NEW SALEM SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES
Monday, June 10, 2013 Selectboard Office, Stowell Building, New Salem, MA 01355
Convened: 7:00 P.M.
Present: Selectboard: Randy Gordon (Chair), Wayne Hachey & Cathy Jones Town Coordinator: Nancy Aldrich Selectboard Clerk: Sharon Field Fire Department: Joe Cuneo (Chief) Old Home Day: Jane Clukay (Chair) Resident(s): Ken Bright Athol Daily News Reporter: Jared Robinson The Selectboard Reviewed and signed the Following:
Vendor & Payroll Warrants Special Election Warrant Police Department Appointment/Joseph Powling
Fire Department Update – Chief Cuneo informed the Selectboard that the Orange Finance Committee made a motion at their meeting Tuesday to look into hiring a private ambulance service for the Town. Chief Cuneo’s concern is that the Town of New Salem, as well as the other towns that share the ambulance service from Orange, would have a drastic increase in the fee they pay to Orange if that were to happen. He requested that the Selectboard send a letter to the Orange Selectboard asking that they be kept in the loop and informed as to any changes in the status of the ambulance service. The Selectboard agreed and Nancy will draft a letter for the Selectboard to sign at the next meeting. Chief Cuneo also brought up that the Strong Chief Law allows for a Fire Chief to be appointed for up to 3 years. He would like the Selectboard to consider appointing him for 3 years instead of 1 year as has been done in the past. The Selectboard agreed to the change. The Chief said that there are some repairs scheduled to be done to the pumps on a couple of the trucks tomorrow, and that the annual tests have been completed. A new battery has been put in the chief’s car and some off-loading of water from one of the trucks was done for training. Old Home Day Update – Jane Clukay discussed the plans for Old Home Day parking and the Schedule of Events. The parking plan will be the same as last year. The Theme for this year is “It Takes More Than Ten Villages to Make a Town”, and it will take place on Saturday, July 20th. Jane handed out tentative schedules of the planned events.
Town Website / Adding Minutes, Event Postings – Nancy spoke to Kathy Soule-Regine of the Website Committee regarding posting Selectboard minutes. Kathy said that if Nancy would forward the minutes to Kathy she would volunteer to post them. Kathy said that an ongoing problem she is having is not getting any feed-back from any departments or committees. Nancy will send a notice to them all asking them to keep the website updated. Cathy asked if an all-boards meeting could be scheduled for some time in the fall, perhaps October. The others thought that was a good suggestion. Nancy will schedule one.
Town Hall Rental Application / Request for Fee Waiver – The Selectboard has received an application to use the Town Hall on June 30th, from 1:30 till 4:00 pm, primarily for the use of the bathrooms, or in case it should rain, from Bo and Janet Henderson for a Hootenanny that is taking place at their home. It is being sponsored by the Congregational Church to raise money for the Heifer Project, and will be open to the public. If there are more than 25 people in attendance David Henderson will monitor parking. The Selectboard approved the use of the Town Hall and waived the fee, on condition that: only the downstairs be used, no alcohol be allowed in the building and the building must be cleaned after the event. Nancy will notify the Hendersons of the Selectboard’s decision.
Participation Credits from MIIA – Nancy told the Selectboard that MIIA has doubled the participation credits for this year, which will result in an additional savings of a little over $400 on the Town’s insurance for next year.
Overdrawn Budget Questions – Nancy reported that she had received an e-mail saying that three Departments and the Library had exceeded at least one account in their budget. Nancy explained that the budget sheets can be confusing, since the sheets the Selectboard sees are Internal Budget Sheets, which are used for planning purposes only. The Accountant only worries about their overall budget. Cathy said that when she goes to a Fin. Com. meeting they are looking at the Internal Budget Sheets and looking for the Selectboard to keep a tighter rein on the spending in each account. Nancy said that one year inadvertently, in either New Salem or Wendell, the budget lines were all individually put in at the Town Meeting, and the Accountant said that couldn’t be done, there would be transfers all over the place for example, if a department went over its electricity funds they would have to transfer funds from another budget line in the department. Nancy said she doesn’t think that if the departments aren’t overspending their final budget there should be any problems.
Grease Trap in Town Hall Sink – Wayne had asked Will Hall to look at the grease trap leak. Nancy said he did and cleaned the grease trap out and took seven gallons of gunk out of it. Will said he thinks replacing the trap may be avoided at this time. Whittier Plumbing had put a new gasket in, and Will resealed it with silicone. If it clogs up again it won’t leak unless someone is actually using the sink, so there is no danger of a flood while the building is vacant.
Board / Committee Appointments for FY14 – Nancy passed out the list of appointments that will need to be signed at the next meeting, for the Selectboard to review. Nancy will check with the Moderator about his appointments. She said she will post the Library Trustees vacancy.
FRTA Appointment Letter – The Franklin Regional Transit Authority is looking for a representative for New Salem. If there isn’t a volunteer the Selectboard Chair fills the position.
Gravel / Sand from DCR Property / request to consult with Town Counsel – Tom Swan has requested that Town Counsel become involved with the problem he has been having with the DCR specifying where he can take sand and gravel from. In 1938, when the State made the Quabbin they annexed land to New Salem, legislation was passed that in lieu of it taking land the Town could take gravel and sand out of the Quabbin. A few years ago the DCR started saying that Tom couldn’t have any gravel or sand, so Town Counsel was sought and after some inquiries, the DCR backed off and no further action was needed at that time. The lawyer did say there were many other acts and amendments of Chapter 321, and they would need to be reviewed as well as to check the court decisions since then to confirm the current status of the rights granted under the legislation. Tom is stating that the DCR isn’t saying he can’t take sand and gravel, but they are telling him where to take it from and it isn’t from annexed lands. Wayne will talk to Tom. If it isn’t going to be a long lengthy investigation for Town Counsel the Selectboard approved contacting him.
Upcoming Meetings: MassBroadband 123 at FRCOG, June 12, 3-4:30 pm; Hazardous Mitigation Planning Meeting, June 18, Stowell Building, 6 pm; Hampshire County Selectboards Association Meeting, June 20, 2013, 5 pm, Bluebonnet Diner, Northampton, MA. Meeting Adjournment: Wayne Hachey made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Cathy Jones seconded the motion. The motion passed and the meeting adjourned at 8:17 PM.
Other Documents Used: Old Home Day Tentative Schedule – Jane Clukay, Chair Old Home Day Committee. List of Town Appointments. Next Meeting Scheduled: June 24, 2013
Respectfully Submitted, Selectboard Clerk, Sharon Field