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2006 - Minutes of March 13, 20, 22, 27, 29 Meetings

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 13, 2006

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

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

ED reminds AA to send in lieu of flowers donation for Ray Smith to Congregational Church.

6:40 PM:        Joe Roy and several of his Lane Quarry neighbors attend the meeting seeking an update on Town activities regarding the group's contention that J.S. Lane is in violation of local zoning regulations.

Joe reads a 3-page letter summarizing J.S. Lane quarrying activities over the years and the impact to the neighborhood and petitions the Selectmen to forward this information to the Building Inspector and or Zoning Enforcement Officer for action. The group recommends that a cease and desist order be issued as soon as possible to J.S. Lane (letter attached).

Joe and the neighborhood's wish is that by issuing a cease and desist, J.S. Lane must stop further blasting and excavation at the quarry until J.S. Lane either appeals the cease and desist order or applies for a special permit from the ZBA. Joe states that the gravel operation clearly requires a special permit because it is an expansion of a pre-existing non-conforming use.

Joe asks if Town Counsel has responded to requests for opinion on this situation. AA responds that letters and e-mails have been sent and that he has spoken to Town Counsel but no written response has been received yet. AA notes that Town Counsel moved their Boston offices at about the same time that this dialogue began.

MK suggests that any orders issued to J.S. Lane should be copied to the Dept. of Environmental Protection. DEP may be the best regulatory authority to take action if reported wetlands violations have occurred.

Board agrees to contact the Building Inspector and facilitate actions regarding the J.S. Lane neighbor's complaints and invites Joe to next week's meeting for an update. Board thanks Joe and his neighbors for attending tonight's meeting.

7:30 PM:        Gordon Soule asks the Board for an update on Lycott Environmental and the Mill Pond weed removal. AA responds that there has been no contact with Lycott since last summer but that he would call and get an update.

        ED asks who is responsible for removing wreaths from Town Hall. CW responds that he must be and will take them down.

        ED asks who is responsible for raising and lowering town flags. CW responds that he is a little tired of being blamed for not attending to flags when he has never been told or asked to be the one responsible. Historically, the American Legion - particularly Ray Smith - took care of the flags. Since Ray's passing no one person or group has been assigned the task. MK suggests that a letter be sent to the Legion seeking their input. Board agrees.

        ED asks about news reports indicating that BHRSD would be reducing their capital assessments to District towns. MK responds that the BHRSD School Committee would be taking up that subject at their meeting this Thursday and there was a good likelihood that assessments would be reduced because School Building Assistance reimbursement is expected for FY '07.

        ED asks CW who is responsible for cleaning the Town Hall and would like a work schedule of that person. CW responds that one of the Highway Dept. employees acts as Town building custodian. He will furnish ED with the requested schedule by next meeting.

        ED suggests that the Board solicit quotes for removal of Hill house as soon as Land Court clears the title and awards it to the Town.

7:50 PM:        Board reviews a MEMO from the Town Treasurer to the Fire Chief instructing the Chief that - per M.G.L. - only certain Town entities and the Treasurer are allowed to open bank accounts under the Town's name. Apparently, Fire Chief Peter Skorput opened up an account bearing the Town's name. The MEMO states that the Fire Dept. or any other town organization would need to obtain their own tax ID number and cannot use the Town's. MK suggests that the Treasurer research and provide the Board with a list of any other unauthorized accounts. MK notes that the Audit Management Report makes note of these unauthorized accounts.

Board reviews and approves the Community Development Strategy as drafted by the AA and Berkshire Housing. This report is a component of the Senior Center grant application.

8:00 PM:        ED reads the legal notice of Public Hearing for an All-Alcoholic Beverages on premises license for the West Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club as published in the Berkshire Eagle.

ED asks if there is anyone present that wishes to speak for or against the application. Abutter David Pearlson is present and asks the applicants if there will be any changes to past practices and activities at the Club. Club representative Vincent Stannard says that there are no planned changes.

ED asks if all bartenders have complied with TIPS training. Mr. Stannard says that they have complied. Kristany Skorput is named the Manager on the application.

MK points out that the Club needs to be very careful about adhering to serving policies because there have been incidents in the past involving Club patrons and Police.

