Members present: Mark Karlberg, Jeanne Pryor
George Fuller - absent
Others Present: Craig Kleman, Bill & Maddy Elovirta, Rita Furlong, Pat Portieri, Colleen O’Connor, Paula Cianfarani, Karen Karlberg, Robert Ronzio, Walt Ferris, Pam Ferris, Chris Metzger, Robert Gorden, Purr McEwen, James Atwell, Ronald Casella, Meredyth Babcock, Elke Metzger, Bertha Vreeland, Charles Vreeland, Justin Elovirta, Ray Tarjick, Cindy Delpapa, John Kovich, Markelle Smith, John Amato, Michael Parisi, John Perusse, Mark Hanford, Jeff Wilkinson, David Weiler, Ron Bleau, Linda Bacon, Dave Bacon, Ann Spadafora, Lucy Perusse, and others
7:03 PM Meeting opened.
Mark asked if anyone from the audience was recording this meeting. No one is audio taping the meeting.
Selectmen’s Comments and Announcements: None.
Town Administrator’s Report: Craig advised that most of his report is regarding items on the agenda so he will wait until then to speak about them. He advised that Pat Mullins from BRPC is working on the CDBG and is in the process of completing the section of the grant that deals with the sidewalk improvements in North Becket Village.
Jeanne motioned to accept version #2 of the minutes of the meeting on November 2, 2011, Mark seconded. Motion passed. Jeanne motioned to accept the minutes of the November 16, 2011 meeting, Mark seconded. Motion passed. Mark motioned to accept the minutes of the local licensing authority meeting on November 16, 2011, Jeanne seconded. Motion passed.
Markelle Smith of the Nature Conservancy addressed the Board regarding property on Maple Street. She advised that the Nature Conservancy is very interested in this property. The first thing the N.C. would like to do is have an appraisal done of this property and pursue funding options to protect this land. Jeanne asked what the cost of the appraisal would be and if the town would be required to pay for this. Markelle advised that if the town was interested in conserving this land then the N.C. would come up with the funding for this appraisal. Rita Furlong asked if this property was land locked and if so how would the public access this property. Markelle advised that the property is landlocked and the N.C. would negotiate a right-of-way easement over the property. She also
advised that she has not contacted the owner of the property that abuts this piece. Colleen feels there should be a site for a municipal water system in North Becket. Bob Ronzio asked if the town has researched the deed for this property to see if it is indeed landlocked. Briefly discussed possibly using this property for a municipal water system along with conserving it as open space. Meredyth advised that there are some grants available to help with the cost of purchasing property. John Amato asked why the town could not just keep the property and protect and conserve it. Briefly discussed why the N.C. is interested in property like this. Mark Hanford advised that he heard someone else was interested in this property. Markelle advised that one abutter is interested in a section of this property. Mark Hanford also asked if the N.C. purchases the property would hunting be allowed on the property. Markelle advised that in
most instances hunting would be allowed unless there was a close abutter. Briefly discussed the salmon program at Becket Washington School. Mark motioned to permit the Nature Conservancy to go ahead with appraisal of property located on Maple Street and get back to the Select Board, Jeanne seconded. Motion passed. Jeanne wants Craig to work with the Board of Assessors and research the deed for this property to see if there is a right-of-way to the property.
Public Input: Bob Ronzio advised that Rudd Pond is a great pond and there should be a right-of-way for the public to access this pond but as far as he knows there is no right-of-way. He wanted to know how the town beach property came to have a problem with the parking area not belonging to the town. He also asked if version #1 of the minutes could be viewed. Mark advised that he could come in to town hall and view them.
Ray Tarjick addressed the Board about the bid for the 2012 Triple Combination Fire Pumper. He advised that the town received only two bids for the pumper. KME Fire Apparatus came in at $308,116 and Minuteman Trucks came in at $322,671. Even though KME”s bid was lower, there were many deficiencies in the specs for this truck. The fire department is asking the Select Board to vote to accept the bid from Minuteman Truck for the fire pumper. He also advised that because of an error in the election, they had to have another election for the fire truck and the prices came in over what was voted on. If the town pays for the cab and chassis at time of delivery it will save $2,881 which will bring the total price lower than what was voted on at the town meeting. If the town does not
pay for the cab and chassis at the time of delivery then the Firefighters’ Association will pay the difference. Jeanne motioned to award the bid to Minuteman Trucks for the 2012 Triple Combination Fire Pumper, Mark seconded. Motion passed.
