Upcoming Meetings

  1. Select Board MeetingMon, Jul 23 07:00 pm
  2. Open Space Committee MeetingMon, Jul 23 07:00 pm
  3. Finance Committee MeetingMon, Jul 23 07:00 pm

Selectmen Meeting Minutes 
August 13, 2012 -- 7:00 p.m. -- Memorial Hall

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

Media Present: Chris Collins, Shelburne Falls Independent;

Acceptance of Minutes: John presented a motion to accept the minutes of July 30, 2012. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Noteworthy News:

  • Bridge of Flowers Road Race, run under a slight cloud cover and moderate temperatures on Saturday, was a great success;
  • 12th Annual Bridge Dinner - August 19, 2012 @ 5:30 p.m.
  • The Select Board expressed their sorry to the citizens of Rowe, who lost their Elementary School after a lightening strike burned the building beyond repair.

Department Liaison Reports:

Highway - Joe reported that he has received approval to apply Chapter 90 funds to work on a section of the Colrain-Shelburne and Shelburne Center Roads, and to defer work on Patten and Peckville Roads until 2013.

Police - John will report on two items listed later on the agenda.

Town Office - Terry is on vacation this week.

7:15 pm - Ed Grinnell, Animal Control Officer - The Board thanked Ed for accepting the Animal Control Officer responsibility and complemented him on his prompt and rigorous participation in the animal control course run by the MSPCA, under the auspices of the State Police. Ed described some of the training, which included learning to handle various poisonous snakes, boas, alligators, crocodiles, tarantulas as well as cats and dogs. 
Ed reported on a situation along the Mohawk Trail were several goats have escaped from their pens on numerous occasions, resulting in about a dozen calls to the local and state police, plus damage to neighbors' gardens and lawns and a serious safety hazard along the busy Route 2 corridor. The fences are constructed of random bits of lumber, wire, and other items too insubstantial to contain animals as curious, agile and precocious as goats. Bob, who serves as the Town Fence Viewer, has "viewed" the fences and concurs that they are insubstantial and of too low a standard to restrain goats. The owner often is not available within the required "15 minutes" to return phone calls and to assist in the recapture of the wandering goats. 
After considering various alternatives including the confiscation and sale of the goats, the Board decided to write a warning letter to the owner advising that if the goats escape from the conferment again, they will be trucked to and stored at a holding pen at the owner's expense, and returned only when the fences are repaired to the satisfaction of the Board, the Animals Control Officer and the Fence Viewer. (JAP will draft.)

7:45 pm - Reva Reck, Wired West - Steve Nelson, WW's governance expert, accompanied Reva to present various, proposed modification to the Wired West bylaws. Reva noted that today, August 13, is the one-year anniversary of Wired West's start. The WW Board is in the final stages of reviewing its bylaws and is likely to approve the changes listed below (along with various minor clarifications and typos) at its next meeting.

8.2.22 - Eminent Domain - 2/3rd of the entire membership must approve a decision for WW to exercise any rights of eminent domain. Steve explained that a careful reading of the original legislation under which Municipal Lighting Plants (MLP) are formed appears to give MLP only the right to petition the Department of Public Utilities in cases of eminent domain. DPU must then decide whether or not to continue. Since WW's focus is to bring high-speed Internet access to the hill towns, WW is highly unlike to pursue the long and laborious process of eminent domain even in those rare cases where land ownership might enhance its efforts. Nevertheless, the bylaw revisions now require a 2/3rd vote of the entire membership.

2.7.2 - Annual Fees - Now limited to $1,000 maximum per years, requires an fee requires a 2/3rd vote of those attending and must be approved by February 1 for the coming fiscal year to allow towns time to include the fee in their annual spring budget process.

4.2.3 - Removal - If a delegate fails to attend 3 consecutive meetings (and fails to send the alternative) WW may warn the delegate and the town select board above the delegate's possible removal from the WW board. If the delegate then fails to attend a WW Board meeting within the next 30 days, the WW board may remove the delegate. The select board may then appoint a replacement delegate. Reva made clear that the purpose of this section is only to encourage regular attendance.

After further discussion the Shelburne Select Board, having already received approval at two town meetings to form a Municipal Light Plant (MLP), voted to form an MLP and to join Wired West in accordance with the following votes, each of which with moved by John, seconded by Joe and approved unanimously:

  1. that the Board shall form the Shelburne Municipal Light Plant;
  2. that the Board designates the Chairman of the Select Board as Manager of the MLP;
  3. that the MLP join the WiredWest Communications Cooperative Corporation (WiredWest);
  4. that the Board designate Daniel Lieberman as its Delegate to WiredWest;
  5. that the Board designate Mike Duffy as Alternate Delegate to WiredWest;
  6. that the Manager is hereby authorized and directed to execute any and all documents necessary to effectuate the purposes of these votes; and
  7. that any actions previously taken by the Manager which are consistent with the purpose of these votes are hereby ratified and confirmed.

