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Select Board Minutes 8/1/12
Members present:        Mark Karlberg, Jeanne Pryor, William Elovirta

Others Present: Craig Kleman, Colleen O’Connor, Eva Birkette, Bill Cavanaugh, Pat Portieri, Angela Hilton, Linda Johnston, Karen Karlberg, Robert Grace, Julia W. Kay Grace, Madeleine Swindlehurst, Joan Monroe, Kris McDonough, Beth VanNess, Colleen Cox, Rita Furlong, Gale LaBelle, Patricia Mullins-Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Will Rodgers, Mercedes Gallagher

7:00 Meeting opened.

Mark asked if anyone was recording the meeting.  Angela Hilton is recording.

Select Board’s comments and announcements. Jeanne announced that the highway department has been working on Johnson Road and it looks really nice.

Town Administrator’s report: Craig advised that he is almost finished with the electricity rate analysis and he should have something by the next meeting.

He also advised that Chief McDonough spoke with him about being short staffed.  He will be advertising for a certified fulltime police officer to fill the midnight to eight a.m. shift.  

Craig advised that the new server has been installed and he has some computer equipment that he will try to get rid of.  He will see if any towns want some of this equipment or else he will have the electronics recycled.

Markelle Smith of the Nature Conservancy will attend the next meeting of the Select Board.  She would like to talk to the Select Board about the property in North Becket.

Craig spoke with Joan Moylan about the room just off the community room to see if the Historical Commission could use this space and she was agreeable with this although she needs a room one day a month to do blood pressure screening.  They can talk about this at their next meeting.

Jeanne motioned to accept the minutes of the June 27, 2012 meeting, Bill seconded.  All in favor.  Jeanne motioned to hold off on the executive session minutes of July 12, 2012 until a later date, Bill seconded.  All in favor.  Bill motioned to accept the minutes of the July 12, 2012 meeting, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

Public Input:  Colleen O’Connor advised that she had an excavator at her property and was looking for the pipe but never found it.  She advised that when she spoke with Craig he told her that a scope found that the pipe was cut and filled with dirt.  She now knows where the pipe is located and it is on the bank next to the river.  Now that she knows where the pipe is she is going to remove it because she has been dealing with this issue for 65 months and is tired of it.  She has not taken a shower at her house for 65 months and it costs her $180 per month for water and showers.  The town did not buy her property so it cannot use it any longer.  Mark asked her when she tested her water last.  She advised that she does not test her water because she is not using it.

Madeleine Swindlehurst asked the Select Board why we still have the old cruiser.  She advised that at the last annual town meeting the town voted to purchase a new cruiser and she wanted to know why the old cruiser was not retired or sold.  She wanted to know what the status of this cruiser is.  Bill advised that now that the town has three shifts it makes more sense to keep the old cruiser employed.  She explained that the way the article was worded makes it look like it was sneaky and she feels this should not be done like this anymore.

Angela Hilton stated that according to MGL a police officer must retire after reaching the age of 65.  She asked if we currently have an officer over the age of 65.  Police Chief McDonough advised that he would be addressing this with officer Elovirta.  Bill advised that he and Maddy were never in group four and any lawyer would tell you that the law does not apply to officers that were not in this group.  He advised that there are many officers around Berkshire County that are over the age of 65.

Bill Cavanaugh asked if he should prepare to send his grandchild to another school if there was a possibility that Becket Washington School would be closed due to the septic system issue.  He advised that if a student goes to another school besides Becket Washington, the school loses money from the state for this student and it has to pay for this student to go somewhere else so it is like a double hit.  He does not know what will happen to the school if many students start going to different schools.  He feels this issue should be resolved soon.  He advised that the town wanted to run a test to see if Colleen O’Connor’s water issue came from the pipe that traversed her property but she would not allow this so the town could never prove that her water issue was from this pipe.  Now that she has tampered with this pipe she probably has caused the pipe to leak.  Bill C. wants to know if the school will be open in the fall and he feels this should be publicized in the paper.  Craig advised that the school committee is meeting next Thursday and he would try to find out what would be happening.

Steve Robinson was not in attendance to discuss the event at Sunny Banks Ranch so the Select Board put this on hold until Mr. Robinson gets back to them.

Pat Mullins from Berkshire Regional Planning Board explained the bid process for the North Becket Village Infrastructure.  The town received two bids and she has looked them over and the low bidder, Gomes Construction came in at $308,234.00.  This company has worked on other CDBG projects and is found to be reputable.  BRPC is recommending that the town accept the bid from Gomes Construction.  Jeanne motioned to approve bid in the amount of $308,234.00 from Gomes Construction, Bill seconded.  All in favor.  Craig advised that there will be an informational meeting prior to work commencing.  There will also be a pre-construction meeting so people can attend and find out what will be done.  Unfortunately, the construction will be taking place while school is open.