CW asks if local taxes are current on the Club. AA responds that the Town Collector informed him today that the Club is current. CW notes that a license is available per the quota allowed in Town.

8:20 PM:        There being no further discussion, ED makes a motion to approve the application and to close the Public Hearing. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Other Items:    FY 2005 audits are distributed to the Board. Copies have been furnished to the FinCom.

        Kathy Davis has agreed to work with the Girl Scouts on a Town Flag project.

        Board reviews and approves an agreement with Sumaria for a new accountant/treasurer software program and annual maintenance contract.

        AA tells the Board that a group of downtown merchants concerned with potential traffic issues resulting from the scheduled reconstruction of the Shaker Mill Bridge have asked to attend next week's Board meeting.

        Board reviews a letter from Rep. Pignatelli requesting the Boards support in opposing slot machine legislation in Massachusetts. His letter states that slots will rob lottery distributions to cities and towns. Board will take the letter under advisement.

8:40 PM:        Board reviews 5 submittals per a Request for Qualifications for owner's project manager for the Village School Town Offices/Library conversion project. Firms submitting are: Maricor Corp., Diversified Project Management, Construction Monitoring Services, D.A. Sullivan, and Caolo&Bieniek. Board individually reviews submittals and scores each on a blind matrix grading experience in similar size and scope projects, familiarity with State codes and building requirements and ability to perform the required duties.

9:15 PM:        Matrix scores for the 5 RFQ submittals are totaled and the highest score is awarded to Construction Monitoring Services, Inc. Based on everyone's scored preferences, CW makes a motion to select Construction Monitoring Services. MK suggests that CMS be contacted and invited to attend a meeting with the Board to negotiate a services contract. EDM should also be informed of the Board's choice for project manager. EDM and CMS will be working closely throughout the project.

9:20 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
March 20, 2006

5:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED), Curt Wilton (CW), Michael Kirchner (MK). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

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

Other Items:    ED makes a motion to nominate former Selectmen Richard Klein as a lifetime member in the Berkshire County Selectmen's Association. Motion dies for lack of a second. MK notes that names for nomination are typically brought forward by someone other than the nominee.

        General discussion regarding dedication of the upcoming Town Report. It is decided to make the main dedication to John Astore. Other Town Officials, including Ray Smith who have passed away in the past year will be noted also.

        CW says that he has spoken to resident Jeff Hamilton who has expressed an interest in becoming Animal Control Officer. Long time officer Marty Clark is retiring. Following discussion, CW nominates Jeff Hamilton to take over for Marty Clark. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

        Board has a general discussion on the FY 2007 Police Dept. budget. Chief Cooper will present his budget tomorrow night in front of a joint FinCom/Selectmen meeting. MK notes that the Chief was asked to approach the Board last fall to begin negotiations for a new contract and he hasn't approached the Board yet. CW asks that the Chief be given a reminder. MK reiterates that the Board does not wish to dictate Police Dept. operations but the Chief's salary - which has yet to be negotiated - should be discussed before a FY '07 Police Department budget request is considered.

        AA informs the Board that the Zoning Enforcement Officer has issued a cease and desist order to J.S. Lane and informed Lane that they must seek a special permit to continue their non-conforming operation.

        Board continues reviewing FY 2007 budget submittals and has a general discussion about special articles to be considered at the Annual Town Meeting.

7:10 PM:        There being no additional 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
March 22, 2006

5:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED), Curt Wilton (CW), Michael Kirchner (MK). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

Jim Byrne of Construction Management Services (CMS) appears before the Board to discuss his fee and scope of services under a contract with the Town to perform owner's project manager services for the proposed Village School/Library conversion project. MGL requires that cities and towns  planning any public construction project in excess of $1.5M to have an owner's project manager on hand throughout the design and construction phases. CMS was chosen through a formal Request for Proposals. Six firms submitted proposals and CMS was chosen through a blind matrix scoring by the Board of Selectmen at their March 6, 2005 regular meeting.

Mr. Byrne explains the jobs and duties his firm would perform during the design and construction phase of this project. He states that he will work for no charge getting doing preliminary work with the architect (EDM) up until the May 2006 Town vote seeking project funding.

