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2015 - Minutes of July 20, 27 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
July 20, 2015

6:30 PM:        Open Meeting. Board conducts business session.
Quorum present: Earl Moffatt (EM), Chair; Peter Skorput (PS); Curt Wilton (CW). Also present: Admin Asst Mark Webber (AA). Press present: Local Yokel.

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

7:04 PM:        EM discusses receipt of approval from Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission
(ABCC) for an Alteration of Premises application as submitted by Rouge, Inc and approved by the Board of Selectmen in their capacity as Local Licensing Authority (LLA) at a public hearing held on June 29, 2015. Board signs the approved display license, which is effective July 14, 2015 through December 31, 2015.

Other Business/Action/Discussion Items:
  • AA gives an update to the downtown paving project. Contractor DelSignore completed the first phase of grinding last week. This was followed by the leveling course of blacktop on Depot and Center Streets. Next up will be the leveling course of paving on Main Street, which is expected the later part of this week. Next will be several days of small crews working around the project area raising  and adjusting structures to facilitate final paving, which will take place within the next 10 days to 2 weeks. Then, all the work will be done in the downtown area. CW notes that the communication between the contractor and the Town hasn't been great and that the contractor needs to keep everyone better informed as to work schedule and need for police details.
  • AA give Board an update on the downtown improvements (sidewalks, curbing, etc) project. Contractor Caracas is all done except for a few minor projects, which will take place as soon as materials are delivered. Expected within the next 30 days are the railings for the old town hall steps and the new fence at the edge of Baldwin Hardware and Depot Street. It is noted that the fence was upgraded from the original design at a cost of $5,000, which is covered under the original contract.
  • Parks and Recreation Commission member Roland Dudney updates the Board on Parks and Rec activities. Mr Dudney has researched costs of both sealing the cracks and resurfacing the tennis courts and adjacent basketball court at the Village School/Town Hall. It is decided that the sealing should take place regardless in order to stave off further deterioration. Cost of crack sealing, resurfacing and painting at basketball court is $1,800 and $6,000 for the same treatment at the tennis court. Resurfacing (after crack sealing) of the tennis court if more vendors can be found, additional quotes will be solicited for the final resurfacing. AA will research the availability of past funding which was earmarked for this project a few years ago. Also discussed, was the need to cut back vegetation around both courts and the need to look at a section of curbing/drainage that may be a hazard to players. Town Custodian will take care of those items. Mr Dudney notes that more sand will be added to the beach area at Card Pond, the geese have not been a problem this year and there will be a season end gathering at the Pond, yet to be scheduled (see attached).
  • Mr Dudney also gives an update on the Farmer's Market. In particular, he voices earlier concerns about the lack of toilet paper in the public restrooms during the Thursday Farmer's Market. He gets repeated complaints from visitors. Following a discussion, it is settled that the Town Custodian will keep a closer eye on the supplies and that those associated with the Farmer's Market will pitch in as well (see attached).
  • Board reviews a letter from Josh Billings Race organizers. This year's race will be held on September 20th. Race organizers will, as always, coordinate activities with W.S. Police, Fire and Highway departments leading up to the race date.
  • At the request of Wired West/MBI Town representative Steve Sautman, Board appoints resident Philip Gorth and Wired West/MBI alternate.
  • AA informs the Board that a final version of the Charter Cable TV contract renewal has been sent along to Charter Cable for their review and comment. It is expected that Charter will send a counter proposal and terms to the Town in the next several weeks. Board thanks Cable Commission members for their continued efforts in putting together a this proposal and all the time that's been spent, particularly the efforts of Carol Kuller and Jackie DelRossi.
8:10 PM:        There being no further business to come before the Board, EM makes a motion
to adjourn the meeting. Motion seconded by PS. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Earl Moffatt, Chair                            Peter Skorput                                    Curt Wilton

Date: ___________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
July 27, 2015

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

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

7:00 PM:        Eric Nakajima (EK), representing Mass Broadband Institute (MBI), gives a presentation
and updates on the last mile initiative. EK notes that West Stockbridge along with several other Western Mass towns has passed a borrowing article at spring 2016 town meeting in order to go out to bond to construct high speed broadband to all homes in West Stockbridge. EK adds that Governor Baker has recently released $19M as the Commonwealth's initial share towards the last mile build out. He expects a 5-yr build out plan to be issued shortly with more details. EK states that the State will begin utility pole surveys shortly as soon as a contractor is chosen. There are 63,000 utility poles throughout the Western Mass service area. Another important step is the finalizing of the system's network design. EK points out that no local money from towns that approved bonding will be looked for until at least fiscal year 2017. EK will gladly come back and address the Board with updates as the program progresses. Board thanks Eric for his presentation.

7:20 PM:        Carol Kuller, member of the W.S. Cable Commission gives an update to the Board
regarding the Town's ongoing contract renewal negotiations with Charter Cable TV. Carol expresses the Commissions frustration with the disconnect among Town Counsel, Charter and the Town during the past several months of negotiation, particularly that Town Counsel  has not been responsive to the Commissions suggestions for contract renewal items. Carol asks that the Board support a letter to Town Counsel (draft attached), which spells out what the Commission is seeking from Town Counsel and negotiations with Charter. Board agrees to sign on to Carol's directions to Town Counsel and thanks Carol and her Committee for their dedication. EM states that the Town needs to fight the fight during cable TV contract negotiations even if we don't end up with everything we ask for.

Other Business/Action/Discussion Items:
  • CW reports that he has been frustrated with downtown paving contractor DelSignore, primarily with shortfalls in coordination and communication to date. He notes that the initial phase, or true and leveling paving is complete. Now, the contractor has to adjust all of the manhole, water and sewer structures to meet the height of final paving. Final paving will follow and will take 2-3 days to complete, which will start sometime next week. In response to a question about the new curbing and angle at the intersection of Main/Swamp/Lenox Road and vehicles hitting the curb resulting in flat tires, both EM notes that the layout is unchanged from prior to construction. Nothing has changed except for the new curb which replaced the deteriorated section. CW adds that trucks making the sharp turn to either Swamp or Lenox need to be more careful and notes that there is no reason for trucks to travel Swamp Road and that there is a truck ban in place on Lenox Road and trucks using that route should be ticketed. CW adds that there will continue to be occasional traffic detours related to the Rte 41 bridge rebuild. The condition of the bridge is far worse than initially thought and workers occasionally need to work under the bridge to shore it up and can't have traffic going over them.
  • Board continues Town Custodian discussion. Town custodian Dom Luchi is present. CW states that he wishes that the custodian be contacted directly by groups/residents/committees for items that they wish or need to be addressed. He says that Dom is easy to get a hold off. Rather than pointing fingers, better communication would be more helpful. CW notes that Dom addresses his custodial work primarily and helps out with the Highway Dept when needed. He notes that the position is officially known as Buildings and Grounds Superintendent and that the job is largely self directed and that he doesn't answer directly to the Highway Dept. CW also requests that Dom, having not had a raise in 2 years, be given a salary increase this year, stating that the Town needs to pay its help what they're worth in order to keep them. PS asks when the title of Supt of Buildings and Grounds was created. PS states that the custodian still works under the direction of the Selectmen. When comments or requests concerning the custodian come to PS, he forwards them to the AA for follow up. PS notes that residents are sometimes more comfortable speaking directly with a Board member rather than directly to Dom. CW notes that a prior Board of Selectmen created the position of Buildings and Grounds Supt along with a job description. PS adds that most of the custodian's responsibilities are straight maintenance and those items need to take priority. Dominick agrees. Board takes no action on CW's suggestion of giving Dominick a raise. Resident Richard Squailia suggests that personnel matters such as is being discussed now, would be better suited to a closed session. No further action taken by the Board.
  • AA informs the Board that Town Counsel recommends that a Special Town Meeting should be called to present an article to allow the Town to enter into a net metering agreement with a large scale solar provider constructing a facility in Adams. Although the net metering agreement has already been vetted by Town Counsel between the same provider and other communities around the State, it is still recommended that it be considered and adopted at Town Meeting. AA notes that the agreement, based on the purchase of solar energy credits created by the .5mW system being built in Adams will save the Town an average of $10,000 a year for the next 20 years on the Town's electric bills. Board discusses calling for a Special Town Meeting for the purpose of the net metering agreement. CW makes a motion to tentatively set the meeting for August 17, 2015. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.
  • Board reviews and approves a curb cut permit for a new home on Washington Square and access to a wood lot on Maple Hill Road.
  • Resident notes that the Town website needs to be updated with current Board members names. AA will contract webmaster Bill Biggs and adds that any other Town website updates or suggestions should be made known to the Selectmen so that they can pass them along. Bill will be glad to make updates.
  • Board discusses the Transfer Station attendant position. EM informs the Board that the Board of Health recommends to the Selectmen that the position be divided between 2 people in order to avoid paying benefits to a position that works 24 hours per week. EM adds that the Board of Heath suggests adding hours on Saturday by opening at 8:00AM instead of the current 10:00 AM. PS would like to see the position stay the same as now with one person and use occasional back up if needed. He states that the current employee does not request health benefits. PS adds that he'd like to see earlier opening on Saturdays as well. CW states that he is undecided on whether there should one or more people in the position. EM states that he is uncomfortable at present voting on the matter, especially since the other 2 Board members are not currently unanimous in their position on one or more employees at the Transfer Station. EM would like to investigate the appropriateness of invoking the rule of necessity if the other 2 members can not reach an agreement on how to proceed. The matter will be continued to a future meeting; no action taken.
8:55 PM:        EM makes a motion to go into executive session per MGL Chapter 39:23B(6) for the
purpose of considering the purchase or value of real estate and not to return to open session upon its conclusion. PS seconds the motion. Voice vote taken: PS, aye; EM, aye; CW, aye.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

9:05 PM:        Board concludes its executive session discussion. CW makes a motion to close the
regular meeting. EM seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Earl Moffatt, Chair                            Peter Skorput                                    Curt Wilton

Date: ____________



 
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