Selectmen Meeting Minutes — December 2, 2008 — 3:00 p.m. — Memorial Hall
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Chairman Manners at 3:00 p.m. Other members present: John Payne. Joseph Judd arrived at 3:20 p.m.
Acceptance of Minutes: Before accepting the minutes of November 13, 2008, John recommended that the Board revisit each motion made and vote taken to reconfirm that all actions taken at that particular meeting were done so in accordance with proper parliamentary procedures. Following review of the minutes, a motion was made by John indicating that all matters considered at the November 13th meeting; where a vote occurred, were revisited and approved unanimously. Bob seconded the motion. Motion passed 2 to 0.
Trench Regulations - pursuant to the statute and the regulations, municipalities have been directed to designate an officer or board within the town to serve as the local "permitting authority." This individual and/or Board will be responsible for issuing a permit whenever a trench excavation becomes necessary. A trench is defined as "an excavation which is narrow in relation to its length, made below the surface ground in excess of three feet below grade and the depth of which is, in general, greater than the width, but the width of the trench, as measured at the bottom, is not greater than 15 feet." John indicated that he had spoken with Building Inspector, Jim Hawkins and it is not necessary for the town to adopt a by-law however, if Shelburne was to do so, a town by-law would be appropriate. Although no decisions were made, John suggested that Bob Manners serve as the local permitting authority being that he oversees the highway department. While municipalities may charge a reasonable fee for the permit, Bob suggested that the town only charge when a site inspection becomes necessary. More discussion to come at the next Selectmen's meeting.
Engle/Bluver RE: Final Opinion on Necessity of Curb-cut off of Old Albany Road - a motion was made by John to send a letter to Carolyn and David Engle confirming the unanimous opinion of the Board; that a curb-cut permit was not required when improvements were made to an existing access road off of Old Albany Road in 1999. Joe seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Tom Miner RE: Bridge Street Lot - Bob reported that the Highway Department will be repairing sidewalks near the vacant lot this week.
3:20 p.m. Pete Hillman RE: Cost Saving Measures for Snow and Ice Budget - Bob indicated that he and Pete have developed the following cost saving measures for the 2008/2009 winter season:
Pete Hillman explained the manner in which he dispatches his crew, how the roads are maintained and how varying weather conditions impact the decisions he makes. Pete indicated that it takes approximately 9 hours to plow and sand the entire town utilizing 4 trucks. Sunday's winter storm although relatively minor, cost approximately $2,124 between overtime, sand and salt.
The Board reviewed the town's overtime policy and will be soliciting input from other towns to ensure that Shelburne's policy is fair and consistent.
Brook Road Landslide - Brook Road has been closed as a result of a rather substantial landslide of trees and soil. Bob indicated that the cleanup is not the problem; rather ensuring that the bank is stabilized to prevent further degradation. Pete has been in contact with the Natural Resource Conservation Service to see if any funding is available for the damage but was informed that because the brook was not directly involved, the repair/stabilization of the embankment is not eligible.
Asphalt Escalation Invoice - Fiscal Officer, Scott Sawyer has recommended that the town hold off paying the additional $11,000 for escalation of paving costs until Shelburne has received their new allocation of Chapter 90 money. When the initial invoice was received it was paid for using Chapter 90 funds. Unaware of the escalation fees, the project was closed out. Several weeks later, the town received the subsequent invoice for $11,000 and had no means of making payment. After a brief discussion the consensus of the board was to hold off on paying the invoice. Pete will speak with the vendor.
