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2014 - Minutes of October 6, 20 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
October 6, 2014

6:00 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Peter Skorput (PS), Chair; Earl Moffatt (EM); Karen Zick (KZ). Also present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel.

EM motions to go into executive session per MGL Ch 39:23B(2) and to return to open meeting upon its conclusion. Voice vote taken: PS, aye; KZ, aye; EM, aye.

Executive Session

7:00 PM:        Board returns to open meeting session.

BHRSD Superintendent Peter Dillon and BHRSD School Committee Chair Steve Bannon address the Board and provide an update on the high school renovation project and November 4, 2014 vote for project funding.

Supt. Dillon states that project informational sessions have been held in Gt Barrington to help voters better understand the project and its costs. $4.1M has been cut from the original project cost which was defeated a year ago. Supt. Dillon, in response to a question from EM, states that temporary classroom trailers will be used to save construction time and expense.

Supt. Dillon notes that the Stockbridge Board of Selectmen have formally endorsed the renovation project and that he will be seeking an endorsement from the Gt. Barrington Board shortly. Supt. Dillon asks the Board if they would formally endorse the project as well. In response, PS makes a motion for the Board to endorse the high school renovation project as proposed and to be voted upon at the November 4 general election. EM seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor. Supt. Dillon and Mr. Bannon thank the Board.

7:20 PM:        Cable TV Commission member Carol Kuller addresses the Board regarding the renewal
of the Charter Cable Television contract with the Town. Carol reviews the transition from Charter to Time Warner and to Comcast. Following consultation with Town Counsel, the W.S. Cable Commission and members of the Town's Wired West/MBI Broadband Committee, Carol recommends that the Board  take a wait and see position and not sign a contract renewal with Charter at the present time. Carol notes that it is not uncommon for a contract not to be renewed by the deadline as long as negotiations remain open. There is little likelihood that Charter will suspend service to W.S. Cable subscribers and that the Town would be better off negotiating with Comcast once the dust settles from the transition of holdings from Charter to Comcast. Following a discussion, PS makes a motion to support the efforts and recommendation of the W.S. Cable TV Commission regarding the contract renewal. KZ seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Other Business/Discussion/Action Items:

  • Board discusses request from Transfer Station Attendant for vacation pay. Board asks AA to follow up and to get more information before making a decision.
  • Board executes refunding notes for the Village School renovation project. AA notes that credit goes to Town Treasurer Karen Williams for initiating this re-financing of the remaining Village School/Town Offices/Police Station/Library construction bond which will save taxpayers more than $110,000 over the remaining period of the borrowing, which ends in 2022, by securing a lower interest rate and reduced borrowing term.
  • Board approves 3 Village School Use Requests.
8:00 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, KZ makes a motion to
adjourn the meeting. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Earl Moffatt                                       Karen Zick

Date: ___________



Meeting Minutes
October 20, 2014

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting
Quorum present: Peter Skorput (PS), Chair; Earl Moffatt (EM); Karen Zick (KZ). Also     present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel.

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

7:00 PM:        Reconvene Rent Control Board (RCB) Public Hearing.

7:05 PM:        PS re-opens the hearing as originally opened on 6-23-14. PS gives a summary of events
leading up to tonight's continuation, including: submittal of documents from both tenant association and owner; town counsel input. PS thanks all in attendance for their patience in this process and states that each side will be given an opportunity to present their cases again this evening following a review of events to be provided by town counsel Patricia Cantor (PC).

PC reviews a memorandum issued to the RCB dated 10-20-14 and provides copies to both the tenants association, represented by Evie Kerswell (EK) and owner Eric Leveque (EL). Copy of above named memo attached.

EL then reads his summary of evidence into the records and provides copies of supporting documents to the RCB and tenant's association. Copy of EL submittals attached. Based on EL's submittals this evening, he states that a monthly base rent of approximately $470 is justified by the expenses reviews as provided by EL's experts as submitted this evening.

EK asks that all submittals provided by EL this evening be disregarded since they've been made available to all only this evening and that he's had ample time to submit data and back-up over the past several months. PC notes that her memorandum issued this evening does not consider this evening's submittals from EL.

RCB then goes through the list of operating expenses provided by both the owner and the tenant's association. Several expense items are agreed upon by all. Other expenses items are not likely to be considered into rent adjustment calculations because they are not allowable operating expenses, including: cost of complying with DEP minimum standards regarding tie in to municipal water system, although the ongoing cost of supplying drinking water and municipal sewer expenses will be considered a legitimate operating expense. Legal costs associated with lawsuit brought by tenants is not an allowable expense. Cost of heating oil spill cleanup is not an allowable expense. PC will further review expense figures provided by each side and suggest to the RCB what can and can't be allowed as legitimate operating expense

EL raises the topic of a lawsuit brought against him by the tenants association and notes that he may well be responsible for a sizable payment to each tenant and that any such amount should be factored in to the tenants ability to pay for a rent increase. EK notes that the lawsuit is in mediation stage and has not been finalized and any settlement cannot be linked to this petition in front of the RCB this evening. EK voices her frustration over the length of time this process has taken and urges the RCB to come to a decision tonight.

PC suggests that a further review of operating costs needs to be done before a final decision can be issued by the RCB. PC further suggests that the RCB continue tonight's hearing for a few weeks.

8:15 PM:        PS makes a motion to continue tonight's hearing until November 3, 2014 at 7:00 PM.
EM seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor. PS thanks everyone for their attendance.

Other Business/Action/Discussion Items:

  • AA provides the Board with an update of the Downtown Enhancements Project. Work is going along on schedule with no issues expressed to date. Contractor has been informed that sidewalks need to be open and accessible for Trick or Treat on 10/31.
  • Board signs the 2 election warrants (Statewide and BHRSD building project ballot vote). Warrants to be posted by Constable 7 days prior to November 4 election.
  • Following a review, Board signs off on a 60 day posting waiver for an Agricultural Preservation Restriction for property on West Center Road known as the Fadding Farm. The waiver allows for the State to act on the application prior to the formal 60-day waiting period.
  • Chairman PS signs EMPG contract, which provides $4,000 in emergency equipment grant funding for W.S. Emergency Services.
8:15 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board, KZ makes a motion to
adjourn the meeting. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Peter Skorput, Chair                          Earl Moffatt                                       Karen Zick

Date: ___________



 
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