Selectmen’s Meeting, April 16, 2020

April 16, 2020

Opened the meeting and declared a quorum present (by phone). Selectmen present: Ben Astbury, Bob Publicover, Michael Sheahan. Also present: CEO Duane Ford, Assistant Barbara Grindle, by phone: Jerry Wetterskog, Chris Elkington, Anne Bereant, John Deven, Julie Ferle, Peter Neill, Ciona Ulbrich,

Read and approved the minutes of the last meeting, roll call vote unanimous.

Reviewed and signed the treasurer’s warrant for $196,120.08; school $193,100.23, World of Flags $35.45. Sedgwick EFTPS $4.90, fees $64, Clearing: M/V $2,915.50.

CEO REPORT: Planning Board hearing and meeting was well attended. The solar farm received their permit with several recommendations. It will now move on to the selectboard. Everything is going well and it has been a busy season so far.

FIRE CHIEF UPDATE: Have enough money in the account to have the pump rebuilt on Engine # 2. Cleaning up the equipment and station after a car fire this afternoon, Could not burn a building slated for a class burn, wondered if assessors could give the owner a tax break until the building can be burned.

DISCUSSION ITEMS: Superintendent and School Board Chair: Elkington is concerned with the funding for the next school year in view of the pandemic and possible inability of residents being able to pay their taxes on time. Much discussion regarding the possibility of cutting jobs, programs and the timeframe in which those cuts would need to be determined. Decisions need to be made by the end of May for school to make their changes by the beginning of the school year.
MCHT grant discussion: The contract discussed last week is standard from DOT. The only question is if MCHT is paying the bills, and the town is overseeing the project, how to do the paperwork. The agreement is between MCHT and the Town. Ulbrich is having a draft letter of agreement approved by an attorney. The state has approved the work to be done and has set the money aside to do it this summer. Devens is confident about the project moving forward unless something really drastic happens.
Update on IT transition: The computers have been cleaned and defragged and the backup installed on tax collectors computer. No delivery date for the new computer yet.
Planning Board approval – Borrego Solar: A copy of the permit will be sent to them tonight. The public hearing went well and the company was well prepared. CEO will send a copy of the permit to at least three different addresses of the company to be sure that it goes to the correct office.
Primary re-scheduled/State of Emergency extension: Rescheduled the primary elections until July 14, and the state of emergency extended to May 15.
Assessing field work update: Agents have finished the field work and assessor will be in on April 22. Field work picked up quite a few more taxable items.

ACTION ITEMS: S.J. Rollins bill: Treasurer will check and summarize her concerns about each invoice. Astbury will contact Rollins.

ADJOURN: There being no further business, Publicover moved that we adjourn, roll call vote unanimous that we adjourn at 7:11 p.m.

Respectully submitted,
Barbara Grindle, Assistant