Old Business:

Highway Furnace Replacement - Joe summarized the Board's previous exploration into converting to a waste oil furnace for the Highway garage, noting particularly that Highway generated only about 20% of the waste oil needed in normal winters to heat the garage, that collecting additional waste oil from other sources created various control and waste hazard problems and that other legal, financial and logistical concerns made a waste oil furnace unrealistic at this time. John then moved and Joe seconded a motion to purchase a new, standard heating oil furnace for the highway garage and award the purchase contract to Tognarrelli Heating & Cooling, the low bidder, at $ 4,950. The motion passed unanimously. Joe will confirm that Tognarelli's bid from earlier in the summer is still valid.

Highway Superintendent Position - The Search Committee has been unable to find a date before late September when all members can meet to discuss the six candidates.

Cowell Gymnasium

  • Mold Remediation Work - Joe has toured the ground floor with Aspen and is working with Andrea Woods of FRCOG to generate a bid document. Joe anticipates the bid document will go to the Central Registry next week, Bids will be due mid-September and the work will begin by the end of September.
  • Furniture / Equipment disposal - Continuing with the efforts to clear the ground floor of all furniture and other items, Joe is checking with Sue Samoriski since The Mary Lyon foundation helped purchase some of the Teen-Center items. Joe has confirmed with Tina Cote that the town may dispose of any remaining Back-Door items. Mark DeJackome reported that the equipment in the exercise room was purchased with DARE grant and is the town's to dispose of as it sees fit. John prepared an inventory of all the items in the exercise room and in the teen-center (copy attached) and identified certain exercise items Police and Highway would like to retain. After exploring various recycling and disposal options for the unwanted steel exercise machines, the most cost effective and simplest is to hire Jim Richardson and his crew. They will do all the work of removing and hauling, paying the town half of what they receive at the steel recycle center. The Board approved hiring Richardson (the total earned will be less than $5,000 so the town is not required to enter a formalize bidding process.) The Board also authorized Joe and John to coordinate a sale/auction of all the remaining items on the ground floor.
  • Waterproofing and Drainage Work - Joe reported that Dean Excavating has been able to obtain the necessary Bond and has began the excavation work. Joe is still looking for a mason to do the brick work around the windows.
  • Chimney Repair - Mark Shippee is obtaining a quote from a local contractor.

Transfer Station RE: Private/Commercial Haulers - Joe has spoken to the one individual who might be considered a Commercial Hauler and reminded him to ensure that every single bag receives a proper town sticker; Joe was pleased to learn that only two customers were from outside the Shelburne area. Jan Annen has advised that Board of Health has authority over town recycling and waste facilities and has forwarded to Deb Coutinho (BoH) relevant documentation. However, the SB decided to take no further action at this time but to continue to monitor the situation.

Cowell Gym Director Position - John reported having talked extensively with the active members of the Recreation Committee and the current Director. His conclusion is that irreconcilable differences in duties, responsibilities, performance, vision and style exist between the Committee and the Director. Joe had also discussed the situation with various parties and agreed with John 's assessment. Since the Town elects the Committee and the SB appoints the Director after receiving the Recreation Committee's recommendation, the SB decided unanimously, on a motion from Joe, seconded by John, to not reappoint the current Director, and to ask the Recreation Committee for a new recommendation. Joe will communicate the decision to the Director and to the Recreation Committee.

Memorial Drive Agreement - Joe is scheduled to meet with Kevin Parsons on August 24th.

Pratt Memorial Library Building - Annual Roof Check - Joe is in the process of contacting Wooliver Roofing to see if they would be willing to assess the Arms Library roof to determine whether any preventative maintenance work is needed before winter. Bob reported that the Pratt Building Committee did not draw the $700 allocated at Town Meeting for the Pratt Building maintenance. (It may also not have drawn the $700 allocated by the Arms Trustees for the maintenance fund.).

Louis Migliozzi RE: Request to Donate 10+ Acres of Land on Brook Road - Bob and John meet with Louis Migliozzi at his land on Brook Road to evaluate the 10.03 acres he has offered to donate to the town. Because of changing family circumstances, Lou and his children do not have the opportunity to visit or use the land. Although he is current on his tax bills, the approximately $450 costs weighs on his modest income and so he would like to donate the land to the Town. The parcel originally totaled 12.71 acres but he sold a 2.68 parcel, which the new owner uses as an occasional campsite. This small parcel is in the flood zone for Hinsdale Brook and will not pass a percolation test or meet the requirements for a building lot. Lou's remain 10.03 acre parcel is U shaped, wrapping around the smaller parcel. It pitches steeply down to Hinsdale Brook but may have a building site on a shelf, halfway up the hill. The area is all wooded and, as with other locations along Brook Road, at serious risk of erosion during heavy rains. The Board agreed to consider Lou's offer, discuss with land trusts and DCR, and re-evaluate at the next board meeting.

