BOARD OF SELECTMEN
JANUARY 21, 2014
Present: James Wettlaufer, Michael Kennedy, Lynn Arnold
Wettlaufer called the meeting to order at 6:59 PM
MOTION 01212014-1: To accept the January 7, 2013 minutes as amended. Motion made by Wettlaufer, seconded by Kennedy.
VOTE: ALL in favor
Wettlaufer explained they were going to release Executive Session minutes from December 23, 2013 for the Police Chief Contract negotiations, but the Chief was not able to make it to the meeting. He highlighted the general points of the three year contract, including his salary was to go to $63,000 for the upcoming year and pay increases would coincide with all other town employees in subsequent years. One of the other changes made to his contract is he is required to move within fifteen miles of the town by December 2014.
Zoning Enforcement Officer
A memo submitted by Jack Keough stated he visited the OBAR property at 487 Mashapaug Road to follow up with various complaints about the condition of the property. No violations were found during the site visit.
McCooe asked how many times and when. Amy Bishop Executive Secretary stated two times during the day.
The Highway Department followed up on the complaints about the downed limbs and tress on the south side of the reservoir. There were no branches or limbs that were considered a danger to residents.
Chris McCooe of Lakeridge Drive started by expressing thanks to Highway Surveyor Brian Johnson for assisting an elderly resident who had a mattress dumped in front of her property.
She was at the meeting because she had some questions and concerns regarding the last Select Board meeting.
Wettlaufer asked McCooe if she was the sender of an email that was sent to various residents, primarily on the Hamilton Reservoir Association stating they need to hold the Board of Selectmen accountable for discussions including fuel storage business, removing motor boats from the lake, and no more milfoil treatment. McCooe stated she did send the email. He made it clear to McCoe that the Board of Selectmen does not make the decisions on anything to do with property development, zoning changes, construction, etc. The other boards and departments, including Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Building Inspector, Board of Health and Conservation Commission would have a say more in these projects than the Select Board.
McCooe asked several questions including why Kennedy changed his mind after he showed support of the residents. Why was he going to write a letter to Mr. Grossi? Wettlaufer stated there was no letter that could be written. No motion was made to write a letter. Wettlaufer added since he could not be part of a vote in regards to the property, assuming Arnold was against the writing letter of support and Kennedy changed his mind to support, it becomes a standoff, no decision.
McCooe also added trucks are running up there all the time, what are they doing up there?
Wettlaufer stated everything they do up there is legal. That it is a grandfathered site and they fall under rules of the grandfathered site. If a project for that property does come before the Boards, they will have a say what can and can’t happen. The boards will have a lot more control on what happens at the site. The site will have to come up to all current zoning bylaws.
McCooe asked what Kennedy meant about the grey water/tight tanks around the lake. Kennedy stated they should be inspected. McCooe asked aren’t we already doing that? Kennedy stated that is something the Board of Health is responsible for monitoring. Ken Ference stated the Board of Health does monitor those things.
McCooe asked Kennedy to clarify his statement about eliminating pesticides. Did he mean fertilizers and phosphates used 400 feet of the lake? Did he mean stop treating for the milfoil? Kennedy stated he meant the use of pesticides and fertilizers around the lake.
McCooe asked about his statement about making the lake a wind lake. Kennedy stated the motors of boats cut the milfoil and promotes the growth.
McCooe stated the grants conducted stated the lake is filling in due to the sediment. Brian Johnson Highway Surveyor stated that is not what the Conway report stated; it was in fact the motor boats. McCoe stated was not familiar with the Conway report. There were other studies done such as the 319 Grant which cites sedimentation the bigger issue. She wanted to know Kennedys thought process of why he stated eliminating the boats was a good idea.
Kennedy stated he listened to the concerns about the lake and how it is filling in. He can put something forward and it is up to the town. It would have to go to a town vote. He cannot make the decision himself but has the right to promote it.
McCooe stated she feels that they are doing a good job treating the milfoil. She asked Johnson about the schedule of the highway department clean up including street sweeping, which he answered was once a year, catch basin cleaning: twice a year, retention ponds: three to four times a year. She also asked if Select Board meetings are recorded anymore and Wettlaufer stated it was not required by law and it is a savings to the town not to record the meetings.
Danielle Philabert from 1 Brandon Road asked about the vehicle on the OBAR property without license plates. She also stated they have plowed the property and pushed garbage over the embankment. She understands the property has been there long before she moved to her property, but asked if there was a possibility a sound barrier could be created. Wettlaufer stated she should talk with Mr. Grossi to see if something could be arranged.
Arnold asked if any date had been set for the representative to come in for Code Red. Bishop stated he would not be able to make it to the area until May.
Virtual Town Hall
Arnold asked if Bishop had contacted Virtual Town Hall for training. Bishop stated that she had spoken to Linda Blodgett, Treasurer about setting something up but Blodgett had stated they were out of Florida and there is not much left in the computer expense account. Bishop stated there are some employees of the town hall that have flash drives with the Virtual Town Hall training on it and would look into it.
Arnold asked status of OBEB. Wettlaufer said there is a quorum without any members at large. He needed to schedule a meeting
Arnold asked if Bishop had received any bylaws. She has a copy of Monson’s bylaws to review when we begin to update our bylaws. Ben Coyle from Bacon Wilson will also be forwarding other communities, including Southwick bylaws to Bishop.
Arnold asked the status of the generator to be installed at the Community Center. Johnson stated it has already been installed and they are waiting for Osterman to hook up the propane on January 23.
Public Records Request
Wettlaufer explained Town Counsel has suggested a town policy is made for public records requests. The requests will have to be in writing, the town official will have ten days to respond to the request. Requests can be sent via email. Wettlaufer will prepare a policy and prior to putting the policy in place, Town Counsel will review.
Warrants in the amounts of $75,155.35 – Payroll and $183,081.06 – Vendor were signed and delivered to the Treasurer
MOTION 01212014-2: Roll Call Wettlaufer: YES, Kennedy: YES, Arnold: YES to move into executive session under M. G.L. c.30A, Sec 2(3) To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares.
Wettlaufer stated the meeting would not be re-opened following the Executive Session.
Motion 01212014-3: To adjourn the meeting at 7:58 PM by Wettlaufer, seconded by Kennedy
VOTE: All in favor