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Board of Selectmen Minutes 9/15/10
Members present:        William Cavanaugh, Mark Karlberg
George Fuller-absent

Others Present: Richard Furlong, Hildegarde Freedman, David Bonney, Beth VanNess, Colleen O’Connor, Josh Lombard, Bob Ronzio, Bill Osborn, Ann Spadafora, Howard Lerner, Steve Rosenthal, Leroy Chessic, Ron Thompson, David Siefer, Marty Feit, Pauline Tamarin, Dana Welts, Valerie Welts, George Roberts, William Elovirta, Joan Kaiser, Anthony Moody, Lynn Pease, Charles Chiecko, Robert Gross, Barbara Wacholder, Alan Atlas, Ann Krawet, Martin Schlanger, Luba Fineson

7:03 PM Meeting opened.

It was announced that Colleen O’Connor was audio taping the meeting.

Selectmen’s Comments and Announcements: None.

The Selectmen reviewed the minutes of the previous meeting.  Bill motioned to approve the minutes of September 1, 2010, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.

Public Input: Hildegarde Freedman announced that the first meeting of the Uncommon Board of Trainees and Community will be held at the Knox Trail Inn on October 5, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

Colleen O’Connor announced that the complete audio version of the Select Board Meetings will be able to be downloaded so anyone can hear them.  Someone asked what website they could go to to listen to the minutes.  Colleen advised that the website is not up yet but they could get them from Beth VanNess.

The Selectmen reviewed the letter from resident regarding WMECO allowing electric users to choose their providers.  Richard explained how WMECO comes up with the rate for electricity.  WMECO is the local electric delivery company.  He explained that you can choose the provider that you want and lock into a price but he does not think you save much unless you use a large amount of electricity.  A gentleman from the Massachusetts Alliance for Municipal Electric Choice advised that people are encouraged to contact the Legislature and ask that they amend State Law to make new municipal utilities possible.

The Selectmen reviewed the email from Berkshire Community Action Council regarding Department of Youth Services’ Bridging the Opportunity Gap Initiative.  Mark explained how the program works.  The BOG Initiative provides a variety of employment related services to DYS youth.  This program offers comprehensive employability services including career readiness, vocational, and entrepreneurship training, work force certifications and subsidized employment experience.  Richard explained that they are looking for employers to take some youths and train them for particular jobs but he said that the town does not have anything to offer because it does not have any factories and such that could provide the training and supervision.

Any other business: Richard advised that he has a bit of business that came to him after the agenda was posted on Friday.  The first item is a letter that the town attorney wrote to a person who donated his property to the town.  This letter is because the person who donated the property wishes to take this off his taxes.  Bill motioned to sign the letter and the deed for this property donation, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.

The Selectmen signed the letter to Heather Hunt thanking her for her services as assistant tax collector.

Richard explained that there is a corrective deed that needs to be signed by the Selectmen.  A person is in the process of selling his land that he purchased from the town years ago but they cannot go back to see how the town acquired it so this deed will make it easier for the person to sell the land.  Bill motioned to sign the corrective deed for Ronald and Celia Boucher, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.

Richard advised that the treasurer needs to have a note signed in the amount of $300,000 in anticipation of revenue.  This is a thirty-day note with an interest rate of 1.15%.  Bill motioned to sign the bank note in the amount of $300,000 in anticipation of revenue, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.  Richard advised that the real estate tax bills have been released.

Richard advised that the 100th Anniversary of the Jacobs Ladder Trail celebration will take place on September 25, 2010.

Lynn Pease addressed the Board regarding an issue she is having with the Board of Assessors.  She has requested several abatements for excise taxes and has only received one abatement.  The others are in a folder in the Assessor’s office but nothing has been done to complete the abatement process.  She is getting nowhere with the Assessor’s office.  Richard advised that the Selectmen have no authority over abatements.  Richard will check with the Assessors to see what the problem is and will get back to her.

The Selectmen allowed input on how the town should vote by proxy for the Sherwood Forest Lake District.  Bill asked George Roberts how many lots the town owns.  He was not sure the exact amount because the deeds for the property that was sold at auction were coming it but he thinks it will be between 20 and 35 lots.  The Selectmen reviewed approximately 12 letters and emails that came in that wished that the Selectmen vote in favor of the Lake District.  Steve Rosenthal spoke about the issues with the dam and the reasons for forming a lake district.  He explained what would happen if the dams were breached.  The land values in Sherwood Forest would drop dramatically which would increase the road district taxes.  This would also increase the taxes for everyone in Becket because the land values would drop approximately $9,000,000 which would have to be absorbed by all tax payers.  Many residents spoke in favor of the Lake District.  Bill Elovirta advised that if the dams are breached it would effect the fire protection in Sherwood Forest because there would be no lakes to draw water from.  Bill asked if a person owns 5 properties can he opt out on 4 of the properties and still have lake rights.  Steve advised that opting out is by person so the person would not have lake rights on any of his properties.  He explained that if a person opts out of the Lake District it would cost the owner a fee to have his deed changed.  Mark asked the audience to show a sign of hands for people who were in favor of the Lake District.  All but one person was in favor of the Lake District.  Bill motioned to cast as many votes as the town has in support of the Lake District and to vote by proxy, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.  

The Selectmen reviewed the monthly report of the police department.

Reviewed correspondence.

8:25 PM Mark motioned to adjourn, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Reviewed the payroll/expense warrants.

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