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2017 - Minutes of March 6, 13, 20, 27 Meetings
Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 6, 2017

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

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

6:50 PM:        CW opens the regular portion of the meeting.

CW notes that all Surplus Equipment bids are in order after reviewing last week’s bid opening.
EM makes a motion to award, as high bidder, Troy’s Garage, the used Chevy pick-up truck at $277.00. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

EM makes a motion to award, as high bidder, Troy’s Garage, the used Kubota tractor at $3,077.00. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

CW notes that the used Council on Aging (COA) van was accidentally hit by a highway vehicle while in storage following the closing of bids. CW furnishes a repair estimate from a local body shop in the amount of $1,473.20. Discussion follows as to whether to repair the damage and ship it off to auction or offer it to the high bidder without making repairs. Board decides to offer it as is to the high bidder at his submitted bid before making a decision.

7:00 PM:        Chief of Police Marc Portieri gives his monthly update to the Board. Chief introduces part-time police officer candidate Jacob Stringer. Mr. Stringer currently is a part time officer in Lenox and Stockbridge and has all required certifications and training. Additionally, he has Fire Academy training. EM makes a motion to appoint Mr. Stringer as a part-time police officer through the period ending June 30, 2017. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0. Officer Stringer is instructed to be sworn in by the Town Clerk before beginning work. Chief Portieri proposes a new parking ticket system, which is the product of Plymouth County Cooperative and is used by multiple cities and towns across the state. Currently, local parking tickets are treated as a non-criminal disposition matter and are largely ignored. With the new system, offenders would have their license and registration renewals flagged if the fines are not paid. There would be no additional cost to the Town and the Town would receive the ticket revenues. Board is interested but wishes to research the program further before agreeing. Chief states that he will be meeting with Turnpark owners in the next week to try and get a sense of their level of activity once they open for business this year. Chief has scheduled intermittent overnight shifts to cover early morning speeders through town and for school bus safety.
Other business/discussion/action items:
  • CW will coordinate with Foresight Engineering and Maxymillian and the W.S. ConsCom for the repair of the Shaker Mill Dam retaining wall. Work will be conducted under a 30-day emergency order.
  • Parks and Recreation member Roland Dudney presents the Committee’s FY 2018 budget and capital items request. A fence between the Village School outdoor basketball court and parking area is discussed to address safety concerns. Mr. Dudney notes that he has a previous proposal estimate for the fence and that there is adequate balance in the current year budget to cover the cost. Board agrees to go ahead with installing the fence. Board also agrees to allow Parks and Recreation to submit a grant application for new playground equipment at the Village School. Board thanks Mr. Dudney for his efforts.
  • CW recuses himself from the Selectmen’s role and leaves the table and presents the FY 2018 Highway Department budget to the Board. No action is taken, as the Board and FinCom will be reviewing all budget submittals during the month of March.
  • AA reports that the Town’s annual audit is underway and that the auditors will be in Town of and on for the next 3 weeks.
  • Board has a general discussion about staffing at the Transfer Station. Board of Health is in charge of operations and staffing and is addressing temporary help options.
  • Board continues last meeting’s discussion on the W.S. Fire Department services study and recommendations. CW asks to review the current new member application and process of appointing new members. Following discussion, AA will draft an updated version for review at future meeting. CW thanks Peter for furnishing required insurance forms filled out by roster so that there is an accurate accounting of active members in the event of an accident. Peter then explains the hiring process for new members. Six-month probation is standard. Recruits are required to pass Fire Safety training and are observed by the Chief during the probation period. No recruit is exposed to dangerous situations until the Chief is satisfied that they are capably trained. CW states that he is trying to help Peter with improving the Department by addressing the recommendations of the Municipal Resources Inc (MRI) study. CW stresses that paperwork and record keeping are important. CW would like to meet new recruits when they are appointed so that they feel involved. CW suggests monthly updates to the Selectmen from the Chief, just as the Chief of Police currently does. Peter will follow up with required NIMS 100 and 700 on line training of all members. CW notes that progress is being made in response to the MRI report. Peter notes that two new members are currently in training. CW addresses MRI recommendation of simultaneous notification of area Departments to improve response numbers and time. CW asks Peter to contact Richmond, Alford, Stockbridge and any other abutting Departments to discuss simultaneous notification on calls and report back to the Board with his findings. CW notes that public safety is the Board’s primary concern and that he and the Board is not interested in micromanaging the Department. Peter notes that Engine 1 is the subject of some manufacturer’s recalls which are being addressed.
9:00 PM:        There being no further business to come before the Board, EM makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken , 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Curt Wilton, Chair                             Earl Moffatt                                     Peter Skorput

Date: __________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 13, 2017

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

Board reviews and approves previous meeting minutes as presented.
Board reviews and signs payroll and vendor warrants.

6:50 PM:        CW opens the regular portion of the meeting.

Board signs 2018 election caucus. Annual caucus will be held on March 27th at 7:00 PM.

AA notes that the Town’s auditors have been working here over the past week and will return towards the end of March to complete their FY 2016 audit report.

AA provides the Board with an update on the condition of the Interchange 1 solar project. MA DOT has been in contact with the solar contractor (Ameresco). MA DOT states that the site will be cleaned up in the spring and that screening possibilities will be entertained by the contractor once the project is completed.

