Selectmen Meeting Minutes — November 13, 2008 — 7:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Chairman, Robert Manners. Other members present: John Payne. Fellow member Joe Judd was absent. Joe was serving as a "judge" at the Mary Lyon sponsored spelling bee.
Acceptance of Minutes: a motion was made by John to accept the minutes of October 30, 2008 as presented. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Noteworthy News: this is the Selectmen's only scheduled meeting for the month of November therefore Board members wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Also, kudos to the Mohawk Varsity Field Hockey team for making it to the State Championship!
Department Liaison Reports:
John reported a couple of minor payroll glitches as a result of the Tuesday holiday. He also reported that the Town Collector is continuing to pursue the collection of outstanding real estate taxes. John reminded taxpayers that bills were due the first week of November.
Bob reported that the new/used International Dump Truck has arrived. While preparing the truck for winter, the crew noticed a defect in one of the tires. Bob indicated that the Highway Superintendent will be speaking with the dealer (Clark's Truck Center) in hopes of obtaining a replacement. Main Street paving was delayed this week as a result of rain. The contractor has been busy completing final punch list items with the hopes of paving next week. Bob thanked residents for their tolerance.
7:15 p.m. Les Chadwick RE: Veteran's Grave Marker's - Mr. Chadwick has completed his inventory of the 5 cemeteries located in Shelburne and has determined that 640 veterans have been laid to rest. Of the 640 grave sites, 151 grave markers are needed. Les indicated that he will obtain a cost estimate from the town's Veteran's Agent, Leo Parent. Once the price has been determined, the Board will decide how to fund the replacement of markers (all at once or incrementally each year). In addition to the $325.00 already appropriated by the town for care of veteran's graves, Kathleen Belanger donated an additional $500.00 in memory of her son Sgt. Gregory Belanger. In closing, Les mentioned having spoken with a Trustee of the Arms Cemetery with the hopes that the landscaping service that presently maintains the grounds will use more care when mowing around the Veteran's graves. Les stated that several markers and flags have been removed and/or damaged by mowing equipment. Both Bob and John agreed that if Arms Cemetery Trustees are unsuccessful in their attempts to reign in the contractor; the Board will contact them as well.
7:30 p.m. Fiscal Year 2009 Tax Classification Hearing - Chairman Manners opened the public hearing after reading the public notice aloud. He then read a letter submitted by the Board of Assessors recommending that the Selectmen adopt a single tax rate for all classes of property in the Town of Shelburne. The Board of Assessors feels that there is no justification for the adoption of a split tax rate. For comparison purposes, a copy of the LA-5 form for fiscal year 2008 and 2009 were provided for the Board's review. The Assessor's also provided a copy of the LA-13 Tax Base Levy Growth for FY 2009 which has already been approved by the Department or Revenue. The LA-13 form indicates that the town's new growth figure has increased by approximately $29,000 as a result of the State's new valuation of Verizon's personal property, which increased their valuation by over $2 million dollars. Verizon however has appealed to the Appellate Tax Board and consequently, the Assessors recommend setting aside that amount in the Overlay Account. Bob provided an opportunity for public comment and/or questions. None were voiced. After review of the materials presented, a motion was made by John to continue with a single tax rate for fiscal year 2009 as recommended by the Board of Assessor's. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Arms Library Roof Update RE: Transfer Monies from the Reserve Fund - the Board voted last week to transfer $2,875.00 from the Reserve Fund for the repair of the Arm's Library roof. The request was also approved by a majority of the Finance Committee members. The Fiscal Officer has since brought it to the attention of the Board that the Reserve Fund currently reflects a balance of $2,700.00 therefore the amount of said transfer must be reduced. John made a motion to amend the request for transfer of funds from the Reserve Fund form $2,875.00 to $2,700.00. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed. If the Town is successful in recovering money from their insurance provider for the repair, the money will be reinstated in the account.
S.F.A.B.A. RE: Moonlight Magic Street Closing - Terry indicated that Joe has had an opportunity to discuss the proposed Bridget Street closing with the Police Chief and as a result, recommends that the request be approved. With that said, a motion was made by John to approve S.F.A.B.A.'s request to close Bridge Street from 4:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on November 28th (from the intersection of Main Street to the Iron Bridge). Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Police Department RE: Full-time Patrolman Position - John reported that the town was fortunate to have three fine candidates interested in the patrolman position. John and Joe interviewed all three candidates and were extremely impressed. In the end, the position was offered to Greg Bardwell of Shelburne. Greg has served as a reserve officer for the town for three years and has recently graduated from the police academy.
S.F.A.B.A. RE: Request to Place Holiday Wreath & Lights on Iron Bridge - the Moonlight Magic Committee submitted an application to Mass Highway seeking permission to decorate the Iron Bridge with holiday lights and a wreath at each end of the bridge. Mass Highway has approved the permit, but is requesting written approval from the Board of Selectmen. A motion was made by John authorizing the S.F.A.B.A. to place a wreath and associated lights on the Shelburne end of the bridge. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed. A letter will be sent to Mass Highway indicating the town's approval.
2008 Community Block Grant RE: Award of Grant Administration Services - the Town received one proposal from Breezeway Farm Consulting, Inc. for the overall management of the 2008 CDBG project (Main Street (part 2) and Conway Street). After reviewing the proposal, checking references and receiving approval from the Buckland Board of Selectmen, Terry recommended that Breezeway Farm be awarded the contract. A motion was made by John to award Breezeway Farm Consulting the contract for grant administration services for the 2008 CDBG grant. Motion was seconded by Bob. Both members agreed that the town has had a longstanding working relationship with Breezeway Farm and are pleased with their services. Motion passed.
