Town Hall, 9 Montague Rd
A meeting of the Selectboard
Meeting of Selectboard
- Present: Peter d'Errico, Chair, at 7:00 PM
- Present: Tom Hankinson, at 7:00 PM
- Present: Julie Shively, at 7:00 PM
- Administrator Margie McGinnis
Approved Meeting Minutes
Meeting opened: 7:00 PM
Meeting closed: 9:35 PM
Meeting Opened / Attendance Taken (see above).
Minutes Approved: Tue, May 29 - Select Board ** Correction
7:00: FRCOG - Regional Emergency Response
FRCOG representative did not attend. Fire Chief John Ingram asked the Board about regional emergency response. He feels it will not save the town money since the town will still need equipment and personnel in town. Leverett already has mutual aid agreements in place with surrounding communities. The Board expressed an interest in knowing what the county effort was and to stay informed about it.
John also informed the Board that Captain Miller has moved out of town and has requested a one-year leave of absence from the fire department. John also asked that Sohan Tyner, who has been a Junior Explorer with the department and is now 18, be appointed. Motion made to appoint Sohan Tyner as a call firefighter dependent on a successful physical. Voted: 3-0 in favor.
John also informed the Board that the Library now has a defibrillator and they are training Library staff in its use. He also wants to put building numbers on all town buildings.
MOTION, moved by Peter d'Errico, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Motion made to appoint Sohan Tyner as a call firefighter dependent on a successful physical. Voted: 3-0 in favor.
Pass: Aye: Peter d'Errico, Tom Hankinson, Julie Shively.
7:30: ADA Public Hearing
Josh Safdie from the firm Kessler, McGuinness and Associates, LLC, was present to explain the process and answer questions about the plan. Also present were residents Cheryl Howland, Eva Beth Gibavic, Terry Allen (COA Chair), Fire Chief Ingram, Deputy Chief Brian Cook. Police Chief Minckler and Police Officer Duteau came in during the hearing.
The plan’s creation has been funded by a grant and must be complete by June 30th. Completion of the plan is a requirement of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. Josh explained that the plan has two parts. The first part is a review of the town's policies, procedures, and buildings for compliance. Many departments completed a survey that Josh’s staff used to make their evaluations. His firm has never evaluated a town that was already fully compliant. The second part is a list of findings and recommendations that would have to be completed over a period of years to bring the town into compliance.
The plan is still draft and the point of the hearing is to receive input and make changes based on those comments. Josh explained the concept of "program access," meaning that not every building space has to be accessible, but all programs offered by the town should be. For example, we can make a policy that employees in the inaccessible upstairs offices of TH will meet elsewhere in the building with anyone who needs an accessible level, and that all information available in the office will be made available in an accessible place. We need to plan emergency escape routes for the buildings in case an event happens and the elevators are not usable. We can use the website to advertise how residents can request accommodations and to publish ADA plans.
A question was posed about recently constructed town buildings and how they could not be compliant. Josh explained that the building code and ADA regulations differ a bit and that sometimes inspectors don’t see the difference of an inch. Sometimes originally compliant fixtures get replaced and moved or even a compliant design gets built slightly differently.
Cheryl Howland, who worked 30 years in the accessibility field, stated that the law requires a "reasonable accommodation," meaning that the expense of compliance can mitigate the responsibility to make a change in some cases when expense is large. Cheryl had many other points to share: the only way for ADA problems to be enforced is through a lawsuit and the existence of this plan will help the town defend against one; that legal access is not always true access, meaning that in some cases a building can be compliant with regulations and still be very difficult to maneuver through if you are disabled; documents should be available in large print when printed; and in Arial or MT bold fonts on the website for best compatibility with screen reader software; the town should have ASL services at meetings and closed captioning for video presentations; and that van transportation in town needs to be expanded.
Parking in many of the municipal locations was discussed. Approved handicapped parking spaces should be paved and marked, but in some cases the parking lots are gravel or not even owned by the town.
When asked what Josh would prioritize for Leverett, he said that training for staff on making policies, website and all programs accessible would be first; then for physical changes where parking is a big need. We could look at building entrances that get a lot of use.
Josh stressed that the degree of non-compliance can be balanced with the cost and that the existence of the plan does not change the town’s obligation to make the changes listed, since the law requiring that buildings be accessible was passed in 1990.
The report will end with a statement that the report does not change the town’s obligation to make the changes presented.
Josh will add a resources section that will include sources for draft policies.
Emergency support needs for residents also was discussed. Police and fire should have a good idea of who needs help in their homes.
Margie was emailed comments from another resident and the town facilities manager, but there was not enough time to go through them. She will send them to Josh and follow-up on the changes needed in the draft. These and any other public comments submitted to the Town will be included as an appendix in the final report.
Hearing ended at 8:30 pm
8:00: Police Interviews
The Board interviewed Nemours Duteau, Jr., for the vacant full-time police officer position. Nemours has worked for three years part-time in Erving and for the past few months in Leverett. Has a background in security work. He expressed an interest in community and a career in policing. His references have been checked by Margie and Scott. Scott is supportive of his appointment. Nemours agreed to a minimum three-year commitment with the town due to the expense of sending him to the full-time academy
MOTION, moved by Peter d'Errico, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Motion made to appoint Nemours Duteau, Jr, as a full time police officer dependent upon a successful psychological exam. He has had a recent physical exam. Voted 3-0 in favor.
Pass: Aye: Peter d'Errico, Tom Hankinson, Julie Shively.
Appoint Officials for 2018-19
A list of Board and Committee reappointments was presented. Regarding the Municipal Light Plant appointments, Peter proposed to replace Denzel Hankinson on the MLP with Robert Brooks. Peter stated that Rob has a long history with LeverettNet broadband, is a software engineer, that he was not appointed the first time only because he was in a job transition, and that it is now his turn to be on the MLP. Tom was clear that he is Denzel’s brother and offered to recuse himself, which was considered unnecessary by Peter and Julie. Tom argued for Denzel to stay on the MLP due to his technical strengths and technical leadership. Tom further stated that it would be in the best interest of the town for MLP to focus on technical strengths at the expense of a specialized financial presence and suggested replacing Tom Powers with Rob rather than Denzel and both Julie and Peter stated that Tom’s financial experience and strength is still needed.
Lisa will need to go through the full list of appointees and present the missed ones for the next meeting. Margie will ask police and fire chiefs to present a list of employees they want reappointed. Personnel Action Forms can be signed at the next meeting as well.
MOTION, moved by Peter d'Errico, seconded by Tom Hankinson: . Motion made to appoint Rob Brooks to the one-year Municipal Light Plant position and Tom Powers to the three-year position. Voted: 2 in favor, 1 against.
Motion made to reappoint all other Boards and Committees as presented. Vote: 3-0 .
Pass: Aye: Peter d'Errico, Julie Shively. Nay: Tom Hankinson.
Approve minutes of May 29
Minutes of May 29 approved.
Sign CDBG letter
Board signed the following:
• Community Development Block Grant letter for projects next year
• FRCOG contracting authority for highway products
• Reserve transfer for employee physicals account
• Chapter 90 paperwork for Dudleyville Road Bridge project reimbursement
Sign Personnel Action Forms
Update on Delta Sand/Gravel
Margie informed the Board that Craig Warner from Delta Sand and Gravel stopped in at town hall and offered to meet with interested residents and town officials in his office where his records and maps are accessible. Margie has contacted Paul Roud about setting up that meeting and has not yet heard back. Tom or Peter would like to attend.
Notice of Intent to Convert to Other Use (Verizon/Cowls)
From the mail, the Board reviewed the Chapter 61 option to purchase.68 acres of Cowls land on Long Plain Road (book 1455, page 206). Motion made not to exercise their right of first refusal on this land. Voted: 3-0 in favor. The document was signed.
Edie Field asked the Board if she can display the new student/elder interviews in the town hall beginning in July. She will remove the photos on the walls from two locations. Board agreed.
Tom asked if he can use the CTY phone system to announce the Friends of Leverett Pond art auction at Leverett Crafts and Arts. The event is not sponsored by a town entity, so the system should not be used according to Select Board policy, and other announcement venues were discussed. However, Peter and Julie did agree that the fundraising effort to replace the dam at the north end of Leverett Pond is sufficient to merit a single use of CTY for the one-time event, insomuch as this effort preserves the number one-cited recreational resource in Leverett. Following John Ingram's offer to Tom to post an announcement on the Fire Department web site, Tom decided to not proceed with a CTY announcement to the town.
The Kirleys who own the sawmill discovered that one corner of the sawmill structure has been compromised over the winter and have proceeded with an emergency permit to drain the pond and secure the building. Highway is thinking about dredging the bottom while it is drained to protect the fire dept’s dry hydrant.
The Board asked Margie to send a note to the school committee requesting that they not hire a new IT person until they meet with the town about combining IT systems and resources.
The Board asked Margie to check with Highway Supt. weekly about the status of the Coke Kiln bridge.
- Next Meetings:
- Tue, Jun 26, at 7:00 PM "Select Board" -- Town Hall, 9 Montague Rd
- Tue, Jul 10, at 7:00 PM "Select Board" -- Town Hall, 9 Montague Rd
- Tue, Jul 24, at 7:00 PM "Select Board" -- Town Hall, 9 Montague Rd
- Tue, Aug 7, at 7:00 PM "Select Board" -- Town Hall, 9 Montague Rd
- Tue, Aug 21, at 7:00 PM "Select Board" -- Town Hall, 9 Montague Rd
- Tue, Sep 4, at 7:00 PM "Select Board/CANCELED" -- CANCELLED -- Town Hall, 9 Montague Rd
- Meeting Closed at 9:35 PM.
- Next Meetings:
Minutes approved on Thursday, Jul 12, 2018
Posted to: Select Board.