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2007 - Minutes of February 7, 12, 21, 26 Meetings

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
February 7, 2007

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting; St. Patrick's Parish Center
Quorum present:  Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW). Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC) attending a conference. Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

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

6:50 PM:        Board of Assessors members Amy Butterworth and Jennifer Wilton address the Board about filling the current vacancy on the Board of Assessors. A joint vote of Boards of Assessors and Selectmen is required to fill a vacancy until the next scheduled election.

Amy Butterworth nominates Irene Skorput to fill the vacancy. Jennifer Wilton seconds nomination. Joint vote taken, 4-0 in favor.

Other Items:
Board discusses joint budget meeting with the Finance Committee to review the FY 2008 budget. Two dates were discussed: February 28 and March 20. Following a discussion, it is decided to hold the meeting on March 20 because the budget process will not likely be far enough along to have a meaningful meeting at the end of February.

New Town Treasurer Karen Williams has voiced concerns about getting caught up the monthly bank reconciliations. Former Treasurer Bruce Turner has not reconciled accounts since June 30, 2006. Karen will do her best to get caught up in the next several weeks. However, a back-up plan to have the Town's auditing firm on stand by to fix the problem is put in place.

The Senior Center grant will be submitted on February 16. AA has been working with program administrator Tom Webb to complete the application. Everything is in order.

Board reviews the criteria for a heavy truck exclusion on Swamp Road. One of the criteria - an available and acceptable alternative route - seems to be in place (State Highway Rte. 41). However, it seems unlikely that Swamp Road will meet the heavy commercial truck threshold of 5%-8% (total vehicle volume) required for a truck ban. A truck count has been formally requested for traffic count in the spring. Berkshire Regional Planning Commission conducts the traffic counts. A second count will be done on Main St. and will be utilized as the Town moves forward in securing funding for a Main St. reconstruction project.

Board asks AA to schedule a joint meeting for the end of February with the Technology Consultant, project architects and the project owner's agent to discuss needs and layouts for the Village School project.

7:20 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting.
MK seconds. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.


Meeting minutes approved by:


_______________________________ ______________________________
Michael Kirchner, Chair                 Curt Wilton

Date: _______________


Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
February 12, 2007

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting; St. Patrick's Parish Center
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present:
Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

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

AA notes that Polson Electric has completed a test run and tutorial for staff on the new emergency generator at the Highway Garage/Fire Station. The generator was paid for from a $10,000 grant and an $8,000 town meeting appropriation.

MK wishes to set up a meeting on 2-27-07  @ 12:00 PM. at the Village School to discuss technology, the gymnasium and other outstanding items. Attendees should include: architect, project manager, technology consultant and Town.

Board reviews a printout of a schedule of house alarm calls received by the Police Dept. A discussion follows about billing policy for false alarms. AA to check with the Chief for a review.

7:00 PM:        TSC makes a motion to close acceptance of bids for the Midi-Fire/Rescue vehicle as previously bid. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

MK opens the two bids received.

Toyne Firefighting Equipment:   $191,900
American LaFrance:              $199,974

Bids are turned over the Fire Chief Peter Skorput who will review them and make his recommendation to the Board at their next meeting.

7:15 PM:        Jill Pixley and Joe Roy, Board members of Richmond West Stockbridge Community Health, address the Board about concerns of the financial health of the 80-year-old community health organization. Joe provides a letter (attached), which details the current state of affairs at Community Health.

Joe discusses the pressing competition facing the organization from Berkshire Health Systems and Lee Visiting Nurse Association. Revenue from referrals and Medicare reimbursements has fallen dramatically over the past several months. The organization has needed to dip into its reserves to sustain operations. Jill notes that a minimum of 10 cases a month is needed to keep the organization solvent. The past few months have seen an average of less than 6 per month. The organization may have to seek additional funding via annual appropriation from both Richmond and West Stockbridge.

Joe acknowledges that a main problem is that the community at large is not aware of the services offered by Richmond West Stockbridge Community Health. Patients in the hospital who need follow up home services must request Richmond/West Stockbridge specifically. Otherwise, one of the other two larger organizations will be assigned.

Joe says that his group will conduct a media campaign to raise public awareness of the organization and its plight.

MK and the Board agree to support the organization and will participate in future meetings with the Richmond/West Stockbridge Board and Richmond officials.

7:35 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Meeting minutes approved by:

______________________  _______________________ ________________________
Michael Kirchner, Chair         Curt Wilton                     Tina Skorput Cooper

Date: _______________




Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
February 21, 2007

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting; St. Patrick’s Parish Center
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.

Board reviews and signs weekly payroll and vendor warrants

Board reviews SEA proposal for submission of Project Needs Form request to MassHighway. Board will review the document this week prior to submittal.

Board receives and reviews a letter received from resident Cory Smith who claims that he and his employees are being given too much attention by the WSPD. He says that his truck drivers are being followed around by the WSPD. Board thanks Cory for his letter and for coming before the Board. The letter will be passed along to Chief Cooper.

Board reviews a letter from Rouge owners on Center St. about the bad condition of the Center St. sidewalks. CW admits that these and nearly all other sidewalks in Town are in need of repair. That’s why the Town is moving forward with downtown infrastructure reconstruction plans. The Highway Dept. made repairs to the Center St. sidewalk last year and will continue to make reasonable repairs - short of rebuilding, which is what it needs.

