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2006 - Minutes of October 2, 16, 23, 30 Meetings

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
October 2, 2006

6:00 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). No press present.

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

6:15 PM:        Town Accountant Maryellen Brown, present at Board's invitation, discusses the Treasurer's Office operations and its impact on the overall Town financial team. Board and Town Accountant discuss requirements and expectations of the Town Treasurer position and the Board agrees to draft a letter to Town Treasurer Bruce Turner instructing him to respond to the Board with an office action plan in the next two weeks.

        Resident Ralph LoCassio asks the Board for an update on the abandoned hill property on State Line Road. Board responds that Hill heir information that the Land Court judge requested has been obtained and passed along to Town Counsel Scully who, in turn, has delivered to the court. Town Counsel feels that this is the last step and now we have to wait for the Court to issue the judgment.

        Board reviews the Village School project. Specifically, the Board discusses actions necessary to obtain a State waiver for the installation of sprinklers in the gymnasium. Sprinklers and associated work in this area is estimated to drive up the project cost considerably. Along with the waiver application, letters of support are required from both the local Building Inspector and Fire Chief. Applying for a waiver was recommended by the State Building Inspector.

        Board reviews a letter from Carmen Morse who has requested using the Village School grounds for a scarecrow making youth project. CW makes a motion to approve with the note that the gymnasium is booked for an activity during the same time period. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

        Board reviews a current salary survey of the Tax Collector position of like sized and budget communities. The survey indicates that West Stockbridge ($13,000) is slightly below the average of 19 surveyed communities ($14,435). Board agrees that it will propose an increase in the FY '08 budget to get in line with the average. Tax Collector Eunice Panzeri has stated that she will not be seeking reelection next spring. The Board wishes to get the salary in line in order to attract as many candidates as possible.

7:00 PM:        Tom Webb, formerly of Berkshire Housing, discusses the Senior Center project. Mr. Webb wrote last year's grant for the Senior Center that was withdrawn prior to submittal because the architect's project cost estimates were higher than the allowable grant amount. Tom now works privately but has carried his Berkshire Housing portfolio with him. The cost of the Senior Center will be reduced under the new grant application because the Town will be supplying a portion of infrastructure items under the Village School reconstruction project. It is agreed that Mr. Webb will continue to do preliminary work in anticipation of applying for the next grant round. However, it will not be submitted until the Town opens bids in early November for the Village School project. If bids come in over estimates then both the Village School project and Senior Center will have to be re-examined. Tom notes that a Public Hearing, as a grant requirement, will need to be scheduled for the first part of November.

Other Items:    Board reviews and signs a driveway permit for Richard Klein.

        Upon the recommendation of Chief of Police Karl Cooper, TSC makes a motion to appoint Eric Munson as a Part-time Police Officer. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

        Board approves a request from the Library Trustees to seek private donations as matching share to a State Library grant they are seeking to purchase new computers for the Library.

        Board reviews a recent report on the Transfer Station as required by the DEP. The only item of note in the report is the need to post an emergency phone number at the facility.

        Board schedules a Public Hearing for the Village Oven on October 16, 2006 to consider an application for a Change of Manager.

7:40 PM:        There being no additional business to discuss, TSC makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Meeting Minutes approved by:



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

Date: ______________



Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
October 16, 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 reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.

Chief of Police Karl Cooper introduces and recommends Tom Rubino to be appointed as a Part-time Police Officer. Chief Cooper presents Mr. Rubino's training records and provides a background. Following a discussion, TSC makes a motion to approve Mr. Rubino's nomination. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Chief Cooper furnishes training records for all Department Officers.

Board reviews and approves weekly warrants.

7:00 PM:        Public Hearing opens to consider a Change of Manager application for the Village Oven. The application seeks to replace William Boudreau with Anthony Swenson. The application is complete and there is no one present from the public to speak for or against the application. TSC makes a motion to approve the application for Change of Manager. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor. Public Hearing is closed.

