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Board of Selectmen Minutes 3/18/09
Board of Selectmen
March 18, 2009
Members present:        William Cavanaugh, Doug Walter, John Murray

Others Present: Richard Furlong, Colleen O’Connor, Beth VanNess, George Fuller, Donald Murray

7:00 PM Meeting opened.  Reviewed minutes.  Doug motioned to accept the minutes of March 4, 2009, John seconded.  All in favor.

John motioned to sign the seasonal liquor license renewal forms for Berkshire Berries for a seasonal all alcoholic package goods store license; Becket Country Store & Café for a seasonal all alcoholic package goods store license; and Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival for a seasonal all alcoholic restaurant license, Doug seconded.  All in favor.

Discussed the applications for an all alcoholic package goods store license by KMS, Inc. d/b/a Becket Country Store and Phat Al’s, Inc. d/b/a Becket General Store.  There is currently one license available but two applicants applying for this license.  The Selectmen are waiting to hear from town counsel regarding whether they can hold one public hearing or if they need to hold two separate hearings for this license.  Beth feels that the license should go to the business that is already open and not to the business that may open.  Bill advised that that is what will be discussed at the hearing.  George asked if the owner of the Becket Country Store and Café originally applied for this license.  Bill advised that he never applied for this license.  Bill advised that he was not sure if this license will be held up because the last holder of this license owes back taxes.  Donald Murray advised that there is still testing being done at the Becket General Store site and this could take a year to complete.  Bill again advised that this would be spoken to at the public hearing.  Doug motioned to hold a public hearing on April 15, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. on application of KMS, Inc. d/b/a/ the Becket Country Store and to hold a public hearing on April 15, 2009 at 7:45 p.m. on application of Phat Al’s, Inc. d/b/a Becket General Store or just to hold one public hearing on both applications at 7:30 p.m. on April 15, 2009, John seconded.  All in favor.  Bill advised that the applicant who does not get this license can apply for a seasonal all alcoholic package goods store license that would be in effect from April 1st to January 15th of every year.

Public Input: Colleen advised that she heard that the Becket Washington School would be closing.  She asked if this happens, could the school be opened as something else.  She thought that it could possibly open as a charter school.  Mike Falk advised that he heard that it would not be economically feasible to close the school.  One reason would be that CBRSD would lose students to the Lee or Otis schools and the other reason would be that when the Becket Washington School was refurbished, there was a twenty-year bond issued in which the state pays 61%.  If the school closes, the state would not make anymore payments and the town would need to pay back what the state already paid.  Mike advised that he would ask this question at the Finance Committee meeting on Thursday when the school superintendent and the school committee would be meeting with the finance committee.  Briefly discussed super regional school districts.

Mike advised that the FY 2010 budget is still a work in process.  Richard estimated that the 25% that the town will have to pay for the ice storm debris removal will be approximately $87,500 and it may come out of the Stabilization Account.  Briefly discussed the current ambulance and how the town is trying to keep it running for another year.  Richard advised that the ambulance is out of service for a few days because the air suspension system needs to be repaired.  Mike Falk advised that Maddy Elovirta has volunteered to
Board of Selectmen
March 18, 2009
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write a grant for a new ambulance.  She is going to get paid $2,000 for writing the grant.  George Fuller would like the Selectmen to check on three things.  First he would like them to check about the grant that Maddy is writing.  He does not remember the Selectmen ever agreeing to pay for this.  He also asked why Bill Elovirta does not have the police cruisers serviced at the highway garage for normal maintenance such as oil changes.  He feels that it costs much more to have the cruisers serviced out of town.  He also asked why the town is not going after grants for equipment for the police cruisers.  He advised that there is a federal grant available for this equipment but the town is not applying for this grant.  Richard advised that he was not aware of any grant.  George said he will check with them at their next meeting.  John motioned to send a letter to all town departments asking them to have all vehicles maintained at the highway garage.  Discussed what kind of maintenance should be done at highway garage.  There are certain things that cannot be done at the garage such as warranty items.  Doug motioned to send a letter to all town departments stating that all regular maintenance should be done at highway garage, John seconded.  All in favor.  Bill asked if Maddy gets paid if we do not get the grant.  Mike advised that she would get paid regardless of whether the town gets the grant or not.

The Selectmen reviewed the petition to place article on annual town meeting warrant signed by 16 registered voters.  This article is asking the town to accept Jacobs Hollow Road as a town road.  Richard advised that the Selectmen have no choice but to put this on the warrant.  He also advised that the Planning Board has been notified and it has 45 days to give the Selectmen an opinion.  The Planning Board can make a recommendation on the warrant or at the meeting.  Donald Murray asked if the road was up to code.  Richard advised that it was in good condition.  Richard was concerned that this could set a precedent and there are many more private roads in Becket.

Doug motioned to sign the warrant for the annual town caucus to be held on April 7, 2009 from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m., John seconded. All in favor.

The Selectmen reviewed the revised letter from Richard Furlong regarding his retirement.  Richard is asking to extend his retirement date by 2 weeks.  This would give him some overlap with the new administrator.  Doug motioned to accept this request, John seconded.  Richard explained that he started on July 1st and was going to retire on June 30th but the retirement board does not count this as 16 years, it counts it as 15 years and 11 months, so by working a week and a half more it will count as sixteen years which would amount to approximately $102.00 a year more.  All in favor.

The Selectmen reviewed letter to all groups using the community room at town hall regarding condition of room after meetings.  Richard advised that the community room was just stripped and waxed and a couple of days after this was done, the floor was all scuffed up and there has been some food missing from the refrigerators.  The letter states that if a group is found to be causing these issues, they may be asked to meet some where else.

Board of Selectmen
March 18, 2009
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The Selectmen reviewed the letter from Priscilla McEwen asking the Board to decide whether or not she can participate in the Conservation Commission’s decision on an NOI by her neighbor.  Richard was not sure why the Conservation Commission did not contact Sally Bell about this.  His opinion was that she should recuse herself from the hearing and should step out of the room while this is being discussed.  John
motioned to tell her that she should recuse herself from the hearing and should not be in the room when it is discussed, Doug seconded.  All in favor.  Nina will contact her about this.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter from BRPC regarding the 2010-2013 Transportation Improvement Program.  Richard advised that the Town could not receive any stimulus money for road repairs unless the project was designed by Federal Highway Standards.

Doug motioned to initial the Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off report, John seconded.  All in favor.

Any other business: Richard reminded the Selectmen that there is a meeting on Saturday to discuss future emergencies with all of the private developments at 10:00 a.m.  Briefly discussed the town’s emergency plan.  Bill advised that this meeting is not to change the town’s plan but to help the private communities deal with emergencies.

Richard advised the Selectmen that the storm debris removal is out to bid and the approximate cost is $350,000.00.

Richard advised that Yokum Pond Road Bridge is still not approved.  He also advised that there were nine contractors that bid on McNerney Road but he was not sure who they were.

Reviewed correspondence.

8:30 PM Doug motioned to adjourn, John seconded.  All in favor.

Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.

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