SB Meeting Notes, April 27, 2021
Special Projects budgeted for $15,000, focus on safety issues. We have more needs than $15,000 allows for. Some items will have to wait.
• Salt Shed – must be a two-piece truss to get inside shed, one of the vertical posts badly cracked as well. Estimated $500 material cost, estimated $3000 overall cost for the project.
• Install emergency exit signs in second floor of Sawyer Hall, need to be lighted signs with a battery backup.
• Leak in North wall of Community Hall, $1200.
• Replace Community Hall doors & hardware, $5000.
• Community Hall step repair
• Fire building degraded electrical.
• Temporary repair of Sawyer Hall stairs
• Exhaust port from highway garage
• Extensive discussion of emergency egress from Sawyer Hall. Suggestion to roll it into a CDBG grant- replace ramp in front, fix step in the back, needs more investigation as to how to go about repairs.
Budget Meeting with Finance Committee
• Fairly long discussion of new budget format which is hoped will simplify the budget discussion at town meeting and allow more flexibility for department heads.
• Article 3 Approved with one amendment
• Warrant Articles – The warrant articles were reviewed, but it was difficult to follow the discussion. I will send warrant out as soon as it gets posted.
Salt Shed Replacement – we don’t have enough cost and design information at this time, so this is on hold while the repair goes forward.
Hilltown Recovery Theatre - Jacobs Road rental request - approved. Discussed a more flexible model of charging that would benefit town as well. Space requested: gym, 1 classroom, stage, outside areas. Hotspot would move to the Cafeteria is it is to continue past June 30.
COVID-19 Municipal Protocol, Concerns, Updates
Building reopening for face-to-face meetings - Wait until first meeting after ATM to discuss.
Foot clinic can continue at Jacobs Road.
National Grid has offered to plant some trees, Board accepted offer, Hilma to facilitate.
• Wi-Valley Application for Pole Placement – attorney said the town could require Wi-Vally to prove location is in a public right-of-way before even scheduling a hearing. Could require analysis in terms of safety, pole is much higher than a typical utility pole in a high wind area. Application for hearing is still pending. There is another way for Wi-Valley to do this by
putting up poles for the 5 unserved customers. Doug Mason proposes we tell our attorney that our inclination is to deny the request and not have a hearing.
•Green Communities Grant Update
o Brian is trying to get an extension to the grant but needs some financial information to send the letter requesting extension.
o Rise Engineering Company put together a proposal for HVAC design services [Community Hall?]. Needs approval from [FRCOG?].
• Regionalization Study Committee update – Looking for a boilerplate contract for services, Brian says team should contact Amy [FRCOG?].
• Sawyer Hall sign repair: Berkshire Sign Studio - $285 to replace broken parts and relocate sign.
• American Recovery Plan Act – Hilma attended an informational meeting on funds being released from the federal government to the state, and towns. 50% of money released first year, other 50% the following year. Guidelines not issued yet as to how the funds can be used. One designation is for broadband.
These are my own notes. Check the website for approved notes when they become available.
Facilities Committee Interim Report on 4 Months Work
• Focused on safety related repairs and upgrades
• Developed a prioritizing scale to target most important issues. The priority list starts at page 8 of PDF [I could not find the report on the website, but will check with Hilma and post a link on our site.]
• A subcommittee has begun to secure pricing for anything that is 8 points or above on a 1 to 10 scale.
• $2,500 paving jobs behind CH (extension of stairway), JR gym exit
• $3,500 to regrade by CH door by Tom Danick
• $3,450 for electrical service upgrade at fire department/Eoc building Flammable liquids are in fire building and need to be moved to flame-safe storage.
• No quote yet for EOC eye wash station, portable stations are available.
o CDBG (Community Development Block) grant program will cover some of the accessibility issues.
▪ Chapter 149 has limit of $10,000
▪ Chapter 30 Construction has limit of $30,000
• Recommends 1.5% COLA and adjustment for minimum wage, come to 2.06%
• Budget worksheet – tech support for town hall, $10,020 (12 month support fees for NEIT) – does not include anything about equipment for internet hookup. FinCom asked if can we use CCG (Community Compact Grant) to pay some connection costs.
• Jacobs Road – total utilities expense to date=$32,382 (8.5 months). Estimated remaining cost is $10,000 for this fiscal year. $41,382 needed? [Not sure why this is not $42,382].
• Line item for JR = $48,382 on budget for school. $5030 currently in JR revolving fund from rental income, $10,000 left in Mohawk money. FinCom recommendation = $48,000 - $15,000.
• The cost of a Cat6 cable upgrade at Jacobs Road is estimated between $7,500to $10,000. Existing Cat5 cable is sufficient for now but need to plan for the upgrade.
Budget Line Items
• $66,500 – There is a Mohawk capital assessment in addition to the approx. $900,000 assessment.
• It was said that Mohawk assessments will raise levy. [broadband will as well, but was not noted ]
• Recommends 2 separate warrants to make is easier to postpone TM if on a separate warrant.
o 1 for elections
o 1 for town meeting
• Police Office door: laminate is separating. Contractor to include in his estimate.
• Internet Hotspot: Hilma asked if we could open up to neighboring communities. Approved.
• There will be an article on warrant to reimburse the Town of Colrain for $11,523 for A Heath student transfer from Mohawk to Franklin County Technical School that was included in Colrain’s assessment. DESE would not adjust assessment.
• Wi-Valley: pole placement application. Florida has not signed non-disclosure agreement. Hilma to contact Town of Florida.
• Green Communities: Brian met to talk about approval for engineering design costs for HVAC at Community Hall which is a major issue right now.
• Sawyer Hall sign – Hilma to contact company that made and installed sign to do re-installation.
• There is a complicated registration process for DOE regionalization study grant which Hilma is working through.
• Attended Planning Board Mtg –
• The PB received an application to construct a 180-foot mono-pole off Rowe Road. Program called First-net —wireless coverage for emergency services. Would also provide cell service. Cal Carr thinks it may mean consulting with town counsel.
• Pollinator plan – high pollination growth areas in town may prompt changes to bylaws so that has to be considered in zoning.
• Citizens’ petitions for town meeting
1. to have all meetings in ADA compliant buildings
2. to require the Select Board to keep all town offices in the two center buildings.