7:10 PM:        Treasurer Bruce Turner addresses the Board. Bruce recently turned in his letter of resignation as West Stockbridge Treasurer. Bruce acknowledges that he cannot devote the time required to do a proper job. Bruce apologizes for getting behind in the work and notes that he has had some trouble getting up to speed with the new software system. Bruce recommends that the Board consider combining the positions of Treasurer and Collector as is done in a number of communities. Board will debate that issue. MK thanks Bruce for coming in and talking with the Board. Bruce notes that he knows of two working Treasurers in nearby communities who may be interested in working in West Stockbridge.

Other Items:    TSC passes along an item from Dog Officer John Springstube that Matt Merritt is upset with the Dog Officer for charging a kennel fee for Mr. Merritt's stray dog that was picked up.

        MK instructs AA to speak to Tom Webb, formerly of Berkshire Housing, about the need to go out to bid again for the grant administration portion of the Senior Center grant.

        Finance Committee is meeting tomorrow evening. TSC and CW will attend.

        AA notes that several water shut off notices have been sent for past due accounts. Services will be shut off next Monday if payment is not received.

        Board reviews a list of fourteen letters recently sent to homeowners who lack a Certificate of Occupancy. The list was provided by the Building Inspector and the letters urging people to contact the Building Inspector to rectify the deficiency were sent in response to concerns raised by other Town Boards. Earlier in tonight's meeting, Dominick Luchi dropped of a letter in response to the Selectmen's Certificate of Occupancy letter.

        Board reviews a letter from the Wine Merchants and Concerned Citizens for Safety lobby seeking support for a No vote on the November election ballot question #1. Board takes no action.

8:00 PM:        There being no additional business, TSC makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Meeting minutes approved by:


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

Date: _____________


Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
October 23, 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.

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

TSC suggests that Treasurer Bruce Turner write a letter extending his resignation date a few weeks until a replacement is hired and trained. Board agrees.

Board discusses the Senior Center project. Plans and specifications for the Village School conversion project will be forwarded to Clark and Green. A public hearing date to discuss the Senior Center project will be set after bids for the Village School project are opened later in November.

Resident Peter Thorne discusses recent press items that talked about removing tolls from the MassPike. Peter asked the Board if they would support removing tolls. MK recommends that the Board wait until after the November elections before weighing in. Board agrees.

Fire Chief Peter Skorput asks the Board if it would be all right to paint the exterior of the Fire Station. The current white is hard to keep clean and attracts bugs. Peter suggests a shade of red and says that volunteers would be used to do the painting. Board agrees but requests to see the color before it is painted. Peter also asks if it would be all right to place a new flagpole at the front right side of the Fire Station. CW will check with neighbors before Board gives their approval.

Other Items:

The Town has $2,500 worth of credit dollars built up to be used exclusively for a solar project in Town. Credits earned are a reflection of recycling tonnage generated from the Transfer Station. There is a meeting in Williamstown on November 2nd to discuss ways to use the credits. AA to attend.

AA reports that recent water service shut off notices proved effective. All past due accounts have been paid.

There will be a site visit for interested contractors tomorrow at Village School. Architect and Project Mgr. will attend. Contractor questions will be addressed in an addenda.

Board will revisit discussions on the future of the old Town Hall once the Village School project gets underway.

Board discusses future meeting space once the Village School project begins in November. After discussing the Selectmen's request with Masonic Lodge members, Larry Tonini responded that the Lodge must respectfully deny use of the Lodge for Selectmen's meetings. Following a review of remaining options for a temporary meeting place, MK suggests contacting St. Patrick's Church to see if the Parish Center would be available. MK notes that an earlier opinion from Town Counsel ruled that there are no church/state legal issues with public meetings at the Parish Center.

TSC notes that the last use of the Village School prior to construction will be on 11/10 for a program by the Friends of the Library.

TSC reports that RCI archival services will begin their work on Town records following the November elections.

