Historical Commission Meeting Minutes 08/18/2019

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Historical Commission minutes for August 18, 2019

Present: Sonia Morrison, Diane Provenz, Lauretta Harris, Celeste Watman, Thom Garvey, Tom Ragusa, Judi Mabee

Guest: Geoff Pigman

Called to order at 10:07 am

Minutes of August 5, 2019 tabled for next meeting

Fundraising: we need to look into additional grants besides MA Historical. Sonia will investigate other avenues where we might be eligible for funds

East Otis Schoolhouse: Sonia advised that the RFP was given to Town Administrator for review before we advertise. Architect we are working with advised some problems with survey but will be addressed. We need bids to show detailed plans, specs, fixes for preservation and bidder must be approved by MA Historical Commission.

Diane asked why we need to expend $10K for the Church and $15K for Schoolhouse – Sonia explained that the Schoolhouse amount would cover the site plan, Survey for picnic area as well as the building and would also cover all bidding docs. Celeste suggested that RFP is allowing 9 months to complete and is too long – Sonia will amend to 4 months. Celeste also suggested we look into other Funding that might be applicable: Commonwealth Places grant, State Cultural Council, Otis Cultural Council grant for the Knox Trail video etc. Diane advised some require 50% in pledged funds but we may qualify. We should apply now for MA Development Fund before the October deadline. Sonia said we should be able to get monies from Complete Streets for the trail and the playground/picnic area at the Schoolhouse. The Town has to apply. Only a Select person or Town Manager can vote. Thom will check deadlines and what types of projects would qualify. Diane said there are emergency funds 50/50 available for St Paul’s through the state but it was agreed that we should fix everything at once.

St. Paul’s – Sonia asked if we are ready to apply for construction money from the state for the church. We already have the drawings that are required. We will look at drawings at next meeting to determine if they are usable. Geoff advised that after the quite title action the title to St Paul’s will be held solely by the Diocese it would be advisable to remind the select-board that there were two votes by the town agreeing to take title to the property. Diane will send a letter to the select board.

Building Use Committee – Thom went to the last meeting and advised we are looking for space for our files, papers, artifacts and furniture. Anything that would need a controlled environment can be stored in the vault in town hall basement but we are hoping we can get the use of one of the rooms on the second floor of Harmony Hall for the rest. He said the committee has determined the new maintenance garage is their first priority but they will keep our desire for space on their list. Sonia advised since the Building Use Committee is so busy with the Garage/Fire Dept/Maintenance needs, we might simply send a letter to the Town Administrator advising that we are hoping to acquire the space in Harmony Hall for our inventory and storage. Vote approved.

Knox Trail Hike – Tom said approximately 20 people made the hike- he is planning another one for October. On Wednesday there is a lecture at the library. He is working on a list of the abutters to the trail to hand in at the All Boards meeting. He is also looking for a hard copy of an Arial photo from 1952

New Business: Sonia asked who might be able to represent us at the All Boards meeting 8/26 and advise them of our ongoing projects. – Tom R said he would go. She also asked who might be able to make the Select board meeting and speak to same. Thom G and Geoff will be able to make that meeting and Celeste would like to go to speak to the digitization of articles in the conference room. Town Administrator advised her that she would need to let them know. Celeste also wants to let them know that this digitization is being done through the Boston Public Library so process would have to be through our town library and not the Historical Commission. The Otis Library Board is in agreement.

Diane advised there is a meeting of the MA Historic Preservation on 9/20 in Plymouth MA if anyone was interested

Next meeting September 3, 2019 5:30 pm

Adjourned 11:21 am