Members present: William Cavanaugh, George Fuller, Mark Karlberg
Others Present: Craig Kleman, Maddy Elovirta, Robert Ronzio, Colleen O’Connor, Jeanne Pryor, Adrienne Metcalf, Carl Rosenstein, Jeanne Morano, Julia Maynard, Ken Smith, Dan Andrews, Keith Sharp, Victor Breen, John Amato, Josh Schwartzbach, Madeleine Swindlehurst, Bud Moylan
7:10 PM Meeting opened.
George asked if anyone from the audience was recording this meeting. Bob Ronzio is audio taping the meeting.
Selectmen’s Comments and Announcements: None.
Town Administrator’s Report: Craig advised that we received a signed copy of the Administrative Consent Order for the Becket Arts Center. Bill Enser will be the certified operator for this water system.
Craig advised that the open house for the Fire Station #2/Ambulance Garage will be on Saturday, August 27, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. He also advised that the fire department, ambulance department staff, the architect and contractor and a regional rep from the state will be in attendance for this open house.
Craig received a call from a woman from the State advising that the 60 days were up in terms of whether the town could use the grant based on the new bylaws for large wind turbines that were passed at the town meeting. He never received anything from the Planning Board after he sent the board a memo on whether they were contemplating revisions to the new bylaws which were too restrictive. If the town does not change the bylaws the State would ask that the grant be returned.
Craig advised that work on the tennis courts would start on Monday, August 22, 2011. He has dealt with citizens concerns and everything should be in place so that there are no problems.
Craig advised that he has joined the Massachusetts Municipal Personnel Association. This would give the town access to a web-based salary survey which can be used to compare positions with other towns of comparable size. He also advised that the Finance Committee concurred with this decision to join.
Bill motioned to accept the Board of Selectmen minutes of August 3, 2011 as presented, Mark seconded. All in favor.
Public Input: Colleen O’Connor asked about the water results for fire station #1. Craig advised that the test results came in today and it shows that the water is high in iron and has some magnesium. George asked if the holding tank was changed when the new well was done. Bill advised that it was not part of the bid.
The Selectmen discussed vocational transportation options. Craig advised that there are more students going to Smith and Westfield Vocational Schools this year so the town will need a larger vehicle to transport them. Keith Sharp will not be able to transport the students this year because he does not hold the proper license to transport children in a larger vehicle. He spoke with the company that we leased the van last year and got a price for the larger van. It will cost more money than the van we leased last year. Craig advised that if the Selectmen agree to the lease and sign it tonight then the van could be delivered on August 29, 2011. George asked if the van came with lights. Craig was not sure but he would check on that when he spoke with the van company. Craig
advised that Keith Sharp found someone who could drive the new van and he met with him yesterday. Victor Breen explained how he would transport the students to Pittsfield Schools and McCann Technical School. He would need to drop the student who will be going to McCann off at Stop & Shop in Pittsfield and she would need to take the BRTA bus to McCann because he would not have enough time to get the students to Pittsfield High and Taconic High School and get her to McCann in time. The town would reimburse the student for using the BRTA bus which would amount to $300 a year. Victor also feels the parents should drop off the students at the Becket Country Store so he could pick them up at one time and bring them to Pittsfield. George does not feel the town should be passing the cost to the parents if they need to bring the children to the store every morning. George asked if the students would be covered by insurance if they traveled on the BRTA
bus. Victor was not positive but he thought they would be covered. Craig will check on this. Craig advised that school starts on August 29, 2011 so if they cannot make a decision tonight then they would need to schedule a special meeting to come up with a solution or they could opt to have Dufour pick the McCann student up at $115 per day. George would like a meeting set up with the parents to see how they feel about dropping their students at the store and the transportation plan. Mark feels that they should just start with Dufour until they could come up with something and then stop using Dufour if we were able to do this. Bill feels that the safety of the students should come first. Colleen O’Connor asked if a parent could be paid to take their child to school because it would solve the issue if the McCann student’s parents could drive them up to school. George advised that that could be discussed at the meeting with
the parents. Bob Ronzio does not feel that the option of dropping the student off for the BRTA bus was good because there could be instances where the BRTA bus would not be there to pick the student up and there are no provisions for when something like this occurs. Victor would like the Selectmen to notify him as soon as they make a decision. Briefly discussed renting a smaller van and transporting our own students to Pittsfield and North Adams. Bill motioned to lease the larger van at $1,680 per month for ten months, total to be $16,800 for the year, George seconded. All in favor. Bill motioned to hire Ian Graham to drive the 14 seater bus to transport students to Westfield and Smith Voc Schools, Mark seconded. All in favor. Bill motioned to meet on August 23, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss options for the Pittsfield and McCann students, Mark seconded. All in favor.
The Selectmen reviewed the EMS Service Zone Plan application. Jim Kupernik worked on this in 2008 with the State but they never finished it. Because of the tornado in Springfield, this plan needs to be completed. This plan needs to be signed by the Selectmen from Washington and Becket. Craig advised that Jim got the Selectmen in Washington to sign this plan. The plan covers what hospitals and doctors and mutual aid towns that would work together to cover a large emergency. Craig did not find anything wrong with this plan. Bill motioned to approve EMS Service Zone Plan application as presented, George seconded. All in favor.
Carl Rosenstein met with Senator Downing and the Department of Conservation and Recreation regarding the land management plan around Buckley Dunton Lake. He is just asking that the land management stay the same as it is and not change the recreational uses that are currently in place. Bill was confused because Mr. Rosenstein is asking that nothing change regarding the recreational uses but he does not want any timber harvested. There is no classification that allows the recreational activities that is currently being done in and around Buckley Dunton and that does not allow timber harvesting. This would mean that the State would need to come up with a fourth classification. George gave the other Selectmen an outline of what was included in the book from DCR to review and he has asked Mr.
