3rd public forum exploring options for Nichewaug Inn property

  • Member of the community attended a recent forum at the Petersham Town hall to explore uses for the Nichewaug Inn property. —Submitted Photo

Published: 11/25/2018 10:00:03 PM

PETERSHAM  – The third public forum in a series exploring possible options for the town’s Nichewaug Inn & Academy property, convened by the Selectboard, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 28 in the Town Hall, lower level, at 6:30 p.m. Bart Wendell, Petersham’s town moderator and a professional facilitator, will continue to lead the meetings.

Following up on the successful first two meetings, the third forum will build upon the ideas and input of the participants who attended the first two sessions. The focus of the first meeting was on ideal uses and the consequences/advantages of leaving the building and property as is for the foreseeable future. The focus for the second meeting was to discuss drivers (issues and outcomes that should influence any action concerning the Nichewaug), and possible unintended consequences of any action or inaction.

The third meeting will focus on developing further a set of drivers that can be used in future decision-making by the town. Five one-page proposals for the property have been submitted by residents in response to the call at the last meeting. These proposals will provide test cases at this meeting for evaluating the usefulness of the drivers in furthering the conversation. The goal is to agree on a set of criteria for making future recommendations. Undecided at this point is whether the group will attempt to agree on relative weightings for each of the criteria. Future agenda items will include determining what additional information will be necessary for making any recommendations as well as other variables that could affect the timeline for any future decision making by the town.

This is an exploratory process to provide insight to the Selectboard and Town Meeting based on the collective wisdom of the participants. All are welcome and encouraged to attend and participate.

The goal is to explore whether town residents can formulate an approach to the Nichewaug property for the future. The plan is to explore the potential for a consensus proposal as well as its limits. The end product will evolve based on the participants in the room. It is assumed that there will be a number of such meetings and that information collected in each meeting will be brought forward to the following meeting so that as little is lost as possible. This will continue to be a broad discussion with the hope that the conversation can lead to feasible solutions for the Nichewaug property to which all or at least two-thirds of Petersham voters might be expected to agree to at a town meeting.

All are encouraged to attend. Previous attendance is not a requirement for future attendance. The hope is that all viewpoints will be present. Background information concerning this property is posted on the ‘Nichewaug Property’ page under the ‘Town Business’ tab of Petersham’s website, http://www.townofpetersham.org/.  For more information about these forums, contact Bart Wendell @ bwendell@me.com or 978-724-0400.



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