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2005 - Minutes of August 1, 15, 22, 29 Meetings

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
August 1, 2005

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

Board signs previous meeting minutes.
Board signs warrants.

Other Items:    Ron Race announces a NIMS training meeting to be held at Village School on August 21, 2005.

        Board discusses the BHRSD new schools dedication to be held on 8-6 at 10:00 AM.

        Request to remove a pair of sneakers from the phone wires near the Shaker Mill Bridge.

        Request for the Town to mow the lawn area around the cannon.

        Board appoints the following to the Cable TV Advisory Committee; effective through 6-30-06: William Davis; Ogden Gigli; Mati Kiin; Carol Kuller; David Zick. A discussion follows regarding money owed to the Town for technical equipment for local access channel. Suggestions are made to take down the Charter tower and put up the Town's own tower; switch to Time Warner Cable and get rid of Charter; record Selectmen's meetings.

        Board of Assessor's Chair Irene Skorput recommends appointing Jennifer Wilton to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of John Astore. Selectman Curt Wilton removes himself from the discussion and any subsequent action. Following a discussion, ED makes a motion to appoint Jennifer Wilton. Irene Skorput seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor; Curt Wilton does not participate in the vote.

        Joan Rehm asks that Don McClellan be appointed to the Senior Center Steering Committee. Board agrees. The Committee's first meeting will be next Tuesday (8/9/05) at 7:00 PM.

        Fire Chief Peter Skorput asks the Board to review and sign a Mutual Aid agreement.

        Discussion takes place about Zucchini Festival fireworks. ED has received complaints about last year's fireworks: 2 complaints from Lenox Rd. residents about rattling windows and another from Spencer Road about falling debris. Fire Chief will review before this year's permit is issued.

        Tree Warden Bill Kie discusses responsibility for care and removal of Town trees. Mr. Kie refers to a publication on the powers, duties and responsibilities of elected Tree Wardens. Mr. Kie requests written permission from the Cemetery Commissioners to take care of trees on Town Cemetery property. No decisions are made.

        CW announces that a new Highway Dept. employee Jamie Boyer started work today.

        Request to clean the Public Restrooms several times during the day for the Zucchini Festival.

        CW discusses Chapter 90 Highway Funds paving project for West Center Road and Maple View Drive.

        Mr. Kie suggests that a small office be set aside for the Tree Warden when the Town moves into the Village School.

8:30 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Minutes approved by:

_______________________ _______________________ ________________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli             Curt Wilton                     Michael Kirchner

Date: ___________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
August 15, 2005

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

Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.
Board reviews and signs warrants.

6:50 PM:        Dominick Luchi addresses the Board re: two certificates of occupancy that he has outstanding and in need of signatures. Mr. Luchi expresses his anger about getting the runaround from Town officials as far as obtaining sign-offs. The Board reviews the two C.O.'s that Mr. Luchi has with him. One seems to be in order and requires only one more signature. AA to facilitate per BOS suggestion. The second C of O needs approval from the Planning Board regarding that Board's Special Conditions attached to the building permit for the driveway. CW explains that he will sign off as the Highway Supt. once the Planning Bd. instructs him that it is all right to do so. CW explains to Mr. Luchi that once the Highway Supt. signs-off on a driveway plan, its location cannot change without getting a new approval.

7:00 PM:        Marge Powell discusses items for the upcoming Zucchini Festival. She's checking on a P.A. system set up, rubbish pick-up, EMT availability, public bathroom cleaning and parking issues. CW states that AA will take care of the P.A. and that CW has made arrangements for the other items.

7:10 PM:        Tim Eagles, of EDM Engineers, addresses the Board and those in attendance (Library Commissioners Nancy Kearns and June Biggs and Friends of Library members Jill Pixley and Kathy Davis). MK and AA give a review of events to date and informs Mr. Eagles that the Board is interested in constructing a model office in one of the classrooms as designed by Bob Powell. From the feedback taken from that model, EDM could design the rest of the Town offices. The Town is looking to EDM to ensure that: space is properly designed; utilities are optimized and correctly laid out; Chapter 30B is adhered to and; State Building Codes are followed.

        Mr. Eagles explains that his firm's previous design for Town offices and Library approached $1M in construction costs because of the relative high cost of meeting building and H.C. code compliance when converting from existing conditions. Code compliance has a high fixed cost no matter how extensive the renovations are. AA will forward past correspondences between the Town and State Building Inspector's office to EDM. Phasing of the construction is ruled out because of Procurement Law (30B) compliance.

        Library Commissioner June Biggs notes that the proposed new layout reduces the Village School library space by more than one-third from the original EDM design. MK explains that we are essentially starting over again with EDM and no designs to date are cast in stone. All space is negotiable. Commissioner Nancy Kearns states that the Town will have to spend some money if it expects to have a Library that it can be proud of.

