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Petersham to give it another shot

  • Petersham Selectboard members, left to right - Clerk Fredrik Marsh, chairman Nancy Allen, vice chairman Henry Woolsey, and administrative coordinator Steven Boudreau —Athol Daily News/Deborrah Porter



Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

PETERSHAM — The town has another chance at a grant to install a platform lift at Town Hall, even though its latest application has been denied.

Selectman Henry Woolsey reported the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) Legal Counsel informed the town a week ago it was not going to receive a grant at this time.

Selecboard Chairwoman Nancy Allen said the problem was that a “homegrown” Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Access Plan, and not an official access plan, was submitted with the application. The MOD Community Compact indicates it will provide the $4,000 to $6,000 needed to hire a consultant to update update the ADA access plan. “We need to sit down and look at the scope of the work and cost update from last fall,” said Allen.

The town set aside $47,000 for a ramp at the town hall, which would have to be re-tasked by a town meeting vote for a lift project. A wood ramp, installed in 1993, has been replaced by a temporary $18,750 metal ramp. As a gift to the town, resident Stephanie Selden donated $15,000 toward the ramp.

Other items discussed in a preliminary review of capital projects (projects which exceed $5,000) for Fiscal Year 2019 include:

1) Resurfacing of asphalt terrain, and signage painting. Three locations in town are in need of resurfacing; the town hall, Petersham Center School (pathway and parking lot), and the fire station parking lot. Allen said that with three groups needing asphalt work, the town could obtain a better quote.

2) Maintenance repair of the bandstand on the Common, $4,000 to $10,000. The railings also need attention.

3) Maintenance repair of the exterior town office building (sash and window repairs), in the $15,000 range.

4) Refurbishment of the World War I monument (fading, names eroding), $4,000 to $10,000 estimated. Allen said she will get a true estimate, and noted the anniversary of the end of the war is coming up in 2018.

5) Nichewaug Inn maintenance account.

6) Possible matching grant for MOD grant.

Selectman Rick Marsh offered two additional items for the capital projects list.

The tree warden has requested an equipment shed at the transfer station.

Fifi Scoufopoulos has requested a lattice-like barrier be installed at the dump for safety, but Marsh said a steel and concrete railing might be a better choice. The reason is that some residents allow their children and dogs to run free near the concrete block retaining wall. There was a railing there at one time, but it broke.

The board will look for possible funding sources and review finished projects to see if there is any money left over, such as:

$4,500, which is left over from the town hall painting;

$5,900 is left over from the town hall shutters;

$15,000 (roughly) is remaining from the materials removal (asbestos) from the Nichawaug Inn project, which was appropriated at town meeting;

$10,200 from a Community Development Block Grant, of which Athol was the lead town on an Athol project. Last year, there was $3,700 left over.

There is $4,700 in the ramp account which will be used toward the platform lift for the town hall. Allen said the town won’t know until January 2019 if it received the grant, and at that time can go to the town meeting to re-appropriate that sum.


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