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Selectmen’s Meeting Minutes — January 24, 2008—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Chairman Joe Judd. Other members present: John Payne. Bob Manners was absent due to a family emergency.

Acceptance of Minutes: A motion was made by Joe to accept the minutes of January 10, 2008 as presented. The motion was seconded by John. Motion carried unanimously.

Noteworthy News:
The Public Officials Training session had to be cancelled for a second time due to severe weather conditions. John suggested that we try and schedule a new session for either Monday March 3rd or Monday, March 10th. Terry will contact Shawn Williams and Bob Ritchie to see if either date is convenient.

The Planning Board will conduct a public hearing on Thursday, January 31st to consider a proposed change relative to the zoning by-laws. John explained that if the proposed change is approved, it would allow buildings above 35' in height to have human habitation providing a special permit is granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Following the public hearing, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals will meet in joint session to continue their work on the revision of the town's zoning by-laws.

There is a special town meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall. The special town meeting will address several mid-year housekeeping articles as well as bring forth the proposed zoning by-law change.

There will be a public hearing with Comcast to discuss community needs relative to cable service and high speed internet access. John stressed that this is a very important opportunity for people to be heard. The meeting will be held on February 27, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at the Buckland-Shelburne Community Center.

John reported that the Fire Recovery Committee met earlier this week. At that meeting the group renamed themselves as the Shelburne Falls Economic Development Committee and began brainstorming on ways to develop and energize the entire area. The Committee meets again next week.

On Monday, February 4, 2008 at 4:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall; Joe Judd and Mike McCusker will be meeting with representatives of the Shelburne Falls Military Band to discuss the logistics of their building on Memorial Drive.

John reported that the new Commissioner of Agriculture, Doug Peterson will be in South Deerfield on February 2, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. until noon to hear issues and concerns of people in the community.

Department Liaison Reports:
Police Department - Joe has been working with the Chief on a preliminary budget for fiscal year 2009 and discussing plans for future departmental needs.

Town Office - John had nothing to report.

Draft Guidelines for Recording of Meeting Minutes and Fulfilling Requests for Public Records - despite the fact that the public officials training session has been cancelled twice, Joe would still like to wait until after the training before adopting this policy. Given the importance of the policy, John suggested that if the training is not held in March, then the Board should adopt it and distribute it to all town boards and committees. In the event it becomes necessary to make revisions following the training, the board can do so.

Update Policy for Grant-Related Payments - John has not had an opportunity to review policy with either the Treasurer or the Fiscal Officer. Joe suggested removing the item from the agenda until more information can be brought forward.

Apex Orchard Lease Renewal - Bob has been in discussion with lessee; the Board will wait until he returns before making any decisions.

Arms Library Letter of Response - John suggested postponing the Board's response to the Arms Library Trustees until the full Board has had an opportunity to discuss. After reading the trustees letter, John believes that they would like some assurances from the town before deciding whether or not to relinquish control of the overall operations. John noted that this is a very important long-term decision and before responding; he would like to make sure that the Board maintains some flexibility and has had an opportunity to think of all of the alternatives.

Senior Center Lease - Joe received a copy of the lease today. Terry Mosher will forward copies to the Senior Center Director as well as to member towns. Once everyone has had an opportunity to review, a meeting with the Masons will be scheduled.

7:30 p.m. Public Hearing RE: Proposed 2008 Community Development Block Grant Application - Chairman, Joe Judd called the public hearing to order and read the hearing notice aloud. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the proposed "joint" application with the Town of Buckland. Joe turned the meeting over to John Ryan of Breezeway Farm Consulting. John gave an overview of the proposed activities in the 2008 application. If funded both towns would continue the housing rehabilitation program; a program administered by the Franklin Regional Housing Authority that is intended to award money to income eligible families to correct housing code violations. The 2008 application is requesting $273,880 to benefit two housing units in Shelburne and three in Buckland. The proposed application also includes two infrastructure components. In Shelburne, the reconstruction of Main Street would continue from Grove Street to approximately 80 and 81 Main Street. Repairs would include replacement of an inadequate storm drainage system, replacement of water main, replace existing sidewalks, reconstruct roadway and install granite curbs. Estimated cost: $312,039. In Buckland, the proposed Conway Street reconstruction would include replacement of an inadequate storm drain system, sanitary sewer system, water mains, and sidewalks, reconstruction of roadway and installation of curbs. Estimated cost: $356,730.

John explained that the application must be filed by February 15th with the hopes of an award in July. John Payne who had attended a portion of the Main Street meeting held earlier in the evening commented that he had heard a desire for more green, less parking and more trees. John Ryan indicated that all comments are taken into consideration. Cost implications are determined as well as whether or not the requests conflict with what the town's needs are. John Payne asked how drainage problems would be corrected and whether or not the construction deadline can be met. John Ryan stated that the installation of an improved drainage system, catch basins and granite curbing will eliminate any drainage problems. John Ryan also stated that the construction deadline (December, 2009) is realistic and will be met.
Suzanne Tromara of 109 Main Street attended last year's hearing and was under the impression that the entire length of the street from Grove to Hope would be reconstructed. She was extremely disappointed to learn that next year's project if funded will end at 80 and 81 Main and wondered why. Both John Ryan and John Payne explained the competitive nature of this year's grant and the need for a strong application. By filing with the Town of Buckland, Shelburne receives additional bonus points however the overall scope of each individual town's projects had to be downsized to meet the $1 million dollar funding cap. Dan Lawrence of Weston & Sampson Engineering spoke briefly about the preliminary design for the second phase of Main Street. He stated that the sidewalks, the green belts and road width will all remain the same. As for phase one of Main Street, Dan indicated that if residents want grass in front of their house in lieu of parking, they will be accommodated. After hearing no further public comment, the hearing was closed at 8:00 p.m. Following the public hearing, two votes were taken. A motion was made by John to adopt the revised Community Development Strategy Document to include the most recent downtown fire. Joe seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

A second motion was made by John to authorize the submission of the joint CDBG application, authorizing Joe Judd as Chairman to sign on behalf of the town. Joe seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Appointment of Historical Commission Members - a motion was made and amended by John to appoint the following individuals to the Historical Commission. The amendment was made to reflect the assignment of staggered three year terms. Joe seconded the original motion and the amended motion. Motion and amendment carried unanimously.

James Gamache, Mohawk Trail, Shelburne - 1 year term
Pamela Goodwin, Mechanic Street, Shelburne - 2 year term
Beverly Phillips, Water Street, Shelburne - 3 year term

Once appointments have been accepted and members have been sworn in, Joe will meet with members to discuss their powers and duties as described in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40, section 8D.

Wandering Moon RE: Food Pantry Fundraising Event - on Saturday, February 23 from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., Mocha Maya's and Wandering Moon will be hosting a Renaissance themed event to benefit the West County Food Pantry which will include performances by a vocal ensemble and a theater company. In addition there will be a one hour sword fighting demonstration which will require the temporary closing of a portion of Bridge Street (directly between Charlemont TV and Wandering Moon). The event has been discussed with neighboring business owners as well as with Chief Walker. A motion was made by John to approve the request for the temporary street closing on February 23rd. Joe seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Special Town Meeting Articles RE: Use of Surplus M.T.R.H.S. Budget rather than Free Cash - when the town voted the operating budget for the M.T.R.H.S. at the annual town meeting it voted a total assessment of $1,861,287. When the school district's budget failed in other towns, the district was forced to reduce their operating budget substantially. As a result, Shelburne's assessment was reduced by $79,747. Rather than fund the special town meeting articles using free cash, it was suggested that approximately $24,943 of the M.T.R.H.S.D. surplus money be used; placing the entire free cash amount ($125,927) into Stabilization. Following a brief discussion, a three-part motion was made by John allocating $24,943 from the M.T.R.H.S.D. budget to fund special town meeting articles; transfer $25,000 from the M.T.R.H.S.D. budget to the Stabilization account and transfer all of the town's certified free cash to the Stabilization account. Joe seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
FY'09 Tentative Budget Schedule - the Board reviewed the tentative schedule. To date no one had made an appointment to present their budget before the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee.

Long Range Capital Planning - Joe indicated that it was time for the Board to begin thinking about all of the town's capital needs and the manner in which the town will use to fund these projects. Joe listed the following town-owned buildings that are in need of roof replacements: Arms Library, Cowell Gymnasium, Memorial Hall and the Highway Garage. In addition, The Board must decide whether or not they have exhausted all possibilities for the police department (i.e. merging with the town of Buckland as well as potential sites for a new police station in Shelburne). Also on the docket is the need for more space at the Senior Center. Joe has asked department heads to investigate the costs associated with the town roof replacements and he will continue to work with the Chief on the proposed police station relocation. Joe is hopeful that if the Board has enough information, that a presentation can be made at annual town meeting.

Kenneth Downes RE: Visionary Discussions - Mr. Downes has had conversations with other concerned citizens about the need to have visionary discussions about the future capital building needs of our community. He would like to restate his interest in joining other citizens and town leaders in discussion about the future building needs of our community. He believes that there are some innovative opportunities for the town and wish there was a larger forum to bring together interested participants like him.


ADOURNMENT: A motion was made by John to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 p.m. Joe seconded the motion. Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary