December 12, 2017
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski (RC), Carol A. Francesconi (CF), and Ed St. John IV (ESJ)
Town Administrator Mark Webber (MW)
RC calls the regular meeting to order and notes that the December 5, 2017 meeting minutes will not be available until next week due to the Selectmen's secretary being unable to attend tonight's meeting because of the bad weather. Accordingly, MW will be recording tonight's meeting minutes.
Other Business/Discussion/Action items:
- RC notes that the Town's cemeteries are closed to burials for the winter season.
- Board discusses request from Attorney Breen to attend next week's meeting to discuss potential litigation regarding another Town Board. Hesitant to get involved in a discussion that could involve pending litigation, Board agrees that ESJ will contact Attorney Breen to inform of the Board's position.
- Board discusses resident Eileen Quinn's efforts to promote the Town an Appalachian Trail friendly community and approves a letter in support of the Town's nomination. Board thanks Eileen for her efforts.
- Town Clerk Christine Emerson informs the Board that she has contacted General Code and will be receiving a quote from the company to compile and codify the Town's bylaws.
- Board has a general discussion regarding Federal flood zone maps and few the updates which impact Cheshire. It is noted that the maps are largely unchanged from the 1972 version.
- Highway Superintendent Blair Crane is working the snow event and will not be attending tonight's meeting until, perhaps, later in the evening.
- MW gives his weekly report as follows:
Note received from ACRSD Superintendent Robert Putnam. He has announced his resignation as school superintendant, effective the end of June 2018.
Note from Michelle Whitney seeking answers to a number of questions regarding the Cheshire School and the District. ESJ will respond.
This morning's Highway Union negotiations were cancelled by the union representative due to personal conflicts. We will meet next again after the new year on a date yet to be determined.
Discussed latest round of DLTA grant application from BRPC. Typically, this is referred to the Planning Board for technical assistance. But, I spoke to Tom Matuszko at BRPC and the Town was just awarded a significant planning assistance grant under another program to assist the Planning Board in addressing zoning bylaws. A suggested use for this DLTA round would be to get assistance in charting out re-use or shared use of the Cheshire School. BRPC will be drafting a comprehensive recreational marijuana zoning bylaw for all the area towns to use, so that is being addressed on its own. Although I'm continuing to plug away on a RFEI for the Cheshire School, some technical assistance on that would be welcome.
The town was approved for a $14,000 Planning Assistance state grant.
I've been speaking with the Lanesborough town administrator and he hopes to have an update on a shared Veteran's Agent by the end of this week. Spoke again with Dalton TM. It seems that we are now waiting for a proposal from N. Adams to join in with them. So, it would cover us, Dalton and Lanesborough.
Received a note from Erika at Cheshire Elementary and the boiler in the old section shut down. The temps went down to 48. The custodian re-fired it but she's concerned that it might go out again. Not sure if Blair has had a chance to discuss new or adjusted controls with CTC of Adams to better regulate the heat.
Lynne is close to submitting free cash calculations to DOR for approval.
Spoke with Mr. Clairmont today and we discussed his on-going issues with the Fence Viewers and their reluctance to engage him in further meetings. I reiterated the Board's position that there's nothing more that the Board is able to do for him. He may seek legal advice on what steps to take next, specifically with the Fence Viewers.
BRPC would like to be placed on the December 19th agenda to get final signatures for the CDBG housing grant application. They will be attending the training session next week which will advise whether or not a local share or match will be required.
See Cheshire Lake Use permit for Berkshire Geobash scheduled for February 10th from 6-9PM.
CF voices her concern with the announcement of the State planning assistance grant. The grant provides technical assistance from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) to help the Town's Planning Board amend existing zoning bylaws to advance sustainable development and implement goals laid out in the recently adopted Master Plan, including: address senior housing; increase number of multi-family housing units; increase housing density via smaller lot size requirements and; preserve open space. Board has a general discussion about the unintended and unanticipated consequences of these types of zoning changes and would like to hear more from BRPC and the Town's Planning Board before committing to going forward. A joint meeting will be set up among the Selectmen, Planning Board and BRPC soon after the holidays.
CF makes a motion to enter into executive session per MGL Ch. 30A, Section 21(a) (3) "to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining" and not to return to open meeting session upon completion of the executive session. RC seconds the motion. Voice vote taken: ESJ, aye; RC, aye; CF, aye.
Robert S. Ciskowski, Chairman
Carol A. Francesconi, Clerk
Ed St. John IV, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds