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Selectmen Meeting Minutes
March 12, 2012 -- 7:00 p.m. -- Memorial Hall

Call to order: Bob Manners called the meeting to order. Other members present: Joe Judd. John Payne is away on vacation.

Media Present: Cameron Graves, Shelburne Falls Independent

Acceptance of Meeting Minutes: Joe presented a motion to accept the minutes of February 27th; February 28th; and February 29th; as presented. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Noteworthy News: none

Department Liaison Reports:
Highway Department - the winter budget is still in great shape. Mark placed an order for sand and salt so that the department will have an ample stock pile for next year.

7:15 p.m. Cathy Buntin, Senior Center Interim Director RE: Executive Office of Elder Affairs Grant - The Senior Center has received $4,500 from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs which will allow for Center to hire a Volunteer Coordinator for 15-19 hours per week through June 30, 2012. The individual will be responsible for volunteer recruitment, basic administrative, and program management tasks. The individual will also research and generate a Volunteer Orientation Manual in consultation with staff and consortium board of directors. Cathy is seeking permission to advertise the position immediately being that the timeline to hire and accomplish these tasks are limited. Joe presented a motion to accept the grant and authorize Cathy to advertise the position. Bob seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Finance Committee Members Present: John Rees and Leo Ojala

7:20 p.m. Cathy Buntin, Senior Center Interim Director and Penny Spearance, Shelburne Council on Aging RE: FY'13 Budget - the two presented a revised budget that Penny described as "fiscally and programmatically responsible"; and allows the Center to maintain its integrity without creating financial hardships for member towns. In this budget scenario, Cathy will juggle both the Interim Director position and her current position as Program Director through October 1st. The hours of the Program Director reflect a reduction in hours (from 30 hours to 19). Council on Aging Board members will meet on Thursday to review the budget; if approved, member towns will receive a copy for consideration. Joe indicated that he has had an initial discussion with the Masons with the hope that they will consider a reduction in rent.
John Rees asked whether the Center has considered inviting other towns to join as a way of offsetting operating costs. Penny explained that the Council is in the process of exploring those possibilities.

7:30 p.m. Matthew Marchese RE: Planning Board Budget - The Planning Board's budget reflects an overall $800 increase from prior years. The increase reflects the need for clerical assistance and occasional legal guidance. Matt explained that when elected to the Planning Board four years ago; their budget included clerical assistance and a $300 allocation for legal expenses. Mid-way through his first year, the Planning Board Clerk left the position. Rather than re-advertise, the Planning Board decided to delegate the clerk's duties amongst themselves as a money saving measure. In fiscal year 2009 the Town's State Aid was reduced mid-year and the Select Board requested that departments, Boards, and Committees reduce their operating budgets wherever possible. As a result, the Planning Boards budget was reduced by $1,792 eliminating funds for legal expense and clerical assistance. It was Matt's understanding that his Board could still access Counsel utilizing funds from the legal expense account providing he obtained the Select Board's approval. When the wind farm proposal came before the Town, the need for a clerk and legal guidance became apparent; even more so when the applicants withdrew their proposal and the Planning Board was tasked with creating an appropriate by-law. Matt envisions the process to be very long and detailed and he wants to do it right. He has consulted with the FRCOG, the Department of Energy Resources, various neighboring towns, and continues to have dialog with the Zoning Board. In those discussions, he has discovered that there is very little guidance out there. Joe indicated that he was pleased to hear that the Planning Board continues to work with the Zoning Board and urged Matt to continue to do so. The FRCOG has received a $5,000 technical assistance grant which will allow them to help the Planning Board coordinate public hearings, draft legal notices, etc. Joe asked whether the grant would cover any legal related expenses. Matt is unsure whether a portion of the funds can be used for legal guidance. He will contact Peggy Sloan and notify the Select Board of his findings. The Planning Board hopes to have the by-laws prepared for the voters to consider in May, 2013. Finance Committee John Rees asked whether the proposed increase in the Planning Board's budget was specifically for the wind farm proposal or was the proposed increase a reflection of the Board's ongoing needs. Matt indicated that there are a number of areas within the by-laws that need revising therefore, Planning Board's work would continue beyond the wind farm by-law. John asked Matt how he arrived at $800 figure. Matt explained that he reviewed all of the legal expenses incurred when the home based business bylaw was in revision. During that period, legal counsel charged the Zoning Board $450. When comparing the two projects, Matt felt that $800 was a fair estimate. To date Matt indicated that he has requested permission to access Counsel on three occasions. Each time, the Selectboard Chairman has denied his request. Joe explained that the Select Board has always been open to requests from all committees seeking legal counsel's guidance. The Board's policy; although not in writing; has worked well in keeping costs under control. Joe further stated that if every Board and/or Committee were to request a separate line item within their budgets for legal expenses; there would be no way of controlling costs. While Matt understood the reason behind the Board's policy, he believes that his Board's track record for being financially prudent speaks for itself; he just wants to get the process right. Both Joe and Finance committee member Leo Ojala indicated that they would be interested in finding out whether the technical assistance will cover legal expenses. Given the magnitude of the project, if free legal advice is not available, John Rees believes that the Board should support the Planning Board's request. Matt asked when the Planning Board would know whether their budget request was supported. Bob and Joe indicated that Board will notify departments, Boards and Committees of any budget cuts once they have had an opportunity to review all of the budget requests.

8:00 p.m. Bob Manners RE: Highway Budget - Bob gave a detailed overview of the highway department's budget for the current year and fiscal year 2013. The 2013 maintenance budget reflects a 3.9% increase; and the winter budget reflects an overall increase of 5.3%. Bob anticipates using Chapter 90 funds to purchase a new truck in 2014. Finance Committee members did not have any questions; they gave kudos to the department for all they accomplish.

Old Business:
Highway Superintendent Position RE: Appointment of Search Committee - three individuals have agreed to serve on the Committee so far. Joe is waiting confirmation from at least two more residents. The Board hopes to appoint members at their next meeting.

Memorial Hall Window Quilt Project - Friends of the Sun will meet with a local contractor on Thursday to discuss what work needs to be done in order to accommodate the quilts. In the meantime, Terry is working with a vendor to create bid specifications.

Cowell Gymnasium Mold Remediation Work:
Covino Environmental - Joe is waiting to receive Covino's report.
Waterproofing Foundation - Project advertised; bids are due April 5, 2012.

Town of Charlemont RE: Revised Transfer Station Lease - Joe had an opportunity to speak with Charlemont Selectboard member Winston Healy. After doing so, he no longer feels the immediate need to pursue a transfer station site in Shelburne; although he intends to discuss the concept with Jan Ameen from the Solid Waste District when convenient. Bob suggested trying to coordinate a meeting with Charlemont Select Board in order to finalize the lease. Joe agreed.

Wired West Draft By-Laws - the Board received an email from Wired West's Executive Committee Vice-Chairman, Reva Reck who stated that Shelburne's recommendations are worthy of serious consideration however, a number of towns are heading into town meeting with the intention of joining Wired West. Changes to the by-laws could create a very difficult situation therefore; the Executive Committee has decided to review the by-laws on an annual basis with the review process starting after town meeting season. Bob and Joe agreed to wait until John returns before making any decisions.

Appointment of Emergency Management Director - The Board took no action.
Memorial Drive Winter Agreement - Joe indicated that he had nothing to report.
Clerical Assistance for Zoning, Planning, & Board of Health - the Town advertised the position(s) in the Greenfield Recorder with the hopes of hiring one or more clerks to serve the various boards. Deadline for submitting resumes is March 26, 2012.

Breezeway Farm Consulting RE: Award Engineering Proposal and Amend to Weston & Sampson Engineering's FY'11 Contract - Breezeway Farm distributed approximately 30 requests for price proposals for the Engineering of the Highland Village Parking Lot (Phase 1) via email. Proposals were due on March 1st at 1:00 p.m. The Town received 6 proposals ranging from $5,200 to $14,300. Breezeway Farm reviewed the proposals and recommends that the Town award the contract to low bidder, Weston and Sampson Engineering for $5,200; and amend the existing FY'11 contract with Weston & Sampson to include this work. After reviewing the documentation, Joe presented a motion to award Weston and Sampson Engineering the contract for Engineering Services - Highland Village Parking Lot, Phase 1 and to amend the FY'11 Community Development Block Grant Contract with the firm by $5,200. The work shall include preparation of final plans and specifications and construction oversight. Deadline for project completion is June 30, 2012. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.

John Peffer, Charlemont TV RE: Placement of Sidewalk Sign - Charlemont TV requested permission to place a portable sign in an area near their store front on occasion to advertise their business. Mr. Peffer indicated that the placement of the sign would not create a hazard or impede pedestrian traffic. Joe presented a motion to approve the request. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.

S.F.A.B.A. 16th Annual Auction RE: One Day Liquor License - The Shelburne Falls Area Business Association is holding their 16th annual SFABA Auction on March 31st at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center located at 53 Main Street, Shelburne. The SFABA requests a one day liquor license for the event. Berkshire Brewing Company; an approved distributor with the Commonwealth of Mass will supply the beer. Joe presented a motion to approve the license contingent upon the submittal of proper documentation (proof of insurance). Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.



ADJOURNMENT: Joe presented a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Town Administrator