Letter: Vote Yes For Mount Greylock Plan

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To the Editor:

The giant sign saying you should vote no and wait for a better plan in May is simply false. To have a different and lower-priced project would require another feasibility study approved by the state before it could be brought to the towns, taking upwards of another 10 years. The proposed building was designed to fit our educational plan (required and approved by the MSBA) and essentially includes the quality programs currently offered at Mount Greylock Regional School.

I'm asking my neighbors to vote yes on March 15 because we will receive $33 million in state aid, which will cost significantly less than repairing and maintaining the current building. Frankly, it’s the right thing to do for our community.

If you think it’s a good idea to create a "super region," then vote yes to take the state aid we are being offered to build a more sustainable building that can be expanded when/if that plan comes to fruition. A yes will also avoid costly repairs ($58 million worth with no state aid available), the building will be accessible to students with disabilities and the current serious health concerns will be addressed.

If that isn't enough, a yes vote will save you about 50 percent in the cost to run the school (heat, electric, etc.) every year because of the more energy-efficient building design and systems.

Two of our selectman think the answer is tuitioning our kids elsewhere. There are many problems with this but suffice it to say it's a multi-year, complicated process involving approval from the Department of Education and both member towns. Why would we as Lanesborough residents live here and pay a higher tax rate than the town we are sending our students to? We would be stuck with a high tax rate and a lower performing school district, what would that do to our property values and ability to sell?

I have a better idea! Let's make our town better and more attractive to businesses which will expand our tax base and lower our taxes. Let's take a closer look at the situation we find ourselves in and create a plan for the future, currently we have no plan. Let's preserve our property values and the health and future of our children and vote "yes" on March 15. Let's look to the future and build a better Lanesborough together that includes a great school!

Michelle Johnson







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Pittsfield Airport to Serve as Hub For Disaster Preparedness

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

Thomas Grady, left, Robert Czerwinski, and Lucy Britton at Wednesday's Central Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee meeting.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Berkshire County has received a total of $71,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a "point of distribution," or POD, training grant to aid residents in the event of a public disaster or emergency. 
The Central Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee announced the grants at its meeting Wednesday morning in Lanesborough.
Central Berkshire received $25,000 while the Northern and Southern Berkshire committees each were awarded $23,000 from the highly competitive grant program.
Bruce Augusti from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's regional office in Agawam was in attendance to break the news and give credit to the parties involved.
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