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2006 - Minutes of February 6, 13, 27 Meetings

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
February 6, 2006

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED), Curt Wilton (CW), Michael Kirchner (MK). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

Tim Eagles, EDM Engineers, presents the Board with a review of the space use for the Village School conversion project. Nearly every office use will have approximately twice the floor space as exists in the old Town Hall including the Library.

Library Trustee Jennifer Summers and Librarian Leslie Meltzer are present and are pleased with the Library design.

Tim Eagles presents project building cost estimates broken down by division. The construction is now estimated at $2.1m or $204/sq. ft. for the entire project including retrofitting the police station with sprinklers and make-up air. The estimate includes a 15% project contingency for unforeseen circumstances and or construction problems encountered.

Tim Eagles notes that this is the first estimate and that the number needs to be refined. He also notes that the estimate does not include several items, including professional project management which is a state law requirement on public projects over $1.5m and furniture and fixtures.

MK thanks Tim for his presentation and suggests that the Board take the project estimates under advisement. Board agrees.

MK makes a motion to send out a Request for Proposals (RFQ) to hire a project manager for the Village School conversion project. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

7:20 PM:        Vic Stannard and Brian Zanconato address the Board re: getting a new liquor license for the West Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club. They will meet with the AA and review the application.

7:30 PM:        Jonathon Lane, representing John S. Lane Co. is present at the request of the Board to discuss gravel bed operations.

        Mr. Lane presents a map of the quarry operations and the long range quarrying plans including blasting and rock removal. The plan is to remove the high rock walls for safety reasons at the northeast end towards Miller Lane and to construct a berm in its place as a buffer to the neighborhood. Operations are currently about 150' from property lines at this end of the quarry. Pine tree seedlings would be planted atop the berm.

        Resident Joe Roy objects to the construction of a berm and seedlings. Today, there are mature trees on a buffer zone between operations and the neighborhood. A berm would be less of a buffer and would take time to construct.

        In response to a comment about dust created by blasting, Mr. Lane states that there is no way to eliminate dust in a quarry operation.

        Ray Boulder, operations engineer for J.S. Lane outlines the long range quarrying plans. He reminds everyone that the site has been in continuous operation for 100 years and it could be another 100 years before the site is played out and restored. He says that the high rock walls need to come down for safety reasons. Eventual restoration of the site would result in a re-claimed slope of 2:1 achieved in 20 incremental lifts.

        Mr. Lane states that it is his goal to get along with neighborhood and the Town and pledges to involve Town officials and neighbors in future plans and operations.

        Mr. Lane notes that 150,000 tons of stone were removed and sold at the site this past year. Gravel beds are cyclical operations closely tied to the construction industry.

        Peter Negrini, ConsCom member, is concerned with possible past and potential wetlands violations and impacts. The quarry is bordered by wetlands and waterways. He notes that the ConsCom has sent J.S. letters in the past without response. He suggests that a comprehensive plan needs to be presented to the ConsCom soon. From that plan, determinations can be made about the need for Notices of Intent from the ConsCom.

        Ed Denham, ConsCom member, asks if there is a reclamation plan on file for the quarry. Mr. Lane responds, no.

        Ed responds that one should be done and on file with the Town. There should also be a comprehensive quarrying plan on file. This plan could be overlaid with wetlands and endangered species maps to determine if there are any concerns.

        The floor of the quarry is at 874' above sea level.


        Mr. Boulder explains that the quarry must comply with its federal groundwater discharge permit which regulates how ground water is filtered before it gets to any waterways.

        Mr. Lane pledges to sit with the ConsCom to discuss future. Mr. Lane states that he wishes to leave the quarry property that is better for the neighborhood than when he found it.

        CW asks what the operation season of the quarry is. Mr. Lane says that a typical season runs from April through November.

        In response to a question, Mr. Lane states that there were 44 blasts this past year. All of them were well below the legal threshold for seismograph readings. Joe Roy suggests that the regulation should be changed because every blast still shakes his house.

        MK thanks Mr. Lane for attending the meeting. The purpose of tonight's meeting was to put Lane, neighbors and Town officials in the same room for a discussion and there was a good exchange of information.

        Mr. Lane, in response to a question, states that his company recently purchases 77 acres across the street from the present operation but that his company has no immediate plans for the area.