The Select Board opened discussion of an enforceable speed limit for Fred Snow and Johnson Roads. Dave Bacon advised that he has seen accidents and experienced near misses on Fred Snow Road because people drive too fast and he feels something should be done right now. He advised that most of the people speeding are contractors or people who do not reside on Fred Snow Road. John Perusse advised that he was walking on Johnson Road and had an altercation with a truck driver who was traveling too fast. He yelled at the driver and when the driver slammed on his brakes, he skidded about 25 feet before he came to a stop. John is afraid that he or a member of his family will be seriously injured or killed by these trucks. Linda Bacon advised that the list of accidents that took place on Fred
Snow Road was not accurate because some of the accidents were not included on the list. Bill Elovirta advised that he went back 5 years so that is why the accidents that she is talking about were not on the report. Charles and Bertha Vreeland stated that early in the morning and in the evening people who are going to or from the quarry are travelling on the road and it is very dangerous because they are traveling too fast. Elke Metzger feels the town should do whatever it takes to make the 25 mph speed limit enforceable. Ann Spadafora definitely feels that 40 mph is too fast for the road but she feels 25 mph is too slow. She feels that 30 mph would be more suitable. She also feels that more signage around the critical areas would be a help. Rob Gorden asked if it was possible to have multiple speed limits on the road. Bill Elovirta advised that the police department does not have a data base that would say how many speeding tickets
were issued on a particular road so he cannot say how many citations were issued on Fred Snow or Johnson Road unless a person was cited for speeding when they were involved in an accident. Jeanne advised that she has done a lot of research because she received many complaints about speeding on these roads and found the only way that the town could make the speed limit enforceable would be to do a home rule petition. She does not even know if this would pass and it would be a long process but she feels this is the only way to go. Nina Weiler asked if in the meantime more advisory signs could be placed on the road to help slow people down. Karen Karlberg advised that White Wolf, Decker and Ketchen trucks are ones that she sees speeding along Route 20 and would like the Select Board to send letters to these companies asking them to slow down for the safety and well being of the residents of Becket. Craig will draft a letter to these companies. John
Amato asked if we are meeting tonight about the speed limit problem then why were there 25 mph signs put up already. Jeanne advised that from the last meeting about this, residents asked that more signs be put up and they have been but these signs are not enforceable signs. It was advised that the no thru truck signs were put up to deter trucks from using the roads but it is not enforceable. Jeff Wilkinson asked if it would make more sense to have more than one town ask the legislature to give them control of their own speed limits because it may get passed if multiple towns are asking for the change. Mark asked the audience if they wanted the Select Board to go ahead with the home rule petition. It was overwhelmingly agreed that this is what the residents want. Bill Elovirta thought that instead of asking for a certain speed limit on a certain road, it would be better to do a home rule petition that would give the Select Board the power to set
its own speed limits.
Purr McEwen addressed the Board regarding the Becket Athenaeum minor renovations. She explained some of the renovations that would be done at the Athenaeum. She is asking the Select Board to waive the building permit fees for these renovations since the library is a community institution. Jeanne motioned to have the building permit fees waived for the Becket Athenaeum for minor renovations, Mark seconded. Motion passed. Ms. McEwen thanked the Select Board.
The Select Board reviewed the liquor license renewal applications. Linda Bacon asked how many liquor licenses were available in Becket. Nina will look into this and get back to the Select Board. Bill Elovirta asked why Berkshire Berries has an all alcoholic restaurant license because he does not think they have a restaurant open to the public. Mark asked if they sold beer and wine there because they also have a wine and malt package store license. Bob Ronzio advised that he had a friend who purchased beer or wine there a couple of years ago. Jeanne asked Craig to look into this. Linda Bacon feels that if there are only a small number of restaurant licenses available and Berkshire Berries is not using their license then this should be looked into. She thought that if you hold
a liquor license then you need to be open a certain amount of time for the public. Mark feels that Berkshire Berries should come before the Select Board and tell them why they feel they need this license. Jeanne motioned to sign the liquor license renewal applications for the following except the annual all alcoholic restaurant license for Berkshire Berries: Berkshire Berries for an annual wine and malt package store; Mountain Grove Association for an annual all alcoholic club license; Dream Away Lodge for an annual all alcoholic restaurant license; Lake View General Store for an annual all alcoholic package store license; Becket Country Store for an annual wine and malt package store license; Uncle Larry’s Tavern for an annual all alcoholic restaurant license; and Becket General Store for an annual all alcoholic package store license, Mark seconded. Motion passed.
