Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Photo of West Stockbridge
On Our Site
Spacer
On Our Site
Site  This Folder
 
Advanced Search
Spacer
Get Adobe Acrobat
Spacer

Spacer
 
2014 - Minutes of December 1, 15, 29 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
December 1, 2014

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Peter Skorput (PS), Chair; Earl Moffatt (EM); Karen Zick (KZ). Also
present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel.

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

7:00 PM:        Steve Sautman, Town's representative to Wired West/MBI, gives an update to the Board
on recent developments with Wired West. Specifically, Steve speaks to Wired West capital proposals which would provide last mile – to all residences in Town – high speed internet. Various bonding proposals when coupled with possible State funds, would need to be approved by two thirds vote at Town Meeting. The estimated cost to wire the entire town would be approximately $2 million. Steve asks that the Board sign a letter of support expressing interest, but no commitment, with going forward with the project. Board is reluctant to sign the letter at this point expressing reservations about the cost and unknowns about the viability of Wired West, whether and how much money the state will commit, take rates for local customers, and the future role of Comcast once they take over the Charter cable tv system. Steve, AA and FinCom will be meeting with a Wired West representative on 12-12-14 to get the latest information on funding and related items. Steve will return to the Board's 12-15-14 meeting for a follow up discussion.

Other business/discussion items:

  • Albany Road resident Richard Sqaillia (RS) addresses the Board regarding his unresolved concerns with the process used and information surrounding hooking in to the municipal sewer expansion areas. He refers to a previous letter seeking Selectmen oversight of the Board of Health for the purpose of getting answers to his questions. PS notes that he has spoken with the Attorney General on the topic and was referred to Town Counsel for guidance specific to Town matters involving other Boards. PS points out that the Bd of Health consists of duly elected officials who are not under the direction of the Selectmen. PS says that the Board cannot order the Bd of Health to rescind letters or actions that they've taken. RS states that he's not asking that the Selectmen conduct day to day oversight of Bd of Health operations, but that as the Town's chief elected officials, the Selectmen have an obligation to guide other Boards. PS notes that RS's concerns may be valid but that the proper Boards to address them are the Bd of Health and the Sewer and Water Commission. It is noted that the Bd of Health, in response to RS concerns, sent a letter to DEP seeking clarification and guidance. No response had been received yet
  • AA informs the Board that the Town's health agent John Olander is nearing retirement and that the Board of Health is considering the best way to replace him. AA notes that John has decades of experience and has been an asset to the Department and has organized the office and its records. It will be a tough task to replace him. The Berkshire County Health Alliance in cooperation with Berkshire Regional Planning has presented the Bd of Health with a proposal for a part-time health agent, who would serve other smaller communities as well. Bd of Health is expected to review the proposal and make their recommendation to the Selectmen at a future date.
  • Board discusses a request to accept the donation of a spinet piano and to store it in the back room of the Village School. The piano was dropped off at the transfer station. Following discussion including the fact that 2 previously stored old pianos in the same space have been thrown out because they weren't utilized and that the storage room is already cluttered, Board unanimously votes not to accept the donation.
  • AA notes that the downtown improvement project has been suspended for the winter and will resume as soon as the weather breaks in the spring. Project is on schedule and will finish by the end of June 2015.
  • Board executes a contract with Fuss and O'Neill, engineers, to conduct the State mandated Shaker Mill Dam emergency evacuation plan. PS notes that since the report is required every two years that an appropriation to pay for the plan should be anticipated.
  • AA informs the Board that the recent testing of water quality for residential wells within a 600' radius of the old town landfill may have some deficiencies. DEP sent a letter to the Town noting that some of the tests may have to re re-done because of faulty reading due to water softener influences. No dangers to the individual wells was noted, but abnormally high sodium results on one of the wells tested is likely a result of sample testing after, rather than before the water softener equipment. AA will follow up with the testing company.
8:15 PM:         There being no other business to come before the Board, KZ moves to adjourn the
meeting. EM seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Earl Moffatt                                       Karen Zick

Date: ___________


Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
December 15, 2014

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting.
Quorum present: Peter Skorput (PS), Chair; Earl Moffatt (EM); Karen Zick (KZ). Also
present: admin asst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel, Doane Perry.

Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes (12-1-14).
Board reviews and approves weekly warrants.

