Select Bd/Finance Com/School Com/ Capital Plan Remote Mting

Tuesday, March 2, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
9 Montague Rd.
A meeting of the Select Board

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Meeting of Select Board

Members: (Quorum)

  • Present: Tom Hankinson, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Julie Shively, Chair, at 7:00 PM

Also Present:

  • .
  • Margie M.
  • Lisa S. For the Finance Com.: Ann D.
  • Phil C.
  • Greg W.
  • and Jed P. For the Capital Planning Com: Wes G.
  • Sue L.
  • and Ricky R. For the School Com: Craig C.
  • Jess R.
  • Kip F.
  • Gene S.
  • Bruce T. Others present: Melissa C.
  • Becky T.
  • Steve W.
  • Josh N.
  • Richard N. and others by phone

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:00 PM

Meeting closed: 9:30 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Appointments

    • 7:00: School Com. Budget Hearing

      General Discussion...
      The School Committee recently learned of an out-of-district student joining the Elementary School in the fall. This represents a $81,000 one-time increase for next year. Additionally, there was a 3.4% increase related to teacher negotiations (totaling $63,000) making for a total increase of 7.7%. Craig explained that at the last negotiation session teachers got a STEP increase and a COLA. This time if a teacher received a STEP they did not get a COLA. The Select Board thanked the school committee for their diligence. There was limited conversation about the impending $25/$1,000 tax rate cap. There was broad conversation about the school being the impetus for people moving to town vs. the tax increases existing and retired residents are expected to bear and how to maintain equity between the two.
      Bruce T. told the board that the school will need some roof repairs and discussed with Capital Planning if that expense was capital or not. Wes explained that with the new plan, if it was expected to cost over $10,000 it should be on the plan. Bruce thought it would be less than $20,000. Margie reminded everyone that there may be money left from the last school roof project that could be used. She will email Bruce after checking with the accounting office.

    • 7:45: Capital Planning Bd. - With FinCom: Vote on COLA, other items for Budget Hearing?

      General Discussion...
      The Capital Planning Committee is recommending replacing a new dump truck and purchasing the jaws of life. They met with Matt Boucher, Highway Supt., about the 2004 International whose purchase has been put off for a few years. Matt was going to try to make the truck last a couple more years but has had electrical problems with it during the last few snow storms. After conversations about fixing it, buying used one, or replacing it with a new one; it was decided to buy a new one. The estimate for it is $197,000. Capital Planning recommended that the total come from Stabilization.
      The Jaws of Life for the Fire Dept. have been shared with Shutesbury for several years. But after a couple of serious accidents in town over the last year the Fire Dept. would like to have a new updated set. The grant they applied for a set last year failed due to too few accidents. Margie will see if the $2500 the town raised to match the grant is available. The total cost for the new set is $36,600.
      The Capital Planning Committee told the board to maintain their “plan” called for funding it at $300,000 this year. That doesn’t seem likely but the board will add what they can after budget discussions. Last year $169,000 was added, and they would like the same this year.

      MOTION, moved by Julie Shively, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Motion: To offer a 1.3% COLA to Town employees. Moved, seconded. Finance Com. and Select Board approve unanimously.

      Pass: Aye: Julie Shively, Tom Hankinson.

  3. Business

    • Approve minutes of February 2

      MOTION, moved by Julie Shively, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Motion: To approve the minutes of February 16. Vote: 2-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Julie Shively, Tom Hankinson.

    • Appt. Animal Control Officer

      General Discussion...
      Roberta Bryant is due to be reappointed as Animal Control Officer but is not up-to-date on her education credits. Before the board reappoints her, they asked Lisa to see what her plan is for re-certification.

    • Brian Cook and Mike Visniewski: disclosure letters for IT position

      MOTION, moved by Julie Shively, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Motion: To approve the letters of disclosure from Brian Cook and Mike Visniewski allowing them to remain on the Fire Dept and provide IT services to the town. Rate to be discussed later. Vote: 2-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Julie Shively, Tom Hankinson.

    • COVID Issues

    • Electric vehicle charger update

      General Discussion...
      Margie followed up with vehicle charging stations and found a vendor to install them at the library. The only cost to the Town is to advertise their location on the cloud which will hopefully be raised through payments for use.

    • MGL Ch. 41, S. 19k: Clerk Compensation

      General Discussion...
      Lisa asked the board to put MGL Ch. 41 Section 19k, Clerk Compensation ($1,000) for education on the ATM warrant. FinCom and Select Bd were in favor since education is complete and certificate received. Lisa will research how it works. When asked if it was annual Lisa said she thinks it’s a one-time payment.

    • MVP Grant Update

    • One stop for growth projects

      General Discussion...
      Margie explained that the One Stop for Growth program would look at 5 projects submitted by Leverett and sent out requests for suggestions. The ones discussed tonight were: the Teawaddle Hill Rd. waterline; the Rattlesnake Gutter Rd. bridge; cisterns at the fire stations; a microgrid study; a study of building public water and sewer systems for zoning expansion; a study of the gravel roads and reconstruction of Dudleyville Rd.; and improvements to the two museums with sidewalks to the pond and LCA in the town center, similarly in Moore’s Corner with bike and canoe rentals. To be discussed again at a later date.

    • Sign Cultural Council Grant

    • Unanticipated business

      General Discussion...
      Roy Kimmel asked the board to look into FRTA “access service” which is a call for service. Richard Nathhorst, who was at the meeting offered to look into it since he knows a bit about it. Questions the board had: how much will it cost? How does it work?

  4. Meeting Wrap-up

The listing of matters is those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.

Minutes prepared by Lisa Stratford

Minutes approved on Monday, Mar 29, 2021

Posted to: Select Board