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2015 - Minutes of April 13, 27 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
April 13, 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.
Board reviews and approves weekly warrants.

7:00 PM:        Highway Supt Curt Wilton provides the Board with an update. He notes that the Town
has a balance of $322,000 in Chapter 90 State road construction funding that is available for projects. He has four projects in the planning stages: gap section of Lenox Road; Baker Street resurfacing; Route 41 reclamation/resurfacing continuation and; Main/Center/Depot street leveling/repaving to coincide with downtown improvements project. When done, 70% of Town roads will be in good shape.

Other business/discussion/action items:

  • Board discusses needed coverage for Transfer Station to cover for the attendant who has been out on medical leave. Tuesdays and Thursdays are covered for the time being by the person who has covered gaps in past years but Saturdays are a problem. PS suggests compiling a roster of available people that could be called upon to fill in temporarily during the current period.
  • Board conducts a final review of the FY 2016 Annual Town Meeting warrant and budget. Board signs the ATM warrant for posting.
  • Board schedules a Public Hearing on April 27, 2015 at 7 PM for an application by Turnpark Art Space to construct a museum and restaurant on land adjacent to Moscow Road. Board reviews the public hearing procedures and required findings.
  • Board schedules a Public Hearing for May 18, 2015 at 7 PM to hear and act on an application by W.E. Williams to buy and sell used construction equipment at his place of business on Gt. Barrington Rd.
  • Board will meet in executive session at their 4/27/15 meeting, per MGL 39:23b(6) to discuss real estate negotiations.
  • Board has a general discussion about the Town's electric aggregation agreement with Colonial Power which is in effect through November 2015. While some savings were realized by residents who chose to join the aggregation back in November 2014, those savings will go away on May 1, 2015 when National Grid reduces its rates to $.091/kilowatt, which will be approximately 3 cents less than the Colonial Power aggregation rate now and through November of this year. It is noted that residents have and always have the option to 'opt back in' to National Grid to take advantage of the upcoming lower kW rate simply by calling Colonial Power or sending them an email. There is no penalty for switching back and forth between Colonial Power and National Grid. Board agrees that an explanatory notice should made to residents to assist them in exercising their electric power provider options.
  • Board is informed that Caracas Construction will resume work beginning next week on the downtown improvements project and will continue until finished prior to June 30, 2015.
  • KZ discusses possible efforts to assist the family in the Mill Pond Trailer Park who lost all their belongings in a recent fire.
  • Resident Richard Squailia requests that the Board seek a clarification and update status regarding the August 2014 Board of Health letter sent to sewer expansion area residents as follows: the Board of Selectmen seek an opinion of the Town Counsel regarding the current status of the August 29, 2014 letter from the Board of Health to 61 homeowners and how we can officially be notified if it no longer is in effect and/or binding regarding mandatory connection to the sewer expansion. Board agrees 2-1 with EM abstaining.
8:00 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, PS makes a motion to
adjourn. KZ seconds; vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes accepted by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Karen Zick                                         Earl Moffatt

Date: ___________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
April 27, 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.
Board reviews and approves weekly warrants.

7:00 PM:        Public Hearing to hear a Special Permit application by Turnpark Art Space Inc for a
museum and restaurant off of Moscow Road.

EM reads the public hearing notice as it appeared in the 4/9/15 and 4/16/15 Berkshire Eagle as follows:

Notice is hereby given that the Board of Selectmen, acting as a Special Permit Granting Authority, will hold a public hearing at the West Stockbridge Town Offices, at 21 State Line Road, at 7p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2015 to consider the application of Turnpark Art Space, Inc. for property located on Moscow Road. The applicant is requesting authorization pursuant to Sections 6.3.1 and  4.11.1 of the Zoning Bylaws to operate a Museum and Restaurant on the site. The property is in the Commercial District.
PS opens the hearing and notes that legal notice and abutter notices were properly done in accordance with zoning bylaws and that no written comments were received by the Board prior to tonight's hearing. PS then asks the applicant to make their presentation.
Attorney Catherine Chester, from Hellman/Shearn/Arienti, represents the client and makes a presentation to the Board describing the project's proposed uses, layout, impact, benefit, and scope. Attorney Chester notes that the project had received prior approval from the Conservation Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals resulting from previous public hearings on related site issues.
Attorney Chester notes that all activities will end at dusk each day and open to the public at 10:00 AM and that there will be no amplified music. Concrete sidewalk will be extended from the Post Office to the gatehouse along Moscow Road. Signage will inform vehicles that Moscow Rd. is not a through street to keep unwanted traffic out of residential areas. The project is described as a low impact use. Parking exceeds the minimum required under the Town's zoning bylaws. Attorney Chester reviews the findings that are required in the Board of Selectmen's eventual ruling on the application.
Both the project architect and project engineer speak to specifics about the proposals including: buildings will be constructed in harmony with the surroundings; economic benefit to the community; ample capacity of both municipal water and sewer systems to accommodate the project; restaurant capacity would be approximately 20 and would be geared towards day patrons to the museum; use of Oak Street easement for construction access but not for patrons; will be a ticketed venue although discounts for residents is under consideration; upon approvals, construction would begin shortly and would accept visitors before completion of all aspects.
PS asks if those in attendance have any comments. Jon Piasecki states that this is a great project and sensitive to the needs and wishes of locals and would utilize local contractors and materials. Peter Thorne states that he wholeheartedly supports the project. Resident asks where the project funding comes from. Attorney Chester responds that the museum will be non-profit and funding sources are private. EM asks about the term of the lease for the property and is informed that it is for 99 years.

7:55 PM:        There being no additional public comment or questions from the Board, PS makes a
motion to close the hearing for the purposes of public comment and to deliberate and render a decision in open session at the Board's May 11, 2015 regular meeting at 7:00PM. EM seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Other business/discussion items:
  • Board, with sadness, recognizes the passing of Transfer Station attendant Bill Pixley and has a general discussion about the need to replace Bill and to review the position's job description. EM notes that the Board of Health has a job description which could be reviewed and updated. EM notes that, per Board of Health regulation, all items deposited at the transfer station are the property of the Town. AA will draw up and advertise a help wanted posting.
  • Two request for use of the gymnasium are refereed back to the applicants for more specifics regarding dates requested. Board approves two other use requests as presented: 1) art showing in the community room and downtown dance affair this summer by Morris Dance.
  • PS instructs AA to research DEP grant availability to construct a 'swap shed' at the Town's transfer station.
  • Parks and Recreation give an update on the upcoming Farmer's Market season and other activities, including Card Pond opening and that portable toilets have been ordered for Card Pond and the Village School ballfields.
  • Resident Richard Squailia presents the Board with two items (attached), the first asking that the $1,200 sewer connection fee be waived for those wishing to connect to the expansion zone and (second) Board approval of a property tax credit for those forced to connect to the sewer system. PS will refer the requests to the Sewer and Water Commissioners. EM asks Mr Squailia why he is giving the connection fee letter to the Selectmen when it is addressed to the Sewer and Water Commission and that both requests are not on the evening's meeting agenda. Mr Squailia responds that it is being offered as a courtesy.
  • 8:40 PM:        PS makes a motion to enter executive session per MGL 39:23b to consider the purchase or value of real estate and not to reconvene to open meeting session upon its conclusion. EM seconds the motion. Voice vote taken: EM, aye; KZ, aye; PS, aye.

Meeting minutes accepted 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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