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Board of Selectmen Minutes 5/6/09
Board of Selectmen
May 6, 2009

Members present:        William Cavanaugh, Doug Walter                                                                          
                        John Murray-absent

Others Present: Richard Furlong, Colleen O’Connor, Beth Van Ness, David Bonney, Alice Briggs, Kristen and Mark Sottile, Michael Falk, Madeleine Swindlehurst, George Fuller, Ken Ferris, Bill Brownhill

7:00 PM Meeting opened.  Reviewed minutes.  Doug motioned to accept the minutes of April 15, 2009, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.  Doug motioned to accept the minutes of the April 15, 2009 meeting of the Local Licensing Authority, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter of resignation from June Babcock from the Becket Cultural Council effective immediately.  Doug motioned to accept the resignation of June Babcock from the Becket Cultural Council effective immediately, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.  The Selectmen signed a letter of thanks to June for her work on the Cultural Council.

The Selectmen reviewed the survey completed by the Town Clerk regarding the current storage conditions for permanent records.

Doug motioned to appoint Christine Bleau as Treasurer term to expire June 30, 2010, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.  Richard advised that the Town Clerk, the Tax Collector and the Treasurer all have three year terms but they should be staggered.  The Town Clerk is up for re-election this year, the Treasurer will be up for re-appointment on June 30, 2010 and the Tax Collector will be up for re-appointment on June 30, 2011.

Doug motioned to appoint Kathleen Hayn as Tax Collector term to expire June 30, 2011, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.  Richard advised that the treasurer and tax collector’s terms expire on election day and the Selectmen will not meet again until after the election so that is why they are appointing them now.

Public Input: David Bonney asked if there will be clear plastic bags sold in place of bag stickers at the transfer station.  Richard advised that there has always been mandatory recycling at the transfer station and the bags would be one way to make sure people are recycling.  The town decided not to use the bags for now and keep using the bag stickers but he advised that the attendants will be randomly checking bags for recycling products.  If a person is caught throwing out recycling products they will receive a warning and if it happens more than once, the person will be banned from using the transfer station.  Madeleine Swindlehurst advised that she sometimes picks up cans and bottles along the road and they are pretty dirty and she just throws them out.  She asked if she would get in trouble for doing this.  Richard advised that situations like these would be excused.  They are just looking for repeat offenders.

Colleen O’Connor asked why the town was entertaining opening the Becket General Store when the DEP sent the town a letter on April 22, 2009 stating that the store could never be an establishment that serves food.  She advised that this quarter acre piece of property fails Title V because there are underground gas tanks that are less than 20 feet from the well and the SAS is less than 100 feet from the well.  Richard advised that he has not seen the letter that she refers to.  She advised that the letter was sent to the Board of Health and the Selectmen should have known about it.  Madeleine Swindlehurst advised that the Board of Health is an elected board and it is up to them to notify the Selectmen.  Bill advised that the Selectmen are not the ones who determine if the store opens; they only deal with the liquor licenses.  If the store does not open then the Selectmen could reissue the license to another establishment.

Madeleine Swindlehurst advised that she is resigning from the Zoning Board of Appeals effective June 1, 2009.  She advised that she could not handle the stress of coming to the meetings any longer.  The Selectmen thanked her for her service to the town.  Doug motioned to accept with regret the resignation of Madeleine Swindlehurst from the Zoning Board of Appeals effective June 1, 2009, Bill seconded.  The motion passed.

7:20 PM Doug motioned to close the Selectmen’s meeting to hold a  public hearing on Application of KMS, Inc. d/b/a the Becket Country Store for the transfer of an annual beer and wine and a seasonal all alcoholic package store license at the establishment located at 609 Main Street, Bill seconded.  The motion passed.  The Selectmen’s Meeting will reconvene after the public hearing.

7:25 PM  The meeting reconvened.

The Selectmen reviewed the Wage and Benefit Agreements for Christine Bleau and Kathleen Hayn.  Richard advised that these agreements are good through June 30, 2009.  Doug motioned to sign the Wage and Benefit Agreements for Christine Bleau and Kathleen Hayn, Bill seconded.  The motion passed.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter to the DEP regarding the Becket General Store.  This letter is asking the DEP to consider waiving the relocation of the well because it is 95 feet from the septic system.  Colleen advised that the well is not 95 feet from the septic system and she would prove it if she received a copy of the Title V report that she requested on April 21, 2009 that she has been denied.  Richard asked the Selectmen if this was their meeting or Colleen’s meeting.  Colleen wanted to know why, if this is a Board of Health issue, the Selectmen are signing a letter to the DEP.  Bill said it is their prerogative to send a letter.  Doug feels that the well has been tested throughout the time that the store was open and never tested negative so he has no problem signing this letter.  Doug motioned to sign the letter to the DEP, Bill seconded.  The motion passed.

The Selectmen reviewed the email from Mike Falk regarding the Highway Department wages.  George Fuller stated at one of the Finance Committee meetings that the highway department was not being paid enough.  A survey was conducted on towns in Berkshire County and the only town that pays more than Becket is Williamstown which pays five cents more.  The Finance Committee sees no reason to increase the wages of the heavy equipment operators.

The Selectmen reviewed the email from Arthur Winston regarding damage done to mailbox from snowplow.  Richard advised that Lenny sent Mr. Winston a reply to his email.  He also advised that if the snowplow hits a mailbox, then it would be replaced.  Lenny advised that the plow never hit the mailbox.  It was the trajectory of the snow that caused the damage.  He explained in his email that Mr. Winston needs to install a heavier gauge box with stronger anchor points to stop this problem from happening.

The Selectmen reviewed the email from Nancy Schrank regarding property in Jacobs Well.  Richard advised that she is the only one who owns property in Jacobs Well.  The Town owns the rest of the property in Jacobs Well.  She has been trying to sell the property or get the town to buy it but has been unsuccessful.  Richard advised that the town may be liable for the road that goes to her property.  All she is asking for right now is to move the stones that are blocking the entrance to Jacobs Well.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter from the Town of Norton Board of Selectmen regarding Request for Changes in the Calculation of the Subsidized Housing Inventory.  The Selectmen decided not to take any action regarding this.

The Selectmen reviewed the monthly reports of the Ambulance Department and Building Inspector.

Any other business: Richard advised that the Yokum Pond Road Bridge Replacement is out to bid with a start date of September 1, 2009

Richard advised that he signed the FEMA contracts and sent them back for work done during the storm.  The cleanup will start tomorrow.

Colleen advised that the Special Permit by the Planning Board states that every use permitted by right or authorized by Special Permit under the provisions of this bylaw shall be subject to the State Building code, State Sanitary Code, and the Town’s Board of Health Regulations and they are not being met.  She feels that the special permit overrides the request for a waiver of the well at the Becket General Store.  Richard advised that that would be subject to legal interpretation.  Someone would have to take it to court.

Reviewed correspondence.

Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.

7:48 PM Doug motioned to adjourn the regular meeting to go into executive session, Bill seconded.  The meeting will not reconvene.  Roll call vote: Bill-Aye, Doug-Aye.  Motion passed.

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