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2006 - Minutes of May 10, 15, 19, 22 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
May 10, 2006

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Curt Wilton (CW), Michael Kirchner (MK), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

6:35 PM:        Police Officer Matt Kelly addresses the Board about a letter he received from Chief Cooper re: Officer Kelly's handling of a recent arrest. A copy of the letter was delivered to the Board. Board reads letter and discusses it briefly with Officer Kelly. MK thanks Officer Kelly for coming to the Board but informs Officer Kelly that the matter is a police issue and should be addressed and dealt with within the Department. The Board should not get directly involved in Police matters. CW suggests that communication within the Department doesn't seem to be great and that it isn't good between the Chief and the Board either. MK reiterates that the letter is an internal police matter but it appears that the arrest and following events could have been handled better by the Department.

6:45 PM:        MK nominates CW to be the next Chair of the Board of Selectmen. TSC seconds the nomination. CW is honored by the motion but he would prefer if MK would be the Chairman for this year. CW acknowledges that it would traditionally be his turn during the 3-year election cycle but that Mike has shown extraordinary leadership and that he, at this time, would make a superior choice as Chairman.

TSC notes that CW is next in line to become the Chair and both she and MK are hesitant to withdraw the nomination for CW. CW persists. He notes that we are a young Board and MK's recent handling of the Annual Town Meeting proves that he deserves to be the Chairman this round. Following further discussion, MK reluctantly withdraws his nomination of CW. CW then nominates MK as Chair. TSC seconds the nomination. Vote taken, 2-0 with MK abstaining. MK is honored to accept and states that he will strive for compromise and consensus among Board members. Further nominations and favorable votes are taken naming CW as Clerk and TSC as Secretary of the Board.

CW and MK welcome Tina to the Board and congratulate her on last week's impressive election victory.

Other Items:    Board notes that the FY 2005 audit exit conference has been scheduled for one week from tonight.

Board notes that there will be a bid opening on 5-22 for the Solid Waste/Transfer Station contract.

AA informs the Board that the FY 2006 Town Buildings appropriation is overspent and that more expenses will be coming before the end of the current fiscal year. A printout of account activity is reviewed which shows no unusual spending or extraordinary events. Heating oil and electricity costs are up considerable from the previous year (approx. $12,000 YTD). Discussion follows whether to seek a Reserve Fund transfer and or to set a Special Town Meeting towards the end of June. It is decided to set a date of June 26th for a Special Town Meeting. Any other housekeeping issues can be addressed at the same time. FinCom will be informed via MEMO.

Board reviews a sign permit application submitted by Berkshire Natural Resources (BNR) for a sign on Lenox Mt. Road showing the entrance to Steven's Glen. Following review, Board notes that the sign is a bit larger than zoning allows. In the past, the ZBA has been reluctant to address sign permit denials through appeals. So, the Board will ask BNR to reduce the size to come into zoning compliance.

CW passes along a concern expressed to him by Ogden Gigli who was unable to get through to someone when he recently called the Police Dept. to report an erratic driver. MK and TSC note that sometimes the Dispatch may be busy with other calls.

Board reviews and approves a letter to go to Clark and Green architects. The letter asks that Clark and Green revise their Senior Center drawings once the Village School Town Offices/Library project is moving along. As previously submitted for the Senior Center grant, Clark and Green documents resulted in a construction estimate that far exceeded the grant award and grant application had to be withdrawn. Clark and Green were instructed to design a project that would be fundable. For the original fee, the Board wants the project redesigned to submit for next year's funding round. The revised design would reflect infrastructure work being done under the Town offices contract. Therefore, the cost of the Senior Center project would be reduced and should come in under the allowable grant award.

Clark Rowell, the Town's financial advisor, will be at the Town Hall next Friday to meet with the Treasurer to discuss borrowing for the Village School project. The Treasurer suggested that the Selectmen participate in the meeting. Board agrees and Tina will post the meeting.

TSC asks for an update on the status of the American Legion and space at the Village School. CW responds the Board has made it clear to Bob Korte (American Legion) that the Town would provide an armory at the Town Hall and it has done so. The Town would also provide ample meeting space for any Legion activities. The Selectmen never promised or even suggested that exclusive space for the Legion would be reserved or built at the Village School. MK sites MGL that clearly states that Towns may, not shall, provide space for veterans. Perhaps the matter can be revisited in the future when the Village School conversion project is further developed. MK notes that no one will be using the Village School during the construction period. Once the contractor mobilizes, the property is off-limits to everyone. The contractor takes out its own liability insurance and takes control of the building. Even the Selectmen will need a temporary place to hold its meetings.

