Members present: William Cavanaugh, George Fuller
Others Present: Tony Blair, David Bonney, Colleen O’Connor, Bill Brownhill, Jillian Lamont, Geri Galliher, Madeleine Swindlehurst, Bob Will, Bob Ronzio
7:04 PM Meeting opened.
Selectmen’s Comments and Announcements: Bill reminded the Board that the Annual Town Meeting would take place on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
The Selectmen reviewed the minutes of April 7, 2010. George asked if anything was happening with the barn in the village. Tony advised that he spoke with the stepfather and was told that he would like his stepson to take the barn down but they are still waiting for the insurance to kick in. Tony advised that he went to see the barn and thought that the wind from the other day has forced the wall to lean even further down. He also advised that the town has a signed release in case they want the town to knock down the wall. He is concerned that there will be too many people involved in the building removal. He feels that one person from the town should be working with the owner to have the building demolished. The Building Inspector told Tony that they applied for a demolition
permit so the barn can come down. Bill does not feel the town should help the owners take down the barn unless the town puts a lien on the property. This would set a precedent for others to come to the town for help with building issues. George advised that the owner is waiting to get three bids. Tony feels that they should wait to see if the owner takes care of it. George motioned to accept the minutes of April 7, 2010, Bill seconded. Motion passed.
Town Administrator’s Report: Tony advised that the grant that will look at the Jacob’s Well property as a site for low income housing has been submitted on time. If the town receives the grant it would be used to survey the property and do a feasibility study.
Tony advised that a group has completed a wind survey for the town hall property and found that the wind speed map shows a speed of 5.9 meters/second but you need a speed of 6.0 to be considered for further assistance from the State. Tony discussed how close we had been in a conference call with the state and one step we could take is to put up a tower to test the wind speeds ourselves, and if our data shows higher speeds (above 6.0 m/s) then we would again be eligible for assistance.
Tony advised that the land auction would take place on May 22, 2010 at noon time at the town hall. He said there has been a lot of interest in this land auction and feels we will have a good turnout. Douglas Auctioneers is the company that will be conducting the auction. He also advised that the town has sent out a voluntary tax payment letter to all taxpayers.
Tony advised that he and Nina have spent an hour today doing online training for the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant so that we know how to complete the requirements for this grant. He also advised that the bid should be going out for fire station #2 by the end of this month and a contractor should be in place by the end of June.
Tony advised that he is still looking for someone to be Town Clerk for the Annual Town Meeting.
Public Input: Colleen O’Connor expressed concern on the disclosure practices of the Board of Health. She reviewed the minutes of the Board of Health of April 21, 2010. In these minutes it states that the Board of Health will publish in a newspaper of general circulation a notice from the Berkshire County Mosquito Project stating the anticipated schedules and locations of the proposed application of mosquito adulticides. She feels that this is too general and the minutes should specify what newspaper and more information regarding the mosquito spraying. The second issue she has is the possible regionalization of the Board of Health. She read the Board of Health report in the 2009 Annual Town Report and sees that the activities of the BOH have been decreasing over the years and feels that
regionalization would be a good option. She feels the town could save money by regionalizing the Board of Health. Bill explained that the Board of Health gets paid an hourly rate for the work that they do so if the activities decrease, the pay would decrease. Bill advised that this could go before the voters and if they want it changed then it could be changed. Colleen asked if the information about when and where the spraying will take place could be put on the website. Tony advised that if we could get the information we will post it.
Tony asked the Selectmen if they could decide which day they wanted to conduct interviews for the town clerk position. The Selectmen will conduct the interviews on Thursday, May 13, 2010 starting at 6:00 p.m. George felt that George Roberts may not be a good candidate because everything on his resume pertains to New York and not Massachusetts. Tony pointed out that he is a Mass licensed attorney and may be a good candidate because of his experiences and organizational skills, so he should be included in the final interviews. Tony will contact the Selectmen if the date changes.
The Selectmen reviewed the letter from Madeleine Swindlehurst thanking them for their assistance in getting the collapsed storm drain located on Main Street repaired by Mass Highway. Tony wrote a letter to Peter Niles of Mass Highway thanking him for getting this storm drain repaired so quickly.
The Selectmen reviewed the monthly report of the Ambulance Department.
Any other business: Tony advised that some people over at Center Pond are concerned about the Lake District legislation that has been filed. They believe that the legislation is not going anywhere since the senate re-wrote the legislation and it needs to go before the house again to be approved. The Center Pond Protection and Preservation Group are concerned that if it does not get dealt with in this legislative session then the whole process would need to be started again. If this happens the dam repairs will not be done for a long time. The Department of Conservation and Recreation set a date for which it would like to see the dam repaired and the date has already gone by. Tony wrote a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives asking them to act quickly on the senate amendment
of the bill for the Center Pond Lake District. He would like the Selectmen to sign this letter if they agree with it. George motioned to sign and send the letter to the House of Representatives, Bill seconded. Motion passed.
George asked why the Selectmen’s recommendations for Articles 1 and 2 are not shown on the Annual Town Meeting Warrant. Tony advised that that was a typo. George also pointed out that on Article#11 it shows truck #6 when it should show truck #4. George asked why the ambulance department does not show up on the line items. Tony advised that Articles 3 and 4 deal with the ambulance department. He pulled the ambulance department out of the line items and put it as an article to create an enterprise fund.
Briefly discussed the tax rate and voluntary tax payments.
Reviewed the payroll and expense warrants.
8:00 PM George motioned to adjourn, Bill seconded. Motion passed.
Respectfully submitted, _______________________________
Nina Weiler, Secretary William F. Cavanaugh, Chairman