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Select Board Minutes 1/2/13
Members present:        Mark Karlberg, Jeanne Pryor, William Elovirta

Others Present: Joseph Kellogg, Colleen O’Connor, Beth VanNess

7:00 PM Meeting opened.

Mark asked if anyone was recording the meeting.  Colleen O’Connor is videotaping the meeting for the Becket Athenaeum.

Select Board’s Comments and Announcements: The Select Board welcomed Joe Kellogg as Interim Administrator.

Bill advised that we survived the snow storms and everything looks okay.

Town Administrator’s Report: Joe advised that this was his first day and he met everyone at town hall and he met the police chief, fire chief and interim highway superintendent and everyone was very welcoming.  He looks forward to a good working relationship with everyone.  He explained that he would only be working approximately 18 hours a week and would not be doing some of the things that a full time administrator would be doing such as going to meetings or conferences unless they were really important.  He would attend monthly managers and administrator meetings for networking but would do this on his own time.  He would be concentrating on the FY14 budget, getting a new town administrator, highway superintendent and town accountant hired.  He will work on anything the board wishes him to do and shift priorities when needed.  He also advised that he would like to get a town accountant on board as soon as possible because we really need one and Nina will need to be helping out with the administration too.  He has spoken with Chris and together they chose three applicants and will start the interviewing process.  He is hoping to have a recommendation by the next Select Board meeting.  Bill advised that he would be attending the MMA Annual Meeting on January 24, 2013.

Bill motioned to approve the 6:30 PM Executive Session minutes of December 5, 2012, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.  Bill motioned to approve the minutes of December 5, 2012 regular Select Board meeting, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.  Bill motioned to approve the 9:17 PM Executive Session minutes of December 5, 2012, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.  Bill motioned to approve the minutes of December 19, 2012 Select Board meeting, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

Public Input: Colleen O’Connor advised that the Select Board minutes of November 28, 2012 were incorrect.  She advised that the Becket Washington School never received a Certificate of Compliance but the minutes stated incorrectly that the school should never have been allowed to get one.  She advised that back in 2001 the school was issued an Order of Conditions but this Order has expired.  Once an Order of Conditions expires, you cannot receive a Certificate of Compliance.  She also advised that the school’s septic tank has not been replaced and was installed back in 1963.  Bill advised that he had spoken with Craig about speaking to the school and the highway department about using less salt in the school’s parking area and on Maple Street but he does not know if Craig ever did that.  Joe will check with the highway department to make sure they use less salt down in that area.

The Select Board reviewed the Becket Ambulance Department Request for Write-Off report.  Nina advised that Jim Kupernik found out that the one run in question was for a camper at the YMCA camp.  This person did not work there.  Jeanne motioned to have the billing company send run #24210 to the home address for payment, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Any other business: Mark advised that he has been speaking with the woman from Senator Downing’s office about the beaver dam issue and she would be happy to arrange a meeting with the Department of Fish and Game and MassWildlife.  She will let us know when they could meet with the Select Board.

Briefly discussed the Building and Grounds maintenance position.  Bill advised that he spoke with the chair of the Parks Commission and she was in favor of having a person to maintain all of the parks in Becket.  He also spoke with Len Tisdale before he left and he was on board with this.  Bill explained this proposal to Joe.  Joe supports this position.  Bill spoke with some members of the Finance Committee and gave them the information about this position.  He will email Joe the job description that he has been working on.

Briefly discussed the acquisition of a multi task tractor for the highway department.  Bill advised that he spoke with Len Tisdale before he left about this piece of equipment.  He explained that the contractor that mowed the sides of the roads notified the highway superintendent to let him know that he was retiring after the summer of 2011.  Last summer the highway department rented a tractor but it was not capable of doing the mowing that is required.  Bill advised that to hire a contractor to do the mowing would be very expensive.  The contractor that was doing it only charged the town approximately $35 per hour but to hire a new contractor would cost upwards of $100 per hour.  Bill explained what this tractor was capable of doing.  He advised that he has made George Fuller and the Finance Committee aware of this.  He will try to have a price to the Finance Committee by next week.

Briefly discussed Craig Kleman’s vacation time.  He has submitted his payroll which includes his full amount of vacation time.  There was a question about whether or not he can receive all of his vacation because he has not worked a full year.  Joe will check into this and make a recommendation to the Select Board.

Jeanne asked Joe if he had a chance to review the BRD suit.  He advised that he spoke with Richard Holland of Kopelman and Paige and will see if it would be better to have someone come in to get the information they are looking for or if this could be done in house.

Jeanne asked what the status of the tax bills was.  Joe advised that he spoke with the assessor and was told the bills were out.  Nina advised that the bills went out on separate days so that is probably why some people have received personal property tax bills but have not yet received real estate bills.

Jeanne asked if the Tri Town Boards of Health will be coming to the meeting on January 16, 2013.  Nina advised that they were scheduled to come in.  Jeanne will not be at that meeting and was hoping to have them come in at a later time.  Joe will speak with Jim at Tri Town and then meet with the Board before he schedules them to come in.

Briefly discussed the payment in lieu of taxes that some of our non-profit organizations pay.  Jeanne would like the town to try to see if they could get payments from other organizations that do not pay taxes.  Bill advised that the YMCA Camp gives to the police, fire and ambulance departments every year.  Joe advised that he knows some towns that put the donations into a special account so that it does not go into the general fund.  The Select Boards can decide how to use the funds.

The Select Board reviewed a special permit application from the Planning Board for a kennel on Jacobs Ladder Road.  They did not have an issue with this application.

Jeanne would like to know if the town has done anything with the new animal control statute.  She does not know if the town clerk has looked at it at all.  She was wondering if this would affect the dog control bylaw that the town has.  Joe will take a look at it to see if the town would need to change its bylaw.

Bill advised that Jim Kupernik needs to know by the end of the week if the town will change the way the ambulance billing is done.  The State is recommending that towns change the way they do the ambulance billing.  Joe will check on this.

Nina advised the Select Board that she needs their annual report by January 31st.  Nina will assist Joe in writing the Town Administrator’s report.

Reviewed correspondence.

8:04 PM Bill motioned to adjourn, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

Reviewed payroll/expense warrants.

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

Documents discussed at meeting:

  • None