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Board of Selectmen Minutes 4/3/13
Members present:        Mark Karlberg, William Elovirta, Jeanne Pryor

Others Present: Joseph Kellogg, Colleen O’Connor, Beth VanNess, Eva Birkette, Ann Spadafora, John Sakata-Berkshire Eagle, Joan Monroe, Maria Wallington, John Les, Bruce Garlow, William Cameron-CBRSD School Superintendent, Stephen LaBelle, Melissa Falkowski-CBRSD Business Administrator

7:04 PM Meeting opened.

Mark asked if anyone was recording the meeting.  No one is recording the meeting other than the Select Board.

Dr. Cameron and Melissa Falkowski addressed the Board regarding the CBRSD FY14 Budget and related items.  Dr. Cameron first explained how the budget was processed and what the assessment was for the town.  He also explained what services were cut and added and how hard they worked to keep the budget as low as possible.  He explained the capital projects that they were looking to do for FY14.  Joe explained how the towns vote on the capital projects.  The Selectmen and Finance Committee thanked Dr. Cameron and Ms. Falkowski for coming to the meeting.

Bill motioned to approve the minutes of the March 1, 2013 working meeting, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.  Bill motioned to approve the minutes of the March 15, 2013 working meeting, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

Joe gave a report of the Town Administrator Search Committee.  He advised that there were 21 applications for this position.  The search committee conducted five interviews and has recommended two candidates for the Board of Selectmen.  He explained that they wanted to recommend three candidates but only found two strong candidates.  The two candidates have very different styles but the search committee feels they would make excellent town administrators.  Joe feels the Selectmen could conduct interviews during a working meeting or could have a meeting just for the purpose of conducting interviews.  Mark feels that they should have the interviews at a night meeting so the public could attend.  The Selectmen will conduct the interviews on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 7:00 PM.

The Board discussed the Annual Town Meeting.  Joe would like to know if the Board would like to hold the meeting at the town hall or the school.  Jeanne motioned to have the Annual Town Meeting on May 11, 2013 at the Becket Washington School, Bill seconded.  All in favor.  Joe wanted to know what the cut-off date was for petitioned articles.  Jeanne advised that the Board voted to cut-off petitioned articles on April 1, 2013.  Jeanne motioned to extend the cut-off date for petitioned articles to April 15, 2013, Bill seconded.  All in favor.  Joe advised that he received a letter from Kenneth Elstein regarding Municipal Electrical Aggregation.  Mr. Elstein spoke with the Selectmen back in June about placing an article on town meeting warrant that would allow the town to vote whether to have the Selectmen decide who would supply the town with electricity.  Joe feels the town should have an energy committee to work on this and get information for the townspeople so they can make a decision about electricity.  The Selectmen do not feel this should go on the annual town meeting because they do not have enough information about this.  Bruce Garlow asked if there would be a baby town meeting before the Annual Town Meeting.  The Town Meeting Bylaw Review Committee feels there should be one so that people could get an understanding of the articles coming before the ATM and could also meet the candidates running for office at the Annual Town Election.  The Selectmen decided to have the baby town meeting on May 1, 2013 at 7:00 PM and the Board of Selectmen could have its meeting at 6:00 that night.

Joe explained the MecNet contract.  MecNet provides internet services for the town.  Joe advised that the cable is not ready yet so he suggests staying with MecNet right now and we could opt out any time.  Bill motioned to approve the MetNet contract for FY14, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

Joe advised that the roof has been replaced on the highway garage with a metal roof.  He explained that this kind of roof tends to have the snow on it come sliding off and this could injure someone.  He advised that the company that installed the roof sent a proposal to put up snow guards to prevent this from happening.  Joe suggests that we put this on the town meeting warrant so that it will be done before next winter.  Briefly discussed whether to have this company do the installation or find a better price from another company.  The Selectmen feel that the company that installed the roof should install the snow guards so that if something happened to the roof only one company would be responsible for the repairs.  Jeanne motioned to put an article for the snow guard proposal on the Annual Town Meeting warrant, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

The Selectmen reviewed the monthly reports of the Becket Ambulance Department and Building Inspector.

Board of Selectmen’s Comments and Announcements: None.

Town Administrator’s Report: Joe advised the Board that the US Fish & Wildlife is in the process of purchasing property that would gain access to the property that they were interested in buying in North Becket.  Briefly discussed possible contaminants on this property.  If the US Fish & Wildlife finds contaminants on this property then they could opt out of purchasing it.  Joe suggests that the Board put this article on the warrant instead of having a petitioned article placed on the warrant.  Jeanne motioned to put an article for the purchase of the West Branch Parcel by the US Fish & Wildlife on Annual Town Meeting warrant, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Joe is asking for permission to participate in the Berkshire County Study of OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits).  This would save the town some money.  Joe budgeted money for this in the health insurance budget.  Bill motioned to participate in the Berkshire County Study of OPEB, Jeanne seconded.  All in favor.

Joe advised that he spoke with Bruce Augusti from MEMA and he advised him that MEMA will come out to provide NIMS training for free if thirty or more people would attend this training.  The Board would like Joe to pursue this.

Public Input: Colleen O’Connor believes that a person has the right to ask for a Point of Clarity if they did not hear something that was discussed during a meeting.  Joe advised that he does not believe that to be true.  She feels that the Board should review the open meeting law to see if she is correct.  She also asked the Board if they would make a stand on two issues about the gas station and the water issue in North Becket.  Jeanne advised that she does not support a gas station in any location unless it was in the business section of town and she supports the town doing more studies on the water issues in North Becket.  Bill advised that he was in favor of a water system in North Becket but he is undecided about the gas station because he does not have enough information about it to make a decision.  Mark opposes the gas station because he feels it would turn into a truck stop.  He is in favor of a water system.  Colleen O’Connor advised that the Becket Athenaeum is under a boil water order because it has never had a good water test.

Ann Spadafora asked if the town had another company put on the snow guards on the highway garage roof, would it jeopardize the warranty.  The Board believes it would.  She also asked why the public input was put on later on the agenda.  Joe explained that it is so that the public could hear the entire meeting and then ask questions about it.  He also advised that the Board could vote to change a previous vote at any time.

Maria Wallington advised that the Becket Athenaeum has potable water now but Colleen O’Connor advised that it is still on the boil water list from the DEP.  Joe advised that Berkshire Enviro-Labs has been liquidated.  There is a new company that will be sending out contracts for water testing.

Bill advised that Colleen O’Connor had stated that the Maple Street Bridge was an F-4 at their last meeting but it is not.  He advised that the bridge is in pretty good shape.  Ms. O’Connor was given a copy of the bridge report.

Any other business: Jeanne wrote up a town counsel policy and would like Joe to look at it and put it on another meeting to discuss.

Nina advised that at the last meeting the Board did not sign the liquor license renewal for Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival because they did not have the Certificate of Inspection from the building inspector and the fire chief.  The building inspector has signed off on the Certificate but was going to have the fire chief sign the certificate after work today.  Jeanne motioned to sign the seasonal liquor license renewal for Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival for a seasonal all alcoholic restaurant license contingent upon receiving the signed Certificate of Inspection, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Jeanne motioned to appoint Gail Kusek to the Historical Commission term to expire June 30, 2015, Bill seconded.  All in favor.

Nina advised that a photo needs to be chosen to go on the cover of the Annual Town Report.  The Board can decide after the meeting.

Jeanne advised that she and Bill went to the meeting of the Town of Washington Board of Selectmen and was told that they appropriated $1,000 for FY14 for the town beach and they also appropriated $1,000 for FY13 and need an invoice so they could pay it.  They also appropriated $8,000 for fire department coverage for FY13 and need an invoice so they could pay it.  They appropriated $10,000 for fire department coverage for FY14.  She also stated that they agreed to formalize an agreement that would include the Becket Ambulance Department covering Washington and for Washington to get paid one half of the cost for transporting Vocational Students to Pittsfield.  They asked if Joe could draft an agreement for this.  They are also asking for the Becket Board of Selectmen to support their attempt to secure funding for the repair of Washington Mountain Road.

Reviewed correspondence.

8:50 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:

  • CBRSD budget and Capital Expenditures Report
  • Letter from Kenneth Elstein regarding proposed warrant article for municipal aggregation of Electricity
  • MecNet Contract
  • Becket DPW Snow Guard Proposal
  • Becket Ambulance Department and Building Inspector monthly reports
  • Bridge Report regarding Maple Street Bridge
  • Draft Town Counsel Policy dated 4/3/13
  • Notes from 4/1/13 meeting with Town of Washington