Upcoming Meetings

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

Selectmen Meeting Minutes — August 2, 2010—6:30 p.m. — Memorial Hall.

Call to Order: Joe called the meeting to order. Other members present: Bob Manners and John Payne.

Media Present: Cameron Graves, Shelburne Falls Independent and Diane Broncaccio, Greenfield Recorder.

Acceptance of Minutes: John brought forth a motion to accept the minutes of July 19, 2010 as presented. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Department Liaison Reports:
Highway Department -- Global Trucking purchased the town's Mack Truck for $12,000. Bob reported that Global is currently offering the truck for resale at $29,000. Working with the Police Chief, (6) new "Parking" signs have been installed along Bridge Street noting the 2 hour parking limit. Work on Zerah Fiske Road continues. John suggested placing road construction signs on both ends of the project so that motorists have advanced warning and can choose an alternate route of travel. A privately contracted tree service will be working in the area of Severance and Bridge Street tomorrow. Given the location and size of the tree, a crane is necessary for it's' removal. Traffic will be detoured while the work is underway.

Police Department -- John reported that the Department has been issuing warnings to individuals who habitually abuse the two-hour parking limit on Bridge Street. So far, the response has been effective. The Department will continue to look at ways to monitor and address parking related concerns in the downtown area.

6:30 p.m. David Ward, Energy Engineering & Design -- John opened the discussion by providing Mr. Ward with some background information relative to the project. The discussion included conditions of the Department of Energy Resources grant; the Energy Committee's list of prioritized projects; Siemens' inability to identify a viable guaranteed performance contract; and the Selectboard's need for information relating to project cost and savings potential. Mr. Ward gave an overview of his credentials. Mr. Ward is the Founder and President of Energy Engineering and Design, Inc.; an independent consulting firm, which provides comprehensive energy management services to clients in the commercial, industrial, and governmental sectors. Services include: Development of Energy Savings Projects, Building Energy Use Modeling, Construction Management, Development and Implementation of Measurement and Verification Strategies and Analysis of energy Savings Potential and Project Implementation Costs. His overall goal is to make a building as efficient as possible while at the same time providing energy saving applications that are serviceable, simple, and maintainable. Mr. Ward briefly reviewed the list of 18 priority projects recommended by the Energy Committee and agreed that air-sealing measures, windows, insulation, lighting, and setback thermostats were projects with the biggest payback. Given the simplicity of the proposed projects, Mr. Ward questioned whether the Town needed the services of an ESCO like Siemens' or if it would be simpler and more cost effective to manage the projects ourselves. John indicated that it is unclear whether DOER would allow the town to amend their original application and move forward without ESCO involvement. Bob asked Mr. Ward if he could verify the validity of the cost estimates provided by Siemens' and Energy Committee members. Given the volatility of the construction market, Mr. Ward indicated that the most sensible approach would be to bid each component of the project (i.e. lighting, insulation, etc.). Referring to the list of potential projects, John asked whether the Town should look to hire a General Contractor or individual contractors to perform the work. Given the size of Shelburne's proposed project and the simplicity of installations like lighting, thermostats, and windows; Mr. Ward felt that individual contractors could easily manage their individual components of specialized work. Members of the Board thanked Mr. Ward for his time and input.

7:25 p.m. Ad Hoc Tree Committee (In attendance: Kevin Parsons, Susan Reed and Brock Cutting. Jeremy McGeorge and James Richardson were absent) - Members of the Tree Committee met with the Board to discuss their role in addressing the trees along Bridge Street. The trees, due to their size and invasive root structure, have created problems with sidewalks, foundations, and overhead wires. The Selectboard appointed the Committee to determine whether the existing trees are manageable; and if not; make a recommendation as to what tree species is suitable for the area. John asked Committee members to acknowledge the emotional attachment that residents may have; especially those families who donated the trees. John also encouraged members to be creative; suggesting species that provide the "warmth and feeling' of a larger tree; yet size appropriate for downtown. Joe indicated that the Board would welcome a formal presentation at annual town meeting and reminded Committee members that if town funds are necessary to facilitate the project, the request would require town meeting approval. Bob reported that tree removal and sidewalk replacement are Chapter 90 eligible activities. Committee members signified that they will also be seeking donations and grant funds through the Mass Re-Leaf Program.