Highway Garage RE: Proposals for Interior Repair - two bids were received for the replacement of water damaged insulation and sheetrock. After reviewing the proposals, a motion was made by Joe to award low bidder, Dole Brothers Construction the work at a rate of $3.75 per square foot. John seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
Weston & Sampson RE: Cost Proposal for Additional Services - in conjunction with the bid for Engineering and Design Services for Main Street - Phase 2, bidders were asked to provide a separate cost proposal for additional work for both the towns of Buckland and Shelburne. For Shelburne, this work included final plans and bid specifications for Phase 3 of Main Street. Weston & Sampson, the successful bidder for Main Street - Phase 2, submitted a separate cost proposal in the amount of $7,000 for final plans and bid specifications for Phase 3. After a brief discussion, a motion was made by Joe to award Weston & Sampson the bid for proposed work in the amount of $7,000; noting that the funds would be allocated from the Housing Trust Account. John seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
F.R.C.O.G. RE: Technical Assistance Priorities - the F.R.C.O.G. will receive Local Technical Assistance funding from the Department of Housing and Community Development to be used for ongoing planning projects, new planning projects and projects that promote and directly result in implementation of regional cost-sharing and service provision. In anticipation of receiving the funding, Linda Dunlavy would like to hear what each town's priorities are by December 12th. Terry Mosher will provide each Board member with the list of project ideas and ask that each member solicit their input before the deadline.
Municipal Energy Consulting Group RE: Streetlight Overcharges - the consulting group would review Shelburne's streetlight invoices to determine whether or not the town has been overcharged by WMECO. Municipal Energy Consulting services are free unless the town is eligible for a refund. In the event Shelburne is eligible, the consulting firm will receive 25% of the refund. A motion was made by John to execute the contract authorizing Municipal Energy Consulting Group to review the town's invoices for streetlight use in order to determine whether or not Shelburne is eligible for an "overcharge" refund. The motion was seconded by Joe. Motion carried unanimously.
F.R.C.O.G. RE: Fuel Bid Survey - no action required. The Town participates in the City of Springfield's bidding process.
Chief Walker RE: Request to Appoint Two Reserve Officers - at the request of Chief Walker, a motion was made by Joe to appoint Kurt Gilmore and Timothy Budrewicz as part-time Reserve Officers. Joe indicated that he had reviewed their resumes and agrees that both individuals would compliment the town's police department. John seconded the motion stating that he had an opportunity to meet with both individuals and felt that both had very good growth potential. After no further discussion the matter was put to a vote as follows: 2 - yes; 1-abstenstian (Bob Manners). Motion carries.
Jerry Dubie RE: Finance Committee Resignation - Jerry Dubie has notified Joe Judd of his intention to resign as Chairman of the Finance Committee due to the demands of his job. Once a letter has been received by the Town, the Moderator will be asked to appoint a new member.
Bolio Lot, Bridge Street (former Swan property) - with the Board's approval, Joe would like to explore the feasibility of the town purchasing the former Swan lot and begin to think about any and all potential benefits that ownership might bring (i.e. police station, senior center, etc.). Joe believes that the town would be able to procure the property for a reasonable price. John indicated his support stating that "this is the kind of forward thinking that we should be doing." Bob agreed. No further action taken.
Planning Board and Zoning Board Clerk - Joe is concerned that the individual recently hired to provide part-time clerical assistance to the Planning Board and to the Zoning Board of Appeals is not being utilized as intended. Joe indicated that if nothing changes, and the individual hired steps down, he will not be in favor of hiring a replacement. John will speak with the Planning Board Chairman and Joe will speak with the Zoning Board Chairman. No further action taken.
M.T.R.H.S. Budget Summit - John reported that the summit included members of the various boards of selectmen, finance committees and Mohawk Municipal committee. Topics of discussion included the volatility of assessments and the need for more transparency and predictability each year. Participants at the meeting agreed that MMAC should be the vehicle to look at ways of managing the school budget differently. The Superintendent indicated that he hopes that next year's budgetary increase will be less than 2.5%.
Health Insurance - Joe reported that he is continuing to look at the GIC Health Insurance Program as a way of saving money for the town. He has spoken with Joanne Blier of the MTRHSD and she indicated that the school has realized a substantial savings and are happy with the program. Joe is hoping to have a representative make a presentation in January.
Rebecca Campbell RE: Main Street Construction - Ms. Campbell's letter contains her overall comments about the Main Street project; including a recommendation not to hire Freitas Construction again. The letter will be forwarded to Breezeway Farm.
Adjournment: a motion was made by John to adjourn the meeting at 5:15 p.m. Motion seconded by Joe. Motion carried unanimously.