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Historical Commission Meeting Minutes06/14/2010
Minutes of June 14, 2010 Meeting at Academy Building
Commissioners present:  James Jurney (JJ), Sharon Hughes (SH), Suzanne Pelton (SP), Olga Weiss (OW).
Volunteers present: Jim Biancolo (JB).  Guests present:  None.
Meeting called to order at 4:09 PM. Next meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2010 at 4 PM.
Minutes of the May 10, 2010 meeting were approved.
Old Business
Brochure and Applications for Historic House Plaque Program
JJ delivered the printed brochures (1000 copies) and the HC was extremely pleased with the finished product.  Primary locations for distributing the brochure are the Town Hall and the Library.  SP will work with Amy Lafave to determine the best way to make brochures available.  The HC agreed that a preferred approach would be to have a brochure clearly visible at the Library check-out counter and to keep a supply of brochures behind the counter.  Patrons would see the brochure whenever checking out material and the librarian could easily provide a copy to anyone interested.  A similar approach in the Reference Section of the library would also be helpful.
In addition, each HC member took brochures to distribute to businesses in the HD and to property owners with houses of historic interest.  Also, the brochure will be posted on the town web site.  JB agreed to work with the Town Clerk (Marie Colvin) to see if a link to the brochure can be added to the town home page.  The link would bring up a page containing a brief description of the Historic House Plaque Program (this would be the first two paragraphs of the brochure) and a link for downloading the brochure which includes an application for an historic house plaque.  JJ will provide a pdf file of the brochure without the background photo to keep the file size small enough to download.  JJ will also provide a full page version (8 ½” x 11”) of the brochure’s data entry column.
JJ needs to get reimbursed for the brochure printing costs and will submit an invoice that must be initialed by three HC members before being submitted to the town.  The BOS approves the expenditure of funds that have been budgeted to the HC.
For plaque designs, it was agreed that the HC would provide guidance to applicants regarding the preferred look of each plaque.  HC preference is essentially captured on the brochure’s Plaque Samples column.  The year built date should be as large as possible to ensure it can be read from the road or sidewalk.
SP agreed to contact Peggy Ammendola to get the HC on the next HDC agenda to apply for a blanket approval to have historic plaques mounted on houses for which the HC has approved applications.
Current Status:  Updates to the prioritized list of public buildings for which the HC will provide plaques still need to be incorporated.  SP will send the list’s Word file to JB who will incorporate the updates.  Funds for these plaques will come from the administration fee that is part of plaque program proceeds.
SP has gotten the HC on the HDC’s July 6, 2010 agenda to apply for historic plaque blanket approval.  JB has updated the prioritized list of public buildings that are candidates for free plaques.  No HC member could attend the July 6th HDC meeting and SP has requested that the HC be put on the HDC’s July 20, 2010 agenda.
Village Street Signs
SP agreed to attend the Village Improvement Committee (VIC) scheduled for 7 PM following the HC meeting.  The VIC had directional signs on their agenda and SP will discuss the HC’s preference for a “Ladder Sign”.  Preference is for two posts holding horizontal slats.  Each slat contains the name of a single business and a small arrow indicating which way to turn to travel toward the business.  The structure would have a finial at the top of each post.
SP provided examples of the following signs:  Ladder, Kiosk, Historic Village, Shops & Restaurants.  It was agreed that taking the Stoneover Plaque to the VIC meeting would be an excellent way to show the VIC the type of sign preferred by the HC for applications not requiring a ladder sign.
JB commented that he thought the guidelines discussed at the previous HC meeting would have been in the form of text similar to what presently exists in the HD Guidelines document.  No comment was made as to whether written guidelines would be provided to the VIC.
Village Kiosk
The HC agreed that its strong preference is to not have a kiosk.  If a kiosk is mandated then the three sided originally proposed by the town is unacceptable.  Two posts supporting a two sided sign with a shape similar to the historic plaques would be preferred.
Current Status:  Based on a recommendation from the VIC, the BOS has decided that the corner of Church and Walker is not an appropriate location for a kiosk and the previously installed pedestal for mounting a kiosk there has been covered over.
West Street Project
OW stressed the need to continue to promote the value of asphalt sidewalks no wider than five feet.  Focus should be on asphalt being a lower up-front cost and asphalt reduces the risk of damaging nearby trees.  OW will measure the width of sidewalks in town to help assess the risk of edge damage if a five foot sidewalk is constructed instead of the present plan for a six foot width.
Updates to Form B’s
The first step of the $7800 CPA funded project to update 122 Form B’s will use ListServ to put out an RFP to select a consultant.  SP will tailor an existing RFP to accommodate specifics needed by the HC and provide it for HC review.
Current Status:  JB noticed from the previous minutes that Greg Federspiel said the HC could obtain three quotes from ListServ or go through an RFP process to select a consultant.  Clarification is needed to determine if an RFP can be put out via ListServ.
JB spoke with Peter Stott at MHC Survey and Planning Department.  Peter explained that MHC considers the paper version of the Form B to be the master but MHC wants everyone to submit the paper version and a Word version of each Form B.  MHC files the paper version and loads a PDF of the Form B onto MACRIS so it can be accessed over the internet.  MHC keeps each Word file of the Form B’s and stores them in a limited access "system".  Lenox Form B's are scheduled to be scanned by MHC early in 2011 so submitting updated Form B’s should be done this year.
Affirmative Maintenance Ordinance
JB provided copies of the latest draft of the Affirmative Maintenance Ordinance (AMO) which the HC reviewed.  Notes were taken on typos, necessary capitalizations and the need to add plumbing and heating systems to the list of items requiring affirmative maintenance.  It was agreed that even though definitions needed to be added and that referenced statutes needed to be assessed for suitability, the draft could be forwarded to Mary Albertson for her review and advice.
Current Status:  JB incorporated HC comments and sent draft version of the draft AMO to Mary Albertson on 6/15/2010.
Village Improvement Committee Responsibilities
At the last HC meeting, Greg Federspiel agreed to look into the issue of having two BOS representatives on the VIC.  Since then, Greg has confirmed via email to JB that there is now only one BOS representative on the VIC.
Update Board of Selectmen
It was reiterated that the HC provide the Board of Selectmen with periodic HC status updates since the BOS is interested in getting more informed on the activities of Lenox’s boards, committees and commissions.  The Form B update project is of particular interest.
New Business
None.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:35 PM
Respectfully submitted.
Jim Biancolo, HC Volunteer


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