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Selectmen Meeting Minutes — May 11, 2009—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall.

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

Acceptance of Minutes: A motion was made by Joe and seconded by Bob to accept the minutes of April 27, 2009 as presented. Motion carried. A second motion was made by Joe and seconded by John to approve the minutes of May 5, 2009 as presented. Motion passed unanimously.

Noteworthy News: There were four moose sightings in rural Shelburne last week. Joe cautioned drivers to be careful. Chairman, Manners thanked everyone for attending the annual town meeting. Every article presented on the warrant passed.

Department Liaison Reports:
John – the Cable Advisory Committee has spent a great deal of time comparing the existing Comcast contract (which has expired) to the newly proposed contract. Following the in-depth review, the Committee has determined that the new contract is significantly inferior to the new one. Committee members will be proposing that Comcast create a revised contract document; based substantially on the original one. John reported that all legal funds affiliated with the contract renewal have been exhausted. He does not anticipate that the committee will seek additional funding.

John also reported that the Special Commission on Municipal Relief has released their report which examines ways to bring fiscal relief to municipalities, either by bringing us additional revenue opportunities or reducing local costs, or both. F.R.C.O.G. representative Linda Dunlavy has been invited to testify on Friday, May 15th on the contents of the report and would like to receive input from local Boards. Although she will only be allotted three minutes to speak, she intends to submit a detailed written report as well. Terry Mosher will make a copy of the Municipal Relief Report available for each member Selectmen to review.
Bob – Thanks to a handful of volunteers and some funding from the Recreation Committee’s user fee account, the Arms Academy softball/baseball diamond has been refurbished with new clay based dirt. Bob indicated that he authorized the use of the town’s loader over the weekend to assist with the work. Highway employee, Mark Shippee orchestrated the project.

Bob was pleased to report that Brook Road endured the heavy downpour over the weekend; the Highway Superintendent is in the process of finalizing the town’s STRAP grant application with the hopes of receiving funding that will allow for “slope stabilization” on that road. Highway crew members have been busy grading the towns’ dirt roads. Lastly, the Highway Superintendent has received contracts from FEMA. Execution of the contract documents is required in order for the town to receive approximately $46,000 in reimbursement for December ice storm. Bob will be meeting with Pete this week to review the paperwork.

OLD BUSINESS:
Bridge Street Parking – in order to address concerns relative to traffic flow and parking on Bridge Street, Joe will be working with Chief Walker and Pete Hillman to devise a plan that will prevent over-sized vehicles from utilizing the spaces on Bridge Street. Joe explained that over-sized vehicles extend into the travel lanes diminishing a vehicle’s ability to travel the street without crossing the center line. Joe hopes that the plan will be implemented by July 1st using signage and possibly road markings. Also to be addressed is the enforcement of the two-hour parking limit on Bridge Street.

Purchase of Recycling Bins – the S.F.A.B.A. is spearheading an effort to place (6) recycling receptacles in the business district so to encourage individuals to dispose of their beverage containers in a manner that reduces the overall waste stream. The Business Association has indicated that one business owner has offered to purchase one; and the Partnership will purchase one; for approximately $175.00 each. The S.F.A.B.A. is hoping that Shelburne would be willing to purchase two. Following a brief discussion, a motion was made by Joe to authorize the purchase of up to (2) recycling receptacles using no more than $375 from the refuse account. John seconded the motion. Before voting on the proposed motion, further discussion continued relative to the town’s overall financial standing and whether or not a purchase of this nature should be made before knowing what the impact of the State’s local aid contribution will be in FY’10. Members agreed that Buckland Selectmen should be approached to see whether or not they would be willing to purchase one receptacle. Motion passed unanimously.

