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2014 - Minutes of March 10, 17, 24 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 10, 2014

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Karen Zick (KZ), Chair; Earl Moffatt (EM); Peter Skorput (PS). Also present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). No press present at meeting.

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

7:30 PM:        Selectmen host their second recent informational meeting on the Downtown
Enhancement project. Downtown merchants and all property owners abutting the scope of work area, along with the Planning Board were specifically invited. 25 invitees are present. Project engineer Steve Mack from Foresight Land Services is present and gives an overview then a detailed review of the proposed project, which is essentially replacing existing conditions including: sidewalks, curbing, intersections and paving along Main, Center and Depot Streets.

Dana Bixby, Planning Board, discusses their Board's on going efforts towards amending the downtown area zoning regulations to make them more reflective of existing conditions and to encourage a vibrant village center. Although the Planning Board had expressed some concerns about the enhancement project's potential conflicts with their zoning vision, they are now generally supportive of the project but wish that the improvements might be extended to the Harris St and Moscow Road areas in the future.

Several downtown merchants and property owners ask questions about materials, timing, scope of work, etc, which are answered by Steve Mack The next step is to generate a construction estimate for the proposed project to better gauge whether the intended scope can be accomplished or if it needs to be cut back or if it could be expanded. Tentative construction would begin in the fall of 2014 and conclude in the spring of 2015. Board thanks all for attending the informational session.

Other business/action/discussion topics:

  • As a follow up to a discussion at the prior meeting, AA provides a memo to the Board showing compensation, duties and elected/appointed status of Tree Wardens.
  • Board will meet next on March 17 to discuss FY 2015 budgets. Police and Highway will be invited in to present their budget requests.
  • The sewer expansion project bids will be opened on March 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM. The Sewer Commission will meet on March 19 to review those bids and make a recommendation to the Selectmen for project contractor.
  • Board review and approves a number of Village School Use Requests.
  • AA informs the Board that the Highway Department crew is stripping the old police cruiser (Crown Victoria) of equipment and decals so that it can be offered for sale.
  • There will be an “Ascertainment Hearing” for the renewal of the cable TV contract on April 25, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Town Hall. The current 10-year agreement with Charter Communications expires at the end of June 2014. This meeting will solicit comments from Charter subscribers to be used in contract negotiations.
  • Board receives a letter from the owner of the Mill Pond Trailer Park stating that he has executed a purchase and sale agreement to sell the park.
  • Board reviews proposals from MBI approved vendors to provide internet service to the Town Hall using the high speed MBI trunk line now connected to the Town Hall. Both providers would offer 10 Mb speed services, which is 10 times faster than the current T-1 service at approximately one-half the current monthly cost. CornerStone's proposal is a few dollars less per month than Crocker Communications and CornerStone has a greater presence in Berkshire County. Accordingly, the Board chooses to go with CornerStone on a 1-yr commitment.
  • AA reports that the recent annual Golden Knights girls youth basketball tournament, which utilized the Village School gym for several of its games,donated $1,200 in the name of the Town of West Stockbridge (from gate receipts) to a local charity, the Riverbrook School in Stockbridge.
8:30 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, PS makes a motion to
adjourn the meeting. EM seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Karen Zick, Chair                               Earl Moffatt                                      Peter Skorput


Date: __________



Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 17, 2014

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting.
Quorum present: Karen Zick (KZ), Chair; Earl Moffatt (EM); Peter Skorput (PS). Also present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). No press present.

Review and approval of previous meeting minutes.
Review and approval of weekly warrants.

6:45 PM:        Chief of Police Tom Rubino discusses his FY 2015 departmental budget requests
with the Board. Board reviews his the submittals, including a salary adjustment for the Chief, which reflects an annual 2% increase and a $2,000 increase in departmental expenses to   cover the cost of mandated in-service training for police officers. Following discussion, Board gives an initial approval to his requests.

