Public spaces will be used, soon

FALLS VILLAGE — The Board of Selectmen set a date for a special town meeting, received discouraging news about solar panels and approved the use of the downstairs space at 107 Main St. by community groups at the regular meeting Monday, Nov. 9.

The selectmen set Tuesday, Nov. 24, 7 p.m. at Town Hall for a special town meeting to inform residents of the legal agreement reached between the town and the Falls Village Children’s Theater for the space at 103 Main St. The selectmen will meet the following morning, Wednesday, Nov. 25, to approve the contracts, which are necessary for state grant funds to be approved.

First Selectman Pat Mechare reported that despite advertising the commercial rental space at 107 Main, there have been no takers. The downstairs space, most recently rented by Michael Klemens, was formerly the Town Hall.

The D.M. Hunt Library asked to use the space for its winter fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, and the Great Mountain Forest will present a lecture there by Paul Barten on Saturday, Dec. 5, 4:30 p.m. on “The First Century of Conservation at Great Mountain Forest.�

The selectmen approved these requests (with the proviso that all bets are off if someone rents the space in the interim) and took under advisement a third idea, floated by Dom Caiati, to utilize the space for after-school programs.

At the meeting of the Board of Finance immediately preceding the selectmen, treasurer Linda Paviol said it would be worth checking the language of the 107 Main grant to see if a permanent, non-commercial use is allowed.

Solar panels no go at pool

And Mechare said that the idea of getting an energy grant from federal stimulus funding to install solar panels at the town pool was turning out to be far more complicated and expensive than originally thought.

Mechare and Selectman Chuck Lewis attended a meeting at which they were told the panel project could be done with a minimum of fuss. “We thought it would be simple. No bidding, no prevailing wage,� said Mechare.

But she has since received additional information indicating that the prevailing wage law would in fact apply, thus adding between 20 and 30 percent to the cost of the project.

“We had it figured out so the cost would be within a couple hundred dollars of the grant,� said Mechare. “Now we’re talking about asking the Board of Finance for a substantial amount of money in addition, maybe $5,000 or more. It’s not in the budget.�

Lewis said, “It’s discouraging to me because we were told one thing, and it turns out to be dramatically different.�

“Typical,� added Selectman Peter Lawson.

Mechare asked Lewis and Lawson if they wanted to continue, and they said no.

Cell tower

The selectmen approved a request from the Hunt Library to name Woods Sinclair as the selectmen’s representative to the library’s board, and they approved the appointment of Betsy Howie to the Recreation Commission.

Mechare said she would suggest an informational meeting between AT&T representatives and members of town commissions and the public about a proposed cell phone tower on Cobble Hill.

Sinclair published a letter in the Nov. 5 edition of The Lakeville Journal detailing the Conservation Commission’s concerns with the tower proposal.

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