Jeanne motioned to estimate the temporary increased resident population for the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission at 9,000, Mark seconded. Motion passed.
Mark read the Guidelines for Select Board Meetings. Colleen O’Connor asked why they are doing this now because it is all part of the revised Open Meeting Laws. Jeanne advised that this is just a policy to follow so that people know how to go about putting something on the agenda and so that everyone is on the same page. Rita Furlong asked if these would be posted on the website. These guidelines will be posted on the website. Mark motioned to adopt the Guidelines for Select Board Meetings, Jeanne seconded. Rita Furlong asked if the guidelines could be amended to add the availability of correspondence to it. Jeanne will add this to the guidelines. Motion passed. Mark motioned to amend the guidelines to add the information about the correspondence being available
to the public, Jeanne seconded. Motion passed.
Craig advised that he has revised the Police Chief job description and feels they are ready to start looking to appoint a police chief search committee. Mark would like to put this in the Country Journal and on the website. Craig feels that five members would be enough to appoint and if we receive more interested people, they can come in to speak with the Select Board about why they want to be on this committee.
Craig advised that there was $5,000 available for computer replacements and he gave the Select Board a proposal for 4 new desktop PC’s and some other items that are needed. He has asked the IT person to come up with the proposal and if the Select Board are fine with this then the computers will be ordered and installed by the IT person. He also advised that the server that is currently being used is old and having some issues and will need to be replaced at the annual town meeting next year. Mark asked Craig to have the IT person look at the rest of the computers in town hall and come up with a list of computer needs for the annual town meeting. Jeanne motioned to approve the computer hardware proposal that Craig made in the amount of $3,376, Mark seconded. Motion passed.
Craig advised that the town is a “Green Community” and to keep this designation the town has to invest in fuel efficient vehicles. He explained that the town needs to have a fuel efficiency policy in place. If the town does not adopt this policy then it may not qualify for the second round of funding from the Green Communities Grant. Mark motioned to adopt a fuel efficiency vehicle policy for Green Communities, Jeanne seconded. Motion passed.
Craig briefly described the revised application for the Green Communities Grant. This was the grant that was originally for the salt shed. It will deal with the town hall and highway garage. He explained what percentage of this grant would go towards BRPC for grant administration, what would go towards engineering, central air for the town hall and what would go towards improving fuel efficiency at the highway garage. Briefly discussed what work would be completed at town hall and highway garage. Mark wants Craig to draft revisions and then the Select Board can vote when there is a full Board.
The Select Board will put off voting to adopt the Remote Participation at meetings covered by the Open Meeting Law until their next meeting because Mark did not have enough time to review this material.
The Select Board reviewed letter from residents at 524 Silver Leaf Drive regarding false alarm fees assessed to them. Jeanne asked Craig if their alarm system was registered with the Police Department. He was not sure if it was but could check and get back to the Select Board. The Select Board will put this on hold until the next meeting.
Jeanne motioned to appoint Ann Spadafora to the 250th Anniversary Committee, Mark seconded. Motion passed.
The Select Board reviewed the monthly reports of the Ambulance Department, Police Department and Citations Issued. Jeanne asked if the Select Board could get expenditure reports for each department. Craig advised that he could get these for the Select Board.
Any other business: Craig advised that the LA5 form needs to be signed in order for the tax rate to be set. Jeanne motioned to approve the LA5 form, Mark seconded. Motion passed.
Craig advised that since the CDBG is underway, the town needs to authorize signatories for payment vouchers. Mark motioned to authorize Christine Bleau and Craig Kleman as the signatures of the individuals authorized to request payment for the MA CDBG funds, Jeanne seconded. Motion passed.
Nina advised that some of the plans that are submitted with Special Permit Applications are too large to copy so she will bring in the files when there are SPA to review.
The Select Board reviewed the Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off Report. Mark motioned to send the Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off Report to the Collection Agency, Jeanne seconded. Motion passed.
Jeanne asked Craig if she could come in to town hall and look at the deed to the Becket Town Beach. He said he has a copy of the deed in his office.
9:20 PM Mark motioned to adjourn, Jeanne seconded. Motion passed.
Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary Mark L. Karlberg, Chairman
Documents discussed at meeting:
- Accident history for Fred Snow & Johnson Road
- 2012 Triple Combination Fire Pumper Contract
- Guidelines for Select Board Meetings
- Computer Hardware Proposal
- Fuel Efficiency Vehicle Policy