Historical Commission Meeting February 1, 2022
Present: Celeste Watman, Gail Gelburd, Joel Meyers, Diane Provence, Judi Mabee
Absent: Thomas Ragusa
Guests: Melva Eidelburg, Geoff Pigman, Stephanie Skinner, Lynne Geane
Called to order at 11:05 am
Approved minutes of December 2021
Approved minutes of January 2021 with corrections
Approved deletion of notice of minutes for November 2, 2021- that meeting was canceled
Budget: Gail spoke to Brandi and was advised that the budget for the proposed survey of possible uses for St Paul and the East Otis Schoolhouse together with transportation costs involved in moving artifacts would need to be separate items. She will speak to her again to finalize.
Survey: Celeste and Lynne brought up the question of who should initiate this survey. Celeste advised that a town-wide survey 5 years ago received little response. Gail believes we should be asking about programming and not building usage. Diana has been in contact with MA riders regarding using a professional for this. We can apply for $1k from Lee Bank toward this end and OPT can contribute $5K. Diane believes we should market our town as a prototype/poster town for business meetings due to our internet access. Gail suggested we table this until we are able to plan a separate meeting to fully discuss. Stephanie and Geoff were supportive of this view. We need to go in order of sequence – maybe an informal planning overlap of OHC and OPT. Celeste asked that we pick a date for discussion this month. What is is our purpose – do we approach the town and what specifically should we be asking for. We need a concrete proposal for the town to get on the agenda. Gail asked if we should invite the planning board and when will we find out about the library- we need to know whats happening there first before we proceed. Celeste advised the Library Board is meeting with a Grant representative, a select-board member and Brandi on February 10th and if we are chosen it will be a 2 year process. Diane advised there is a select-board meeting tonight and we should be proactive. Everyone needs to let Gail and Diane know what they need for this years budget. Regarding the Knox Trail Video – Diane will get a report from Jessica to see what she might need for costumes
OPT Report – Lynne is planning to meet with Diane regarding MA Historical grant work. OPT got the Martin Foundation $50K grant in 2 parcels and a $12,500 grant from Berkshire Bank – the problem with redoing the electrical panel at St Paul’s has been solved
Bids for East Otis Schoolhouse – Larochelle had $167K bid to pick up the building to do repairs underneath. It doesn’t include windows, painting or roofing, These will be covered under the second phase, Joel advised he will request that the steel for the beams be ordered as soon as possible,. Work can’t start till March or April due to the frozen ground but it must be done by June 30th per State grant. Diane advised $101 K needs to be used for matching funds. Joel said we asked in November for an extension to June 30 so that is the deadline. We have up to 3 years for matching funds and the next phase the RFP will be a smaller amount.
St. Paul’s – Joel said all parts are 60-90 days out due to Covid. We need to get the repairs done. We are getting bids for a commercial line from the street since we need 200 amp. Emergency repairs must be done and we need a generator. Geoff advised that the contractor should provide their own generator and not charge us for its use. We need more power than it had. Gail said the contractor was $12K less than the next bid so we can afford to pay for a generator if necessary.
MA Historical – Gail is meeting with Lynne
Knox Trail – We have the money for the trail marker – follow up with Tom
Kids Historical Society – Judi said an article about Martin Luther King Day and and some games for Presidents Day were sent to webmaster to put on the website. No emails have been received yet. Diane spoke to the PTA and will draft a letter to parents to gauge any interest in volunteering and to sign up new members.
Library / Question 18
Vote to keep local history books on the first floor. Vote to accept Celeste to be the curator of OHC, Motion to approve Question 18 were all motions were approved.
New Businesses – Celeste created a “Collection Management Policy” Stephanie will forward a copy to all.
Next meeting- March 8, 202 at 11am
Meeting adjourned 12:03pm