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Selectmen Meeting Minutes — August 20 , 2009—6:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall.

Meeting was called to order by Chair John Payne. Other members of the board present: Joe Judd and Robert Manners.

John began the meeting by giving an overview of the meeting he had with Finance Committee Chairman, Lynne Benander this morning. She asked what members of the Finance Committee can do to help the Selectboard this coming year. John suggested that she and her committee work with the town's financial department (Joyce Muka and Bob Taylor) to monitor and track revenue and expenses so to ensure that they are in balance.

Old Business
Vocational Student - There was a brief discussion regarding the transportation of a Shelburne student who will be attending Smith Vocational School this fall. Because the individual is categorized as a "school of choice student;" Shelburne has been informed by the transportation coordinator at Mohawk that they are not obligated to provide for and pay for transportation to and from the school; a net savings of $13,000. Bob will follow-up with the school district to make sure that is the case.

Chapter 90 Funding - Bob reported that the town receives roughly $3,300 per mile that in Chapter 90 funding. If the town were to discontinue various roads that serve little importance for the resident's of the town; the loss in Chapter 90 revenue would equate to approximately $1,700.

Proposed Meal and Lodging Tax - Joe spoke in response to the recent dialogue that was generated with regard to the exploration of implementing the Meal and Lodging Tax. It was agreed that the information and testimonies given by local businesses was of great value and Joe was thanked for speaking to the various restaurant owners in town.

Use of Fellowship Hall - Joe reported that there have been ongoing discussions between the Town and the First Congregational Church of Shelburne regarding the use Fellowship Hall. If the First Congregational Church allows the use of Fellowship Hall by the town's police department for training programs at no cost; the town highway department will line the parking lot in return. Members of the Board agreed that the proposal was a very good arrangement and were all in support of it.

Arms Library Discussion -- In preparation for the 7:00 p.m. meeting with the Arms Library Trustees, members of the Board had an open discussion regarding their views on the Arms Library Building, its' ownership, whose responsible for care and maintenance and how should the existing organization be restructured. The Board reviewed documentation depicting the history of the Library. The first recorded mention of the town contributing monies to Arms referenced in the town's history book. In 1894, town meeting appropriated $300 to the Arms Library. In 1913, Arms Library appropriated $500 to assist in the purchase of the land where the present library building is located. Then in 1914, town meeting records show a unanimous vote accepting the Pratt Memorial Building as laid out in the deed; the deed outlines the conditions of oversight, governance and maintenance. In 1920, records indicate that an endowment was created and the monies were to be used for the building. Records for the next 30 years are a sparse. In 1952, Attorney Bartlett advised the Trustees of the Arms Library Association that although the formal requirements of the deed and indenture as to the election of committee members upon death or resignation appear not to have been strictly followed, the functions and powers of the committee have unquestionably been carried out and exercised by the trustees of the Arms Library Association and; in effect they have constituted defacto members of the committee and would appear to be the only ones who would have any power to effect the organization. Again there is a period of 35 years where there are very little references to the library organization until 1986 when Attorney Richard Bishop merged the Pratt Memorial Endowment with the Arms endowment. Though no one can find record of account balances at that time, the town does have a list of stocks owned by the Pratt Building Fund. In 2006, Selectmen's minutes show that Selectmen Terry Dun had done a great deal of research regarding the Pratt Building. It was at this point that most of the above was rediscovered while the town was attempting to negotiate a lease with the Arms Library. Following that discovery it was at that time determined that the town had no legal stance to enter into a formal agreement with Arms for it would change conditions of the trust as it was established. In addition, the Arms Library Trustees agreed restructure the Pratt Building Committee so that they would be able to move forward with the building as it stands.
Despite extensive research conducted on the history of the Arms Library, the Town Clerk been unable to find a formal agreement between the town and the library organization committing the town to providing funds to the Arms Library or the Pratt Building on an annual basis however, funding has been provided annually at town meeting since 1922.

It was agreed that at the upcoming meeting, the Selectboard would be present to listen; be part of the solution; and address any fears that the Trustees may have. The Board hopes to establish a list of goals that can be worked towards and agree on several important issues such as the library's organizational structure, financial oversight, and the town's representation to the library.

The meeting was recessed at 6:58 p.m. in order to move to the Arms Library Pratt Building for our meeting with their board.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Manners, Clerk
Board of Selectmen


Selectmen Meeting Minutes — August 20 , 2009—7:00 p.m. — Arms Library.

At 7:05 p.m. the members of the Board of Selectmen reconvened at the Arms Library meeting room located in the basement of the Pratt Building.

