October 24, 2017
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi and Ed St. John IV
Ed motioned to accept the minutes of October 17, 2017 as presented; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.
Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Log for 10/18/17-10/24/17.
- Submitted a signed Application for Driveway Permit for Curran Road (Map 205; Parcel 7) with Conditions. Carol made a motion to approve the Driveway Permit; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken. (Kruzel Builders 10/17/17)
- Continuing to patch potholes on Stafford Hill, Jenks Road, and East Harbor Road.
- Catch basin/culvert cleaning.
- Double yellow line painting was cancelled and will now happen on Wednesday night on Church Street, Main Street, Wells Road, and Windsor Road.
- Attending a training on the Streetscan software system in Burlington, MA on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.
- Scheduled septic system cleaning for the Cheshire Community Center and the highway shed.
- Cleared a downed tree on West Mountain Road on 10/24/17.
- Ordered a forty foot storage tank to be placed next to the building for the storage of seasonal equipment.
- Met with Superintendent Putnam to discuss a process for winter school closings.
- Robert asked about the F550 truck and the status of repairs. Blair reported many minor issues but the salt had deteriorated the computer; the dip stick had holes, and a different transmission was installed. The truck is six (6) years old and has 89K miles. Robert asked Blair to sit in on the 7:30PM Executive Session this evening.
Cheshire Planning Board Chairman, Donna DeFino:
- Reported that the Cheshire Planning Board denied the Application for a Special Permit for Thomas and Barbara Ayotte. The majority of the audience were pleased with the outcome but some cankerous remarks have come back to the board.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Memorandum to the BOS regarding all town employees currently enrolled in the Town's group health and dental insurance plan.
- Met with AFSCME representative, Nadine Kennedy, Mike and Brent regarding different singular health benefits to different groups.
- Contacted an area town regarding different insurance splits and learned it was not allowed. Researching further.
- Sent a message to Attorney Kevin Feeley, representative for Berkshire Insurance Group and asked the same question. Awaiting a response. The next meeting with the AFSCME will be Tuesday at 8:30am on 10/31/17.
- Met with the Complete Streets Committee last Wednesday. Blair, Christine, Peter Traub and Mark with two representatives from the BRPC. Worked on objectives and decided to do a sidewalk assessment since sidewalks-both upgrading and expanding was a focus. The group came up with fifteen different projects which will eventually be ranked. There is up to $400K available for construction. Engineering costs are not allowed. Next meeting with be Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 11am.
- Meeting with MIIA agent on property/casualty policies on 10/26/17.
- Spoke with Becky regarding health insurance matters. The following was concluded:
1. Board should make a decision soon to allow her to send out letters to those affected to allow them enough time to get in touch with SSI and Medicare.
2. Decide on a contribution split for all eligible employees; suggest somewhere between 70/30 and 75/25. The split rate could always be negotiated in future years. Recent survey showed an average of 74/26 among 25 responding towns. Members of the Berkshire Health Group average 79/31.
3) Make new eligibility rules effective January 1, 2018.
4) Eliminating insurance availability is considered a qualifying event for Medicare.
5. There is no requirement that HMO plan splits be tied to 50% of the PPO.
6. The Town must still offer a PPO be we can make it a different split than the in-place Network Blue Deductable plan. Recommend that the PPO be offered at a 50/50 split; 50% is the minimum the Town is obligated to offer under Chapter 32B. Mark asked the board to review the policy.
Cheshire Fire Chief:
- Updated the BOS that an agreement with the Adams Ambulance to cover the town during week days has been finalized. The ambulance will be stationed at the Cheshire Fire House Monday through Fridays from 8am to 5pm with a paramedic and an emergency medical technician at no cost to the town. Cheshire volunteers will also be notified of all calls. Ed motioned to approve having the Adams Ambulance to be housed at the Cheshire Fire Station for medical responses as presented by the Fire Chief Monday through Fridays for regular Cheshire coverage; 2nd by Robert with a unanimous vote taken.
Carol: Reported to the BOS that the School Building Reuse Committee should, by the end of November, have some good options for usage. The group will be talking with Zoning Enforcement Officer, Gerry Garner, regarding any ramifications from the options to be offered.
Ed: November 6th will be the District Agreement Amendment Committee meeting at 6pm at Hoosac High School.
Robert: Voiced concern about the traffic in the breakdown lane on Route 8. He noted thirteen cars parked there for activities at the local farm. Members of the BOS reported that the State Police are ticketing the cars every fifteen minutes. Blair suggested contacting the owner to have traffic cones placed in the breakdown to deter parking. Robert's main concern is traffic safety and now understands some effort is being made. However, he would like the breakdown lane cleared and all cars off the pavement. He felt the discussion could lead to streamlining the concerns for next year
Resident, Sandra Sloane:
- Questioned if anything had changed regarding hikers staying in local churches. It was noted that it was a diocese ruling that all individuals must have insurance.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- Submitted a Warrant for the Cheshire Board of Selectmen to sign for the Special State Election on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 from 7am to 8pm for Representative in General Court...First Berkshire District.
- "Residents are reminded that the Board of Selectmen has issued a no parking ban, which bans overnight parking of vehicles on town roads/streets between the hours of 10PM and 7AM. This parking ban is effective November 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018. Residents are also reminded not to plow or push snow across public ways per Cheshire Town By-law. Town Administrator, Mark Webber".
Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Submitted weekly report.
- Halloween Parade will be on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1pm.
- The new cruiser is in and the Chief would like Mark to transfer the plates.
- Would like to hire one (1) or two (2) part-time fully trained police officers.
- Motioned to have an Executive Session on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 7:30pm: "To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than the professional competence, or an individual, or discuss the discipline or dismissal or, or complaints or charges against, a public officer, employee staff member or individual."
Mail and Correspondence:
With all business finalized, Ed motioned to adjourn; 2nd by Carol with a unanimous vote taken.
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