Town of West Stockbridge
21 State Line Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
2017 - Minutes of May 1, 15, 22 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
May 1, 2017

6:00 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Curt Wilton (CW), Chair; Earl Moffatt (EM); Peter Skorput (PS). Also present: Admin Asst Mark Webber. No press present.

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

Other Business/Action/Discussion Items:
  • CW, in his capacity as Highway Superintendent, seeks permission from the Board to purchase a “StreetScan” program and support using Chapter 90 Highway funds, for which it is eligible. CW explains that StreetScan will provide a comprehensive inventory of all paved town road and structures, including bridges, streetlights, culverts, signage and other road related items and will provide a condition report and priority plan for addressing maintenance and updates going forward. CW states that a number of MA communities are utilizing the program and it is now eligible for reimbursement from the State. The cost of the program and survey is $16,210. Following a discussion, Board approves the purchase. CW will have the Board execute the paperwork at a future meeting.
  • CW asks for and receives permission to make paving improvements to the turnaround and parking area across from the Post Office. CW notes that the Town does not own this property but it has historically been used as a parking area and turnaround and that it is a mess. National Grid owns this property. Following a discussion, Board approves the recommended minor improvements to drainage and blacktop.
6:30 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, PS makes a motion to adjourn the meeting and to convene to the gymnasium for the Annual Town Meeting to begin at 7:00 PM. EM seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Curt Wilton, Chair                             Earl Moffatt                                     Peter Skorput

Date: __________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
May 15, 2017

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Curt Wilton (CW), Chair; Peter Skorput (PS); Bernie Fallon (BF). Also present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel.

CW congratulates Bernie Fallon on his recent election victory to the Board of Selectmen and thanks Earl Moffatt for his nine years of service to the Town as Selectman.

Reorganization of the Board of Selectmen following the May 8, 2017 Town Election: CW nominates PS to be Board of Selectmen Chairman for the next year. BF seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor; PS abstains. PS nominates CW as Board of Selectmen Clerk for the coming year. BF seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor; CW abstains. CW nominates BF as Board of Selectman Clerk. PS seconds the nomination. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor; BF abstains.

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

Other Business/Discussion/Action Items:
  • Bob Salerno, West Stockbridge Historical Society, informs the Board that the Society will be holding a fundraising event at Turnpark on June 2nd and is expecting 100 to 125 people. Invitations are provided to the Selectmen.
  • Marge Powell, member of the West Stockbridge Cultural Council, asks for approval to use the Village School grounds to hold a community picnic event. Tentative date for the event is August 5th. Marge states that the event will be scaled back from prior years’ Zucchini Festival. Board welcomes the idea and encourages Marge to continue with planning the event.       
  • CW continues previous Board meeting discussions on the MRI fire services report issued on the West Stockbridge Fire Department operations. PS recuses himself as W.S. Fire Chief and he and CW switch chairs for the purpose of the discussion. CW notes that Peter has made significant improvements to the Department over the past months. CW notes that the Fire Chief will issue his monthly report at next week’s Board meeting. In response to a question, PS states that the Department currently has 12 volunteer members. PS provides copies of NIMS training certificates for 10 of the 12 members and notes that the remaining 2 have completed the training. PS states that he will take the advanced 300 and 400 level NIMS trainings when he has more opportunity over the coming winter since the course offerings are limited. CW asks that Peter announce those members who participate in weekly training sessions in order that they be recognized for their service. BF asks Chief Skorput if there are ways to increase volunteer recruits. Chief responds that the most effective way is word of mouth and local advertising. Chief notes that there is a high burn out rate among new volunteers once they realize the extent of the required commitment. BF asks if there are other methods used by other communities that might work to increase membership, including incentives and benefits. Doane Perry asks if the Chief has been offered office management help. CW responds that yes, the Board in the past has suggested and offered assistance but the Chief has declined. Marge Powel asks if the Department would benefit from software such as IM Responding. Chief responds that current Department incident reporting is working fine and that the software is too expensive. CW notes that the MRI report states the need for documentation and storage of same. CW closes the discussion by again noting that Peter has made significant improvements and that the MRI report should be considered as a guide for improving the Department. CW adds that the Chief’s next monthly report to the Board will be at next week’s meeting.
  • Board approves a Village School Use permit to use the Community Room for a Monopoly Club 2 Fridays a month from 4-6PM.
  • Board approves a driveway permit application for James Hallock, West Center Rd.
  • Resident Bob Thibeault discusses the need to place a follow up warrant article on a June 2017 Special Town Meeting to appropriate funds for gap cleaning coverage for the public restrooms. He suggests that it’s might not be necessary following a recent discussion to allocate a percentage of annual rooms and meals tax receipts to a to be formed downtown merchants’ association as a 501c organization. Board agrees.
  • AA is working on scheduling a date for a joint Richmond/West Stockbridge Selectmen’s meeting to discuss sharing possibilities.
  • Governor Baker will be in West Stockbridge tomorrow for a walking tour to highlight Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) success in Town and the positive impact on local businesses.
  • Board will meet next on May 22nd.
  • Evie Kerswell, Mill Pond Trailer Park, provides a submittal related to the open and continued Rent Control Board hearing. AA cautions Board that it is inappropriate to discuss an open hearing acting in a separate capacity on a subject not on the meeting agenda. Board agrees to forward the provided documents to Town Counsel for review and comment     
8:10 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, CW motions to adjourn the meeting. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Curt Wilton                                       Bernie Fallon

