Town of West Stockbridge
21 State Line Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
2007 - Minutes of August 13, 27 Meetings

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
August 13, 2007

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

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

Council on Aging members Joan and Norwin Rehm discuss the failed Senior Center grant and next steps with the Board. The Rehm’s spoke with grant writer Tom Webb and because no Senior Center grants were awarded on this past round and the outlook for future funding is not promising, the Board would not likely apply for the same grant next year. Other options discussed included re-use of the 2 remaining Village School classrooms into a “community space” that could be shared by a number of civic groups including the Council on Aging.

The Rehm’s also discussed the timeline for the grant application submitted by the Board for a new COA van. The grant was submitted on time and letters of support were requested from Sen. Downing and Rep. Pignatelli. If the grant doesn’t come through, then the Board will discuss alternative funding options for a replacement van.

Cindy Faggioni addresses the Board about scheduling a fund raising event in the spring for Children’s Programs by means of a clothing consignment. Board is in general agreement but wants Town Counsel to review the program before committing.

Patty Specter, organizer for the Josh Billings Race, discusses her race concerns with the Board and Chief of Police Cooper. Her main concern is bicycle rider safety on Baldwin Farm corner. Last year, traffic cones dividing the lanes were placed on the corner. Cones could cause serious accidents here and Patty would prefer that they not be repeated this year. The Chief points out that he didn’t authorize the cones last year and agreed that they could pose a safety risk. They won’t be used this year. Following a brief discussion of other concerns, Patty agrees to meet with the Chief in a few weeks for another review before the mid-September race. Patty thanks the Board for their cooperation.

7:00 PM:        MK makes a motion to close bids for a new model year Fire Dept. Pumper. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor. MK reads the legal notice as it appeared in the Berkshire Eagle and Goods and Services Bulletin.

        Although eight bid packages were forwarded to prospective bidders, only one bid was received. MK opened the bid are read aloud the price of $344,785 from Crimson Fire Equipment. Also present for the opening are Fire Chief Peter Skorput and Dept. Lt. Ron Race. The Board agrees to take the bid under advisement for one week to allow the Chief and his Department enough time to review the 110-page bid document and report back to the Board with their recommendation.

Other Items:    While present, Chief of Police Cooper is invited to next week’s Selectmen meeting at 7:00 PM to for the purpose of contract negotiations. Chief plans to attend although he is still trying to speak again with his attorney.

        Because of the retirement of Veteran’s District Agent Al Adams, the Board votes to appoint Peter D. Saunders as his replacement. Mr. Saunders was selected from a list of candidates by the Southern Berkshire Veteran’s District Executive Board.

        Board receives approval from the ABCC for a Change of Manager at the West Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club.

        Board is informed that Lycott Environmental applied a follow up aquatic weed removal treatment at Mill Pond about a week ago.

        Board asks AA to follow up with Berkshire Regional Planning about the planned traffic count study on Swamp Road.

        Board receives a check for $3,368.64 from the State as half-year payment for the Town’s recyclables.

        Board approves a driveway permit application for Eric Egan, 38 Pixley Hill Road.

        Board has a general discussion about a building use policy for the new Town Offices at the Village School.

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

Meeting minutes approved by:

______________________  ______________________
Tina Skorput Cooper             Michael Kirchner

Date: ___________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
August 27, 2007

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

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

6:50 PM:        Council on Aging co-chairs Norwin and Joan Rehm address the Board with the concerns about a letter of support issued by State Senator Downing in favor of the Town’s grant application for a new senior van. The Rehm’s are disturbed that the Town of Richmond is mentioned as sharing the van as it has in the past. The Rehm’s strongly feel that West Stockbridge should be the sole user and responsible party for the van. The Rehm’s note that the total van mileage used last year was 3,422. Of that total, 3,320 was put on by West Stockbridge. The greater use is in West Stockbridge, yet Richmond has equal control of the van’s available hours. The Rehm’s add that it is increasingly difficult to schedule trips and the COA is having trouble getting enough van drivers to help out. If the van isn’t available, then drivers sometimes use their own vehicles to transport and must be reimbursed for mileage.

MK notes that the grant application included Richmond’s historical participation, in part, to improve the chances of getting the grant funded. This grant is highly competitive. The Town is competing with major urban and regional transportation agencies including Berkshire Regional Transit Authority for limited funds. Sharing the van, in any fashion, will improve the Town’s chances of getting funded. Without Richmond as a partner, there is no chance of getting funded. Use details and scheduling can be worked out if we’re lucky enough to get funded.

CW adds that the Board is keenly aware that the Town will need a new van soon whether it’s in partnership with Richmond or not. CW urges the Rehm’s to be patient until we hear about the grant. The Board has already pledged to support funding for a new van if the grant doesn’t get approved.

7:05 PM:        Wayne and Lisa Tenney, Gt. Barrington Rd. residents, speak to the Board about their experiences with annoying smoke from neighborhood campfires. A few weeks ago, they called the police on the evening of a particularly noxious campfire. Neither the Tenney’s nor the Police could locate the source.

        While the Board is sympathetic with the Tenney’s apparent plight, the authority over open burning lies with the Fire Chief and the Board of Health. A copy of a letter mailed to the Tenney’s which speaks of possible remedies is reviewed. Fire Chief Skorput is present at the meeting and informs the Tenney’s that they only have to call him if smoke is bothering them.

        The Tenney’s will get in touch with Board of Health Agent John Olander to discuss relief options from an environmental perspective. The Tenney’s thank the Board for listening.

Other Items:    MK makes a motion to appoint Brendan Gallagher as a Part-time Police Officer based on the nomination from Chief Cooper. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

        Board discusses a bill for $330 from the Berkshire Visitor’s Bureau for 2008 promotion of West Stockbridge and its businesses. MK points out that there is no appropriation for paying the bill. The Board further discusses who should best be responsible for payment. Perhaps, a merchant’s association or the Cultural Council. Bill will be sent back. If the voters approve a line item for business promotion, then tax dollars could be spent. But voters need to have the opportunity to discuss it.

        TSC notes that Michael Greer is interested in joining the yet to be named Downtown Committee which will be charged with investigating infrastructure and aesthetic options for the Main St. area. CW and AA will be meeting with MassHighway and Berkshire Regional Planning officials to firm up funding options. Mr. Greer also asked about the possibility of lighting the dam.

        Town Historian Bob Salerno asked about ownership of tables and other old furniture in the Library. Bob just wants to make sure that nothing of significance gets tossed during the move to the Village School.

        CW notes that youngsters have been getting into the dumpster at Village School and spreading junk on the skateboard area. CW suggests informing the Chief of Police and request that the Police keep an eye on the area.

        CW discusses a request from Massini Bus Company to use the Village School loop to do a transfer of Richmond students to another bus each school day. CW informed Massini that the Town won’t have authority over the property for another month or so. At that time, it would be fine to do bus transfers.

        Board has a general discussion about the future of the Town Hall once Town Offices and the Library move to the Village School in mid-October. MK suggests that the Town Hall re-use committee needs to report soon to the Board. In the meantime, the building will be emptied and closed up. The heat will be turned down to a minimum level.

        Board has a general discussion about a building use policy for the new Town Offices. The move presents a good opportunity to firm up use policy so that everyone is playing on the same page.

        Board reviews a furniture quote for Library furniture. The furniture will be paid for out of Library funds.

        AA will be attending a grant-writing workshop sponsored by MassHighway on 9-12.

8:20 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, MK makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved  by:

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

Date: _________