Board of Selectmen
February 4, 2009
Members present: Doug Walter, John Murray
Others Present: Richard Furlong, David Bonney, Colleen O’Connor, Geri Walter, George Fuller, Alice Briggs, Mark White, Mercedes Gallagher, Bill Babcock
7:00 PM Meeting opened. Reviewed minutes. John motioned to accept the minutes of January 21, 2009, Doug seconded. Motion passed.
The Selectmen have received a request from Berkshire South Regional Community Center for $1,200 towards its operating expense. The Selectmen need to decide whether to put this on the Annual Town Meeting warrant. John motioned to put this on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant, Doug seconded. Motion passed.
The Selectmen reviewed the letter of resignation from Bill Toomey from the Westfield River Wild and Scenic Advisory Committee effective immediately. John motioned to accept the resignation of Bill Toomey from the Westfield River Wild and Scenic Advisory Committee effective immediately, Doug seconded. Motion passed. The Selectmen signed a letter of thanks to Bill Toomey.
John motioned to appoint Mercedes Gallagher as a regular member to the Westfield River Wild and Scenic Advisory Committee term to expire June 30, 2009, Doug seconded. Motion passed.
John motioned to appoint William Babcock as an alternate to the Westfield River Wild and Scenic Advisory Committee term to expire June 30, 2009, Doug seconded. Motion passed.
Public Input: None.
7:10 PM Michael Martin to address the Board regarding Highway Department snow removal. Michael Martin sent an email advising that he would not be attending the meeting and would reschedule at a later time. Richard explained that when there is a heavy snowstorm and the highway department plows the sidewalks in the village, they cleanup driveways that have snow pushed back on them. The highway department does not plow anybody’s driveway. He also explained that when there is a heavy snowstorm and the highway department has been plowing for large amounts of time, they take their trucks home while they sleep for a few hours and then go out on their routes right from home. Only in those instances are they allowed to plow their own driveways. The reason for this is so they can get some
sleep. Colleen understands why they do this but she advised that it is not allowed. Richard advised that Michael Martin has contacted the Office of the Attorney General regarding this so we will find out whether they can continue to do this.
7:20 PM Abraham Forish to address the Board regarding issues with the Building Inspector. Abraham Forish did not show up at meeting.
Board of Selectmen
February 4, 2009
The Selectmen reviewed letter from Central Berkshire Regional School District regarding Seven Town Advisory Committee meeting postponed until February 5, 2009. Briefly discussed the regional school district agreement. The Town of Dalton wants to change the agreement in regards to bussing students. Doug will attend this meeting.
Briefly discussed the STRAP Grant. Originally the STRAP Grant was in the amount of $350,000 but the state increased it to $500,000. The scope of work needed to be changed so this is why the Selectmen needed to sign a new cover letter. John motioned to sign the cover letter for the STRAP Grant application for Algerie Road and Bonny Rigg Hill Road reconstruction, Doug seconded. Motion passed.
The Selectmen reviewed letter from David Marsh regarding a clothing drop-off in Becket. He would like the town to have clothing bins in town that people can use to drop off clothing they no longer need. Richard advised that the church does not collect clothing. He also advised that Good Will Industries no longer has clothing bins available because people put garbage in them. People that have clothing to donate now have to bring it to the Good Will in Pittsfield. If the town decided to have clothing bins, someone would need to transport the clothing to Good Will or The Salvation Army. Colleen asked if there could be a kind of “Swap Shop” at the Transfer Station. The Town of Washington has something like this at their transfer station that is run by volunteers.
People drop off things they no longer want and if someone wants it they can take it. Richard thought that this is something they could look at.
John motioned to sign the Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off Report, Doug seconded. Motion passed.
The Selectmen reviewed the monthly reports of the Ambulance Department and the Building Inspector.
Any other business: Richard advised that the ambulance department has always had problems with the roof and ice buildup. The highway department went over and broke up the ice buildup but he thinks that by next fall they should have a metal roof installed with ice catchers over the door so that ice does not slide onto the ambulance. Richard also advised that the ambulance department had an inspection by the Department of Public Health on Tuesday and it passed one hundred percent.
Richard advised that the police department was called to Lee to help direct traffic for an accident that occurred on Route 20. While on this call, someone crashed into the new police cruiser causing extensive damage. Marc Portieri was the officer on the call and was in the cruiser when it was hit. He was slightly injured and has been out of work since. George asked if the old cruiser could be used by the police department if it did not have police plates on the vehicle. Richard will have to check on this.
Richard advised that a voc student moved into town that is going to Taconic High School. We do not currently have any students going to Taconic. He had to get emergency transportation from Dufour at $100.00 per day for the rest of the school year. Briefly discussed the cost of transportation and tuition for voc students. George asked if the town could pay the parents to drive the students. Richard advised that this is an insurance issue that he would have to check on.
Board of Selectmen
February 4, 2009
Briefly discussed the bid for ice storm debris removal. Richard advised the Board that the low bid was from a company in North Carolina. The bid was so low that if we award the bid to this company and they do not perform the work, it would cost almost double if we get the next lowest bidder to perform the work. The winning bidder needs to submit a 100% performance bond before they can start working. Richard advised that this company has not even come to look at the project but if we do not award the bid to them they can protest the bid. He also advised that the next lowest bidder is from Missouri. David Bonney advised that if they protest the bid it could take years. Richard advised that Lenny is doing some research on this.
7:50 PM John motioned to adjourn, Doug seconded. Motion passed.
Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary William F. Cavanaugh, Chairman