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2005 - Minutes of June 6, 20, 27 Meetings

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
June 6, 2005

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED), Curt Wilton (CW), Michael Kirchner (MK). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.

Board reviews and approves weekly warrants with the exception of the weekly payroll amount for Police Officer Simonelli for the week ending 6-4-05.

Other Items:    Bob Korte informs the Board that the Jos. Libardi Post of the American Legion is thinking of selling their building on Gt. Barrington Rd. He says that there may be some issues of ownership/deed references that have to be cleared up first. If the building is sold, the Veteran's wish to come to the Village School. Mr. Korte says that they will not be satisfied with shared space; they want their own dedicated room. He says that State law says that a Town must provide meeting space to veterans' organizations. Board asks AA to contact the Town's Veteran's Agent Al Adams for clarification on the Town's obligations.

Board refers David Slosek to the Building Inspector to obtain a building permit.

Contractor Sue Brennan updates the Board on her building activities and corrected 911 addresses off of East Alford Road.

Board discusses a request from the Berkshire Opera Company to use the Village School gym for rehearsals from July 22 - Aug. 16. MK expresses reservations about tying up the gym for 26 straight days to the exclusion of all others. AA points out that no offer of payment was made by the Company. ED expresses concerns with the cost of electricity and janitorial expenses that the Town would be bearing. CW notes that other groups may need the gym. Adult basketball is already scheduled for Monday nights. In the past, Crane Lake Camp has reserved the gym and parking lot for Parent's weekend around the end of June. Also, the Zucchini Festival may need the gym for their purposes in the event of rain. Board will wait to speak to Parks and Rec. Chair Bob Powell, but they are of a mind not to approve the request.

Bob Powell discusses a beaver problem at Card Pond. He says that beavers are building a dam at the spillway. He is concerned with the ensuing threat to public safety (for swimmers) and requests that the Board apply for an Emergency Order from the Board of Health to remove the beavers. Board agrees. Bob also discusses the problem with dogs running loose at the beach and asks if he can put up a sign restricting dogs from the beach area. Board agrees.

Board discusses Berkshire Opera request with Bob Powell. Bob agrees with the Board that the request should be denied. Bob will contact Berkshire Opera.

CW informs the Board that he was told by Art Gennari that Art may own part of the Hill house on State Line Rd. Mr. Gennari just had a survey of his holdings in that area and it indicated that a portion of the Hill house was on Gennari property. Board reiterates its position that it wants the house removed and that the property is in tax title and working its way through land court. As soon as it is disposed by the court, the Town is free to do as it wishes with the property. At that point, Mr. Gennari would have to deal with the Town. Until then, he would have to discuss any claim he might have with the land court.

Board reviews a MEMO listing potential appointees to the revised Water and Sewer Commission. The five names being nominated are: Anthony Pieropan, Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Brad Richer, Marion Gordnier and Mark Webber. Board agrees with the nominations and will send each a letter asking them to accept their appointment. An organizational meeting is scheduled for 6-23 at 7:00 PM. CW notes that there are several areas of Town where the sewer could be expanded. It will take work on the Commission's part to make it happen. The Board is not able to devote the time necessary run a Commission.

AA distributes a list of Town Appointed Officers for the Board to review in anticipation of making appointments at their 6-20-05 meeting. Board reviews the list and notices some names that are not accurate and some Boards such as the Safety Committee that really has no function and should be eliminated. AA will present a revised list at next week's meeting.

CW discusses his intentions for Highway Dept. employee wages for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2005. He proposes a 3% increase to John Lyford and CW and a 7% increase to Peter Skorput. These increases will put all three in the middle of the pack in comparison with like sized neighboring communities. Board agrees with CW's proposal.

CW would like to ask the Council on Aging in to meet with the Board at the appropriate time for a discussion on the space needs for seniors in the Village School. He notes that the immediate priority is to move the Town offices into the school but that the seniors can be accommodated. Board agrees; no date set.

