Historical Commission minutes for October 5, 2021
Present: Sonia Morrison, Gail Gelburd, Judi Mabee, Diane Provenz, Thomas Ragusa, Celeste Watman
Guests: Melva Eidelberg, Geoff Pigman, Lynne Geane, Hilary Harley, Stephanie Skinner
called to order at 10:30 am
September minutes approved with corrections
Knox Trail Video – nothing new at this time
East Otis schoolhouse – Sonia said there were 7 bidders including a couple of sub bidders. There will be another meeting tomorrow for any other bidders. Brandi from Town of Otis attended but Larry Gould was not present. Sonia advised lead paint on a non-residence does not have to be removed. Sub bids are due on October 13th. Brandi is updating the list of those companies that are interested. The General Contractor bids are due on October 20th. Gail asked if she had spoken to Paul Holz and Sonia said she had. The cemetery behind the schoolhouse is not safe. Lynn asked if we should do some fundraising to keep up the Norton Road Cemetery. Diane advised the desks could be a fundraising item. We have 20 desks and sponsoring one would bring in money. Donator and sponsors could both get credit. Sonia advised we need OPT to do this. Diane believed that the selectmen should go for this idea. They had given their authorization to do this for the church. Motion to vote to authorize OPT to fundraise using the naming of desks was approved. Diane asked if we could spell out at the Town meeting why we need $30,000 to utilize matching funds to the fullest amount. Gail was concerned that the town might think we were asking for more money in the future. Sonia felt it should come from the town. It is for foundation, roof anything structural. This is a building the town voted to rehabilitate. Diane asked for a motion to request $30,000 at the town meeting to complete the first phase. This motion was postponed. There had been some discussion with Larry S., and he suggested we show the town the progress that has been made to date.
Budget – OPT brought in an additional $38,000 from donors. She and Ellen will call them with our thanks. Lynn asked Diane for a list regarding the recent appeal letter.
St. Paul’s – Sonia spoke to Larry about plans. The engineer is writing a report on what needs to be done first. Larry advised the post beetles will be taken care of. Engineer said he will send preliminary report. Geoff brought up the bat guano in the attic. Sonia said it will be addressed when we begin the renovation, Gail advised she is making a list of what each grant is to be used for. Each member of OHC must send her a resume and estimate of how many hours spent this year and how many to be spent next year as volunteers. This will be used as value of service for matching grants. Geoff brought up the question of the chattel from St. Paul’s being held by diocese. Diane asked to send note to see if we will be getting it back. It has all been boxed. Motion to engage an attorney up to $1,000 to work toward receiving the chandelier, Geoff advised that the congregation is owner of the chattel, and the Executive Council will donate it to OPT when received.
New Business – Diane would like to check with the school to see if they are going to take advantage for the Farmington River Grant offered through the Taconic Foundation. Hilary gave information on the Native Indian Historian who will be speaking at the Notice Otis Series in February, she has also lined up a sculptor and would love any other ideas for guest. Diane motioned that we grant $1,000 for the Notice Otis series. Vote was approved. Also approved was $750 toward honorariums for the next 6 speakers in the series. Discussion about having to register on the OPT website for the series. Geoff asked if there was a mailing list and there was a suggestion that notices be published in the Sandisfield Times as well. Knox Trail Hike will be October 22nd at 10 am. Meeting at the boat ramp
Harmony Hall – Expecting another desk. We need to produce an estimate for the town showing how much to restore vs. rebuild. We can take the restoration on now but would prefer to wait till next year. Stephanie said we scanned 3 more days of documents and are awaiting some from June Crandell. Lynne said Larry Gould will set up a computer system to scan the photos and papers from Marlyn Coffee Gail said they are putting hotspots in town, and we will have one in the Rec Center. She also said the Sue Moody book is coming along and she is starting to edit. Geoff suggested that we make our Otis documents accessible to academic/historical groups. They may be of great value to Grad Students. Stephanie spoke about the moving of the St. Paul’s pulpit back to Otis– it was suggested she and Geoff write something up about the experience for the Otis Observer, Lynn thanked Stephanie, Roland. And Geoff for making the trip. Geoff has made a list of all the chattel to be returned. Diane suggested she and Diana attend a CPA meeting regarding a grant for Cultural Preservation Housing.
Next meeting November 2nd at 10:30am
Meeting adjourned 1:00 pm