Board of Selectmen
March 4, 2009
Members present: William Cavanaugh, Doug Walter, John Murray
Others Present: Richard Furlong, Colleen O’Connor, Beth VanNess, George Fuller, Alice Briggs
7:00 PM Meeting opened. Reviewed minutes. John motioned to accept the minutes of February 25, 2009, Doug seconded. Motion passed.
Mercedes Gallagher of the Westfield River Wild and Scenic Advisory Committee addressed the Board regarding issues that were raised at the Selectmen’s meeting last month. These issues had to do with the culvert replacement on McNerney Road. The National Parks Service delayed the progress because it had some issues which Mercedes looked into. One issue was Mass Highway wanted to use crushed stone in the restored pool and riverbank but the Parks Service wanted to use river rock. The other issue had to do with the landscaper working for Mass Highway and the way the landscaping was to be done. Mercedes advised that this delay was caused because of the coordination efforts between Mass Highway and the landscaper. Mercedes reported about one more issue that had to do with the plantings
near the Brooker Hill Road repair. Richard thought that because they planted blueberries in that area, people would be climbing down to pick them which could cause problems. Mercedes advised that the National Park Service and Mass Highway will be meeting to see if they could come up with a way to handle these kinds of issues so there would not be any delays in future projects. Mercedes also advised that the Westfield River Wild and Scenic Advisory Committee received federal funding for the first time and may receive more funding in the future. She gave the Selectmen a copy of the Westfield River Wild and Scenic 2008 Annual Report.
Public input: Colleen asked why the churches in town get plowed by the town. Richard advised that this has been done for years. He thinks that it started because the parking lot by the fire station was used by people attending the Catholic Church. This parking lot is owned by the town so it was always plowed. It was decided years ago that the town would plow out the other churches’ parking lots. Colleen advised that this is clearly not allowed. Richard advised that if this is a formal complaint then the Selectmen would need to make a decision. Briefly discussed the times when the highway department goes home with equipment during long lasting storms. Richard advised that the Town has the right to make decisions if it feels there are safety issues. Colleen is
asking that the Town does not use town equipment for private use. John explained that plowing the church is for the public, it is not a private residence. Doug and John will not make a motion against a not for profit public organization.
The Selectmen reviewed the application for Dimensional Special Permit for the construction of an existing non-conforming single family residential house at 300 Goodwin Road.
The Selectmen reviewed the monthly report of the Ambulance Department.
Any other business: Richard advised that the Finance Committee will be meeting every Thursday this month and the CBRSD business manager will be coming in on March 19, 2009 if they wanted to attend this meeting.
Richard advised that the McNerney Road culvert replacement went out to bid and the bids should have been in by March 3, 2009 but he has not heard anything on this.
Board of Selectmen
March 4, 2009
Richard advised that the Yokum Pond Road bridge engineering is finally moving and it should be going out to bid shortly. There is a question about getting it paid for with stimulus money.
Briefly discussed setting up a meeting with representatives from the private developments and the emergency manager to discuss emergency procedures. Richard thought that this meeting should be held on a Saturday so that people who have second homes could attend.
Briefly discussed the Becket General Store testing. Richard advised that the next thing that has to be done is to see if there is contamination on the property and if there is the next thing that would happen is remediation. It was already determined that there is no contamination off the property.
7:50 PM Doug motioned to adjourn, John seconded. All in favor.
Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary William F. Cavanaugh, Chairman