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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Williamstown Town Manager's Report

12:00AM / Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Williamstown- The State Election is Tuesday, November 7. Poll hours are 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Elementary School. Parking is in the School Street lot, which is accessible only from School Street. This parking lot has direct walking access to the gym. Voters should not park in the Church Street lot as it is much farther from the voting location. Also, the Church Street lot will be reserved for school employees. The School Committee has graciously made November 7 an in-service day, so there will be no students in the building. Because of several complaints received by the town clerk concerning access to the elementary school, any resident who is unfamiliar with the parking and access to the elementary school is urged to take a ride to the school on a Sunday when there is no activity there to familiarize themselves with the School Street lot.

Absentee ballots are available for the November 7 election. Any request for an absentee ballot must be made no later than 12:00 noon on Monday, November 6.

Council on Aging Director Brian O’Grady reports that he has spoken with representatives of the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Northern Berkshire regarding flu shots. Brian has been informed that they do not currently have vaccine available and are not expecting to receive a shipment for at least a couple of weeks. He reports that a clinic will be held at the Harper Center most likely in mid-November and that he will advise everyone as soon as he acquires that information and can schedule the event.

Melanie Miller, Senior Plan Consultant for BC/BS plans in Western Massachusetts, will be at the Harper Center on Friday, October 27, at 9:30 a.m. to offer a presentation on “Health Plan Options for Seniors”. Miller’s conversation will include an explanation of Medicare including the new Medicare Part D drug benefit. It will show how medigap insurance plans work with Medicare and she will talk about changes in the programs affecting consumers. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. All are welcome regardless of insurance coverage.

Mark Twain, the celebrated author of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, will be at the Harper Center on Tuesday, October 24, at 1:00 p.m. to discuss his work. Actually actor Richard Clark will be interpreting Twain’s humor and story telling, giving us a glimpse into the man who has become one of America’s foremost literary figures. Clark has spent recent years professionally in New York theatre and television. His many credits include Guiding Light, As the World Turns, Saturday Night Live, One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest, and the Crucible. His presentation will be attended by numerous seniors and shared with students from the WES. There is still some room for interested folks to come for the performance. Please contact the Harper Center at 458-2847 to reserve as seating is limited. NOTE: The luncheon announced in this month’s newsletter planned to precede this event has been cancelled; there won’t be enough time to set up and tear down the hall for food before the performance, so eat first! Refreshments will be served after the show.

The Department of Revenue has certified Williamstown's "free cash" as of July 1, 2006 at $310,634. This amount is 30% less than the $441,331 certification as of July 1, 2005 primarily due to a $52,678 increase in receivables and a $48,573 decrease in the amount returned by the Reserve Fund. The decrease does not impact our financial plan as last year’s free cash was unusually high, and the amount still exceeds the $235,000 we had projected for FY 07.

We have begun advertising for the vacancy which will be created by the retirement of Assistant Treasurer-Collector Shirley Nye on January 19, 2007. Tentative plans would have a replacement named prior to Thanksgiving to start by the middle of December to allow for a training overlap.

Only six days remaining to get a transfer station sticker at full price!! Starting November 1 the price of a sticker drops from $75 to $56 for the remainder of the fiscal year when $9 per month pro-rating begins. Residents have purchased 1,355 stickers to date. Approximately 1,650 are sold each year.


The 8-inch water main on Main Street in front of the ‘62 Center for Theatre and Dance ruptured last Friday. The break was due to the failure of a 100+ year old run of pipe. The repair took eight hours to complete to restore water service. The only customers going without water service were Stetson Court and two college buildings on Main Street. Approximately fifty to sixty thousand gallons of water were lost.

The paving of Stoney Ledge Road, Elliot Drive, Longview Terrace, and Blair Road was completed on October 2. The installation of driveway aprons should be completed by the end of this week.

There were 8 motor vehicle accidents reported since the last reporting period. Of these, three were vehicles that left the roadway, one striking a pole, one a fence, and one a guardrail, two were parking lot mishaps, two were minor crashes at intersections and the last occurred just over the town line in New Ashford, where department members assisted Mass State Police.

There are currently 162 commercial and residential burglar alarm permits registered with the department. Permit holders have completed their annual renewals, with six yet to complete the process.

The conversion from the current MAARS 911 system to the new VESTA 911 equipment has begun with the installation of computer hardware in the department. Sergeants McGowan and Thompson, Officers McConnell Jr, Ziemba, Jusino and Ross, and Dispatchers Oleskiewicz, Jennings, and Colantoni have all successfully completed the new training. Chief Johnson, Sergeant Lemieux, and Officers Eichhammer, William and Kelly are scheduled to receive the training in the near future. The new system will go live on November 8.

Andrea Bryant has resigned her position as Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police and Dispatcher, and advertising has begun for a replacement.

On October 7, police arrested Neil Main of White Oaks Road for larceny of a motor vehicle and operating after suspension. Main fled into the woods upon officer’s arrival at his home and was taken into custody a short time later. A subsequent investigation led to charges of Kidnapping and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (x2) by the North Adams Police Department after police learned that there were one and three year old children in the vehicle when it was stolen and Main dropped them off on the side of the roadway in North Adams. Main was held on bail until court on October 10.

On Friday, October 13, Officer Ziemba responded to MGRHS to seize a pocket knife and an Air Soft pistol that had been recovered by members of the staff. A juvenile had them in his possession at the school which violates both school policy and Massachusetts General Law. The juvenile has been summoned to court for two counts of possession of a dangerous weapon on school property.

Since the Department’s last report, 19 criminal charges have been taken out against 10 defendants. These charges include: Speeding, Unlicensed Operation, M/V Larceny, Operating after Suspension, Marked Lanes Violation, Larceny by Check, Negligent Operation, Possession of Dangerous Weapon, Suspended Registration, Receiving Stolen Property, Attaching Number Plates, and Uninsured M/V.


Council On Aging Director Brian O’Grady will be recognized by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition with a Community Recognition “Pulling Together” Award for working together to the benefit of others at a ceremony at the Masonic Temple on Church Street in North Adams on Oct. 24 at 5:00 p.m.
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