West County Notebook

Hawley assessor’s meeting postponed

HAWLEY — Wednesday night’s Board of Assessors meeting was postponed to Friday at 2 p.m. in the Town Office, due to bad weather.

Members sought for Shelburne historical board

SHELBURNE — Selectmen are looking for residents interested in serving on a Historical Commission, to provide aesthetic input on new development, such as changes being considered at the Route 2 entrance to the village, near the old Sweetheart restaurant.

The idea to revive the commission came up after selectmen heard complaints about the look of the newly renovated Greenfield Savings Bank on Bridge Street. The one-story, 1960s facade of the building was replaced by a brick facade, and provides the bank with more room, and improved energy efficiency. The design was intended to replicate some features of its neighbor, the Pratt Memorial Library building, but some people have complained to selectmen about the bank’s new look.

Selectmen pointed out that their board doesn’t have authority over the aesthetics of a building.

“We have seven seats available for the Historic Commission, if you are a resident who would like to be involved with the aesthetics, or the look, of the village,” said Selectman Robert Manners.

Selectman John Payne said any new development in the village requires “several levels of approval people have to go through,” and “approval by a Historical Commission might be one level. A commission gives people more of a forum to speak up before the fact,” he added.

Some of the future issues facing the town in the Shelburne Falls village area include finding a new larger site for its police department, and providing feedback on Route 2 improvements under consideration by the state Department of Transportation. Selectmen said MassDOT is considering safety improvements, such as whether to add a turning lane, breakdown lane or traffic light near the Route 2/South Maple Street intersection.

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