Select Board

Tuesday, May 9, 2023, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
A meeting of the Selectboard

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https://zoom.us/j/94460276391?pwd=N294R3hyQzlyMUtsZ1ZkMTBjL3BPdz09

Meeting ID: 944 6027 6391

Passcode: 650146

Meeting of Selectboard

Members:

  • Patricia Duffy (Elected). 2025. , Leverett, MA 01054
  • Tom Hankinson (Elected), Chair. 2026. , Leverett, MA 01054
  • Jed Proujansky (Elected). 2027. , Leverett, MA 01054

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:00 PM

Meeting closed: 8:44 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Appointments

    • 7:00 : Chief Cook--new fee schedule and new fire fighter appointment

      General Discussion...
      Brian Cook, Fire Chief, attended to ask the Board to adopt a new roof photovoltaic plan review and fee process that he has created to comply with a new law requiring Fire Department inspections of these installations. He also presented a revised fee schedule for Fire Department inspections.

      Concerning staff, Brian gave the Board two resignation letters from firefighters and an application for a new firefighter whom Brian would like to appoint.

      MOTION, moved by Melissa Colbert, seconded by Patricia Duffy: Motion made to adopt the new fee schedule for the Fire Department as presented. Voted: 3-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy, Tom Hankinson.

      MOTION, moved by Melissa Colbert, seconded by Patricia Duffy: Motion made to appoint Griffin Conner as a firefighter who can start once needed background checks are completed. Voted: 3-0 in favor.

      .

      Pass: Aye: Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy, Tom Hankinson.

    • 7:15: Dog hearing

      General Discussion...
      The Selectboard held a dog hearing in response to a complaint received from the residents of 44 Cave Hill Road regarding the barking of the dogs at 45 Cave Hill Road. Tom opened the hearing at 7:25 pm, swore in all witnesses, heard testimony from the complainants, which included an audio clip of the dogs barking; from the dog owners; and from other neighbors who also hear the dogs bark. Three dogs live at 45 Cave Hill, a 13-year-old beagle and two 5- or 6-year-old Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The beagle goes out in the front yard and the ridgebacks have a large enclosure in the back yard. The dogs bark when they are out and sometimes the two big dogs barking sounds like a frenzied fight. The Board closed the hearing and discussed the complaint.

      MOTION, moved by Melissa Colbert, seconded by Patricia Duffy: After deliberation, the Board unanimously voted as follows:
      1. The barking of the dogs is a nuisance to the neighborhood;
      2. The dogs need to be muzzled with anti-barking basket type muzzles that restrict the dogs’ ability to open their mouths at all times that the dogs are outside;
      3. The owners need to continue the use of the ultrasonic bark-prevention collars as they are designed;
      4. The Selectboard will check in with the neighbors who complained after 30 days to confirm if the situation is better;
      5. They want to cite both the noise bylaw and the dog law and their enforcement fees and give first notice of violation as part of the noise bylaw;
      6. They recognize the value of having dogs as pets for companionship and protection, and hope that the above steps successfully mitigate the barking noise problem for the neighbors without having to impose more drastic measures within the Board’s purview.
      .

      Pass: Aye: Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy, Tom Hankinson.

  3. Business

    • Approve minutes of April 20 and 25

      MOTION, moved by Melissa Colbert, seconded by Patricia Duffy: Motion made to accept the minutes to April 20 and April 25th meetings as last revised. Vote: 3-0 in favor. .

      Pass: Aye: Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy, Tom Hankinson.

    • Bridge projects update

      General Discussion...
      Margie informed the Board that the small bridge grant program is open and the Highway Supt wants to apply for funds to repair Mill Yard Bridge. The Board was supportive.

    • De-carbonization conference update--Tom

      General Discussion...
      Tom reviewed the decarbonization conference that he attended last week. He was impressed by the large-scale projects that are being completed by large institutions, such as hospitals, in the state. He took 8 pages of notes at the conference.

    • Full-time police officer hiring update

      General Discussion...
      Margie brought up the trouble being experienced by the police department in trying to fill its vacant full time position. The only viable application received is from a reserve officer who lives outside of the 15 mile restriction imposed on full time officers by MGL Chapter 41, section 99A. From what Scott has said, full time officers do not respond to emergencies unless it is a big event, so the 15 mile restriction just means the officer will take longer to get to work on their own time. Concern would arise if the officer has to take home a town cruiser, it would add a inordinate of use to a town vehicle and cost to the town.

      MOTION, moved by Melissa Colbert, seconded by Patricia Duffy: . Motion made to allow the hiring of a full time officer who lives further than 15 miles from the Leverett town border as long as the officer moves into compliance with the law within a reasonable amount of time. If the officer is ever in a position of taking a town cruiser home, then this allowance will be rescinded. Voted 3-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy, Tom Hankinson.

    • Labor Counsel Commitment letter

      General Discussion...
      Tom signed the labor counsel agreement with Mirick O’connell.

    • Re-organize

      MOTION, moved by Melissa Colbert, seconded by Patricia Duffy: Motion made to appoint Tom as Chair for another year, Voted 2-0 in favor. Motion made to appoint Melissa as vice chair, Voted 2-0 in favor. Motion made to appoint Pat as vice vice chair, Voted 2-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Melissa Colbert, Patricia Duffy, Tom Hankinson.

  4. Mail

    • FRGOG: Short-term rental Update

    • Library Invitation to Celebrate 20 years!

    • Vegetation Management letter from New England Central Railroad

  5. 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 approved on Wednesday, Aug 9, 2023