Lanesborough To Support High School Pitch To MSBA

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Selectmen will submit a letter to the state School Building Authority in support of starting analysis of a new building project at the high school.

Mount Greylock Regional High School officials have been applying to be accepted into the program, which could provide more than half the cost of a new building project.

For the next application, School Committee member Chris Dodig asked the Selectmen on Monday to write a letter of support.

"We know the problems really well but we don't know the solution," Dodig told the Selectmen.

If accepted into the program one of the first steps would be a feasibility study, which would outline options to remedy the disrepaired school.

Dodig estimated the study to cost about $600,000 with about 58 percent being reimbursed by the state — leaving about $138,000 for the two towns to split. But it might not be just the two towns paying that cost, he said, adding that the school will allocate some of its budget for it and Williams College is expected to pitch in.

Dodig emphasized that the letter of support is "non-committal" because the money for the feasibility study would have to go to town meeting and anything beyond that would also need voter support.

"It would be foolish not to do a feasibility study," Selectman William Prendergast said. "We need to at least find out."

While the Selectmen unanimously agreed to send the letter, Chairman John Goerlach expressed frustration in that the school had been allowed to fall into its current condition.

"The [science] labs, it really irritates me that they let that building get that way," Goerlach said.

In other business, Town Administrator Paul Sieloff said he will be suggesting that the town purchase a new dump truck for the Highway Department, repair the rear roof and an access ramp at Town Hall and buy two vehicles for the Fire Department — a new chief's truck and a replacement for the1987 forest pickup truck. Those, along with some other "smaller items," will be on the capital budget proposed at town meeting.

Sieloff has pieced together a proposed budget after meeting with all department heads and will be tweaking it as the revenue numbers solidify. A near-final budget will be proposed in about a month to six weeks.

Meanwhile, the Selectmen will hold a joint meeting with the Finance Committee to analyze the largest three departments — Highway, Police and Fire.

"I've always targeted the three big departments because they are the girth of the budget," Sieloff said.

School officials are also expected to present their budget to the Selectmen as well.

Additionally, Sieloff said he'd like to allocate monies for an infrastructure budget line, consulting and stipend the highway director to look after all of the town's buildings.

The Selectmen also finalized the warrant for the special town meeting on Feb. 12. The warrant will include a zoning bylaw amendment for a proposed aerial adventure park, increasing the fines on late taxes which go to demand notice and regulate on second-hand dealers and pawnshops.

An article to place similar regulations on scrap metal dealers was not placed on the warrant.

Tags: capital spending,   MSBA,   special town meeting,   town warrant,   

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