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Selectmen Meeting Minutes — January 22, 2009—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

Call to Order: Chairman Manners called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Other members present: none. Member John Payne is ill and member Joe Judd is attending the Massachusetts Municipal Trade Show in Boston.

Noteworthy News:
Special Town Meeting, February 5, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall

Department of Agricultural Resources RE: Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program - Randall Property - at the request of the Department of Agricultural Resources, Bob read a letter aloud indicating the State's interest in acquiring approximately 16 acres of land on Shearer Road (owned by George Randall) for inclusion in the Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 7, section 40I requires that proposals be made public in a local forum. No additional action is required.
Meeting Recessed at 7:06 p.m. by Chairman Manners. The meeting will reconvene at 7:30 p.m. for the 2009 Community Development Block Grant Hearing.
7:30 p.m. Towns of Shelburne & Buckland Joint Public Hearing RE: 2009 CDBG Application - Chairman Manners opened the hearing at 7:30 p.m. by reading the public notice aloud. Representatives from the Town of Buckland included: Chairman, Stefan Racz, Selectman, Kevin Fox and Andrea Llamas, Administrator. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss Shelburne and Buckland's joint 2009 Community Development Block Grant Application for up to $1 million for the following projects: (1) Shelburne's Main Street Reconstruction Phase 3; (2) Buckland's Franklin Street Reconstruction Phase 1; and two Public Social Service projects that are available to income eligible residents of both towns that include (3) Elder Self Sufficiency managed by the Shelburne Falls Senior Center; and (4) the Food Pantry managed by Community Action. The hearing was then turned over to John Ryan of Breezeway Farm Consulting, Inc, who gave a brief explanation of each of the applications components. Dan Lawrence of Weston & Sampson Engineering, Inc. presented plans for both the Main Street Reconstruction Project and the Franklin Street Reconstruction Project. After presenting the plans for reconstruction, Chairman Manners asked if representatives from Buckland had any questions or comments. None were voiced.

On behalf of Shelburne Selectmen, Bob inquired about the overall length of the third phase of Main Street's reconstruction and whether or not any trees were slated for removal. Dan Lawrence explained that the length of the third and final phase of Main Street is approximately 621 feet. As for tree removal; Dan noted that one tree located in the area of 109 Main is slated for removal and replacement at the request of the homeowners (Eric Grant and Suzanne Tromara). The tree is located within inches of the sidewalk's edge and its root system is causing the sidewalk to buckle. The affected homeowners are concerned for the overall health of the tree once the tree's root system is disturbed.
The hearing was then opened to the public for comments:

John Walsh, 91 Main Street asked three questions relevant to the Main Street project:
1. Would the existing tree belt remain in both phase 2 and 3 of the Main Street project. Dan Lawrence indicated that it is the town's intention to leave the greenbelts as they are.
2. Mr. Walsh stated that he has been made aware of at least one instance where a resident has damaged their vehicle tire when bumping up against the newly installed granite curbing in phase 1 and wondered whether or not the edges could be softened or beveled to prevent future damage. Dan Lawrence indicated that the granite curbing is installed as it was intended by the manufacturer. Beveling the edges would be very expensive.
3. Mr. Walsh asked why the towns of Buckland and Shelburne are applying jointly; indicating that it would make more sense for each town to apply individually so to have access to more funding rather than performing roadwork in segments?
John Ryan explained the competitive nature of the Community Development Block Grant funding and discussed the benefits of a joint application.

Theodore Merrill, 30 High Street indicated that he was not overly pleased with the aesthetic outcome of Main Street (phase 1); particularly the grass-filled islands that were installed around the few utility poles that were located in the roadway. He hoped that the town did not lose sight of what is important to the community.

Suzanne Tromara, 109 Main Street stated that she was in attendance to ensure that the town would not be creating additional on-street parking in her neighborhood. Bob Manners indicated that the town has no intention of deviating from the proposed plans presented by Weston & Sampson Engineering, Inc

Diana Hardina, 21 Main Street noted her displeasure with the outcome of phase one asked whether or not the plans for phase 2 of Main Street's construction had presented to the public and if the town had considered creating verges on the "river" side of Main Street 2 and 3.
John Ryan of Breezeway Farm Consulting indicated that an initial presentation of Main Street's proposed construction plans for (phase 2) was presented in December, 2007 and again in January, 2008. Once the 2009 application has been submitted, the town will hold additional meetings before putting the project out to bid. In response to Diana's second question relative to green belts; John indicated that any changes to the proposed design would have a financial impact on the project as a whole and would limit the overall length of construction. Dan Lawrence also indicated that the present width of the street could not accommodate the addition of greenbelts without having an impact on the required width of the travel lanes.

Diana Hardina, 21 Main Street suggested narrowing the road width. Chairman, Bob Manners indicated that the town was not interested in narrowing the width of the road. He cited emergency response and maintenance as the town's priorities.

John Walsh, 91 Main Street asked for a clarification of the two different phases of construction. Dan Lawrence indicated that phase 2 of Main Street will begin just beyond Grove Street and continue to 96 Main Street. Phase 2 will begin at 98 Main Street and continue to the intersection of Hope Street.

Eric Grant, 109 Main Street asked how the project will accommodate the additional width needed for handicapped accessible sidewalks. Dan Lawrence explained that handicapped accessible sidewalks are typically between 3'-5' wide; although he has yet to evaluate the existing widths of the sidewalks all measurements would begin at the road's center line.

Eric Grant, 109 Main Street mentioned that a portion of his sidewalk is caving and he wonders whether or not his sewer line connection is somehow involved. John Ryan stated that if the problem lies between the street and the back-side of the sidewalk, than the grant could address the problem if documented and budgeted for. Any problems beyond the edge of the sidewalk however, are the homeowner's responsibility.

Eric Grant, 109 Main Street asked if the additional section of sidewalk (near 110 Main Street) had been added since last Tuesday's planning meeting. Dan Lawrence indicated that the addition of sidewalk and the relocation of the proposed crosswalk were in fact changes made after hearing feedback at Tuesday's planning meeting.

Kara Ballentine, 95 Main Street mentioned that 91 Main Street has a fence that might be affected if the sidewalks were widened. She wondered how that would be handled.

John Walsh, 91 Main Street stated that he would have no problem with his fence or his perennial garden being moved providing that everything was reinstalled and/or replanted properly.

Diana Hardina, 21 Main Street asked about the Citizen's Advisory Committee and their role.
Both John Ryan and Bob Manners addressed the question and encouraged residents who reside in each of the proposed project areas to take an active role in their neighborhood.
John Walsh, 91 Main Street asked when phase 2 would be advertised for construction.
Dan Lawrence stated that he hopes to advertise the project within a month so that both towns would benefit from a competitive bidding market.

Chairman Manners asked if there were any residents from Buckland who wished to comment on the proposed application.
No comments were voiced.

Dino Schnelle, Coordinator from the West County Food Pantry spoke briefly about their program that distributes food to seniors 60 years or older at Highland Village and the Senior Center on a monthly basis. If the grant is successfully funded, the Food Pantry will be able to provide food delivery services twice a month as well as deliver boxes of food to residents who are homebound. He is currently working with Senior Center Director, Jamie Godfrey to send out a needs assessment survey to approximately 125 households.
After hearing no additional comments, the public hearing was closed at 8:35 p.m.

Residents expressing an interest to serve on the Citizen's Advisory group are as follows:

Phase I Phase III
Ted Cahill 86 Main Street Eric Grant 109 Main Street
Jonathon George 87-89 Main Street Suzanne Tromara 109 Main Street
John Walsh 91 Main Street  
Kara Ballentine 95 Main Street  

Meeting adjourned at 8:38 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Terry Mosher, Executive Secretary