Shelburne to seek grant for Little Mohawk Road work

Staff Writer
Published: 1/24/2020 5:14:44 PM
Modified: 1/24/2020 5:14:31 PM

SHELBURNE — All but one of the 10 articles on Wednesday’s Special Town Meeting warrant passed, meaning the town will begin looking for a grant writer who will pursue a $1 million grant to pay for the reconstruction of Little Mohawk Road.

According to Town Clerk Joe Judd, 11 people attended the meeting and voted on the first two articles before being joined by two more voters.

Without discussion, voters unanimously agreed to spend $5,000 to cover the cost of the part-time, per-diem grant writer who will research, prepare and submit an application to the MassWorks Infrastructure Program on behalf of the town. If awarded the grant, the town will use the $1 million to reconstruct a 2-mile stretch of Little Mohawk Road, which the town’s public works superintendent said would include work on culverts and drainage, as well as possibly some ledge work, tree-cutting and paving. Voters also unanimously approved that article without discussion.

The request to change the general bylaws to rename the “Board of Selectmen” to the “Select Board” was tabled, with voters saying they prefer to bring the issue to Annual Town Meeting, which is routinely better attended, so more people can make the decision.

Judd said voters approved $33,000 to pay for “unanticipated” renovation costs for the new Police Station. He said voters discussed the Police Station, including the possibilities for the public to use its meeting room, and then voted 10-to-1 to approve the money from the free cash account.

Voters also unanimously approved a total of $4,110.94 for mold encapsulation work in the new Police Station ($3,000); Eversource for street lights ($906.55); Silver Screen Design for the 250th celebration banner ($80); and payroll for the zoning clerk ($124.39).

There was some discussion on whether to approve $12,000 and whether that amount is sufficient to cover “soft costs” related to the new Police Station. That amount, which was ultimately approved, was requested to pay for lockers, a desk, a conference table, chairs and a copier.

Voters also discussed the town’s EV Charging Station Account, which pays for monthly electricity and distribution charges associated with two charging stations, one located on Baker Avenue and one on Cross Street, at $250 per month.

Judd said voters wanted to know how much people are charged when they use them, how often they are used and whether the money the town makes from them pays for the electricity. He said they 11 people voted to approve payment, with Judd clarifying that users are charged 33 cents per kilowatt hour to use the chargers.

The other articles that were approved were: transferring $165 from free cash to cover a budgetary shortfall in the animal inspector’s salary account; transferring $158,710.06 from free cash to the Stabilization Account; and accepting a law that allows assessors or assistant assessors to receive additional compensation once they complete the required training and have obtained certification. Acceptance would allow eligible part-time assessing staff to receive $500 more annually.

Judd said the transfer of $158,710.06 from free cash to the Stabilization Account is typical.

“That’s what we have left in free cash,” he said, “so we move it to the rainy day fund each year.”

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-0261, ext. 269 or afritz@recorder.com.




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