Select Board/Finance Committee

Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
Town Hall
A meeting of the Selectboard

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Meeting ID: 944 6027 6391

Passcode: 650146

Meeting of Selectboard

Members: (Quorum)

  • Present: Tom Hankinson, Chair, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Patricia Duffy, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Melissa Colbert, at 7:00 PM

Also Present:

  • Present: Tom H.
  • Melissa C.
  • Pat D.
  • Lisa S. for the Select Board. Finance Committee members present: Phil C.
  • Nancy G.
  • Isaiah R.
  • Jed P.
  • and Bethany S. Also present: Steve W.
  • Eva G.
  • and George B for the Montague Reporter

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:00 PM

Meeting closed: 8:30 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Appointments

    • 7:00 : Follow-up with Jackson Hill Rd. dog issue

      General Discussion...
      For the second time, Mitchel LaClaire failed to come to the Select Board meeting for a check-in about the dog enclosure. Pat will talk to Chief Minckler tomorrow to see if he was able to stop at the house and check on the progress of the enclosure. Depending on the answer, a letter may be sent again to Mr. LaClaire asking that he respond or face possible fines.
      The dog hearing at the Orange Courthouse for the Gahagan dogs was postponed to August 17.

    • 7:30: Finance Committee-approve end-of-year transfers

      General Discussion...
      The Finance Committee joined the Select Board to review the *end-of-year transfers. Some questions were asked about why the total was so high. The board explained that the financial team for the town, specifically the accounting office, had some challenges in staffing for the last few years leaving some issues in financial management. Reassurance was given that the finances for the town are stable and a new accountant has been hired.

      MOTION, moved by Melissa Colbert, seconded by Patricia Duffy: Motion: To approve the End-of-year Transfers for FY ’23. Seconded. Unanimous vote in favor from both boards.

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

    • 7:45: Spencer Lot

      General Discussion...
      A third conversation about whether to accept the gift from Bruce Spencer of his wood lot off of North Leverett Road took place. Tom and Eva have walked the land with Matt Boucher. Tom answered some questions that arose from the last meeting. Tom had called a couple of local people who know about forestry and when they heard that the offer was from Bruce Spencer, encouraged the town to accept the property as it is a terrific example of how timber management could/should be done.
      Steve Weiss spoke about the property from the vantage of having been on the Rattlesnake Guter Trust when it was offered to the trust and town a few years ago. The town and trust did not accept the land at that point. Steve suggested that managing a property like this would require time, attention, expertise, and a professional forester to be successful. The Conservation Commission doesn’t have the time for this level of oversight. The board agreed. He suggested that the property is an excellent educational example of thoughtful forest management—something beneficial for naysayers of such practices.
      The board agreed with the suggestion that a newly formed committee of qualified people and a reputable forester was a good idea. Bruce suggested Mike Mauri of South Deerfield as his recommendation. Tom stated that while he thought the Select Board has permission to accept the gift, he would like the decision to be made by Town Meeting. Bruce was agreeable to that timeline and said that that would give him some time to work out some details with the owner of a house on the other side of the bridge about what his intentions are for the house. It was agreed that the board will try to get a committee formed before town meeting as a prerequisite to accepting the land as a town forest.

  3. Business

    • Accept Jeff Glazier's resignation

      General Discussion...
      Jeff Glaziers resignation as Building Custodian was accepted.

    • Appoint FRCOG Representatives

      MOTION, moved by Melissa Colbert, seconded by Patricia Duffy: Motion: To appoint the previous year’s FRCOG representatives to their respective boards except for the Emergency Management position. To appoint Sean O’Connor to the FRCOG Emergency Management boards. Vote: 3-0 in favor.

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

    • Approve minutes of July 17

      General Discussion...
      The minutes of July 17 were approved.

    • Electronic signs have been requested for Rt. 63 from end of Aug.15- Sept. for next 5 yrs.

      General Discussion...
      The board was relieved to hear that the signs warning drivers to watch for school buses has been requested by Margie.

    • Heronemous CR/Bridget Lively

  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 Thursday, Sep 7, 2023