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Town of Lenox, MA

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Historical Commission Meeting Minutes02/08/2010
Minutes of February 8, 2010 Meeting at Town Hall
Commissioners present:  James Jurney (JJ), Sharon Hughes (SH), Suzanne Pelton (SP), Olga Weiss (OW), Ellie Geller (EG).
Volunteers present: Jim Biancolo (JB).  Guests present:  None.
Meeting called to order at 4:28 PM. Next meeting is scheduled for March 8, 2010 at 4 PM.
Minutes of January 11, 2010 meeting approved.
Old Business
Brochure and Applications for Plaque Project
The brochure is approaching completion pending incorporation of plaque drawings from Bob Leonard (our plaque supplier).  OW will be contacting Bob to request drawings for Stonover, Paterson, Breezy Corner and the Congregational Parsonage.  JB to provide OW with Bob’s contact information and with pictures of the planned Breezy Corner and Parsonage plaques.  OW will also ask for Bob’s opinion regarding having the “Lenox Historical Commission” entry on each plaque follow the plaque’s curved outline vs. the currently planned straight entry.  JJ will add plaque drawings to the brochure when they are available.
Plaque applications for Stonover and the Congregational Parsonage were approved.
OW has confirmed that the plaque account previously established by SH is in place for depositing plaque funds.  A separate account is established for withdrawing funds when invoices are processed.
A prioritized list of public buildings should be generated since plaques for these buildings will be provided from a portion of plaque proceeds.  SP has agreed to provide the list.
Current Status:  JB has provided OW with Leonard’s contact information and the plaque pictures mentioned above.  Consistent with JJ stressing the importance of establishing and adhering to a procedure for processing plaque applications… JB volunteers to support establishing a procedure with the steps necessary to apply for, approve, order, receive, inspect and deliver plaques.  A separate procedure for financial accounting aspects might make sense but these ideas should be discussed at the March 8th HC meeting.
Village Street Signs
JB has received confirmation from Mark Forant that previously submitted cost estimates are still valid.  Mark would like to borrow our two remaining historic signs to make an accurate pattern for the replica signs the HC is planning to propose for the Historic District.  The HC is willing to have Mark borrow the signs and would like the signs put on display by the Historical Society at the Academy Building.
The Village Improvement Committee (VIC) is the first step in getting approval for the replica street signs.  JB confirmed that the BOS has established the VIC as an official committee but the HC has still not seen any details on the town web site describing the VIC.  JJ to request information from Mary Albertson so we can understand VIC objectives, membership, meeting schedules and the procedure for getting on VIC agendas.
Current Status:  JJ sent email to Mary the evening of February 8th.
Village Kiosk
The kiosk order has been put on indefinite hold by the BOS.  JB reported that if a kiosk were mandated, Ralph Petillo (Chamber director) would not be in favor of a village map showing all village businesses.  He strongly prefers a map which highlights key public services and major historical assets.  This map would rarely need to be updated and would be designed to encourage visitors to walk around the village which would be beneficial to local businesses.
West Street
OW expressed confidence that the BOS has decided the sidewalks will be asphalt and the remaining unresolved issue is whether the sidewalks will be five (HC’s preference) or six feet wide.  SH and SP have seen a small sidewalk snow plow that they believe is quite a bit narrower than five feet so a five foot sidewalk should not be much of a plowing issue.
JJ spoke with Greg Federspiel and confirmed there will be another review of the West Street project.  JJ agreed to send a follow-up email to Greg to stress that the review should be structured to factor residents concerns into BOS project decisions.
Current Status:  JJ sent email to Greg the evening of February 8th.  JB measured the wheel track of a small snow plow on Walker Street and it was four feet wide.
Westinghouse Replica Street Lights
There will be a lighting ceremony once National Grid performs a final electrical procedure.
Current Status:  Linda Messana informed SP that no date for a ceremony has been chosen.  The town is waiting for National Grid's approval to turn on the lights.
Funding Opportunities
Community Preservation (CP) administrative funds are being pursued to potentially support updating historic property surveys (Form B’s).  In addition, Mass Preservation Project Funding (MPFF) is being pursued for conducting a survey of restoration needs at the Church on the Hill cemetery.
JJ confirmed that on February 22nd, the CPC will review our $7800 request to update 122 Form B’s.  SP and JB agreed to present the HC’s rationale for needing the funds and will use JJ’s letter to the BOS as the basis for the rationale.
SP indicated that Mass Historic Preservation is still awaiting word from the Governor’s office that Round 16 (about $800,000 in preservation funds) has become available.
Zoning Bylaw Change
Regarding our desire to have a Minimum Maintenance Ordinance (MMO) added to the Zoning Bylaw, numerous examples of a MMO have been obtained.  EG agreed to draft an MMO using information from the examples.  Our goal is to have a draft ready in time to present to the Planning Board at their February 23rd meeting.

New Business
National Register Applications
The HC is responsible for supporting the processing of National Register Applications for getting historical properties listed on the National Register and OW has obtained the necessary form and associated instructions.  JB will review the instructions and provide a summary to help the HC become familiar with the application process.
Annual Report for Lenox
The HC’s Summary Report is due near the end of February.  SP agreed to create a draft and send it to JJ and JB for their review.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:50 PM
Respectfully submitted.
Jim Biancolo, LHC Volunteer

Lenox Town Hall  6 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 01240   PH: (413) 637-5500