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Selectmen’s Meeting Minutes — October 18, 2007—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

The meeting was called to order by Chairman, Judd at 7:00 p.m.  Other members present were John Payne and Bob Manners.

Acceptance of Minutes: a motion was made by John to accept the minutes of October 4, 2007 as printed.  The motion was seconded by Joe.  Motion carried unanimously.

Noteworthy News – nothing to report.

Department Liaison Reports:
John Payne reported that bi-weekly payroll begins this week.  From this date forward employees will be paid every two weeks rather than weekly.  John attended a quarterly meeting of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments and reported the following: the F.R.C.O.G. will be hosting a technology communication forum sometime in early 2008.  The purpose of the forum is to highlight the need for better technology in this area.  Local legislators have been invited to attend.  The F.R.C.O.G. is also looking at ways to help local Boards of Assessors.  They are investing the need for a regional assessor’s clerk to assist various town boards.  They will also begin to look at local Conservation Commissions to see what services they may be in need of on a regional level.  F.R.C.O.G. will also be sponsoring a series of workshops for Selectmen starting on November 29, 2007.  The topic of the first workshop is: Public Decision Making.  Members of the Board would like to attend the workshop so they will cancel their regularly scheduled for that evening.  The NIMS compliance schedule has been extended to January 28th and there has been some ease in requirements.  Since the closure of the Engineering Department Program, the F.R.C.O.G. has suffered a loss of $75,000 in anticipated revenue. The closure has resulted in a total of $36,000 in savings.  Terry Dun was in attendance to present the Oversight Committee’s budget for fiscal year 2008.  In that presentation Terry Dun noted that there are 66 emergency response teams hooked into the $5 million communication system.  The overall budget is approximately $92,000.  John is unsure what Shelburne’s assessment will be.

Bob Manners reported that the annual white goods and scrap metal collection day was a success.  Work on Guy Manners Road and Hawks Road have been completed and the crew is continuing to perform routine maintenance.

Joe Judd – is still having preliminary discussions with the Mohawk Trail Regional School District with regards to a potential land swap.  Joe stated that despite rumors, the proposed police station facility will not be a $1.2 million complex.

Proposed Police Department Relocation – discussion tabled.

Arms Library – Joe suggested asking a member of the Finance Committee to assist Bob in any future discussions concerning ownership and/or future maintenance of the library building.  Joe is concerned that the Board will find themselves back at town meeting with nothing resolved.  Bob has been unable to meet with Town Counsel as a result of his accident but indicated that he would be happy to have a member of the Finance Committee involved in the process.

Senior Center Lease – Terry Mosher spoke with the Masons attorney Ken Chaffee and he indicated that the lease document is near completion. 

Draft Guidelines for Recording of Meeting Minutes and Fulfilling Requests for Public Records – the Board reviewed and discussed at length the proposed guidelines.  John felt that the first draft that was tailored using the Public Records Law Handbook would be difficult for Board and Committee members to understand as they are part-time volunteers not lawyers therefore he created a second draft that he felt was more user friendly.  Areas of discussion included acknowledgement of requests; who would be responsible for responding to requests within 10 days; the record request form; the clerical rate to be assessed if it became necessary; and that Boards and Committees should be encouraged to post their minutes on the town website to make them readily available to residents.  Suggested changes will be incorporated into the draft document by John for future discussion.

Cowell Gymnasium Fire Escape Quotes – still waiting on one more quote for fabrication and installation of a new fire escape.

F.C.Solid Waste Management District RE: Sale of Earth Machines & Blue Recycling Bins – Bob recommended that the town decline the F.C. Solid Waste Districts request to sell recycling-related devices at the transfer station.  Residents seeking such items can obtain them through the Solid Waste District or by visiting Colrain’s transfer station.

Update Policy on Grant Related Payments – the Board of Selectmen adopted a policy relative to the payment of grant-related invoices in 2005.  Since that time, there have been some changes made to the manner in which the draw downs are processed.  The Treasurer, Virginia Peck brought those changes to the attention of John Payne and asked that they be incorporated.  After review of the minor changes, the Board agreed to incorporate them into the document.  No further action required at this time.

Kevin Parsons RE: Legalized Gambling in Massachusetts – Mr. Parsons submitted an email to members of the Board stating that he believes that the governor’s proposal to legalize casino gambling in the Commonwealth is good for the Commonwealth.  He further believes that boards of selectmen and municipal government representatives should stand up and put pressure on the legislature to approve this proposal.  Mr. Parsons is hopeful that the Board will discuss legalized gambling and make its’ position known.  In a brief discussion Bob stated that he was supportive of the concept of legalized gambling in Massachusetts however, he would like to see the equity spread across the Commonwealth (notably Western Mass).  John recognizes the desperate need to broaden the tax base and provide for more employment opportunities however; he does not have a particular view as to whether or not gambling should be legalized.  John expressed a willingness to listen to both sides of the proposal.  Joe, although not a gambler, is disappointed that only three towns have been approached as potential casino sites. He stated that he is not ready to make a statement in support of the concept.  He would prefer to watch and wait.

Letters of Interest RE: Board/Commission Vacancies – as a result of the town-wide telephone call the Board of Selectmen have received several letters of interest from residents willing to fill town vacancies.  Those letters received by individuals wishing to serve on the Board of Health have been forwarded to that particular Board for their review.  Two letters of interest were received from individuals wishing to serve on the F.R.C.O.G.’s Greater Franklin County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee.  Those individuals are: Bill Ennen of Patten Road and Kevin Maroney of Main Street.  After reviewing both letters a motion was made by Bob to appoint Bill Ennen to serve as Shelburne’s representative and Kevin Maroney to serve as an alternate member.  The motion was seconded by John.  Motion carried unanimously.

Three letters of interest have been received from residents wishing to serve on the Historic Commission.  Before acting on those appointments however, the Board wants to learn more about the role and responsibilities of that particular Commission.

2008 License Renewal Fees:  the cost of doing business in Shelburne will remain the same in 2008.  Executive Secretary, Terry Mosher presented the Board of Selectmen with a list of licensing fees charged in 2007.  Before sending licensing reminder notices to businesses she wanted to provide the Board an opportunity to review the fees and increase them if they deemed necessary.  The fees have not changed since 2004.  The Board of Selectmen reviewed the list of fees and felt they were in order.  A motion was made by Bob to approve the list of fees as presented (i.e. liquor license, food service, etc).  John seconded the motion.  Before putting the matter to vote, John asked why the town needs to charge any fees at all.  He feels that people pay enough in real estate taxes without having to be “nickel and dime” with fees.   Although John agreed to leave the fee structure as is for this year,  he would like to have a philosophical discussion involving all town fees between now and next year.  The original motion was put to a vote and passed unanimously.

Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School 6th Grade Class RE: Request to Close Baker Ave. – Tammy Shippee has requested permission to close Baker Ave. on Saturday, October 20, 2007 so that the 6th grade class can hold a fundraiser.   A race car driver from Colrain will be on hand with his race car allowing individuals to have their picture taken with the car for a small fee.  A motion was made by John to allow the fundraiser.  Motion seconded by Bob.  Motion carried unanimously.

Award of Grant Administration Services RE: Main Street (phase 1) – only one proposal was received following the town’s advertised request for proposals.  Terry recommended that the contract be awarded to the sole proposer, Breezeway Farm Consulting, Inc. of New Salem, MA for a fixed price of $65,800.  A motion was made by Bob to award the contract to Breezeway Farm Consulting, Inc.  The motion was seconded by John.  Motion carried unanimously.
Price Proposals for Demolition of Cross Street Barn – in the preliminary stages of the grant application, it was estimated that the barn could be demolished and disposed of for no more than $10,000.  With that figure in mind, the town solicited proposals from three contractors. Two proposals were received and both exceeded the minimum bid requirement set forth by M.G.L. 149.  Terry Mosher recommended that the Board of Selectmen reject both proposals.  The Town will then advertise the project in the Central Register to accommodate the higher bid threshold.  A motion was made by Bob to reject bid proposals submitted by Bob Cook and Carson Ovitt.  The motion was seconded by John.  Motion carried unanimously.

Sale of Town-Owned Equipment – the town will be placing an advertisement in the local newspaper seeking sealed bids for four surplus items.  The items are as follows: 1999 Chevy One Ton Truck with Plow; 1994 Ford Aerostar 7 Passenger Van; 1993 Dodge Intrepid; and a 10’ Power Angled Plow.  Items can be seen at the Town Highway garage and will be sold in an “as –is” condition.

Halloween  RE: Mechanic Street – in keeping with past practice, Bob suggested that Chief Walker speak to the residents of Mechanic Street about closing the street to vehicular traffic during “trick or treat” hours.  Bob noted that Mechanic Street in particular has an extremely high volume of trick or treaters and in the interest of their safety, the street should be closed.

Adjournment – a motion to adjourn was made by Bob at 9:05 p.m.  Motion seconded by John.  Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary