August 29, 2017
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV
Absent: Carol A. Francesconi
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.
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