January 31, 2017
In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski, and Carol A. Francesconi
Press: iBerkshires and The Courier
Robert read BOS minutes for January 17, 2017 by Mark Webber. Carol motioned to accept the minutes as read; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken. Robert read the BOS minutes for January 31, 2017. Carol motioned to accept with the addition of a “One member of the Planning Board for a three year term” be added according to Town Clerk; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
- Requested Mark to complete reference checks for the open position of Cheshire Highway Superintendent.
Carol is working on a benefit package and a possible decision will be made after references are checked.
Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Updated the BOS on the maintenance of town trucks. Two one ton trucks are down.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber: Absent
- Paul read Mark’s weekly report.
- Mark met with Nick Wildman (DER) and Peter to review several items. Peter and Nick visited the dam. A formal project outline should be received in a few weeks. Presently, the project is a “provisional project” and will be until the next fiscal year when funding in place. Engineering work will continue and Peter felt the project should score well.
- Wrote to and spoke with Representative Cariddi’s aide to learn more about the process and anticipated timeline for legislative action on the proposed change from three (3) to five (5) Selectmen.
- Senator Hinds’ office sent a handbook guide for home rule petitions.
- Spoke with Steve Mack at Foresight Engineering regarding the Sand Mill Bridge project. He is going to arrange for a pre-construction meeting for next Tuesday with the contractor. Mark also reported that he wanted to reduce the project oversight for the clerk of works from the proposed 40 hours per week to twenty. Mr. Mack will revise that agreement.
- Two (2) state approved lake permits arrived.
- Checking references for Cheshire Highway Superintendent position.
- Complaint received regarding the Malloy property and manure being piled next to the river and the burying of horses within a 100’ foot distance from a neighbor’s well and other neighbor digging a drainage ditch.
Patricia Mullins, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Community Development Program Manager.
“Public Discussion” for the Community Development Strategy (CDS) grant.
- Representing the committee were Eileen Quinn, E. St. John IV, and Peter Traub.
Ms. Mullins reviewed the status of the DRAFT submission. She reviewed the Purpose; Summary of Strategies and Activities; Water System Master Plan; Berkshire Engineering Inc., 2017; Community Compact, 2016; Complete Streets Police, Town of Cheshire, 2016; Cheshire Community Association 2015, Watershed Land Wind Power Feasibility Study, 2015; Zoning By-Laws, Planning Board 2015; Municipal Community Development Goals; Municipal Community Development Priority List; Strategy to Address the Priority List with CDBG and Non-CDBG Funds over the next 1-5 Years; and Consistency with the Commonwealth’s Sustainable Development Principles.
- Comments from those attending included the need for further clarity in discussing handicap accessibility in town buildings and the Americans with Disabilities Act. (ADA )
- Paul noted that “Recent figures from HUD show that 75% of residents in the CDP area have low to moderate income-the highest percentage in the state of Massachusetts.”
- The BOS will be reviewing the document submitted and will be prepared for signage on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.
- Ms. Mullins requested a copy of this evening’s minutes, once approved and signed, as well as a copy of the Agenda. All present signed in for state documentation.
NOTE: A Public Hearing on the Community Development Strategy (CDS) will take place on February 21, 2017 at the Select Board meeting.
- Read a response from Town Counsel, E. St. John III, regarding a Resolution received from Peter Traub. “This is a resolution that indicates that Cheshire is an age-friendly community. It may enable Cheshire to receive certain grants for seniors. It does indicate that Cheshire would be supportive of certain items that may be controversial, such as “affordable and accessible housing”. Does it mean that the Board of Selectmen are bound to enact on certain proposals? No. But it does mean that the Board will be supportive of or advocate for seniors in Cheshire.” The Resolution was signed by the BOS.
Chief of Police, Tim Garner: Weekly Report Submitted.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- Discussed ADA compliancy in the Town of Cheshire.
- Ms. Mullins will review the language in the DCS proposal and reminded all that there is always room for improvement.
- Discussed possible up-coming by-laws and moratoriums for Marijuana Dispensaries. Carol suggested the information be given to Donna Defino, Cheshire Planning Board Chairman.
The Cheshire Board of Selectmen: Written response to Adams and the Collins Report and closing schools:
“The Cheshire Board of Selectmen is disappointed with the preemptive and premature statements from Adams town government regarding the potential closing of one or the other of our District’s elementary schools. We prefer to hold comment until February 8th when the Collins Report is released. We gladly signed on with the Town of Adams and the School District to participate in this important study. Furthermore, we trust the process that was agreed to and have no intention of prejudicing the report beforehand.”
Resident, John Tremblay:
- John reported that the Cheshire Community Association won a grant from the 2017 Northern Berkshire Cultural Council for Town of Cheshire Block Parties. The amount requested was $2,200 and were awarded $1,845.
- Also awarded to the Cheshire Community Association (CCA) was $600 for a proposed “Art on the Trail” project for an art mural to be placed on a private structure adjacent to the Ashuwilliticook Trail.
THE BOS congratulated the group on his efforts and continued success.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Letter dated January 18, 2017 from Betsy Friedberg, National Register Director of the Massachusetts Historical Commission. “Cheshire Town Hall complex, 80-84 Church Street, 23 Depot Street, Cheshire, MA.
The nomination has been voted eligible by the State Review Board and has been signed by the State Historic Preservation Officer. The owners of the property were notified of pending State Review Board consideration 30 to 45 days before the meeting and were afforded the opportunity to comment.”
With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 7:30PM; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Carole A. Hilderbrand, Board of Selectmen’s Secretary
Paul F. Astorino, Chairman
Robert S. Ciskowski, Clerk
Carol A. Francesconi, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds