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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Williamstown Town Manager's Report

12:00AM / Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Town Clerk

Sixty-two percent of Williamstown registered voters cast votes at the state election on November 7, about typical of participation across the state. Mary Kennedy would like to thank the elementary school for scheduling an in-service day on election day which allowed for more accessible parking and less congestion.

Council On Aging

“Legal and Financial Issues and Answers” will be the topic of a one and a half hour program co- sponsored by the CoA and the Alzheimer’s Association of Massachusetts at the Harper Center at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 21.

The program will be presented by elder law attorney Jim Sisto for people in any financial situation, but especially for family members of people with Alzheimer’s disease. It will offer general information about wills, durable power of attorney, asset protection, health care proxy, and Medicare and Medicaid services.

Sisto will discuss typical case scenarios and problems confronting caregivers and problems which can be avoided or reduced by adequate advance planning. The Aladdin’s band will entertain from 1:00 – 3:00 after the seminar; both events are free and open to the public. A light lunch will be available to the first 40 registrants; contact the CoA at 458-8250 for information.

Cookouts are not necessarily a summer event. The CoA and Berkshire Health Systems social service coordinator Gail Rothwell, who also assists the CoA with SHINE services, co-sponsored a cookout and concert last Friday at the Harper Center. Approximately 60 people enjoyed burgers and dogs off the grill along with an assortment of potato and macaroni salads, iced tea, and soda. Richard Meyer and his group, a quartet from Vermont entertained with some really good jazz. Next cook out? Sometime in January…

The Williamstown chapter of the Northern Berkshire SHARE continues to grow with 20 different individuals now enrolled in the program. SHARE is a volunteer-driven food co-op offering good food inexpensively to its members. The next food pick up is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on November 18 at the Harper Center. Contact Brian O’Grady at 458-8250 for future SHARE program offerings and information.

File of Life is a magnetically backed plastic envelope containing a person’s essential medical data, current medications, conditions warranting attention, emergency contacts, etc..

It’s bright red and attracts attention immediately, if you know where to look for it, and that is on the front of the refrigerator. Everyone has a refrigerator and that’s why emergency personnel responding to calls will look there for this material.

It is vitally important for emergency personnel to have the most up to date information about individuals in crisis and that’s how this little plastic envelope comes in handy. Imagine being alone and unable to speak while an EMT is asking questions, or being the neighbor of someone in trouble and needing to answer questions for which you do not have the information. These little files of life were purchased by the CoA thru a grant supplied by the Massachusetts Office of Elder Affairs and are available free thru the CoA.

Additionally, the CoA has a limited supply of plastic pill boxes, also free to interested parties. They’ll allow folks to arrange an entire week’s supply of medications in easy to access, easy to read daily doses. These were acquired from Elder Services of Berkshire County and they’re also available free thru the CoA. Contact them at 458-8250 if interested.

Inspection Services

Director of Inspection Services Michael Card met with architects designing interior alterations to the Faculty House building at Williams College.

A building permit has been issued for the new Williams College Childrens Center Building on Whitman Street.

Plans for alterations at Goodrich Hall have been received. Ryan Contenta is reviewing them.

Ryan Contenta and Michael Card met with the architects for the Stetson/Sawyer project for a first look at the plans for the North and South Academic buildings. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2007.

The Planning Board will meet on November 14 to review the Stetson/Sawyer development plan and make a parking and access determination. The Board will meet with a developer who is looking at ways to subdivide the Mason Farm on Northwest Hill Road.

The Board will review a development plan submitted by Vincent Alcaro to establish a retail store at 384 Main Street.

On November 16 the Board of Appeals will hear several special permit requests for the Stetson/Sawyer project and review the development plan.

Public Works Department

Bi-annual hydrant flushing is complete. All of the fire hydrants public and private have been pumped out for winter. (263 public and 69 private) Public hydrants will be checked once a month from now until April. Private fire hydrants are the responsibility of the owners.

We have been monitoring the emergency repair work being performed by HWQD on the 42” siphon located at the intersection of the Green and Hoosic Rivers. The work site is being accessed via the town’s Well #3 road.

Dave Caron and David S. Larabee are currently attending the Cross Connection Surveyor’s certification course in Holliston at New England Water Works Association.

David S. Larabee and Robert E. Sweet completed their Safe Drinking Water License Exam in Springfield and should know the results in a couple of weeks.

S. M. Gallvan of Troy, NY was low bidder for the crushing of 4,900 tons of 1 ½” minus gravel for a price of $4.80 a ton. Gallvan set up on Tuesday morning 10/31 and finished crushing on November 7.

Police Department

There were 9 motor vehicle accidents reported to the Department since the last reporting period. All were minor in nature with no reported injuries.

Town police Officer Tanya Hernandez attended the 2006 Street Survival for Women in Law Enforcement conference on November 2 and 3 in Atlantic City.

The seminar included the latest in gender specific research, scientific principals, and tactical demonstrations to help female police officers train and perform at their best. Course objectives included developing and maintaining a survival mindset, effective communication skills, and tactical updates and demonstrations.

Department members have completed their training for the updated VESTA PALACE 911 system. This new system allows for instant mapping of caller locations. Massachusetts recognized the need for mapping when in 2005, more wireless than landline 911 calls were made in the state. The department converted to the new system on November 8, after two weeks of installation measures were completed.

All officers completed their bi-annual firearms qualification on November 9 under the direction of Sgt. David Lemieux. This qualification included a night fire, where officers are required to shoot targets with little or no light present.

Since the last report, the department has taken fourteen (14) criminal charges against six (6) defendants, including Possession of Marijuana, Unlicensed Operation, Suspended License, Aftermarket Lighting, and Protective Custody.

In October, the following criminal offenses were reported:

Simple Assualt 4

Larceny 19

Destruction of Property/Vandalism 3

Driving Under the Influence 0

Liquor Law Violations 1

Total Property Value Stolen $30,013

Total Property Value Recovered $10,000

Total calls for service to the dispatch center: 907

Police: 715

Fire: 13

EMS: 179

Milne Library

The restitution check for $1,044 in the David Vidal case has been received and deposited by the library.

Library Directory Patricia McLeod attended the NELA (New England Library Association) Conference in Burlington VT. She reports that it was a very good program with many “tekkie” workshops and discussions about the changing roles of libraries and librarians.

We co-sponsored the Haunted Barns at Sheep Hill by purchasing candy, decorating the Rosenberg Room, and contributing to the entertainment by Robert Campanile. Campanile performed a shadow theater of the Legend of Halloween and Sleepy Hollow and a reading of Edgar Allen Poe.

The library recently hosted a Green Buildings Open House sponsored by NESEA (New England Sustainable Energy Association) A visitors people come through.

The library hosted a meeting sponsored by the Western Mass Regional Library System for a Small Libraries Roundtable to discuss the Small Library Study that was completed by Himmel & Wilson Library Consultants through an LSTA grant (Library Service Technology Act).

The Cool Committee is meeting at the library each month and their newest grant application is for a program somewhat like Trading Spaces. The Commonwealth would select a home and a small business and go in and make the buildings energy efficient. The program would be professionally videotaped and made available to the public.

An anonymous donor has given the Children’s Dept. $20,000 - $8,000 for new shelving in the picture book room, and $12,000 for programs to put books into kid’s hands.

Future Events:

Nov. 15 at 7:00 p.m. –“Spirits of the Northern Sky” - the history, science, and mythology of the aurora borealis.

Chess club every Wednesday night at 4:30 – 6:00 with Jonathan Berch, Williams student, overseeing.

The library will be closed for inventory all day on Thursday, November 16.

Miscellaneous

The Sign Commission is in need of an additional member. Applicants may obtain a Citizen Activity Form either on-line at www.williamstown.net or at the Town Manager’s office.
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