Board of Selectmen
June 3, 2009
Members present: William Cavanaugh, John Murray, George Fuller
Others Present: Richard Furlong, Colleen O’Connor, Beth Van Ness, David Bonney, Madeleine Swindlehurst, Bill Brownhill, Mark White, Maddy Elovirta, John Hall, Doug Hearle, Al Kirchner, Jeanne Pryor, Brenda Dean, Jeremy Dunn, John Amato, Josh Lombard, Bill Elovirta
7:02 PM Meeting opened. Reviewed minutes. John motioned to accept the minutes of May 20, 2009, George seconded. All in favor. John motioned to accept the Executive Session minutes of May 16, 2009, Bill seconded. John was not in attendance at the executive session meeting but voted because George was not a Selectman at that time. Motion passed.
Public Input: Colleen O’Connor gave the Selectmen information on public water supplies to review.
John Amato addressed the Board regarding the contract between the Town and Becket Woods Road District. He asked what took place at the last Selectmen’s meeting on May 20, 2009. Richard advised that he spoke with the Department of Revenue and they verbally told him that they did not want to get involved in the contract negotiations. He sent the DOR a letter last week asking them to put this in writing but has not heard from them. John advised that he first came to Richard last June because he felt that the contract should be based on a per lot basis. Richard advised that this would not work and that he needs to speak with the Board of Selectmen. At a meeting in September, the Selectmen told him that they did not want to change the contract and that he needed to go to the Department
of Revenue. John has not done that. He advised that he read in the Country Journal that the town was going to withhold the Becket Woods Road District funds and was concerned about that. Richard advised that the tax collector has put the funds into an account which is earning interest and that the Selectmen are going to vote on whether this should be done or not and they will do this under other business.
Brenda Dean addressed the Board regarding the possibility of having a Fourth of July parade. She felt that the Memorial Day Parade was inadequate and would like to put together a Fourth of July Parade with a cookout and an outdoor concert. Bill felt that if the Fire and Police departments wanted to put together a parade that would be okay with him. Richard advised that in order to close off Route 8 they would need to get permission from the State. He also asked who would pay for this parade. John Hall advised that the fire department does not have the money to pay for this parade. Brenda said they could skip the cookout and just have the parade and outdoor concert. Bill advised that she would need to form a committee to raise the funds for this and would need to account for how
the funds were used. The Selectmen suggested that she form a committee to work on next year’s parade since there is only a month to put a parade on this year.
Doug Hearle addressed the Board regarding the Center Pond Preservation and Protection Association and the current owners of the dam at Center Pond. He advised that the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Office of Dam Safety issued a notice of non-compliance last year that stated that the dam should either be brought into compliance or breached. The Center Pond Preservation and Protection Association has been in negotiation with the current owner to have the dam brought into compliance and eventually have the ownership transferred to a lake district for continued maintenance which is contingent upon the lake district being formed. He is asking the Selectmen to submit a letter to our representatives asking them to use their influence to bring about an early hearing on the bill that would
form this Lake District. He advised that Rep. Guyer told them that because there are so many bills, that this one bill may not be heard for some time. He felt that the best thing would be to have the Selectmen ask the representatives to try to get this bill moving along quickly. The Selectmen would like a letter sent to Representative Guyer stressing the importance of this bill and asking that it be expedited so that the Lake District could be voted on by its members before winter. John motioned to send a letter to Representative Guyer asking him to push along Bill #3701, George seconded. All in favor.
Maddy Elovirta addressed the Board regarding the Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grants. This grant would be to replace Fire Station #1 which is 51 years old. She advised that they could write a ten page narrative on why this fire station should be replaced. She also advised that the building inspector, conservation commission and the board of health would be involved with this project. They are currently having an architect look at the building to see if it is viable or if they should knock it down and rebuild it. She is asking the Selectmen if they want to go forward with this. The Selectmen are all for this grant. Jeremy Dunn asked if this grant would be written by volunteers. Maddy advised that it would be written by volunteers.
The Selectmen reviewed the Town Administrator’s appointments. John motioned to approve all appointments (list attached) with the exception of the highway superintendent, tree warden and pest control, George seconded. All in favor. John motioned to approve the town administrator’s appointment of Leonard Tisdale as highway superintendent, pest control and tree warden, Bill seconded. George abstained from voting. Motion passed. Briefly discussed the police department hours and coverage.
The Selectmen reviewed the Wage & Benefit Agreements for town employees. John motioned to sign the Wage and Benefit Agreements for Bill Girard as Building Inspector; Kathleen Hayn as Tax Collector; Susan Donnelly, Elizabeth Will and Geraldine Walter as Assessors; Christine Bleau as Treasurer; Joseph Mechare, Jim Kupernik and Jessie Sullivan as members of the Ambulance Department; Marc Portieri as Police Sergeant; Kristopher McDonough as Fulltime Police Officer; Nina Weiler as Town Secretary; and Heather Hunt as Assistant Tax Collector; George seconded. All in favor. John motion to sign the Wage and Benefit Agreements for Mark White as Highway/Transfer Station employee; Leonard Tisdale as Highway Superintendent; and the Highway department employees, Bill seconded. George abstained from voting. Motion passed.
The Selectmen reviewed the Request for Transfers. Richard explained that the town report account was short because the assessment books were printed this year. He also explained that when an employee retires or leaves under good conditions, if they have worked over ten years, they can get up to 65 personal days. Richard has about 51 days. These transfers would cover 42.6 days. John motioned to transfer $2,000.00 from accounting services, $2,000.00 from the postage account and $5,000.00 from the transfer station account to the Administrator’s Salary Account and to transfer $1,051.00 from the advertising account to the town report account, George seconded. All in favor.
The Selectmen reviewed the letter from George Fuller requesting that the Selectmen vote to allow him to collect a salary as a Selectman. John motioned to allow George Fuller to collect a salary as a Selectman, Bill seconded. George abstained from voting. Motion passed.
The Selectmen reviewed email from Robert Gerner regarding the Becket General Store. He thanked the Selectmen for issuing the all alcoholic package store license to Alan Lussier and for their patience during the process of getting the store ready to open. George asked if the Selectmen would get copies of the tests from the DEP. Richard advised that the Selectmen would need to request copies from the State. Colleen advised that she requested copies of the Title V report but has not received the copy yet.
John motioned to sign the all alcoholic package store license for Phat Al’s, Inc. d/b/a Becket General Store, Bill seconded. All in favor.
John motioned to appoint Stephen LaBelle Sr. as the alternate to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission term to expire June 30, 2010, George seconded. All in favor.
John motioned to appoint Tony Blair as the Chief Procurement Officer as of July 1, 2009, George seconded. All in favor.
Richard explained how the household hazardous waste collections worked. John motioned to sign the Extension of Agreement between CET and the Town of Becket for the Collection of Hazardous Waste through the Multi-Town Collaborative, George seconded. All in favor. Richard advised that the Board of Health pays for this out of their budget.
The Selectmen reviewed the monthly reports from the Ambulance Department and the Board of Assessors.
Any other business: Richard advised that Mark Burgwardt resigned as a regular member of the Zoning Board of Appeals last night but after the meeting he advised that he would be willing to serve as an alternate. He also advised that Beth VanNess is interested in serving on the ZBA. John motioned to appoint Beth VanNess as a regular member of the Zoning Board of Appeals term to expire June 30, 2010 and to appoint Mark Burgwardt as an alternate to the Zoning Board of Appeals term to expire June 30, 2010, George seconded. All in favor. Joshua Lombard advised that the ZBA is short two regular members and another alternate.
Richard advised that the Tax Collector has been holding the Becket Woods Road District money in an account for about a week. If the Selectmen want her to release the funds she will do that. John Amato advised that he has paid the additional $800 dollars under protest. Richard explained how the contracts are negotiated. It is up to the Selectmen and the road districts to come up with a contract. If they cannot come up with an agreement then it would go before the Department of Revenue. Bill feels that the fairest way is to charge all the road districts the same amount. The Selectmen feel that the Becket Woods Road District should send a letter to the Department of Revenue to try to get this resolved. John motioned not to send the letter to the Becket Woods Road District about
holding the district funds in an escrow account until legal counsel could be consulted, George seconded. All in favor.
Colleen wanted to ask a question about the Becket General Store. Bill advised that she should have brought it up under public input.
Richard advised that the bid for Yokum Pond Road Bridge Replacement was opened and have come back from Foresight Land Services. They have checked the references and found that the lowest bidder was fine. The Selectmen need to award the bid for this project. Richard advised that the bid came in under the $250,000.00 debt exclusion. John motioned to award the bid for the Yokum Pond Road Bridge Replacement to RDA Construction in the amount of $221,794.00, George seconded. All in favor. Richard advised that the start date would be after August 31, 2009 and it should take approximately two months.
George asked that the letter about doing routine maintenance on town vehicles at the town garage be sent out so the town starts saving money.
Colleen asked if the Becket General Store was a public water supply. Bill advised that it was a public water supply. She wanted to know how this could be if there is a failed Title V on the property. Richard advised that the DEP handles public water supplies not the local Board of Health. She told the Selectmen that our Board of Health is corrupt.
9:08 PM John motioned to adjourn, George seconded. All in favor.
Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary William F. Cavanaugh, Chairman