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Selectmen Meeting Minutes — April 3, 2008—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Chairman, Joseph Judd. Other members present: John Payne and Robert Manners.

Acceptance of Meeting Minutes: A motion was made by John to accept the minutes of March 20, March 25 and April 1, 2008 as presented. Bob seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Noteworthy News:
* Executive Secretary, Terry Mosher was nominated by Denis Guyer to receive the "Unsung Heroine" Award. Terry will attend an awards ceremony in Boston on May 14th.
* Welcome Kate Walker; daughter to Chief Walker and his wife Karen. Kate arrived on Saturday, March 22nd weighing 8 pounds and 7 ounces. Congratulations!
* Town has received notice from the Governor's Office that Shelburne's Chapter 90 appropriation for 2009 will be $168,755. Last years' appropriation was $168,950.

Department Liaison Reports:
Highway Department - Bob reported that the weather has been somewhat cooperative allowing the crew to begin work on some of the towns dirt roads. Many of the roads have held up well and will require very little work aside from grading. Pete Hillman has begun looking for a used truck with the hopes that annual town meeting will appropriate the necessary funding.

Town Office: - the auditing firm Hirbour and Haynes has been on site this week conducting the FY'07 audit. Work is expected to be completed sometime next week.

Senior Center Lease - Joe reported that negotiations are still under way. Member towns have placed language on their annual town meeting warrants that will allow each town to enter into a lease agreement with the Masons. Each town will also seek an appropriated amount ($2,700) for rent. John indicated that he has reviewed the lease; comparing Donna MacNicol's comments to the lease document. Given Donna's comments, he feels that there is a lot of fundamental work that needs to be done before the document is complete. He agrees with Donna in that the lease hugely favors the Masons and believes that the language should be changed to reflect middle ground. John also thinks that members towns may be hard pressed to come up with additional funding for rent and wondered what would happen if one or more member towns fail to appropriate funding. Joe will be meeting with Donna and member towns on April 16th and that question will be raised.

Franklin Land Trust RE: George Randall APR Application (13.7 acres) - still waiting to hear if the Conservation Commission supports the application.

Appointment of a Police Relocation Study Committee - no action taken. Joe will wait until the Board's next meeting to allow both John and Bob to bring forth some names for the proposed seven member committee.

Update on Proposed Relocation of Military Band Building - Joe attended a second meeting involving representatives from the Shelburne Falls Military Band, the Historical Society and Trinity Church to discuss the possible relocation of the Military Band's building currently located on Memorial Drive. Joe indicated that there is a party interested in purchasing the land that the building sits on however; the Military Band would like to move the building before the redevelopment of 33 Bridge Street begins. Although the sale of the land is a private matter, Joe wondered if the town should help find a new location for the building even if only temporary. In preliminary discussions with Donna MacNicol and Senator Rosenberg, the process is not simple and would require a special act of legislation and a long-term lease if the building were to be situated on town-owned property. John wondered why the town would get involved when the matter is a transaction between two private parties. John suggested that the town wait to see if the Military Band requests that the building be located on town-owned property before taking any more action. Bob felt as though the situation could potentially be a "huge can of worms" and agreed that the town should not get involved until a formal request is made.

Alan Edmond RE: Farmer's Market Request - after speaking with some of the abutters on Deerfield Ave., Alan submitted letters of support from Meta Nisbet of Metaphor Yarns; Beth & David Dunn of Mole Hollow Candles; Kathleen Young of Young & Constantin Gallery; and Danielle Sadomiski of Art Imagination Gallery. The only unfavorable response was received from Chris and Ed Singley who does not want to see the street closed. Alan would like to establish the farmer's market at the end of Deerfield Ave (near the Mayhew factory building). While discussing the proposed market the Selectmen agreed that they needed more information before making a decision and suggested that Alan submit a proposed lay-out of the market as well as a plan for parking and vehicular traffic while the market is open. They also want to check with the Police Chief to see how he feels about the proposal once all of the information is in hand. Although the Board is supportive of the proposed market, their final decision was tabled until more information has been provided.

Adoption of Cable License Renewal Ascertainment Document - see 7:15 p.m. appointment.
FY'06 CDBG Grant Extension - the following motions approve the extension of contracts associated with the implementation of the FY'06 CDBG Projects. The Town has requested that DHCD extend the grant from March 31, 2008 to September 30, 2008 to allow for the completion of the Mechanic Street Sidewalk and the Housing Rehabilitation Projects.

Motion 1: To Extend the Contract Time Period for the Grant Administrator: Robert Manners moved and John Payne seconded that the contract with Breezeway Farm Consulting to administer the FY'06 Small Cities Grant is extended until October 31, 2008, contingent upon receipt of a contract period extension from DHCD.

Votes cast on this motion: 3 Decision on this motion: Approved

Motion 2: To Extend the Contract Time Period of the Project Engineer: Robert Manners moved and John Payne seconded that the contracts with Stantec Consulting for the Mechanic Street Project is extended until September 30, 2008, contingent upon receipt of a contract period extension from DHCD.

Votes cast on this motion: 3 Decision on this motion: Approved

Motion 3: To Extend the Contract Time Period of the Construction Contractor: Robert Manners moved and John Payne seconded that the contracts with Freitas Construction for the Mechanic and School Street Projects is extended until September 30, 2008, contingent upon receipt of a contract period extension from DHCD.

Votes cast on this motion: 3 Decision on this motion: Approved

7:15 p.m. Mike Duffy & Glen Cardinal, Joint Cable Advisory Committee RE: Acceptance and Adoption of Final Ascertainment Document - the two explained that their main goal throughout this process has been to seek expansion of service throughout both the towns of Shelburne and Buckland. They explained that Comcast is not required to provide any additional service unless it is reasonable; and they believe that the request is reasonable. The acceptance and submittal of the final ascertainment document will initiate formal negotiations with Comcast. John asked Mike to summarize the towns' 5 priority needs. They are as follows: expansion of the cable system to include all residential and commercial locations in the towns; to service area and line extension; to allow continued distribution of important local, community programming, including local government and educational information, and to provide a mechanism for delivery of critical information by local first responders in the event of an emergency; the renewal must include a comprehensive customer service, consumer protection and license enforcement terms and conditions; and authorize issuance of a formal Request for Proposal to Comcast as part of the formal licensing process. All three members of the Board commended the Cable Advisory Committee for their hard work. After hearing no additional comments, a motion was made by Bob to accept the final document as presented. John Payne seconded the motion and asked members of the advisory Committee if specific language was needed in the formal motion. Glen Cardinal suggested more complete language. Bob Manners then amended his original motion to accept the findings and recommendations of the Cable Advisory Committee; further to move forward and execute the final ascertainment document so to bring it forth to Comcast. John Payne seconded the amended motion. Motion carried unanimously.

7:30 p.m. Beth Simmonds RE: Vital Planning Board Updates - Beth began by stating that she has never served in any capacity of town government until she began serving on the Planning Board. As a member, she indicated that it became clear early on that the process was flawed. She began to read a three page statement outlining numerous concerns relative to the joint Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings that have been held in recent months to bring forth revisions to the town's zoning by-laws. When she finished reading her statement, she urged the Board of Selectmen to complete a thorough investigation. Bob Manners requested a copy of Beth's statement so that he would have an opportunity to look at each allegation carefully. Beth was not willing to provide a copy of the statement. She indicated that she would like some time to consider Bob's request. If in fact the Board has an opportunity to review Beth's statement in detail, Joe would consider arranging a meeting with representatives from both Boards to allow for comment and/or response.

7:45 p.m. Jim Culleney RE: Arms Library - although the Arms Library Trustees have yet to take a formal vote, the consensus is that it would be beneficial for them to become a town department and their inclination is to move forward. Given all that would be involved in the process, the Board does not anticipate the process being complete until May, 2009. Providing a formal vote of the Trustees is taken, the Board will let it be known at annual town meeting that the process is underway. In the meantime, the Board would also continue to work with Mass Historic for the repair of the roof. Budget - Bob suggested adding an additional $5,000 to the Arms Library budget with the understanding that the money be earmarked for maintenance related work. Jim Culleney indicated that there is electrical work to be completed in addition to the repair of the handicapped accessible door and the water damaged library ceiling. Although $5,000 is a small step in the right direction, John asked that the Trustees prepare a list of all repairs that are needed. Finance Committee members agreed that $5,000 was a fair number to offer for maintenance related repairs.

8:10 p.m. Review of FY'09 Budget (Finance Committee Members: Jerry Dubie, John Wheeler and Laura Sandvik) Joe began the review by reviewing those accounts in the omnibus article that reflected considerable increases. Joe stated that given the current state of affairs, he is concerned that Shelburne may be faced with the same financial troubles that other towns are facing and wants to maintain a reasonable amount of money in the Stabilization Account. Shelburne is fortunate this year in that our school assessments are manageable however, with less State aid and more and more residents having difficulties making tax payments; we may not be so fortunate next year. With that said Joe thinks it is time for the board to seriously consider learning more about the GIC Health insurance program. The town currently pays $117,404 for health insurance for approximately 14 employees. Aside from adding $5,000 to the Arms Library account, no additional changes were made.

Following the review of the omnibus article, Joe began to review the proposed warrant articles. Acting on a recommendation from Bob, an additional $5,000 was added to an article for the purchase of a used Dump Truck and related equipment. Bob stated that the Highway Superintendent is currently looking at a 2003 truck for approximately $35,000. The additional $5,000 would allow for the purchase of associated equipment. Bob is still waiting on a number for the repair and/or replacement of the highway garage roof. Bob stated that George Dole is in the process of preparing an estimate. Jerry Dubie cautioned that it has been an unusual winter and he has seen roofs less than 10 years old that have failed as a result of the winter we have had. He suggested that overall structure of the roof be looked at to determine whether or not the leak was a result of a total failure or was it a result of a tough winter. No further comments were heard regarding the budget. Jerry Dubie thanked members of the board for their hard work.


ADJOURNMENT: A motion to adjourn was made by Bob Manners at 10:15 p.m. John seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary