Selectmen Meeting Minutes — December 19, 2011 — 7:00 p.m. —
Call to order: John called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Other members present: Joe Judd and Bob Manners.
Media Present: Cameron Graves, Shelburne Falls Independent
Acceptance of Meeting Minutes: Joe presented a motion to accept the minutes of December 5, 2011 as presented. John seconded the motion. Bob abstained. Motion passed.
Department Liaison Reports:
Highway - the crew is catching up on equipment repair and maintenance.
Police - Joe reported that Steve will be out for one to three weeks while tending to a health-related issue. Sergeant Bardwell will oversee the day-to-day operations of the department.
7:15 p.m. Buckland-Shelburne Cable Advisory Committee RE: Comcast Cable Contract Renewal (Glenn Cardinal, Rob Reagan, and Mike Duffy) - When contract negotiations began four years ago; representatives from the joint advisory committee had three primary objectives in mind: expansion of the service area; changing the density calculation formula, and continued financial support for Falls Cable. Members of the Cable Advisory were pleased to announce that both parties have finally reached an agreement which includes: ten years of continued cable service; continued financial support for Falls Cable; five miles of line extension; and a revised density calculation formula consisting of 15 houses per mile (residents living in areas that do not meet the density requirement can obtain the service but will have to pay for a portion of the build out costs). Members of the Committee will be presenting the contract to Buckland on December 27th. The contract will become effective upon signature. Glenn recommended that Counsel review the document. Members of the Board thanked the joint Cable Advisory Committee for all of their hard work.
7:35 p.m. Tim Smith RE: Splitting of Agricultural Preservation Restriction - Robert W. McAllister, of Amherst, MA, the current owner of Valley View Farm on Peckville Road in Shelburne is selling a portion of his 238 acres to Apex Orchards Inc of 153 Peckville Road. Because the parcel is subject to an agricultural preservation restriction, the two parties have been working with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to split the existing agricultural preservation restriction into two separate ones. Apex Orchards will own a 174 acre parcel on the east side of Peckville Road and Robert McAllister will maintain the remaining 64 acres on the west side of Peckville Road. The transaction requires that the Selectboard approve the following documents: Certificate of approval for subdivision of property ownership on land subject to an APR; amended agricultural restrictions for each parcel; and co-holder's agreements for each parcel. Following Tim Smith's brief presentation, Bob brought forth a motion to approve the division of an existing agricultural preservation restriction. Joe seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously. Members of the Board will sign the documents in the presence of a notary.
DOER Energy Efficiency Grant Update:
Memorial Hall Window Replacement - work complete. Architect, Joe Mattei will conduct final inspection to ensure that the work meets the requirements of the bid specifications.
Highway Garage Boiler Replacement - Country Oil has evaluated the present heating system and aside from a hole in the heat exchanger, its efficiency is above average. The height of the garage ceiling eliminates the possibility of Infrared Radiant Heaters therefore Country Oil will submit a proposal for propane heaters that have an efficiency rating of 93%. Bob estimates that the cost of a propane heating system is approximately $27,000. Board members briefly discussed other energy efficiency alternatives for Memorial Hall in the event a heating system at the highway garage is not feasible.
Cowell Gym Mold Remediation Work - Joe is waiting to receive one more proposal.
Preservation of Lifetime Records - work in progress.
Highway Laborer Vacancy - nine applications received. The Board has tentatively scheduled interviews for January 10, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.
Town of Charlemont RE: Transfer Station Lease - Terry spoke with Charlemont Select Board member Jean Brisson who indicated a willingness to discuss the terms of the lease. Ms. Brisson requested an opportunity to speak with the rest of her Board before deciding the format of those discussions.
Wired West Draft Bylaws and Cooperative Agreement - John emailed Dan Lieberman a list of the Board's concerns. Dan will seek answers from members of the Wired West Cooperative and report back.
Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Directives - following brief discussion members of the Board agreed upon the following budgetary directives: a 2.5% salary increase; and level-funded operating budgets. Anticipated capital requests include a new cruiser and a diagnostic tool for the Highway department.
