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Selectmen Meeting Minutes — March 16, 2009—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

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

Acceptance of Minutes: A motion was made by John Payne to accept the minutes of February 18th, February 19th February 24th and March 10th as presented. Joe seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Noteworthy News:
Special Town Meeting to be held on Thursday, March 19th at 7:00 p.m., in Memorial Hall to reduce the FY'09 operating budget by $31,400 so to balance the budget following the Governor's reduction in local aid.

Department Liaison Reports:

The first live broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera was well received with over 300 people in attendance;

Main Street Neighborhood meeting to review the final plans for phase 2 construction was held on March 12th at 2:00 p.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. Both meetings were well attended and the proposed plans were well received.

Joe will attend the M.T.R.H.S.D. Budget Presentation Meeting on March 18, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. He is concerned with the District's request to present voluminous changes to the Regional School District Agreement at the annual town meeting; the proposed changes are 25 pages in length. Joe intends to discuss his concerns at the meeting.

Highway Department - Bob reported that Shelburne is in the midst of "mud" season. The crew has been using the grader to deal with the ruts. As a result of the new state inspection requirements, many of the town's truck have required a great deal of repair. With the acceptation of a spring installation, much of the work has been performed in-house. Pete is still waiting word from MEMA with regards to ice storm reimbursement.

OLD BUSINESS:

F.R.C.O.G. RE: Municipal Accounting Program - in light of Scott Sawyer's recent resignation, John negotiated interim accounting services with the F.R.C.O.G.'s Municipal Accounting Program. Temporary accounting services will be provided to the town from March 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009 for a total of $4,448. The services will be paid for using the remaining funds in the Fiscal Officer's account. Following review of the contract's scope of services, a motion was made by John to accept the agreement for temporary accounting services as presented. Joe seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

Ricci Smith RE: West County Motors - Ricci Smith, owner of "All Around Tile" sent a letter to the Board notifying them that Michael Thomas, proprietor of West County Autos has relinquished his Class II license. In the same letter, Ricci informed the Board of his intentions of opening "West County Motors" for the purpose of selling snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, lawnmowers and other off road vehicles. The business will be located at 1155 Mohawk Trail. Although no action was required by the Board, they were supportive of Ricci's request.

Town Moderator RE: Appointment of Charles Cohen - Town Moderator, James Stacy has appointed Charles Cohen of 226 Cooper Lane to serve as a member of the Finance Committee. Mr. Cohen's term will end in 2012. No action required by the Board.
Laurie MacLeod RE: Resignation as Zoning Board Alternate - the Board received a letter of resignation from Zoning Board Alternate, Laurie MacLeod. Laurie has been recently nominated by the Governor for judicial appointment in the District Court therefore is unable to serve on a town board. A motion was made by Joe to accept Laurie's resignation with great regret. John seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Zoning Board of Appeals RE: Request to Appoint John Pollard as Alternate Member - Zoning Board Chairman, Joe Palmeri submitted a letter to the Board of Selectmen requesting that John Pollard of 6 Barnard Road be appointed to serve as an alternate member to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Chairman Palmeri indicated that Mr. Pollard has attended a meeting of the Zoning Board and is interested in serving. Members of the Selectmen know John Pollard and believe that he will be a great asset to the Board. A motion was made by Joe to appoint John Pollard as an alternate member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. John seconded the motion; motion passed unanimously.

Re-Development of Bridge Street Fire Site - Attorney Kevin Parsons has had several conversations with John Ryan of Breezeway Farm and Mark Siegenthaler of DHCD on behalf of his client, Gitsis Realty, LLC to explore the possibility of using the Economic Development Fund to redevelop the fire ravaged site on Bridge Street as well as work with adjacent property owners to make their buildings handicapped accessible as well. Attorney Parsons is seeking a member of the Board of Selectmen to serve as a representative throughout the ongoing discussions. Bob agreed to serves as the town's liaison. Joe made a motion to appoint Bob as the town's liaison. John seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

CORRESPONDENCE: none

FY'2010 BUDGET PRESENTATIONS
Finance Committee Member Present: Lynn Benander, Greg Oles, Laura Sandvik and John Wheeler

7:30 p.m. Pete Hillman, Highway Department - the Highway Maintenance budget was presented with an overall 3% increase over last year's budget. The increase was a direct result of a 2.5% salary increase for full-time employees and a proposed $2.40 hourly increase for part-time workers (from $13.88 to $16.29). Rather than eliminate $4,200 in road-side mowing line item, the monies were reallocated for patch and diesel fuel.

Snow & Ice Budget - after review of the budget presented, Finance Committee members agreed that the budget numbers were not consistent with actual cost experience. Rather than deficits spend each year, they asked the Highway Superintendent to come back with a more realistic budget.

8:35 p.m. Steve Walker, Police Department - the Police Salaries account reflects an overall reduction of $1,442 over last year. Chief Walker explained that a portion of the $4,000 in savings resulting from Sergeant Johnson's retirement was used to fund the 2.5% increase in salaries and to increase the line item for in-service training. Chief Walker presented a level-funded operating budget as requested by the Board of Selectmen. Community policing monies which have been instrumental in off-setting extra patrols, capital expenses etc. is slated to be cut by 23%. Chief Walker indicated that he will do his best to maintain the same level of services.

8:55 p.m. Recreation Committee (Chuck Washer and Norman Beebe) - the FY'10 budget reflects an overall decrease of $363 over last year. The Recreation Committee is requesting that $901 in user fees be appropriated to supplement the Cowell Gym Director's salary for a total of $2,155. Members of the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee had a lengthy discussion relative to the overall operating costs of Cowell Gymnasium with the hopes that the Recreation Committee can come up with ways to help offset a portion of the $23,350 annual operating budget; a large portion of which is heating costs. The gym is currently being used 6 days a week with basketball, soccer and a walking program. The Committee is hoping to begin new programs such as volleyball, street hockey and dance. Although the Committee does not charge fees for the youth programs, general admission user fees are $2.00 for children and $4.00 for adults. To date, $1,209 has been collected in user fees this year; down from $3,564 last year. Everyone agreed that the pending energy audit results will be helpful in determining ways to conserve on heat and electricity related expenses. While waiting for those results, the Board will reacquaint themselves with representatives from the Teen Center and move forward to establish a task force type committee to look all aspects of the Cowell Gymnasium with the hopes of finding ways to save money and better utilize the facility.

Public Comment: None

Adjournment: a motion was made by Joe to adjourn the meeting at 10:10 p.m. Motion seconded by John. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary