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Select Board Minutes 11/7/12
Members present:        Jeanne Pryor, William Elovirta
                        Mark Karlberg-absent

Others Present: Craig Kleman, Richard Pryor, Kristopher McDonough, Matthew Virginia, David Zagorski, Patricia Mullins-Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

7:00 Meeting opened.

Jeanne asked if anyone was recording the meeting.  No one is recording.

Select Board’s comments and announcements. Bill and Jeanne thanked the Police Department, Highway Department and Emergency Management for their work during Hurricane Sandy.  This event was handled very smoothly and there were no major issues.

Town Administrator’s report: Craig advised that the roofing project at the highway department should start next Tuesday.  He also advised that the Green Communities staff would like to get a photo of municipal officials with one of the Green Communities signs.  He will try to set this up and will notify everyone by email.  Craig advised that the demo copier will be at town hall later this week for the staff to get familiar with it.  He also advised that the company that will be working on the town hall gutters will start, weather permitting, later this week.

Bill motion to approve the minutes of October 3, 2012 and October 10, 2012, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.

Public Input:  None.

Police Chief, Kris McDonough, explained the process of hiring a new full time police officer.  He advised that he recommended that the town administrator appoint Matthew Virginia as the new full time police officer.  Jeanne asked Mr. Virginia what attracted him to Becket.  He advised that he worked at the Palmer Brook Fishing Club for two years and this job is only 20 minutes from his home.  Bill asked if he minded working the midnight shift.  He advised that he has worked the midnight shift in New York City for ten years so he is used to it.  Bill motioned to approve the Town Administrator’s appointment of Matthew Virginia as a full time probationary police officer term to expire May 7, 2013, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.

Nina advised that Gary Shepard, of the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority, would like to reschedule meeting with the Select Board because of the severe weather tonight.  Nina will contact him and reschedule when it is convenient for him.

Patricia Mullins of Berkshire Regional Planning Commission addressed the board regarding an extension to the CDBG – North Becket Infrastructure project.  The grant is in effect until December 30, 2012 but because there is money left in both the infrastructure project and the housing rehab portion, if the grant is extended then the town could find something to spend the remaining money on.  She feels that if the CDBG could be extended until June 30, 2013 that would give enough time for the housing projects to be closed out.  Bill asked if any of the extra money can be used to offset Chapter 90.  Pat was not sure; she will need to check on this.  Jeanne asked if some of the remaining money from the infrastructure project could be put into the senior housing portion of the grant.  Pat said it could go toward housing rehab but not the senior housing portion because the senior housing is in the planning stage only.  Briefly discussed what could be done with the remaining money.  Bill motioned that the CDBG for the North Becket Infrastructure project be extended until June 30, 2013 and that Chairman Mark Karlberg or Vice Chair Jeanne Pryor will have power to sign it, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.  Bill motioned to amend the agreement of August 9, 2012 between Gomes Construction Company known as the contractor and the Town of Becket, MA, by its Select Board for all work required in connection with the above referenced project as follows: 1. Work including: Complete High Street paving to Chapter 90 standards; 2 additional bollards; additional materials for concrete sidewalks, aprons and landing pads, additional HC ramp, additional police details, asphalt curbing, sweeping, tack coating and surfacing Main Street., 2. Contract Price shall have a net increase of $77,058.50, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.  Jeanne signed the Amendment #1 to Agreement for the Project Titled North Becket Infrastructure Improvements for Mark Karlberg.

7:34 PM Tax Classification Hearing opened.  David Zagorski, Head Assessor, explained that each year the Select Board must vote whether to have a single tax rate or have multiple tax rates for the different classes of property.  Last year the Select Board adopted a single tax rate for all classes of property.  Bill motioned to adopt a residential factor of one, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.  Bill motioned not to adopt an open space discount, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.  Bill motioned not to adopt a residential exemption, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.  Bill motioned not to adopt a small commercial exemption, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.

Craig explained that every year an annual report needs to be done on the Green Communities grant and he did it last year but this year they are requiring that this report be done electronically.  Neither he nor Bill Girard has the time to be trained to complete this report electronically.  He has asked Lauren Gaherty from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission if she could do this report.  She quoted him a price of $4,000.  If Lauren completes the report under budget, she will continue to do the data entry on a quarterly basis.  Bill motioned to have BRPC complete the Green Communities Annual Report not exceed $4,000, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.

Select Board reviewed the Town Accountant help wanted ad and the Town Accountant job description.  Briefly discussed the weekly hours that would be required and what the salary would be.  The job will require between 8 and 10 hours per week.  Bill motioned to approve the Town Accountant help wanted ad as amended, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.  The Select Board would like this advertised in the Berkshire Eagle, the Country Journal and the Berkshire Record.  This will also be placed on the town’s website.  Bill motioned to approve the Town Accountant job description as presented, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.

The Select Board discussed the Scholarship Committee payment issue.  Jeanne explained how the scholarship committee raised money and how it was distributed in the past.  There is an issue with how the check for the scholarship committee is made out.  In the past, the town made out the check to the scholarship committee and the scholarship committee would disburse the funds but the Town Accountant advised that the checks should be made out to each recipient of the scholarship fund.  Jeanne advised that the town should have voted to accept Chapter 194 of the Acts of 1986 but she has not received from the town clerk the minutes of March 24, 1987.  She feels if the town voted to accept this then a committee should have been formally established.  Bill motioned to table this, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.  Bill will check with his brother to see if he remembers how the committee handled the distribution of the scholarship funds in the past and Jeanne said that the Treasurer is following up with the Scholarship Committee to find out the names of the students that will be receiving a scholarship so checks could be written to them.

The Select Board reviewed the budget process and draft calendar.  Jeanne advised that she got the budget calendar from the DOR and she tried to make it more applicable to our dates since we are already in November.  It is up to the Select Board to make sure all departments follow this calendar.  Craig advised that he brought this to the Finance Committee and they already have something drawn up for what they need and when they need it.  He also advised that the only thing that was not on the calendar was the Finance Committee wants all capital expenditures by December 31, 2012.  The Finance Committee also wants some idea of employee raises that are projected before year’s end.  The Select Board would like an email sent to all department heads so they are aware of what needs to be submitted.  Bill motioned to adopt the budget calendar with the addition of December 31st capital expenditures and send to all department heads, boards and committees, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.

Jeanne motioned to change the Select Board meeting from November 21, 2012 to November 28, 2012, Bill seconded.  Motion passed.

The Select Board reviewed the Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off Report.  Nina advised that the police department could not find a better address for the one incident.  Bill motioned to send all four items on the Write-Off report to the Collection Agency, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.  

Nina advised that only three employees will be working the day after Thanksgiving and typically the Select Board votes to close the town hall on that day.  Bill motioned to close the Town Hall on Friday, November 23, 2012, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.

Bill motioned to set a parking ban from November 15, 2012 through April 15, 2013 from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.  No parking on town roads or streets.  Vehicles will be ticketed and, if interfering with snow removal, will be towed at the owner’s expense, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.

The Select Board reviewed the monthly reports of the Building Inspector, Animal Control Officer, Ambulance Department, Police Department and Citations Issued.  Bill would like the building inspector to label the monthly totals and year to date totals so it is easier to read.  Nina will check with the building inspector about this.  The Select Board would also like the ambulance director to make the monthly run report easier to read by making the font larger and to just include the number of runs made instead of listing separate run categories.  The Select Board would also like him to submit monthly totals only without the year to date totals.  Nina will speak with the ambulance director about these changes.

Any other business: Briefly discussed appointing a wiring inspector and advertising the plumbing/gas inspector position.  The Select Board would like the building inspector to check to see what other towns are charging for electrical, gas and plumbing inspections so they can decide whether or not to increase the fees.

Bill would like the town to hold a sealed bid sale for the two fire trucks and any other equipment that the town does not use anymore.  He would like someone to check with Len Tisdale to see if he has any equipment that could be added to this sale.  Bill will get the information on the fire trucks so the town can advertise them.

Briefly discussed the police association voting to purchase a television and subscribing to Direct TV for the police department.  Bill is worried that the overnight shift may end up staying in town hall watching television all night and he does not want this to happen.  Jeanne feels that there should be a policy about the use of the television.  During emergencies like hurricanes it is helpful for the police to track the storm and to see what was happening but it should not be abused.

Jeanne feels that there is a problem with time sheets.  She feels that everyone should be signing their own time sheets because if there is a problem with them and the employee complains about it and they did not sign their sheet there could be an issue.  Briefly discussed the police and highway department’s timesheets.  Currently the police and highway departments send a cover sheet with the whole department’s hours but we do not have separate signed timesheets.  Bill will check to see what other towns are doing with their timesheets.

Craig advised that he received three quotes for the three desktop computers and the company that had the lowest quote was Computers R Us in the amount of $5091.00.  Bill asked if this would take care of the issues that we are currently having.  Craig advised that the computers have more megabytes and are brand new so they should work fine.  Jeanne asked if this included the software as well as the hardware.  Craig advised that it does and it also covers the migration of information from the old computers to the new ones.  Jeanne asked if there were maintenance agreements on the computers.  Craig advised that he thought there was a one year maintenance agreement for each computer.  Bill motioned to allow Craig to purchase the computers from Computers R Us in the amount of $5091, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.

Craig advised that the bids for the town hall central air came in at approximately $48,000 but the town only has $34,000 available from the Green Communities Grant so he suggested that the Select Board vote to reject all bids for this project due to insufficient funds.  Briefly discussed possibly bringing this to a town meeting to get more funding to complete this project.  Bill motioned to reject all bids for Town Hall Air Conditioning and Electrical Upgrades due to insufficient funds, Jeanne seconded.  Motion passed.

Briefly discussed an email that Craig sent to the Select Board about an issue that needed to be brought to an executive session.  Bill and Jeanne feel they should check with the Select Board chair before they act on this.  The Select Board would also need to notify the party involved because they need 48 hours notice.

Reviewed correspondence.

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

Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.

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

Documents discussed at meeting:

  • Contract Amendment for CDBG – North Becket Village Infrastructure project.
  • Draft Budget Calendar
  • Town Accountant Job Description and Help Wanted Advertisement