Members present: Mark Karlberg, William Cavanaugh, George Fuller
Others Present: Craig Kleman, George Roberts, Bill Elovirta, Robert Ronzio, Victor Breen, Keith Sharp, Al Lussier, Chuck Andrews, Heather Anello, Colleen O’Connor, Beth VanNess
7:03 PM Meeting opened.
George asked if anyone from the audience was recording this meeting. Beth VanNess is audio taping the meeting.
Selectmen’s comments and announcements: None
Mark motioned to accept the minutes of June 1, 2011 as presented, Bill seconded. All in favor.
Public Input: Bob Ronzio asked if Nina had subscribed him to the town website. Nina advised that for some reason some email addresses were taken off the website email list. She advised Bob to re-subscribe to the website to start receiving notices and agendas again.
Briefly discussed reorganizing the Board. Generally the Board reorganizes after the Annual Town Election but because the election ended in a tie the question of whether to reorganize now or after the special election came up. Mark motioned to hold off on reorganizing the board until after the August 6, 2011 Special Election, George seconded. Bill opposed. Motion passed.
Discussed Vocational Transportation Bus Contract. George asked if it would be better to have Keith Sharp transport the seven kids to Smith Voc and drop the two Westfield Voc students off in Chester because the town is charged for each student being transported by LeCrenski’s Bus Company. Craig will check with Ed McDonald from Chester to see if the town is being charged per student. Victor Breen feels it would be better if Keith picks up all of the students going to Westfield and Smith Voc and transport them without having to use LeCrenski’s Bus service. Briefly discussed the time frame and how difficult it would be to get all of the students dropped off at the proper time that school starts. George feels the parents will complain if the children are picked up too early in the
morning. Craig advised that the town administrator at the Town of Chester said that because most of the towns have committed to the contract that it locks Becket into it. He will call Ed McDonald in Chester again to see if this is true. Bill feels that they should explore all of the options to see what makes the most sense and what savings the town would have. He was concerned that if the van breaks down would the town have a backup to ensure that the students would be dropped off at school. George Roberts asked if the town signed an agreement. Craig advised that the town initially signed an intermunicipal agreement and now there is an amendment that needs to be signed. George Roberts feels the town should be careful if they opt out of this agreement that they do not violate any terms of this agreement. Victor Breen feels the town should look into purchasing its own van because in the long run the town would save money. He gave
the Selectmen a catalogue that has municipal vehicles that can be purchased. The Selectmen will hold off on making a decision on the vocational school transportation bus contract until Craig gets some answers.
George asked if Craig heard anything from town counsel regarding the pay increase for the fulltime ambulance department workers. He advised that he sent emails to Joel Bard but has not heard anything from him. This will be put on hold until Craig hears from Town Counsel.
The Selectmen reviewed the Wage and Benefit Agreements for fulltime employees. A question came up about the Building Inspectors hours. Nina advised that the building inspector’s wage agreement states that his hours are forty hours for the entire year but he cuts back to thirty-two hours during the winter. She was not sure if this should be changed. Briefly discussed this issue. The Selectmen decided to keep it as it is because the building inspector could not go over his budget. Mark motioned to sign the Wage and Benefit Agreements for the following fulltime employees: Building Inspector William Girard, Christine Bleau Treasurer, David Zagorski, Elizabeth Will and Geraldine Walter Assessors, Marc Portieri and Kristopher McDonough Fulltime Police Officers, highway department
workers, Kathleen Hayn Tax Collector, Mark White highway worker/mechanic and Nina Weiler Secretary, Bill seconded. All in favor.
The Selectmen reviewed the list of appointments. Bill motioned to appoint the following: Stephen LaBelle as alternate to the BRPC; David Zagorski as Assessor; Claire Daigle, Lorraine Dean and Herbert Nelson to the Council on Aging; Barbara Ginsberg and Zina Jayne to the Cultural Council; John Deacon as Harbor Master; Robert Gorden and Harry Roff to the Historical Commission; William Robinson to the Jacobs Ladder Trail Advisory Committee; Madelaine Elovirta and Rita Furlong to the Parks Commission; Michelle Smith to the Registrar of Voters; Kathleen Hayn as Tax Collector; William Girard as Trench Inspector; Mercedes Gallagher and William Babcock to the Westfield River Wild and Scenic Advisory Committee; Josh Lombard and Robert Gorden to the Zoning Board of Appeals; Mark Burgwardt as Alternate to Zoning Board of
Appeals; and Zina Jayne as Alternate to the Wired West Group, Mark seconded. All in favor. George motioned to appoint William Cavanaugh to the Community Preservation Committee, Mark seconded. Bill abstained. Motion passed. Bob Ronzio asked if Zina Jayne asked to be appointed to the Mass Broadband Institute. Nina will check with her to see if she wants to be appointed.
Mark motioned to schedule a public hearing on petition of Becket General Store, Inc. d/b/a Becket General Store for the transfer of an annual all alcoholic package goods store license from Phat Al’s, Inc d/b/a Becket General Store at 30 Washington Street on July 6, 2011 at 7:15 p.m., Bill seconded. All in favor.
