Vol. I No. 01 8/6/2020
Town News: August 1
Town Meeting/Budget Update
The Stockbridge Town Meeting took place July 25, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. It was held out of doors. All warrant items passed. The meeting concluded in 31 minutes. It was proclaimed a record.
Interim Town Administrator Mark Webber and the members of the Finance Committee cut 2% from the town budget to ensure a financial cushion against any uncertainties created by COVID-19.
Town Administrator Position
Selectman Roxanne McCaffrey thanked Terry Flynn for his service to the town.
You can watch the entire town meeting on CTSB:
On July 9, the Select Board chose Michael Canales for the position of Town Administrator. Canales, currently the Chief Administrative Officer of the city of North Adams, was recommended by Mark Webber. The Search Committee, appointed by the Select Board, managed the process including identifying and screening the candidates, and developing and scoring the interview questions. The members were Bronly Boyd, Chuck Gillett, Marion Gardener-Saxe, Doug Goudey, Terry Shae, and Terri Iemolini.
Canales assumes the position on September 14.
You may have heard that there are problems with the construction of the highway building. Basically, the contractor hired sub-contractors who did sub-standard work on the building. It is the town's position that the contractor must correct the deficiencies its own expense. Much of the repair has begun and some of it is already complete. As more details become available, Stockbridge Updates will share them.
Transfer Station Sunday Hours
The Select Board voted to staff the Transfer Station on Sundays from 12-3 beginning immediately through Columbus Day weekend.
Second Homeowner Meeting
The Select Board scheduled the second homeowner meeting for Thursday July 30 at 9 a.m. Department heads were invited. The meeting was conducted via Zoom and approximately 100 people attended. Town representatives and homeowners discussed a wide variety of issues including the Stockbridge Bowl.
You can watch the Select Board meeting on CTSB:
Bill Vogt was elected Chairman of the Planning Board succeeding Marie Raftery, the Planning Board chair for the past year.
At its last meeting, the Planning Board discussed bylaws updates and identified 11 projects that could be addressed.
At Town Meeting, a $40,000 appropriation was approved for the Planning Board to engage consultants to help complete this work.
Historical Commission and Monuments
With monies awarded by the Community Preservation Commission and under the leadership of Terry Flynn, a structural analysis was done on two key Stockbridge monuments, the Soldiers' Monument and the Chime Tower. Selectman Patrick White is now shepherding the repair projects. Members of the Historical Commission and White met with Amanda Trienen, an expert at monument restoration, on Monday, July 27.
At the Town Meeting, $50,000 was appropriated for repair of the Civil War monument. More on the engineering and conservation assessment when facts become available.
The Fountain Committee
Kate Fletcher and Carl Sprague continue to shepherd the repairs to the two Main St. fountains – the watering trough and the Cat and Dog Fountain. The Fountain Committee is currently seeking bids from vendors to address the restoration of the Watering Trough and the Cat and Dog Fountain. Foresight Land Services is providing mechanical drawings to address electrical and plumbing needs. A landscaping plan has been drawn up for the Watering Trough. The Committee provided an update to the Select Board in May. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Lake Stewardship: Harvesting
The town has been working hard for over two months to get a harvesting Notice of Intent (NOI) fast-tracked through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Mark Webber and the prior Select Board hired Foresight Engineering in April to write the NOI and while there have been weeks of back-and-forth regarding the details that the DEP will find acceptable, the town still does not have permission from the state regulators to harvest this season. Everyone involved understands the severity of the problem and is working as quickly as DEP will allow. Any progress will be reported by Stockbridge Updates. Please see Stockbridge Updates editorial.
Board of Health Senior Survey
Jim Wilusz, Rae Williams and the Board of Health is working on a survey of seniors based on an AARP template. The survey is a comprehensive questionnaire that, among many other topics, discusses issues like housing and financial security. This survey will give us insight when considering policies the town might adopt to ensure we are an age-friendly community as our population ages over the next 20 years. Please watch for the questionnaire and be sure to fill out and return it. Thank you.
Parks and Recreation
Steven Knopf, Nick Fredsall, and Nicole Fairaux of Parks and Rec, in conjunction with Monica, the head lifeguard at the Town Beach, requested an emergency allocation of $4,000 to augment staffing at the Town Beach to deal with COVID-19. Both the Select Board and the Finance Committee approved this budget.
On June 29, town police and fire responded to a car fire behind Sidetracks. Thanks to Officer Slater for her quick response and to the Fire Department for being on-scene in less than five minutes. Pictured is Chris Marsden, who drove the fire truck to the scene!