Selectmen Meeting Minutes — June 6, 2011 — 7:00 p.m. —
Call to order: Chairman Joe Judd called the meeting to order. Other members present: Robert Manners and John Payne.
Media Present: Cameron Graves, Shelburne Falls Independent; Diane Broncaccio, The Recorder
Acceptance of Meeting Minutes: John presented a motion to accept the minutes of May 23, 2011 as presented. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Department Liaison Reports:
Highway: the crew is mowing intersections for safety and visibility. Mass West has completed the majority of the work on Hope, Mechanic, and Warren Court. Final paving is scheduled for late June.
Police: John reported that the police are busy but handling the day to day demands well.
John attended a Shelburne Falls Area Partnership meeting. The Partnership is seeking to place two "Welcome to Shelburne" signs along Route 2 (one near the former Jed's Cider Mill and one across from the former Sweetheart Restaurant). Joe suggested that the signage should note that Shelburne is a "right to farm" community. The Partnership's Economic Development Committee is working to further develop economic development as well as support existing businesses and attract new ones.
Town Office: a lighting specialist from TNT Energy will be presenting his findings to Terry and Joe following an assessment of the lighting at Town Hall. The two are also working to develop an RFP for the purchase and installation of exterior storm windows for Town Hall.
Joe attended a meeting to discuss the Four Town Community Development Trust Fund; a program that was initially funded through a Community Development Block Grant twenty-eight years ago. The Franklin County Community Development Corporation administers the fund however, given the limited activity in the Fund and associated administrative fees; Greenfield would like terminate the agreement with FCCDC and manage the funds in-house. Joe indicated that the meeting was productive and FCCDC is now aware of member towns concerns. Because of the meeting, changes to the original agreement are forthcoming. Joe is hopeful that everyone's concerns will be addressed.
7:15 p.m. WMECO Pole Hearing - Western Mass Electric Company requests permission to locate one (1) solely owned pole, numbered 71/73M, one hundred fifty feet (150') going easterly on Cooper Lane Avenue from the center line of Cooper Lane. The new pole will accommodate a step down transformer which will provide more reliable service on Cooper Lane. William LeBlanc, representing WMECO, and Larry Gould, abutter was present for the hearing. Although Mr. Gould did not object to the pole installation, he is concerned that other utility service providers will attempt to utilize the same pole location. Mr. Gould feels that this practice is particularly unfair to the landowner. William LeBlanc indicated that WMECO and Verizon jointly own most of the utility poles and in those cases; Verizon does allow other communication providers to utilize their poles. Being that the proposed pole will be solely owned by WMECO, a secondary provider would have to petition both WMECO and the town for approval. Board members thanked Mr. Gould for bringing forth his concerns. Joe closed the hearing at 7:29 p.m. Bob presented a motion to approve the petition for the installation of one solely owned pole on Cooper Lane. John seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
7:30 p.m. Dan Haynes, Scanlon & Associates RE: Town Audit Review - Dan Haynes appeared before the Selectmen to provide an overview of his firm's audit report for year ending June 30, 2010. Dan was pleased to report that the Town has done an excellent job of maintaining a solid financial position. Increases in reserves over the prior year are a direct result of conservative revenue forecasting combined with effective control over budgeted expenditures. Dan recommended that the Town continue to monitor the trend of tax revenues, State aid, and estimated receipts and implement cost saving measures where available. He also encouraged the Town to continue to lien delinquent Real Estate Taxes and attempt to collect outstanding taxes in an aggressive manner. Members of the Board will review comments and recommendations with appropriate staff and draft a response to the management letter based on those discussions.
8:05 p.m. Jim Gamache, 430 Mohawk Trail RE: Trials and Tribulations When Building a Home - Jim Gamache is getting ready to build a home in Shelburne. Because he is a first time builder, he has suffered a series of setbacks while trying to learn the process as he goes. In an effort to help other residents, Jim has offered to work with various town boards and committees to develop a reference guide that will outline the necessary requirements and provide contact information for the various town boards. Board members were very supportive of Jim's offer and will take action on his request at their next meeting on June 20th. In the meantime, Joe will draft a letter to the various town boards and committees letting them know that Jim will be seeking their valuable input.