Briefly discussed the sale of Berkshire Regional Transit Authority subsidized paratransit service tickets. This service allows residents of Becket to purchase tickets so that they could be transported by BRTA to any destination in Berkshire County. The Town has been in this program for a number of years but have never sold any tickets. Bill motioned to sign the Agreement between the Town of Becket and Berkshire Regional Transit Authority for the sale of BRTA-subsidized paratransit service tickets, George seconded. All in favor. Nina advised that the BRTA needs to know who will represent the Town of Becket on the BRTA Advisory Board. Generally it has been the Chairman of the Board that acts on this board but last year Mark was on it. Bill motioned to keep Mark Karlberg as
representative to the BRTA Advisory Board, George seconded. Mark abstained from voting. Motion passed.
George motioned to sign contract with Merrimack Education Service for internet services, Bill seconded. All in favor. Craig advised that this company also provides email archiving services and their contact information lists Bill Cavanaugh and Richard Furlong but this should be changed. George motioned to change the contact information from Richard Furlong to Craig Kleman for the email archiving services, Mark seconded. All in favor.
Craig explained the GASB 45 – Other Post Employment Benefits Agreements. He advised that he spoke with the town accountant and she feels that the town should have an agreement and this could be paid out of the health insurance account. George motioned to accept the GASB 45 – Other Post Employment Agreement, Bill seconded. All in favor.
Chuck Andrews asked that the Intermunicipal Agreement creating the Berkshire Public Health Alliance be put on hold until after the June 23, 2011 meeting at the office of the BRPC takes place. The Board of Health has many questions they would like answered before they enter into an agreement and they will be attending this meeting. George asked that they get back to the Selectmen when they want to discuss this.
Craig explained the transfer of funds that need to be done to get through the rest of the fiscal year. Mark motioned to approve the following transfers contingent upon the approval of the Finance Committee: $250 from the Town Administrator Salaries to Town Administrator Expenses, $1,000 from Health/Life Insurance to Planning Board Expenses, $1,000 from Health/Life Insurance to Street Lighting, $3,100 from Health/Life Insurance to Legal Expenses, $1,900 from Health/Life Insurance to Police Dept. Salaries, and $450 from Town Administrator Salaries to Police Dept. Expenses, Bill seconded. All in favor.
The Selectmen reviewed the monthly reports of the Animal Control Officer, Police Department and Citations Issued.
The Selectmen reviewed the application for a variance to the Zoning Board of Appeals to add an attached deck within 20’ setback at 190 Greenwater Drive and the application for a variance to allow for the building of an addition within the 20’ sideline setback at 253 Long Bow Lane West. George asked if the Sherwood Greens Road District ever got back to us regarding the lots they wished to purchase from the town. They were supposed to give the town an offer. Craig will check with Jeanne Pryor about this.
Any other business: Nina advised that Kathleen Hayn is requesting to roll over five vacation days to next fiscal year. She was unable to take all of her vacation time this year but she should be able to use it next year because she should have a fulltime assistant. Bill motioned to allow Kathleen Hayn to roll over five vacation days to the next fiscal year, Mark seconded. All in favor. George feels that a memo should go out to all fulltime employees asking them to be careful about using their vacation time. Bill Elovirta advised that this has been going on for years with the highway and police departments. Employees have had up to five vacation days that they could roll over.
The Selectmen reviewed a memo from the Town Clerk regarding the recreation room downstairs. George Roberts advised that he needs to keep his election equipment locked up but he does not have room in his office to store it all. He explained that the recreation equipment that is stored downstairs could be moved to the garage and the pavilion area. The Selectmen have no problem with him keeping his election equipment stored in the room downstairs but George wants him to make sure all the departments know where their equipment was moved to.
Bill Elovirta asked if the code enforcer could go out and do some enforcing. He advised that there are so many junk vehicles that people have on their properties that need to be taken care. A property owner is allowed to have one unregistered vehicle on their property unless the vehicles are in an enclosed building. Bill Elovirta advised that there are many properties that have vehicles close to the road and they should not be allowed to keep them there. George asked Bill to note where the violations were and get them to the code enforcer.
George asked Bill Elovirta if the police department has been on Fred Snow Road stopping speeders. Bill advised that they have stopped a number of cars driving too fast on that road. George advised that when the highway department was grading Fred Snow Road people would still drive too fast even though there were signs up saying they were working on the road.
Colleen O’Connor asked if the Selectmen had any comments about the issue of the Mullen House being a public water supply. The Selectmen did not have any comments. George asked Craig if he had heard anything about this. He advised that he has not heard anything yet but will advise the Board when he does.
Colleen O’Connor also advised that on November 17, 2005 Richard and Rita Furlong put up a sign at the school’s athletic park that says the name of the park is the North Becket Town Park. It does not have the hours that the park is open and it is on her property. She feels that the school is having a problem mowing it because it states that it is a town park. George would like Craig to check to see what needed to be done to change the name of the park. Craig advised that he reviewed the lease for the school and it does not mention anything about the field being mowed by the school. Lenny had told the school that the highway department would mow the field this summer but if the Selectmen do not want this he would need to speak with the school about this. Bob Ronzio feels that
if the school is using it as an athletic field then it should be maintaining it. George and Mark feel that if the school is using the field then it should be maintained by the school. Bill feels the town should get clarification of what this field is before they make a decision. George would also like to know about the parking area by fire station #1. He would like to know if this is a parking lot or a basketball park. The Selectmen would like the Parks Department to come before the Board to address this issue.
Briefly discussed the electricity at the North Becket Cemetery.
8:50 PM Mark motioned to adjourn, Bill seconded. All in favor.
Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary George Fuller, Chairman