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2005 - Minutes of December 5, 12, 19 Meetings

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
December 5, 2005

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting; Village School.
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED), Curt Wilton (CW). Absent: Michael Kirchner (unable to attend). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

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

6:50 PM:        Mary Korte, resident and Senior Center Steering Committee member, delivers a letter to the Board stating her concerns with the operation of the Council on Aging, Greater Years and the direction of the proposed Senior Center. Mary asks that the letter be read into the record at the upcoming Special Town Meeting seeking an appropriation for the Senior Center design costs tied to the Senior Center grant application.

        Mary thinks that 2 classrooms in the Village School and utilization of the current kitchen facilities would be adequate space and less costly. CW replies that the proposed 2,100 sq. ft. design was sent to the Selectmen by the Steering Committee. If Town Meeting approves the architectural fees and the grant is approved, then the grant program will dictate the specifics of the layout - including a new kitchen.

        ED asks why the Greater Years and Council on Aging couldn't merge and join forces. CW notes that the Greater Years is a private organization while the COA is public and receives most of its funding from public funding. The Board could suggest, but not insist that the 2 organizations come together as one.

The Board thanks Mary for attending the meeting.

7:10 PM:        Other business:

Board review liquor license renewals but will wait a week to act on them to give the Fire Chief and Building Inspector additional time to issue required certificates of inspection to the Section 12 licenses.

Board reviews the BHRSD October 20005 Student Census which shows the headcount for each of the classes for the 3 District towns. West Stockbridge has a total of 117 students per the FY '07 count; up 1 from the current year.

Board agrees to attend the MIIA Annual Meeting in Boston on January 14.

Board reviews Compactor fees for both disposable goods and for commercial accounts. Board will continue a review and may adjust the rates which haven't been reviewed for a few years.

Board reviews revised Scenic Mt. Act language as offered by the Conservation Commission. The Board will pass along an opinion on the revised language to the ConsCom.

Board grants permission to the Card Lake Inn to stay open for extended hours on New Year's Eve and issues a Special Permit for amplified music for the same evening.

8:30 PM:        There being no additional business to discuss, ED makes a motion to adjourn. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.

Minutes accepted by:

______________________  _____________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair      Curt Wilton

Date: __________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
December 12, 2005

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting; Village School.
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 (with corrections to gasoline bill) weekly warrants.

CW would prefer that the monthly Police Dept. work schedule show the names of officers on duty rather than just their rank designations. Otherwise, it is difficult to track hours worked in order to stay compliant with full-time versus part-time rules. Furthermore, it is helpful to see who's on duty during the snow season. Board agrees. AA to forward a note to the Chief.

7:10 PM:        Resident John Pons addresses the Board on a number of items that concern him. First, Mr. Pons discusses the Lenox Mt. Road R.O.A. and Town land versus his land in front of his house. The lawn/brush area on the street side of his house is actually Town land and the Town should take care of it. Large stones get kicked out by traffic in this area - one of which caused him injury back in 1969. Mr. Pons has written 3 letters over the years to the Selectmen about the area and none have been responded to.

        Mr. Pons is also unhappy with the design of the Swamp Rd./Main St./Lenox Mt. Road intersection. He states that the Planning Board should have been advised when the intersections was re-designed back in 1992.

        MK notes that the intersection was designed by MassHighway engineers with the work done by the Town's Highway Dept. A thorough study was conducted in response to safety concerns at the intersection. The intersection is safer now than before the re-design when cars shot through from several directions. Now, they are forced to slow down.

        Mr. Pons makes note that Town trucks plow snow into his driveway during storms. Also, when road salt is applied, the snow turns to slush and that gets plowed into his driveway and it is difficult to remove with his snow blower. He suggests that the Town take down the retaining wall near his house to make plowing and traveling easier.

        Mr. Pons then has questions about the most recent audit report. On page 25, he asks why "the government has elected not to follow subsequent private-sector guidance" regarding enterprise funds. MK notes that the previous sentence states that following such private sector guidance is optional, not required. However, the Town's auditors can be contacted for clarification. Mr. Pons states that he has found mistakes made by the auditors.

        Mr. Pons asks why Article 12 at the 2002 Annual Town Meeting was published in the Town Report but did not appear on the Annual Town Meeting warrant for the May meeting. MK explains that the Town Report is necessarily printed long before the Annual Town Meeting and that the final warrant is not posted until a week before the actual meeting. There are often changes between the Town Report and the Annual Town Meeting warrant - which is signed by the Selectmen and is the official document used for the meeting.

        Mr. Pons ends by reciting a list of his medical conditions and medications for which he spends $3,000 per year.

        The Board thanks Mr. Pons for attending the meeting.

7:55 PM:        Mark Scocco, SK Design, gives 2 checks  for $3,350 each per prior agreement for paving of the sub-division roadway known as Silvermine Rd.

Other Items:    Discussion about d.b.a.'s and registering local businesses with the Town Clerk. Town Clerk Tina Skorput Cooper notes that some businesses are registered with her office and some are not and others were but have expired. MK suggests that a reminder be sent to local business by the Town Clerk asking them to register with her office. Tina agrees.

