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Town of Lenox, MA

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Selectmen's Minutes 01/13/2016

Minutes of Meeting – January 13, 2016; meeting called to order at 7:00pm.  Present:  Ed Lane; Channing Gibson; Dave Roche; Ken Fowler.  Absent:  Warren Archey.

MOTION by CG, seconded by DR to accept the Minutes of December 30 as amended.  4/0 vote.

Citizen’s Open Forum: Sonya Bykofsky reminded everyone of the various election deadline dates.  Olga Weiss listed the various activities over the next two years associated with the Town’s 250th anniversary celebration.  Judy Seaman asked the Board to consider including a Menorah as part of the Town decorations.

Consent Agenda:  MOTION by CG, seconded by KF to approve the Consent Agenda as follows:  Approve a Gift Acceptance Policy as presented; grant a one-day W&M license to Frances Sorrentino for Sunday, 1/17 from noon-4:30pm at St. Ann Parish Center; one-day W&M license to Ventfort Hall for Saturday, 2/6 from 4-6pm.  4/0 vote.

Town Manager Report:  The TM presented the Board with his preliminary FY17 budget.  His forecast calls for a 2.38% tax levy increase.  He explained that health insurance costs are the biggest question at this point.  He also stated that natural gas and electric costs are better than anticipated with locked in pricing.  As an overview, he stated that this budget is very conservative on revenue assumptions, contains an aggressive capital plan, plans for employee training and professional development and takes into consideration the shared services program.  EL stated that he is glad that no jobs or programs will be cut with this budget.

The TM then updated the Board on the CIC’s recommended course of action regarding repairs to the Quint (ladder/pumper).  They are recommending taking $350,000 out of the fire apparatus article approved at the 2015 ATM.  The remaining balance of $300,000 would require a supplemental appropriation in order to replace the pumper (Engine #3).  He is recommending that a Special Town Meeting be held on Friday, February 5 to present this to the voters.  Deputy Fire Chief Chris O’Brien explained what had transpired with the condition of the truck.  Once a contract is signed to repair the truck, it will be out of service approximately three months.  MOTION by CG, seconded by DR to call a Special Town Meeting for February 5 at 5:30 in the Town Hall auditorium, and to approve the warrant as presented, subject to Town Counsel review.  4/0 vote.

Eric Federer from the Environmental Committee came before the Board to discuss a proposed Board of Health regulation amendment which would ban single use plastic bags and polystyrene foam products.  Also in attendance were Jim Wilusz from Tri-Town Health and Diane Romeo from the Board of Health.  Mr. Federer talked about the need for waste reduction and that 21 out of 351 cities in towns in MA have a ban on one or both of these products.  They have reviewed other towns’ by-laws/regulations and will be using the best pertinent parts to create a regulation for Lenox.  Jim Wilusz then explained that Tri-Town Health is looking into regulating plastic bags and Styrofoam as a Board of Health regulation over the next few months, which is a different process than a local town by-law change.  He is excited about the outreach and education to the community, and is looking forward to seeing the draft document and receiving feedback from the community.  EL stated that the key to this being successful is the implementation.  CG questioned enforcement.  Mr. Wilusz stated that if this regulation is done correctly, there should be no enforcement required.

Tennessee Pipeline:  CG stated that our petition to be an intervenor in the action Berkshire Gas has brought before DPU has been approved.  We will have full intervenor status to get information, etc.

Rest of River:  No public update.  GE and EPA are continuing the mediation process.

Solar Project:  No public update.
BOS Reports: DR stated that burning season will begin on January 15, and that anyone interested in obtaining a permit may do so on line or by contacting the Fire Department.  The season runs from January 15-May 1, 10am-4pm daily.  KF mentioned that the census and dog license renewals are due; the Planning Board is going in a new direction and he is excited about their work; he then read off the January employee anniversaries.  EL stated that two DPW employees retired, and that we have hired new employees to take their place.

By roll call, CG, EL, DR and KF voted to go into Executive Session at 8:48pm to discuss strategy with respect to potential litigation, as well as for collective bargaining with police, fire and public works.

Minutes Taken By: ______________________        Minutes Accepted By: ______________________
                   Mary Ellen Deming                                              Clerk
                   Director of Administrative Services                    Board of Selectmen

Lenox Town Hall  6 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 01240   PH: (413) 637-5500