January 17, 2017
In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino (PA), Robert S. Ciskowski (RC), and Carol A. Francesconi (CF)
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
Board reviews and acts on weekly invoices and warrants.
6:15 PM: Adams Cheshire Regional School District (ACRSD) Superintendent Dr. Putnam visits with the Board and provides an update, including the following items: the Collins Institute report will give options and not recommendations in its eventual findings. The Superintendent will then offer his pluses and minuses on those recommendations, supported by cost and related data. It will be up to the School Committee to choose or not to adopt any of those recommendations; the School Committee will be holding weekly budget meetings from now through March and encourages public participation.
Board informs Superintendent Putnam of ongoing parking issues at the high school, specifically illegal parking in handicap spots and fire lanes and the moving of parking signs. Dr. Putnam will follow up.
RC reads the minutes from the January 10, 2017 meeting. CF makes a motion to accept as read. PA seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.
Fire Chief Tom Francesconi asks the Board for an update on the emergency generator to be placed at the Fire Station. Town Administrator explains the process to date and that the next step is to get an estimate to install and connect the unit to the Fire Station now that the unit has been inspected and deemed to be in good condition. Town Administrator urges patience while we complete the next step. Then a determination can be made whether to proceed or purchase a new generator. Wiring Inspector George Sweet has agreed to furnish that estimate. Fire Chief expresses his frustration for how long its taken to get a generator in place and states that he will not take responsibility if the Emergency Operations Center is not operational in the event of power outage. RC expresses his frustration stating that there has been resistance from the beginning for the Army surplus generator.
Highway Superintendent Peter LeFebvre is out plowing and will not attend tonight's meeting.
Town Administrator Mark Webber gives his weekly report, including the following items:
– Purchased a phone this morning for the Animal Control Officer and got it activated through ATT. It is now in service and can be passed along to Myron.
– Becky and I met with the Town's financial advisor this morning for general discussions on Town borrowing. All is in order.
– Had a visit from a Board of Health member who requested that I conduct a survey of surrounding like sized communities on their Transfer Station hours of operation.
– Met with Peter this morning and he's fixed the drain in the furnace room in order to install a slop sink. Following a bit of research, we determined that the cheapest practical unit is available at Carr Hardware for under $200.
– I spoke with the south county electrician who had worked on the conversion set up on another surplus emergency generator to get a sense of what it would cost us to do the same set up at the Fire Department. He said that there were just too many variables for him to give me a price over the phone and Cheshire is beyond his typical geographic work range. He recommended having a local electrician look at it and give us a price.
– Received a contract from the town's engineer for the Sand Mill Bridge project along with a contract for construction services by the engineer during construction. These are 2 separate agreements. Bridge contract to be signed by the Selectmen Chair and sent to SW for their signature. Lynne also has to sign this before mailing and attest to sufficient funds. The second is for Foresight engineering services during construction. Not sure where the funding for this portion comes from. I don't believe that it was included in the original Chapter 90 paperwork. Professional construction oversight services are not a requirement but would be highly recommended on a job like this.
– Received a call from a resident who has been approached by a large scale solar developer to place a 1mW array on a section of his farm. The owner did not solicit the call. He wanted to know how the Town would feel about it. I said that his neighbors would have an opportunity to weigh in during the required public hearing for a Planning Board special permit. He's still considering whether or not he'll go forward with it.
CF provides an updated payment and cost schedule for aquatic weed treatment at Cheshire Lake as provided by Ray Fisher.
PA reads the November 16, 2016 Council on Aging meeting minutes.
Board reviews weekly correspondence.
RC asks attendees Ed St John IV and Peter Traub how their Community Development Strategy Committee meetings are going. Both report that meetings are going well and much of the work is already in place from parallel Master Plan activities.
RC asks if there has been any update on street light conversion to LED lights. Town is waiting on inventory and proposal from National Grid. RC offers to help out.
RC asks Town Administrator to follow up with Rep. Cariddi's office on timeline and procedure for the change from 3 to 5 selectmen.
RC apologizes to Board for frustrations expressed earlier in the meeting and states that he is open minded and will consider any generator proposal that is in the best interest of the Town.
PA suggests that the Town must consider not offering health insurance to newly elected officials as has been past policy. The costs are getting too expensive.
CF asks that work get started on salary surveys prior to the next budget and to begin with elected officials.
7:40 PM: There being no further business to come before the Board, CF makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. RC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds