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Board of Selectmen Minutes 8/4/10
Members present:        Mark Karlberg, William Cavanaugh, George Fuller

Others Present: Richard Furlong, Hildegarde Freedman, David & Eva Bonney, Bill & Joyce Brownhill, William Elovirta, Beth VanNess, Colleen O’Connor, Madeleine Swindlehurst, Michael & Peggy Richard, Ann Spadafora, Bruce Bosworth, Steve LaBelle, Gene Pike, Josh Lombard, Geri Galliher, George Roberts, Ruth Rosenthal, Bob Ronzio, Bud Moylan, Howard Lerner, Bob Wollenberg, Patricia Mullens, Tom Matuszko, David & Nancy Devane, Charles Andrews, Deb Fitzgerald, Joy Lennartz, Paulette & Marty Feit, Stan Taylor, Ann Krawet, Karen Karlberg, Ann & Don Tuleja, Amy Drenga, Chris Mutty, Bud Moylan, Marcy & Ron Thompson, and others

7:04 PM Meeting opened.

It was announced that Beth VanNess is audio taping the meeting.

Selectmen’s Comments and Announcements: Bill stated that many residents have asked about the grants that were applied for and how much money the town received from them.  He advised that the CDBG that was applied for was over $900,000 and the town did not receive this grant.  The town spent approximately $20,000 preparing this grant and he did not have the cost of the survey that was done for this grant.  He advised that the town received the EECBG in the amount of $150,000 for Fire Station #2 but the bids came in at around $200,000 and there were costs associated with this grant so the town would need to come up with additional funds if it wants to finish the project.  He advised that the town received approximately $141,000 for the Green Communities Grant for the salt shed but this project would exceed this amount by quite a bit because of the work that would need to be done to get the site prepared for the salt shed.  So in total the town applied for approximately $1,191,000 and received $191,000 and the cost to the town if it decided to go forward with the projects would be sizably more than what was received.  He was not sure how the Green Communities grant worked if the town did not receive enough energy savings.  He wants the reporters and people writing letters to the editor to have the facts correct before putting things in the paper.

Mark stated that Colleen O’Connor’s remark at the last meeting was not correct.  He stated that salmon not trout were placed in the brook after the dams were removed.

The Selectmen reviewed the minutes of July 28, 2010.  Bill asked that there be an amendment to the minutes.  He stated that Colleen asked him what he was doing in another person’s yard and he answered that he does not go into other people’s yards.  He wants the comment that says that Colleen accused him of being a peeping tom removed from the minutes.  He said that if this comment was in fact made that he was appalled and asked her to go to court to see if anything like this was ever brought against him and to come back and tell people what she found out because it never happened and for her to bring this up in public was egregious.  He wants this remark removed.  George asked if Colleen had any objections to this.  She advised that she said “allegations” because this is what she heard.  Bill asked that people stop bringing rumors to the meetings and to bring only facts.  Mark motioned to accept the minutes of July 28, 2010 with the remark about Bill being an alleged peeping tom removed from the minutes, George seconded.  Bill motioned to accept the amended minutes of July 28, 2010, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

The Selectmen decided to take a break at 7:16 pm so that the meeting could be moved downstairs because people were out in the hall because they could not fit in the room.  The meeting reopened at 7:25 pm.

Public Input: Ann Spadafora asked if there was any way to scale back the fire station #2 project so that the town would not need to come up with the extra funds.  Bill explained that he would like the grant for the salt shed to be used toward the fire station project but he was not sure if this could be done.  This would need to be checked out before a decision would be made about how to proceed.

Amy Drenga asked the Selectmen if it would be possible to have a farm stand next year.  She would like to have this farm stand by the town hall pavilion.  Richard asked her to call him tomorrow so that he could give her the names and telephone numbers of the people on the agricultural commission so that they could assist her in having the farm stand next year.

Hildegarde Freedman would like to do some major and minor fund raising for the fire department.  She explained what she would like to do.  Geri Galliher explained that the fire department already does a fund raiser that asks people to donate money to the fire department.  Hildegarde explained that this would go beyond that.

Colleen O’Connor stated that there were some issues with the Executive Session minutes.  She said that there were comments like “some town officials” said things and because it does not specify who said it, it would appear that this is hearsay, conjecture, or rumor.  She also said that the Selectmen spoke with some ex-selectmen about the issue with Tony.  She said that they could not do this and she wants to know who they spoke with.  She also advised that on June 22nd Tony apologized to everyone for using the “f” word.  She stated that the Supreme Court has ruled that the “f” word is nothing more than an expletive and that you could soon hear this on prime time television.  It is a first amendment right to say this word.  She feels that the minutes were nothing more than hearsay, speculation, conjecture and rumor.

Bob Ronzio advised that he spoke with another person who purchased land at the land auction and they have a buyer interested in the property that was purchased.  He asked what was happening with the deed recordings.  George advised that the deeds were sent back to Sally Bell to be corrected and she would be taking the deeds to be recorded.

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission addressed the Board regarding resubmitting the CDBG application.  Tom Matuszko advised that he and Patricia Mullens met with the Department of Housing and Community Development and were heartened by what they were told.  Becket submitted a very competitive application but some information was not included in the electronic version of the application so Becket scored low because of this.  The representative from DHCD gave them some pointers as to how to make this a better application.  Tom advised that the resubmission of this application needs to be done by December 10, 2010.  He explained what needs to be done before then and said that it is not impossible to do but they need to act fast.  He advised that if the application does not change drastically then they should be able to make the December 10th deadline.  He advised that if the town wants to continue to apply for this grant and wishes to have BRPC assist, it would not cost anymore for their assistance.  But if the town was awarded this grant it would cost about $6,000 for BRPC to help with the administering of this grant.  Mark would like Nina to contact the previous members of the CDBG task force to see if they would like to continue working on this task force.  Bill motioned to have the Selectmen approve resubmitting the CDBG application as modified and to have BRPC assist the town with the resubmission and also to approve the payment of $6,000 to BRPC if the grant is awarded and to appoint BRPC as the overall grant engine assisting the town, Mark seconded.  All in favor.  Bill motioned to contact the past members of the CDBG Task Force to see if they want to be appointed to the new advisory committee, Mark seconded.  It was asked if the interested people should submit a letter or can they do this verbally.  A letter should be submitted.  All in favor.  Tom also advised that he would be working with the interim administrator on the other projects that the town has going.

Elizabeth Goodman, attorney for the Sherwood Forest Neighbors Association, addressed the Board regarding the Sherwood Forest Lake District legislation.  She gave a history of this legislation and why it was adopted.  She advised that there was an option to opt out of the Lake District which was approved by the legislature.  She also advised that there was a proxy form included in this act for proprietors to be able to vote or have someone vote for them.  Bill asked if a person owned more than one lot do they get to vote more than once.  Ms. Goodman advised that if a person or persons owned more than one lot they would get one vote per lot that they owned.  The act requires that the Selectmen initiate a meeting of the Lake District.  A quorum is needed before the Lake District can be formed.  She explained the proxy form and how this would be used.  George asked who would be mailing out this form.  She advised that the SFNA would be mailing the form out and it would be up to the Selectmen to see that all the proxies were counted.  Bill asked if the proxy should be signed exactly how the name appears on the deed.  She said that they could include on the form that the person signing the proxy should sign their name as it appears on their deed.  The town is responsible for mailing out the warrant.  She advised that the Selectmen need to approve the proxy form and also set a date for the initial meeting.  Bill felt that the initial meeting should happen as soon as possible in case there is not a quorum at this meeting.  George Roberts asked that some consideration be made when setting the date for the initial meeting because there is a state primary in September and a state election in November.  David Bonney asked if the town could hold a meeting so that all Sherwood Forest property owners could get the information about this bill before the initial meeting.  There was a brief discussion as to where a person could get the legislation to review.  David Boney asked if anyone could ask the town attorney if there was a conflict if Attorney Goodman, who represents the SFNA, could also represent the Lake District.  He was told that the town attorney could not be contacted by individuals wanting to know this; they would need to find this out themselves.  Ann Tuleja, president of SFNA, advised that there is a meeting on August 14th and everyone is welcome to attend to find out about this legislation.  She also advised that the legislation is posted on the SFNA website for people to view.  The town could also have copies available for people to pick up.  Nancy Devane wanted clarity about who votes by proxy and how many times they get to vote.  She also asked about the quorum.  It was explained how a quorum is met at the initial meeting.  Madeleine Swindlehurst said that the bill is confusing.  Bill asked if a person can opt out before or after the district is formed.  A person can opt out either before or after the district is formed.  

Christopher Mutty addressed the Board regarding Solar Energy program.  He explained how the program works.  Encore Redevelopment is proposing to install either a 1 or 2 MW solar PV array on municipal property to take advantage of the Massachusetts Solar Carve-Out program.  Encore finances the system and sells the electricity to the municipality under the terms of a fixed price Power Purchasing Agreement.  He explained net metering.  If the town enters into an agreement with Encore Redevelopment, it would allow Encore to install the system on municipally owned land, maintain the system and give the town fixed pricing for its electricity.  If the system creates more electricity than the town uses Encore would get energy credits.  George Roberts asked if the array produces more electricity then what the town uses would the town get the savings or would Encore get the savings.  He was not sure about that but could find out.  Bill asked how much land would be needed.  Mr. Mutty advised that for a 1 MW array you would need a minimum of 6 acres.  For a 2 MW array you would need a maximum of 20 acres.  

The Center Pond Restoration and Protection District was not in attendance to address the Board regarding Center Pond Lake District legislation.

The Selectmen discussed purchasing the excavator for the highway department.  George opted to stay out of the discussion since he works for the highway department.  Bill feels that the Selectmen are between a rock and a hard place on the excavator purchase.  He spoke with town counsel and they feel that purchasing the excavator from the company that built the excavator was the lesser of two evils.  The chance of being sued by this company was greater than being sued by the other bidders.  Bill was not happy with the interest rate of 5.27%.  Ann Spadafora asked if there was a prepayment clause without penalty in the contract.  If there was then the town could borrow enough money at a much lower rate to pay off the contract.  Madeleine Swindlehurst asked why this was not brought up at the Annual Town Meeting.  Richard advised that it did not have to be brought up at the town meeting because it is coming from Chapter 90 funds.  He also advised that someone could protest the bid but would not get what the company who built the excavator would get if they sued the town.  Mark motioned to lease to purchase the excavator for the highway department, Bill seconded.  George abstained from voting.  Motion passed.  

Mark read the letter of interest from Charles Andrews to serve on the Finance Committee.  Bill read the letter from the Finance Committee endorsing Charles Andrews as a member of the Finance Committee and Jean Robinson as the alternate.  Richard advised that there is nothing in the town bylaws that says you could have an alternate on the Finance Committee.  If the town wishes to have an alternate on the Finance Committee then it would need to change the bylaws.  Bill motioned to appoint Charles Andrews to the Finance Committee until the next election, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

Richard advised that he was unable to get a hold of Karl Rausch of the Chambers Advisory Group to find out about this review report.  Mark motioned to table this until the next Selectmen’s meeting, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Mark read the memo from the Police Chief regarding Big Bass Lane Road Closure.  This memo refers to Section 5 Subsection 5.104 (a), (b) and (c) of the Subdivision Rules and Regulations pertaining to dead end streets.  Bill read a letter from the Zoning Enforcement Officer.  The Zoning Enforcement Officer has determined that the barriers that were placed across Big Bass Lane is in violation of the Zoning Bylaws and must be removed immediately.  Bill motioned to send out this letter, Mark seconded.  Bruce Bosworth advised that this was in front of the Selectmen four or five times and Crystal Pond Association asked the Board to see if this was legal or not.  George advised that at the last meeting the Selectmen asked Crystal Pond Association to find out whether their subdivision allowed them to close off the road.  George asked the police chief and zoning enforcement officer to give them their opinions about the road closure.  He advised Mr. Bosworth to contact the president of Crystal Pond Association if he has questions regarding this.  Mr. Bosworth asked if he could get copies of both letters that were read tonight.  George advised him to come in tomorrow to get these letters.  All in favor.

The Selectmen discussed forming a Town Administrator Search Committee.  Bill feels that this committee should consist of five members including a Selectman.  He also feels that this search committee should be advertised in the Country Journal.  Colleen O’Connor asked if they checked with town counsel about whether having a Selectman on the committee is a conflict of interest.  George said that they are checking to see if this is okay.  Richard advised that the Town Administrator is not the Selectmen’s boss and they are the ones who hire him so he does not see where the conflict is.  George advised that anyone interested in serving on this committee should submit a letter of interest.

Bill motioned to table appointing an Emergency Management Director and the alternate to the Planning Board until the next meeting so the Selectmen can review letters of interest, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

The Selectmen reviewed the monthly report of the Ambulance Department and the Police Department and Citations Issued.  Bill asked about an item on the Ambulance Department report regarding bills being written off.  Richard will check with Jim Kupernik and report back to the Selectmen.

Any other business: Ann Spadafora asked when Richard would be in the office.  Richard advised Monday through Friday 8:30 to 12:30.  Jim Barry, who is in charge of the Green Community grant and the EECBG, came in to the town hall to speak with Richard.  Richard asked him if they could combine the two grants so that fire station #2 could be done.  Mr. Barry said he would look into it but Richard’s gut instinct tells him that this cannot be done.  Richard will check with town counsel about how to proceed with the Fire Station #2 project coming in higher than the grant.  Richard also advised that the salt shed funds are available for a year but he feels that the site work alone would cost more than the grant.  George wants Richard to check to see how long the funds are available for the fire station #2 project.  

Richard advised that Nina received a call from the town attorney regarding the debt exclusion ballot questions.  Apparently the questions were not written correctly so the attorney is checking with DOR and a bond attorney to see what will happen when we go out to borrow.  He will get back to the Selectmen regarding this.

Richard advised that the Selectmen at their last meeting told Kathy Hayn that they would try to get her the help that she needed but did not say she could advertise for additional help.  He also advised that the accountant did not have a problem paying this temporary person out of the town administrator salary account.  Bill motioned to advertise for a person to work with the tax collector, Mark seconded.  All in favor.

Nina advised that John Hall called about the well at fire station #1.  He spoke with Meyer Well Drilling and they gave a price of $6,000 to drill a new well.  Bill Elovirta advised that Mark Hanford would be calling to get more prices for the new well.  Briefly discussed the water situation at the fire station.  

Reviewed correspondence.

9:50 PM Mark motioned to adjourn, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Reviewed the payroll/expense warrants.

Respectfully submitted,                                                         _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary                                                          George Fuller, Chairman