Planning Board RE: Part-time Clerical Position
– John reported that the Planning Board has met and would like to hire the Board of Health’s part-time clerk, Linda Bickford on a trail basis until June 30th; providing the Planning Board an opportunity to assess her skills and at the same time; providing Linda an opportunity to see whether or not she can manage the requirements of both positions. John reported that he has spoken with Linda and she is willing to assist the Planning Board through June 30th. The Planning Board is in the process of making suggested changes to the job description and will forward revisions to the Selectmen once complete. A motion was made by John to hire Linda Bickford as the Planning Board’s part-time clerk through June 30, 2009 at a rate of $14.00 per hour. Joe seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Update on Treasurer’s Search – the Board met last week to review the results of the first round of advertising (see minutes of May 5th). As a result of that discussion, a decision was made to seek the advice of counsel relative to hiring someone on an interim basis (through June 30th); and to re-advertise the position via the Massachusetts Treasurer’s Association; a network that is specific to municipal Treasurers. Between meetings, John scheduled a second interview with one of the first round candidates so to learn more about her skills and to explain the Board’s decision to conduct a broader candidate search. John also met with a local municipal Treasurer who had been recommended to the Board as a viable interim solution. This individual is familiar with both “City & Town” and “Fund-Ware” programs, and is able to provide the Town with approximately 7 hours of assistance per week. John feels that she is very capable of doing the job and by serving the town on an interim basis; it will provide the Board with an opportunity to experience her capabilities. John further indicated that both the first-round candidate as well as the interim Treasurer will be considered as viable applicants in the second round of interviews. Virginia Peck will be coming in Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to help with payroll, bank deposits, etc; and she will be available on an as-needed basis to familiarize the interim Treasurer with all aspects of the job. Joe asked to go on the record stating that he recognizes that this particular hiring process has been somewhat of a deviation from past hiring practices due to the timing of annual town meeting, the busy schedules of each member, and the need to fill the position as quickly as possible. As the process continues however, Joe would like to see more involvement from the full Board.

NEW BUSINESS:
Bridge of Flowers Road Race Request – Chief Walker has approved the request submitted by Brenda Bowie for the August 8th annual Bridge of Flowers Road Race. The Chief suggests that a meeting be held with the “Race” Director prior to the event in order to discuss locations of volunteers, pre-registration locations and parking. A motion was made by John to approve the permit request providing that the suggestions brought forth by Chief Walker are satisfied. Joe seconded the motion; motion carried unanimously.

Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. RE: Preliminary Energy Conservation Report – the long awaited results of the preliminary energy audit of all town-owned buildings has been received by the town. Copies have been provided to each member of the Board for review. At an initial glance, an overall savings of $13,075 could be realized annually if all suggested changes are implemented. Once the Board has had an opportunity to review the 27 page report, a representative from Siemens Building Technologies will be invited in to discuss the proposal.

Proposed Use of Federal Stimulus Monies to Fund Handicapped Accessibility Project on Bridge Street – Attorney Kevin Parsons met with Representative Denis Guyer last week to discuss the possibility of using Federal Stimulus monies to fund the proposed handicapped accessibility project on the south side of Bridge Street. The project would provide for a handicapped accessible ramp that would start in front of the proposed Greenfield Cooperative Bank site and continue to the intersection of Bridge Street and Deerfield Ave; providing access to four businesses (Mother’s Pantry, The Optometrist, Foxtowne Coffee Shop, and Singley’s Furiniture). Representative Guyer indicated that he would like to receive a letter from the Board of Selectmen showing support for the proposed project. Members of the Board feel that the proposed project is a wonderful idea and voted unanimously in favor of submitting a letter of support to Representative Guyer.

CORRESPONDENCE:
John Pollard RE: Town Meeting Comments – after having attended the annual town meeting, John submitted a letter to the Board of Selectmen highlighting three areas of concern: pay raises; tax increment financing agreements and the Arms Library. Mr. Pollard feels that “any” pay raise in this current environment is unconscionable; that there are too many unknowns about the benefits of a TIF agreement and he would have liked to have heard both sides of the issue rather than “its good for the town”; and lastly, he feels that it is imperative that the Arms Library become a town department as it is operated primarily with town funds. Both John and Joe would like an opportunity to address Mr. Pollard’s concerns. Each member will review the letter and draft a response.

PUBLIC COMMENT: None

ADJOURNMENT: a motion was made by Joe to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 p.m. Motion seconded by John. Motion passed.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary