March 20, 2018
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Carol motioned to accept the minutes as presented for March 13, 2018; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Weekly Activity Log submitted for March 14, 2018-March 20, 2018.
- 63" of snow was reported as of March 1, 2018. Blair explained how the scheduling of plowing operates during major snow storms and the importance of keeping main thoroughfares open at all times and the constraints of 5 employees; five vehicles; and five areas. Major routes are cleaned first; then secondary, then dirt and the peripheral areas. The last storm produced 7" of snow an hour which meant every inch and a half, trucks would go back to the main roads. Blair hoped all residents understood the scheduling and most individuals were patient. There were three storms in a row and one employee was out sick and was is on restricted duty.
Carol: In the past, the Town did hire private contractors.
Ed: There needs to be a contingency plan.
Blair: He felt once he explained how the system worked, people were understanding.
Robert: Voiced the need to develop a formal call-in list. Robert suggested working on this during the summertime with advertising being an option.
- Will have a continuing discussion on the options for a new/used/rented grader.
Jacob Zeminiski, Presenter.
- Mr. Zeminiski had attended the Cheshire Planning Board Hearing on Monday, March 19, 2018 and he wanted to introduce himself and his group, Berkshire Boys Inc. as a possible candidate for opening a Marijuana Dispensary in the Town of Cheshire. His presentation included a packet regarding his intention of being "In alignment with Cannabis Control Commission's regulations. The Berkshire Boys will apply for Recreational Retail and Cultivation licenses. Mr. Zeminiski questioned the CPB determination of only allowing one retail store and one cultivation license and explained his feelings on the benefit of competition. He also questioned why the CPB was not interested in the 3% tax charge on cultivation products. It was suggested that Mr. Zeminiski contact the CPB directly.
- Mr. Zeminiski also stated that should he have the opportunity in Cheshire it would mean 25-50 jobs coming to the area. He felt he has one chance and he wants to be transparent and he wants to do it right.
Carol: Noted that the next discussion would take place at the Annual Town Meeting on June 10, 2018.
Resident of Cheshire:
- Presented a verbal and written complaint against a town employee. The BOS will be checking into the complaint.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Mark thanked Chris for the preparations for the Round Table meeting with town officials and Lieutenant Governor Karyn E. Polito.
- Mark will be meeting with the Advisory Board next Tuesday evening.
- Worked on levy limit and related items based on the draft budget as of today. Based on today's draft, we are approximately $80K under the levy limit. This assumes that we apply $170K of free cash to reduce the tax rate.
- Today's certified free cash-prior to any use, including reducing the tax rate - is $416,220. Retained earnings for Water Enterprise is $245,177.
- Submitted to the BOS alternate FY 2019 budget which utilizes consistent salary increases and makes adjustments to a number of other line items that are not fixed items. Suggested the BOS review and discuss at the March 27th meeting.
- Highway Union negotiations scheduled for next Tuesday.
- Received the Street Light inventory from National Grid along with pricing scenarios for changing out to LED from the sodiums. Joanne DeRose said that most towns are going with the 20 watt LED and using the 30 watt LED's at intersections or special situations only. Requested Robert and analyze and Carol to check inventory against her list of street lights.
- Will have the RFP for Cheshire School for next week's meeting.
- Will be creating an Article to change the Advisory Board to Finance Committee.
Resident's Eileen Quinn and Karen Daigle reported on the official announcement of the Town of Cheshire becoming an Appalachian Trail Community™. "This designation will allow for National designation, networking and communication. There will be recognition and visibility through signage, press releases and the ATC's website and publications. It will enhance partnerships with public land agencies and volunteers. The short term benefits will allow teacher eligibility for an ATC place-based education and service learning program. The long term benefits will be an increase in community environmental stewardship. Towns act as good friends and neighbors of the trail."
Note: The trail runs from Georgia to Maine and is 2,100 miles. Quinn and Daigle attended a recent seminar in New Hampshire and enthusiastically reporting on educational components and field trips being arranged with Hoosac Valley Elementary School students. It is important to start young and to learn how to maintain the trails and appreciate wildlife.
- Graffiti cleaning of the Cobble will take place on June 15th. Robert thanked Ms. Quinn and Ms. Daigle for their diligence in following through to attain this designation.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson: No issues or concerns.
Police Chief, Timothy Garner: Report submitted.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Lieutenant Governor Karyn E. Polito sent a letter of congratulations for completing Community Compact signed on May 17, 2016.
- Northern Berkshire Cultural Council/Maureen Riley Moriarty, Treasurer, reported:
Cheshire Community Action Team (Cheshire CAT) Cheshire's 225th Anniversary Celebration $1,500.
Cheshire Community Association (CCA) Art on the Trail. Eileen Quinn $500.
Cheshire Library Association Community Programs, Christine B. Emerson $1,100.
Cheshire Community Association (CCA) Cheshire Block Parties, Eileen Quinn $1,500. Seniors to the Theater 2018, Peter Traub $750.
Motioned to schedule an Executive Session for Tuesday, March 30, 2018 at the end of the Open Meeting for: “To discuss the deployment of or strategy regarding security personnel or devices, e.g., a sting operation;” 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
With all business finalized at 8:30PM, Carol motioned to adjourn; 2nd by Ed 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 Groundsv