May 29, 2018
In Attendance: Robert S. Ciskowski, Carol A. Francesconi, and Ed St. John IV
Carol motioned to have the minutes for May 22, 2018 approved; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Town Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane:
- Submitted Weekly Activity Log for 5/23/18-5/29/18.
- Grade roads/haul gravel to upper Windsor Road and Richmond Hill Road.
- Graded camp roads.
- Blair will be meeting with various contractors next week regarding Shadowland Cove drainage issue.
- Repaired system for spraying dust control - calcium/magnesium chloride.
- Hydraulic pump has been pulled on the roadside boom mower. New Hampshire Hydraulics will pick it up to test this week. This is the second worn out pump over the life of this machine. Replacement cost unknown at this time.
- 301 Backhoe hydraulics failure has been investigated further and it is a probable valve bank malfunction. Not an easy, simple or inexpensive repair. 310 will have to be trucked to Springfield due to the complexity and expense to repair in house. (7K miles on backhoe.)
- Robert visited the site of Shadowland Cove and noted it was a culvert 4' in diameter; 10' deep with 8 ' of water. Blair reported it had been cleaned out last August. He expressed concern regarding the layout of the septic system.
- Robert noted the loss of quality lake frontage and the inability to have a 24' boat any longer due to the present conditions. Robert questioned if it would be possible to consult with contractors to see if an area could be cleaned out to retain some water frontage.
- Blair explained that it is not simple to rectify and discussed different options. However, a swale structure at the end of the catch basin might collect more silt. He felt it is contingent on the area landowners to work on the issues also as it may create a bigger issue. Morally, Robert felt the owners need guidance; he feels bad for the landowners.
- Carol will be contacting Mark Stimpson of the DEP.
- Robert will be working the compactor on Saturday, June 2, 2018. He reminded Blair to consider working on a list of replacement people for the winter.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber:
- Mark updated the BOS on a concern regarding the appointment of two Cheshire individuals for the position on the Mount Greylock Advisory Board. It was resolved when Christy Butler declined the appointment.
- Received a revised sketch from NationalGrid for the Jenks Road utility pole public hearing. Carol motioned to amend the original decision of placement which now shows two poles eliminated from the front yard of the Hitter home; 2nd by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
- Sent the ATM warrant to Town Counsel for review and to the Town Clerk for the BOS to sign.
- Updated the Budget. Copies submitted to Town Clerk.
Town Administrator, Mark Webber: continued
- Mark explained the reasons for funding an OPEB account. The key ones are that doing so will improve our bond rating, which lowers our borrowing costs and pre-funding this account may lessen the burden of future employees and taxpayers.
- Becky Herzog is on the Board of Directors of the Berkshire County Insurance Group. While transitioning to the Berkshire Health Group her knowledge has been most helpful. The change will go into effect on July 1, 2018. She will be hosting a workshop for north country town health/dental insurance administrators on June 19th at 10:30am. We have signed on with a vendor for a seamless transition for our life insurance policies. There will be no rate or policy coverage changes; there will be a 1% decrease in premiums because we have cut our support position. Town employees will see no changes whatsoever.
- Sent a note to Dancecapade thanking them for their interest but that the Town was taking a pause and will not be leasing any additional space at the Cheshire School for the time being.
- Request received from Berkshire Boys to be placed on the June 12, 2018 BOS Agenda. The board asked Carole H. to contact the individual to schedule a time for the July 19, 2018 Agenda at 7pm.
- Mark explained how the on-line permitting software package will work. Building Commissioner, Gerry Garner, will be the gatekeeper and will distribute forms to different departments.
Resident, Jan Kuniholm:
- Reported difficulty walking on the sidewalks of East Main Street. Walking to the trail is a public safety issue. He realizes that the sweeper won't be coming for another two (2) weeks but even the sidewalks need sweeping. He noted that his front yard looks like a sandpit as there is unfriendly gravel on his lawn.
- Blair responded that the sweeper goes from town to town and it will be taken care of as soon as the Town can.
Resident, Robert Balawender:
- Voiced concern about potholes and the fact that road sides were cleared but not reseeded and now the dirt is washing onto the roads. He felt the maintenance was not well thought out and most likely costing additional money.
Resident's Maureen Reiley-Moriarty and William Moriarty:
- Explained the danger happening with a ledge that is falling onto Dugway/Windsor Road. Suggested using fencing to hold back the ledge from continuing to fall as it is a major safety hazard to drivers. The BOS will advise Blair of the situation.
Resident, Terry Miller:
- Ms. Miller wanted to follow up on any progress for two unsafe houses that she reported that needed to be boarded up. Carol will check with Jeff in the Board of Health to see if any progress has been made. Carol noted that the Board of Health can issue a warning with an ultimatum.
Resident, Peter Traub:
- Thanked the Selectmen for a wonderful Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony. Carol reported that the fly over was cancelled at 18 different sites in Berkshire County due to the weather.
- Reported that he will be holding a Baby Town Meeting on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 7pm at the Cheshire Community Center.
Police Chief, Tim Garner: Submitted weekly report.
- Chief Garner introduced to the BOS, Mario Jusino.
Town Clerk, Christine Emerson:
- The Warrant was signed by the BOS.
- Will provide a larger map of where the business areas on Route 8 are located.
- Clean copies of the Budget will also be provided. This information is also available on the Town’s website.
Carol motioned to go into Executive Session; “To conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with non-union personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with non-union personnel.” Seconded by Ed with a unanimous vote taken.
Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; and Ed. St. John IV, Yes.
The Open Meeting will reconvene after the Executive Session.
Carol A. Francesconi, Yes; Robert S. Ciskowski, Yes; and Ed St. John IV, Yes.
The Open Meeting with reconvene.
Mail and Correspondence:
- Received a Letter of Resignation from Fence Viewer, Ken Egnaczak. The BOS regretfully accepts the resignation as Mr. Egnaczak has been a major asset to the committee over many years.
Resident, Joe Prinz:
- Voiced discontent with the road conditions where he walks every day. He explained what's happening with the sides of the roads washing onto the roads due to not spending money on reseeding the areas that were cut back. He feels the roads are a disgrace and the roads will be washed out if a good rain storm comes as presently the catch basin is already half full on Notch Road and Windsor Road. The BOS will speak with the Highway Superintendent.
Carol questioned Mark Warner as to Carol and Ed seeing a large hole on his property at 612 West Mountain Road, with cows walking down into it. There seems to be a discrepancy as to if there is one there or not. Mr. Warner disagrees.
Appalachian Trail Committee, Eileen Quinn:
- Ms. Quinn updated the BOS on upcoming events for the Appalachian Trail Committee and Cheshire Block Parties. Carol advised Eileen to seek out usage of portable bathrooms rather than using the Town Hall septic system.
The Cheshire Conservation Commission will have a site visit on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 10am at the Karen Scholz property at East Harbor Road. (Solar Array Project)
With all business finalized, Carol motioned to adjourn at 8:15PM; 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