Highway Director William Decelles is honored for 35 years of service.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town is considering buying a new gravel bed on Ore Bed Road.
Town officials have been in talks with Dennis Condron about purchasing a piece of property across from the town's landfill.
Selectman Henry "Hank" Sayers said the property has about 50,000 yards of gravel in the lot while the town's current landfill is nearly empty.
Selectmen did not disclose the price, saying it changes while in talks with Condron, but the purchase hits on multiple fronts — it saves the town from having to purchase as much gravel for roads, it prevents someone from buying and building on the land that has potential for contamination, and eventually can be turned into a small park or walking trails.
"We are also trying to get it off the books so nobody can build on it," Chairman John Goerlach said.
Previously, a number of private wells in the area were found to be contaminated and it is suspected that it came from the landfill. The town has to provide water filters and had to continually test the wells at those homes. Eventually, the town installed a new water line on Ore Bed Road to alleviate the need for as much testing.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has concerns about building on the land being considered but has determined that it is "technically not contaminated and can be used for gravel," said Town Manager Kelli Robbins.
Meanwhile, the current gravel bed is running low. Goerlach said he's been wanting to do something different with that piece of land for years — and has frequently mentioned the purchase of the new gravel bed.
The town could create walking trails at the current bed or simply sell it for a developer to build on — the land of the current gravel bed does not have contamination concerns.
Sayers wants Highway Department Director William Decelles to see the gravel in the new bed to ensure it is something he can use. The hope is for at least some time, the town could save money on buying gravel.
"Right now we are buying quite a bit," Decelles said.
In other business, the Board of Selectmen is in opposition to the turf field proposal at Mount Greylock Regional School. Mount Greylock officials are looking to build new sports fields at the middle and high school through a Williams College gift. But opponents are worried about health concerns with artificial turf.
P.J. Pannesco is honored for 50 years on the Fire Department.
Goerlach suggested the opposition saying he trusts the expertise of resident and landscaper Ray Jones that grass is a better option. Goerlach said grass not only doesn't have health concerns but can be done well at a lower cost.
"I'm going to side with Ray, the professional he is when it comes with grass, that we send a letter to the board asking that they consider other options," Goerlach said.
The Selectmen approved sending a letter to Mount Greylock officials voicing their opposition.
Also in other business, the state rejected the town's Complete Streets grant application that was hoped to fund improvements on Summer Street. Robbins, however, said Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Planner Eammon Coughlin has agreed to rework the application and resubmit it in the fall for free.
"They had a tremendous amount of applicants for millions of millions of dollars and they couldn't give everybody some money," Robbins said.
The board also recognized P.J. Pannesco for 50 years of service on the volunteer Fire Department and Decelles for 35 years in the Highway Department.
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Lanesborough Hoping to Reopen Recycling Process Soon
By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff
Newly elected Selectman Michael Murphy, center, participates in his first meeting on Thursday night.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Selectman welcomed new member Michael Murphy, elected last week, to the board with a fairly light load Thursday evening.
Cable TV contracts, Gulf Road and recycling were on the agenda among other items.
At their last meeting, the board had decided to keep Gulf Road closed until Dalton was comfortable opening the seasonal dirt byway. It serves as a shortcut between Lanesborough and Dalton and allows drivers to avoid shopping related traffic at Allendale Plaza and Berkshire Crossing in Pittsfield. It also could serve as an emergency detour should Route 8 be closed for any reason.
On Thursday, the board again voted but this time to reopen the road. But Murphy said he had spoken to a resident of Gulf Road who had wanted to advocate for the road to stay closed. This led into a discussion of why there is no public comment portion of the meeting since participation is now limited because of Town Hall being closed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former Finance Committee member Michael P. Murphy easily ousted incumbent Hank Sayers, 295-156. Sayers has served on the board since winning a special election in 2013 to fill a vacant seat.
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Town Moderator Chris Dodig kicked off the meeting by explaining the town's thought process in deciding to have the meeting at all despite the novel cooronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the municipal budget process across the state and forced many towns to postpone meetings and even some... click for more