Montague Notebook: July 24, 2021

Published: 7/25/2021 6:00:19 PM
Selectboard OKs personnel changes

MONTAGUE — The Selectboard has approved a series of personnel changes, including both new hirings and status changes.

Brandy Patch was hired as Department of Public Works office manager with a salary of $25.51 per hour, and Debra Kern was hired as a library substitute with a salary of $14 per hour.

Additionally, James Deery was appointed as a permanent staff sergeant with the Police Department, with a salary of $39.35 per hour, after filling in the role temporarily. Peter Lapachinski was appointed as sergeant with a salary of $35.43 per hour.

School Committee addresses concerns over pandemic learning loss

MONTAGUE — Gill-Montague Regional School District School Committee members discussed the idea of “pandemic learning loss” during their meeting last week.

The committee discussed reading logs and an innovative virtual “iReady” program as potential tools to keep students engaged. Schools have also purchased new books, which committee members believe might create new learning enthusiasm.

Elks Lodge gets liquor license for car show

MONTAGUE — The Selectboard has granted the Montague Elks Lodge at 1 Elk Ave. in Turners Falls a one-day liquor license associated with an upcoming car show. The event is scheduled for Aug. 8, from noon to 3 p.m., with a rain date on Aug. 15.

MassDOT grants $127K for pedestrian safety improvements

MONTAGUE — The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has awarded the town with a $127,000 Shared Streets and Spaces grant that will fund sidewalk/pedestrian safety improvements near Unity Park.

The improvements, on what are considered by the Selectboard to be unsafe crosswalks, will be conducted near 151 Third St. and between the baseball field and skate park in Turners Falls. The new crosswalks will be accompanied by signs with rapid flashing lights to signify crossings.

“The idea is that the town is supposed to have this constructed by the end of the year,” Town Planner Walter Ramsey said.

Plans also include the implementation of more picnic tables and bike racks.

Additionally, the Selectboard has approved using $394,965 from a fiscal year 2020 Complete Streets Funding Program grant for the construction of sidewalks on Keith, Montague and Turnpike roads. The board issued a notice to proceed and execute a contract with Baltazar Contractors Inc. of Ludlow to carry out the construction.

Selectboard OKs development of sewer overflow control plans

MONTAGUE — The Selectboard executed an agreement with the Wright-Pierce engineering company to develop an “Updated Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan” to address combined sewer overflow.

The Selectboard and Wright-Pierce explained that the primary issue to recognize with combining storm and sewer drains is the cost of having to treat excess water. The budget of $49,900 will be appropriated from the town’s American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

An earlier version of this notebook included an incorrect salary for library substitute Debra Kern. Her salary is $14 per hour, according to Montague Executive Assistant Wendy Bogusz.


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