Date: __________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
May 22, 2017

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Peter Skorput (PS), Chair; Curt Wilton (CW); Bernie Fallon. Also present: AdminAsst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel.

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

6:55 PM:        Open regular portion of meeting.

Board has general discussion about downtown granite curbing; specifically, the corner at Main/Lenox/Swamp. BF asked that the issue be addressed prior to the summer season. CW reports on the history of the curb and notes that the new curbing installed last year is in the exact location as the dilapidated curb which has been in place for several decades. The old bituminous curb had deteriorated and vehicles that ran over it had no tire damage. CW attempted several warning signs and reflectors which all were run over within a day and attributes the many blown tires from distracted driving and notes that a curb is placed for a purpose – to separate vehicles from pedestrians on the sidewalk. CW has scheduled the Great Barrington highway department to grind down the sharp edge of the curb in question in the next few days as a courtesy. Great Barrington had similar issues when they replaced curbing last year. Board agrees that is a good idea and should help with the problem.

7:05 PM:        Board holds a joint meeting with the Board of Assessor’s to discuss filling the Assessor’s vacancy created by the retirement of Amy Butterworth. Present for the Assessors are members Michelle Jenny and Susan Negrini along with Assessor’s Clerk Mary Stodden. Susan recommends appointing Eddie Sporn to fill the vacancy. Following a brief discussion, PS nominates Eddie Sporn to fill the vacancy. BF seconds the motion. Joint vote taken: 5-0 in favor.

Other Business/Action/Discussion Items:
  • CW opens discussion on the applications received for the Highway Department position. BF states that the list received includes several solid applicants. CW notes that the ideal candidate(s) would have the necessary licenses as advertised. CW recommends narrowing the list of 5 applicants down to 3 and have them come in for interviews with the Board. Following a discussion, Board agrees to invite Thomas Dean, Jesse Twing and Zachary Levesque for the June 5 Board meeting.
  • Fire Chief Peter Skorput issues his monthly Fire Chief report to the Board. Peter provides missing NIMS certifications; all Department members now have NIMS certifications on file. Chief issues a written report of recent Department activities (attached). Chief adds that Training Officer Larry Morse continues to set up training sessions for the volunteers. Hydrant testing continues and one is being tested this evening. There was a recent joint training with Richmond and Alford Departments and a “Live Burn” drill held at the Pittsfield training center. CW asks Peter to supply a list of volunteers that have attended trainings so that they can be recognized for their efforts. Board thanks Peter for the report.
  • Board has a general discussion about setting up a continuation hearing for the Rent Control Board. PS suggests contacting the owners and press them to deliver updated water use information. AA will contact Town Counsel for availability to set a date for the continuation.
  • CW speaks about the parking area at the public restrooms and has an estimate to professionally pave the whole area. The Highway Department recently repaired the area but a complete job would require a paving company. AA notes that the parking area is owned by National Grid and the Town has been informed that further developments on that site would not be welcome by National Grid. Following discussion, Board decides that the repairs are fine for the time being.
  • Board approves Chapter 90 funding request for a “Smart Streets” survey of the Town’s paved roads as discussed at the previous meeting.
  • Board discusses a request to allow filming scheduled for June 1st and 2nd on sections of West Alford Road. NYU film school students wish to film scenes at that location. Board grants permission and instructs AA to contact West Alford Road residents to let them know what’s going on.
  • Per request of Historical Society head Bob Salerno, Board reads a notice of award letter received by the Massachusetts Cultural Council of a $90,000 matching grant for ADA compliance work to be done at the Old Town Hall (attached). Board commends Bob and Society members for their continued efforts and success.
  • Citizen Speak time: Resident Richard Squailia asks that the Board consider placing a funding article on the upcoming Special Town Meeting to fund the codification of the Town’s bylaws. Richard feels that it is an important project and worthy of funding.
8:25 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, PS makes a motion to adjourn. BF seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Curt Wilton                                       Bernie Fallon

Date: __________