Historical Commission Meeting January 7, 2019
5:35 Meeting called to order
Present: Diane Provenz Tom Ragusa, Thom Garvey, Sonia Morrison, Celeste Watman, Judi Mabee
Guests: Jim Crandall and Larry Gould
East Otis Schoolhouse
Per Jim the lead testing has been done and there has been an engineering report. Questions remain regarding use of steel beams vs wood, jacking building from outside or inside, placing foundation on a slab vs piers or creating lower level. There are no formal estimates on repairs as yet to secure the existing foundation. Sonia and Diane advised that this is one of very few remaining one room school houses in New England and it is worth preserving. Although we will not be eligible for matching funds from the State Historical Commission due to a March deadline, we should continue to pursue this avenue since the building is eligible. There are rules regarding the towns responsibility to maintain the building in perpetuity that we would need to make the select board aware of. Larry asked what we hope the schoolhouse would be used for and both Larry and Jim spoke of the towns need for a larger space for a Highway Garage and how departments and committees need to establish what they need as far as space in the future.
Grants are still available for St Paul’s and it appears that the quiet title action is in process now. We should research how we might be able to set up ways to begin fundraising for the restoration prior to the towns ownership
Is still on our list for possible grants if the town deems it of use. Could it be used as a site for our documents and research? Usage ideas tabled for next meeting
Minutes from December meeting accepted with corrections
Tom has written the coordinates showing 14 sites of interest along the trail. There are 77 stations in the area between Otis and Sandisfield and he is now doing a walk along Sandisfield section.
We need to have another meeting with townspeople regarding the possible district. We can invite Bonny to come again. We also need to ask her about how we approach town owned building in the district as far as notice.
Historical Commission budget
Celeste will prepare entry for the town annual report. We will need more funding this year due to our current projects..Vote to approve budget for 2019 was passed.
Sonia and Diane spoke about “Complete streets” funding – it can be used for
maintenance of the Knox Trail
Discussion about transparency and having all reports made public.
Tom was interested in creating calendar of historical sites along the trail to include mile marking rocks.
Next meeting: February 4th, 2019
Meeting adjourned 8:10