Board of Selectmen
January 26, 2009
6:30 PM: Open Meeting
Quorum present: Tina Skorput Cooper (TSC), Chair. Curt Wilton (CW). Michael Kirchner unable to attend.
Board reviews and approve previous meeting minutes. Board reviews and approves weekly warrants.
Board has a general discussion about whether or not to charge user fees for the Village School gymnasium. AA informs Board that the Town’s insurer, in the past, has advised not to charge fees because doing so would place the Town in an enhance liability position. AA will contact other towns and Town’s insurer to further research the question.
Board discusses the heating system at Village School town offices and the apparent uneven distribution of heat. The east side rooms seem to be much warmer than the west side, including the library.
Board reviews and approves Village School use requests as follows: Berkshire Rugby; Housatonic youth basketball and a Sunday birthday party for a resident.
Board reviews and signs off on Chapter 90 Highway funding
reimbursements. Town will receive approximately $230,000 from the State for paving work done this past year on High Street and Swamp Road.
Board reviews and signs an agreement with Foresight Land Services for downtown improvements engineering services. An appropriation of $50,000 was approved for downtown improvement design services at last May’s Annual Town Meeting. The Board has set the scope of work to include: downtown sidewalks; paving; curbing and enhancements. Public hearings will be held to receive public comment once conceptual designs (25% design) are completed by the engineers. Board points out that design
costs are always borne by the Town and are a prerequisite to any project funding application the town may seek. AA informs the Board that he has had preliminary discussions with Berkshire Regional Planning on various grant funding options for the project.
AA informs the Board that he and Lee Town Administrator Bob Nason met on 1/23 with Sen. Downing and Rep. Pignatelli to convey the town’s concerns with a proposal to change the tollbooth structure along the MassPike. A proposal being considered by MassPike and the Governor would eliminate all tollbooths west of Rte. 128 except for Exit 1 (West Stockbridge) and Exit 9 (Sturbridge). The West Stockbridge Selectmen have expressed their fear (in writing to the Chairman of MassPike and the Governor) that such a proposal would have negative unintended consequences for West Stockbridge, Stockbridge, and Lee. Traffic, especially heavy trucks, when faced with a steep toll at the New York/Massachusetts border would circumvent the Exit 1 tollbooth and travel along Rte. 102 and
enter the MassPike at Exit 2 in Lee and not pay any toll. In addition to perhaps millions in lost revenue to MassPike, the downtowns of West Stockbridge and Stockbridge would suffer from increased truck and vehicular traffic. Sen. Downing and Rep. Pignatelli pledged to keep a close eye on these developments and understand the town’s concerns.
Highway Supt. Curt Wilton and AA met last week with FEMA representatives to discuss the Town’s application for storm reimbursement funds. It is anticipated that the Town will receive approximately $7,500 in FEMA ice storm reimbursement funds.
AA informs the Board that free cash will be certified by the Department of Revenue prior for consideration at the Feb. 9 Special Town Meeting. Free cash will be lower than in recent past years because a large amount ($405,000) was used at the FY ’09 Annual Town Meeting.
Board reviews and approves an auctioneer’s license application for J.P. King Auctioneers for a residential property sale.
AA informs the Board that the emergency generator will be on line in the next week with updated automatic switchgear. The generator, which will supply electricity to the entire Village School complex, will kick in automatically in the event of a power outage. The Village School is the Town’s designated emergency shelter.
7:45 PM: There being no additional business to come before the Board, CW makes a
motion to adjourn the meeting. TSC seconds the motion. Vote taken, 2-0 in favor.
Meeting minutes approved by:
Tina Skorput Cooper, Chair Curt Wilton