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Montague EDIC gets new member

TURNERS FALLS — The group responsible for the former Cumberland Farms building has acquired a new member as insurance against a possibly bogging down.

The Montague Board of Selectmen Monday night appointed Donald Valley of the Capital Improvements Committee to the Montague Economic Development and Industrial Corp.

With three empty seats, the EDIC had been working with its functional minimum of four members and the difficulty of recruiting new members to the quasi-municipal body has been a frequent topic at meetings.

Town Planner Walter Ramsey said the quick appointment was in response to last week’s EDIC meeting, at which member Roy Rosenblatt announced he was considering withdrawing from the process currently before the board, a move that could have left the board unable to proceed with the sale of the Cumberland Farms building

Rosenblatt said he was considering resigning, was willing to remain on the board temporarily to maintain a quorum but would probably not be willing to sign the final agreement, saying he was uncomfortable with the sale and other conflicts.

The fate of the former Cumberland Farms is the sole issue currently before the EDIC.

The board is in the process of hammering out an agreement to sell the disused and decaying structure at the corner of Avenue A and Second Street to Montague Community Cable Inc. as space for Montague Community Television, Turners Falls RiverCulture and the Montague Business Association.

The MCCI board of directors offered this winter to take the building largely in exchange for shouldering the cost of mold cleanup and roof repair ordered by the town building inspector.

Ramsey said he has received two letters of inquiry and the town is still actively recruiting for the two remaining seats on the board of directors, one earmarked for someone experienced in industrial development and the other to represent low-income residents.

According to Ramsey, Rosenblatt has raised questions about the board’s authority to handle the property.

The board’s next meeting has not been scheduled.

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

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