2008 Community Block Grant RE: Award of Engineering & Clerk of the Works - the town received one proposal from Weston & Sampson for Engineering and Clerk of the Works. After reviewing the proposal, checking references and receiving approval from the Buckland Board of Selectmen, Terry recommended that Weston & Sampson be awarded the contract. A motion was made by John to award Weston & Sampson the contract for Engineering and Clerk of the Works for the 2008 CDBG grant application which includes reconstruction of Main Street (phase 2) and Conway Street in Buckland. Bob seconded the motion and stated that he has been very impressed by the services of Weston & Sampson on the first phase of the Main Street project. Motion passed.
Mass Division of Occupational Safety RE: Trench Regulations - in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 82A, towns must adopt and enforce a "trench" by-law by January, 2009. The Trench Safety regulations require that unattended trenches be made safe for the general public. Excavators will be required to obtain a permit prior to creating a trench on public or private property; excavators must undertake certain safety precautions to make unattended trenches safe for the general public and prevent unauthorized access. The town will be the permitting authority and may charge a reasonable fee for the permit. Before taking any further action, John volunteered to seek more information and report back to the Board.
Steve Damon RE: Tuba Christmas - Steve Damon, organizer of Tuba Christmas has requested permission to close Bridge Street (at the intersection of Main and Baker Ave.) on November 30, 2008 between the hours of 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. for the "Tuba Christmas" concert. The request also includes the use of approximately 50 of the town's folding chairs. John made a motion to authorize Tuba Christmas and the use of town folding chairs subject to the Police Chief's approval. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Request for One Day Liquor License - Elizabeth Merrill has requested a one day liquor license for the purpose of serving beer and wine at a reception to be held at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center on November 22, 2008 between the hours of 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The reception is being held by Ms. Trish Crapo. A motion was made by John to approve the request for a one day beer & wine license providing that proof of insurance is provided to the town. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Thomas Miner, The Optician, 27 Bridge Street RE: Condition of Adjacent Vacant Lot - Mr. Miner's letter addressed three concerns: damaged sidewalks and broken glass; the need to address the overall condition of the vacant lot which Mr. Miner describes as an "eyesore and safety hazard;" and the deteriorating condition of Memorial Drive. Bob indicated that the highway department had delayed the repair of the broken sidewalk for the town was initially under the impression that the owner had intended to rebuild. In recent days, we have learned that the property may be placed on the market "for sale." Given the change of circumstances, Bob will instruct the Highway Department to patch the sidewalk area. As for the condition of the vacant lot; it is private property and the town does not have a by-law that enables them to enforce the clean-up of sites that may be considered an attractive nuisance. Bob indicated that the owners have had several offers relative to the clean-up of the property but each one has been declined. Bob suggested that the Planning Board might want to consider adopting a by-law that would address vacant lots and/or structures that are deemed a public nuisance. As for Memorial Drive, it is not a town-owned public way. Bob believes that the private way is owned by the bowling alley. Bob will draft a letter to Mr. Miner responding to his each of his concerns.
8:00 p.m. CDBG Public Hearing RE: Acceptance of Community Development Strategy Document and Designation of Town's Target Areas - Bob opened the public hearing by reading the hearing notice aloud. He then turned the hearing over to John Ryan of Breezeway Farm Consulting. John explained that the purpose of the hearing was to adopt the 2009 Community Development Strategy Document, the list of priority projects and the Target Areas. John reviewed the changes made to the Community Development Strategy Document which included a listing of 11 priority projects after having received input from various town officials. Bob provided an opportunity for public comment. Donna Liebl, Chairman of the Arms Library Trustees asked questions relative to the comprehensive library study. She also asked whether or not residents had been surveyed. John Ryan addressed both questions. After hearing no further comments, Bob declared the hearing closed at 8:15 p.m. A motion was made by John Payne to adopt the 2009 Community Development Strategy Document. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed. A second motion was brought forth by John identifying the Town's two "Target Areas" as follows: the Downtown Target Area and the entire Town of Shelburne. Motion seconded by Bob. Motion passed.
Other Grant Related Discussions:
Main Street Change Order - John Ryan explained that a change order in the amount of $5,312.60 will be forth coming to cover the costs of an additional drainage structure that was installed near the Senior Center. The additional structure was needed to prevent water from pooling near the sidewalk area.
Shelburne and Buckland Social Service Needs Survey - John Ryan reviewed the final survey results with members of the Board. Of the fifty-four responses received, the top five priorities were identified as follows: Elder Self-Sufficiency; Job-Related Childcare Assistance; Job-related Transportation Assistance; Food Pantry Services; and Fuel Assistance. A motion was made by John to adopt the survey results as assessment of the town's social service needs. John noted the top five priorities in his motion. The motion was seconded by Bob. Motion passed. John Ryan will prepare a RFP for services with the hopes of soliciting interest from local and regional social service agencies.
Mass Historic Preservation Funds - John Ryan had a follow-up discussion with Paul Holtz from the Mass Historic Commission regarding the proposed Arms library roof replacement. The deadline for the next round of funding is February 20, 2009. Awards up to $50,000 will be made in July. John believes that the library roof is a competitive project given that the library is registered as a historic landmark; that there is risk of further deterioration and the fact that there is already a preservation restriction on the building. Before applying, John recommended that the Town provide him with an Architect's or an Engineer's report, detailed cost estimates for the proposed work, a copy of the previous Mass Preservation application for prior building related renovations, and proof that the town has secured matching funds. John Payne challenged the library trustees to help the town secure matching funds through fundraising efforts.
Public Comment: none
Adjournment: a motion was made by John to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Posted to: Selectboard.