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Selectmen’s Meeting Minutes — October 4, 2007—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

Call to Order:  the meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman, Judd.  Other members present: John Payne and Robert Manners.

Acceptance of Minutes:  a motion was made by John Payne to accept the minutes of September 20, 2007 as written.  The motion was seconded by Joe Judd.  Bob Manners abstained.  Motion passed with 2 votes of acceptance and 1 abstention.

Noteworthy News:
Annual White Goods Collection at the Shelburne Town Garage on Saturday, 10/06/07

Department Liaison Reports:
Highway Department – Bob reported that Guy Manners Road and Hawks Road have been chipped sealed.  The crew has been taking advantage of the warm weather cleaning out ditches, culverts and bleeders.  The recently purchased one ton truck is on the road.  The town will soon be accepting bids for the old truck and the retired senior center van.
Police Department – Joe will be meeting with school officials next week to discuss the possibility of a land swap.  Joe has since learned that a special act of legislation would have to be filed in order to facilitate the swap.  Senator Rosenberg’s office has offered assistance with the process.  Joe has been approached by one resident who feels that it would be a big mistake to relocate the police department away from Bridge Street.  The Board briefly discussed the possibility of the “Swan” block as it is rumored to be on the market for approximately $250,000.
Town Office – John reported that the new phone system has been installed.  Aside from a few initial quirks, it seems to be extremely efficient and we anxiously await the predicted savings in telephone-related expenses.
Miscellaneous – Joe reported that he is working with Art Schwenger with the hopes that the large tourist signs located on the Singley Furniture building can be replaced.  The signs are rotted and becoming an attractive roosting spot for bats.

Old Business:
Michael S. Thomas RE: Class II License Request – before the discussion began, John disclosed that Ricci Smith is a friend and although they have had mutual business dealings with one another, he does not perceive the discussion relative to the Class II license as a potential conflict of interest.  John has given this application a great deal of thought.  He has spoken with Ricci Smith at length, viewed the proposed sight and reviewed the requirements of the law.  With that said, John stated that he is still struggling with the proposed location of the business for two reasons.  First is the issue of safety.  John has looked at other car dealerships and has found them to be located in areas where the speed limit is between 25mph – 30 mph.  Given the 50 mph speed limit, the number of accidents along that stretch of Route 2, poor visibility when exiting the location and the fact that drivers are unfamiliar with the vehicles, John did not feel the location was suitable.  Second, John stated that a number of residents have approached him and do not feel that a used car dealership is suitable for the Mohawk Trail for it is not a tourist-oriented business.  Some feel that this type of business may have a negative impact on tourist-oriented businesses.
Bob agreed that Route 2 is not a safe highway and at a recent public hearing suggested that the Board approach the Mass Highway Department and request that the speed limit be reduced to 40 mph between Peckville Road and Frank Williams Road.  Given the number of motor vehicle accidents along that stretch, Bob feels that the request is worth exploring.  Bob believes that the business is suitable for the Mohawk Trail noting that ten vehicles parked along that stretch would not differ from cars parked along any other business along the Trail.  He suggested that the entrance and exit of the business be reviewed by local police and/or highway to determine the best line of sight for pulling in and exiting.  Once determined, those outlets should be clearly identified with signage.  Bob would like the sign to be tastefully done and in keeping with other businesses along the Trail (citing Coffee Roasters as an example).
Joe began by saying that Ricci Smith is a member of this community and does not believe that he would create a detriment to our town.  Joe has also heard wonderful things about Mr. Thomas.  Joe believes that a precedent has already been set.  There has been a business at that location for over 40 years.  He agrees that the entrance and exits should be clearly marked and that the signage should be tasteful.  In fairness to the applicant, Joe believes that the Board should move forward and approve the license.
When it became apparent through discussions that the license would be approved, John requested that the Board place some conditions on the license relative to traffic flow, hours of operation, signage, lighting, etc.  Neither Joe nor Bob felt that the Board should be so controlling. After a brief discussion, a motion was made by Bob to grant the license providing that the applicant consult with the local police and/or highway personnel in order to determine the safest entrance and exit for the business; that there be no more than 10 vehicles for sale, that no repairs will be done on site, that the signage be in keeping with the Trail and no larger than 35 square feet and that the business comply with all town by-laws, regulations, wetland requirements, sanitary codes and tax requirements.   The motion was seconded by Joe.  Before voting John stated that he felt as though the Board was making a mistake by adding to the risks that already exist along Route 2.   He apologized if he had drawn the discussion out unreasonably.  The motion was put to a vote as follows: Bob – yes; Joe – yes; John – no.  Motion passed 2 to 1.
Arms Library – nothing to report.
Senior Center Lease – nothing to report.
Procedure for Appointments Made by the Board of Selectmen – reacting to  concerns raised when numerous individuals volunteered to serve on the Open Space Committee, the Board developed a policy for their use that outlines the steps to be taken when an individual seeks appointment to a town board and/or committee.   Names of individuals wishing to serve on town boards and/or committees will be forwarded to the appropriate board and/or committee for consideration.  The board and/or committee will review the request and make recommendation to the Board of Selectmen within sixty days.  If a board and/or committee fail to make a recommendation, the Board of Selectmen will proceed with the appointment.
Draft Guidelines for Recording of Meeting Minutes and Fulfilling Record Requests – no action taken.
Cowell Gymnasium RE: Fire Escape Quote – the town has received one quote for the replacement of the Cowell Gymnasium Fire Escape in the amount of $8,471.  Terry Mosher will attempt to obtain two more quotes before proceeding with the work.  A motion was made by Bob to move forward with the work once all quotes have been received.  The motion was seconded by John.  Motion carried unanimously.
F.C. Solid Waste Management District RE: Sale of Compost Bins – Bob to decide whether or not there is enough of a demand to warrant the sale of compost bins at Shelburne’s site.  Bins are currently available in Colrain as well as at the Solid Waste District Office.
Carolyn & David Engle RE: Curb-Cut Inquiry – no action required on behalf of the Board until a curb-cut application is received by Mark Bluver.

NEW BUSINESS:
Update Policy for Grant-Related Payments – a copy of the existing policy was handed out for each Board member to review and/or suggest changes.  The policy will be discussed at the next Selectmen’s meeting.

Adjournment – a motion was made by John to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m.  The motion was seconded by Bob.  Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary