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Town of Lenox, MA

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Selectmen's Minutes 02/10/2016

Minutes of Meeting – February 10, 2016; meeting called to order at 7:00pm.  Present:  Ed Lane; Channing Gibson; Dave Roche; Ken Fowler; Warren Archey.

MOTION by CG, seconded by DR to accept the Minutes of January 27.  5/0 vote.

Citizen’s Open Forum: Planning Board Chair Kameron Spaulding stated that the All Boards meeting held the other night was well attended, and that it is a first step in a longer process to amending our zoning by-laws.  He encouraged residents to become involved in the process.

Consent Agenda:  A Hold was placed on the Seasonal Population Estimate, Inspection Fee Schedule and Permission for Door-to-Door Solicitation.  MOTION by CG, seconded by DR to approve the Consent Agenda as follows:  pass the request for the installation of a park bench in Triangle Park Bench to the 2/24 meeting; ratify appointment of Tom Roche to the Kennedy Park Committee; accept monetary donations to the Fire Department; participate in the FY17 HHW Collection Program; approve a one-day W&M license to Ventfort Hall for 2/20 from 6-10pm.  5/0 vote.

DR asked if we were turning away any requests for seasonal licenses with this population figure, to which the TM stated no.  MOTION by CG, seconded by DR to set the seasonal population estimate at 10,000.  5/0 vote.  MOTION by CG, seconded by DR to approve the amended Inspection Fee schedule as presented, with an effective date no sooner than April 1, 2016.  5/0 vote.  MOTION by KF, seconded by DR to deny permission for NRG Home to go door-to-door to offer competitive supply options for utility account holders.  5/0 vote.  MOTION by CG, seconded by DR to accept a monetary donation of $1000 from Greylock Credit Unit to the Community Center.  5/0 vote.

FY17 Budget Deliberations:  The Board agreed to hold a working session on Friday, February 19 at 9am to review the budget.

By-law Amendment, Capital Improvements Program:  The TM explained that the Town will be confronted with daunting capital buildings projects over the next five years.  He would like to eliminate the Capital Improvements Committee, and replace it with a Permanent Building Committee.  This would allow the focus of the group to be more on these building projects.  He went on to explain that the BOS and FinCom would continue to approve capital expenditures, but that the PBC would be responsible for those building projects in excess of $100,000.  He would like to place a warrant article on the upcoming May ATM.  The Board briefly discussed whether or not term limits were appropriate.  They agreed that they would rather not have term limits for these individuals.

Amy Lefave updated the Board on activities occurring at the Lenox Library.

Town Beach Project & Operations:  CG stated that the CPC approved the Town’s request for $169,290 to support renovations at the beach to improve accessibility.

Wildthings Trail Race:  Patty Spector and Becky Cushing appeared before the Board to seek permission to hold a 5K and 10K trail race in Kennedy Park on Sunday, June 26.  The race will enter Kennedy Park at the beginning of the Coakley Trail at approximately 9am with an estimated finish time of 10:30am.  All parking, pre-race and post-race activities will take place at Pleasant Valley.  Funds will go to the various sanctuaries located in Berkshire County.  They have spoken with Bob Coakley and he has endorsed this race.  MOTION by CG, seconded by DR to approve this race as presented.  5/0 vote.

Shared Town Manager/Town Administrator – Lee/Stockbridge; DOR Technical Assistance Request:  The TM stated that the Intermunicipal Agreement that the three towns previously signed sets us up to look into the feasibility of this endeavor.  DOR is willing to come out to review this opportunity.  DR stated that it is sometimes better to accomplish things together rather than individually, and may be a benefit to the taxpayers.  CG stated that he believes we have an obligation under the Agreement to do this.  Stockbridge and Lee have already approved of this.  MOTION by CG, seconded by DR to approve a request for the Division of Local Services to work with Lenox and the two partnering communities to review both administrative and chief financial functions as a shared service with the three towns.  5/0 vote.  

Marriott Project Special Taxing Agreement:  Joe Toole appeared before the Board, seeking a Special Taxing Agreement.  It was understood that this request would be taken under advisement by the Board, with a vote to be taken at a later date.  Mr. Toole stated that he anticipates hiring 40-50 individuals, with 10-15 jobs being part-time.  CG reminded everyone that this project is located in the Berkshire Economic Target Zone, and that the Board must entertainment these requests.  Not only does this request need to go before the Selectmen, it must also go before the voters at the Annual Town Meeting in May, plus two state agencies which will have oversight over the project throughout the duration, making sure that specific benchmarks are met.

Tennessee Pipeline:  CG stated that there is no word yet on the disposition of Berkshire Gas’ challenge to our request for intervenor status in the DPU hearings.

Rest of River:  WA stated that he is frustrated with the lack of progress, but will keep the Board informed as information is available.  CG stated that there will be a Housatonic River Adventure – a 10-day kayak excursion from 4/22-5/1 which should be very interesting and enjoyable.
Solar Project:  KF stated that he has no report; things are not looking great, but he will continue to work on things.
BOS Reports: DR stated that while we should be saving money on salt, sand and overtime, what are we losing in meals and hotel/motel tax due to the lack of snow?  CG stated that now that the CPC has approved the Town’s application for funding, they can now focus on changing the application process for the future.  KF stated that the Environmental Committee continues to work on their initiative.  DR mentioned that Yankee Magazine listed Lenox as the #1 winter village in New England.

By roll call, CG, EL, DR, WA and KF voted to go into Executive Session at 8:30pm to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining with fire.

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