Town of New Salem Selectboard

Meeting Minutes

 September 14, 2021

Held Virtually via Zoom

Convened: 7:00 pm

Present: Randy Gordon, Wayne Hachey, Hugh Mackay, Selectboard; Kathy Neal, Town Coordinator; Joe Cuneo, Fire Chief; Claire McGinnis, Finance Committee; Gabe Voelhker, Finance Committee; Chuck Hartwell, Finance Committee; Tamara Conde,  Eli MacCullagh, Library Trustee, Joe Campden, Police Chief

Selectboard Reviewed & Signed the Following:

  • One Day Liquor Licenses for Meetinghouse Events

Discussion Items

Tamara requested two articles for the Special Town Meeting for the Veteran’s Memorial Committee for the transfer of funds from a Police Account to the Veteran’s Memorial Committee account and $500.00 from the Tree Committee to the Veteran’s Memorial Committee Account.   There was discussion on ascertaining where the funds were and the exact accounts were.  The Selectboard would have to establish an account and accept the donations.  There was further discussion on the makeup of the committee as only Tamara and Wayne Hachey had been appointed.  Other names were mentioned but appointments would need to be made.

Joint Meeting with Finance Committee

  • Fire Chief Vehicle Request

Randy recapped the discussion from last meeting on the different ways to fund the Fire Chief’s request for a new vehicle.  Gabe (FinCom) stated that the Finance Committee had voted to give the 2015 police cruiser to the Fire Chief and buy a new police cruiser for patrol purposes.  She stated that the hybrid cruisers on the state bid list had an 18 month wait.  There was discussion on how much it would cost to convert the police cruiser for the Fire Chief’s use, including painting, new logo, red lights, and install radios and to remove police equipment from the cruiser.  Quotes varied from $2,500.00 to $10,000.00.  Wayne made a motion to approve the FinCom recommendation and approve a special town meeting article in the amount of $60,000.00 from the Vehicle Stabilization Account.  Hugh seconded, vote was unanimous.

  • Special Town Meeting Articles/Date

There was discussion about the date for the Special Town Meeting, between mid-October and mid-November.  Kathy will check Oct. 19 with Stacy (town clerk) and Cam (moderator).

Other possible articles were the Veteran’s Memorial article.

  • Library

There was discussion regarding the retirement of the Library Director and the need for Linda to train the Acting Director.  Eli, from the Library Trustees, states the Trustees thought $1,250.50 would cover the training.  There was also some discussion regarding possibly expanding the hours of the new director or to revamp the hours of library employees.

Claire made a motion for a reserve fund transfer to the library salary account in the amount of $1,250.50, second by Gabe and the motion carried unanimously.

  •  Website update

There was discussion on the funding source for a new website, ARPA funds or a Community Compact IT grant.  There was discussion on other community compact grants to be used for the Police committee (Efficiency and Regionalization grant).  Kathy will check on whether we can apply for two Community Compact grants in the same year.  It was decided to apply for the Community Compact IT grant for development of the new website in the amount of $12,000.00.  Hugh made the motion, Wayne seconded and motion passed unanimously.

There was further discussion on funding for police committee and the possibility of applying to the Collins Group at UMass for assistance.  Claire, is seeking information on the police calls from the dispatch center.

  • National Grid request

National Grid had asked if the Town wanted to change the lighting in the three street lights on S. Main St. from high pressure sodium to LED.  There would be some cost savings to the town and there would be a one-time incentive paid as well.  The Selectboard agreed to give National Grid permission to change the lighting.

  • BAN bids

Gabe said she was going out to bid for the school loan for a four year period which the Selectboard would have to sign.  The timing is very tight and likely will need to be signed on September 27, with the Town Clerk to certify.

  • Crop Walk, October 3

Bo Henderson requested permission for the Crop Walk to be held on S. Main St. on October 3 to raise funds for food banks in Franklin County.  The Central Congregational Church is hosting the walk this year. They plan to walk from the Church down S. Main St., past the orchard, back to the Lookout and back to the church.  Parking will be on both sides of the street from the Town Hall to the library from 2-4 pm. The Church will notify neighbors along the route and put up signs for parking.    The Board approved the request.

  • All Board Meeting Sept. 27

There was discussion on whether to have the All Board meeting in person or remote.  After discussion regarding the condition of the Town Hall and ventilation, it was decided to have the meeting by zoom.

Website

There was additional discussion regarding what exactly Tiny Town does for the Town in terms of posting on the website and how an updated website would be handled as there would be much more posting onto the website.  Kathy will check.

Old Academy Building

Randy brought up the issue of the Historical Commission refusing to hold meetings or to give him any information.  There was concern about the open meeting law in that regard.  There was also concern about the Old Academy Building that due to the acceptance of state and federal funds must be open for a certain period each year.  The amount allocated in the 2020 ATM of $16,478.00 for repairs has not been spent except for $800.00 leaving a balance of $15,678.00.  Selectboard wanted to know what the $800.00 was spent on.  There were concerns expressed about the condition of the building and who has control over the building as it is the Town that has the lease with Old Salem Academy.

A motion to adjourn at 8:50 pm was made by Wayne. The motion was seconded by Hugh and passed without objection.

Respectfully Submitted

Kathy Neal