Temporary Pay Grade Adjustment for Acting Highway Foreman - In recent weeks, acting Foreman, Mark Shippee has received a salary increase of $1.00 per hour to compensate him for the additional responsibility while the Highway Superintendent has been out. This compensation is in accordance with the town's personnel policies. Despite the policy however, Bob is recommending that Mark receive an additional $2.84 per hour; a wage that better reflects the day-to-day responsibilities (Grade 12, step 2). Members of the Board acted upon a similar request in March of this year; approving a $2.84 differential rate for a two week period. The minutes of that meeting clearly state that their actions are not as precedent setting. Before rendering a decision, John requested that Terry query other cities and towns to see whether there is policy language that better addresses circumstances of this nature. Should the Board decide that a higher differential rate is in order, they will decide whether it is appropriate to compensate the employees retroactively.
Winter Parking Ban - Joe and Steve are exploring a "user friendly" means of identifying vehicles, notifying owners, and allowing them an opportunity to move their vehicles so not to hinder snow removal efforts.
Identification Badges - Discussion tabled.
Transfer Station Holiday Hours - the transfer station will be open on December 24th and December 31st from noon until 3:00 p.m.
Proposed Memorial Drive Snow Removal Agreement - After having had an opportunity to review the agreement drafted by Counsel, Bob brought forth a motion to forward the document to each of the abutters. Joe seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Letter from Richard Ormond RE: Motor Vehicle Accident - Joe abstained from the discussion after declaring that he serves as the Ormond's insurance agent. Brett Ormond lost control of his vehicle and struck a tree at approximately 6:40 a.m. on December 9, 2011 after allegedly hitting a patch of black ice near the intersection of Little Mohawk and Frank Williams Road. Brett was taken to the hospital for observation and his vehicle was towed and totaled. Given the age of his vehicle, Brett did not carry collision therefore; his vehicle was a total loss. Bob indicated that he was away on vacation when the accident occurred. He did speak with Highway Foreman, Mark Shippee who according to Bob had been monitoring road conditions. There were no reports of problems until Mark received word from the State Police concerning Brett's accident. John and Bob agreed that it was an unfortunate accident and although they are not sure what the Ormond's are seeking; John will send a letter as an expression of concern.
Frederick Davenport RE: Part-time Winter Help - Frederick Davenport submitted a letter to the Board seeking part-time winter employment. He indicated that he is pursuing a class B CDL license and is familiar with medium duty trucks and farm equipment. Bob brought forth a motion to offer Fred a part-time position for winter snow removal at an hourly rate of $16.78. He suggested that Fred drive the one ton truck and augment the various plow routes. Joe seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously. Bob will also follow-up with two other interested candidates.
Wired West Cooperative - Reva Reck, Vice-Chairman of Wired West Communications Cooperative is seeking a letter of commitment from Shelburne on or before January 20, 2012 indicating the Board's intention to formally join Wired West and by signing the cooperative agreement by June 30, 2012. The Board will wait until Wired West addresses specific concerns highlighted in the cooperative agreement before making a decision.
Temporary Police Department Appointment - (Bob abstained from the discussion). Joe recommended that the Board appoint Sergeant Greg Bardwell to the position of "acting Chief" or "Officer in Charge" while the Chief is out. John pointed out that the Sergeant's job description identifies the Greg as second in command and responsible for the department in the absence of the Chief. No further action taken.
Planning Board - John reported that members of the Planning Board received the Select board's letter with regard to by-law review appreciatively. It is unclear whether the Planning Board will be recommending by-law changes and/or a year-long moratorium at annual town meeting.
Deborah Andrew to Planning Board RE: Wind Turbines - Ms. Andrew recommends that the Planning Board create a study committee, made up of people who are capable of independent and extensive research, careful & thoughtful analysis of their findings, and drafting of a recommendation to be considered at a special town meeting. She believes that the process could take up to one year, possibly more. She also suggests a moratorium on any and all applications for the consideration of any industrial wind turbine proposal/project.
PUBLIC COMMENT: none
ADJOURNMENT: Bob brought forth a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 p.m. Joe seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Posted to: Selectboard