8:25 PM:        Mark Skokol, S&K Design, delivers a check for $16,750 to the Board. This check represents payment for 5 additional house lot sales. This money, along with previous payments, is per Special Permit agreement which will fund the paving of roads in the Silver Mine sub-division.

8:40 PM:        CW discusses Honor Roll and how military active duty servicemen's names are entered. An Honor Roll Committee first needs to be formed. That group is then charged with determining which and how the names will be placed. CW nominates Bob Korte to head up the Committee. Board agrees and instructs the AA to research the regulations for same.

8:45 PM:        Board sets March 6, 2005 at 7:00 PM for the continuation of the previously opened Scenic Mt. Act Public Hearing for the purpose of adopting a map. The notice should appear in the newspaper.

8:50 PM:        There being no additional business to discuss, ED makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

_______________________ ______________________  _______________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair      Curt Wilton                     Michael Kirchner

Date: ________________


Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
February 13, 2006

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED), Curt Wilton (CW), Michael Kirchner (MK). No press present. Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA).

Steve McAllister, Clark and Green Architects discusses the Senior Center project. Mr. McAllister presents 2 building options for the senior center expansion. Option B shows the expansion to the east; Option A shows the addition to the south towards the little league field. Following a discussion, the Board agrees that the expansion should be designed to go out the back of the building towards the baseball field (Option A), in order to avoid any sideline conflicts with the neighbors on the east side of the property.

Board reviews an architectural services contract between the Town and Clark and Green Architects for design and project bid documents for the proposed senior center then signs the contract.

7:00 PM:        Russ Fadding addresses the Board regarding a meeting held last week about the formation of an agricultural commission for the Town. CW also attended the meeting. This meeting was organized by Pete Westover of the State Agricultural Commission and is the first step in forming a Commission. The Commission may, at a later date, propose a "right to farm by-law" for town meeting approval. Mr. Fadding offers the names of 3 people who would serve on the Commission. The Board will take the nominees under advisement and will make their decision at the next Board meeting. The Board also agrees to sponsor a town meeting article for the formation of an agricultural commission.

7:20 PM:        Town Accountant Maryellen Brown addresses the Board about her pending retirement as Business Mgr. for the S. Berkshire Regional School District on March 31, 2006. Because of rules under the Berkshire County Retirement system, Ms. Brown states that she will have to also resign from her Town Accountant position in W. Stockbridge for a short period. She proposes to retire from W. Stockbridge on February 28, 2006 and asks that she be re-appointed on April 3, 2006 to serve out her previous 3-year appointment which runs through June 2008.

CW recalls a similar situation with a retiring police officer in Gt. Barrington a few years ago. That officer, who was also a selectman, had to retire from the Board of Selectmen for a short period then be reappointed to serve the remainder of his term. The Board sees no reason not to accommodate Ms. Brown's request. CW makes a motion to accept her resignation effective February 28, 2006. AA asks that the Town Accountant write a new letter of resignation and address it and deliver it to the Town Clerk rather than the Selectmen.

Other Items:

Board reviews updated materials from EDM re: the Village School conversion to town offices and library space. AA informs the Board that the RFQ for the required Owner's Project Manager has been advertised in the Berkshire Eagle and the Central Register with a due date of March 13th. Board discusses financing options and how the Town can pay for the proposed construction. AA is instructed to have the Treasurer research borrowing options and return to the Board with multiple scenarios. Following a discussion, MK agrees that it would be best to wait until the Annual Town Meeting to make a presentation to the Town and to act on an article for funding the construction. There really isn't enough time to schedule a Special Town Meeting before the annual, plus the annual meeting seems more appropriate. Plus, it would give more time for the FinCom, in their capacity as the Borrowing Committee, to discuss options with the Town Treasurer.

Board reviews and acts on several FY 2007 budgets. The FinCom will be meeting on Feb. 15 and will be able to review the same budgets. Most, but not all, Departmental budgets have been submitted. MK will be away on vacation for that meeting but asks the AA to attend. CW and ED will also attend the FinCom meeting.

AA informs the Board that a recycling refund check was just received from the MERF Recycling consortium which the Town participates in. The check is the 2nd received this year. Both checks were for $2,900. AA notes that this year is the first time in many years that the Town has received any payments for recycled materials shipped to the facility in Springfield.