        Bob Powell and Mr. Eagles review Mr. Powell's work to date and conduct a brief site visit. It is decided that EDM will be contacted once the model office is constructed to design the remainder of the Town office space. The Board thanks those in attendance for participating in tonight's discussion.

8:05 PM:        Board reviews two bills for submittal from Cemetery Commissioners Stuart Kuller for payment for cemetery mowing. The Town Accountant has kicked back one of the requests because it was out of synch with fiscal years. The other bill for mowing is fine and will be forwarded for processing. Following a discussion, the Board concurs that there are two methods available per MGL to pay the previous fiscal year mowing bill: 1) request a Special Town Meeting and place an article on the warrant requesting payment out of an available fund; this vote would require nine-tenths approval or; 2) pay the bill out of Cemetery Perpetual Care earned interest funds. Board instructs AA to inform Commission Chair Stuart Kuller of same.

Other Items:    AA is taking 2 vacation days (8/24 & 8/26) to deliver first born to college.

        MK makes a motion to appoint two Special Police officers: Timothy Hassett and Paul Petrescu. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

        CW requests a staffing plan - either monthly or weekly - from the Chief of Police. The Board should know who is on duty on what shifts and on what dates. CW would like to see the August and September schedules as soon as possible. Staffing schedules should be made available to the Board at the beginning of each month. Included in the plan should be all on-call scheduling for the Chief and Officers.

        MK suggests that the Board and the Chief strongly consider hiring a part-time Academy qualified Police Officer as a full-time officer - with a full-time Academy waiver. This person would then work as a full-time officer until the next full-time Academy session opens up. MK notes that the position of full-time Officer in the Town has been vacant for 6 years and the Town will have to choose a candidate and send him to the Academy. The full-time position should be posted by the Chief to let current Officers apply. MK makes a motion to hire a part-time Officer as a full-time Officer under a 1-yr waiver. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor. AA to inform the Chief.

        AA notes that even though we are less than two months into the new fiscal year that the Town Counsel appropriation will not be enough to last the year. There has been a marked increase for requests for opinions from various Town Boards - largely due to building activity in Town. MK suggests that an article requesting additional funds for legal expenses be put on the warrant for the next Special Town Meeting (no meeting scheduled as of now).

8:45 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. ED 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
August 15, 2005

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED); Curt Wilton (CW); Michael Kirchner not present, attending a conference. Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.

Board reviews and approves weekly warrants.

No permits before the Board for action.

Other Items:    CW was approached about whether the West Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club had been issued a "jukebox permit" for 2005-06. AA will research and report back to the Board.

        Board discusses and grants a Special Permit request from Orient Express to hold a wedding with amplified music on Aug. 20. AA will issue the permit.

        Payment of $10,688 has been received from Charter Communications for all back co-lease payments owed for telecommunications antennas. Board discusses the one-time $4,000 technical equipment grant tied to the cable license extension owed by Charter. Town Counsel advises that payment is forthcoming. Board discusses authorizing the Cable TV Commission to investigate and purchase technical equipment for local access TV up to the $4,000 due - in anticipation of payment. AA spoke with member Mati Kiin who is researching equipment and will report back.

        Payment of $3,262 is received from MRF for annual recycling receipts. This is the first time in several years that the Town has received revenue back from its recyclables sent to the MRF facility in Springfield. AA notes that the receipt was due to a re-negotiated contract with MRF and an improvement in paper and metals market.

        Next Senior Center Steering Committee meeting is posted for 8-22-05 at 7:00 PM at the Village School.

        AA has heard back from Tom Scanlon Assoc., the Town's auditors, to set up an FY '04 exit conference. They are available any Monday evening going forward except Aug. 29. Jim Podolak (DOR) has not come back with his availability yet. Board to set a date as soon as everyone can meet on the same night.

        Board discusses timeline for conversion of Town offices at Village School. CW suggests that a follow-up meeting take place as soon as possible with EDM, Bob Powell and a Town representative to finalize steps. AA to contact Bob and EDM to set up a meeting for next week.

        Board receives a request from Scott Herrick, Main St. to block off 2-3 Town parking spaces on 8/31 to allow a moving truck to park. Scott is moving. Board agrees. AA to inform Antiqualia.

        Per request of the Greater Years, a certificate of insurance in the name of the Town for St. Patrick's Rectory has been requested. The Greater Years has been offered use of the Rectory starting Sept. 1 and the Rectory has requested a certificate of insurance from the Town.

        Ogden Gigli makes a request that future Selectmen's meeting be audio taped for posterity in the event that written minutes are called into question. Neither ED nor CW is opposed to the request but ED would like to take the suggestion under advisement until next week when a full Board is present. Mr. Gigli will be placed on the next meeting's agenda. AA notes that he has requested in the past that someone be hired to take the meeting minutes. CW confirms and adds that it is sometimes difficult to both participate in a meeting and take notes.