Senior Center Director Position - Joe reported that, subsequent to the internal posting of the Senior Center Director Position, the three-town Senior Center Board met to consider the one application received. After discussion and evaluation the Board recommended that the Shelburne SB hire Cathy Buntin as the new Senior Center Director. (Penny Spearance of the Shelburne Council on Aging was present to support the SC Board recommendation.) Joe made a motion to hire Cathy Buntin as the Senior Center Director; John seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. Joe will follow up with Cathy, reviewing the job description, and considering any revisions.

Vacation Policy - In view of the late hour, John asked to postpone full discussion of the vacation policy until the next meeting. Board members did express support for partial day vacations, a prohibition on using partial vacation days to create overtime and advanced notice for vacation time usage. Members wanted to discuss further the proposed minimum one week / year suggestion and the appropriate length of time for vacation notice.

New Business:
Whit Sanford Letter Re Library Restoration Project - Bob commented on Whit Sanford's July 31, 2012 letter to the SB concerning the roles of the Arms Trustees, the Pratt Building Committee, and the Select Board. In brief the letter places fund raising responsibilities principally with the Arms Library Association (although the Association will ask the SB to support a warrant article at Town Meeting to allocate Town funds) while proposing that the Town manage the restoration project including hiring a consultant, developing a scope of work including architectural drawings, preparing bid specification, orchestrating the bidding process, hiring a project manager and overseeing the renovation work. The letter does not mention any role for the Pratt Building Committee, which is the committee charged in the original document and endowment gift, with the care and maintenance of the building. The letter continues the debate between the Arms Association and the SB about what body is primarily responsible for the care and maintenance of the Pratt Memorial Library Building. Bob noted that at a recent meeting of the Pratt Building Committee, many of the items checked for the Town of Shelburne relating to Restoration Management were moved to Pratt Building Committee, a third entity not originally shown on the list.

Comcast RE: Final Cable Television Renewal Contract - Glenn Cardinal, co-chairman of the Cable Advisory Committee for Buckland and Shelburne, presented the final 10 year Cable Contract with Comcast for discussion and approval. Glenn noted that the contract included about 5 miles of new construction for Shelburne, a 5% contribution to Falls Cable and guaranteed 10 year cable availability of the Comcast cable system. The new contract also includes the legal changes suggested by the towns' joint counsel, Kopeman and Paige. The SB complimented Glen, Mike Duffy, and the entire Cable Advisory Committee on their many years of hard work, diligence and persistence in bringing this contract to the point of final approval. John then moved and Joe seconded approval of the new Comcast Cable contract. The motion passed unanimously.

Identification badges for Town Officials - Joe presented three sample badges. Members agreed the colors needed to be brighter; Joe will obtain samples with brighter color for the next meeting. Due to higher cost badges will not include a picture ID, so users will also have to carry a separate picture ID.
Senior Center Re: Proposed User Policy - Joe has previously circulated a proposed Senior Center User Policy; however, due to the late hour and the complexity and importance of the policy, members decided to differ discussion until the next meeting.

Chief Walker Re: Kurt Wilkins, Reserve Officer Appointment - Since this matter involved the Police Department, Bob ask Joe to Chair the meeting; Bob pushed back from the table and did not participate in the discussion. Joe referenced the letter from Chief Walker recommending appointment of Kurt Wilkins of Heath as a Shelburne Reserve Police Office. John reported reviewing Kurt's resume and meeting with Kurt, whom he found a thoughtful, conscientious, capable young man with appropriate police training and experience. Kurt currently serves as a Reserve Officer in both Deerfield and Greenfield. John made a motion to hire Kurt Wilkins as a Reserve Officer in Shelburne; Joe seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. Bob did not participate in the voting.

Correspondence: Bob presented a letter from the ZBA chairman noting that due to retirements and other changes the ZBA will soon have only 4 full time members and one alternate. The ZBA chair urged the SB to assist in the search for additional members.

Public Comment:
* Karen Bouquillon of 71 Main Street presented a memorandum to the SB (and also to the Board of Health) concerning an above ground swimming pool, which had been installed on her property by her tenant without Ms Bouquillon's consent or approval. Since the pool is not enclosed by a protective fence, Ms Bouquillon believes it is in violation of MA Building Code Section 120.M101 and she is worried about the possibility of a small child or others falling into the pool and sustaining injury. To date she has been unable to persuade the tenant to remove the pool and her calls to the Building Inspector have gone unanswered. The Board expressed sympathy for her plight but has no authority to act other than through the Building Inspector. Joe agreed to call the Building Inspector to ask him to address the situation.

Adjournment: Joe presented a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m. John seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

John Payne
Secretary Pro tem