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Board of Selectmen Minutes 1/21/09
Board of Selectmen
January 21, 2009
Members present:        William Cavanaugh, Doug Walter, John Murray

Others Present: Richard Furlong, Nancy & David Devane, Paula Cianfarani, Eva & David Bonney, Bill Brownhill, Beth VanNess, Colleen O’Connor, Bob Sweet

7:00 PM Meeting opened.  Reviewed minutes.  Doug motioned to accept the minutes of January 7, 2009, John seconded.  All in favor.

The Selectmen reviewed meeting notice of the Regional Agreement Review Committee on February 10, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Nessacus Regional Middle School.  Bill will attend this meeting.

John motioned to sign the Chapter 90 Project Reimbursement Request in the amount of $20,691.64 and the Chapter 90 Final Report for Quarry Road Reconstruction, Doug seconded.  All in favor.

The Selectmen reviewed email regarding forming an emergency management committee.  Nancy Devane had sent Richard an email asking that the town form an emergency management committee so the next time there is a storm emergency the town would be better prepared for it.  Richard advised that they would need to meet during the day or on the weekend because Ray Tarjick works at night.  Richard also advised that the current emergency plan needs to be updated and that Bill has been reviewing it to see what needs to be updated.  Bill advised that everything in the plan was followed except that there was not enough support for the town hall staff.  Bill feels that the main issue was that communication was limited during the storm and access to different areas was limited.  Nancy Devane advised that some towns have a committee of volunteers that cover the whole town during these kinds of emergencies.  She thought that if there was a meeting for townspeople to attend, they could express what worked well and what did not work so well which could help us learn to make these situations better in the future.  Bill thought that each development should have a plan within their own development and have someone to report to the command center each day so all areas in town would be covered.  Colleen could not understand why the school was not used right after the storm for the purpose of feeding people and for a place for people to gather.  Bill explained that according to the emergency management plan, the town hall is used first then, if needed, the camp would be used next.  The school would be used if the camp was used up.  He also advised that there is a security issue at the school which could be a problem if the school was open to the public.  He advised that the school’s top priority is to open as soon as possible for the purpose of educating.  Paula Cianfarani advised the board that she spoke with the emergency manager from Westfield and he told her how things should have went during this emergency.  She said that he would come to Becket to help create a plan if the town wanted him to.  Someone asked the Selectmen if they would be willing to have this man come to Becket to help us create a plan.  The Selectmen said they would be open to it.  Paula advised that John Hall had this man’s telephone number.  Richard will check with John Hall.  Richard feels that there should be a representative from each development at this meeting.  Briefly discussed how to find people from the different developments to come to this meeting.  Richard will check with Ray about holding a meeting.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter from Western Massachusetts Electric Company regarding devastating ice storm and submit feedback about the restoration efforts by WMECO.  The Selectmen will fill out the survey after the meeting.

Board of Selectmen
January 21, 2009
Page 2

The Selectmen reviewed the Public Hearing Notice of the Department of Public Utilities as part of the December Ice Storm and Power Outage Investigation on February 9, 2009 at Otis Town Hall.

Public Input: Colleen O’Connor requested that the following be on public record (the following is recorded verbatim): I have something I would like to see on public record.  My tree has become broken.  It is going to be removed.  I will not be taking responsibility for any further damage to the septic line which traverses my yard nor will anyone who I hire to remove the tree be held responsible as you have no easement and every day you are trespassing and it is from my good will that I allow that.  But I am going to be removing the stump and the tree and as I’ve said I will not be held responsible for whatever incurs during that process.

Colleen asked about the Becket General Store.  She saw that the Selectmen briefly discussed the Becket General Store at their last meeting and asked what it was about.  Richard advised that they spoke about the water testing that needs to be done on properties near the store.  He said that an agreement between Mr. Gerner and the people providing the grant has finally been done so the testing can take place.  A lien will be placed on this property for the grant funding.  There was an article in the Country Journal which stated that the store would be open in the spring.  Richard was not sure if this was true.

David Devane asked if the town was still allowing anyone to bring brush to the Deer’s Inn property.  Richard asked if the Sherwood Forest Road District is going out to bid for the storm debris.  David advised that it was going out to bid.  Richard advised that the contractors should be removing the brush from Becket and disposing it outside of Becket.  He also advised that the DEP would not allow the town to burn the brush.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter of resignation from Bruce Garlow from the Town Administrator Search Committee effective immediately.  John motioned to accept the resignation of Bruce Garlow from the Town Administrator Search Committee effective immediately, Doug seconded.  All in favor.  The Selectmen would like to send him a letter acknowledging his resignation and also to thank him for continuing to work with the committee as an advisor.

Doug motioned to appoint Ann Krawet to the Town Administrator Search Committee, John seconded.  All in favor.

The Selectmen reviewed the invitation to the Seven Town Advisory Committee meeting on January 28, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in the Nessacus Library.  Bill will try to attend this meeting.  Richard advised that Mike Falk may also attend this meeting.

The Selectmen reviewed the invitation to a meeting of the Central Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee on January 21, 2009.  Richard advised that Ray Tarjick usually attends these meetings.

The Selectmen reviewed the application for Variance from Aimee and Andrew Bevacqua at 607 Yokum Pond Road to construct a deck and accessory building within 20 foot rear setback.

The Selectmen reviewed the monthly report of the Board of Assessors.

Board of Selectmen
January 21, 2009
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Any other business: Richard advised that the town needed to formally go out to bid for the brush removal from the ice storm.  FEMA will reimburse the town for 75% of this cost.  He also advised that the State sometimes pays the town for some of this but probably would not be able to this year because of the fiscal crisis.  Richard thought that the cleanup may not be done until after April because of the mud season.  The trucks would end up tearing up the gravel roads.

Richard advised that the Finance Committee is asking that all budget items be level funded and that there be no money articles on the warrant this year.  He also advised that the Selectmen are the ones who determine what gets placed on the warrant.  There has been a request to place a money article on the warrant for weed pulling at Center Pond.  He advised that if the Selectmen do not put this on the warrant, then someone could have it placed if they got ten signatures.  The Selectmen will place this on the warrant and let the voters decide.  If someone gets signatures for something expensive the Selectmen could not recommend it.

Richard advised that Mercedes Gallagher, who is currently the alternate on the Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory Committee, would like to be appointed as a regular member since Bill Toomey has moved out of town.  Nina was not sure if Bill Toomey ever officially resigned from this position.  Mercedes could not be appointed as a regular member until the Town Clerk receives a letter of resignation from Bill Toomey.

Bob Sweet addressed the Board regarding having more than one unregistered vehicle on his property at 3255 Main Street.  He would like to keep one of his trucks on the property so he can finish siding his house.  This would mean he would have two unregistered vehicles on his property.  Richard advised that Bill Girard has been pressuring him to clean up his yard because of complaints he has been receiving from neighbors.  Bob advised that there are currently three unregistered vehicles on his property but one vehicle would be gone by next week.  Bill Girard wrote the Selectmen a letter apprising them of the situation at his property.  John motioned to issue a special permit to Bob Sweet to keep two unregistered vehicles on his property at 3255 Main Street until the end of June 2009, Doug seconded.  All in favor.  The Selectmen will have an agreement written up that they will sign along with Mr. Sweet.

Reviewed correspondence.

Reviewed email from BRPC to Robert Gerner regarding DEP-Deadline Reminder for private well testing.

8:10 PM Doug motioned to adjourn, John seconded.  All in favor.

Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.

Respectfully submitted,                                                         _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary                                                          William F. Cavanaugh, Chairman