        As requested, Chief of Police Cooper dropped off a September staffing schedule for his Department.

        In reviewing last week's payroll warrant, CW notes that the Chief seems to be getting quite a bit of on-time call out pay. It is difficult to determine from the warrant who is on-call and when and who is being called out and when. CW wonders whether on-call is being properly scheduled.

        Following a discussion, ED and CW agree that the Police should be requested to schedule an early morning shift when school starts the day after Labor Day. It is suggested that Main Street and the bus crossing at Main/Hotel/Center Streets should have a police presence from 6:30AM-8:30AM on school days. AA will pass along to the Chief.

        CW notes that Brad Richer has reconsidered and is now willing to sit on the Board of Sewer and Water Commissioners. AA notes that the next Commission meeting has not been set yet, but will be sometime in early September.

8:20 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. ED seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.

Minutes approved by:

_______________________________ ________________________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair                      Curt Wilton

Date: ________________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
August 22, 2005

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

Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.

Board reviews and signs weekly warrants.

MK asks under which Town's payroll are outside police details charged under. For instance, if a Lanesboro policeman is doing an outside detail in W. Stockbridge which town is his payroll run through? It is preferable to have detail officer payrolls run through the officer's town of employment. AA to check with Town Accountant.

7:00 PM:        Ogden Gigli asks the Board if they are in favor of audio recording of regular Selectmen's Meeting minutes. Mr. Gigli suggests that recording would provide a back-up to written minutes and could be referred to for recall and accuracy. CW makes a motion to audio record future meetings. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Other Items:    Town Clerk provides a list of Town Officers not yet sworn in by her office. The list is quite long and includes Police Dept. appointees. MK asks AA to remind the Chief of Police to inform his appointee to get sworn in.

        Pending confirmation from T. Scanlon Assoc., the FY 2004 audit exit conference will be held on 9/12/05 at 7:00 PM at the Selectmen's Meeting Room, Village School. AA informs Board that DOR Local Services Representative Jim Podolak will not be attending. DOR has cut back on allowing evening meetings for its agents. Furthermore, Mr. Podolak noted that he saw nothing of concern in the audit report and related FY '04 financial information.

7:30 PM:        Bid opening for paving and full depth reclamation project on West Center Road and Maple View Dr. ED makes a motion to close the bids. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor. AA reads the legal notice as it appeared in the Berkshire Eagle.

        ED opens and reads aloud the bids; first for the paving portion, then the full-depth reclamation portion. [See attached bid results].

        Two bidders (All States and Garrity) bid the exact same amount ($1.89/sq. yd.) for full depth reclamation.  CW asks how to choose in the event of a tie. MK offers that the Board, as stated in the legal notice, has the authority to reject any and all bids in the best interest of the Town. It would also be reasonable for the Highway Supt. to consider past contractor performance when making his final recommendation to the Board.

        ED makes a motion to take all bids under advisement and await the recommendation of the Highway Supt. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Other Items:    MK announces that the Senior Center Steering Committee will be meeting on 8/23/05 at the Village School. MK states that the first step in determining how to proceed is to establish an accurate count of the number of seniors who would be served. He notes that other needs hinge on where a center would be located. Planning for a library and the remainder of Town offices would be impacted. MK wants to get the planning right the first time. MK is anxious to move forward but public construction projects do not happen quickly.

ED states that she would be more inclined to house a senior center in the Village School than to build a new space or renovate other potentially available space.

        Board reviews letter from Larry Vaber voicing his concern about the possible pending sale of the Grange to an abutter. Larry would like to have the building go to the Town for future needs. He acknowledges that the building is in disrepair. MK is sympathetic to Mr. Vaber's concerns but the Town cannot take a position in what appears to be a private sale between two willing parties.

        Board reviews a letter received from resident Sherri Johnson regarding an incident of alleged unprofessional treatment she received from a West Stockbridge police officer working a traffic detail on Rte. 102 near State Line. MK acknowledges receipt of the letter and notes that it is a matter for the Chief of Police to address. MK requests that the Chief forward copies of all training certificates and records of W.S. police officers to the Board of Selectmen for their records; or make the records available to the Board for viewing.

        Anita Benk of E. Alford Rd. has asked for more NO PARKING signs in the area of the Astore Quarry. She said that use of the quarry seems to be up this summer. CW notes that there are more than enough NO PARKING signs throughout the area. Enforcement is the key; not adding more signs.

        Board signs a driveway permit for Chris O'Connor; Swamp Road.

        Board sets a utility pole hearing for Verizon for 8-29-05 at 7:00 PM for three poles on E. Alford Rd.

        Board reviews a MEMO from the Town's Health Inspector regarding grease traps for commercial businesses on the Town's sewer system. He notes that he has inspected all of the establishments and they all have grease traps. However, he notes that maintenance of the traps is the responsibility of the owner and needs to be done on a regular basis.