EM reports to the Board on last Thursday’s meeting with Richmond Selectman Manzolini, Richmond Administrator Mark Pruhinski, Mark Webber and Earl Moffatt. The two-hour meeting discussed a wide range of possible sharing opportunities between the two towns. The intent of the meeting was to lay the groundwork for a future full two town Board of Selectmen meeting. Among the topics discussed were: sharing a town administrator; providing W.S. transfer station access to Richmond residents who now only have one day a week curbside service; ways to improve fire and ambulance response time and coverage; Council on Aging sharing and expansion opportunities and; wastewater personnel. It is noted that the two towns have long standing sharing and cooperative arrangements, including: Richmond Ambulance; shared Highway Department personnel and equipment and; Richmond/West Stockbridge Community Health. EM notes that the two administrators will flesh out potential sharing details prior to scheduling a full two town Board meeting.

Board continues its discussion with Fire Chief Peter Skorput and recommendations from the Municipal Resources Institute (MRI) operations report. Following review, a revised new Fire Department member application is approved. PS explains the distinctions between the W.S. Fire Department and the W.S. Fire Rescue Service. While only members of the Department can be members of the Service, the Service is considered a separate entity with its own tax id status and rules of organization. PS states that the Service accepts gifts and does fund raising to supplement the Department’s operations. The Department is a Town entity. Peter notes that, as a Strong Chief, he makes all appointments, including officers.  EM asks how and if training can be improved. Peter responds that training does take place. Larry Morse is the Department training officer and he sends out notices to members when trainings are scheduled.  CW notes that it is important to improve record keeping and documentation on training and all phases of the Department’s operations. CW encourages Peter to continue to seek new recruits. CW asks Peter about Report recommended protocols on simultaneous notification of Richmond Fire when a significant event takes place in West Stockbridge such as structure fire or car accident. Peter said he spoke with the Richmond Chief and agreed to simultaneous notification. Richmond does not want to be called on simple alarm cases. Peter adds that he sent an email to County Dispatch informing them of the call protocol change. Resident Bob Powell asks what would happen if Chief Skorput was suddenly unable to act as Chief. Peter responds that Larry Morse would run the Department although he would be unable to assume the role on a long-term basis because of work restrictions.

8:30 PM:        With not additional business to come before the Board and no questions or comments from those in attendance, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Curt Wilton, Chair                             Earl Moffatt                                     Peter Skorput

Date: __________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 20, 2017

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

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

Other Business/Discussion/Action Items:
  • Developer Mark Scoco addresses the Board regarding the possibility and process required to convert Silvermine Road from a private drive into a Town accepted and maintained road. Mr. Scoco states that some Silvermine residents have expressed an interest in converting the road to Town ownership. Board notes that an article can be placed on the warrant of the Annual Town Meeting either by petition of 10 registered town voters or the Selectmen can choose to place the article on the warrant by consent. Board acknowledges that the road is built to full sub-division specifications but asks what benefit would the Town realize if it accepted maintenance and ownership of the road. Currently the road is maintained by a neighborhood association. Mark may seek to gather the required signatures and will seek input from the Planning Board before going forward.
  • Board continues its discussion on the West Stockbridge Fire Department operations in response to a previously issued report and recommendations conducted by Municipal Resources Institute. As discussed at the previous Board meeting, Chief Peter Skorput (Chief) issues a monthly report update to the Board and provides the Board with a stack of personnel files of his membership containing training and associated records. Board reviews them. Chief notes that he has two NIMS certifications himself and that he is waiting for the opportunity to take the third test once it becomes available. Some of his membership have one or more of the NIMS test certificates. Some members are taking the test this evening at the Fire Station. Chief states that the Department’s jaws of life apparatus are being tested. Chief notes that a joint training session took place with the Richmond fire department last week for search and rescue. Chief states that one of the new members is interested in taking the Firefighters One training course. CW notes that the program instills pride in those who graduate. CW adds that he acknowledges and respects the Chief’s dedication to the Department and that he responds to most every call. However, the Chief, needs to show improvement in administration and record keeping and continuing education and training for his membership. Chief is receptive to discussions regarding possible administrative help going forward. EM asks about fire hydrants being cleaned out and accessible following snow storms. Chief responds that he gets them cleaned out as soon as he can following storms. EM provides recent photos that indicate that the hydrants are snow covered. CW thanks Chief for the update and reiterates that the Board does not wish to micromanage the Fire Department but the Board is charged with responding to the MRI management report and will continue to push for and work with the Chief to make improvements for the benefit of public safety.
  • Board continues its discussion on FY 2018 budget and annual town meeting articles. Board agrees to post and schedule a meeting on 3-23-17 with Chief of Police Marc Portieri to discuss his budget.
8:00 PM:        There being no additional business to come before the Board and no comments or questions from those present, PS makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. CW seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Curt Wilton, Chair                             Earl Moffatt                                     Peter Skorput

Date: __________

Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
March 27, 2017

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

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

7:00 PM:        Board suspends its regular meeting and the Annual Town Caucus is convened. Board will re-convene their regular meeting upon the conclusion of the Annual Caucus.

7:30 PM:        Annual Caucus concludes and Board returns to regular meeting. Updated FY 2018 budget items are distributed to Board for review. Board will meet next Monday and continue upcoming budget and Annual Town Meeting warrant discussion.

CW sets April Board meeting dates as follows: 4/3; 4/10; 4/17; 4/24.

7:40 PM:        CW asks if there are any questions or comments from those in attendance. Hearing none, CW makes a motion to adjourn the meeting. PS seconds the motion. Vote taken, 3-0 in favor.

Meeting minutes approved by:

__________________________      __________________________      ________________________
Curt Wilton, Chair                             Earl Moffatt                                     Peter Skorput

Date: __________



 
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