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Selectmen Meeting Minutes — November 7, 2011—7:00 p.m. —
Memorial Hall

Call to order: John called the meeting to order. Other members present: Joe Judd. Bob Manners joined the meeting at 8:22 p.m.

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

Acceptance of Meeting Minutes: Joe brought forth a motion to accept the minutes of October 24, 2011 as presented. John seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Noteworthy News:

  • Village Leaf Collection, Monday, November 14, 2011

Department Liaison Reports:
Police - Joe reported that everything is status quo.

Highway - Bob gave an overview of the Department's response to the October 29th snowstorm. John indicated that he has heard a number of positive comments relative to the crew's efforts. The crew has also been patching roads and marking culverts.

7:15 p.m. John Ryan, Breezeway Farm Consulting RE: Joint Public Hearing, 2012 Community Development Block Grant Application - John read the hearing notice. The purpose of the hearing was for the Towns of Buckland and Shelburne to discuss their joint 2012 application for up to $900,000 for the following projects: Highland Village Parking Lot Reconstruction, Shelburne; Sears Street Reconstruction, Buckland; and the continuation of the West County Emergency Food Pantry program. Notice of the hearing was advertised in the local newspaper; notices were mailed to parties of interest; and posted by respective Town Clerks. John Ryan reviewed the cost estimates for each of the three components of the application. He pointed out that the total cost of the Highland Village Parking Lot Reconstruction Project is less than originally estimated. Approximately $57,000 in 2010 Community Development Block Grant funds were reallocated for design, engineering and bidding of this component. John also reviewed the meeting schedule for the next few weeks to include a neighborhood "walk-about" in both Buckland and Shelburne; as well as neighborhood forums in each town. Before closing the hearing, John Payne asked for public comment. Tammy Butler spoke on behalf of the West County Emergency Food Pantry and the need for continued service in the towns of Buckland and Shelburne. John closed the hearing at 7:27 p.m. After the hearing, the Board voted as follows:

  1. Joe brought forth a motion to authorize the Chairman to sign documentation
    relating to the 2012 Community Development Block Grant Application on behalf of the Board. John seconded the motion. Motion passed.
  2. Joe presented a second motion authorizing the Chairman to sign a "budget and program revision" form on behalf of the Board so to seek an extension of the 2010 CDBG program until June 30, 2012. John seconded the motion. Motion passed.

7:40 p.m. Daniel Lieberman RE: Formation of a Municipal Lighting Plant - Dan provided the Board with the latest revisions of the "WiredWest" Bylaws and Cooperative Agreement for their review. On two separate occasions (annual town meeting and a special town meeting), town voters accepted an article authorizing the Selectboard to take all necessary and appropriate actions to establish and maintain a municipal lighting plant. Dan explained that in order to move the process forward, the Selectboard must create and name a department; determine the department's governance; join the WiredWest Cooperative, and appoint a manager, delegate, and alternate delegate. The deadline for completing the necessary steps is August, 2012. Before taking any action, John requested that members of the Selectboard have an opportunity to review the materials presented.

8:00 p.m. Deb Coutinho, Board of Health RE: F.R.C.O.G. Regional Health District (Robert Gonzales also attended) - Deb has participated in a series of meetings along with representatives from 15 to 20 other towns to design a shared health department that would serve as many towns as were interested. There are eleven planning groups in the state and each is eligible to apply for a four year implementation grant, due November 18, 2011. The goals of the group was to identify "gaps" in services; increase public health protection for residents; maximize non-municipal funds in support of local health services; provide participating towns with meaningful oversight of policies, budget, and fees; and allow Board of Health members to focus more on governance and community needs. The proposed service model includes two levels of service determined by a town's involvement in the department (Comprehensive District Member or a Shared Services District member). Once formed, Cooperative Health Department staff would meet all of the required mass Department of Public Health credentials and would be employees of the F.R.C.O.G. If the region's grant proposal is successful, the cooperative department will have $100,000 a year in grant funds for the first two years; $75,000 for the third year; and $50,000 for the fourth year. In future years, individual assessments will be determined using a formula that includes equalized valuation and population. Before the F.R.C.O.G. submits the application, they need to know if Shelburne is interested in participating. While Deb sees merit in the proposed health cooperative, she is concerned with the loss of a small town's sense of familiarity. John suggested that the Selectboard review the materials provided and meet again on Tuesday, November 15th at 3:00 p.m. in Memorial Hall to decide whether to participate in the program.

