Vol. II No. 11 6/1/2021
Notes from the Stockbridge Select Board May 13 via Zoom
- Chuck Cardillo, Chair
- Roxanne McCaffrey
- Patrick White
Also present: Michael Canales, Administrator; others present named as they spoke (could not be seen)
- Cardillo opened meeting with request for Special Permit from Russell and Mary Glazer, 5 Mahkeenac Terrace to finish a basement. Special Permit required as it increases living space which in turn increases ratio of land/living space allowed even though no change in footprint. Approved.
- Judith Roberts, 21 Beachwood Drive increasing lot coverage by 8 feet to enlarge living room. No objection from abutters. Approved.
- Berkshire Regional School District requested rental of two office spaces located downstairs in Town Offices. One office is 903 sq. ft. and the other is 531. Cardillo reported that both Scott Muir, Emergency Services, and Chris Marsden, Facilities Manager, wished to retain the smaller of the two for storage. The matter was continued until BRSD representative could be present.
- Handcrafted Catering is requesting an entertainment license for 2 Depot Street, the Stockbridge Railroad Station, owned by Berkshire Scenic Railway. Matter continued to next meeting when representative of Handcrafted Catering could be present.
- Canales reported that there was $4800 left in the Economic Development fund that had to be spent before end of year. He asked Barbara Zanetti, Executive Director Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce for ideas. Zanetti suggested ads on WAMC "revitalizing tourism." (20 weeks, 134 spots @ 5 per week, discounted from $8120 to $4800) Approved.
- Canales reported the tax rate would go up 1.71% this year. The major expense driving the increase is the school budget. Other expenditures were down. White asked if there was a way to keep the tax rate flat (no rise) by using free cash for excess expenditures. White offered the opinion it was "good" psychologically. No decision.
- Operating budget approved for inclusion on Warrant.
- Capital Budget
- Park Street Pump Station ($720,000 — $96,000 from Sewer Reserve Fund; balance to be borrowed) Repay: first two years interest only. Approved for Warrant.
- Larrywaug Bridge, additional $135,000 for contingencies. Approved for Warrant.
- $40,000 for PB consultants approved for Warrant; Cardillo and McCaffrey Aye, White, Nay. White posed question: Should the amount be $40,000 or $40,000 minus the unexpended balance from last year; vote just taken does not say that. Canales suggested that even though only $11,000 reported spent to date, final figure may be very close to $40,000 "with perhaps $8-10,000 unspent. McCaffrey mentioned there may be Planning Assistance grants available in future. White suggested Canales should manage consultants as he does in other areas of government. White also questioned why, if the consultant was opposed to "density neutral" — it was part of the proposed bylaw. Why have consultants if don't listen to them? PB Chair Vogt said they do listen. White fears process is not transparent.
- The Warrant will be reviewed by Town Counsel, final approval on May 20 and then Warrant completed and posted on Town web site prior to Town Meeting.
- Swap Shop — access was completed but not in compliance with Handicapped Accessible regs. There is a question, therefore, if building is still useable. Hugh Page, Highway Foreman, is looking into options for correcting the situation and to determine of it can be used this season.
- White reported on regional grant application to, in part, assess status of our culverts (Applied with Pittsfield, New Marlboro, and Lenox). White said the movement is toward regional grants).
- White wondered if there would be follow-up to the "housing questionnaire". There were 200 responses and he suggested placing it on a SB meeting agenda for public discussion.
- White also suggested reviewing the "Ten Suggestions" proposed by the League of Sportsmen (including fishermen).
- Increased compensation for lake workers suggested by Stockbridge Bowl Stewardship Committee to $15/hour and $20/hour for manager. Shorter hours would offset increased cost.
SB went into Executive Session. SB returned from Executive Session to announce the Police Contract approved.
Editor's Note: SU was pleased when asked to help boost responses to the housing survey by issuing a Stockbridge Updates Alert with link. Well over half of all responses came the day of SU Alert, I was told. SU was proud of civic mindedness of our subscribers.
Photo: Patrick White