7:50 p.m. Kevin Parson - Shelburne Falls Inc, LLC RE: 45 Water Street Project -- Kevin reported that he and his wife Kathy along with Nancy and Andrew Smith of Ashfield are in the process of purchasing the former Mohawk Manor Rest Home. The group will appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals on August 12th with the hope of obtaining a special permit to allow for a 10-11 unit Inn in the Village residential District. If the ZBA grants approval, renovations will begin soon after with an anticipated opening in late spring or early summer. Kevin believes that the upscale Inn will serve as a very important economic piece to the village and he hopes that the Board will support the project by certifying its' status under Massachusetts Economic Incentive Program so that Shelburne Falls, Inc. LLC can take advantage of the Tax Increment Finance Exemption and possibly the Investment Tax Credit available through this program. Lastly, if the Board intends to hold a special town meeting later in the year, Kevin requested that voters consider necessary approvals at that time rather than wait until annual town meeting.

8:00 p.m. John Ryan, Breezeway Farm Consulting RE: FY'11 CDBG Application -- Joe called the hearing to order and read the hearing notice aloud. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the proposed joint 2011 Community Development Block Grant application with the Towns of Buckland, Shelburne, and potentially other communities and agencies for up to $1 million for eligible community development activities; intended to benefit income eligible residents. Citizens were encouraged to attend this hearing and subsequent hearings to provide the Selectboard with their comments on the CDBG program and to help develop a list of priority projects that are eligible for funding. Joe turned the hearing over to John Ryan of Breezeway Farm Consulting. Before discussing the 2011 Community Development Block Grant Program, John briefly discussed the most recent 2010 award of $845,932 to the towns of Buckland and Shelburne.

The deadline for submitting the 2011 application is December 10, 2010. John explained that as in the past there will be a series of public hearings; for which community input is crucial. The first hearing (this evening) will introduce the funding program and identify what types of projects are eligible and what types of projects are not; the second hearing will be to review and solicit comments for the revision of the town's Community Development Strategy document and solicit suggestions for a project list; the third hearing will decide on eligible and competitive projects; and the fourth and final hearing will present the final application before submittal and to solicit public comment. John presented the list of eligible projects. They include: housing rehabilitation, infrastructure improvements, senior centers, community economic development activities, microenterprise assistance, homeownership assistance, social services, acquisition, disposition, or demolition of property, temporary relocation, comprehensive community planning, and general administration.

In order to fulfill the requirements of the 2011 application, the towns of Buckland and Shelburne must identify two physical activities (i.e. infrastructure improvements) and two social service programs (i.e. housing rehabilitation).

Public Comment:
Bob Dean, Buckland Selectman: Must the town own a building in order for it to be eligible for architectural barrier or accessibility related improvements? John Ryan indicated that the building does not have to be town owned providing that there is a long term lease in effect.
Joe Judd, Shelburne Selectman asked whether the glacial pothole proposed walkway was an eligible project. John Ryan indicated that the project is not eligible because ownership of the property has not been determined.

After hearing no further comment from the public, Joe closed the hearing at 8:30 p.m.

DOER Grant Update -- Although members of the Board were favorably impressed with David Ward's earlier presentation, John did not feel comfortable moving forward until he has had an opportunity to speak with members of the Energy Committee. A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the need for a general contractor and firm cost estimates. Although the Board was unable to reach a decision, John agreed to speak with both David Ward and members of the Energy Committee and report back at their next meeting. In closing Joe stressed importance of deciding whether to move forward or not at all.

Cowell Gymnasium RE: Mold Remediation -- Joe is waiting to receive a report of findings as well as recommendations for remediation from the Department of Public Health.

Proposed Council on Aging By-Laws Changes -- Joe has scheduled a Consortium meeting on August 17th at 4:00 p.m. with representation from each member town to discuss whatever concerns Colrain Selectmen may have with the proposed by-law changes.