Rosenstein to come back in two weeks and let them know what came out of his meeting with the State reps. Mr. Rosenstein gave the Selectmen a copy of the letter from Senator Downing. Bill advised that if they designate Buckley Dunton as a reserve, it would discourage the recreational activities that already occur there. Mr. Rosenstein advised that this is the town’s chance to state that it does not want any of the recreational activities to change but that it does not want the State to do whatever they want regarding the timber harvesting. He does not feel that any of the recreational activities that are currently being done creates an environmental issue. He will come back to the Selectmen’s Meeting on September 7, 2011.
Ken Smith of the Becket Land Trust addressed the Board regarding issue at the Becket Quarry. He advised that the BLT has decided to implement four rules at the quarry. The first rule would be that there would be no parking between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. He advised that they have replaced the signs that were currently posted that said there would be no parking between dusk and dawn. The new signs state that the Becket Police would be enforcing this and the PD number is on the sign. The second rule is that there is no diving or cliff jumping allowed. There are signs in the parking area and also up at the water stating this rule. The third rule is there is no littering allowed and the fourth rule is there is no alcohol allowed in the park. He also advised that the BLT has
hired a security detail for the next four weeks that will be there on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. This person will primarily be in the parking area but will go up to the water area occasionally. He stated that there has been considerably less trash up there and they are still having someone go up and remove the trash. The BLT will do a reassessment at the end of the season to see how effective this new security detail has been and to discuss how they will go about coming up with funds to do this next year. BLT will look for grants and do some fund raising but it does not know if it will come up with enough money to cover the cost for next year. Bill asked if swimming should be prohibited. The BLT feels that if swimming has been taking place all along then they would allow it to continue but if the Selectmen wish to prohibit it then they would abide by that rule. Bill recommends that the BLT start doing
the fundraising now so that by budget time they could come before the town and ask for the remaining funds that is needed. Bill thanked Ken for his efforts. George advised that the signs came in for Gould Road and Quarry Road that states that Gould Road is a dead end and that there is no parking allowed along Quarry Road. Adrienne Metcalf stated that the security detail should start by the end of May and early June and go through the rest of the summer. George asked if the BLT could come to a meeting in a couple of months and let them know how things are going.
Craig advised that he spoke with Matt Kerwood who is managing the heating fuel lock-in for the managers from Berkshire County. They locked into a price of $3.29 per gallon for heating fuel. He is hoping that this price holds up and he advised that the town has committed to 7,500 gallons.
Craig advised that the town will be receiving the CDBG grant in the amount of $900,000. This grant would cover housing rehab, sidewalk construction in North Becket, road drainage improvements and senior affordable housing planning study. The funds are available until June 30, 2013. Bill motioned to sign the contract between the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Town of Becket for the FY2011 CDBG, Mark seconded. All in favor.
Briefly discussed walking the boundaries of the town. Bill advised that the Selectmen have not done this in many years. Bill motioned to skip walking the boundaries this year, Mark seconded. All in favor.
The Selectmen reviewed the request for a pole hearing for the purpose of installing one solely owned pole to provide electrical service to home at 97 Stoney Brook Road. George asked why the town got this if the proposed pole would be installed in a private development. Craig will check to see if the town needs to schedule a pole hearing for this or not. This will be on hold until he finds out.
The Selectmen reviewed the Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off Report. Bill motioned to send both requests on the Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off Report to the collection agency, George seconded. All in favor.
The Selectmen reviewed the Chapter 90 Project Requests for Wade Inn Road and County Road Environmental Reports. George advised that Wade Inn Road would not be blacktopped; it would be chip sealed. Briefly discussed the cost of paving versus chip sealing the road. Julia Maynard advised that the culvert above her driveway at 1525 Wade Inn Road is clogged so it washes out her driveway. George asked her to call Len Tisdale tomorrow morning and he could tell her what could be done about this issue. Bill motioned to sign the Chapter 90 Project Request for Wade Inn Road Environmental Report in the amount of $70,000 and the Chapter 90 Project Request for County Road Environmental Report in the amount of $177,000, Mark seconded. All in favor.
Any other business: Bill asked about the wind turbine bylaw. The feasibility grant that the State gave the town will need to be returned if the bylaws were not revised because the State found them to be too restrictive. He wanted to know where we were at regarding this. He asked if the Planning Board ever decided whether or not to review the bylaws. Bill was disappointed that it was a last minute change at the town meeting because about ¾ of the people had left by then. He feels that it is not in the town’s best interest to leave the bylaws the way they are. He wanted to know what the process would be to get these bylaws changed. Craig advised that he spoke with Gale LaBelle about getting a formal letter from the planning board about what it was going to do but he has
not gotten anything from them. Madeleine Swindlehurst advised that there is something that can be done to have the bylaws revisited. There is a section of State law that states that a petition signed by 10 residents could be turned into the Board of Selectmen requesting that this section of the bylaws be amended and the Selectmen could decide if they want to have the Planning Board look into amending the bylaws. If this is done, the Planning Board would be required to look into amending these bylaws and would need to hold public hearings for this. The Selectmen are asking the Planning Board to come before them to advise the Board of what they were planning to do. Jeanne Pryor asked if the bylaws were sent to the Attorney General. Craig advised that they were sent about two weeks ago.
Briefly discussed the rewiring of the electric at the shed at North Becket Cemetery and repairing the wall at this cemetery.
9:20 PM Mark motioned to adjourn, Bill seconded. All in favor.
Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary George Fuller, Chairman