Donna Liebl began with a welcome followed by introductions. Those in attendance included: John Payne, Joe Judd, Robert Manners, members of Arms Library Trustees (Kathleen Upton, Donna Liebl, Sheryl Gilmore, Kate Downs, Sally Judd, Lisa Merrill), Friends of Arms, Laurie Wheeler, Library Director and her assistant, Finance Committee Chairman, Lynne Benander, Susan Flaccus as a heir of the Pratt family, and a reporter from the Shelburne Falls Independent.

Donna began by stating that the Trustees have talked at length about the idea of the Arms Library becoming a town department and have reached a decision. They feel as though it is not necessary therefore, they have decided to remain independent from the town. The Trustees are however interested in clarifying and formalizing their relationship with the town as well as continue to receive funding for they have several infrastructure projects that are in need of completing. They indicated that they cannot afford to complete them using library funds.

John followed by thanking everyone who worked on the agenda as well as everyone for coming along with that he stated that we were there to be part of the solution and come with a open mind and talk things through and that he for sees that this will take several meeting to resolve everything at hand.

Finance Committee Chairman, Lynne Benander stated that the finance committee is interested in helping facilitate the preservation of a town asset.

Joe spoke on setting goals. The first being that we are all in agreement that we want the library to remain as one and that it continues to serve as a library for the community. This was a unanimous feeling of those in attendance.

John stated that the town could not sell, close or change the building use without a formal vote from the Arms Library Pratt Building Committee, whose members are currently Arms Library Trustees.

Joe added that any fears that may have been created by prior discussions in terms of use of the building are unfounded. He further explained that it is the role of the select board to explore and talk openly about all possibilities for the town. In this particular case, the town was exploring numerous space and building use alternatives. Clearly if any change were to happen in the future, it would not take place without a great deal of dialogue with the Arms Trusties.

Kathy Upton asked if the Pratt Memorial Building Committee is still in existence for she would rather run a library than a building.

John gave an overview of the history as presented above and basically indicated that the Building Committee still exists however, it has not functioned as it was intended.

The conversation then turned to the library's financial standings; particularly endowments. Donna Liebl reported that at present, the endowments are used to offset operating costs of the library such as salaries and other related items. Donna did mention that the endowments do cover some of the physical plant cost as well but they do not have a detailed accounting of expenditures.

John expressed his concern that the terms of the trust are clearly spelled out and that even though they were merged in 1986, an effort should be made to establish the amount in each account at the time of merging and separate them so to manage the monies in the manner for which it was intended.

Joe gave an overview of the town's involvement with the Shelburne Free Public Library endowment; which is limited. Joe indicated that the only time the town has benefited from the money was when the Selectman asked for the Trustees to contribute towards a capital project such as bathrooms. This is similar to when the Pratt building had an elevator installed.

Susan Flaccus, speaking as an heir supports the idea of separating and re-establishing the various funds so to recreate how the agreement was originally laid out.

John presented the Trustees with a copy of a letter from the Bank of Boston outlining the stocks and number of shares at the time of the merging in 1986; though there are no dollar amounts associated with them. The Trustees agreed to research this with the hopes of generating dollar amounts so they can begin to reconstruct the accounting of monies associated with the Pratt Building. Also, it will create a mechanism for people to make donations solely to the Pratt Building.

Bob presented the Trustees with a copy of the letter from the town's attorney outline her opinion as to the town's involvement in the operating and funding of the Pratt Building. Following a brief conversation, the discussion then turned to future goals.

It was agreed that a Memorandum of Understanding was premature at this point

John expressed concern that for years the town has provide funding to the library with very little financial control and oversight. John suggested re-establishing the Pratt Memorial Building Committee; appointing four members of the Arms Library Trustees. That Committee, along with a member of the Selectboard could establish a list of needed repairs and upgrade and discuss funding alternatives such as fund raising, town funds and Pratt Building endowment funds. The trustees agreed that this was a good approach and that they would reorganize themselves at their next meeting to meet the original intent of the deed and indenture as intended by Pratt.

Lastly the topic of the roof was discussed. Joe indicated that the town has invested over $9,000 in the last two years to stabilize the roof. The repairs should prevent leakage for 2 or more years which will allow enough time to explore funding opportunities.
Lynne Benander reported that she has several estimates for repair of the roof though they are several years old. She will bring them forward for review.

In conjunction with that Joe reported that there is a engineering study of the roof by Margo Jones Architects and, though again several years old, should have a great deal of information in it as to what needs to be done.

It was agreed by both the Trustees and the Selectmen that the newly re-established Pratt Memorial Building Committee would review all of the material that is presently available regarding the roof and further will create a Request for Proposals for an Engineering Study which will determine the exact needs of the roof along with a cost estimate to repair same.

There will be a follow up meeting on October 29th at 7:00 pm at the library to review the progress that has been made on the afore-mentioned topics and concerns.

Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Manners, Clerk
Board of Selectmen