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  1. Open Space Committee MeetingMon, Aug 27 07:00 pm

Selectmen Meeting Minutes — July 6, 2009—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall.

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman, John Payne. Other members present: Joe Judd and Bob Manners.

Press in Attendance: Diane Broncaccio, Greenfield Recorder and Cameron Graves, West County Independent.

Acceptance of Minutes: a motion was made by Bob to accept the minutes of June 22, 2009 as presented. Joe seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Noteworthy News: Bob reported that the 4th of July parade was a success. Perhaps it was coincidental however Bob thanked whoever was responsible for orchestrating the Air Force "flyover" during the festivities.

Department Liaison Reports:
Police: Joe reported that with the arrival of warm weather, activity at the glacial potholes has begun to pick up. The police department will be patrolling the area on a routine basis.

Highway: Bob reported that the Highway Superintendent will be on vacation starting this week. He will be away for most of the month. Highway crew members will be taking vacation throughout the month on an alternating basis. Work continues on town roads. 15 tons of bituminous patch has been applied to various town roads; work will continue as weather permits. Phase II of Main Street construction is well underway. Mass West Construction is doing a great job. The installation of water main should be complete by Wednesday of this week and sidewalk work on the east side of the street will begin immediately after. Neighborhood residents have been extremely pleased with the progress so far. John mentioned that he has received a concern from a resident regarding the overall width of Patten Road now that a skim coat has been applied. The resident is concerned that the width of the road is not enough to accommodate both a snow plow and a bus. Bob will convey the resident's concerns to the highway superintendent.

Arms Library: Bob reported that he has spoken with Arms Library Director, Laurie Wheeler and she is trying to orchestrate a meeting between her Trustees and members of the Board of Selectmen so to continue dialogue relative to the Arms Library.

Town Office: John reported that the new computers are in. Paul Swem will be in later this week to begin transferring data. John also reported that the Cable Advisory Committee has been informed that the Board of Selectmen is supportive of their committee ∏morphing∏ into a broadband committee once contract negotiations are complete. A proposal outlining their new committee's "mission statement" will be forthcoming.

7:30 p.m. Kevin Parsons RE: Gitsis Block -- at the request of the Selectmen, Kevin appeared before the Board to discuss the proposed schedule for the reconstruction of the Gitsis block. Weather permitting, equipment will be moved in later this week and site work/excavation will begin shortly thereafter. Parking spaces will be blocked off during the day and reopened in the evening. The water main connection on Bridge Street is estimated to take two days. Kevin does not anticipate any water shutoffs and is aware that the road race takes place in August. Mitchell Trucking will be performing the excavation work, Valley Concrete will be pouring the foundations and George Dole will be the general contractor during construction.

Building Permit Fe
e -- Kevin requested that the Board of Selectmen waive the building permit fee for the construction of the Gitsis building. When asked about the cost of the permit fee, Kevin estimated that the total cost would be between $7,000 - $8,000 dollars. Kevin explained the reasons for his request. Because the original building was destroyed as a result of arson, there would be no permit fee if the building were entirely residential. Being that the new building will be mixed use (commercial and residential); the building permit fee is enforced unless the Board of Selectmen grants a waiver. Kevin discussed all of the benefits that the new building will bring to the town (alleviate an eye sore, increased tax revenues, a community meeting room, etc). Bob was immediately supportive of Kevin's request. Joe, who at the onset of the discussion questioned the merit of waiving the fees given the tough economic times the town is facing, was clearly seeking more dialogue on the subject. Once hearing Bob's reasons for supporting the request; he too was supportive of waiving the permit fee. John on the other hand; although pleased that the site was being revitalized, indicated that he was having difficulty making a decision on a dollar amount that had yet to be determined. He also stated that he would like to review the TIF agreement before making a decision. Kevin immediately offered a compromise. He suggested capping the building permit waiver at $6,000 and any additional costs would be borne by the applicant. After no further discussion, a motion was made by Bob to grant a $6,000 waiver in building permit fees; noting that any additional costs would be borne by the applicant. Motion seconded by Joe. Motion passed unanimously.

Bridge Street Proposal for Handicapped Access to Local Businesses -- Kevin indicated that the proposed project is now in the hands of the Department of Housing and Community Development agency for review to determine whether or not it qualifies for economic development funding. If the town is successful in receiving funded, Kevin indicated that the project would move forward quickly; with an anticipated completion date of November. Trees located in the project area along with one streetlight would have to be removed in order to accommodate the width of the 4' ramp access and the sidewalk area.