TSC asks the Board to provide updates on the following for the upcoming Local Yokel issue: Mill Pond, Main St., and Shaker Mill Bridge projects.

MK notes that the Town's harassment/discrimination policies should be on file with the Town Clerk if they are not already.

CW notes that he supports Eunice Panzeri as Town Collector. She has an outstanding collection rate and wishes she has made it clear that she wishes to finish out her elected term then resign.

There is a general discussion regarding communication between the Chief of Police and the Board and delays in getting requested information from the Chief. It is decided that TSC will approach the Chief directly to discuss the situation.

8:35 PM:        There being no additional business to discuss, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Minutes approved by:



_______________________ _______________________ _______________________
Michael Kirchner, Chair Curt Wilton                     Tina Skorput Cooper

Date: ____________



Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
May 15, 2006

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

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

Board reviews and approves a letter in support of Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) desire to switch to the State Retirement System from the City of Pittsfield system.

6:45 PM:        Bob Korte, representing the American Legion, asks the Board to consider a request from the Legion to provide a room for the Legion in the Village School when it is renovated. They wish to have a locked room to call their own; not just a shared meeting room. MK responds that the Board will consider the request but as of now the designed space does not include a room for the Legion. There may be room in the "future use" space. In any event, no one will be using the building for any purpose once construction starts and that could last 12 months or more. CW concurs with MK and tells Bob that space is limited but the Board will do what it can. Bob thanks the Board.

6:50 PM:        Board discusses Memorial Day proceedings. MK will act as Master of Ceremonies.

        Board discusses 2 grant opportunities presented by BRPC; a technical assistance grant to help with Smart Growth State initiatives and a matching grant for parkland acquisition or improvements. AA has applied for the technical assistance grant and the Board will discuss options for the parkland grant.

7:00 PM:        Board welcomes Greg Winters from Tom Scanlon Associates, CPA who will present the Town's FY '05 audit exit conference. Also present are Carol Kuller and Bob Salerno from the FinCom.

         Mr. Winters presents the FY '05 Management Report. He reviews past issues that have been corrected. He discusses the sewer and water receivables which is being done properly now. Other corrected items include: firearms permits and Town Clerk checking.

        Mr. Winters then discusses issues that need addressing. They include: proper identification and tracking of public safety grants and the need to make sure that only the Treasurer - with few exceptions - has knowledge and control over all Town named bank accounts. Treasurer Bruce Turner will contact all banks to get a list of accounts in the Town's name.

        A discussion follows on GASB required inventory lists. Initially, the Town had developed lists for items valued greater than $5,000. It is decided to revise the list to show all items with a value of $1,000 or more.

        Greg also emphasizes that although the Town Collector does an outstanding job collecting taxes, the office needs to install collection software to cut down on accounting errors.

        Greg moves on to discuss FY '05 financial statements.

        Carol Kuller asks questions about the sewer and water accounting. Greg answers that the water enterprise is showing a substantial surplus but that the sewer has been running in the black for several years. In FY '05, DOR required the Assessor's to place prior years deficits (going back 10 years) on the FY 2005 tax rate. Those deficits are now corrected and the sewer is not expected to run deficits in '06. New customers have increased revenue well beyond the marginal cost of adding them.

        Greg then reviews the FY '05 balance sheet and answers related questions.

        Greg discusses insurance claims in general and a past Cemetery Dept. theft reimbursement check and the rules governing insurance proceeds. Town meeting action is required on any claim reimbursement over $20,000. Claims under that amount can be used - directly by a Department - for the repair or replacement of the item(s) in question in done so in the same fiscal year.

        Greg says that if his firm receives closed out Town statements, records, etc. no later than September 15, then the next audit will be completed by December.

8:15 PM:        Mr. Winters ends the exit conference. Board and FinCom thank him for the presentation.

Other items:    CW notes that Shoreline Weed Control will be in Town this week working at Crane Lake Camp if the Parks and Rec. Dept. wishes to contact them re: mechanical weed harvesting at Card Pond.

        CW notes that R. Klein spoke to him about a temporary sign for an upcoming auction. CW suggested that Mr. Klein obtain a sign permit.

        Following a discussion, Board decides to put an old Highway Dept. truck body out for bid because it may exceed $500 in value.

        Board discusses Memorial Day activities. MK agrees to act as Master of Ceremonies.

        Board discusses Highway Truck upcoming bid.

