The Board of Selectmen may have set a record Monday night by finishing the bimonthly meeting in just 26 minutes.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town is upping the fees for a kennel permits fivefold and also reducing the number of permits issued.
The Board of Selectmen opted to raise the fee for a license to $100 — up from $20 — on Monday. But Town Administrator Paul Sieloff says only five entities will currently be allowed to receive kennel permits.
There are about a dozen people in town that annually apply for a kennel license because they own more than five dogs.
"The people who are running these operations should be paying more than $20," Sieloff said.
He said only five entities have applied for the special permit to be a kennel and to operate as a business. The others may have been getting the kennel license just because it is cheaper than paying to license each of the dogs. The town charges $10 annually to license a spayed/neutered dog and $15 for unfixed dogs, so the $20 for a kennel license was cheaper than paying for each dog.
Now, by upping the kennel fee, the town is making a distinction between commercial kennel operations and those who just own a lot of dogs. Anyone who has previously had a kennel license but had not received a special permit through the Zoning Board of Appeals will not be able to receive a permit. Kennels need to be inspected every year by the heath inspector and the $100 will defray that cost.
Selectman Henry Sayers said many people in town believed that a person had to receive a kennel permit if they had at least five dogs.
In other business, the Selectmen approved the Agricultural Committee's request to use the town garage on Feb. 11, 2014, from 5 until 6 p.m. for its annual rabies clinic. Residents can take their pets there and, for $10, receive rabies vaccinations from Dr. Keith Beebe, a local veterinarian. The money is a fundraiser for the committee.
"We're trying too build a fence around the new gardens at the school," said committee member Peter Gallant. "It's our only fundraiser and that's what the money is going to."
The town is also looking to start the budget process and Sieloff said he has asked each of the town departments to submit their requests. Sieloff said he asked them to have "restraint" because the town's budget is still tight.
"Last year, most of the department heads had been very reasonable in their requests," Sieloff said.
He is also starting to look at capital projects and says the town needs to start looking at upkeep on town-owned buildings. The Mount Greylock Regional School District budget will be presented to the Selectmen on Monday, March 10.
Also, Sieloff said the town is interested in participating in a grant the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is looking to apply for that would bring an energy manager to the county. The manager would help towns reduce energy costs in an array of ways. The position would be paid partly by the grant and various Berkshire towns would split the remaining cost to match.
The town is not taking the lead in a previous BRPC grant that would help to upgrade technology. Sieloff said Peru wanted to take the lead on that one, so the town backed out.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.