7:00 PM:        Public Hearing: EM reads the public notice for the Annual Tax Classification Hearing as
it appeared in the December 3, 2014 Berkshire Eagle. In attendance is Jeff Reynolds, representing Regional Resources Group, the Town's contractor for principal assessing services. Jeff reviews steps leading up to setting the 2015 tax rate, including public disclosure, new growth, submittal and approval of property values and the option of choosing a single or split tax rate. Jeff notes that, as of tonight's meeting time, tax year 2015 property values have not yet been approved by the Dept. of Revenue. Accordingly, he recommends that tonight's hearing be continued until December 18, 2014 by which time he expects the values to be approved. Following a discussion, in which the Board agrees to adopt a single tax rate, EM makes a motion to continue tonight's hearing until December 18, 2014 at 6:30 PM and to take final action on adopting a single tax rate at that time. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Other Business/Discussion/Action Items:

  • Board reviews and approves all Annual Liquor License Renewals. Appropriate forms will be forwarded to the ABCC prior to the December 30 deadline.
  • AA informs the Board that the Finance Committee will be hosting a meeting this Friday (12-19-14) at 3:00 PM. Attending will be BHRSD Business Manager Sharon Harrison who has been asked to present an overview of the District's regional school agreement, budget building process, school choice and tuition figures and methods and capital cost allocation.
  • Board executes a renewal on the new Fire Truck borrowing note.
  • Board signs a letter thanking Austen Riggs Center of Stockbridge for their generous donation of 5 nearly new street light fixtures to the Town. Board discusses locations at the Village School/Town Offices where they will be placed in the spring.
  • Board reviews and approves a Village School Use request for the community room.
  • AA notes that MA DOT plans to resurface Route 102 from the NY state line to the Stockbridge line starting next construction season. AA adds that he spoke the Mark Moore at MA DOT District  1 and emphasized the need to replace the sidewalks on the section of Rte 102 from Crane Lake Camp to the intersection of Rte 41 N as they are in horrible condition.
  • Board discusses and approves hiring Smith/Reynolds, a commercial appraisal firm from Springfield, to conduct an appraisal of the Card Lake Inn parking lot for a fee of $1,750. The Town has expressed a desire to obtain the parcel to be used for municipal parking.
  • Residents Jill Pixley and Carol Kuller ask the Board to reconsider an earlier decision not to accept a spinet piano and keep it in storage in the back room of the Village School for eventual use by the Historic Society at the Old Town Hall. Following a discussion, Board agrees to temporarily house the piano and to throw out or give away 2 other pianos already stored along with some other items to make space.
8:15 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:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Earl Moffatt                                       Karen Zick

Date: ___________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
December 29, 2014

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting.
Quorum present: Peter Skorput (PS), Chair; Earl Moffatt (EM), Karen Zick (KZ). Also
present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel.

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

7:00 PM:        Chief of Police Thomas Rubino gives the Board an update on Department activities.
Chief informs the Board that he, along with 2 WSPD officers attended last weekend's funeral in NYC for one of the ambushed police officers. KZ thanks the Chief and noted that it was a nice thing to do. Chief notes that he had success with his random early morning school bus patrols this fall. He scheduled  a cruiser for early mornings on random days and times to be visible during school bus pick-ups. Chief notes that a recent phenomenon is cyber crime. The Department gets several calls about scams and he's been working with the State Police but warns that residents need to be vigilant and not give out personal information over the phone or email. The Department acquired two new bullet-proof vests for patrolmen through a federal grant program. In-service trainings are on schedule and continue for Department officers. Chief reports that the new IMC database software is on line and will go live next month. This is the information sharing system now in use by the majority of local police departments, including those across borders and will improve both communication and officer safety. Chief thanks the Board for approving the Police area parking lot drainage repairs. Now the area is free of ice and puddles. Chief informs the Board that, as has been discussed in he past, he wishes to propose two items for the next Annual Town Meeting: 1) funding for a 2nd full time police officer and 2) a replacement cruiser. The vehicle to be replaced is a 2011 model with 50,000+ miles and would command a decent trade at this point but a year from now it would loose most of its value. Board thanks the Chief for attending the meeting and will work with him in developing next year's budget.

Other Business/Action/Discussion Items:

  • Board receives notice that the recent Rent Control Board decision is being appealed by the Mill Pond Trailer Park owner. A Superior Court date has been set for January 14, 2016. Town Counsel Patricia Cantor will defend the RCB. RCB members are welcome to attend the court session but are not required to do so.
  • The new tax rate was approved on December 22nd and bills will be mailed beginning on the 29th of this month. The new tax rate is $11.84, up from last year's $11.12/$1,000. The $.72 increase is directly attributed to the $339,000 increase in the school budget this year.
  • Following a review of a request for proposals, Board executes a 3 year renewal of a services contract with Regional Resources Group for contracted assessor services for the Town. AA notes that RRG has served the Town well for the past few years and the switch to contracted professional services has saved the Town money annually and has improved the overall operation. PS agrees that RRG has performed well and was a welcome change.
  • Board reviews a letter received from Buildings and Grounds Supt Dominick Luchi expressing his displeasure with PS and asking for a meeting with the Board. A meeting will be scheduled upon notice from Mr Luchi's attorney.
8:15 PM:        There being no additional  business to come before the Board, KZ makes a motion to
adjourn the meeting. EM seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Earl Moffatt                                       Karen Zick

Date: ___________



 
Town of West Stockbridge 21 State Line Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
Virtual Towns & Schools Website