AA informs the Board that several FY '05 Town budget line items are either overspent or will be by the end of the fiscal year. AA gave a MEMO to the FinCom back in April informing the FinCom that we would likely be in this position and that Reserve Fund requests would be forthcoming. AA informs the Board that the 2004 Municipal Relief Bill allows towns to transfer up to 3% of original individual line item appropriations to deficit line items (in the last 2 months of the fiscal year) without going to Town Meeting. FinCom concurrence is required. AA suggests that a letter requesting some line item transfers, along with Reserve Fund requests be brought before the Board at their next meeting - once the Town Accountant runs another week of year to date budget to actuals. Board agrees.

Board reviews a draft note to BHRSD Supt. Donna Moyer re: Village School furniture. MK suggests some changes in the letter. Board agrees.

Board takes note that the Planning Bd. has scheduled a Public Hearing for June 27 to consider the Town's request for a change in use for the Village School from education to municipal offices.

A public hearing is set for June 13 at 7:00 PM at the Village School to hear a request from the West Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club for a Change of Manager.

MK reads a letter from Maxymillian stating that hazardous materials remediation has been successfully completed at the former Kingsmont Camp property.

8:50 PM:        There being no additional business to discuss, ED makes a motion to adjourn. CW seconds the motion; vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting Minutes approved by:

______________________  _____________________   ____________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli             Curt Wilton                     Michael Kirchner
Date: _______________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
June 20, 2005

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED), Curt Wilton (CW), Michael Kirchner (MK). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

BOS reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.

BOS reviews and signs warrants. Board does not approve an item which pays the Local Yokel $500 from the Youth Services Fund which falls under the heading of the Parks and Recreation Committee. A few months ago, the BOS informed the Parks and Recreation Committee that it was inappropriate to pay any money from their line item appropriation to the Local Yokel. The Board raises the same issue regarding the Youth Services Trust Fund. The Board questions how a connection is made between Youth Services and an independent community newsletter.
BOS reviews and signs off on building permit for Bob Powell.

BOS reviews and signs off on driveway cut David Pearlson.

BOS and Chief Cooper will attend annual Tanglewood luncheon at Seranak on June 30th.

BOS, acting as Sewer and Water Commissioners, reviews and grants a water bill abatement to St. Patrick's Church Rectory. A memo to that effect will be forwarded to Town Accountant.

7:05 PM:        No one representing the Sportsmen's Club shows up for the scheduled public hearing to consider the Club's request for a Change of Manager. AA reports that the return receipt for the certified letter sent to the Club informing them of the meeting was not returned - no one picked up the letter. Following a discussion, it is decided to re-schedule the hearing for the next Board meeting.

7:10 PM:        Joan Rehm, along with several seniors, addresses the Board regarding the future of a Senior Center in West Stockbridge. Joan reads a long letter (attached) reiterating her displeasure with the Selectmen.

        CW answers some of the items raised in Joan's statement and provides the audience with a history of the Senior Center grant application process and the Selectmen's actions and reasons why.

        ED asks if a stand alone Senior Center building could fit on the Village School campus. Joan says yes.
        MK suggests that everyone move forward. "Let's bury the hatchet and work together and move on". MK suggests reviewing other Senior Centers in the county then meet again with the Council on Aging.

        It is noted that there is a Planning Board meeting next Monday that will consider a change of use for the Village School from educational to governmental. It might be a good opportunity to ask the Planning Board about the impact of adding a building to the Village School property.

        Following a general discussion on Senior Centers, the Board instructs the AA to do related research and to speak with Berkshire Housing and Community Development about the DHCD grant program. A meeting is set for July 11th to continue the Senior Center discussion.

        Building Inspector Jim Vosburgh and Zoning Enforcement Officer Walt Potash discuss the building permit process with the Board.

        Jim suggests that the Town switch to the standardized State building permit application. Board agrees. It is suggested that the Tax Collector be included in the review process to ensure that applicant taxes are current - as is currently done with all other permits and licenses that the Town issues.

        MK states that the number 1 complaint that he hears regarding the process is that it takes too long and that there is too much running around by the permit applicants seeking approvals from the various Town inspectors and officials.

It is suggested that a central depository and circulation center be established for building permit applications. Applicants can drop off their paperwork and inspectors can check the depository on a regular basis to review applications.

Board instructs AA to set up and be the coordinator/clearing house for a revamped building permit process.