AA informs the Board that a member of the Stockbridge Transfer Station Committee toured the West Stockbridge facility and was very impressed with the cleanliness and overall operation of the facility. MK suggests sending a complimentary letter to operator Bill Pixley. The facility just went through an annual inspection as required by DEP and passed with flying colors.

Bill Hillman requested that he be able to store the wrestling mats in the gym during construction. After viewing the mats, Board grants permission.

CW asks if the Town should look into other suppliers for electricity. AA notes that he has been in touch with the Franklin Council of Governments that is willing to come to a meeting to discuss options for providers.

MK asks if activities on downtown improvements are proceeding with the contractor. CW responds that he has been in touch with Guertin Associates and that a representative will be picking up information soon.

CW and TSC wish MK a Happy Birthday.

7:40 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, TSC makes a motion to adjourn. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Meeting minutes approved by:


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


Date: _______________




Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
October 30, 2006

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Michael Kirchner (MK), Curt Wilton (CW), Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC). Also present: Administrative Assistant (AA). Press represented by Berkshire Eagle and Berkshire Record.

Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes.

6:40 PM:        MK welcomes Cable TV Commission members Carol Kuller and Mati Kiin. Carol begins with a discussion of a program called Loose Change that ran on Channel 2 on 9-11-06. The showing caused some unhappiness among residents.

        Carol presents the Board with the Cable Commission's Mission Statement. The Statement says, in short, that the appointed Commission has sole editorial control over programming. MK notes that the Board contacted Town Counsel on the question of what is and isn't appropriate to air on a local accesses public television channel and who has control over programming. The answer from Town Counsel was that programming is up to the Commission and that appropriateness isn't easily defined. MK states that the Board needs to maintain a "hands-off" position. MK suggests that a disclaimer be added to programming that states that items shown are not necessarily the opinion of the Selectmen or any other Town Board or Commission. Mati agrees. But at present, system technology is limited.

        Carol and Mati state that any citizen can present programming to the Commission.

        On the question of saving space for the Cable TV Commission in the Village School, MK notes that the 'undesignated space' is just that. A number of uses will need to be considered as the reconstruction project moves along.

        Carol introduces Tom Ross from West Center Road and asks if the Board will consider him to fill the vacancy on the Commission. Tom gives a background of his interests in local access TV. TSC makes a motion to appoint Mr. Ross to fill the vacancy. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken 5-0 in favor.

        Norwin Rehm reminds the Board and audience that DVD's and CD's are protected by copyright laws and cannot be broadcast without permission.

        CW thanks the Cable Commission for their efforts to date and notes that he hasn't heard any complaints other than the Loose Change program.

7:10 PM:        Other Items:

        Board reviews a contract proposal from CTC to provide phone service to the Village School. It is a 3-year contract that includes a dedicated T-1 line with local and long distance along with data and internet. CW notes that the cost of all is about 40% less than what the Town is paying now and will be a better, faster system. TSC makes a motion to approve the contract. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

        TSC discusses the new Town website. She has distributed a list of all the Town departments that need to get their information in. The start up date for the website has been pushed back to December 1.

        Board reviews Addendum #1 as issued by EDM for the Village School project. It is noted that the list of questions asked by bidders is short because the quality of the project plans and specifications.

        A pre-bid walkthrough for the asbestos abatement portion of the Village School project will be on 11-1-06 at 11:00 AM.

        It is noted that the Village School furnaces have been serviced and cleaned. In the future, they will be scheduled for preventative maintenance on an annual basis.

        It is noted that the emergency generator has been installed at the Fire Station/Highway garage and is waiting for the gas service to be hooked up and tested.

        Resident Steve McMahon informs the Board that he has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Upper Housatonic National Heritage Association. A substantial amount of funding may be available in the coming years for projects of historic importance located in the Housatonic River watershed. Steve asks the Board to keep this in mind and to present any project thoughts to him. Board thanks Steve.

7:40 PM:        There being no further business to discuss, TSC makes a motion to adjourn. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.


Meeting Minutes approved by:


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


Date: ________________

        






 
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