7:00 PM:        Chief Peter Skorput addresses the Board regarding last week’s bid opening for the new fire  rescue/pumper vehicle. The Chief has reviewed the two bids received and recommends that the bid be awarded to Toyne, Inc. Toyne is the low bidder at $191,900. Furthermore, the second bidder – American LaFrance – was unresponsive to all components of the bid request. TSC makes a motion to award the bid to Toyne, Inc. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Chief Skorput discusses the condition of the Department’s 1974 Pumper. It is old and in need of various repairs. The Chief is not confident that the vehicle will last much longer without major repairs and recommends that the Board replace the vehicle in the upcoming year. MK responds that the vehicle should be replaced as soon as possible but that the timing might not be optimal this coming year. The taxpayers will already be experiencing a big hit with the Village School project. Following further discussion, Board will take the Chief’s request under advisement. Peter will investigate the cost of repairs to keep the Pumper going.

7:15 PM:        Card Lake Inn owners Mike and Ellen Greer discuss parking issues in the lot owned by the Inn next to the Town Hall. Ellen notes that the Inn takes care of maintaining and plowing the lot and it is used by Town Hall workers and others in Town. She doesn’t necessarily want to prohibit the Town from using the lot but she’d like a little consideration or cost sharing in exchange. MK notes that two MEMO’s have gone out to Town Hall employees and Board members. They are effective for a short period, but are soon ignored. Another MEMO will be distributed. CW notes that part of  the problem will solve itself in about 6 months when the Town Hall is vacated and moved to the Village School.

It is suggested that a split rail or some other type of fence be erected at the limits of the parking lot ownership next to the Town Hall. The Town only owns about 12 feet out from the building into the parking lot.

CW offers to plow the parking lot in the future. The Greer’s thank CW and the Board.

Other Items:
Board reads a letter from Cemetery Commissioner Stuart Kuller asking the Board to appoint Archibald Fadding, Jr. to the vacancy on the Cemetery Commission. TSC makes a motion to appoint Mr. Fadding. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

CW notes that there will be approximately $5,200 left over from the new Highway Truck borrowing. The auditors have said that the money can either be used to purchase some of the omitted options on the truck or seek Town Meeting approval to transfer the money for a similar purpose. The money cannot be closed out to free cash. Following a discussion, the Board recommends that CW use the surplus for some of the omitted options.

Board reviews a letter from the Natural Heritage Endangered Species Division of Mass Wildlife. The Department has given the green light to Lycott Environmental to conduct the chemical weed removal of Mill Pond in the spring. ConsCom has to be contacted to see what their pleasure is as far as finishing up the Public Hearing opened almost 2 years ago for this project.

MK wants the Board to convene an executive session at next week’s meeting to discuss strategy as it relates to certain contract negotiations. Board agrees.

7:57 PM:        CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Meeting minutes approved by:



_____________________   _____________________   ______________________
Michael Kirchner, Chair                 Curt Wilton                                     Tina Skorput Cooper

Date: _____________



Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
February 26, 2007

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting; St. Patrick’s Parish Center
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC).

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

Other Items:
Board reviews and approves a contract to purchase the Fire Rescue/Pumper Vehicle with Toyne, Inc. Toyne was the lowest responsive and responsible bidder through a formal bid process. Fire Chief Peter Skorput recommended signing the contract with Toyne, Inc.


Board gives approval for the SEA Engineers authored Project Need Form to be sent in to MassHighway for the purpose of soliciting grant funding for the reconstruction of the Main St. area. Copy will go to Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

It is noted that Town Accnt. Maryellen Brown is attempting to schedule a date with Jim Podolak of D.O.R. to come to Town so that they can work together on the Schedule A as they have done in previous years.

Joshua Morse has contacted the Board to be put on a future meeting agenda to discuss a Scout project.

7:45 PM:        TSC makes a motion to go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing strategy related to a collective bargaining issue and to return to open session upon its completion. CW seconds           the motion. Voice vote taken: MK, aye; CW, aye; TSC aye.


EXECUTIVE SESSION

8:20 PM:        Board returns to open meeting session.

TSC makes a motion to reverse the Board’s vote of last June to not reappoint Chief of Police Karl Cooper as Chief.

There being no second, the motion dies.

MK instructs AA to contact Town Counsel for advice on how the Board should proceed.

Other Items:
AA informs the Board that full-time Police Officer Rosario Messina wanted to ask the Board if it would be possible to roll-forward his now earned 1-week vacation time to after he attends the Academy. Otherwise, he would have to use it during a 6-week window as opposed to a normal 6-month window. Because of the uniqueness of his situation, the Chief suggested that Rosario ask the Board. Following a discussion, Board agrees to allow a one-time roll-forward of Rosario’s 1-week vacation. Rosario and the Chief will be issued a letter to that effect.

8:29 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, CW makes a motion to adjourn. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Meeting minutes approved by:


______________________  _______________________ ________________________
Michael Kirchner, Chair         Curt Wilton                             Tina Skorput Cooper

Date: _____________





 
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