        Board reviews draft Scenic Mt. Act as presented by the ConsCom. Two public hearings will be held by the ConsCom to review the draft. Meetings are August 31 and Sept. 3rd.

        AA informs the Board that no special provisions were addressed in the current solid waste contract for scrap metals removed from the Transfer Station. The current contract with ECO Waste runs out in June 2006. A formal RFP process will take place and scrap metals can be addressed in the new contract.

8:35 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, 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
August 29, 2005

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

                Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.
                Board reviews and signs weekly warrants.
                No permits before the Board.

7:00 PM:        ED opens a utility pole hearing per request from Verizon to locate 3 utility poles on East Alford Road. Verizon representative Tom Bissette presents map and location of proposed poles. Hearing notice was mailed to abutters. No public present. MK makes a motion to approve the petition to located utility poles. ED seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.

Other Items:    Resident Pam Race expresses her concerns with early morning speeding truck traffic in the State Line neighborhood of Rte. 102. ED informs Pam that a Special Police Officer was appointed last week whom the Chief of Police has scheduled to work an early morning shift for the purpose of monitoring traffic during school bus pick up times. Pam's concerns will be passed along to the Chief.

        Pam also request that MassHighway put up a directional sign or signs at strategic locations along Rte. 102. Several people stop and turn around in her driveway asking directions to Rte. 90 West. There are no signs between the downtown and the state line. MK recommends that the Board contact MassHighway with a request for one or more directional signs. ED agrees.

        Per the Chief of Police Karl Cooper's recommendation, the Board appoints Ben Towne as Special Police Officer effective upon swearing in and through June 30, 2006.

        ED suggests that a good location for the Speed Trailer would be in the area of State Line to address Pam Race's concerns.

        Based upon the recommendation of the Highway Superintendent, MK makes a motion to award last week's West Center Road/Maple View Dr. bid opening as follows: bituminous paving to LB Corporation and full-depth reclamation to All States Asphalt. ED seconds the motion. It is noted that Garrity and All States both submitted the same low bid for full depth reclamation but the Highway Supt. recommended going with All States because of past favorable contract experiences with All States. Vote taken, 2-0. Award letters will be sent to the low bidders and bid results to all bidders.

        ED expresses concern about Village School bathrooms being cleaned. Also, the refrigerator door in the kitchen was left open and running. ED suggests that the new Highway Dept. employee be assigned a schedule to clean and check Town facilities on a regular basis.

        MK reports that last Tuesday's Senior Center Steering Committee meeting went very well and that the group has decided to design space and proceed with planning to utilize existing and available classroom space in Village School. MK notes that the group willingly accepted the idea of locating in Village School classrooms and that a major hurdle has been passed. The Committee will meet again in a few weeks. MK notes that although space is now designated, senior center construction is dependent upon State grant approval.

        Board reviews a note from EDM Engineers re: Village School conversion. EDM recommends scheduling a joint meeting with EDM, Gordon Bailey (State Building Inspector) and the Selectmen to view the building, discuss future plans and to understand building code and Handicap requirements. MK agrees that a meeting would be a great idea and that future planning will be made easier by the allocation of space to a Senior Center. Efforts can now be planned comprehensively. AA to call and arrange a meeting ASAP.

        AA forwards a verbal request from Elizabeth Freeman Center to use Village School space for supervised parental visitation sessions. MK suggests that the Board wait until a formal/specific request arrives but he expresses concerns about hosting outside groups if construction/renovation is going on in the school. ED agrees.

        Board sets Sept. 26, 2005 as the public hearing date to hear and act on the draft Scenic Mountain Act as provided by the ConsCom. A positive vote from the Board of Selectmen on the map and language is required before the Act is sent on to the State for final approval. The ConsCom is holding two of their own Public Hearings.

7:15 PM:        ED makes a motion to go into executive session for the purpose of discussing strategy with respect to collective bargaining and to return to open session upon its conclusion. MK seconds the motion. Roll call vote taken: ED, aye; MK, aye.


7:35 PM:        Open meeting session continues.

        Board accepts an application for employment with the W.S. Police Dept. from Robert Perrin. Application is passed along to the Chief.

        Resident David Karls, 53 West Center Road asks the Board about used vehicles - large trucks and a boat - being displayed for sale at the corner of Rte. 102 and West Center Road. He notes that the area has expanded from 1 or 2 vehicles to several now.

        MK notes that Billy Kie has both Class II and Class III auto licenses but that the Board will review his license to check on any restrictions for numbers or display of vehicles and report back to Mr. Karls and take any action, if warranted.

7:45 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, ED makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.

Minutes approves by:

_________________________       __________________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair              Michael Kirchner

Date: _________________



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