Historical Commission Meeting Minutes 05/11/2020

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Historical Commission minutes for May 11, 2020 – Zoom meeting

Present: Sonia Morrison, Diane Provenz, Celeste Watman, Judi Mabee, Tom Ragusa, Geoff Pigman, Lauretta Harris, Lynn Geane

Called to order at 10:06 am

Minutes of February 26, 2020 approved

Knox Trail Video – we need to expend the funds in this fiscal year. Diane proposed we consider hiring her daughter Jessica Provenz as scriptwriter for the video. Jessica would need approx 20 hours to meet with Tom for research and 10 additional hours to prepare the script. She is extremely qualified and experienced. Diane recused herself and it was unanimously voted to hire Jessica at a rate of up to $2100, Geoff offered to use his contacts to see if we might hire a college student to do the videotaping, Celeste told us that she might be able to procure costumes through Barrington Stage Company.

St. Paul’s – A vote to accept the warrant verbiage proposed by Town Attorney for the town meeting in June was unanimously passed.

East Otis Schoolhouse: Vote passed to use 1950’s as the time period for the rehabilitation of the schoolhouse as suggested by the architect with appropriate signage for any articles displayed from a different decade.

Tree removal from St Pauls – Tom accompanied John Fields and Jack Conboy as they surveyed the work that needs to be done to prevent damage to the roof by surrounding trees. They are of the opinion that all of the trees close to the building should be removed. Diane visited separately, but felt that the trees should just be trimmed rather than removed.to keep the aesthetic integrity – if possible. Sonia expressed her opinion as a builder that removal is the safest and best way to go. Diane would like to ask the select board if we could get at least one more opinion from another tree company. It was voted to bring the issue up at the next select board meeting.

Grant opportunities – Diane and Lynn attended a meeting of the Architectural Heritage Foundation, Lynn described suggestions to raise visibility and increase community interest. There is a project in North Brookfield where the building has been described as a Creative Life Center. It was then suggested that Otis Civic Center at St. Paul’s might be a great name for our building since it would project the various community usages we envision. We should also keep in mind what that group called the 4 C’s – Compile/Consensus/Connect/Change.

Next meeting – need to have one in early June to update billing for Bonnie and Jessica and make sure we have paid everyone else

Donations – We have received more donations from Chris Coffee from her mother Marlyns estate and Diane is planning to write an article for the paper. Celeste has one room left to go through at Town Hall to finish her indexing of pertinent papers concerning early Otis, Diane suggested she visit the Lenox Historical center to see how they have presented documents as living things. She also said we have been given more paperwork from Hank Wingate, Tom is hoping we might find some early copies of the Greenwood Gazette. Judi suggested we could store some donated items in her barn to relieve any overcrowding in our one room at Harmony Hall. We will need room there for the items being returned by the Diocese that belonged to St Pauls.

Next meeting Monday June 1, 2020 at 10 am on Zoom

Adjourned 11:30 am