Bridge Street: Joe reported that more changes have been implemented on Bridge Street making it safer for pedestrian and vehicular travel. The highway crew began re-striping the section of parking spaces in front of the Greenfield Savings bank this week. Although the new configuration eliminates one parking space; the angle of the lines has allowed for a 3' gain in the westbound travel lane. Joe has received positive feedback so far and has asked that the crew continue the work as time allows. Other changes implemented to date include the elimination of those parking spaces located too closely to crosswalks and the posting of speed limits. Changes yet to come include the relocation of the handicapped parking space located on the north-side of the street at the intersection of Water Street. The handicapped designated space will be moved to the south side of the street near Singley's Furniture; making access in and out of a vehicle safer for individuals who are physically impaired. Once the handicapped space has been relocated, Joe would like to designate the space for "compact" cars only or reconfigure the space entirely so that it runs parallel to the street. Joe pointed out using illustrations provided by the police department that when a vehicle is parked in the space; it impairs the line of visibility for those trying to enter Bridge Street from Water Street. Joe also suggested a walking tour of Bridge Street with member Selectmen to look at areas where there is a potential for the creation of up to 10 additional parking spaces.

Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. RE: Preliminary Energy Conservation Report -- Terry will schedule a presentation in August or early September.

Open Space Committee RE: Proposed Policy for Chapter 61 -- tabled.

FY'08 Town Audit Results
-- recommendations made in the management letter will be forwarded to responsible departments so that department heads can respond to each one; suggesting corrective action. Once responses have been compiled, the Board will review and forward to the auditing firm.

FY'10 Appointments
-- Both the Board of Health and the Cable Advisory Committee appointments were held out two weeks ago to allow individual members of the Board to have dialogue with various committee members. The outcomes of both discussions were positive therefore committee members were appointed in accordance with the attached sheet. John noted that there are a total of (6) vacancies on the following committees to date:

Agricultural Commission -- 3 year term -- 1 vacancy
Cultural Council -- 6 year term -- 2 vacancies
Open Space Committee -- 1 year term -- 2 vacancies
Historic Commission -- 1 year term -- 1 vacancy

Winter Ice Storm Reimbursement -- the town has received $43,112.54 in reimbursement monies from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency for expenses related to the December ice storm. Terry Mosher will speak with Accountant, Joyce Muka to find out how a portion of the monies can be used to replenish the snow and ice account and whether or not a portion of the money can be carried forward into fiscal year 2010 in the event all of the debris related clean-up work has not been completed. Bob did report that the Highway Superintendent must substantiate all expenditures. If he is unable to provide documentation for up to $43,112.54 in expenditures, a portion of the money may have to be returned to the agency.

FY'10 Local Aid Appropriation -- Fiscal year 2010 cherry sheets have been distributed to cities and towns throughout the commonwealth. Shelburne is slated to receive $247,389 in unrestricted government aid; a $95,093 reduction from fiscal year 2009. Based on projected state aid numbers used when preparing the budget, it appears that the town is faced with a $66,663 deficit. In preparation for the discussion, Bob prepared a list of proposed budgetary reductions for discussion purposes. Those cuts included the elimination of lawn care services, part-time trash collection assistance, the closing of Cowell Gymnasium and the elimination of part-time assistance for the Town Collector; a position that has not been utilized in a few years. After a lengthy discussion, the Board decided to invite members of the Finance Committee in to their next meeting so that they can participate in the process.

Summer Meeting Schedule
-- no decisions made. The Board will meet again on July 20th.

James Wall RE: Planning Board Meeting Minutes -- in his letter to Chairman, Payne, Mr. Wall expresses disappointment with the lack of information available to him after visiting the town hall on June 29, 2009 to review Planning Board minutes. During his visit he found that only three planning board meetings were posted (January, February and March) and of the three meetings; only the January minutes were available. He is aware that the Planning Board has hired a recording secretary; whose primary function is to record and prepare meeting minutes. Jim suggests that the Planning Board and the clerk establish a deadline of no more than two weeks so that minutes are made available to the public. In a brief discussion Joe indicated that Mr. Wall had contacted him directly regarding the Planning Board minutes. In response, Joe contacted the Planning Board's recording secretary who was hired in May. She was able to provide minutes from January, April (draft) and May (draft); there was no meeting in February due to "failure to post"; and there was no meeting in March due to bad weather. John will draft a response to Mr. Wall.

National Heritage Landscape Program -- Joe reported that a core committee has been formed to prepare the grant application. At a recent meeting, at least 25 historic sites were identified. Joe requested that the Board prepare a letter of support to be included in the application. Members were in support of submitting a letter of support to be included in the application. Joe will draft a letter for the Chairman's review.

Hill Cemetery -- now that the Hill Cemetery has been designated as a historic site, Joe would like to begin working on the formation of a cemetery commission to oversee its∏ care. The creation of said committee would require a town meeting vote.

Invoice from Veteran's Grave Officer for Grave Marker-related Repairs -- an invoice from Les Chadwick has been submitted to the town in the amount of $37.00 for grave marker repair-related expenses. Mr. Chadwick paid the invoice using his own money and is seeking reimbursement if funds are available. A motion was made by Joe to reimbursement Mr. Chadwick using funds from the Veteran's Services account. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.


ADJOURNMENT: Motion made by Joe to adjourn the meeting at 9:08 p.m. Bob seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary