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Lanesborough Sets Special Town Meeting, Thanks Administrator

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
03:52PM / Tuesday, October 16, 2012
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The Selectmen on Monday night said goodbye to interim Town Administrator Joseph Kellogg, left.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The company hoping to built an aerial adventure park on Brodie Mountain Road will wait for another town meeting for approval.

Feronia Holdings LLC's request to allow adventure parks on its property is not expected to be on the warrant for the special town meeting the Selectmen set for Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. to handle an array of questions.

Selectman William Prendergast said at Monday's meeting that the company is hoping to present its requested changes at a town meeting without other zoning articles. The town has to re-vote its new zoning bylaws in November after the state attorney general's office rejected the previous vote.

Also at November's meeting, voters will be asked for $4,000 to cover new TASERs for the Police Department, $1,700 for Wired West and additional monies for shortfalls in health insurance and the assessor's office budget lines. All of those financial questions are proposed to come from taxes instead of free cash accounts.

An additional question is still being mulled by the Selectmen and the Finance Committee about the purchase of a new police cruiser. Officials want to replace a recently damaged cruiser and skip the next scheduled round of vehicle purchases, as well as reduce the entire fleet by one car.

"We want to have discussion about the size of the fleet," interim Town Administrator Joseph Kellogg said.

The Selectmen will finalize the warrant in the next few weeks.

In other business, Selectman Robert Barton said there is some tension building between the newly created Early Education Committee, one of the subcommittees formed to analyze town departments, and Lanesborough Elementary School.

Barton said the committee raised concerns about the projected enrollment at the elementary school. Barton said there is only one class each — instead of two — in prekindergarten, kindergarten and second grade. It that trend continues until the school has only one class per grade, Barton said other town departments could move into the building.

"To think that we're going to have a third of our school vacant is a shocker," he said.

However, the subcommittee's work prompted a memo from Superintendent Rose Ellis that Barton described as having a "defensive tone."

To ease the tension, Barton said Ellis is being invited to meet with the subcommittee to discuss its conclusions.

The board also said goodbye to Kellogg. Monday was Kellogg's last televised meeting because Paul Sieloff will be taking over the position. The Selectmen thanked Kellogg for providing a "seamless transition" between administrators.

"It was just so smooth that nobody really noticed it," Prendergast said.

Kellogg replied with his own thanks to the board for giving the opportunity to "keep from getting rusty." The former Sheffield administrator has been in the post since March.

"There is a lot going on in this small town. In my 30 years, I was surprised with the amount of things going on. Don't let anybody call you a sleepy town," Kellogg said.

Tags: administrator,   adventure park,   police cruiser,   special town meeting,   zoning,   

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