Chilmark Board of Selectmen July 11, 2017 Meeting Minutes
Present: Chairman Bill Rossi, Jim Malkin, Warren Doty, Tim Carroll, Joan Malkin, Luca Mason, Harbormaster Dennis Jason, Richard Steves, Police Chief Jonathan Klarèn, Martina Mastromonaco, Michelle O’Connor, Margret Maida, Kevin Burchill, Bill Fielder, Janet Weidner, Anne Cook, Robert Hannemann, Rich Saltzberg, Chloe Reichel and MVTV videographer Lynn Christoffers.
At 5:00 PM Chairman Rossi called meeting to order in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room.
Draft minutes from the Selectmen’s June 20, 2017 meeting were reviewed, corrections were made. Mr. Doty moved to approve minutes as corrected, Mr. Malkin seconded the motion.
SO VOTED: 3 Ayes
Chilmark Road Race:
Town Advisory Committee member Michelle O’Connor presented the Selectmen with this year’s Chilmark Road Race plan. Ms. O’Connor said there would be 1600 registered runners. There would be the same number of Emergency Medical Technicians and same number of port-a-pottys as last year. They plan to have 9-10 busses to transport runners to the starting line. The Shuttle lot at the Tabor House LDO will be utilized. Mr. Doty recommended urging the use of the Shuttle lot for as many cars as possible. Police Chief Klarèn said he supports the same policing as last year. Mr. Doty moved to approve the Chilmark Road Race for August 12, 2017 and to sign the highway use permit. Mr. Malkin seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes
Town’s Web Presence- Anne Cook:
Ms. Cook introduced herself and gave background of her web programming abilities. Ms. Cook is looking to supplement her income and recommended her services to improve the Chilmark Town Web site. Reviewing our web site as a user Ms. Cook reported some challenges navigating and finding information. The home page of the Chilmark Web site is not intuitive for the public.
Mr. Doty said Virtual Town Hall is the company that supplies many of the island municipalities with a web site template. Mr. Carroll said many of the other towns have moved on to alternate options. Mr. Malkin said we have not appropriated any additional funds for FY18 to do web site work.
Chairman Rossi said he agrees 100% that the web site could be more user-friendly. Mr. Doty recommended revisiting this proposal in the fall. Ms. Cook thanked the Selectmen for their consideration.
Eversource Rate Hearings - Cape & Vineyard Electric Co-op (CVEC)& Cape Light Compact:
Rob Hannemann Chilmark’s representative on Island Energy Committee said this effects the Town of Chilmark’s budget and the pocket books of our residents (Mr. Hannemann is also a Chilmark FinCom member).
- Mr. Hannemann discussed the status of the All Island Energy Committee;
Eversource Rate Hearings - Cape & Vineyard Electric Co-op & Cape Light Compact Continued
It’s up and fully functional. All of the towns have a representative on this committee except for Edgartown though we expect Edgartown to officially appoint someone. A very active member is from Edgartown but is not officially representing Edgartown.
- Eversource currently has two different activities 1.) Their grid modernization plan of which the long term is extraordinarily important to us. 2.) A rate case is being examined and disputed by a number of parties. Mr. Hannemann discussed the grid modernization that has not been updated / changed since the 1900s. The DPU (Department of Public Utilities) goal with the grid modernization is to optimize demand and reduce outages. A very important piece of the plan is how we integrate renewable resources. For in-depth information please see link to web page of Selectmen’s agenda: http://www.chilmarkma.gov/Pages/ChilmarkMA_SelectAgenda/2017/07112017/index
Mr. Hannemann reported being underwhelmed by Eversource’s plan that they had 5 years to produce. Mr. Hannemann said National Grid’s plan is better.
Pertaining to the rate case Mr. Hannemann pointed out some major factors; Eversource plans to charge more for people who have solar panels. A positive in Eversource’s plan is they are increasing the discount to low-income households. They are increasing the base charge (weather you use electricity or not in a month from $3.73 to $8.00.
Western Mass. will be subsidized by Eastern Mass. The average bill will increase by an average of $6.50 per month. Net metered customers (municipalities) across the Cape and Islands will lose about 1 million dollars a year of net metering credits.
- Community Empowerment Act; a bill before the Massachusetts Legislature.
As for the Grid Modernization, Mr. Hannemann recommended to respond as a town; Writing to the DPU commissioners and also writing letters to our Legislators. Mr. Doty asked with these letters are we supporting the position that Cape Light Compact (CLC) has taken. Mr. Hannemann said in general he thinks CLC has correct positions on the grid modernization plan. Mr. Malkin moved to have Mr. Carroll draft letters, utilizing Mr. Hannemann recommendations on behalf of the Chilmark Selectmen in support of the CLC stance on the Grid Modernization and endorse CLC program. Mr. Doty seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes
Mr. Hannemann recommended letters to the DPU and Legislators about the Rate increase. Mr. Malkin moved to have Mr. Carroll draft letters, again utilizing Mr. Hannemann recommendations on behalf of the Chilmark Selectmen in support of the CLC and CVEC stance on the rate case (increases). Mr. Doty seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes
Mr. Carroll will put the Community Empowerment Act on the Selectmen’s agenda for the July 25, 2017 meeting and have Mr. Hannemann return with recommendations for the Selectmen to act on. Chairman Rossi thanked Mr. Hannemann for his involvement on behalf of Chilmark and his recommendations.
Peaked Hill Pastures -Electrical Update:
Chairman Rossi said he attended the association meeting last week. There have been breaks in the underground electrical conduit causing outages and costly emergency repairs. Chairman Rossi estimates that the town is responsible for about 1/3 of the cost for the town owned portion of the Road Association dues.
Chairman Rossi reported that this is the site where we are looking to establish more affordable housing lots in in the near future. Chairman Rossi said nothing is happening immediately with the electrical at the site. Eversource still needs to engineer a plan for the new utilities. There was discussion that this could be quite costly but an upgrade to the system is due.
Master Plan Committee - Menemsha Map Concept:
Janet Weidner and Joan Malkin presented a base map draft to aid visitors to navigate the parking shuttle and Menemsha area. The committee proposes two locations for the map, one at the shuttle lot and another down in Menemsha. Mr. Doty said the bus shelter at the shuttle has been completed and this would be a good location for this base map. Mr. Doty said there were 35 cars up at the shuttle lot (Tabor House Road) on Thursday night last week. Ms. Malkin said the location of where these should be posted is at the Lot and in Menemsha but how they are posted the committee felt would be good to have Mr. Carroll decide. Ms. Weidner said she believed that the Planning Board had some funds remaining to pay for the 2 maps to be mounted at the two locations.
Mr. Carroll said the VTA had a chance to review this base map and recommended to color code the routs with the same color as they have for the route schedule. VTA route 4 bus; brown and bus 12; orange. The VTA office also recommended that the map state that the shuttle and lot are free of charge (route 12).VTA also recommended a QR code that has the complete VTA schedule on the base map too.
Police - Completion of Initial Probationary Period / Fielder:
Chief Klarèn asked that the Selectmen approve making officer William Fielder a permanent employee as he has completed the 6 month probation period. Mr. Malkin moved to approve Mr. Fielder’s permanent employee status. Mr. Doty seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes
In other police department matters Chairman Rossi thanked traffic officer Kevin Burchill for his insight and recommendations for Menemsha area traffic / parking flow. Mr. Doty asked how the public have been reacting to the parking updates in Menemsha. Mr. Burchill gave an update on the summer traffic so far this season. Mr. Burchill said the addition of the electric cart is an improvement for accessing the West Dock and being visible as a traffic officer. Mr. Malkin said there were concerns voiced from Larsen’s Market establishment that the fishermen are leaving their trucks in the 30 min zone. Mr. Burchill will follow-up with this concern. Mr. Doty said he is very impressed with the traffic flow and parking in Menemsha so far this year. The traffic officers have been very good at informing the public of the
Chief Klarèn said that he has had follow-ups with the CCC Summer Program / the MV Film Festival (MVFF) and Library about the parking congestion especially on Wednesday nights in the town center.
Police - Continued…
Chief Klarèn said so far the MVFF has kept to the agreement for Wednesday nights and the Library is satisfied with the agreement being followed. Discussion about capacity and use of shuttle lot commenced.
Harbormaster Jason asked for more police presence on the dirt drive (Boathouse Road) to the West Dock as it is getting pretty heated at times as to who and where folks are parking. Mr. Burchill responded. Chairman Rossi thanked Harbormaster Jason for bringing this to their attention. Selectmen discussed the need to clarify with the Aquinnah Selectmen the parking and policing of that road.
Chairman Rossi recommended receiving the Planning Board Masterplan prior to any decisions on how to turn unauthorized cars away from West Dock. Ms. Weidner said that is a specific problem that the traffic planner is addressing. Chilmark Police department will work on solving the parking problem on the dirt road from the Galley to West Dock and report back to the Selectmen.
Summer Operations Update from Beach Department:
Superintendent Martina Mastromonaco gave a brief report. Mr. Doty said he has gone to Lucy Vincent Beach quite a lot this summer and is very impressed with the staff working the lots. Ms. Mastromonaco asked for an update from the Selectmen concerning “Crab Corner” for swimming. Ms. Mastromonaco said people are still entering the area and her guards are still telling them to keep out at this time. Mr. Malkin showed signage that will be installed in the area of Crab Corner that looks more official than the present notice posted. Margaret Maida asked if it (Crab Corner) will be opened for swimming. Mr. Malkin said not till the Town’s Electrical Inspector has signed off on the work being done and the problem is eradicated. Mr. Malkin reiterated that the lifeguards are to continue to not allow swimming there.
Ms. Mastromonaco asked why there was a port-a-potty on Menemsha beach. Mr. Carroll said he was going to ask her. Ms. Maida said she heard from Seth Karlinsky our Comfort Station manager that he ordered it to alleviate some of the crushing demand on July 4th weekend. Chairman Rossi said this should have been brought to the Selectmen to decide on prior to implementing. Chairman Doty moved that we direct Mr. Karlinsky to remove the port-a-potty from Menemsha Beach. Mr. Malkin seconded the motion and added asked to be notified of a plan of this nature prior to it happening. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes
Mr. Doty said that concerning the electrical problem that we have in Menemsha Harbor he wanted to acknowledge the hard work of Harbormaster Jason and Selectmen Malkin.
Ms. Maida (of the Beach Committee) recommended orange snow fencing with the signage Mr. Malkin showed us tonight attached would be appropriate for keeping public out of Crab Corner. Mr. Malkin recommended having Tim Carroll and the Beach Committee and Highway Department, if necessary, work together to get this “no entering crab corner” done.
Mr. Malkin also said if the Beach Committee thinks additional guard for that area is important to please let Selectmen know.
Harbormaster Jason reported that he now has his full staff working at the harbor. Mr. Jason said July is busier (more boaters) compared to last year. Mr. Doty said the swim-line at Menemsha beach looks good. Mr. Malkin said if the designation buoys are ready to be deployed to please see to that being done. Mr. Carroll mentioned USCG permits needed prior to installing the fairway buoys. Mr. Malkin said Harbormaster Jason can regulate all vessel operations in Menemsha and surrounding Chilmark waterways. Any other issues that arise, Mr. Malkin will work with Harbormaster Jason to solve.
Fire Department - Chief’s Medical Leave:
Ms. Mastromonaco said she is the Administrative Assistant to the Fire Chief in the off-season but has agreed to take-up the smoke detector inspections during the Chief’s medical leave. Mr. Doty said we are organizing coverage for the Fire Department - Chief’s responsibilities for the months of July, August and September. Selectmen reviewed the plan presented by Mr. Carroll. Mr. Doty moved to approve this plan. Mr. Malkin seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes
Old Business- Offshore Engineering:
Mr. Carroll said John Packer of Offshore Engineering submitted an invoice for the installation of floating dock that Offshore Engineering abandoned. Mr. Carroll said the completed job would have been $49,000.00 but this invoice is for amount of the job that was completed for $9,125.00. Chairman Rossi asked if he (John Packer) would take up the project in the fall. Mr. Carroll said Mr. Packer stated he was abandoning this project. Mr. Carroll explained that Mr. Packer had a boat fire, an injury to his arm and that an employee injured their back. Mr. Carroll said he is not pushing this now and can’t find another contractor to do the work anyway.
Selectmen discussed stowing the floating docks and the gangway till the fall when the project will hopefully be completed.
New Business- Town Advisory Committee & Chilmark MOU:
Chairman Rossi asked to discuss the information from Nan Doty the Chairman of the Chilmark Community Center Advisory Committee. Chairman Rossi who is the Selectmen liaison on the CCCAC said the committee would like to vote on the tennis shack within the next two weeks. Mr. Malkin said a swim and sailing program needs to be brought back to the Chilmark Community Center Summer Program. Mr. Carroll said it could be written into the MOU. Mr. Malkin said tennis can be exercised anywhere in the nation but sailing and swimming are defiantly native to Chilmark and he strongly recommends it be part of the program again. Mr. Doty spoke in support of the CCC tennis program and in adding the new tennis shack.
New Business- Cuts to DOR
Mr. Carroll said he received notice today of reductions of $40,000,000.00 to the state budget. This will likely reduce local aid to schools and libraries.
Mr. Carroll reported on an upcoming meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers on their plans for dredging in Menemsha Channel and Menemsha Pond. H & L Contracting is the new company hired to do the dredging project.
New Business-USACE Continued…
The project is to mobilize dredging September 15, 2017, they will be on site and dredging by October 1, 2017 and are required to be done by January 15, 2018 demobilization is February 15, 2018. Mr. Carroll said the dredging company is planning to start dredging October 1st and be completed with dredging by October 28, 2017.
USACE will arrive mid-September to complete a pre-dredging survey to know exactly what needs to be accomplished. USACE is looking to dredge 38,000.00 cubic yards of material.
Mr. Carroll said he plans to dig up and stabilize the West Dock parking lot in October.
At 6:44 PM with no further items for discussion Mr. Malkin moved to adjourn. Mr. Doty seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes
Minutes respectfully submitted by Diana DeBlase. Approved 07/25/2017
- Draft Minutes 6/20/17
- Chilmark Road Race Road use permit application form
- Proposal from Anne Cook to work on web page
- Eversource rate hearing notification
- Cape Vineyard Electric Coop Grid Modernization recommendations
- Cape Light Compact Grid Modernization recommendations
- Minutes from the Pasture Road Association meeting - towns involvement
- Draft Menemsha Map presented by Chilmark Planning Board
- Placard for no swimming in harbor
- Beach operations from June to date report
- Fire Chief medical leave plan and compensation schedule
- Request from Police Chief to appoint officer Fielder a permanent employee
- MIIA insurance plans for FY18
- SMART A/C Savings Program information from Cape Light Compact
- MGL C 40 sec 57 report
- Comcast updates to television service