        Board discusses West Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club liquor license application which was returned to the ABCC with corrections.

        Board has a general discussion about parking tickets and parking rules on Main St. Board agrees that some adjustments may have to be made.

        Library Commissioners will meet with EDM on May 31 to develop Library plans in more detail.

8:30 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, TSC makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Minutes approved by:


_______________________ ______________________  ______________________
Michael Kirchner, Chair Curt Wilton                     Tina Skorput Cooper

Date: _____________

        

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
May 19, 2006

2:00 PM:        Open Meeting; Village School
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). Also present: FinCom members Carol Kuller and Bob Salerno. Also present: Treasurer Bruce Turner and Unibank Financial Advisor Clarke Rowell.

Unibank Financial Advisor Clarke Rowell discusses various financing scenarios and presents a draft borrowing timetable for the Village School conversion project.

It is recommended that electronic versions of the past three year's town audits be transferred to the Town Treasurer from T. Scanlon Assoc. so that they would be easily available for lenders to review.

Carol Kuller asks whether the highway truck borrowing approved at the Annual Town Meeting could be rolled in to the Village School construction borrowing. Clarke and Bruce will look into the feasibility and practicality of doing so. MK points out that there may be legal language restrictions tied to the Town Meeting authorization for the truck borrowing. Town meeting was specific about the borrowing terms.

Carol Kuller suggested that debt payment schedules be structured to be sensitive to fixed-income taxpayers.

Bruce is provided a list of document requirements that needs to go to Clarke Rowell so that a bid offering can be put together.




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

Minutes approved by:

______________________  _____________________   ______________________
Michael Kirchner, Chair Curt Wilton                     Tina Skorput Cooper

Date: _____________




Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
May 22, 2006

6:30 PM:        Open meeting; Village School
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

Pam Race, State Line Road resident discusses putting a care package together for J. Delsodato who is stationed in Iraq. Pam asks if the Town would be willing to pay for postage for a shipment of donated goods. The Board praises Pam for her caring but point out that it wouldn't be appropriate for town funds to be used for such a purpose without the approval of the Town. MK suggests that many people would be willing to make donations for postage and goods. Perhaps several smaller packages would work better.

Pam also asks if MassHighway could put up one or 2 signs directing people to the NY Thruway. There are directional signs downtown but once people get by the school they panic. Many people turn around in Pam's driveway and ask for directions. Board will contact MassHighway.

MK says that he met with Chief of Police Cooper this past Saturday to discuss the Chief's plans for employment. A newspaper article stated that he had accepted a patrolman's job in Egremont. Chief said that the article was accurate but premature and that he was still in negotiations. MK emphasized that the Board needs to know the Chief's intentions as soon as possible for planning purposes.

CW questions staffing during the Chief's vacation and for Memorial Day. Chief's schedule shows that he and another officer are on duty for the parade.

Officer Matt Kelly questions the Board on the appropriateness of the Chief's scheduling of Kelly's hours during the Chief's vacation. MK points out and TSC agrees that the Board will not micromanage the Chief's staffing schedule. Staffing is the Chief's duty and should be worked out between officers and the Chief. Officer Kelly makes an angry comment and storms out of the meeting. MK and the Board did not appreciate Officer Kelly's attitude and lack of professionalism and will make note of it.

Board receives and reviews a letter of interest from John Springstube to be appointed Animal Control Officer come July 1 when Marty Clark wants to retire. Board is pleased that 2 qualified applicants are interested in a job that is usually tough to fill.

7:00 PM:        MK reads the notice to bid for the Transfer Station Request for Proposals for solid waste hauling and disposal. MK then reads the bids as follows:

Town of West Stockbridge
Results of Bid Opening held on May 22, 2006
Solid Waste Hauling & Disposal

A) Year 1.


       Item           Valley       Waste Mgt.      Master Garb.     ecoWaste           Daley
Hauling Cost per haul, household waste  $130.   No bid  $115.   $125.   $100
Disposal cost, per ton  $76     No bid  $73.50  $70     $75
Cost per haul, 40 CY recyclable paper to MRF    $215    No bid  $170    $200    $205
Cost per haul, 40 CY recyclable container to MRF        $215    No bid  $170    $200    $205
Cost per haul, 40 CY scrap metal        $130    No bid  $125    $125    $100
Monthly Rental fee, 40 CY open top      $100    No bid  $45     $0      $0
Monthly Rental fee, 40 CY closed top    $100    No bid  $65     $0      $0


Town of West Stockbridge
Results of Bid Opening held on May 22, 2006
Solid Waste Hauling & Disposal

A) Year 2.


       Item           Valley       Waste Mgt.      Master Garb.     ecoWaste           Daley
Hauling Cost per haul, household waste  $136.50.        No bid  $120.   $125.+cpi       $105
Disposal cost, per ton  $79.80  No bid  $75.    $70.+cpi        $78.
Cost per haul, 40 CY recyclable paper to MRF    $225.75 No bid  $170    $200+cpi        $210.
Cost per haul, 40 CY recyclable container to MRF        $225.75 No bid  $170    $200+cpi        $210
Cost per haul, 40 CY scrap metal        $136.50 No bid  $125    $125+cpi        $120
Monthly Rental fee, 40 CY open top      $105.   No bid  $45     $0      $0
Monthly Rental fee, 40 CY closed top    $105.   No bid  $65     $0      $0


Town of West Stockbridge
Results of Bid Opening held on May 22, 2006
Solid Waste Hauling & Disposal

A) Year 3.


       Item           Valley       Waste Mgt.      Master Garb.     EcoWaste           Daley
Hauling Cost per haul, household waste  $143.32 No bid  $122.50 Year 2 + cpi    $115.
Disposal cost, per ton  $83.79  No bid  $76.50  Year 2 + cpi    $82.
Cost per haul, 40 CY recyclable paper to MRF    $237.03 No bid  $170    Year 2 + cpi    $220.
Cost per haul, 40 CY recyclable container to MRF        $237.03 No bid  $170    Year 2 + cpi    $220.
Cost per haul, 40 CY scrap metal        $143.32 No bid  $125    Year 2 + cpi    $125
Monthly Rental fee, 40 CY open top      $110.25 No bid  $0      $0      $0
Monthly Rental fee, 40 CY closed top    $110.25 No bid  $0      $0      $0


CW makes a motion to take the bids under advisement and review them. A decision can be made in the next 2 weeks after comparisons are made. MK agrees. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

7:15 PM:        A representative from Unison Finance - Joe Osche - addresses the Board on what his company does. He is in the business of purchasing long-term cell tower and antenna leases from communities and negotiating a lump sum buyout for the cell tower/antenna revenue. His company has a portfolio of 200 similar transactions nationwide. Board is interested in leaning more. The next step is to provide Mr. Osche with current lease/contract documents from Charter Communications. Following a review of those documents, Unison may or may not make a buyout proposal to the Town.

Other Business:

TSC announces that Peter Skorput has declined to accept his position on the Cemetery Commission. The Board must now hold a joint meeting with the Cemetery Commission to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

TSC asks if any plans had been made to appoint Officer Simonelli to the position of part-time Officer on July 1. He has asked Tina. MK that all officers will be up for consideration and that will be a topic of discussion when the Board meets with the Chief next week. The Board is still waiting for training reports and documents from the Town's officers which are needed to make appointment decisions.

TSC asks if there is anything that can be done to spruce up the old town hall for the Memorial Day parade. The paint is falling off and flower beds are overgrown with weeds. Board doesn't think that there is enough time to do any painting, but CW and AA agree to clean up and mulch the flower beds this week. AA will also donate plantings to the cannon memorial if the Highway Dept. can rip out the old shrubs.

7:45 PM:        Joel Hotchkiss asks about traffic during Zucchini Day festival with the Shaker Mill Bridge being down to one lane during construction. Board agrees that it will be a concern but that everyone will just have to do their best.

Joel also asks if anything can be done by the Town to force removal of the Bill Kie business sign at the corner of West Center and State Line Road. CW points out that he contacted the State and the sign is on State property. CW suggested that there was some reluctance on the part of the State to force its removal because there are likely hundreds of signs on State property throughout the county and it wasn't a program the State was now interested in taking on.

Board has a brief discussion about capital planning with the FinCom and setting up quarterly joint budget meetings. It is suggested that the Board issue a letter to the FinCom noting that the FinCom the appointed Capital Planning Committee but the Board would be willing to provide whatever information or help that they could.

MK suggests that a letter be sent to Officer Kelly expressing the Board's disappointment with his unprofessional actions tonight during open meeting.

Board has a brief discussion about parking policy in the downtown area. Should all the signs be removed? Should parking time limits be adjusted? Is Town meeting action required? It is agreed that parking is the policy of the Selectmen and a review should take place.

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


Minutes approved by:


______________________  _______________________ _______________________
Michael Kirchner, Chair Curt Wilton                     Tina Skorput Cooper

Date: _________________







 
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