Montague Notebook: Aug. 13, 2019

  • New Erving Police Department officers Amanda Flower and Christopher Miner were sworn in last Monday. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

Published: 8/12/2019 5:27:15 PM
Erving Police Dept. swears in new officers

ERVING — New police officers Amanda Flower and Christopher Miner were sworn in at the Aug. 5 Selectboard meeting.

Both have previous experience in police work, and will hopefully be attending the Western Massachusetts Police Academy together next spring, said Police Chief Christopher Blair.

“These officers work alone, so they’ve got to be on their game,” Blair said. “It really is important that we have quality people.”

Miner, hours after he was sworn in, arrested an intoxicated driver and handled the situation well, Blair said.

The Erving Police Department now has four members, including the two new officers. At full staff, the department would have six, Blair said.

Gill asks fire chief to stay on

GILL — A five-year extension for Fire Chief Gene Beaubien was approved unanimously in a Special Town Meeting vote on Aug. 6.

The article allows Beaubien to stay on in the position of chief until age 70, though 65 is the normal retirement age by state law. Beaubien turns 65 in January.

The Town Meeting vote asks the state Legislature to exempt Beaubien from the normal retirement age law by approving special legislation. The state lawmaking process can take several months, but Town Administrator Ray Purington said the town had likely allowed enough time before Beaubien turns 65, and state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and state Rep. Susannah Whipps, I-Athol, were told beforehand.

Beaubien said he is not sure if he will actually stay until age 70, but that he is not ready to retire yet.

Town planner: New apartment law a success

MONTAGUE — A revision to the town’s rules on accessory apartments, approved in a February Town Meeting, seems to have been successful, Town Planner Walter Ramsey said.

The Zoning Board of Appeals approved all three of the first batch of accessory apartment applications under the new rules in a July 17 meeting.

“There’s a growing demand for different types of housing options outside the typical post-World War II single-family home,” Ramsey said. “This is exactly the type of small-scale housing that the Planning Board had intended to encourage.”

The new rules make it easier to maintain an accessory apartment permit when ownership of a house changes, and gives more flexibility in what may constitute an accessory apartment, Ramsey said.

Movie and music at Peskeomskut Park

TURNERS FALLS — “Cars 3” will be shown at Peskeomskut Park on Friday. Folk rock trio ZoKi will play before the movie at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. The rain date is Aug. 23.

“Movies in the Park” is part of the Turners Falls Summer Park Series, coordinated by Turners Falls RiverCulture, Montague Parks and Recreation, Friends of Sheffield, Montague Public Libraries and the Great Falls Discovery Center, with support from the Montague Department of Public Works and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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