Board reviews a fire alarm repair proposal received from Alarms of Berkshire County to repair the system at Village School. Previously, the Fire Chief had asked the Board to look into getting the system repaired because of a problem with the phone line connected to the system. MK recuses himself from the discussion because he is an employee of the company making the proposal. Following a discussion, CW makes a motion to approve the quote of $591 for the repairs. CW reminds the Board that the system was installed in the early 1970's and may not be able to be repaired because parts are no longer available. A new fire alarm system would be included in the school renovation package but the building is without a working alarm system at present and needs to be fixed, if possible. ED seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.

Board reviews a letter received from the State Senate stating that West Stockbridge is one of a few towns that do not have a town flag flying at the State House. MK suggests that making a town flag might be a good project for the Boy Scouts and asks the AA to contact the pack leader and make that suggestion.

Board discusses the FY 2007 Tree Warden budget and decides that the proposal to appropriate $7,500 for Town Cemetery tree removal is reasonable but that the appropriation should not be included in the overall Tree Warden budget. The Board will support the appropriation but it will appear following the Cemetery Dept. budget and will be controlled by the Board with feedback from both the Cemetery Commission and the Tree Warden. MK instructs the AA to inform the Tree Warden of same.

Following a discussion, MK makes a motion to issue a letter of reprimand to the Chief of Police for his continued failure to supply the Board with a monthly Department staffing schedule prior to the start of each month. Board has asked the Chief several times over the past several months to supply a work schedule for police officers. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

AA informs the Board that a representative from the W. Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club came to the Town Hall last week and reviewed the Club's application for a new license. AA called the ABCC and spoke with the Commission's attorney who said that the Club could not serve or sell alcohol to members or anyone else without an approved liquor license. Also, according to the ABCC attorney, the Club's application would be treated as a new license not a renewal because the previous license had lapsed. AA informed the Mr. Salvatore (Club) at their meeting that the application was missing 3 items and that they had to be furnished before the application could be advertised for a public hearing. Those items haven't been returned yet.

8:20 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

______________________  _____________________   ______________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair      Curt Wilton                     Michael Kirchner

Date: ____________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
February 27, 2006

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting

CW makes a motion to go into executive session as allowed under MGL Ch. 39:23B #3 to discuss strategy with respect to contract negotiations with non-union personnel and to return to open meeting session upon conclusion of the executive session. MK seconds the motion. Roll call vote taken: MK, aye; CW, aye.

8:20 PM:        Board returns to open session.

MK makes a motion to appoint Officer Matt Kelly to the position of full-time police officer effective immediately. This appointment will run until June 30, 2006. Between now and June 30, 2006, the Board and Officer Kelly will negotiate on a contract not to exceed 3 years effective July 1, 2006. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor. MK notes that  a letter of the appointment and an explanation of the vote should be sent to the Chief of Police.

Other Items:    AA informs the Board that there is some interest among the Boy Scouts about designing a Town flag to be hung in the Hall of Flags at the State House. Jennifer Summers is following up. CW asks AA to contact Jill Pixley to see if there are any active Girl Scouts. If so, they should be asked if they want to participate in the project.

        There will be a joint FinCom/Selectmen meeting on March 1st to discuss the FY '07 budget.

        A site visit is scheduled for March 1 from 12PM - 1PM at the Village School for firms interested in submitting Requests for Qualifications for Owner's Project Manager for the Village School/Town Offices/Library conversion project.

        Continuation of the Scenic Mt. Act Public Hearing will be held at 7:30 PM at Village School on March 6th.

        A Public Hearing on the Senior Center grant application will be held on March 6th at 7:00 PM at the Village School.

        A Public Hearing to act on a liquor license application from the West Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club is scheduled for March 13th at 8:00 PM.

        Discussion about the retirement of Dog Officer Marty Clark and who the Town might be able to find to replace him. CW says that he may have a few people who might be interested.

        CW gives the Board a letter from Dr. and Carol Kuller who wish to donate $100 worth of fuel oil to be used exclusively at the old Town Hall which was won at the raffle at the Fire Department's recent dinner dance. Board accepts with pleasure.

        CW makes a motion to nominate the following residents to a future Town of West Stockbridge Agricultural Commission:  Russ Fadding; John Springstube; Victor Stannard, Sr. And as alternates: Don Wood and Mark Fadding. It is understood that the formation of an Ag Commission needs to be approved at a Town Meeting but the members could get a head start on related activities. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.

9:15 PM:        CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

_________________________       __________________________
Curt Wilton                             Michael Kirchner

Date: ____________

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