Looking ahead to 2014 in Gill

GILL — As people everywhere begin the effort to forget inconvenient resolutions to lose weight or clean the basement, Gill officials look ahead to reuse of the Mariamante land, a new heating system for Town Hall and other buildings, and a possibility that residents will be able to watch meetings live from home in the new year.

These are among the projects on the horizon.

The town bought the 11.9-acre former Mariamante parcel on the corner of Main and West Gill roads in 2004, hoping to redevelop the land and put it back on the tax rolls. The land has remained in limbo since the Narragansett Indian Tribe, along with the Wampanoag of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and the Wampanoag of Mashpee Indian tribes said the land contains a burial site. The Native American tribes want to see the site permanently protected, but the Selectboard hopes for a win-win solution with the possibility of a solar farm built over the land, with no or minimal digging.

Chicopee-based renewable energy company Ameresco is scheduled to present its vision for a community shared solar installation at the Jan. 13 Selectboard meeting, at 5:30 p.m. in the Town Hall.

Janet Masucci, a volunteer who tapes and edits Selectboard meetings for cablecast through Montague Community Television, has requested that the town use a portion of the funds received from the Comcast cable provider for community cable uses to buy new video recording equipment. Three wall and tripod-mounted cameras and a computer allowing the controller to switch angles and pre-load charts and other graphics would allow for a cleaner viewing experience and might allow the meetings to be shown live rather than after several days of work.

Currently, Masucci pans between faces with a single camera.

Selectboard members approved of the plan. Member John Ward said residents might be more engaged in the meetings if they are shown in real-time. “It would be nice to bring people along and get people interested,” Ward said. Selectboard meetings are typically sparsely attended.

Member Randy Crochier approved of a format change, saying he can’t watch the current cablecasts because the panning makes him seasick.

New heating systems for three municipal buildings, the Town Hall, Slate Memorial Library and Riverside Municipal Building, are to be paid for by Green Community grant money, with a sign-off from the Department of Energy Resources.

Crochier said the Riverside building needs a lot of work, with a new boiler just the beginning.

Ward said the board needs to start talking about what the town is doing with the building, primarily home to the Four Winds private middle school.

Crochier said he can’t see that continuing with the school paying a minimal amount and the building in need of upkeep.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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