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2015 - Minutes of February 9, 23 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
February 9, 2015

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Peter Skorput (PS), Chair; Earl Moffatt (EM), unable to attend due to illness; 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 payroll and vendor warrants.

Other Business/Discussion/Action Items:

  • Evie Kerswell, Mill Pond Tenants Association representative, addresses the Board regarding ongoing concerns and issues with the Park's septic system and back-ups in certain areas of the park. She thanks the Board of Health for their recent intervention which seemed to fix the problem, but only temporarily since the problem persists. She thinks its due to frozen waste pipes. Board gives her a copy of recent Board of Health actions as submitted to the Selectmen. Evie adds that the park is not being plowed as it should. PS notes, in his capacity as Fire Chief, that although fire trucks are able to drive through the park presently, if the snowbanks get much worse it will present a safety issue. Evie adds that the tenants association has met with an organization which assists tenants in purchasing mobile home parks and that the tenants association has made an offer to the owner of $650,000. Now, a professional survey and review of the property needs to be performed. No response received yet from the park owner.
  • Per request of Highway Superintendent Curt Wilton, the Board takes a vote to declare a Snow and Ice Emergency. Curt expects that the snow and ice budget will exceed this year's appropriation because of the recent series of storms. This vote will allow the Department to deficit spend the snow and ice account through the end of the fiscal year.
  • Golden Knights youth basketball tourney will be held at the Village School gym on February 21st.
  • Chief of Police Thomas Rubino will be on vacation the week ending February 21.
  • Finance Committee has rescheduled their next meeting from 2/27 to March 6th.
  • BHRSD Superintendent Peter Dillon to address the Board at their 2/23/15 meeting.
  • Upcoming BHRSD FY 2016 budget meetings are scheduled for 2/17/15 and 2/19/15; the first to be held at the Middle School and the 2nd at the Stockbridge Town Offices.
  • AA gives the Board an update on a 2/6/15 meeting held at the town hall regarding a MA Dept of Transportation (DOT) proposal to install a 49 kW solar array in the vicinity of Interchange 1 of the MassPike. Representatives of DOT and the solar installer were present and showed plans where the ground mount installation would be located to the west of the Interchange 1 access road off of Route 102. DOT explains that the project will not impact wetlands and will be constructed on DOT owned land. The project is expected to start construction this spring provided that all permits can be obtained. Similar projects are taking place in Stockbridge and elsewhere along the MassPike.
  • AA informs the Board that the solar kiosk inside the front entrance of the Town Hall is not working and the company is no longer in business and that it will be replaced shortly at no cost with a touch screen wall mounted version. The display shows real-time activity of the town hall rooftop solar array.
7:20 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, 2-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Karen Zick

Date: ___________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
February 23, 2015

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 as presented.
Board reviews and signs weekly warrants.

7:00 PM:        BHRSD Superintendent Peter Dillon addresses the Board regarding a proposal to form a
committee to study and give recommendations for adjustments and amendments to the Berkshire Hills Regional School District Agreement. Mr Dillon notes that he has attended meetings of the Boards of Selectmen of the other two District towns – Great Barrington and Stockbridge – and asked both Boards if they would agree to participate and support  the formation of a committee to study and make recommendations to amend the Agreement. Peter notes that the Agreement was last amended in 1991.

In response to questions from the Board, Supt Dillon says that funding for the study is in place through available District funds. He adds that the District hopes to go out to bid for consultant services sometime this fall. He further states that any final amendment proposals would have to be first approved by the School Committee then unanimously  ratified by the three member towns at a town meeting. If one or more the Towns does not wish to approve the amendments, then the issue is dead.

Board expresses some concern over the makeup of the study committee and whether it will be weighted towards the more populated towns. Peter wasn't sure and will get back to the Board. Board also expresses its reluctance to consider any amendment that amend the current assessment method in order to shift will funding responsibilities. Board notes that it's no secret that the idea of a study committee was floated by Gt Barrington residents seeking a shift in the funding formula that, effectively, acts as a subsidy to Great Barrington from the other two towns. Supt Dillon notes that the current assessment formula is the standard used statewide by regional school districts.

PS notes that he attended a presentation earlier in the winter in Stockbridge on the subject of amending regional agreements and was familiar with what was being proposed and agreed that the Agreement does need updating but that he would not support any amendments that changes the funding/assessment formulas. PS then makes a motion to approve the formation and participation in a Agreement study committee. However, both EM and KZ ask that they'd like more time to study the idea before committing. Supt Dillon suggests that EM and KZ speak to the consultant that the District has been working with to ask questions. Board agrees to do so and will hold off on a decision until a future meeting. Supt Dillon thanks that Board for their time and will return to a meeting in the near future.

Other business/discussion/action items:

  • Carol Kuller, Cable Commission member, addresses the Board on the renewal of the current Charter Cable TV contract. Carol informs the Board of a phone conference held the previous Friday among Town Counsel, members of the Cable Commission, Jackie DelRossi of Wired West and the AA. A number of topics related to the license renewal were discussed. Carol and the Cable Committee are not prepared to approve a renewal at this point and have instructed Town Counsel to amend his current contract offer to better reflect the Commission's positions. AA notes that as long as the Town demonstrates that it is working on the renewal process in good faith, then there is little risk that Charter can force the issue of getting a license extension signed. Town Counsel will offer a amended license agreement to the Cable Commission in the near future. Board thanks Carol for the update.
  • Evie Kerswell, Mill Pond Trailer Park Tenant's Association member, addresses the Board and notes that the roads in the park are being plowed but not in a timely fashion. PS notes that fire and rescue vehicles can still make their way around the park but that it's getting tight. Evie adds that she believes that the recent sewer line freeze ups have been addressed and corrected. Evie notes that the Association has made an offer to purchase the Park contingent upon an engineer's report of the current physical state of the park and its utilities.
  • Board approves a Village School Use permit for the WSFD to conduct a regional training session.
7:45 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, EM makes a motion to
adjourn. KZ 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
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