Historical Commission Meeting February 4, 2019
Present: Diane Provenz, Sonia Morrison, Thom Garvey, Tom Ragusa, Celeste Watman, Judi Mabee
Called to order at 5:40 pm
Minutes of January meeting were accepted with minor corrections.
Tom is working with a new map of the Knox Trail dated 1831 but it stops at the Otis border.
East Otis Schoolhouse – Tom and Sonia went to a Massachusetts Historical Preservation meeting. The learned about a pre-development grant – they prefer to award monies to first time recipients. Grants are issued in March and the next round will be in three years. Sonia said the state has requirements to get grant money for our historic projects and we should give it to the Town Administrator to see if we can get it on a Warrant Article. She passed out a sample from another community to review. Tom asked if property must be on state registry to begin the process. Sonia believes it does so we should speak to Town Administrator about getting this started.
Diane believes we need to have a statement prepared to speak about the warrant before the town votes. . We should also bring this up with the selectmen prior to the meeting.
Sonia proposed we ask Bonnie to give us a price to put it on state registry. All present voted to approve.
Historic District: We will need to do mailings and submissions for buildings within the district. Sonia questioned who will have to be notified for Town owned buildings – will it have to be brought to a town vote or do selectmen have the authority to approve on towns behalf. Diane said we need to get St. Paul’s on the registry so we can begin to secure the building. Objections from owners of property in the district will need to be notarized. It takes a long time for the State to see if they will accept the district and if they agree to it, they will send the letters to all owners.
Vote to approve having Bonnie continue to work on the district was approved
Discussion regarding mileage reimbursement for Tom for his travels to Pittsfield Registry – agreed he should be compensated.
Report on Building Use Committee meeting by Thom. It appears that potable water in town buildings is an issue. Committee discussed reaching out to town departments and commissions to see what they may need for space in the future.
Celeste advised the library is trying to digitize the contents of the museum and believes our historical documents should be included as well. Diane and Sonia thought that it might be helpful to have college interns help with the work. Celeste advised that the Commonwealth and Boston Public Library will assist for free.
Building Committee – Thom would like to be on it and Sonia agreed to be an alternate
Town annual report – budget voted and accepted
St. Paul’s – per Diane – Geoff Pigman forwarded information that appeared to insinuate that the church may be considering if the town would accept the property with a title Insurance policy rather than going through the Quiet Title action.
New Business- Workshops in Greenfield with Chris Skelly – Adaptive use of Historic Buildings. Thom has been working with Snowmobile club, DCR and private owner to get permission to use a section of the snowmobile trail that goes over the Knox trail. It has been used for many years but owner may want to close it off. He is putting together a package of historical information that may persuade them to continue its use.
Date for next meeting will be March 5th at 5:30
Meeting adjourned 7:45 pm