7:15 PM:        Highway Superintendent Curt Wilton presents his FY 2015 budget requests to the Board.
Backed up by a detailed public works employee salary survey of area communities, Curt is seeking a 4.5% increase in the Department salary account, which is weighted towards his two long time employees. Curt explains that he'd like to move his staff salaries closer to the median county range from their current low end. He states that good staff need to be fairly compensated and not be lured away to neighboring towns. Curt also wishes to replace the Department's 25 year old Kubota tractor with a new version of the same. The cost, through, the State bid contract, would be approximately $47,000 including attachments. Also, he like to replace the Department's pick-up/plow truck with a late model used version of the same for approximately $23,000. The cost of a new replacement for same would be approximately $40,000. Finally, he is looking to replace the plow on the one-ton plow truck at a cost of $6,350. This plow has outlasted 2 trucks and now needs to be replaced. Curt also requests an increase in the Snow and Ice budget from the current $70,000 to $75,000. This has been one of the most taxing winters in recent memory and the budget is now overspent. Following a discussion including KZ's suggestion of establishing some type of defined wage scale for the Highway Dept employees, the Board tentatively approves the budget requests for the Highway Dept.

Other business:

  • Board reviews the bids received on March 13th for the sewer expansion project. The apparent low bidder was Maxymillian at $767,848, which is below the engineers preliminary cost estimate and within the appropriation. Nine bids were received; the highest being $1,413,520. Next, the bids will be reviewed by the engineer who will make his recommendation to the Board of Sewer and Water Commissioners for their meeting on March 20. The Commission will then make their recommendation for a contractor to the Selectmen in time for their March 24 meeting. Construction is scheduled to begin in the 2nd or 3rd week of April.
8:10 PM:        There being no additional business to discuss, EM makes a motion to adjourn the
meeting. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Karen Zick, Chair                               Earl Moffatt                                      Peter Skorput


Date: __________





Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 24, 2014

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Karen Zick (KZ), Chair; Earl Moffatt (EM), Peter Skorput (PS). Also present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). No press present.

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

7:00 PM:        Community Garden discussion. Resident Dan Lewis addresses the Board with a
proposal to develop a community garden. Several Town residents are present in support of this initiative. Mr. Lewis, who comes with an extensive background in botany, wishes to develop a community garden on public lands for the dual purpose of providing fresh vegetables for those in need and to create a community based educational experience for those residents wishing to participate.

A number of Town sites are mentioned, including: the area between the cemeteries on Albany Road, the field next to Card Pond parking area and potential space at the Village School. All three sites had drawbacks from lack of water supply to limited space. The Board then suggested utilizing the green circle area at the Town's Transfer Station. The area is already fenced and has a water supply. As soon as weather permits, Mr. Lewis will conduct soil analyses at all of the potential sites and  report back to the Board when plans are developed a bit further. The Board supports the idea of a community garden and thanks those present in support.

Other business/discussion/action items:

  • Board continues review of FY 2015 budget. AA reports that he met with the  FinCom  this past Friday evening for their review of the budget. Although there was considerable discussion of the large increase in education spending for the upcoming year, the FinCom approved all items to date.
  • Resident Peter Thorne asks the Board for their support for Earth Day activities. For a number of years, Peter has organized a town wide roadside cleanup on Earth Day. This year's event will take place on April 19. Board thanks Peter for his efforts.
  • Upon the recommendation of both the project engineer and the Sewer and Water Commission,EM makes a motion to accept the low bid of JH Maxymillian for the sewer expansion project scheduled to begin this spring. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor. As Chair, KZ signs the contract. Maxymillian's bid is $767,848.60.
  • Board reviews and approves a contract for services from Fuss and O'Neill engineers for amandated update to the Town's emergency action plan (EAP) for the Shaker Mill Dam. This update is required by the State every three years. The cost to perform the updated plan is $4,440.
  • A public notice to bid has been published in the Berkshire Eagle for the purpose of selling the old Crown Victoria police cruiser to the highest acceptable bidder. Bid due date is April 7, 2014 at 12:00 PM.
8:10 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, KZ makes a motion to
adjourn the meeting. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Karen Zick, Chair                               Earl Moffatt                                      Peter Skorput


Date: ____________


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