The Select Board discussed the Special Permit application from Conboy Realty Trust for a filling station with 4 gas pumps and 2 diesel pumps, entrance off Otis Road.  Jeanne advised that she gave the information that she sent to the planning board to all of the Select Board members.  As of today the applicant has not turned in any information or plans.  Gale LaBelle advised that the Planning Board has not even looked at the permit and the permit should not have been distributed to all of the boards and committees yet.  Linda Johnston wanted to go on record as opposing this gas station.  Colleen Cox is also opposed to this station and feels that it is inappropriate to have this station at this location.  Colleen O’Connor does not understand why everyone is so opposed to this gas station.  She stated the applicant will make this station whatever the residents want.  Karen Karlberg stated that Colleen O’Connor purchased her home and the Becket General Store was already there but the people who live by the site the gas station is proposed to go purchased their property when this site was green.  Joan Monroe advised that she was on the ambulance department and has been to many accidents over by Andrews Corners and she feels there will be more if this station is allowed to open.  Colleen Cox asked why she had gotten a notice to abutters if the application was not complete.  She wanted to know what she was supposed to look at if the plans were not available.  Jeanne advised that the guidelines for filing a special permit should be revised so that it is clearly understood by all parties what the timelines are.  Jeanne would like the Planning Board to advise the Select Board of the date in which the deadline is for boards and committees to respond to the special permit.

The Select Board reviewed the Chapter 90 Project Requests for chip seal on various roads and the remaining lease payments for excavator.  The Select Board would like the highway superintendent to give them a heads up when he has these project requests so they have more time to review them.  Bill motioned to sign the Chapter 90 Project Requests for the following: dense grade on Johnson Road in the amount of $51,000, chip seal on Wade Inn Road in the amount of $33,000, chip seal on Gould Road in the amount of $3,500, chip seal on Quarry Road in the amount of $27,000, chip seal on Stanley Road in the amount of $5,500, and remaining lease payment for the excavator in the amount of $45,055.59, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

The Select Board discussed changing yield signs on Yokum Pond Road and on YMCA Road.  Bill had some concerns about changing yield signs to stops signs.  He advised that there are certain criteria that need to be followed when setting up signs.  If there have been a number of accidents where the yield signs are then that would be a reason to change the signs but there have not been any accidents in these two areas.  Jeanne asked if Len had spoken to the police department about this and Bill advised that the police chief said he had not.  The Select Board will put this on hold until Len speaks with the Police Chief.

The Select Board briefly discussed the Harbor Master position.  Two people have sent letters of interest for this position.  The Select Board would like to put this on hold until the two parties can come to the meeting.  Both parties will be invited to attend the next Select Board meeting.

The Select Board reviewed letters of interest for the Town Meeting Bylaw Review Committee.  Jeanne motioned to appoint Rob Gorden to the Town Meeting Bylaw Review Committee, Bill seconded.  All in favor.   Briefly discussed some of the things that will go into the bylaws.

The Select Board briefly discussed the election workers and how the town clerk goes about getting election workers from all parties.  Jeanne advised that the town clerk is supposed to try to find an equal amount of democrats and republicans but it is hard to get many republicans who want to be election workers.  The Select Board will put this on hold until the town clerk gives them the correct term.

The Select Board reviewed the Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off Report.  Nina explained that she spoke with the billing company and asked them about the reasons and what they meant.  Bill motioned to write-off numbers 1, 3, and 5, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.  Mark motioned to send number 2 to the collection agency, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.  Nina will send the correct address for number 4.
Reviewed the letter from the Becket Federated Church regarding the 2013 Community Birthday Calendar.  Bill motioned to list the Select Board meetings for the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m. on the 2013 Community Birthday Calendar, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

The Select Board reviewed the monthly reports of the Police Department and Citations Issued.

Any other business: Nina advised that Len Tisdale gave her a contract that needs to be signed for FEMA money for Hurricane Irene.  Bill motioned to sign the FEMA contract, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

The Select Board will meet on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. to go over the Wage and Benefit Agreements for all fulltime employees.

Craig advised the Board that the Dalton Ambulance Department would like the Becket Ambulance Department to be their primary backup.  Bill is against this because Dalton is so far away and our ambulance department is already a primary backup for Chester, Lee and Otis.  The ambulance director is against this because if we are going all the way to Dalton then our town would be left uncovered.  Bill motioned to not be a backup for the Dalton Ambulance Department, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

William Rodgers was concerned that many people are leaving the Dream Away Lodge intoxicated and he would like the Select Board to remove the Dream Away Lodge’s liquor license.  He also wanted to know if it was possible to limit the amount of cars leaving the Dream Away Lodge after 2:00 a.m.  Mark advised that the staff still has to clean up after they close down.

Angela Hilton asked why she received a letter regarding her Open Meeting Law Complaint signed by Craig Kleman instead of John Amato.  Craig advised that John Amato has not been around so he signed it.

Reviewed correspondence.

Jeanne asked if the notice about the approval of the Large Wind Energy Systems Bylaw was put on the website.  Nina advised that she did not receive anything to post.  She will ask the town clerk for this information to post.

8:45 PM Jeanne motioned to adjourn, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.

Respectfully submitted,                                                         _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary                                                          Mark L. Karlberg, Chairman

Documents discussed at meeting:

  • Chapter 90 Project Request Reports