Jim informs the Board that they are both staying current with the State continuing education requirements for Building and Assistant Building Inspectors. Board thanks both men for attending the meeting.

Other Items:    CW discusses an upcoming building permit application to be submitted by Dale Culleton for a property at the corner of Maple Hill Rd. and West Center Road. It is not clear whether the property meets zoning requirements for building. The Board reviews a related letter from Attorney Dana Marcus who represents Mr. Culleton. The Board decides to seek the opinion of the Planning Board before acting.

        Board has a brief discussion regarding the Annual Town Meeting appropriation of $6,000 for a Town Hall study. It is noted that only the Selectmen are authorized to enter into spending agreements.

        AA informs the Board that Thomas Scanlon Associates is in Town this week conducting the FY '04 audit.

        Board finishes the Annual Town Officer appointments. Of note is: the Board will no longer act as the Sewer and Water Commissioners. They have appointed a 5 member Board to terms of 1 year each. Also, the Board formed a new position of Investment Committee and fills it by appointing the Finance Committee.

        AA informs the Board that Brad Richer has declined his nomination to the Sewer and Water Commission. Board suggests asking Lou Trionfo of Lenox Mt. to see if he'd be interested.

        Chief Cooper will be on vacation next week. Officer Simonelli will cover.

        There will be a County Group Purchase meeting next Monday at 10:00 to discuss the annual bidding for bulk purchases.

        Board reviews a letter from Town Counsel Bill Hewig which states that Charter has assured him that a check will be mailed to the Town within 2 weeks for cell phone antenna revenue sharing owed.

        Board reviews a proposal from Cardillo Plumbing to provide for future heat to the rear of the Village School. Board will revisit next meeting.

9:35 PM:        There being no further business, ED makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Minutes approved by:

_____________________   _____________________   _____________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair      Curt Wilton                     Michael Kirchner

Date: ____________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
June 27, 2005

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED), Curt Wilton (CW), Michael Kirchner (MK). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.
Board reviews and approves weekly warrants.
Board reviews and signs off on a driveway permit for Sue Brennan.

Other Items:    Fire Chief Peter Skorput informs the Board that the County Communications Center is being moved from the County Courthouse to the County Jail.

CW has several applications for the new position of Buildings/Grounds/Highway Dept. employee. He will bring them to the next meeting for review and recommendations.

CW informs the Board that Zach Summers will be working under his direction for several hours on a community service/Boy Scout project.

Zucchini Festival organizers will discuss an announcement sign/banner with the Board at the next BOS meeting.

Board reschedules Sportsmen's Club public hearing for Change of Manager to July 11 at 6:30 PM.

Senior Center meeting is July 11 at 7:00 PM. Tom Webb of Berkshire Housing will also attend.

Town Hall Study Committee provides a written update on their progress to date.

AA informs the Board that Lightship Telecom, who is consulting on a new phone system at Village School, has reviewed the Town's current phone bills and has made changes that will save the Town approx. $100/month on long distance charges. They will come back with a full review in the next few weeks.

AA informs the Board that he is revising the building permit application at the recommendation of the State Building Inspector to include the standardized State application form. A discussion on the application process ensues. MK notes that one of the biggest complaints he has heard is from persons experiencing difficulty in getting their applications processed. There should be better coordination between inspectors to make for a smoother process. Board instructs AA to be the designated coordinator for the Building Permit Application process.

AA informs the Board that, as a Steering Committee member, he will be attending a Household Hazardous Waste meeting tomorrow at 10:00 in Lee.

7:10 PM:        Board ends their business session to attend a Planning Board meeting at the Town Hall. The Board has Special Permit Application before the Planning Board for a change of use for the Village School. The application seeks a change from educational to municipal use.

8:15 PM:        Planning Board continues the Special Permit hearing for 2 weeks because the change of use application is incomplete. A certified plot plan showing the location of the building on the property should have accompanied the application.

8:20 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, the Board closes their meeting.

Minutes approved by:

____________________    ______________________  ______________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair      Curt Wilton                     Michael Kirchner

Date: _______________

Town of West Stockbridge 21 State Line Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
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