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Selectmen’s Meeting Minutes — December 20, 2007—7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall

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

Acceptance of Minutes: a motion was made by John to accept the minutes of December 6, 2007. John indicated that he had noted a few minor changes. The motion was seconded by Joe. Motion carried unanimously.

Noteworthy News:
•Transfer Station will be closed on Tuesday, December 25, 2007 and Tuesday, January 1, 2008. The station will reopen on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 and Wednesday, January 2, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

•FY'2008 Tax Rate has been approved by the Department of Revenue. The rate is $12.11 per thousand (an increase of $.08 over last year).

•The Village of Shelburne suffered a devastating fire on the evening of December 9 which destroyed a building located at 33 Bridge Street that was owned by Fani & Nick Gitis. The fire displaced four businesses and three tenants residing in the apartments above. Joe stated that he cannot say enough about the efforts of the Firefighters who fought the blaze and would like to recognize the Chiefs and their Captains at a small ceremony that he would like to organize for January 24th. John reported the number of fundraising efforts that are being sponsored locally including an account that has been opened for donations at the Greenfield Savings bank. Local State representatives Denis Guyer and Stan Rosenberg have organized a meeting for the fire victims to include several agencies that may be able to assist them with their loss. The meeting will take place on Monday, January 7, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. in Memorial Hall.

Department Liaison Reports:
Town Hall - John reported that the Town Hall will be closed on Tuesday, December 25th. 

Highway Department - Bob reported that the highway crew has been very busy handling the most recent snow and ice storms. The guys have worked long hours and have had very little rest. Bob asked that residents be patient and understanding of the need for the crew to have a little rest time in between storms before coming back in to remove snow piles and snow banks along sidewalks and roadways. Bob also reported that the Cross Street barn is scheduled to be taken down between Monday, December 24th and Thursday, December 27, 2007. Residents utilizing the parking lot will be asked to remove their vehicles during demolition.

Police Department
 - Joe commended Chief Walker for distinguishing himself and his department throughout the fire and its' investigation. Joe stated that Chief Walker's professionalism, his willingness to assist and his communication skills throughout really distinguished him as a true professional.

7:30 p.m. John Ryan, Breezeway Farm Consulting, Inc. RE: 2008 Community Development Block Grant Hearing - The public hearing was called to order at 7:30 p.m. Before discussing the proposed application for 2008, John Ryan, representing Breezeway Farm Consulting requested that the Board of Selectmen amend the Community Development Strategy document to include the redevelopment of 33 Bridge Street and neighboring establishments whose businesses were affected by the December 9th fire. A motion was made by Bob to amend the Community Development Strategy document to include the location of the fire as well as neighboring businesses. John seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
John began discussing next year's application by first explaining the "point system" that is used by the funding agency to score each submittal. The overall success of an application is based on the city or town's community wide needs score; the competitive nature of the application; the application itself; and the number of bonus points received. Cities and towns are eligible to receive up to 20 bonus points; 5 points for filing jointly, 5 points for projects in a designated "target" area, 5 points for multiple and/or integrated activities, and 5 points for complimentary activities.

John also discussed two other areas that are beneficial to an application. They are public participation and local matches. John explained that the demonstration of public participation in completing this application is very important noting that he has already met with members of the Shelburne Falls Village partnership and the Senior Center Staff. He encouraged the Selectmen to meet with various Boards and discuss the block grant program as well as the proposed 2008 application. Local funding matches are also looked upon favorably. In past applications, both the water and sewer district has contributed funds towards anticipated projects. John suggested that the town consider allocating a sum of Chapter 90 funds as a local match.

After reviewing the designated target areas, John Ryan recommended that next year's application be filed jointly with the Town of Buckland and include another section of Main Street, a portion of Conway Street in Buckland and either a housing rehabilitation or social service component.

Bob Manners asked about the results of the income surveys for Main Street (phase II). John explained that the results of the income survey revealed approximately 40% low to moderate income however HUD's data which is based on the census tract illustrates a percentage of 57.5% low to moderate income.

Bob asked if the towns of Buckland and Shelburne were to file jointly, would Shelburne serve as the lead. John indicated that Shelburne would serve as the lead. Bob asked if there would be any benefit to each town submitting individual applications. John explained that in 2006 when Shelburne filed jointly with Buckland, the application was ranked number 1; receiving the highest number of points. In 2007 when Shelburne filed solo, the application was ranked 21 out of 30. The application's total score and review comments were an indication that the application lacked competitive qualities. Now that CDF1 and CDF2 communities are eligible to apply every year rather than every three years, 57 other cities and towns will be competing; making the need for a competitive application even greater.

