March 28, 2017
In Attendance: Paul F. Astorino, Robert S. Ciskowski, and Carol A. Francesconi
Press: The Courier (Cory Willey)
Robert read the Board of Selectmen’s meeting minutes for March 21, 2017. Carol accepted the minutes and noted that Candidates Neil Baker for a 3 year term on the Cemetery Commission and Donald Rueger for a three year term on the Water Commission should be included; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Highway Department, Peter LeFebvre:
- Peter noted that the Sand Mill Bridge project will start next week. Weather conditions have slowed the projected time start.
- Sand and salt account at $179,905.20 which is under by $94.00.
- Preparing for forecast of sleet on Thursday.
- Questioned the status of the Galli ditch. Peter will be viewing the area once the melting of snow allows him to. Attorney St. John III forwarded the decision held that the overflow of water on the “Lombardi land was no different than it would have been without the culverts. Therefore, the culverts did not enhance or alter the natural drainage across Outlook Avenue. Anything else that drains onto the Lombardi property would have been there irrespective of the culverts.” Attorney St. John agreed with Carol that the town is obligated to keep the culverts clean of debris but didn’t think that the town has any further responsibility to the property owner to perform any additional maintenance work. The matter will be taken up once Peter has had a chance to observe the area. Peter will report back to the BOS on 4-4-17.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Researched employment references and made an offer of employment to Blair J. Crane. The offer was accepted. Mark will schedule an introductory meeting on 4-4-17 at 6:30PM and he is working on an employment agreement for the Highway Superintendent. Mark scheduled an Executive Session at 6pm on 4-4-17.
- Completing a draft for the town report for the Selectmen.
- Executed and returned back to the BRPC the agreement for their work on the Complete Streets program. Paperwork was sent to the MA DOT coordinator, Kathy Stevens, State Aid Coordinator at DOT District 1 and BRPC.
- Working on FY 2018 budget and levy limit calculations. Mark will distribute the latest budget version this evening. Mark asked if a new cruiser and new generator should be on the warrant. Answer: “Yes.”
- Requested Mark to get estimates to have the Town Hall gutters repaired.
Resident, Peter Traub:
- Inquired if Mark had checked into mitigation grants for the generator. Mark has been in contact with the state regarding any possibilities for grants. Carol will ask the fire department to submit an estimate. To get the emergency army surplus generator working it could cost approximately $5,800. Robert originally felt repairing the surplus equipment was the way to go. However, after speaking with George Sweet he now feels a new generator is the way to go.
Resident, Ken Egnaczak: (Email)
- Carol received an email from Ken Egnaczak on March 12, 2017 requesting the Town of Cheshire to draft a resolution for pollinator protection. The BOS will take this resolution up at their 4-4-17 meeting after they have had time to read the proposal.
- Reviewed the letter from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and the Age Friendly Berkshires, Innovations in Accessible Mobility grant from the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC). It is for service providers who go outside their usual jurisdictional boundaries and transport individuals without access to transportation to pre-arranged medical appointments. The grant runs through December 2017. Carol recommended not becoming a part of the offering at this time.
- Robert also did research on the proposal and agrees with Carol that there are many pitfalls with scheduling and questioned if it is really needed.
- Issued to Dixon S. Daniels on March 20, 2017 for 4.0 tenths of a mile from Windsor line on Richmond Hill Road.
Chief of Police, Tim Garner: Weekly Report Submitted.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: No issues or concerns.
School Committee Member, Darlene Rodowicz
- Darlene presented an overview of the status of the Cheshire Elementary School closing. She stated that she plans, “To propose the full budget and let the towns decide if they can afford it. This takes into consideration still hiring all new recommended positions.” Use of the Cheshire School was discussed as well as approximate increases to each town. Paul inquired about the 90 day notice and the protocol to do so. Darlene ended her talk by saying there is, “No perfect solution.”
- Darlene was encouraged by the interest of parents and town residents in working together for a resolution.
Resident, E. Richard Scholz:
- Requested the BOS to change their stand on not allowing election candidates place their name signs on town property when running for office. Mr. Scholz felt there were three areas in town where if he had the ability to post his name sign, it would allow for more visibility to voters who do not know him. The BOS remained with no political signs posted on town property. The BOS recommended speaking with each resident where he would like to see his signs on private property and receive individual permission. Mr. Scholz asked to see the
M.G.L. where it states their decision.
An Executive Session will take place on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 6:00PM, “To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the governent’s bargaining or litigating position. Also, to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel; to actually conduct collective bargaining and contract negotiations with non-union personnel.
Motion to approve, Carol A. Francesconi, 2nd by Paul F. Astorino. A unanimous vote was taken.
Mail and Correspondence:
With all business finalized, Paul motioned to close the meeting at 8:15PM; 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