        Board reviews and approves 2006 Class II, III and miscellaneous license renewals.

        Board members are given copies of the just completed building survey of the Town Hall.  Joel Hotchkiss was also given a copy.

        Board reviews the Senior Center design/grant application timeline. AA will host a walk through for architects this Friday at the Village School.

        AA notes that all paperwork has been submitted to the DOR for free cash certification. The State should complete its approval sometime before the end of the calendar year.

        AA informs the Board that Animal Control Officer Martin Clark called the other day to say that he will be retiring June 30, 2006. He will ask around and make recommendations to the Board for a replacement, if he can find anyone interested.

        AA gives a copy of a MEMO given to the Building Inspector and copied to the Fire Chief about the urgency of conducting inspections of Section 12 liquor license holders before the end of the year. This is the 3rd written reminder issued. AA has contacted each Section 12 license holder by phone and informed them that they have to coordinate with the Building Inspector and Fire Chief to get inspected. Otherwise, the Board of Selectmen cannot renew their licenses for Jan. 1, 2006.

        Board has a general discussion about the reappointment of appointed Town officer and officials.

8:40 PM:        There being no additional 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
December 19, 2005

6:00 PM:        Open Meeting; Village School
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED), Curt Wilton (CW), Michael Kirchner (MK). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

Tim Eagles, EDM Engineers, discusses his firm's work to date on designing Town Offices and Library space at the Village School. Tim offers 2 different schemes; one with the proposed senior center towards the front entrance of the building and the other showing the library and senior center at the rear of the building.

Following a discussion, the Board agrees that the proposed Senior Center and Library space should be at the back of the building. This design will afford 50% more space to the Library and twice as much square footage than their present location in the Town Hall and will mitigate handicap access concerns for both the Library and Senior Center. This layout also provides ample space and good flow for proposed Town Offices space.

EDM will conduct a final interview with Town officers to discuss office layouts and space. EDM will continue their design work and will next meet with the Board on January 4, 2006 at 6:00 PM. At that point, EDM hopes to be able to provide rough project cost estimates and options for the front entrance design. MK reiterates the Board's desire to continue forward at a steady pace and to schedule a Special Town Meeting as soon as is practicable to seek funding for the design of the Senior Center, Town Offices and Library and construction of the Town Offices and Library space conversion. The Board notes that conversion of the Town Offices space is the priority. Funding outcomes or changes to the designated space of the Library or Senior Center will not impact the Town Offices designated space.

The Board is pleased with EDM's design and efforts to date and thanks Mr. Eagles for his presentation.

Other Items:    Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.

                Board reviews and approves weekly warrants.

Following a review of the weekly payroll warrant, CW notes that Police Officer Simonelli has been working 20 hours per week for the past few weeks. Board instructs AA to remind the Chief that 20 or more hours a week constitutes full time employment and status. Officer Simonelli is a part-time Town employee and by virtue of his training cannot act as a full-time police officer. A continuous pattern of working 20 or more hours per week, no matter what the source of funding is, makes the employee full-time and triggers health insurance, retirement and training implications and requirements.

Building Inspector Jim Vosburgh and Asst. Building Inspector Walter Potash are present and discuss Section 12 liquor license (serving on premises) holders and the Town's inspection obligations under the new requirements as specified in Chapter 304 of the Acts of 2004. Jim Vosburgh is instructed to coordinate with Fire Chief Peter Skorput to make sure that all Section 12 establishments be inspected and issued a certificate prior to December 31, 2005. Failure to do so will jeopardize renewal of those annual liquor licenses.

Jim Vosburgh discusses the Shaker Mill Tavern and his concerns that the building should be sprinklered from a building code position. There is some confusion as to what the seating capacity is at the Tavern and how that might effect certification under the new fire safety law (Chapter 304 of the Acts of 2004). Jim will contact the Shaker Mill Tavern owners to arrange for an inspection then report back to the Board. MK tells Jim Vosburgh that the Board will support his findings and recommendations providing that those findings and recommendations are supported by Building Code and or MGL.

AA informs the Board that the owner of the Pleasant Valley Motel is interested in paying for a portion of the cost of expanding either or both of  the Town's sewer and water lines to the motel to facilitate a proposed expansion. The matter is referred to the Sewer and Water Commissioners to discuss at their January meeting.

AA offers the Board a tax rate impact year to year summary which outlines the 2005- 2006 changes in Town property values, tax rate, average tax bills, raise and appropriation spending, etc. DOR approval of a 2006 tax rate of $10.74 is expected by next week. The current (2005) tax rate is $14.84.

Board reviews and approves annual liquor license renewals pending assurance from the Town Collector that all applicants are current with Town fees and taxes and that all applicants are in compliance with Chapter 304 of the Acts of 2004 (fire safety).

7:50 PM:        There being no additional business to discuss, ED makes a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Meeting Minutes approved by:

______________________  _____________________   _____________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair      Curt Wilton                     Michael Kirchner

Date: __________


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