Mr. Byrne states that his fee for all work related to this project will be $145,000. CMS will forward a contract proposal to the Town for review by the Selectmen and Town Counsel before execution.

Contact information for EDM Architects and CMS and Selectmen is exchanged. CMS will get together with EDM shortly to discuss the project and next steps.

6:15 PM:        Other items:

MK recaps last evening's joint meeting with the FinCom. MK instructs the AA to contact the auditors to schedule an exit conference with 3 potential scheduling options.

MK instructs AA to remind the Chief of Police of an earlier request by the Board for the Chief to provide copies of training records for Department officers to the Board of Selectmen.

6:30 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, ED makes a motion to adjourn. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


______________________  _____________________   _____________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair      Curt Wilton                     Michael Kirchner

Date: __________





Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 27, 2006

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Elizabeth DiGrigoli (ED), Curt Wilton (CW), Michael Kirchner not present due to conflicting obligation. Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

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

Board reviews proposed Special Articles for Annual Town Meeting. It is suggested and agreed to by the Board that the Board will meet this Wednesday at 5:30 PM to discuss the articles with the full Board.

There will be a Sewer and Water Commissioners meeting next Wednesday at 6:00 PM. Notices to be sent.

Town received notification from DOR that the State Sewer Rate Relief program has been reinstituted for FY '06 after being suspended for a number of years. Accordingly, the '07 sewer debt can be reduced by the amount of the award ($2,650).

AA informs the Board that Lee Lyman of Lycott Environmental regrets to inform the Town that the chemical weed removal scheduled for Mill Pond has been delayed for a year. It was proposed to take place this Spring. However, National Heritage Endangered Species (DEP) disqualified Lycott's usual botanist. Lycott had to hire a new DEP approved botanist to identify potential endangered weeds in the Mill Pond area. Unfortunately, the weed in question flowers only in August. So, it can't be identified until this summer. A plan to protect good weed from the bad ones is then drawn up and the removal can proceed next spring. AA will inform Gordon Soule. This ruling will not affect mechanical harvesting of weeds at Card Pond if the Town wishes to do so.

7:00 PM:        CW makes a motion to close the meeting. The Annual Town Caucus will take place in the room across the hall. ED seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.


Minutes approved by:


______________________  ______________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair      Curt Wilton

Date: ____________





Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 29, 2006

5:30 PM:        Open Meeting; West Stockbridge Village School

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

Tom Webb, Berkshire Housing Development Corp. discusses the Senior Center grant application which is due to submit next week. Tom tells the Board that Steve McAllister of Clark and Green, the architects designing the senior center, contacted him today with a project cost estimate of $802,000.

Tom pointed out that the estimate did not include a construction contingency or project administration which would make the real cost almost $1m - far above the allowable grant amount available.

Tom recommends that the Town delay its application until next year's round. By that time, the Town will have decided about infrastructure issues and expenses at the Village School. Specifically, the Town may fund sewer, electrical, fire protection, and parking/access upgrades to the facility that will not have to be considered in the Senior Center grant application next year. Those costs had to be included in the present grant application because it couldn't be assumed that the Town would approve the Village School conversion to Town Offices/Library project. These would be necessary costs of the Village School conversion to Town Offices and Library.  Those costs could be reduced from the Senior Center project when it is resubmitted next year.

Tom points out that it would be foolish to submit the application with full knowledge that the cost estimate exceeded the highest possible grant award amount.

Following a discussion the Board regrets having to delay the application once again but there really is no other choice. Board agrees to delay submittal until next year's round.

Board will contact Joan Rehm of the Council on Aging immediately and explain the situation to her. Tom states that he would gladly attend a future meeting to explain why there is no other choice but to pull the application and re-submit next year.

Other Items:    Board asks for a breakdown of capital fund request made by Parks and Recreation for the FY '07 budget. The $5,000 appropriated last year has not been spent and an additional $5,000 is being requested. The Board would like to know what projects/improvements are being planned.

7:00 PM:        There being no additional items to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. MK seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Minutes approved by:


_______________________ ______________________  _______________________
Elizabeth DiGrigoli, Chair      Curt Wilton                     Michael Kirchner

Date: _________


                




 
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