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Board of Selectmen Minutes 4/27/11
Members present:        Mark Karlberg, William Cavanaugh
                        George Fuller-absent

Others Present: Craig Kleman, Colleen O’Connor, Robert Ronzio, Beth VanNess, Gale LaBelle, Ken Smith, Gerry Galliher, Matt Vanderbrook, Rita Furlong, Bill Elovirta, Chuck Andrews, Mark Constable, Bruce Garlow, Ann Spadafora, Meredyth Babcock, Ann Krawet, Robin Greenspan, Steve Turner, Howard Lerner, George Roberts

7:00 PM Meeting opened.

Mark asked if anyone from the audience was recording this meeting.  Colleen O’Connor advised that she was audio taping the meeting.

Selectmen’s Comments and Announcements: Bill offered George Roberts and the Roberts family his condolences for the loss of Louis “Woody” Roberts.

Bill motioned to accept the minutes of the April 19, 2011 meeting as presented, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.

Public Input: Rita Furlong addressed the Board regarding an issue with the ball field at the Becket Center Park.  She advised that George Fuller volunteered to put some fill over by the bleachers at the ball field.  She also advised that he put too much fill in which blocked a pipe which ended up flooding the area behind the Becket Country Store.  She showed the Selectmen photos of the flooded area and the section where the pipe was exposed.  She spoke with Highway Superintendent, Lenny Tisdale about this and he feels that since this was done by a volunteer, it should be up to the volunteer to repair this.  Bill feels that the Town should repair this properly.  Briefly discussed this issue.  Bill motioned to send Lenny Tisdale a letter asking him to cooperate with the Parks Commission to come up with a resolution to problem with the ball field, Mark seconded. Motion passed.  Rita also addressed the Board about an issue at the Becket Center Park.  She advised that a woman has been bringing her dog to the ball field and letting it run around.  She has not been cleaning up after it and the Parks Commission had to purchase a sign that cost approximately $45 to keep people from using the park for this purpose.  When someone confronted her about using the park she told them that someone from the highway department told her it was okay to use the park to run her dog.  She advised that volunteers had to clean up the field before it could be used.  She also advised that there is an apple tree over at the Mullen House property that is in danger of falling down and the Parks Commission would like to take this tree down and replace it with another tree.  She was told that this tree is on State property and she would need to get permission from the State to take it down.  She advised that George Fuller called the State regarding this and now the project is on hold.  Gerry Galliher asked her why she would be planting another tree where the State plows the snow and the salt runoff would only kill it.  Rita advised that the tree would be moved about fifteen feet north of where the apple tree now stands.  She was upset with George and feels that he should not interfere in anything until he speaks to the different departments in town.  Rita also wanted to know why George was appointed temporary road boss when Lenny Tisdale was on vacation.  She feels that he was the last person hired on the highway department so someone else should have been the road boss.  She asked if the Selectmen approved this.  The Selectmen advised that they do not approve this because Lenny is the highway boss and he makes these kinds of decisions.  Colleen O’Connor told Rita that she did not have a clue as to the needs of North Becket Village.

Colleen O’Connor also stated that at the last meeting she allowed Bill to publicly berate her in front of a filled room including four children.  She said this was the fourth time that he did this to her and the next time he does this she will contact the Attorney General’s Office.  Bill replied that he does not agree with anything she just said and she is welcome to do whatever she feels is necessary.

Ann Spadafora asked if the town had a deputy highway superintendent.  The Selectmen advised that the town did not have one.  She thought it would be a good idea to have a chain of command set up.

Bruce Garlow gave the Selectmen an update for the neighbor to neighbor program.  He told them what has been collected so far and what still needs to be collected.  He would like permission to have a reminder sent through the town’s email system.  The Selectmen did not have a problem with that.  Meredyth Babcock advised that she will conduct a program at the Becket Washington School like she did last year to raise money for this program.

Craig advised that the Agreement by and Between the Town of Becket and Berkshire Regional Planning Commission regarding energy audits was the original grant that was for the salt shed.  He also advised that the energy audits would be for the highway garage and the town hall.  This agreement would allow BRPC to do the procurement for this grant and would administer the grant.  Bill motioned to sign Agreement By and Between the Town of Becket and Berkshire Regional Planning Commission regarding Energy Audits, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.

Craig had given the Selectmen an overview of the application for Last-Mile Broadband Solutions but he advised that Bob Ronzio may not complete the grant application.  Bob Ronzio advised that he has been working on the Large Wind Turbine committee and he may not have time to complete this application before the May 18th deadline.  If he can get this completed by May 4th, the Selectmen could review it at their next meeting.

Bill motioned to sign the Form 43 for a change of manager for Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival for the Seasonal All Alcoholic Restaurant License, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.

Ken Smith gave a brief statement to explain how he got to where he is at with the Wind Turbine Feasibility Study.  He advised that over a year ago he looked into possibly putting a wind turbine on his property that would only benefit his property but found that it is not cost effective for a small wind turbine to be placed on his property.  The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center has grants available to complete studies to see if it is feasible for a wind turbine to be placed on any property in the Town of Becket.  He is looking to see if it is feasible to have a wind turbine on his property but the study will not only be looking at his property but will look at different areas in town.  He advised that a company by the name of Sustainable Energy Developments will be completing the feasibility study.  He also advised that Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival and the Becket YMCA have committed to fund $2,500 each to assist in covering the portion of expense that is not subsidized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  He explained the different documents that have been completed as of now.  Ann Krawet advised that she viewed the letter of understanding that was on the Town’s website and it is site specific so she was concerned that it would not apply to any other property in town.  Matt Vanderbrook from SED explained the grant process.  He advised that this is just a feasibility study to see if there were locations in town that could handle a wind turbine.  The study shows areas that are feasible, the next step would be to decide if and where a wind turbine could go up and if the town wanted to be part of the consortium that would cover the cost of the wind turbine.  Gale LaBelle was concerned that the town would be responsible for the cost of the grant if it were rescinded.  The Planning Board would like the town attorney to review the contract before the Selectmen sign it.  Briefly discussed how the grant works.  The Planning Board has a problem with the contract.  Craig advised that there will be changes made to the contract and when all changes are made then an executable contract would be signed by the Selectmen.  He advised that the contract that the Planning Board has is just a draft contract; he will make sure that all necessary changes are completed before the Selectmen sign it.  Ann Spadafora was concerned about the town sponsoring projects for private individuals.  Mark advised that the YMCA and Jacobs Pillow have covered the cost for the feasibility study so the town will not have to pay for this.  Matt Vanderbrook advised that any money the town puts out is reimbursable.  Bill advised that he would like to review both contracts before he signs them.  Bill asked what percentage the town would get if a turbine is put up.  Matt advised that he cannot tell him right now because it is not known where the turbine would go and what size turbine would be installed.  Briefly discussed energy consumption of the town and energy produced by a turbine.  Meredyth Babcock is in favor of wind energy and feels that this could be discussed after the study is completed.  Bill advised that he needs to have both contracts associated with the feasibility study before the next meeting so he could make a decision on this grant and that it states that the study would be town wide.  Bill motioned to table this until the next meeting on May 4, 2011 when the documents will be prepared and ready then act upon it at that time, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.

The Selectmen reviewed the Large Wind Energy System Bylaws.  Gale LaBelle and Bob Ronzio advised that there have been many minor changes to the bylaw but the only change that affects the scope of this bylaw is the section that states that a large wind energy system shall be at least one-quarter (¼) mile from off-site inhabited buildings or undeveloped lots in existence on the date the application is filed with the SPGA.  The Planning Board has voted to change this to read at least one-half (½) mile from off-site inhabited buildings or undeveloped lots in existence on the date the application is filed with the SPGA.  Meredyth Babcock was sad about the change because it will affect many properties in town.  Bob Ronzio advised that it does not prohibit anyone from siting a turbine under the half mile; the owner would just need to get permission from the residents who live under a half mile away.  Bill stated that he appreciated all the work that went into putting this bylaw together.

The Selectmen reviewed the ATM warrant so they could make recommendations to the articles and line items they put holds on.  Briefly discussed the Election and Registration budget item.  George Roberts advised that the reason it is quite a bit less than last year’s budget is because there are no state elections in the next fiscal year.  The Selectmen asked about the rate that he is paying the election workers.  He advised that he is currently paying $8 per hour.  Bill advised that he heard from some election workers who thought they should be paid more to work the polls.  He recommends that the election workers receive $10 per hour.  Ann Krawet, Gale LaBelle and Beth VanNess, who are currently Election Workers, feel that the amount that is currently being paid to them is adequate.  George would like to wait one more year before he changes the rate of pay.  He would like to change his request to $8,672 from $6,672.  Bill motioned to recommend Elections and Registrations at $8,672, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.  Bill motioned to recommend Animal Control Officer Expenses at $2,500, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.  Briefly discussed the Annual Children’s Party.  Rita Furlong thought that the $500 that was initially given to the Women’s Auxiliary was for this organization to provide for the Christmas Party and dinner for the children but they have a penny social to raise money.  She thought this was a onetime appropriation.  Bill wants an explanation from the person who is running this party regarding the funds.  He was under the assumption that the $500 was a onetime appropriation and that the party organizers make that money back for the next year’s party.  Briefly discussed the radios for the highway department.  It was not clear if Len Tisdale put money in his budget to have these replaced.  Bill motioned to recommend Article #15, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.  Bill motioned to recommend Article #27, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.  Bill motioned to recommend Article #28, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.  Bill motioned to approve and sign the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting including all of the changes that were just made, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.  

Any other business: Briefly discussed email from resident that was concerned with the recent break-ins in Becket.  Craig received a response that Bill Elovirta sent this resident.  Bill read the email.

Reviewed correspondence.

8:55 PM Bill motioned to adjourn, Mark seconded.  Motion passed.

Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.

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