D.P. Carney Roofing RE: Core Testing of Roof Insulation at Memorial Hall and Cowell Gymnasium -- Condensation was present in both samples of insulation taken the Cowell Gymnasium roof. The contractor suggests that the moisture is a result of condensation being absorbed from the top layer of insulation. Samples taken from Memorial Hall resulted in no condensation in one sample and mild condensation in the second; possibly caused by a nearby drain pipe sweating. The contractor recommends removing the existing E.P.D.M. membrane and wood fiberboard at Cowell Gym and replace with a fully adhered E.P.D.M. Roofing System and a minimum of 1" Poly ISO insulation. Memorial Hall's roof does not appear to be problematic however, if the Board chooses to replace both, he suggests the installation of a Fully Adhered E.P.D.M. Roofing System and a minimum of 2" Poly-ISO insulation. Terry will seek more information from the contractor to include an estimated cost for replacement.
Police Parking Spaces -- discussion relating to "freeing up" one of the two designated municipal parking spaces in front of Memorial Hall is back on the table. Joe suggested the concept in April. At that time, members of the Board discussed at length however opposing views prevented the Board from reaching a decision. John Payne (representing the tie breaker) suggested that the Board table further discussion until he had an opportunity to evaluate the proposal. Four months have passed and John is ready to move forward with a decision. After speaking with the Police Chief and evaluating the situation, he sees merit in opening up one of the two designated spaces for public use. If approved, the remaining parking space shall serve as "police" parking only. Given the location of the adjacent fire hydrant, Bob pointed out that the only viable space for public use would be the one located closest to Memorial Hall. Before voting on the matter, Joe would like to contact the Shelburne Falls Fire District to see if the Board's decision will have any impact on their personnel.
Stained Glass Window -- sincere thanks to Nancy Katz and Mark Liebowitz of "A Colorful Affair" for their generous gift of stained glass. The glass is located above the front entrance of Memorial Hall and is a lovely reflection of the town's landscape.

Public Posting Board in Front Foyer -- glass doors and locking mechanisms are in place on the newly built posting boards in the front foyer. John would like to see the locks removed so that individual Boards have the ability to post their meetings in a timely manner. The Town Clerk has always maintained that she has sole authority for posting meeting notices however, after attending a recent training on the revised Open Meeting Law; John contends that as long as the Town Clerk receives a copy of the posting; individual Board and Committee members have the authority to post their meetings. Joe will speak to the Town Clerks about removing the locks and posting protocol. He will report to the Board at their next meeting.

Employee Parking -- In the same spirit of "freeing up" parking spaces, John suggested that town employees and business owners who are physically able; should park away from Bridge Street allowing more availability for residents and tourists who frequent the local businesses. Joe agreed and offered to speak with town employees as well as a representative from the Shelburne falls Area Business Association about the idea.

FY'09 Preliminary Audit Report -- Each member has reviewed the draft management letter provided by Dan Haynes of Scanlon and Associates. The Board agrees with the recommendations brought forth and will begin to formulate their response.

Board of Assessor's RE: Payment of Meals @ Annual Summer Meeting --In a letter to the Selectboard, members of the Board of Assessor's formally requested that the town pay for their meals at the upcoming Annual Summer meeting on August 18th. The total cost of said meals would be $105. Board members briefly discussed the request and agreed that meals are no longer an eligible expense. Although the amount seems trivial, several requests made in the past year have also been denied for the same reason. Joe will contact the Assessor's Chairman to inform him of the Board's decision.

Assessor's RE: Vipassana Meditation Center, Payment in Lieu of Taxes -- the Board of Assessors would like the Selectmen's approval to pursue the possibility of receiving a larger payment in lieu of taxes from the Vipassana Meditation Center in Shelburne. Property valuations at the Center total approximately $2,500,000 which equates to approximately $31,700 in annual town taxes. On average the Town receives $1,000 annually in donations. The Assessors would like to meet with representatives of the Center to discuss further and would welcome the Selectmen's participation should they choose to attend. Board members agreed that the Assessors should pursue and indicated a willingness to participate in the process once a meeting date is established.

Conflict of Interest Ethics Test -- Several town officials have yet to complete the mandatory ethics test. John suggested that the Town Clerk send reminder notices to each individual. Joe will discuss with Beverly.

Open Meeting Law RE: Use of Recording Devices -- John reminded everyone in attendance that the Open Meeting Law now requires any person who wishing to make a video or audio recording of a meeting of a public body may do so after notifying the chairman of the public body of his/her intentions (The meeting must be an open meeting and not an executive session).

Patti Waters, 41 Main Street RE: Bridge Street Trees -- Ms. Waters would like the opportunity to participate in the process surrounding Bridge Street trees. Joe will contact Ms. Waters and forward her letter to the Tree Committee.

ADJOURNMENT: John presented a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:35 p.m. Bob seconded the motion. Motion approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary