Select Board

Tuesday, May 25, 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm
Remote meeting
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
  • Present: Melissa Colbert, at 7:00 PM

Also Present:

  • Margie M.
  • Lisa S.
  • for the Select Board
  • George B. for the Montague Reporter. By phone and computer about 30 residents.

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:00 PM

Meeting closed: 8:44 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

    • Meeting Opened / Attendance Taken (see above).

    • No minutes to approve.

  2. Business

    • Approve minutes of May 11

      General Discussion...
      The minutes of the May 11 meeting were approved as written.

    • Dog Officer letter from Diane Crowe

      General Discussion...
      Diane Crowe had submitted a letter outlining an encounter that she had with an aggressive wood chuck. Upon phoning Animal Control Officer (ACO), Roberta Bryant, and getting no answer she called 911. Megan Gallo, Police Officer for Leverett and ACO for Wendell, responded and dealt with the problem. Diane, who was present at the meeting, expressed frustration because she has had reason to call Roberta in the past and she has not been responsive by phone. Diane’s letter will be sent to Roberta and Julie will talk to her.

    • Fire Chief Process

      General Discussion...
      An in-house advertisement for the position of Fire Chief has been posted at Town Hall for 7 days (which is the town’s process for an in-house advertisement) eliciting one response from Deputy Chief, Brian Cook. This led to a discussion about if an in-house advertisement was sufficient. Several people had comments in favor and opposing this practice for this position. Brian, who was present virtually was given the opportunity to talk about his qualifications. A member of the Fire Department and the Highway Supt. both spoke highly of Brian’s character and skills.

      MOTION, moved by Julie Shively, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Motion: To form a hiring committee and advertise more widely for a Fire Chief. No second.
      Motion: To hire Brian Cook as Fire Chief contingent upon a mutually acceptable rate of pay (advertisement= $25-33,500). Vote: 3-0 in favor. Julie and Margie will meet with Brian within the week.

      Pass: Aye: Julie Shively, Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert.

    • Fire Dept. Grant Application

      General Discussion...
      The Fire Department would like to apply for a grant to update its wildland tools; helmets, chainsaws and other supplies. The grant would pay for $3,988 and a $1,995 match would come from the Fire Department budget. The board approved.

    • FRCOG Highway Contracts Authorization

      General Discussion...
      Matt Boucher was named as the signing authority for FROCG highway bidding contracts.

      Matt also gave a truck update as the new truck has been ordered and is at the budgeted amount.

    • Millers Road Update

      General Discussion...
      Margie and Tom met with MASSDOT engineers and neighbors about the Millers Road Bridge reconstruction. The neighbors had questions about the bridge and property lines. There is a possibility that Bradway Rd. may be discontinued at a future town meeting.

    • Mosquito project

      General Discussion...
      The Board of Health with Pete Sylvan leading the charge, created a mosquito plan to submit to the state instead of enrolling in the spraying program. It outlines ways in which the town will work to reduce the normal number of mosquitos. Melissa suggested that added to the plan be that the town will look into joining the Pioneer Valley Mosquito Control Program. Tom suggested also adding that the Friends of Leverett Pond have a plan (with Con Com approval) to control the milfoil in Leverett Pond which is a known factor in creating mosquito breading grounds.

      MOTION, moved by Julie Shively, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Motion: To accept the application to the state for mosquito control with the above additions. Vote: 3-o in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Julie Shively, Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert.

    • Old Mt. Rd. status update

      General Discussion...
      The status of Old Mountain Road is still unclear; Matt said it is unknown if there is a town owned right-of-way and if the road is considered active. There may be the potential for 6 building lots further up the road. Once the right-of-way is determined to still be in place the town could ask that the gravel pile be removed and will ask Eversource (who use the road to get to the power lines) to put a gate up.

    • One Stop Grant Update

    • Public meeting for Police Regionalization

      General Discussion...
      Julie gave an update on Police Regionalization with Wendell. Once the details have been vetted by the consultant, a meeting will be set up for Leverett residents to comment. There were a lot of questions from the public. Concerns centered around what appears to the growth of the department at time when, nationally, there is push to reduce police presence. Julie stated that the only reason regionalization is being considered is that Wendell’s long-time chief retired and Leverett was approached by Wendell to help them. Additionally, legislation is being enacted eliminating the use of part-time officers, further reducing options for small town policing. Julie stated that the conversation should be continued when Chief Minckler returns from vacation. If the regionalization meeting takes place without being advertised in the Newsletter, residents will be informed with CODE RED messages of the meeting time.

    • Teawaddle Hill Rd. Project Update

      General Discussion...
      Margie reported that the bids came in in a range of $2.3 to 1.3 million. A huge sigh of relief was felt as that was within budget for a long and stressful process. Plastic piping could further reduce the price by $50,000. Matt also commented that there will money left in the project for road repairs and he will not need to use Chapter 90 funds to complete road work once the project is complete. Margie reminded those attending the meeting that neighbors being connected to the water line need to sign and return their Release forms to her prior to commencement of construction.

      MOTION, moved by Julie Shively, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Motion: To make the award to Baltazar, conditionally, with ductile piping and the alternate to connect to the Fournier house. Vote: 3-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Julie Shively, Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert.

      Once DEP has given final approval and all Release forms have been signed and returned, the board will sign the award.

  3. Mail

    • Vegetation Mgmnt Notice from Railroad

  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 Tuesday, Jun 29, 2021

Posted to: Select Board