Historical Commission minutes for January 5, 2021
Present: Diane Provenz, Sonia Morrison, Celeste Watman, Gail Gelburd, Judi Mabee
Guests: Geoff Pigman
Absent: Thomas Ragusa
Called to order at 10:04 am
Meeting minutes of December 1, 2020 approved with corrections
Knox Trail Video – Diane advised that per Jessica’s email, there has been progress made on the video. She has interviewed eMr. Keller and they discussed having student involvement. He told her that he has a network of reenactment actors who may be interested in appearing in costume on our video. They may be willing to volunteer their time but some might request reimbursement for travel. She also suggested contacting Carson Poe who is a licensed FAA drone operator to do some filming, We will need a preliminary script to be submitted to Tom and Bonnie for historical accuracy. Time line /deadline has not been set due to Covid. Sonia asked if there is any other way we might reimburse Mr. Keller’s actors.
East Otis Schoolhouse and District – Schoolhouse project is still in Boston, Celeste advised the 2 grants we wrote were emailed to the commission and they were turned down. She will contact Bonnie to find out what is going on. Bonnie advised that there are not enough buildings and some have changed too much to create a viable East Otis District
St. Paul’s Community Center – Pre-development Grant – Because of long lead time to get it on the register this pushes us back another year for the grant. Gail believes it would be helpful to speak to State Senator to apply pressure and Sonia suggested we reach out to a local resident who happens to be an attorney to see if he could help us with that. Diane favors another town meeting – Sonia said the last one got pushed back due to Covid. Diane volunteered to speak to Betsy Friedberg but Gail believes Bonnie should make the call to her first. Best not to get too many people involved. In the past Senator Kerry helped get other grants so its helpful to have support of state senators and representatives. Diane agreed, saying we have been waiting 3 years- find out what should be our expectations since the building is in distress, Geoff agreed that we need to involve elected officials such as Adam Hines and Mr, Pignatelli. Gail said the ultimate decision is not made by the staff at the Historical Commission but by the committee that reviews the info. Find our what we may be missing.
East Otis Schoolhouse – Regarding grants – We need to get a response from Steve McAllister. Sonia made a site visit with Larry and the schoolhouse is moving, It needs immediate work. Will need to spend money to stabilize. Can we speak to the select board to see if we can work with Larry to seal it up ? Diane advised we will need to talk to Larry before going to the select board. Sonia said she will contact him. We may not get the grant money this year, Should we spend money to do this emergency work if it reduces our matching funds for grant. Vote made and passed to allocate money for stabilization and take matter to select board. We can still try MA Cultural grant and others that don’t need matching funds to complete the interior. Sonia said she spoke to Leigha Chaffee regarding the playground. Leigha asked if there could be naming rights there too. She said she might be able to help with other projects as well. We will be ready for MA Historical in this round of grants.
Budget – Per Sonia, OPT has raised $42,482.00 – this includes Charles Rosenblum donation of $10K and we are expecting his additional donation of $40K soon, Diane advised she is negotiating stock donations as well. Discussion regarding what we will need to put in for this year – due January 28th. Monies for Knox Trail, Bonnie, application fees, transportation of chattel for St Paul’s from Boston, consulting fees /use of church and schoolhouse. Vote to submit request for $18,575.00 voted and approved.
Grant Updates- There are 78 Non Profits in Pittsfield : Fitzpatrick Trust Grants – need letter of intent to apply – up to $75K : Cause IQ: Join forces with Otis Diversity: Speak to Tom Cameron and Joy Brown regarding research work for grants with Native American foundations.
New Business: St. Paul’s – need to pay for a lift to reach the top of the steeple to repair/replace wood. OPT will pay – but need warrant for upkeep and maintenance of the building and site needs (grading etc) Schoolhouse – Diane has received 2 more desks. They will need to be brought to Harmony Hall for storage. New site with links through Otis Observer called “Notice Otis” photo links are up and site should be finished by Jan 28th, Need Run-through with Bonnie – Diane will call her. Gail’s friend Melva offered to use Otis Woodlands Bulletin Board to shared information on meetings, donations, stories updates etc. Dave and Pam Peck called Diane regarding naming rights and donations, She will call them Jan16th. Diane also would like a more refined list as to naming rights on benches in the meditation garden. We also need survey to purchase land behind the church. If we can buy it the owners will consider it in exchange for tax write-off. Need to get info in for Town meeting for vote. Sonia believes we need survey before we put it in Town Warrant, We will need to take it out of our budget this year and then accept the land, Diane also said there have been inquiries about naming rights for donations over $100 in the garden, She wants to send out an email with additional suggestions, There will be a website in January of the CPA.
Next meeting February 2, 2021 at 9:30 am
Meeting adjourned 12:04 pm.