8:20 p.m. Jamie Godfrey RE: Request to Extend the Neighbor-To-Neighbor Program (Also in attendance Therese Fitzsimmons and Cathy Buntin) - Jamie and members of his staff appeared before the Board seeking support from the Selectboard for the continuation of the Buckland-Shelburne Neighbor-To-Neighbor Outreach Project through June 30, 2012. The program is in its second year and is finally beginning to gain momentum. Jamie reported that Therese, the project coordinator, has matched 17 seniors with dedicated advocate/companions. In addition, both Therese and Cathy have recruited as many as 60 volunteers for the Center's Spring and Fall Clean-up Days. Jamie is requesting that $12,235 of the remaining $16,395 be used to continue the program for the additional six months. After hearing positive comments from Therese and Cathy regarding the program, Joe presented a motion to continue the Neighbor-To-Neighbor Program through June 30, 2012 using $12,235.00 of the remaining funds for said program; providing that DHCD (the funding agency) approves the extension. Bob seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

DOER Energy Efficiency Update:
Memorial Hall Window Replacement Project - there are four windows left to be installed.

Cowell Gym Window Infill Project - In light of Mass Historic Commission's recent ruling, the Board will look at other energy efficient measures for the gymnasium.
Balance of Unallocated Funds - DOER has agreed to allow the Town to use the remaining balance of $12,748 for the purchase and installation of a heating system at the Highway Garage providing it's' energy efficiency and payback period meets the funding agency's approval.

Cowell Gymnasium Mold Remediation Work - Andrea Woods of F.R.C.O.G. has offered to assist the Town with bidding the mold remediation work for an estimated cost of $300. Joe is working with a couple of local contractors to compile a scope of work for the interior of the Cowell Gymnasium basement. Once the scope of work is fine tuned, Joe will forward to Michael Feeney of the Department of Public Health for his comments. In the meantime, Pete Hillman is obtaining estimates for the sealing and insulation of the foundation.

Wind Farm Proposal RE: Disclosure of Financial Interest by Municipal Officials - John explained that there are a number of town Board members (both appointed and elected) that may have a potential conflict of interest relative to the proposed Wind Farm application. When a potential conflict is apparent, it is recommended that elected officials seek guidance from the Ethics Commission and; appointed officials disclose their potential conflict to the Selectboard so that they may make a written determination as to whether the financial interest is substantial enough to compromise and/or affect the integrity of the services of the public official while participating in the proceedings. In order to determine the relationships between the various town officials and the wind farm applicant, land owners, etc; John requested a fair amount of detail from the Wind Farm proposers. That information was forwarded to Town Counsel and although she has yet to recommend a ruling; she suggested that the Board proceed with their determinations. Alan Smith serves as a member of the Conservation Commission. His wife's sister is Lisa Davenport (property owners who plan to lease a wind turbine site to Mount Massaemet Windfarm). While the Board recognizes the appearance of conflict, they felt that Alan's character, his expertise on the Conservation Commission, and the fact that the Commission's membership was already compromised by their Chairman's recue was reason enough to allow Alan to participate in the process. Following a brief discussion, Joe presented a motion to allow Conservation Commission member, Alan Smith to participate in the proceedings relating to the wind farm proposal. Bob seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Zoning Board Chairman, Joe Palmeri disclosed two potential conflicts. First; Joe's residence is located on Old Village Road which may be within sight and sound of the wind turbines; and Palmeri Electric (Joe's business) has conducted business and will continue to conduct business with Dole Brothers (property owners who plan to lease a wind turbine site to Mount Massaemet Windfarm). After a lengthy deliberation, Joe brought forth a motion to allow Joe Palmeri to continue to serve as Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals throughout the wind farm proceedings. Bob seconded the motion. The Board's decision was based on the following factors: Joe has no immediate family relationship with any of the parties interested in the windfarm proposal; it is not possible to determine whether the presence or absence of wind turbines on Mount Massaemet will have an impact on his property values; past business dealings with one or more of the landowners are presumed to have been conducted in a competitive environment and should not influence Joe's actions or decisions while serving on the Zoning Board and lastly; future contracts in the area of Joe's expertise will be offered in a competitive business environment and will offer no advantage from his time spent deliberating the windfarm proposal. Motion passed unanimously. In the event Town Counsel receives a differing opinion from the Ethics Commission; the Board would revisit their decision.

Cemetery Commission:
Resignation of Evelyn Bohonowicz - Evelyn submitted a letter of resignation as a member of the recently appointed Cemetery Commission. Joe presented a motion to accept Evelyn's resignation with regret. John seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Appointment of Les Chadwick - Joe brought forth a motion to appoint Les Chadwick to the Cemetery Commission. John seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Memorial Drive Maintenance - Although the Highway Superintendent would prefer to continue to contract snow removal services for Memorial Drive; both Joe and John agreed that it made sense for the Town to maintain the road as they have for decades. Following a brief discussion, Joe presented a motion directing the Highway Department to plow and maintain the town's easement on Memorial Drive and thankfully accept contributions from abutters; following the acceptance of a formal written agreement. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Vacation Policy RE: Department Head Notification - the town's personnel policy requires that employees taking multiple days of vacation must notify their Department Head and/or Department Liaison at least one week in advance of the leave date. Joe recommended that Department Heads in particular be reminded of the policy. He suggested that John send a memorandum to each department with a copy of the policy attached. Terry will draft a memo for John's review.
Highway Laborer / Equipment Operator Vacancy - Board members briefly discussed whether the current staffing of the Highway Department is adequate. Bob reported that Mark Shippee will serve as a working Foreman until the Highway Superintendent returns to work. In addition to the two full-time crew members, the department has a part-time employee who is working 40 hours per week. Bob feels that the staffing is adequate for the time being.

Arms Library Trustees RE: Roof Replacement - John met with Arms Library Trustees in late October and they asked why the responsibility for the care and maintenance of the Pratt roof was any different then repairs to other town buildings. While there are several distinctions between the Pratt Building and other town buildings the most apparent is the will of Francis R. Pratt who gave the building to the inhabitants of Shelburne and designated the care, management and control of the building to five individuals, the successor to whom are the Pratt Building Committee. Although the towns of Buckland and Shelburne have contributed funds to the library annually; neither town has financial oversight of the funds and related expenditures nor does either town appoint and/or elect representatives to serve as Trustees (Pratt and Arms Committee members self appoint individuals). Members of the Selectboard would welcome the opportunity to meet with the Trustees to discuss further.

H1972 - An Act Regulating Primary Elections - due to the lateness of the hour; discussion was differed until the Board's next meeting.

2011/2012 Winter Parking Ban - Bob presented a motion to enforce the town's winter parking ban between December 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012 between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Joe seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Department of Revenue RE: Free Cash Certification - the Department of Revenue has certified that the amount of available funds or "free cash" as of July 1, 2011 for Shelburne's General Fund is $104,910; and for the Sewer Enterprise Fund: $35,777
Governor Approves $65 Million Supplemental Budget - on October 27, 2011, Governor Patrick signed Chapter 142 of the Acts of 2011, which appropriated $65M in a supplemental budget for cities and towns of the Commonwealth. Shelburne's share is $15,993. The amount can either be appropriated as an available fund during FY'12 or turned back as "free cash" at the end of FY'12.

F.R.C.O.G. RE: Used Furniture - rather than itemize all of the surplus furniture and seek and review individual proposals; the F.R.C.O.G. has decided to seek bids for the entire lot from used furniture buyers.

St. Joseph's Parish will be hosting a pasta dinner on November 17, 2011 at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center at 6:00 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit missionaries. Hugh Knox requested a one day liquor license so to allow participants to bring wine to have with their dinner. He also requested that the license fee of $100 be waived. Joe presented a motion granting the request for the one day liquor license at no charge. John seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Public Official Identification Badges - Joe and Bob continue to investigate the cost of purchasing identification badges for various town officials. Joe hopes to obtain a sample of the badges which will cost $61.00 for three.



ADJOURNMENT: Joe presented a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:50 p.m. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Town Administrator