could cost approximately $500K.  Mr. Ford stated that the State will not go forward on the removal project if the town is not fully behind the removal.
- Water Commissioner, Francis Waterman:
- Stated that the Cheshire Water Commissioners are not behind the project of removal as the committee believes the dam could be used as a backup and should be preserved. The commissioners are working with Tighe and Bond in securing grant money to repair the dam.  In fact, two Fridays ago, the State hired Tighe and Bond to do a report on the status of the dam and that report will be forthcoming to the commissioners and the town.  The best scenario is to build a water filtration system.  However, that is a costly project and one, at this time, the town could not take on. 
- Francis also stated that the Water Department cuts timber for their department budget and he felt  removing the access road would hurt or stop the hauling out of the lumber. The culvert removal was also an issue.
- Once the report is read and understood, a more informed decision can be made on either repairing or replacing the Kitchen Brook Dam. 
- Mark requested to making a decision by December 1, 2017.

Mr. Ford reminded the group that the town was allocated by DER, $70K. If the project was not accepted in January the town would not receive this money and would have to reapply for the year 2018.
- 1998 was the last year the Kitchen Brook Dam was used. 7:50PM the discussion ended.

Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.

Resident, Sandra Sloane:
- Reminded all that the Cheshire Elementary School Reuse Committee will be meeting on September 14, 2017.

The meeting with the School Facilitator has been canceled and will be rescheduled.

- Requested the New Cheshire Elementary School Agreement-Lease be forwarded to all Advisory Board members.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Legislature Breakfast on September 15, 2017.  Ed may be attending.
- Letter from the BRTA approving reports on the Council on Aging Van usage with the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority.

In closing, Ralph Biagini, was memorialized for his dedication of thirty plus years to the Cheshire Police Department; fifty years as a Cheshire Fireman; thirty years as a Cheshire Town Official and Constable; and as an Advisory Board member for twelve years.  He served as an Umpire for the Cheshire Little League and Farm League for several years also.  Ralph was a friend to many and will be missed.  Sympathy was extended to his wife, children, grandchildren, and family members.

With all business finalized, Robert motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken at 8:25PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds


August 22, 2017

In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV  
Press: iBerkshires

Robert motioned to accept the minutes of August 15, 2017 as submitted; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.

Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Log.
- Roadside mowing.
- Tree on Windsor Road.
- Cleaning ditches.
- Cemetery duties.
- Ed thanked Blair for the site visit to Kitchen Brook dam.

COA, Peter Traub:
- Advised the BOS of a meeting with the COA Director of Adams to discuss the possibility of sharing a part time employee with three towns.  One project would be to work on a combined newsletter.  The BOS had several questions but will wait until Peter can better explain the job description and the need.  A new television has been installed by Blair in the center.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Discussed the status of Kitchen Brook dam.  Eric Ford of DER is willing to schedule a joint meeting with the Cheshire Water Commissioners, Mark, and the Cheshire BOS.  This presentation will allow for all to better understand the dynamics of going forward with a removal.
- Mark researched other grant opportunities for funding for either repair or removal of hazard or no longer viable dams.  The grant recently closed out in July and will not reopen again for another year. $2.4M was awarded statewide for twelve (12) projects; seven (7) repair projects and five (5) removals; two (2) of which are former, no longer needed municipal water sources.  They were awarded to medium to high hazard dams; where ours is rated a significant hazard (lower rating.) 
- Spoke with MIIA and they have added the Cheshire School to the town insurance with restrictions.
- MIIA sent a second copy of the Liability of Insurance for the BRTA.
- The Adams Cheshire District School Committee signed the Lease Agreement for the Cheshire School.
- Legal Notice in the Eagle for the sale of the Police Departments, no longer used 4-wheeler and trailer.  Bid opening will be 9/12/17 at 7:00PM  Town Hall.
- Faxed a copy of Mark's Open Meeting law test certificate to the BRPC.
-  Will be preparing to apply for an IT grant through the State's Community Compact program.  Grant opens in January.  There has been interest expressed by contractors and Town Inspectors to purchase an on-line permitting system.  BRPC feels it would be a viable application.

Town Administrator, Mark Webber:  continued
- The Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership requested some data to complete their energy efficiency evaluation of town properties to help reduce and/or stabilize energy costs. Mark was unaware that this was a component of their mission and will be gathering information for them.
- A work proposal to Bay State Elevator to decommission the Cheshire School lift was signed by Mark.

Cheshire Police Chief, Timothy Garner:  Report submitted.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:  No issues or concerns.
- Submitted copy of the Cheshire Community Center Rental Agreement.

- The Cheshire Water Commissioners and Travis began a dialogue regarding the Kitchen Brook dam.
- Robert asked if the Commissioners were in contact with Tighe and Bond regarding the alternative of repairing the dam with grant monies. Francis Waterman apprised the BOS that the State was there last Friday inspecting the dam and a report should be forthcoming fairly soon.  The Commissioners restated that they are not interested in removal and after some discussion agreed to meet with the DER for research/ideas/and possible funding. 
- Francis stated that it is a potential resource for the town and could provide surface water.  In the case of a catastrophic event: "They could hook that system up.  There is a process, but it is doable.”
- Carol:  Noted that the dam is 100 years old.
- Francis suggested repairs might include hydraulic injection to repair the grout be used.
- Mark:  Noted that five (5) years ago, it would have cost $500K
- Francis:  Once the report comes back they will call Tighe and Bond to figure out how to fix the dam and determine how much it will cost. 
- Ed: Questioned what happens now?  What should we be doing?
- Mark believes there should be no fines from the State - that he knows of.
- Carol:  Reminded the group that this has happened before and noted a lawsuit.
- Mark:  Will be following through with scheduling a meeting with the DER and reports.

- Updated the BOS on his attendance at School Committee meetings as the Cheshire Educational Liaison.  Discussed school building issues and the need to wait for private contractor’s bids and reports.  He felt everyone was working diligently.  He offered the school schedule for a preview night at the elementary school on Thursday, August 24, 2017 from 4pm to 6pm and Wednesday, August 23, 2017 from 6pm to 7pm for the middle school.
- The board voted on the Regional Agreement Amendment Commission and the members who will be attending.

Mail and Correspondence:
- Department of Environmental Protection.  RE:  General Permits for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) in Massachusetts.

With all business finalized, Carol motioned to close the Open Meeting; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken at 7:50PM. 
Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary

Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds