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Selectmen Meeting Minutes — October 2, 2008—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

Call to order: The meeting was called to order by Chairman, Robert Manners. Other members present: John Payne and Joseph Judd. Finance Committee members Jerry Dubie, John Wheeler and Laura Sandvik were in attendance to hear discussions relative to town finance.

Acceptance of minutes: John made a motion to accept the meeting minutes of September 18, 2008 as presented. Joe seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Noteworthy News:

  • First Congregational Church Fall Festival, Saturday, October 4, 2008
  • Annual Highway Collection of White Goods, Scrap Metal & Electronic, Saturday, October 4, 2008, Shelburne Highway Garage
  • F.C. Solid Waste District "Anything Goes" Collection, Saturday, 10/4/08, Buckland Recreation Area

Department Liaison Reports:
Cash Flow Concerns - John reported that the Treasurer has borrowed $100,000 from the Stabilization Account leaving a balance of approximately $150,000. Bills and payroll have been met this week however, tax collections are very slow and the Treasurer is concerned. The Town is waiting on a sizeable amount from the State for reimbursement of Chapter 90 related work. Rather than deplete our Stabilization account, the Board discussed the possibility of borrowing short-term. As a financial safeguard, John will instruct the Treasurer to initiate the lengthy borrowing process and if it becomes necessary to execute the loan, John will notify the Board in advance. If financial concerns continue, Joe indicated that the Board may have to consider a "freeze" on all unnecessary spending.

Meeting Space - Joe reported that he has spoken with Marion Taylor about the possibility of using the Village Informational Center as a potential meeting space for those evenings when multiple boards are scheduled for the same night. The Information Center is available for use on Monday and Thursday evenings. Marion will speak with her Board of Directors and get back to Joe. John reported that the Shelburne Fire Department may also be a possibility for meeting space and the Board of Health is considering utilizing that space for their meetings.

Highway - the purchase of winter sand and salt via the F.R.C.O.G's bidding process has yielded an increase of $9.56 more per ton over last year for salt and approximately $1.50 more per ton for sand. The Highway Superintendent is unsure of how those increases will impact his budget until he knows what kind of a winter we will be faced with.

7:15 p.m. Pete Hillman RE: Part-time Specialized Help - the Highway Superintendent reported that he has two part-time winter employees that have worked for the town for many years. Both possess CDL licenses, receive no over-time yet provide countless hours of assistance nights, weekends and holidays in order to keep Shelburne's roads passable in the winter months. The part-time help is currently paid an hourly rate of $13.88 and when comparing that rate to other towns, the Superintendent feels that the positions should be upgraded to $16.28 per hour. Although everyone agreed that the part-time employees were worthy of the pay increase, when taking into consideration the town's present financial concerns; the consensus of both the Selectmen and the Finance Committee was that the request should be factored into next year's budget.

7:30 p.m. Alain Peteroy, Franklin land Trust & George Randall RE: Randall APR - George Randall is working with the Department of Agriculture to sell an agricultural preservation restriction (APR) to the state on the 21 acres around his house. According to Alain Peteroy, the land is highly developable and scenic with 12.6 acres of prime farmland and state important soils. The Department of Agriculture is looking to Shelburne and Colrain to support their farms with a local contribution. The Town of Colrain has voted to give a local match proportionate to what Shelburne votes to give (approximately 7 of the 21 acres are located in Colrain). After a brief discussion amongst members of the Board of Selectmen and members of the Finance Committee, Joe made a motion to appropriate $700 from the Land Preservation Account. John seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

8:00 p.m. Larry Flaccus, Open Space RE: Community Preservation Act - Larry Flaccus reported that the Open Space Committee is in unanimous support of pursuing the Community Preservation Act; recognizing the immediate benefit of a 3% surcharge in the first year. The Open Space Committee would like to know how they can facilitate the process collaboratively so that the Act can be placed on the June ballot. Larry suggested an "All Boards" meeting followed by a public informational session. Laura Sandvik expressed concern for those taxpayers who are already having difficulty paying their taxes and wondered how they would afford an additional surcharge. Before deciding whether or not to pursue the Act, Finance Committee members were asked review information relative to the program and report back to the Board of Selectmen with their thoughts. The Finance Committee will return in two weeks for follow-up discussion.

Open Meeting Law Reminder - the Town Clerk brought it to the attention of the Executive Secretary that the Finance Committee had not posted their meeting in accordance with the Open Meeting Law. Chairman, Robert Manners thanked the Town Clerk for her diligence and reminded members of the Finance Committee that even though their attendance was prompted by an invitation of the Board of Selectmen for the purpose of discussion only and no votes were taken; the Open Meeting Law requires that meetings be posted 48 hours in advance when a quorum of a governmental body is present.

OLD BUSINESS:
Highway Department RE: Sale of Used Trucks - the Highway Superintendent will work with his department liaison to come up with a fair minimum asking price for the two town trucks (1982 and 1984) that have been removed from the town fleet. The trucks will be displayed at the town garage for a specified period of time. The Highway Superintendent will have the authority to negotiate any potential sales providing that the final decision has been discussed with his department liaison.

Part-time Clerical help for ZBA, Planning Board & Board of Health - the Board of Selectmen will be meeting with members of the screening committee on Tuesday, October 7th to discuss the first-round of interviews, bring forth the names of one to three finalists, and determine whether or not more than one person will be hired for the three positions, and if so, how the positions will be structured.

Arms Library Roof - after the most recent roof leak, Joe contacted Paul Holtz of the Massachusetts Historic Commission to see if there were any emergency provisions that could help the town move forward with the roof repair and/or replacement. Joe was informed of a Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund that can be applied for in emergency situations. The Town would have to submit an estimate for repair and be willing to match the emergency grant dollar for dollar over a three-year period. Finance Committee member Jerry Dubie recommended that the Board take a hard look at whether or not the town is in a position to invest this kind of money into the library building. Jerry is concerned with the fact that residents are already having difficulty paying their taxes. Discussion then turned to whether or not the town should keep the building, whether or not the library should be moved to the elementary school or whether or not to allow the new leadership at the Arms Library to generate a whole new level of energy and see where that goes.

NEW BUSINESS:
Managing Town's Cash Flow - see department liaison report.

Scott Sawyer, Fiscal Officer RE: Request for Contract for Services - John will be scheduling a meeting with Scott and will provide follow-up information at the next Selectmen's meeting.

Academy at Charlemont RE: Request to Label Drainage - the seventh grade class is working with the Deerfield River watershed to raise communal awareness of river pollution and run-off. As part of their project, the class would like to label storm drains in Shelburne indicating that the drain empties into the river. The Water Department, the Highway Superintendent and the Board of Selectmen are supportive of the project in theory however, they would first like to see a design plan (to include color scheme) before granting final approval. Terry will contact the school to obtain more information.

Police Department RE: Full-time Officer - after reviewing the Police Chief's letter of request along with an accompanying job description, a motion was made by Joe to internally post the position of full-time Patrol Officer for a one-week period. John seconded the motion. Motion carried as follows: Joe and John - yes; Bob - abstained.

McAuliffe Regional Charter School RE: Geology Class - the school is requesting permission to access the glacial potholes on Thursday, October 16 and Thursday, October 23rd from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the purpose of geological studies. A motion was made by Joe granting the school permission to access the area providing that the weather conditions and water flow are conducive to a safe visit and providing that the town's "Hold Harmless" agreement is signed by the school. John seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

S.F.A.B.A. RE: Request to Close Baker Ave - the S.F.A.B.A. is working with a number of businesses to promote a "shopping" event on Saturday, October 18th and Sunday, October 19th. The event will include a live radio broadcast with Bear Country 95.3. The S.F.A.B.A. is requesting permission to close Baker Avenue on Saturday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. A motion was made by John to approve the request contingent upon Chief Walker's approval. Joe seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment - none

Recess 9:13 p.m.: a motion was made by Joe to call for a brief recess while waiting for their next appointment with the Zoning Board of Appeals. Motion seconded by John and carried unanimously.

Reconvened at 9:23 p.m.

9:23 p.m. Zoning Board of Appeals RE: Pending Litigation - a motion was made by John to enter into executive session with the Zoning Board of Appeals to discuss pending litigation. Motion seconded by Joe. A roll call vote was taken as follows: Bob - yes; John - yes; Joe - yes. The Board will not reconvene in open session following the executive session.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary