Historical Commission minutes for March 2, 2021
Present: Sonia Morrison, Thomas Ragusa, Celeste Watman, Gail Gelburd, Judi Mabee , Diane Provenz
Guests: Melva Eidelberg, Ellen Beck, Geoff Pigman
Called to order at 10:00 am
Meeting minutes January and February approved
Knox Trail Video – in process.
Knox Trail – Tom advised he dropped off one of the Knox Trail binders at the Rec Center. It will be stored at the Commissions office on the 2nd floor of Harmony Hall. He plans to bring one copy to Beartown State Forest, and another to a meeting of the Snowmobile club where he will present the information. Diane added that our budget for the Knox Trail should include $5,100 for signage, research and application fees. This would not include costs to create parking at the East gate. Tom said that would involve removing trees and clearing of the land on Algerie Road. Diane asked him to please break down estimates. Sonia asked if we need gravel. Diane will write a letter to the town – we can’t foresee all expenses for the year. Can we add a line for free cash in our budget to cover unanticipated expenses (chattel, land surveys)
East Otis Schoolhouse – Sonia will get the budget numbers this week. She noted how great our grant committee is doing. She asked Tom if he could check on a new project in Tolland that might be close to our size – would he please check for a contact there. She would like to see how they have planned out their budget. Celeste said she is meeting Lynne Geane next week but no cost estimate yet. Brandy advised Bill Hiller has to sign papers for our grant applications and it should be done by early next week. Diane advised Brandy that Lynne is the point person for this. Gail said she went over the text with Lynne and made some edits. Maybe it could be sent to Sonia for review by Thursday. Deadline is March 10th for approval by National Registry. We are still searching deeds and both Brandi and Lynn O’Brien are assisting. Judi will contact Bonnie to see if she has any info. Steve McAllister will have estimate today or tomorrow which will include Phase 1.
OPT – Budget $90,347. Sonia will call Diane Dyer to see if there is an account for earlier contributions. Feigenbaum committee rejected our request for a grant. Gail believes it may be because we don’t have a long track record – maybe once we gain more visibility we can apply again next year. Diane asked if OPT should join the Otis Historical Society. Sonia was not sure we could merge them but maybe they could have some sort of relationship with them and with a Junior Historical Society. Gail believes we should try to get all involved to discuss it this summer. There are grants tied to educational programs. Tabled talks regarding additional opportunities till next month.
East Otis Historical District- Discussion tabled till May
Warrants – 1. St. Paul’s Church acceptance as building for Community Center / 2. Regarding naming rights / 3. request for $70K in town account earmarked for a community center. / Brandy will write 25% overage for grant.
St. Paul’s Church – Discussion regarding the steeple. Diane wondered if we could ask to have drone pictures taken to examine what repairs need to be made. Sonia said Larry already has them. Discussion tabled for April meeting. Sonia noted if we get the 70K we shouldn’t have to ask for any money from the town. We can pay for it and get it done right away. Tom suggested we put warrant in to fix the steeple and Sonia asked if it could be temporary so that if town votes to do it and we get the $70K then emergency repairs can be done. Gail said we would need up to 5K for emergency repair. Celeste advised we would need a warrant to accept the property behind the church. Diane volunteered to write it.
Junior Historical Society – can be developed over time. Maybe try for April/May, We received a $500 grant from Otis Cultural Council, .
New Business – CPA – call assessor to find out how much it would cost taxpayers. Could we set up a fund to pay for property owners with income below a certain level? Need 200 signatures to get it on town meeting in April. It was done in the past for sewer line and then voted on at election day.
Notice Otis Series – we have a couple more shows in the pipeline.
Donations received in honor of Wm Hosley birthday.
Next meeting April 5, 2021 @ 11am
Meeting adjourned 11:34 am.