John Payne indicated that the idea of working with Buckland is a valid one and after hearing John Ryan's presentation, it is obvious that a joint application carries more weight. Before deciding on the proposed projects for the 2008 application, John Payne asked if the town could apply for funds to assist with the recovery and redevelopment of the fire devastated block. John Ryan explained that there are other programs better suited for their needs noting that now that the fire has been deemed arson, it could take months to "iron out" details with insurance companies. John reminded the Board that the application must be submitted in February, 2008.

After no further discussion, all three members of the Board indicated their support for a joint application with Buckland to include a portion of Main Street, a portion of Conway Street and either a social service or housing rehabilitation program. John Ryan introduced Dan Lawrence of Weston & Sampson whose firm was awarded the engineering contract for Main Street (phase 1) and will be working on preliminary design plans for phase 2. After hearing no comments from the public, the hearing was closed.

OLD BUSINESS:
Senior Center Lease - Joe along with representatives from two other member towns met with the Masons on December 12 to review the draft lease document. At that meeting the Masons indicated that changes to the lease had to be completed. A brief discussion took place surrounding the Mason's desire to charge member towns rent in exchange for use of the space. Prior to the next meeting, member towns will be provided with information relative to the expenses that they already contribute towards on an annual basis for building upkeep. A subsequent meeting has been scheduled in early January. 

Draft Guidelines for Recording of Meeting Minutes and Fulfilling Requests for Records - John forwarded a copy of the draft to Attorney Shawn Williams of the Public Records Division who in turn forwarded a copy to Bob Ritchie from the Attorney General's Office. John indicated that Mr. Williams was very supportive of the policy noting that Shelburne was "way ahead" of most towns.

Update Policy for Grant-Related Payments - tabled until John has an opportunity to speak with both the Treasurer and Fiscal Officer.

Apex Orchard Lease Renewal - Bob stated that he had nothing new to report.

Deane Merrill RE: Request to Reproduce and Distribute Copies of "History and Tradition of Shelburne" - Town Counsel indicated in her last email that it might be simpler for the town to obtain three quotes for the reproduction of the book and proceed in-house rather than allow a former resident to proceed with the work. No decisions were made.
Sale of 1999 Chevy One Ton Cab & Chassis - four bids were received for the truck. The highest bid was received from Evan Wyse of Marlboro, Vermont in the amount of $6,020.00. A motion was made to award the bid to Mr. Wyse. John seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Transfer Station Attendant Position RE: Internal Posting - no applications were received as a result of the internal posting. Bob recommended in the form of a motion that the position be advertised publicly. The motion was seconded by John. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:
FY'2009 Budget Directives - following a brief discussion, Bob recommended that departments be allowed a 2% increase in operating expenses and a 2.5% increase in salary. John seconded the motion. John briefly discussed the idea of awarding bonuses to those employees who have gone above and beyond and have demonstrated quality performance. Joe cautioned that while that practice may be acceptable in a corporate setting; he is not sure that it would be appropriate in a municipal setting. If finances allow, the Board may look at other ways to reward employees. Motion carried unanimously.

Special Town Meeting - the Board has tentatively scheduled a special town meeting for Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. providing that the date allows the Town Clerk enough time to hold a voter registration. The special town meeting will provide the town an opportunity to take care of some housekeeping items as well as transfer the most recent certified free cash amount into the Stabilization account.

Jeff Johansmeyer RE: Resignation as Cowell Gym Custodian - the Board received a letter of resignation from Jeff who has served as the Cowell Gym custodian for the last few years. A motion was made by Bob to accept Jeff's resignation with deep regret. The motion was seconded by John. The Board expressed thanks for a job well done. Motion carried unanimously. Joe reported that Kimberly Hughes who currently serves as the Cowell Gym Director had expressed an interest in taking on the custodial job and had hoped that as an employee she would not have to purchase additional insurance coverage. Joe feels that because the position has always been filled by an independent contractor who has carried his or her own insurance; it should remain that way. Furthermore, the custodial position reports to the Cowell Gym Director which would make it impossible for Kim to hold both positions. Until a decision is made, Terry will contact the cleaning service that is currently cleaning the majority of our town-owned buildings to see what it would cost on a weekly basis.

OTHER BUSINESS:
Christmas Holiday - Bob recommended that employees be granted a 1/2 day holiday on the day before Christmas. As always, highway employees would be expected to forfeit the 1/2 day in the event of a snowstorm. John seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

CORRESPONDENCE:

Charlie Cohn & Kiki Smith RE: Thank You Letter - the letter of thanks was to acknowledge the quality and quantity of fine work performed by the highway crew. The letter gave special thanks to employee Brian Clough who assisted the two one evening when they were unable to travel Cooper Lane or access their driveway as a result of freezing rain. Kudos to Brian and the crew for their tireless efforts to keep Shelburne's roads cleared for safe travel.
Public Comment: None
Adjournment - a motion to adjourn was made by Bob at 9:00 p.m. John seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Mosher
Executive Secretary