Cowell Gymnasium Roof Replacement - The cost of replacing the Cowell Gymnasium roof is estimated to be $94,500. After reviewing energy saving calculations, DOER has agreed to pay $25,506 of the total cost. Following a brief discussion, John brought forth a motion to accept DOER's calculations for reimbursement and authorize Architect, Joseph Mattei to proceed with the bidding process for roof replacement. Bob seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Cowell Gym Windows - Joe is waiting to hear from the Massachusetts Historic Commission regarding Joe Mattei's proposal to brick up the gymnasium's exterior windows as a cost savings measure. Both Joe and John have received some feedback from Recreation Committee members who are concerned about the overall aesthetics of the building. Although the Board is sensitive to their concerns, they feel that the cost benefit analysis is too powerful to ignore.
Cowell Gym Mold Remediation - Bob reported that the dehumidifier has removed enough moisture from the bathroom area that the unit is actually turning off. Highway personnel will continue to monitor the progress.
Memorial Drive RE: Winter Maintenance - Bob has scheduled a meeting with Attorney Donna MacNicol on June 22nd. The two will develop a proposal to present to right-of-way holders on the 29th of June.
Bridge Street RE: 2 Hour Parking: John presented a motion to amend Article 6. Section 4 of the Shelburne Town By-laws as follows: No person shall park a vehicle for a period of time longer than hereafter specified between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday's between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
BRIDGE STREET: both sides between Mechanic Street and thirty-feet (30') east of the Deerfield River Bridge: two (2) hour limit. Joe seconded the motion. Vote taken: 2 in favor; 1 abstention. Motion passed.
Bridge Street Signage RE: 2 Hour Parking - John presented a motion to expend $300 from the Highway Maintenance account to purchase twenty (20) new signs to be installed on Bridge Street and Deerfield Ave; to reflect the hours in which the 2 hour parking limit is enforced. Joe seconded the motion. Vote taken: 2 in favor; 1 abstention. Motion passed.
Memorial Hall Association RE: Proposed Renovations - the Board agreed to invite representatives in during the month of July to discuss the details of their proposed renovation plan.
Jacqui Goodman RE: Cross Street Fence - Bob will speak with Pete to see whether he has had an opportunity to view the town-owned fence that abuts Ms. Goodman's property on 16 Mechanic Street.
Town of Colrain RE: Notice of Withdrawal from Shelburne Senior Center (effective 6/30/12) - Following Colrain's decision to withdraw as members of the Shelburne Senior Center; Joe sent a memorandum to the Senior Center Director with hopes of coordinating a meeting with the remaining three towns (Ashfield, Buckland & Shelburne) to discuss the financial impact of Colrain's withdrawal. Joe spoke with a representative from the Town of Colrain who indicated that the Selectmen's decision to withdraw from the Senior Center was in the best interests of their community.
Whit Sanford RE: Maple Street Signage - Whit Sanford of 59 Maple Street is concerned with the number of vehicles who disregard three (3) signs on their street that indicate that the street is a "dead end" and not a through way. Ms. Sanford indicated that on weekends in particular; on average, 10 to 15 cars a day travel their street using private driveways to turnaround. Ms. Sanford has polled her neighbors and is suggesting that the town paint a "Dead End" sign on the road or place a traffic calming stanchion in the roadway with a "Dead End" sign on it. Bob will discuss the matter with Pete and report back to the Board. John suggested relocating some of the signage so that motorists have an opportunity to turn down Church Street once realizing that Maple Street is a dead end.
PUBLIC COMMENT: None
ADJOURNMENT: Bob presented a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:38 p.m. John seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Posted to: Selectboard